Seven public health and health services students receive Gordon Cressy Award

April 17/2018


Four Dalla Lana School of Public Health and three Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation students received a Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award in recognition of their outstanding volunteer contributions to the University of Toronto community earlier this spring.

This year’s recipients include: Sarah Buchan (PhD Epidemiology), Madeleine Bondy (MPH Health Promotion), Alyssandra Chee-a-tow (MPH Epidemiology), Andrea Monsour (MPH Epidemiology), Vinusha Gunaseelan (MSc Health Services Research), Stephanie Zhou (MSc-MD LEAD program) and Vidhi Thakkar (PhD Health Services Research).

“It’s a real honour to receive the award and I’m privileged to work with the outstanding

students and faculty who are so committed to the school and its development,” said Buchan who recently started a scientist role with Public Health Ontario in the Communicable Diseases, Emergency Preparedness and Response Department.

Her fellow recipients agree and Chee-a-tow echoed:

“DLSPH students remind me that true leaders inspire others to see the leadership qualities in themselves. I am humbled to receive this award, and could not have done so without the continued support of classmates who encouraged my leadership skills during times of self-doubt. It is indeed a testament to DLSPH students’ ability to foster excellence in themselves and others, and I am honored to learn from such a talented community,” she said.

Award criteria include volunteer service, community building and quality of life improvement. The Award was established in 1994 by the University of Toronto Alumni Association and named after Gordon Cressy, U of T’s former vice-president of development and university relations who had a strong commitment to higher education, fundraising and community service.

“Community service complements and deepens our work in public health by connecting us to the needs of diverse communities and reinforcing our understanding of health equity and the social determinants of health,” said Bondy.

With convocation around the corner, it’s a good opportunity for students to reflect on why they chose public health and ask about their plans after graduation.

“It’s frightening to think about career plans, which is why my plans are a tad blurry,” said Monsour who says many of her classmates may share her feelings of uncertainty, which she says is okay.

“Being at DLSPH provides us with a unique opportunity to discover different interests, network with leaders and innovators in public health, and learn where our interests may take us. I’m grateful for my time here and I look forward to exploring where my public health path may lead,” said Monsour.

Award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony in Convocation Hall this spring. Click here for more information about the award and the award celebration.

Click here to read about the IHPME award recipients.