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Jennifer Mactavish Graduate Student Leadership Awards

Up to four awards are granted annually to recognize individuals or teams of students who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the following categories:

  • Student Engagement and Experience
  • Community Engagement and Experience
  • SRC Innovation and Impact

Named in honour of Dr. Jennifer Mactavish, vice-provost and dean, who led the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies from 2011 to 2019, the awards embody her spirit of leadership, collaboration, community engagement and longstanding commitment to supporting graduate student success.

Key initiatives during her tenure include the launch of the Graduate Leadership Institute and GRADCentral; student engagement forums such as the Graduate Student Advisory Board, GRADCafé and GRAD Contests; and inaugural appointments of the YSGPS Director of Experiential Learning, Indigenous Advisor and Scholar-in-Residence.

Student Engagement and Experience

The YSGPS Graduate Student Leadership Award in Student Engagement and Experience recognizes student excellence in the process of nurturing a scholarly, creative or practice  community by creating bridges, providing peer support, advancing inclusion in graduate studies, advocating on behalf of peers and implementing engagement initiatives.

SRC Innovation and Impact

The YSGPS Graduate Leadership Award that recognizes student excellence in scholarly research and creative activity that yields tangible impacts on prosperity, culture and social development and recognizes student excellence in challenging the status quo with new solutions and new ways of thinking to transform the world and have a positive and meaningful impact of the social, environmental and economic vitality of Toronto and beyond.

Community Engagement and Experience

The YSGPS Graduate Student Leadership Award in Community Engagement and Experience recognizes student excellence in activities that move the university and the city forward together through external engagement.

Individual recipients receive a certificate and a one-time monetary award of $1,000 (subject to applicable deductions).

Team recipients (a group of two or more individuals) receive individual certificates and a total one-time monetary award of $1,500 (subject to applicable deductions) to be shared equally among members.

  • Individuals registered as a full-time or part-time graduate students at Toronto Met who are enrolled in a graduate program or have convocated within the past academic year
  • The nomination is valid only for the year in which it is submitted
  • Students can be nominated for multiple categories but are only eligible to receive the award for one category in a given year
  • Students who receive one category of this award may not receive any of the YSGPS Graduate Student Leadership awards for two years (e.g. 2017-2018 recipients receiving the award in Winter 2018 would not be eligible to apply for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 awards)
  • Faculty, students or staff can submit nominations
  • Self-nominations are not allowed

While there are many different factors and outcomes that may signify outstanding contributions to graduate community building and engagement, the following are areas to consider highlighting for each category:

Student Engagement and Experience

  • Creating bridges between various graduate programs at Toronto Met through cross-disciplinary or interdisciplinary initiatives
  • Providing peer support and mentoring for graduate students in their endeavour to succeed in their graduate studies, above and beyond what is expected in coursework
  • Contributing to advancement of diversity, inclusion and equity at Toronto Met
  • Advocating on behalf of graduate students and matters pertaining to student experience
  • Developing and implementing initiatives to foster graduate student engagement at YSGPS and/or the broader Toronto Met community

SRC Innovation and Impact

  • Impacting prosperity, culture and social development through SRC work
  • Building relationships with community and industry to address concerns about the social, environmental and economic vitality of Toronto and beyond
  • Advancing interdisciplinary methods for problem solving of research questions
  • Implementing and/or sustaining contributions to knowledge, practice or pedagogy
  • Challenging the status quo of graduate education or within a field of study with new solutions and new ways of thinking
  • Transforming the community and/or world through positive and meaningful impact

Community Engagement and Experience

  • Developing or supporting collaborative activities with internal and external partners
  • Recognizing the common goals and bringing together individuals to problem solve and create opportunities
  • Promoting social justice, equity and engagement within a community
  • Amplifying the voices and perspectives of marginalized groups to ensure representation

Jan. 31, 2024


  • Nomination coversheet and citation (100 word maximum) – Highlight why the nominee(s) deserve this award and any notable achievements. This citation will be included in related communications and announcements if the nominee is selected.
  • Supporting Statement (two page maximum) – Describe the nominee’s achievements and impact by putting forward a persuasive argument that speaks explicitly and directly to each of the criteria. For team nominations, briefly describe each team member’s specific contribution.
  • Minimum of two and no more than five Letters of Support (one page maximum each). Note that only the first five letters will be read and considered by the selection committee. Provide examples related to the criteria of why the nominee should receive the award. Letters should reflect the breadth of the nominee’s contributions. Letters of support cannot be written by the nominator or any member of the adjudication committee.

 (google form) Nominate now (external link) 

The selection committee’s mandate is to select high-quality candidates, whose achievements meet or exceed the award criteria. The selection committee will be chaired the Vice Provost and Dean, YSGPS or Delegate and may include faculty, student, and staff representatives from across campus.

All nominations are reviewed.

Natasha Mills
Coordinator, Scholarships and Awards
Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies