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Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Awards

A group of TMU employees at the Alan Shepard Awards Celebration

The annual Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams who advance equity, diversity and inclusion through their work, research and/or volunteer contributions in the community. 

Alan Shepard

Dr. Alan Shepard is currently President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Shepard was Toronto Metropolitan University’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic. He championed equity, diversity and inclusion at TMU and was an innovative and forward-thinker. 

It was during his tenure that the role of Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) was created. Dr. Denise O’Neil Green was the first to hold this role. She was appointed inaugural Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion in 2017 and concluded her tenure at the university in 2022 

Since Dr. Shepard’s departure from the university, the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) proudly sponsors this annual awards ceremony. We gather each year to celebrate the students and employees who exemplify Dr. Shepard’s inclusive and collaborative leadership style.


Meet the 2023 award recipients


As a member of the school’s varsity team, Jyoti contributes more to the fabric of the team than just on-court abilities. She is the social media manager, and in this role she is responsible for posting promotional and in-game content. She has done a great job at establishing and growing the team’s social media presence. She has worked with her fellow athletes and students to maintain the team’s social media presence. In addition to her social media role, she has taken the lead on many community engagement programs throughout her years at the university. Jyoti is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council where she represents the team, while also contributing to inclusion and diversity from a different vantage point. Her advocacy is demonstrated through her participation in the successful student wellness referendum. She was able to help mobilize students, specifically varsity athletes to take action and vote. Jyoti has been involved with many programs such as RyePack, the TMU Indian Students Association and TMU Centre for Safe Sex and Sexual Violence Support. Not only does her participation in these programs highlight her unique ability to lead, manage her time and work within teams but also her commitment to inclusion and diversity here at TMU. Since she was a first-year athlete, she has stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion in sport and on our campus, and has demonstrated that by joining committees, being a voice of change and leading by example.


Faculty award recipient

Dr. Susan Silver has dedicated her 28-year career at TMU to advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion, helping ensure that everyone has a voice and equal opportunity. Her research, teaching and service have all been guided by social justice. Dr. Silver has established a legacy of hiring social work faculty members with diverse and intersecting identities including race, gender, sexual orientation and disability. As co-chair of the Employees with Disabilities Community Network and co-chair of the Late Career Faculty Group, she continues to tirelessly promote accessibility, accommodation and inclusion.

Staff award recipient

Jean has been a key leader in building robust pathways of care for Black and Indigenous students. She has been an instrumental stalwart in the collection of equity data to better understand the experiences and service needs of students from equity-deserving groups, for the purpose of reducing barriers and increasing their quality of care. She has led the Centre for Student Development and Counselling through a transformative change process which has included the creation of equity focused counselling positions, an innovative partnership with Indigenous Student Services and changes to hiring processes in order to foster equity, diversity and inclusion. This has led to a more equitable CSDC for students and staff at TMU.

Team award

This passionate team has worked tirelessly to lead the fight against anti-Asian racism, and in the celebration of Asian-Canadian identities, culture and history at the university. They have been central in the creation of networks of support and affirmation within the TMU community, and they have striven to support inclusivity and understanding by highlighting historical context (both the good and the troubling) and further revealing the persistent problem of anti-Asian racism sentiments to the university and even the broader local community. Their efforts truly embody TMU's values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

  • Gabriel Ciufo, Office of the President
  • Josel Angelica Gerardo, Faculty of Arts
  • Josie Lee, Office of the General Counsel and Board Secretariat
  • Wincy Li, Student Affairs
  • Janet Lum, Faculty of Arts
  • Yumi Numata, Faculty of Arts
  • Melissa Yu Vanti, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion

Founded in 2001 as one of the first resources for students from equity-deserving groups, the Tri-Mentoring Program promotes retention of racialized students as they navigate various systems at the university. Their mission and priority is to mentor students through their individual experience to find a sense of belonging on campus. Over the last 21 years, the TMP has evolved from peer-to-peer mentoring, adding career mentoring and group mentoring as opportunities for students to succeed. In its history, 30,000+ students have benefited from this program.

  • Rena Jennifer Barcelona, Student Affairs
  • Shailee Koranne, Student Affairs
  • Tashana Mcdonald, Student Affairs
  • Eboni Morgan, Student Affairs
  • Rudhra Persad, Student Affairs
  • Samantha Tome, Student Affairs

2023 Photo gallery