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OISE alumni and friends receive Arbor Award honours for service to the University of Toronto 


September 11, 2014

Arbor Award recipients 2014

Pictured L-R: Joan Peskin, Ed Burtynsky, Julia O'Sullivan, Helen Huang, Jeanne Watson, Diane Pitblado, Kirk Perris

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Arbor Awards and another opportunity to celebrate our volunteers for their generosity and outstanding service to OISE and the University of Toronto.

Sincere thanks and congratulations to this year’s Arbor Award winners: Silvia Birsan, Edward Burtynsky, Karen Edge, Kirk Perris and Diane Pitblado, who were honoured at a special reception and ceremony on September 10.

Silvia Birsan, MEd '00 has been an outstanding volunteer with the OISE Alumni Association Executive Council. She served as Co-Treasurer (2012-2014) and Chair of the Spring Reunion Committee (2013). Her tireless efforts and superb planning skills helped make the event a great success. Always a ready participant, she has been involved in outreach activities that range from congratulating new graduates at Convocation to putting posters up across U of T for OISE lectures and events.

Edward Burtynsky, Friend has been involved with the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (Jackman ICS) since 2007. He is one of Canada's leading photographers whose work has been an inspiration to JICS students and a feature of the program awards. Ed's generous and ongoing support of the school's Natural Curiosity Environmental Education Initiative has helped make it an invaluable resource for elementary schools across Ontario and various faculties of education programs.

Karen Edge, MA '98, PhD ’05 is an energetic and committed alumni ambassador for OISE in the United Kingdom. She played a pivotal role in organizing the Dean's Alumni event in London. Her keynote presentation on 'The Global Quest for Work/Life Balance: Emerging Patterns of Generation X' at the OISE Alumni Event in Toronto attracted over 100 alumni who attended in person.

Kirk Perris, MEd '00; PhD '12 has been a loyal member on the Executive Council of the OISE Alumni Association since 2008. As Chair of the Constitution Committee, he was the driving force in revising the Association's Constitution and establishing its By-Laws. His unwavering support and participation on the Spring Reunion Committee, Dean's Graduate Student Research Conference, Convocation Receptions, College of Electors and other initiatives has helped advance the Association's mission to engage OISE alumni.

Diane Pitblado, Friend is a former parent and an outstanding volunteer who has supported the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School for more than 15 years. She has served as President of the Parents' Association (2003-2005) and (2008-2009), is a current member of the Jackman ICS Tuition Support Committee, a former chair of the Patrick Harvie Arts Committee, and volunteer fundraiser for the school.