Nearly 100 awards were handed out last week in recognition and appreciation of Brock University residence students who have contributed to a positive student life experience.
The 40th annual Residence Awards took place Friday, April 1 in Market Hall and was attended by more than 130 people, including Brock Interim President Lynn Wells, Vice-President, Administration Ken Chan and Associate Vice-President, Ancillary Services Ed Wall. It was the first time in two years the celebration has been held in person.
Awards were distributed to residence student leaders in various roles, such as Residence Life staff and Residence Action Council executives, as well as individual students in each residence community. Group awards celebrated residence communities, often called houses, halls, courts or blocks.
Director of Residences Jamie Fleming says the Residence Awards are a celebration of “what res life is all about.”
“It’s an opportunity to thank, congratulate and recognize those who have made a positive impact within residence and put forth that special effort to make residence an outstanding place to live, learn and grow,” he said. “These students make residence much more than simply a place to eat and sleep.”
In recognition of Fleming’s upcoming retirement and 40 years of service to the University, the Marriott Cup was renamed the Fleming Cup. The award is given to the residence community with the highest overall standing in residence games, activities and events for the academic year.
Fleming says he was surprised by the tribute and feels honoured to have his name on a trophy that celebrates enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and sportsmanship.
“I suppose one of best things about the cup being renamed after me is that maybe I’ll get invited back to celebrate Residence Awards with Department of Residences staff and all the very community-minded and involved residence students,” he said.
Residence Don Jessica Thornhill accepted the Fleming Cup on behalf of the Merritt Hall Wizards, the residence community on the fifth floor in Alan Earp Residence.
“Accepting the Cup from Jamie after seeing the large positive impact he has had on residences at Brock was a great privilege and something I will never forget,” she said.
Thornhill is proud her students attended residence events in good numbers this year.
“The Wizards are such an upbeat and social group and I’m so thankful that I got to be a part of their residence experience,” she said.
Another highlight of the event was the Les McCurdy-Myers Award, which was established in 2016 in recognition of retired staff member Les McCurdy-Myers’ long-standing dedication to supporting the development of student leaders. The annual award is the only residence award not given to a student, but rather to a staff member. McCurdy-Myers attended the event to announce this year’s recipient, Melissa Ghirardi, Residence Service Desk Clerk.
In a nomination letter, Ghirardi is described as “the most kind-hearted individual” who “takes her time with each and every student she meets, providing support to ensure they have all the information they need.”
Ghirardi says supporting Brock student leaders is the most rewarding part of her role.
“This award is special because it comes from the student leadership,” she says. “These dedicated and bright-eyed students give it their all to make student life memorable and significant.”
The family of the late Tammy Brown, former Manager of Residence Admissions and Administration, attended the celebration to present the Tammy Brown Residents Committed to Excellence Award. The award was renamed in 2021 in honour of Brown, who passed away in 2020 from cancer. It is typically given to graduating upper-year students in recognition of their exceptional contributions to residence life and for modelling respect and leadership.
The following is a collection of major award winners:
- Les McCurdy-Myers Award — Melissa Ghirardi
- Student of the Year — Shaheer Khan
- Don of the Year — Kaitlin Kerr
- Head Resident of the Year — Ashley Keating
- Sheaffe Award — Erika Anger
- Positive Contributions Award — Erin Fraser
- McBride Award — Alexa Brownell-Riddel (Lowenberger), Emily Bryne (Lofts 9), Collen Duong (Vallee), Sarah Habgood (Earp), Ian Jones (Village), Henry Mccardle (DeCew), Nolen Ritchie (Res 8)
- Crew Member of the Year — Alexa Brownell-Riddel (Lowenberger), Zarah Cohen (Earp), Julie Do (Quarry View), Zoe Lang (Village), Brooke Maxine Lavery (Res 8), Kiki Oduwole (DeCew), Adele Orr (Vallee), Chris Sittmann (Lofts 9)
- Tammy Brown Residents Committed to Excellence Award — Ashira Alishaw, Alyssa Douse, Zach Harrietha, Ashley Harvey, Syd Hayward, Hashim Khan, Stephen Lourenco, Monique Maison, Renae Mclean, Hana Mohamed Farook, Brian Roach, Patrisha Shiga
- Residence Life Staff Award — Andrew Akladious (Lowenberger), Erick Celorio (Lofts 9), Katie de Graaf (Village), Erin Fraser (Earp), Jacob Gil (Res 8), Shaheer Khan (Vallee), Summer Simmons (Quarry View), Sarah Wilson (DeCew)
- Fleming Cup (overall) — Merritt Wizards (Earp)
- Tecumseh Cup (first semester) — Keefer Camels and Fitzgibbon Grizzlies (DeCew)
- Tenskwatawa Cup (second semester) — Merritt Wizards (Earp)
- Building cups — Beatty Hawks (Lowenberger Cup), Floor Four Broncos (Lofts Cup), Floor Six Gladiators (Res 8 Cup), Keefer Camels and Fitzgibbon Grizzlies (DeCew Cup), MacFarland Mavericks (Coup de View), Merritt Hall Wizards (Earp Cup), Renaud Hall Tiggers (Vallee Zerwen Cup), Tubman Polar Bears (Cup of Courts)