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Graduate Awards

Graduate Awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to graduate students on a competitive basis. We want to make sure you are successful in meeting the financial demands of your graduate education. If you have questions about these scholarship and award programs, please contact the Program Administrator. The Yeates School of Graduate Studies administers various Scholarships and Awards.  Other funding sources are available as well. There are also a number of program-specific awards available within the MA in Public Policy and Administration.  Click below for further information on the awards and previous winners.

Current Awards

[Historical Awards follow]

The St. George’s Society of Toronto / Bill Davis Graduate Entrance Awards in Public Policy and Administration will recognize academic excellence and provide support for two incoming students enrolled in the full-time MPPA Program. The endowed fund will normally provide two annual entrance awards of up to $4,500 each.

The St. George’s Society of Toronto – the city’s oldest charity – was founded in 1834. The Society is a great supporter of education, and chose to have these awards be a tribute to Bill Davis, who gave his whole career to public service.

Bill Davis - image

William Grenville Davis, PC, CC, OOnt, QC, is a former Minister of Education and Premier of Ontario. Davis was first elected as the MPP for Peel in the 1959 provincial election and became a backbencher in Leslie Frost's government. Under Premier John Robarts, he was minister of education.

In 1964, Davis was given additional responsibilities as Ontario's Minister of University Affairs, and held both portfolios until 1971. He soon developed a reputation as a strongly interventionist minister, and oversaw a dramatic increase in education expenditures throughout the 1960s.  Between 1962 and 1971, education spending in Ontario grew by 454%. He established many new public schools, often in centralized locations to accommodate larger numbers of students.

Davis established new public universities as minister, including Trent University and Brock University, and established the province's community college system. He was also responsible for the establishment of Canada's first educational research institute, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in 1965, and the establishment of the Ontario Educational Communications Authority educational television network (now TVOntario) in 1970.

He succeeded Robarts as Premier of Ontario in 1971 and held the position until resigning in 1985.

Award Winners

Sabreena Bapoo (2022)

Sabreena Bapoo is a full-time graduate student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Toronto Metropolitan University (2022-2023). She graduated with High Distinction from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a double specialization in research and public policy, with a management option. While completing her undergraduate degree, Sabreena participated in the co-operative education program and had the opportunity to work in both the non-profit and the private sector, supporting learning and development initiatives. During her time at Wilfrid Laurier, Sabreena is most proud of founding the Laurier for Canadian Civil Liberties Association (LCCLA). With her team, Sabreena collaborated with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to host workshops, focusing on current issues facing Canadians including reproductive justice, privacy rights, and religious freedoms. Upon graduating from Toronto Metropolitan University, Sabreena strives to utilize her perspective as a woman of colour to apply an intersectional lens to various policy areas, including education and healthcare. 

Alexa Chapelle (2022) 

Alexa Chapelle is a full-time graduate student in the Master in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She graduated with first-class honours from York University, Glendon College with an Honour’s Bilingual Bachelor’s Degree Specializing in Political Science. The highlight of her undergraduate studies was her participation in the C4 Capstone Classroom; an experiential education program where students work in interdisciplinary teams on real-world challenges with social impact. Through the program, she worked as a student researcher to develop a software application that connects dementia residents in long-term care and their families. She also worked with MaRS and C4, as project manager, to redesign outdoor spaces to be more accessible year-round for low-income marginalized groups in Scarborough. In addition to her studies, Alexa has been very involved in providing support to a family member in their journey with mental health challenges. She has witnessed first-hand the barriers to treatment, lack of resources, and toll it takes on families. While these projects and personal experiences have provided her with hands-on experience, they have instilled in her a strong desire to have an impact in areas, such as healthcare reform and health policy. In pursuing a MPPA, her hope is to build on the professional and academic capacity that will allow her to address these multi-dimensional issues and create meaningful solutions upon graduating. 

Bethany Smith (2022)

Bethany Smith is a full-time student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She graduated with the highest distinction from Saint Mary’s University with a double major in Political Science and French, in addition to a certificate in Atlantic Canada Studies. Through her undergraduate studies and her continued summer employment with the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists, Bethany garnered an interest in public policy, particularly within the health domain. Upon graduating from the MPPA program, she hopes to pursue a career in the development and delivery of health and social policies to ensure equitable access to services for all Canadians. 

Julie Anker (2021)

Julie Anker is a full-time student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. She graduated from Western University with an Honours Specialization in Political Science. During her undergraduate career, Julie volunteered at Mine101, which is a second-hand clothing store that is affiliated with Anova. Anova provides safes places, shelter, support, counselling, and resources for women and their children. Julie also had the opportunity to be a representative for the USC Women in House initiative where she shadowed a female Member of Parliament for a day in Ottawa. This experience helped Julie develop personal and professional awareness of women’s representation in Parliament. Julie is passionate about women’s rights and will continue to advocate for women’s rights upon receiving her degree.

Victoria Faria (2021)

Victoria Faria is a full-time graduate student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University (2021-2022). She graduated with distinction from the University of Guelph with an Honours specialization in Justice Studies and a diploma in Community and Justice Services from Humber College. During her undergraduate studies, Victoria contributed to many community engagements, such as assisting with the reintegration of those who have been incarcerated, advocacy for those wrongfully convicted, and peer mentorship for children with disabilities. Her community engagement has developed her professional ambition to alleviate inequities, promote social justice, and advance social mobility. Upon graduation, Victoria is committed to pursuing a career in the interest of equitable socio-economic policies to support marginalized communities through community-led initiatives and consistent stakeholder engagement. 

Evangeline Lu (2021)

Evangeline Lu is a full-time student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program (2021-2022) at Ryerson University. She has been a healthcare professional for over five years with experience providing health services in rural communities, clinics, and hospital settings. She holds three Bachelor’s Degrees with Honors in Chemical Biology, Health Sciences, and Nursing with consistent high academic standing. She has diverse volunteering experience over the past decade, ranging from ESL tutoring at community centers to helping clients with schizophrenia in day programs to health promotion activities at the local youth shelter. She is driven to do the best she can for her community because she understands the differences that these changes can make for individuals from marginalized communities, having grown up facing language barriers, social isolation, and financial insecurities as a first-generation immigrant. Most recently, she had been working on the frontlines as a Registered Nurse during the pandemic as well as a contractor for the Ministry of Health in COVID-19 case management, focusing on the delivery of public health policies. As a nurse, she’s had the privilege to advocate for patients, their families, and the nursing profession on issues of health disparity and social injustice. Bringing her experience and insight from healthcare, Evangeline hopes to pursue a career in public service to continue to make a difference for people of all walks of life by participating in the making and delivery of fair, balanced, and equitable social and health policies.

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Natassja Bilinski (2020)

The unique challenges associated with stewardship of the complex body politic of Canada motivated Natassja to pursue a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University with a focus on citizen-oriented governance; specifically, how public consultations might offer an integrous process of generating informed democratic engagement and anti-oppressive policies and theories. As the first in her family to pursue a post-secondary degree, Natassja is keenly aware of the importance of education for self-empowerment and community building. Recently graduated from the University of Waterloo (UW) in Honours Political Science and Legal Studies, Natassja has been privileged to hone and accrue knowledge in public policy and law from a diverse curriculum, mentorship from a variety of scholars, and experiential opportunities, so as to diversify her intellectual capacities and develop her personal interest in political education and legal advocacy. These experiences culminated in the writing of an original honours essay on agglomeration economics (“Location, the Crux of Cluster Economics: A Case Study of Toronto’s Financial Services Cluster”). Natassja supplemented these scholastic achievements with a myriad of legal and public policy-relevant extracurricular commitments such as: Director of Education and Outreach, UW Model Parliament; Assistant Director, UW Model G20; Competitor, UW Model United Nations; Director of Relations, UW Undergraduate Mock Trial; and Competitor, Osgoode Cup Moot Court Competition. These collaborative experiences taught her how to cultivate trust and legitimacy, steer vibrant legal and political discussions, and listen to the voices of students with diverse backgrounds and interests. Natassja hopes to prosper as a capable and integrous participant within the larger legal-policy environment of Canada.

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Glyn Narca (2020)

Glyn Narca is a Masters of Arts in Public Policy Candidate at Ryerson University. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Equity Studies. During her undergraduate career, Glyn worked with the Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto (FSAT) in organizing the mentorship program for young Filipino students. She also worked as a Youth Settlement Work providing social services to newcomer youth in Toronto, which she continued on after graduation. Her interest lies in not only advocating for, but also working with, the Filipino community in Canada in addressing the unique challenges experienced by the community through public policy. Upon receiving her degree, she intends to help develop alternative policies that will be beneficial to newcomer youth in Canada.

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Maria Rodriguez (2020)

Maria Rodrigues is a full-time student (2020-21) in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. She was born in Colombia and, at the age of six, immigrated with her family to Canada with hopes of escaping violence and finding a better life and future. The family settled first in Peterborough, and then in St. Catharines. She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Brock University (2017), and was awarded the Distinguished Graduating Student Award for graduating with the highest academic standing in the program. During undergraduate degree studies, she had the opportunity to organize a Women In House shadow program aimed at increasing female participation in politics. Since graduation, she has worked as a program manager for an expense management firm, focusing on telecommunications policy and implementation. In 2019, she decided to transition her career and focus on her passion for policy. After finishing the MPPA program she hopes to pursue a career in the public sector pertaining to immigration and social policy - which are her main areas of interest, with the hope of making a difference to immigrant and vulnerable communities.

Chante Barnwell (2019)

Chante Barnwell is a full-time student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Born in Toronto, Canada, Chante is a multidisciplinary visual artist, documentarian and scholar, who in 2014, obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree, Specialist in Art and Culture, Major in Studio (Visual Arts) and a Minor in Art History from the University of Toronto. In 2018, she graduated from Ryerson University with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media and has held leadership positions in several local, national and international initiatives, accumulating over 5000 volunteer hours. Due to her academic excellence and community contributions to various organizations across the City of Toronto, Chante was selected as the 2009 (OCNA) Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award winner, representing Scarborough and was honoured by the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable David C. Onley, at a ceremony in the Ontario Legislative building, Queen’s Park. While conducting research for her MFA degree, she became interested in the social and political implications of cultural policy, which led her to pursue a second Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. Upon graduating from the MPPA program in 2020, she will continue to contribute her time to community initiatives that focus on social justice, art, culture and citizen-centred policy implementation in Canada.

Lucas Meilach-Boston (2019)

Lucas Meilach-Boston is currently enrolled in the Masters in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Lucas graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Cultural Studies in 2014, and spent the intervening five years pursuing a variety of passions. He has worked as the program manager at a small non-profit organization fighting food insecurity through urban harvesting and food skills training programs, and as a community researcher seeking to identify policy options to support young artists impacted by the gig economy. He has also toured across North America in a (still) emerging rock band, and has spent considerable time in Labrador with Innu First Nations elder and activist Elizabeth Tshaukuesh Penashue. Having learned a tremendous amount from these experiences, he aims to bring a commitment to community-based policy development and a uniquely creative perspective to his studies and future professional work in public policy.

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Chinelle Mcdonald (2018)

Chinelle was a student in the Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work, also at Ryerson, with a minor in Sociology. Chinelle has supported marginalized youth and their families across the City of Toronto in various capacities. She assisted homeless and street involved youth with getting their lives back on track by connecting them with support services across the GTA. She completed two internships at the City of Toronto where she worked in Councillor Mike Layton’s office as well as designed a program evaluation tool in the Social Development, Finance and Administration department. Chinelle has also been very involved on campus where she has supported First Generation students and assisted first year resident students with their transition into university over the past 4 years. Chinelle hopes to become an agent of change in revolutionizing the secondary education system to create one that is more restorative and inclusive of the various ways students learn

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Alyas Omeed (2018)

Alyas pursued his MA in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University. In addition, he holds two bachelor degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Sociology, and a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.). He was born in Afghanistan, and is a Canadian citizen. He lost his eyesight at the age of seven due to the civil war in Afghanistan in 1992. A grenade landed on the family home one afternoon and he immediately lost vision in his left eye. Within one hour, he lost all of his vision in his right eye. Any hope of emergency medical attention was absent due to conflicts in the area.

Over the years, Alyas’ life has shown him how war is destructive. His responses to life's challenges have taught him how human rights presents all with opportunities to progress and thrive. As a result, his focus throughout life has been to work in the field of human rights and public policy, to make a difference – even if it is small –  in his life and in the lives of other people.

Alyas is interested in continuing his human rights activism given his life experiences and graduate degree in Public Policy and Administration. Because he understands the challenges that minorities have gone through, he likes to be a voice for minorities in society by providing policy recommendation to better accommodate them. He understands because he has visited so many countries, understands cultural sensitivities, and is himself a visually impaired person.

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Mavis Chan (2017)

Mavis is a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration Candidate at Ryerson University. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor’s of Environmental Studies, in which she took part in the co-operative education program and had the opportunity to work in the private, and public sectors and in a startup. During her last year of undergraduate studies, she started an organization to engage the youth vote in the 2015 federal election. Her interests lie in climate change policy, democratic reform, and youth engagement. Having lived and worked in different cities across Canada, Mavis is interested in a career in federal politics and playing a role in representing individuals across Canada.

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Anum Dhalwani (2017)

Anum Dhalwani is a student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Having spent a majority of her childhood and youth in Pakistan, Anum noted the ways in which a lack of inclusive policies affected the most marginalized and vulnerable.  Subsequently, she pursued a Bachelors in Economics, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, focusing specifically on development policies for the poorest of the poor. Post-graduation, she worked with various social development organizations for low-income communities in Pakistan. After immigrating to Canada, she continued her work for social justice by working with non-profits such as Youth Challenge International, and The Lung Association. Working with these community-based organizations informed her further of the need for evidence-based policies in ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable in the community are met. Anum is currently pursuing a co-op placement at the Ministry of Infrastructure, where she is working on design-thinking to ensure that infrastructure investments reach communities which need them the most. Upon graduating from this program, she hopes to continue using evidence-based policy in the Ontario Public Service to ensure that policies developed are inclusive to the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.

Shannon Donnelly

Shannon Donnelly (2016)

Shannon Donnelly is a student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Shannon graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree with a Joint Major in History and English Literature, and earned President’s Honour Roll status. She also holds a Bachelor of Education degree and is an Ontario Certified Teacher, qualified to teach all grade levels. In addition to teaching for two public school boards, she has been a Coordinator for both a nonprofit organization and a municipal government within the City Clerk’s Office. She plans to continue to contribute to the public sector through development, analysis and implementation of policies that focus on efficiency, transparency and innovation. Shannon’s diverse work, volunteer and academic experience motivate her to continue making a positive and lasting impact in her community.

Beth Spratt

Beth Spratt (2016)

Beth Spratt is currently pursuing an MA in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University. She holds a BA in Political Studies as well as a JD from Queen's University. She completed an LL.M. at the University of Toronto in 2011. Beth practiced in immigration and refugee, civil litigation, and estates law before deciding to focus her passion for social justice into a career in public policy. She is interested in working on issues faced by marginalized communities, particularly women and girls, and hopes to work on policy alternatives that help address and alleviate injustices faced by these communities.

Eglantina Bacaj-Gondia

Eglantina Bacaj-Gondia (2015)

Eglantina Bacaj-Gondia is pursuing her Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University.  After attaining her BA in Psychology from the College of New Rochelle in the US, Eglantina worked in the nonprofit sector providing social services to torture survivors, individuals impacted by natural disasters, and sexual assault survivors.  She is interested in immigration policy, particularly in refugee resettlement issues.  Eglantina hopes to influence the development of specialized programs to address the multifaceted needs of refugees seeking asylum in Canada.

Kenneth Santos

Kenneth Santos (2015)

Kenneth Santos is a candidate in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. He holds an Honours Bilingual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and French Studies (Minor) from Glendon College at York University and a Bachelor of Education degree (Concurrent) from York University. He is an Ontario Certified Teacher and has been teaching at the Toronto Catholic District School Board since 2012. He is also a social justice advocate for the Filipino Canadian community through the Magkaisa Centre, a progressive Filipino Canadian organization based in Toronto. He is interested in education, labour, immigration, settlement and LGBTQ issues in public policies. Upon completion of the program, he intends to help develop alternative policies that will be of benefit to racialized, immigrant and other marginalized communities in Canada.

Tara Disenhouse

Tara Disenhouse (2014)

Tara Disenhouse is a student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Kinesiology from Western University, where she delved into the dynamic interaction of exercise and science. During her undergraduate career, Tara worked for the Chief of Cardiology at SickKids Hospital, where she published two medical research papers found in the Journal of Physiological Science. As well, she was chosen to help run a study on accessibility and diversity for the Chief of Geriatric Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. Tara’s time spent volunteering in a variety of integrated healthcare environments taught her how important it is for healthcare organizations to integrate their services, to create accessible, appropriate and comprehensive care pathways for the community. Tara hopes to one day become an influential leader in healthcare policy-making. She hopes to profoundly change lives, by improving a community’s ability to deliver quality healthcare, in an effective, caring and compassionate manner.

Xheni Foto

Xheni Foto (2014)

Xheni Foto is a student in the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Xheni graduated summa cum laude with a Honours Double Major in Political Science and Law and Society at York University. As a legal assistant, Xheni experienced first-hand the Canadian legal system and the application of laws to real life situations. This, combined with her volunteering experience within non-for profit organizations that assist new immigrants, individuals coming from low-income families and domestic abuse, are what have shaped her career goals. Xheni would like to utilize her academic background and experience in order to build a stronger, safer, and healthier community through policies and a commitment to justice and equity.

Gwen Hughes

Gwen Hughes (2013)

Gwen Hughes is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University. In addition to receiving the St. George’s Society of Toronto award, she is also the recipient of a Ryerson Graduate Award. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies at the University of Winnipeg, where she received numerous awards including the Margaret Penwarden Scholarship. Following her undergraduate degree, Gwen worked in various governmental and non-governmental positions in Canada, the United States, and Brazil. Most recently, Gwen worked for 6 years with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. Upon completion of her Masters, Gwen plans to pursue a role in the provincial government focused on community economic development. She would like to develop policy that assists youth and new immigrants to access entrepreneurship opportunities. Gwen enjoys travel, music and the arts, and loves spending time with her husband and daughter Amaya.


Alzira Islamovic (2013)

Alzira Islamovic is Master of Public Policy and Administration Candidate at Ryerson University.  Alzira holds Batchelor of Arts Degree from Simon Fraser University, with major in sociology. She also holds certificate in British Columbia United Way Public Policy Institute. During her undergraduate career, Alzira published a paper in the local student newspaper on Canadian immigration system, and she was chosen to present a working paper at SFU Conference on the new work in social research. While attending university, she worked in telecommunication industry where she held several managerial positions.  Alzira’s passion to social equality, justice and fairness led her to volunteer and eventually obtain a position at MOSAIC, one of the most reputable settlement agencies in Vancouver. Her hobbies include tutoring, creative writing, and biking.  Alzira hopes to one day, continues making a difference in the lives of newcomers to Canada by working in the department of Citizenship and Immigration.

The Canada Excellence Research Chair (opens in new window)  (CERC) offers scholarships to full time MA students studying at Ryerson University on a migration and/or migrant integration-related topic. 

The scholarship involves a total of $10,000 support ($3,000 for the Fall and Winter terms, $4,000 for the spring/summer term).

The Don Richmond Award in Public Policy & Administration will be given to a student beginning the MA in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) (full-time stream) at Ryerson. It should be offered to a student in financial need with a commitment to public service, a passion for local communities, and a desire to alleviate economic inequality.

The Award has been established by Don’s family to continue his legacy for generations to come.

Don Richmond image

Don Richmond (1932-2019) was an outstanding public servant and a compassionate mentor. At senior levels of federal, provincial and municipal government, Don always found time and energy to support the next generation of civic leaders.

Don’s long and illustrious career in public service started in 1958 at Queen’s Park, with later positions in the Privy Council Office in Ottawa and the Ontario Economic Council. His municipal career began in 1974 in the Office of the Metro Chairman at Metropolitan Toronto. He subsequently served as Deputy Commissioner of Planning, where he led the development of the 1981 Metro Official Plan; was General Manager of the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Company Ltd.; and eventually Commissioner of Community Services. Throughout all these roles, Don was known as an inclusive and supportive leader, and he served as a key mentor for many who have gone on to pursue notable public service careers.

Award Winners

Leah Fearman (2022)

Leah Fearman is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University. From an early age, Leah was drawn to volunteerism with charities to address ever-prevalent societal inequalities. This underlying pull towards the sector motivated her to pursue an undergraduate degree in International Development Studies at Trent University and later a graduate diploma in Fundraising and Resource Development from Georgian College.

Since completing her graduate diploma, Leah has devoted her career as a fundraiser with local nonprofits, such as The 519 Church Street Community Centre. She maintains her current role as the Philanthropy Coordinator with The 519 part-time while she studies at Toronto Metropolitan University.

In her work and education, Leah explores the intersection of the public and nonprofit sectors. This fascination with the nexus between the two sectors has spurred her interest in public policy and the Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration. She intends to use the knowledge gained from this program, combined with her previous education and work experience, to build better policies surrounding socio-economic rights within Ontario. Her ultimate goal is to design policies that grant greater access to housing and healthcare that alleviates the realities of poverty within Ontario. This program is the next step in her ongoing commitment to improving the lives of her community. As Indian philosopher and economist Amartya Sen once said, “education makes us the human beings we are”. Guided by this quote, she hopes to carry on the legacy of Don Richmond in her work in public policy and is grateful for the opportunities granted by this award.

Kwasi Adu-Poku (2021)

Kwasi Adu-Poku is a 1st year student in our MPPA Program. During his undergraduate studies, he was involved in several aspects of campus life, ultimately being recognized for one of McMaster's President Awards & the Most Outstanding Male Graduating Athlete Award. Though he graduated with a Kinesiology degree in 2021, Kwasi's inclination to community engagement is what introduced him to the field of policy. 

In 2020, he was named a recipient of the prestigious Wilson Leader Scholarship Award, given to exceptional students who demonstrated the potential to impact Canada at a national scale. This gave him exposure to many policy issues in Canada, and several mentors who helped him realize his passion for inclusion in the form of policy. 

As a resident of the Jane & Finch community of Toronto, he also worked with the Black Health Alliance to study the impacts of COVID-19 in the Black Creek Community. In addition, he used his varsity & mental health experiences to launch The Reach Series— an organization geared towards personal development through workshops, panels, and consultations for people across Canada. He has also written for CBC and TRAD Magazine; sharing stories to promote equity & education in a variety of lenses. 

Upon graduation, Kwasi hopes to work in the public sector in the development of socioeconomic policies that promote wellbeing in equity deserving communities; he aims to apply holistic & intersectional approaches to promote truly sustainable social mobility.

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Monica Da Re (2020)

Monica Da Re is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University. She previously attended Ryerson for her undergraduate studies where she completed her Bachelor of Applied Science in Nutrition and Food Science as well as a certificate in Public Administration and Governance through the Chang School. She is interested in combining her passions for public policy and food studies to further analyze issues related to food policy, food security and the existing socio-economic inequalities that impact our food system. After graduation, she hopes to play a role at the federal level of government in the development of stronger policies to support a more equitable and sustainable food system in Canada.

Mahsa Aghamiri (2019)

Mahsa Aghamiri is a Masters of Public Policy and Administration candidate at Ryerson University. She has an innate desire to pursue a public service career focused on helping others. Whether it is through her community volunteer work, leadership development involvement, or education, she has always wanted to expand her knowledge and take an active role in contributing to sustainable and creative solutions focused on alleviating economic inequality through public service.

Prior to beginning her graduate studies in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson, she worked over two years as a Research and Operations Associate for a special project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. In this role, she was the lead project manager for several pan-provincial events and research projects related to workforce development and vulnerable populations. Mahsa has also been heavily involved in the non-profit sector through her volunteer work at several organizations in Toronto including: Innocence Canada, the Yellow Brick House women’s shelter, and serving as a teacher’s assistant at low-income schools while completing her Volunteers Assisting Students and Teachers (VAST) certification in 2016. She has also been actively involved in several initiatives and projects at Ryerson including the Ryerson Law Network (which she founded), the Ryerson Undergraduate Research Conference, and serving as a representative on the Arts and Contemporary Studies Undergraduate Course Union while completing her degree and minor in criminal law. Mahsa has continued her active engagement as a student in the MPPA program and is currently a student representative on the MPPA Program Council, Vice President of Education and Professional Development for the MPPA Course Union, and a representative of current students on the Ryerson University Public Policy and Administration Alumni Association executive.

Mahsa is honoured to be the first recipient of the Don Richmond Award. Her program of studies and career aspirations reflect the values and spirit of the Don Richmond Award as she is committed to public service and pursuing a career focused on local communities and helping improving the lives of vulnerable peoples.

Deadline: 30 September of each year

The  (PDF file) Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship (opens in new window)  is designed to generate research recommendations that shape public policy related to freshwater resources in Canada.

$25,000 annually in fellowships to fund up to 2 graduate projects in Canadian water policy.  Fellowships may be held for up to 2 years.

Research projects should be rooted in the social sciences and contribute to interdisciplinary analysis and discussion of freshwater governance and policy in Canada.

Geoffrey F. Bruce image

Geoffrey F. Bruce was a distinguished Canadian, dedicated public servant and diplomat who devoted his career to advancing multilateral cooperation in pursuit of environmental protection and sustainable development practices. Geoffrey was passionate about the stewardship of Canadian water resources.

Erika v. C. Bruce created the Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship to support the next generation of freshwater policy researchers, increase excellence in related public policy research and ensure the sustainability of Canada's freshwater resources.

The  (PDF file) Hydro One Indigenous Award is given to up to two Indigenous students from either of the following programs: MA in Public Policy and Administration, Politics and Governance (BA), Public Administration and Governance (BA) and Policy Studies (PhD).  

Award Winners
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Ashley Vols (2020)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Ashley’s research interests involve the role of non-profit organizations in reconciliation.

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Monika Young (2019)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Monika’s research interests include issues of missing and murdered Indigenous women; and the impact that potential proactive and reactive policy measures could have on Indigenous people's socio-economic status.

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Megan Lewis (2017)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Supervisors:  Drs. Cindy Blackstock and Pamela Palmater

Major Research: Supporting Indigenous Children and Youth Through Post-Secondary Education Reform.

Ashley Richardson - Headshot

Ashley Richardson (2016)

Policy Studies (PhD)

Supervisor:  Dr. Carolyn Johns

Topic: the implementation of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNMI) Education Policy Framework within Ontario schools.

Athena Bedassigae Pheasant

Athena Bedassigae Pheasant (2015)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: the intersection of traditional Anishinaabe governance structures and the current model of Indigenous governance and leadership in the Manitoulin Island and North Shore area.

Kalin Dokis

Kalin Dokis (2013) 

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: The Neo-Liberal Art Museum


Réal Carrière (2012) 

Policy Studies (PhD)

Supervisor: Dr. Pamela Palmater

Topic: Indigenous Governance: A Qualitative Study of Swampy Cree Perception on Indigenous Governance


Sean Hillier (2012)

Policy Studies (PhD)

Supervisor:  Dr. Lynn Lavallée

Topic: An evaluation of governmental policy relating to HIV/AIDS funding and service delivery within First Nations communities in Ontario, Canada

Tanner Tootoosis (2011)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Course Option


Kyle Willmott (2010)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: Social Media and Political Activism


Katherine Snow (2009)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: Aboriginal Health Policy in Ontario


Matthew Rosenfeld (2008)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: Environmental Scan for a Three-Year Strategic Aboriginal Education Plan: Submitted to the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities.


Patty Chabbert (2007)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: Youth Suicide Prevention Policy and Programs in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.


Shylo Summers (2006)

Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Major Research: Public-Private Partnerships: Implications For Indigenous Governance

  • This bursary has been created by TMUPPAAA (external link)  to assist a future MPPA student who needs assistance to bridge a financial gap.
  • It will not necessarily be offered every year.
Award Winners
2021 Marissa Goulart
2018 Victoria Nader

Building on David Suzuki’s legacy, the David Suzuki Fellowship program will help the next generation of leaders tackle complex environmental problems. Successful fellows will embody David’s research excellence and his ability to motivate people to make a difference.

The Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) organize a national public administration case competition open to student teams from programs in public policy and/or public administration.

IPAC/CAPPA award Case Team 2013


Ryerson’s team won bronze at the second annual competition, which was hosted by Queen’s University on 08 February 2013. Congratulations!

(L to R): Jonathan Cavell (alternate), Kristina Sannuto (Captain), Bryan Evans (Coach), Nicola Sears-Williams, and Farah Prashadcolah

The National Student and Thought Leadership Awards in Public Administration are a joint initiative of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA).  They aim to recognize talent in Canadian schools at the regional level and at the national level. It will promote excellence in public administration and showcase the top talent emerging from Canadian programs each year.

Award Winners
Gwen Hughes

Gwendolyn Gael Hughes (2014)

Gwendolyn Gael Hughes won the BRONZE award in the 2014 competition of the National Student and Thought Leadership Awards in Public Administration (external link) . The award was presented at the 66th IPAC National Conference, held in Edmonton, Alberta on June 1 – 4, 2014.


Sasha Tregebov (2010)

Sasha Tregebov won the GOLD award in the National Student and Thought Leadership Awards in Public Administration (external link, opens in new window) , beating out a half-dozen finalists from across the country. He collected his prize in front of hundreds of assembled public servants (and some academics) on Tuesday 24 August 2010 in Ottawa.

 (PDF file) View Sasha's Award Winning Poster (opens in new window) 

Each year, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) presents one national award to a promising new public service professional who is an emerging leader within the public sector and represents the ideals, values and abilities of sound public administration. The recipient of the national Promising New Public Servant Award is determined by a selection committee based on the quality of the submission and information provided.

Deadline: 20 October of each year

Papers submitted should relate, broadly, to the main normative principles for which the Coxes stand, including: diffusion of power; democratization; mutual respect for distinct civilizations, concern for the biosphere; and, greater equality among societies, genders, and races.

The LIFE (Learning Is ForEver) Institute Jack Brown Award is presented to an undergraduate or graduate student for demonstrated interest in and/or involvement in studies or activities which enhance the quality of life for seniors.

Award Winners


Justin Zelasko (2011)

One of the winners for 2011 is Justin Zelasko in recognition of his research work on aging and the long term care support needs of LGBT older people.



Katherine Snow (2010)

One of the winners for 2010 is Katherine Snow for her graduate research work on the health and well-being of older Aboriginal Peoples.



Sarah Smith (2009)

One of the winners for 2009 is Sarah Smith for her extensive undergraduate and graduate research work which supports the needs of older people aging in place.

This award programme was initiated in 2003 by Dr. Jennifer Allen Simons, President of The Simons Foundation, in partnership with the International Security Research and Outreach Programme (ISROP), (external link, opens in new window)  which is part of the International Security and Intelligence Bureau of Global Affairs Canada. The primary objective of the Awards is to enhance Canadian graduate level scholarship on non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD) issues.  The Simons Foundation is a charitable organization in Vancouver, Canada, with a focus on education on nuclear disarmament, international law and human security.

Award Winners
Olivia Cimo


Olivia Cimo (2013 – 2014)

Historical Awards

From 2013-14 until 2017-18, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Ontario Award was offered to an incoming student enrolled in the MPPA Program, whose research interests intersected with CCPA’s stated mission and goals, and related, in some meaningful way, to the projects of CCPA Ontario at that time. One award of $2,500 was provided each academic year.

Award Winners
Nick Zebryk headshot

Nick Zebryk (2017-18)

Nick Zebryk graduated in 2011 from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelors of Political Science (Honours).  He attended the Balsillie School of International Affairs in 2013 where he completed his Masters of International Public Policy.  He began working as a researcher at the Balsillie School, working on issues surrounding health financing and HIV and AIDS responses in Southern Africa.  He has published reports, commentaries, and articles for UNAIDS, DFID, USAID, UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, CJAS, and AJAR.  In 2017 he enrolled at Ryerson University in the Masters of Public Policy and Administration program, where he began conducting research on labour markets, precarious employment, and basic income.  

The generous funding granted through the CCPA Ontario Award has allowed him to pursue a career in provincial-level policy work focusing on the intersection between health, education, and employment.  He plans to continue working on progressive and innovative policy solutions with an emphasis on social equality and sustainability."

Kurt Powell

Kurt Powell (2016-17)

Kurt Powell graduated in 2016 from the University of Windsor with a Bachelors of Environmental Studies (Honours). In the summer of 2014, at the University of Alaska Southeast, he conducted glaciological research   with the Juneau Icefield Research Project (JIRP) to understand the impacts of climate change. He then became deeply involved in a variety of environment-related campaigns both on and off campus, as well as other social justice activity, which led to an interest in improving the ways in which people organise. He received $12,000 grant to develop a start-up business that, with simplicity and ease of use, could help to organize the movement. The business is ongoing.

Kurt appreciates the intersectionality of the environment, politics, business, and social justice, and sees his next step as researching the intersectionality of First Nations and environmental law while fighting for progressive change. His journey continues to be powered by the same thing that powers the CCPA: a passion for justice.

Shara Santan

Shara Santan (2015-16)

Shara Santan is a graduate from the University of Waterloo, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. Shara is dedicated to supporting social justice issues, and has hosted several human rights presentations and events throughout her academic tenure. Taking the knowledge and experience gained through the Public Policy and Administration program, Shara hopes to assist disadvantaged members to break free from poverty and help them to build sustainable pillars that will  prevent deprivation from reoccurring. Motivated and determined to bring forth positive social change, Shara is confident the CCPA-Ontario Award she received will also help the greater society.

Jacinta Evans

Jacinta Evans (2014-15)

Jacinta Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours (2012) and Bachelor of Education (2013) from Queen’s University. During her studies at Queen’s, she volunteered with at-risk youth groups, engaged diverse learners while on placement in Scarborough classrooms, co-led after-school literacy programming, and facilitated a program for students with learning disabilities transitioning to post-secondary education. Upon graduating, she worked at a non-profit organization where she was first involved in the development of programming for Aboriginal youth, and more recently became coordinator of recreational programs serving children in Toronto’s high needs neighbourhoods.

During her studies at Ryerson, Jacinta continues to assist young people in overcoming barriers through her role in an academic skills-building program. Her interests, experiences and professional goals have made her passionate about creating equitable opportunities for young people to build skills, experience successes, and ultimately contribute to strong communities. She writes, “With the generous funding offered through the CPPA Award and the knowledge I will gain in the MPPA program, I intend to graduate ready to pursue my dream career: working with government and communities to create reflective, responsive policies that empower young people.” These intentions align with the focus of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Mohammed Islam, winner of the 2013-14 CCPA Award

Mohammed Islam (2013-14)

Mohammed Islam graduated from Ryerson University’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Policy and Administration program in 2014, and received the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Award for 2013/14. Mohammed also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Specialized Honours) in Political Science from York University, which he received in 2012.

Similar to the research produced by the CCPA, Mohammed’s research has often explored complex societal issues and offered viable public policy responses. Mohammed’s view is that policy responses, especially those that are likely to have far-reaching implications on society, must be supported by evidence gathered through quality research. As a policy professional, Mohammed believes that he has an obligation to promote and support evidence-based decision-making in government. By ensuring that policy responses and government decisions are supported by evidence, Mohammed argues that the potential for positive change is considerably greater, while the likelihood of adverse effects is significantly diminished.

The Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award and Young Humanitarian Award are presented annually to individuals in several Canadian provinces who have demonstrated the spirit of humanity through volunteer work, advocacy, leadership and/or philanthropy, here at home or around the world.  The Awards are presented annually in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and in each Atlantic Province.

Award Winners

Thomas (Bobby) Cameron (2010)

Thomas (Bobby) Cameron, a graduate of UPEI (BA) and Ryerson University (MA – Public Policy and Administration, 2010), received the 2010 Prince Edward Island award in recognition of his tremendous dedication and leadership in literacy promotion, international development, volunteerism and advocacy through his local, national and international endeavours.

While studying at UPEI, the Hampton native became involved in several programs and activities to assist newcomers to Canada as well as international and Aboriginal students. Cameron affected the lives of students on campus in many ways, through his friendship, volunteer work, openness and respect for different cultures. He re-established a program called “Students for Literacy” at UPEI to help students improve their English language skills. He later co-ordinated a project with Aboriginal students where these students self-identified the challenges they encountered in post-secondary institutions. In partnership with the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, Bobby Cameron assisted in the development of curriculum for parents and children who speak English as an additional language.

In 2008, he organized four teams of international students who were participating in the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion Foundation, a fundraiser that was held in Charlottetown. He has also supported numerous other organizations including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Farmers Helping Farmers, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Huntington Society of Canada, the World University Service of Canada (Student Refugee Program), CUSO, Allied Youth (Peer Education Program), the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada and online advocacy sites such as the Refugee Research Network, TakingITGlobal and the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.

An ESL tutor in his home province, he also volunteered at a shelter for asylum seekers and refugees in Malta in 2008 as an English language instructor. That same year he volunteered with “Students for Development” as an Intern with a business cooperative in Kenya. Returning to Canada, Bobby applied what he learned as a delegate at the 2009 Global Youth Assembly in Edmonton, an international gathering of youth who are involved in current global issues.

He has previously received several awards and scholarships, including the PEI Community Service Bursary in 2004; McGraw-Hill Ryerson Award in 2009; and the Dan McIntyre Human Rights Award in 2010.  

In October 2010, Bobby Cameron went to Saudi Arabia to work as an English language instructor, and so was unable to attend the awards ceremony at which his award would have been presented. 

The SLC Student Engagement and Leadership Award (opens in new window)  recognizes students who have contributed actively to the growth of a stronger community within Ryerson, but it also acknowledges contributions made beyond the university’s borders. Its roots are found in the original vision of the Student Learning Centre (SLC): a centre for participation that enhances the Ryerson student experience. This award honours the impact made by the winners and encourages future students to take the lead.