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OISE Arbor Award recipients share key to success

Six members of OISE community honoured for outstanding service

September 19, 2016

OISE Arbor Award recipients share key to success

L-R: Prof. Michele Peterson-Badali (Assoc. Dean, Research), Jeff Myers, Ashley Yoannou, Sabrina Persaud, Claire Alleyne, and Prof. Doug McDougall (Assoc. Dean, Academic Programs), with Dean Glen Jones. 

Six members of the OISE community have been recognized with an Arbor Award for their outstanding dedication and commitment to helping others here at OISE.

Recipients include:

  • Jeffrey A. Myers, former President of the OISE Alumni Association

  • Sabrina Persaud, Vice-Chair of the Young Alumni Council

  • Ashley R. Yoannou, who played a central role in OISE’s new student mentorship program

  • Claire Alleyne, Former OISE Registrar and Mentor

  • Neal Lee and Dominique Limsam, parent volunteers at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Studies

OISE asked the winners, “Share with us a key to your success at OISE.” Read below for their insight and to learn more about their contributions to the OISE community.


Jeffrey A. Myers

Jeff: I spent a lot of my time at OISE doing things outside of the classroom– student government, volunteering for committees, working on different projects etc. In each of these engagements I met wonderful, passionate, and inspiring people, many of whom continue to be part of my life. These turned into incredibly valuable connections as I later pursued a non-academic career path. I think a lot of students look at activities outside the classroom as distractions, but I would argue that, especially for those planning careers outside of academia, they are some of your best professional development and networking opportunities.

More on Jeff: He is the past President of the OISE Alumni Association. In this role, he has overseen the successful delivery of two flagship OISE Spring Reunion events, updated the association’s governance procedures, and was involved in the launch of the first OISE Alumni Doctoral Scholarship. He was also featured in an OISE Pride video giving important tips for teachers and parents on how to foster equity and inclusivity. 

Sabrina Persaud

Sabrina: Surround yourself with the best possible minds and energy who will weather your perspective, encourage you to do your best, and let you dream about the future.

The people I met in my classes, in the hallways, and in different areas of the campus really shaped my worldview by challenging me, informing me, and opening up my mind to new ways of thinking. People at OISE have an incredible talent at cultivating conversation around the world’s most pressing educational issues. These conversations have kept my mind engaged since leaving OISE and I hope to continue them with the greater educational and social policy community.

More on Sabrina: She is Vice-Chair of the Young Alumni Council at OISE. She has produced many events for young alumni, and by focusing on webinars and community conversations, has engaged alumni across Canada and abroad. She was also recently featured in OISE’s Back to School coverage, giving Expert Tips to Students on how to be successful in the new school year.  

Ashley R. Yoannou

Ashley: A key to my success at OISE was allowing myself to feel comfortable with uncertainty and vulnerability. I was actively encouraged to engage with challenging ideas and analyze what factors subconsciously influence my mindset. Being introspective and reflecting on my practice was an ongoing process that benefited me throughout my studies. The learning environment empowered me to consider alternative approaches while taking into account the valued opinions and experiences of others. I strongly believe that my success during graduate studies was also due to the cultivation of my entrepreneurial spirit. The supportive and collegial atmosphere helped me to take calculated risks and not be afraid to forge my own career path. Being humble and taking the time to listen and learn from faculty, students, and alumni proved invaluable for me to grow as both a person and a professional. 

More on Ashley: She plays a central role in OISE's new student mentorship initiative. She led the effort to develop the program, put in countless hours preparing it for launch, and has seen it grow to serve more than 400 participants.

Claire Alleyne

After 36 years at the University of Toronto, Claire retired as the registrar at OISE in 2009 – but her efforts here continue. She helped raise the funds for OISE's Staff Excellence Award, which now bears her name. She also continues to serve as a mentor to OISE staff.

Neal Lee & Dominique Limsam

Neal and Dominique were among the first donors to the Capital Campaign of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Studies. They served on the Capital Campaign Advisory board and, as volunteer members, they helped guide a campaign that raised $12 million for the award-winning school.

Congratulations to Jeff, Sabrina, Ashley, Claire, Dominique and Neal for your incredible work! You make a difference at OISE.

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