Woodsworth Staff and Students Recieve Awards of Excellence
The Cross Campus Awards Recognize Extraordinary Achievements at UofT
The University of Toronto is an amazing place: a global leader in research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the home of extraordinarily talented students. The achievements of our researchers and students are supported by a culture of excellence, where outstanding leaders show what we can achieve when we set ourselves ambitious goals and pull together to achieve them.
To recognize the leaders of this culture of excellence, each year the University community presents the prestigious Awards of Excellence to outstanding faculty, staff and students who exemplify a commitment to high achievements and to enhancing the University experience for their peers.
Woodsworth affiliated staff and students received three Awards of Excellence this year:
The Matus Award celebrates U of T staff members who profoundly improve student life on campus. The Dean of Students at Woodsworth College, Liza, was one of two award recipients.
Liza Nassim: Jill Matus Award for Excellence in Student Services
As Dean of Students at Woodsworth College for the past 13 years, Liza Nassim has been a key factor in building an inclusive and caring culture at U of T’s most diverse college. A kind, generous and practical champion of 6,000 students, she has initiated a vast range of supportive programming that will positively impact current and future students, such as LGBTQ+ Positivity Day, Woodsworth Inclusiveness (WINC), WINC Mental Health, DiversiTea, the Black History Month Seminar and Indigenous Competencies training for staff. Nassim has been spotted buying groceries for hungry students and organizing workshops on deaf culture and sign language to help students and staff communicate with a new classmate.
One of our Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Gold Scholarship Recipients also received an award.
Danning Zhang: UTAA Scholar
Danning Zhang is majoring in neuroscience and psychology at Woodsworth College, where she has impressed her professors by the breadth of her studies (which have included Russian and engineering) and her outstanding leadership organizing a one-day mental health symposium and editing the student-run Neuroscience Journal. Winner of several scholarships for academic excellence, she has also completed a research placement at CAMH that led to co-authorship in three peer-reviewed articles. She volunteers at a psychiatric clinic, at a community chess club, and helping Chinese political refugees navigate the Canadian health-care system. Zhang plans to study psychiatry in medical school.
The Chancellor’s Awards honour outstanding contributions by U of T staff members – both emerging leaders early in their careers and influential leaders who have an extensive track record of achievement in senior positions. David Kim, a former Acting Dean of Students at Woodsworth College, received one of four awards.
David Kim (BSc 2001 Innis, BEd 2004, MEd 2010): Chancellor’s Award (Emerging)
David Kim is the Dean of Chestnut Residence, where he looks after the well-being of more than 1,000 students. Their testimonials praise him as an adaptable, inspirational leader who treats everyone with dignity and kindness. Kim built connections across academic divisions, enabling him to link his students quickly with support and resources. He initiated professional development programs for residence staff and has been a calm, professional public face for the University during community discussions about planned new residences. Kim also chairs the positive space committee, speaks at professional development workshops, and mentors students and alumni He is also a doctoral candidate at OISE.
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