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Feds Celebrates Student Leaders at 2016-2017 Leadership Awards

April 5th, 2017

Feds clubs and services are home to a number of hard working students in leadership roles. By dedicating themselves to the university community, they form the foundation of our strong campus community.

Every year, Feds recognizes 10 student leaders for their outstanding contributions to the school community and their exemplary work for their fellow students with Leadership Awards. Anyone can nominate a student leader who meets the following criteria:

-          leadership in a student leadership position(s) in the Federation of Students;
-          service to the undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo;
-          involvement and contributions to undergraduate student life within the Federation of Students and at the University of Waterloo.

Winners are awarded with a certificate of distinction and are invited to attend the Feds Leadership Awards Banquet.

Here are your 2016- 2017 Leadership Awards winners:

Reba Nauth

Reba has had a handful of leadership roles in Feds and on campus. She has served as our Elections and Referendum Officer, and earned respect from her fellow colleagues for her judgement and tactful decisions. She has been Deputy Secretary for Students’ Council, and was a delegate for two OUSA General Assemblies. Reba's contributions were described as consistently insightful and pragmatic. In addition to these roles, she also served as Coordinator of the Volunteer Centre. She is respectful, amiable, and dedicated to serving her peers. Congratulations Reba Nauth.


Jill Knight

Jill has been involved in more things on campus than we can list. Just to name a few: she has been a FOC member for Orientation in AHS, President of the AHSUM Society, and served as a Residence Life don. She is a proven and trusted mentor and leader, and as one of her nominators put it “Though she may not always love the nickname “Mamma Jill”, we hope that she understand that this name is a sign of the respect and appreciation her fellow students have for all that she does”. Congratulations Jill Knight.


Nicole Vanderleest

Nicole's involvement includes many different positions at Renison University College, including President of Rension’s Academic Student Council, and at the Student Success Office where she serves as a Peer Success Coach Team Lead. She has also been a don with Residence Life, and certainly has a group of appreciative first-year students; she received over 20 nominations for this award. Congratulations Nicole Vanderleest.


Tatiana Portelli-Graham

The next award winner has taken on two very demanding roles at Waterloo: a FOC member for Waterloo Orientation, and Feds Service Coordinator. She has been described as role model, compelling leader, excellent listener and great friend, and her passion and commitment to Orientation is abundantly clear. As a two-term CRT Coordinator, her easy going demeanour and dedication did not go unnoticed. Congratulations Tatiana Portelli-Graham.


Cody Hutt

Cody has been an active supporter of campus mental health, in particular the Feds/UW Service MATES. He helped develop their branding and messaging, and has taken on positions developing their social media. Cody has also been involved in different roles in Feds Marketing in support of the many Services. Congratulations Cody Hutt.

Saad Ahmad

The next Leadership Award winner has been a coordinator for the Campus Response Team for two terms this year. He has an empowering demeanor and is a strong mentor to the rest of the team. He has held numerous other roles within CRT, and was awarded the Rookie of the Term designation in his first term. Congratulations Saad Ahmad.


Abdullah Barakat

Abdullah has been incredibly involved in the Engineering Society, and has held many different Directorships there. He was elected Vice-President Finance of EngSoc, responsible for managing the budget, the society spaces, and the plan to expand into E7. Outside of the society, he is an enthusiastic and professional representative of the faculty, and it is no surprise he was recently elected as President of Engineering Society A. Congratulations Abdullah Barakat.


Danielle Burt

Danielle has had many years of involvement all over campus. She was an outstanding Orientation leader, and became a member of the original Cross Campus FOC team in 2012. Danielle has also been a Residence Ambassador, a Wellness Instructor, and a Coordinator for the Feds Warrior Tribe for two terms. Somewhere between all of that she also spent a year as the President of the Feds. Congratulations Danielle Burt.


Kaitlyn Yong

Our next winner has held numerous volunteer positions in the community, and is a powerful advocate for youth involvement in STEM. She served as the National VP Operations of Science Expo, a student-run non-profit that connects youth to the STEM community. Kaitlyn has also encouraged youth, and especially girls, to pursue engineering and technology through Engspire Youth Programs and has been a co-director for Hack the North. Congratulations Kaitlyn Yong.

Sacha Forstner

Our final award winner is one of the most dedicated student leaders on campus. He knows both the corporation of Feds and the culture of the University extremely well. Somehow, he has found time this year to be Secretary for Feds Students’ Council, a Director for the Feds Board, an at-large Senator for the university, the Feds Academic Affairs Commissioner, and a two-time delegate for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Assembly. He is dedicated and thoughtful in his work, and is very well-regarded by all those who have had the pleasure of working alongside him. Congratulations Sacha Forstner.

Written by Leanna Walsh, Communications Assistant.