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Group photo of 2017 SEAA Recipients Photo by: Henry Chan


U of T Student Engagement in the Arts Awards

2017 Recipients


Patrick Atienza is a third year Studio Specialist in the Arts, Culture and Media Department at UTSC. His nominators describe him as a major contributor to the arts on the Scarborough campus – and credit him for having a drive to volunteer built on sense of generosity, inclusiveness and desire to see things happen for everyone. On campus Patrick has found himself in the leadership roles of various organizations– ARTSIDEOUT, Counterpose and Gallery 1265. He is also avid participant in campus wide exhibitions and off campus as well – including being a Speaker at Artist Talk “All You Can Chew".



Adam Gregory is a fourth year student at University College, pursuing an English Specialist. He has a self-professed ‘fierce passion’ for the arts and his approach to the arts at U of T is to ‘put creative people with different perspectives into the same space to make and share beautiful things about our present moment.’ Adam is Editor-in-Chief of the Hart House Review, a literary journal of poetry, prose and art, printed at Coach House Press. His award winning poetry has appeared in the Hart House Review, (parenthetical) and PRISM International and his first chapbook "here, is a dying lung" was published with Platypus Press in December 2016. He is a voting member on the Hart House Literary and Library Committee, which puts on literary events on campus throughout the year. His nominator credits him for continuing ‘a tradition of excellence and innovation in the arts [at U of T] and meeting challenges with integrity, intelligence, and style.’



Tonny Huang is a graduate student in the Department of Medical Biophysics in the Faculty of Medicine. Since his undergraduate studies, Tonny has been part of the administration of the Hart House Chorus. Tonny’s work with the Choir is described as being ‘careful, but ambitious’ resulting in vital contributions. Tonny has helped the Chorus participate in tours, notably to represent Canada at the 1000 Voices for Peace Festival in Belgium. He also initiated the Chorus’ first charitable program, where over $3,500 has been collected over two years at concerts for local charities, including Peace by PEACE Toronto and Sistema Toronto, both of which aim to enrich and support the lives of at-risk or underprivileged youth. In addition to singing as a bassist and soloist for the Chorus, Tonny has also performed as a bass lead for two separate Gilbert and Sullivan productions at Victoria College. We are delighted to recognize Tonny’s ongoing leadership and volunteerism to the arts at U of T. Congratulations Tonny.



Emma Keil-Vine is a Drama and Economics student at Victoria College. She describes her involvement in the extracurricular drama community as ‘one of the most worthwhile and fulfilling things that she has done since beginning [her studies] at the University of Toronto. She is commended for being a ‘natural leader, highly committed to her work’ and someone who the other students ‘look to for guidance…’. Emma has an impressive extra- and co-curricular resume including stage management, fight choreography, set and poster design, and directing. She has been a member of the Organizing Committee of the University of Toronto Drama Coalition for the past two years, first as the Head of Communications and now as one of the Awards Coordinators and have worked for improve and enrich theatre at UofT both from a show capacity and as an organizer and administrator. Emma most recently finished directing a show for the Victoria College Drama Society and participated in the 25th annual UofT Drama Festival.



Kaelan Klith is a student in the Theatre and Performance Studies and Studio program at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She describe the theatre has ‘her home’, stating that she has put [her] love and [her] heart into the theatre program at UTSC. Her nominators concur, stating that her ‘love for theatre is boundless and infectious.’ Kaelan’s contributions range from painting, to acting, building sets and running shows, sweeping, mopping, selling tickets, sewing costumes, creating props and anything else that is needed! Kaelan is regarded by her nominator as a prime example of the UTSC theatre program – which aims to educate theatre “generalists”. And, she is a student who thrives in this environment. Kaelan is commended for offering support, not only to her classmates, but the faculty, and even alumni.



Miranda Lees is a third year Innis College student pursuing a specialist in health & disease. In her first year, she became involved in the Innis College Choir as a soprano and co-social director. In second year, she began attending Innis open mic nights and informal jam sessions through Innis Jamz, a club that enhances the musical community by bringing together students with shared interests in music and teaching each other new instruments. This past year she also became a member of the Hart House Orchestra and joined the newly-formed Innis String Ensemble. Her nominator commends her ‘professionalism and dedication’, and says that she is ‘the glue that holds the ensemble together’. Miranda joined the Innis Arts Committee – a subcommittee of the Innis College Council - which was formed to oversee the Innis Student Art Project. The project aims to acknowledge the talent of Innis students by displaying student artwork around the college.



Mahnoor Leghari is a student in the Department of Biological Science and the Department of Health Sciences, at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Mahnoor has served as the President, and currently 50th Fund Director, of the Biology Students’ Association. Her proudest contribution is founding the BioSA’s 50th Fund Campus Revitalization Initiative and securing $25,000 towards the proposed initiatives. These initiatives included curating two murals for the Department of Biological Sciences and the UTSC community. Her nominator cited her ‘focus and vision,’ commending her for the ‘incredible dedication required to successfully executive such a large and unique art installation…and for handling the process with professionalism and unwavering commitment.’ She co-founded UTSC’s Health Humanities Journal Club which seeks to engage students with critical and creative literature in the Health Humanities discipline through drawing, writing, interacting with films and dramatic arts as forms of expression.



Jason Li is currently pursuing a Specialist in Arts Management, Major in Music & Culture, and Minor in Sociology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He is involved in many student initiatives at UTSC and has held various leadership and volunteer positions. His experiences with the UTSC Music Society, ARTSA, U of T House, Healing Sounds of Music Scarborough Chapter, Ruckus: The UTSC Alumni & Community Choir and Artsideout, have led to many special moments that he will remember long after he graduates this year. His nominator confirms that, ‘Jason is a positive mentor and role-model, works hard with integrity, and invests in others so that they, too, can engage and enliven the artistic community at UTSC.’ She also goes on to speak to the caliber of Jason’s involvement that ‘a quiet leader can sometimes be overlooked, but can also have the most impact.’



Mirka Loiselle is a fourth year philosophy student at Trinity College. Over her four years at U of T, Mirka Loiselle has proudly served the arts community as a performer, a visual artist, and as a student leader. She is actively involved in campus theatre, and has worked on over 10 productions with various student groups. Her nominator commends her for being ‘extremely talented, as well as competent, responsible, organized, and all around pleasure to work with.’ Mirka is a proud member of the University of Toronto Drama Coalition, which works hard to foster a sense of inclusiveness in the dramatic community and to provide new and diverse platforms for theatrical expression. As part of her work with the Drama Coalition, she has helped organize a four-day festival of original student theatre, an awards ceremony celebrating student achievements in campus theatre, and various student socials. When not in or around a theatre, Mirka volunteers her time as an illustrator for The Varsity and other student publications.



Ben Murchison is a fourth year Political Science student at Victoria College. Over the past four years at he has been a prominent member of the University of Toronto Drama Community, and currently serves as the President of the UofT Drama Coalition, an organization that works to advocate on behalf of campus theatrical societies as well as create programing in order to benefit campus arts. In his first two years Ben worked with the Victoria College Drama society, acting in two of their major productions and working on their executive as Artistic Director. From 2013-2015 Ben worked as an Education Facilitator with the Theatre for Thought Program, an initiative that gives community members the opportunity to receive university level education for free. Last year, Ben mounted his own production of ‘God of Carnage’. This immersive production was successful, selling out two of its nights and winning Best Production at the University of Toronto Drama Coalition Awards. His nominator calls him a ‘born leader’, ‘inspiring’ and commends his ‘passion for campus theatre.’



Tian Nie is a student at Innis College, currently pursuing a Laboratory Medicine and pathobiology Specialist, Physiology Major, and Immunology Minor. She is the Director of Innis College Choir - her nominator points out that “Tian’s stewardship of the Choir is indicative of her devotion to the cultivation of a strong culture of music appreciation at the College…”. Going on to say that ‘under her leadership the Innis Choir has nearly doubled its membership. Currently, she is the President of Tales of Harmonia, another campus choir group. She is on the Executive team for the Woodsworth Innis New Drama Society, as well as the University of Toronto Drama Coalition. Tian is also an avid photographer, she has contributed images to the Innis Review, multiple Summer Abroad brochures, and the Innis Yearbook.



Vivek Parikh is a student in the Management and International Business Co-op program at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Vivek has pioneered a group that focused its attention on arts-based alternatives to stress, danced and performed on various UofT dance team and represented UofT and Canada on a global scale with great success. He feels his biggest contribution to UofT is the idea of unification through the arts. He gathered together artists of all talents and skill level and challenged them to produce productions representing themes such as converging realities, unity in diversity, true roots of hip-hop and cycle of Karma. Vivek believes in giving back to the community and hosts free dance workshops at UTSC and are open to anyone who wants to let loose.



Grace Phan-Nguyen is a student at the University of Toronto Scarborough specializing in Arts Management and majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies. She is known as a bubbling theatre artist, stage manager, and scholar. Her nominator says that Grace, ‘has a name that befits her, as it is with grace and humour that…she carries herself and affects positive change wherever she goes.’ Her most recent credits include: Stage manager for Absolutely!(Perhaps!) (Leigha Lee Browne Theatre), Bodies Warm (Toronto Fringe 2016), #TheDonnellysProject (Tarragon, Scarborough Arts), assistant producer for Oraltorio (The Riser Project), actor for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Leigha Lee Browne Theatre), and assistant director for Rent (Mainstage Theatre Company) and Provenance (Alumnae Theatre). She is currently the student advisor for the Equity and Diversity in the Arts Committee at UTSC. She is passionate about empowering artists of colour, creating authentic narratives, and challenging others to be better human beings.



Terese Mason Pierre studies humanities at Innis College. She holds various roles in the arts communities at the University of Toronto. Terese’s nominators commend her for being an amazingly hard working individual who plays a vital role…in supporting music and literary arts at Hart House. She is an executive on the Hart House Literary and Library Committee, Student Chair of the Hart House Singers. Outside of Hart House, Terese is the Poetry Editor of "The Spectatorial," the University of Toronto’s only speculative journal; she is also the Choir Director of the Healing Sounds of Music, a student group that performs music to patients at hospitals and assisted-living facilities around Toronto. Outside the University of Toronto, Terese is a member of the Toronto Public Library’s Editorial Youth Advisory Group, which assists in creating events and programs for youth, as well as edits submissions for the “Young Voices” magazine. Terese also volunteers at Mount Sinai Hospital in obstetrical clinics. Terese also writes and publishes short stories and poems, with her work appearing in the University of Toronto’s “Goose,” Intersections,” and “Spectatorial,” magazines, Ryerson’s “Continuist” magazines, as well as places online.



Helen Su is a student in the Arts Culture, and Media program at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Helen has been very involved in three of the pillars of that community, the Department of Arts, Culture & Media Students ‘Association (ARTSA), student-run festival of the arts ARTSIDEOUT, and the Doris McCarthy Gallery. At ARTSA, Helen lead the very first ARTSA Launch as the Vice-Chair of Programming in the 2014-2015 academic year. In 2015 as the Vice-Chair of Marketing, Helen lead the rebranding of ARTSA, and created the now iconic rocket ship featured on ARTSA Launch marketing materials. Helen has also held various roles at ARTSIDEOUT, beginning as their Clubs Coordinator in 2014, then their Financial Officer in 2015. This year Helen co-lead the festival as General Manager, leading the administrative teams of marketing, finance, and outreach. Under her leadership, ARTSIDEOUT generated great interest for the 2016 festival and 2017 hiring season through strong marketing campaigns and collaborative projects with the artistic teams. Helen’s nominator cites her leadership success as being owed to her commitment, responsibility and her ambition – describing her as an engaged, motivated, and intellectually curious student.

The University of Toronto SEAAs are generously supported through the 2017 Pillar Sponsorship Program by:

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