During his seven years at Brock, Aidan Smyth has strived to leave the University better than he found it.
And the 26-year-old Perth, Ont., native, who crossed the stage at Wednesday’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Convocation, appears to have done just that.
The Master’s of Science in Applied Health Sciences student was recognized during the ceremony with the graduate student Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award.
The award is given to students who demonstrate leadership, innovation, courage, inspiration and community involvement.
Hawa Conde was also presented with the undergraduate student Spirit of Brock honour on Wednesday.
Smyth has long been a proud Brock ambassador, promoting the University to the external community through his work at Smart Start, the Ontario Universities Fair and at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being.
He also took on a leadership role as President of the Graduate Students’ Association — a far cry from the “relatively shy, uninvolved first-year student” who first stepped on campus so many years ago.
“(At that time) I never would have imagined taking on this type of position,” he said. “It taught me the importance of keeping an open mind and stepping outside of your comfort zone.”
Through his role with the GSA, Smyth helped select Brock’s new Chancellor, represented the University on a national scale at the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies conference, hosted various events and delivered many University-wide speeches. He also had a hand in successfully securing space on campus to create a new graduate student lounge.
Smyth, who has landed a teaching job in England, was quick to point out that his accomplishments are not solely his own.
“They are merely a byproduct of the exceptional support and mentorship that I received from the amazing people I met and worked with throughout my time at Brock,” he said.
It was the faculty, staff and other students who mentored Smyth throughout his university career that encouraged his involvement on campus, which prompted him to take advantage of the many available opportunities.
“My university experience taught me the value of personal growth and contribution, as well as the powerful impact one person can have on another’s life,” he said.
“I have left Brock with the perspective of gratitude toward the faculty, staff and students who inspired me to become a better student, teacher, leader and person.”
Brock has been a second home for Smyth and that experience will not be forgotten.
“I will always cherish my time at the University and will continue to serve as an ambassador wherever I may end up,” he said.
Smyth was in good company on the Convocation stage Wednesday, joined by Conde, who was also recognized for her contributions to the University.
A Bachelor of Public Health student who is originally from Guinea, Conde is known at Brock as a generous, enthusiastic health promoter and advocate.
In addition to her involvement in the Student Global Health forum, Conde volunteered her time promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition with francophone children, volunteered at Conversation Café and worked at a summer camp for youth.
She also created a program for young adults designed to support and guide their transition from youth mental health services to adult mental health services.
NOW AVAILABLE: Wednesday, June 7, 2:30 p.m. — Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
NOW AVAILABLE: Wednesday, June 7, 10 a.m. — Faculty of Applied Health Sciences