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Honouring OISE’s Cressy Award Winners: ‘With OISE I can…achieve anything’

Find out what the prestigious award means to Brandon Bertram, Nathasha Dias and Christina Mitas

By Lindsey Craig

April 21, 2016
 


For Brandon Bertram, receiving a University of Toronto Cressy Award is a “gust of wind” in his sails.

But many would also say it’s been Bertram and his fellow Cressy recipients, Nathasha Dias and Christina Mitas, who have, in part, been the wind in OISE’s sails too.

Their significant contributions to the OISE and University of Toronto community have been exceptional – and have led to their successful nominations for the Cressy Awards.

The Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards recognize students who have made outstanding extra-curricular contributions to their college, faculty or school, or the university as a whole.

Bertrand, Dias and Mitas will receive their awards at Convocation Hall on April 20.

Learn more about these exceptional students, along with what the award and their leadership experience at OISE has meant to them.

Brandon Bertram

Brandon Bertram
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


What does this award mean to you?

Bertram: “I appreciate the recognition, and accept it as a welcome gust of wind in my sails.  It's nice to have been nominated by somebody I admire.”


Share a few highlights of your community leadership experience:

Bertram: “For me, leadership is about listening carefully, and ensuring that every person is acknowledged and respected, and that every voice is heard and honoured.  The forging of peaceful and productive patterns of interpersonal relationship can often be very challenging, but the deeply human experiences of community that can emerge are among life's greatest blessings.”


Why is it important to give to others in the community?

Bertram: “There is only us, and we are all in this together. My community work is built upon foundations of deep respect and solidarity.  From this position, action is not directed at giving to those in need, but rather toward joining with the oppressed in their struggle for justice and freedom.”


Please complete the sentence, “With OISE I can…”

Bertram: “...reforge our sense of togetherness.”


Nathasha Dias

Nathasha Dias

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                               

 


What does this award mean to you? 

​Dias: “This award signifies a great achievement for me. It stands in recognition of my leadership and commitment to serving the student community. It is an amazing acknowledgement of my work in promoting a positive and supportive climate at OISE. I am very grateful for having been selected as a recipient.”


Share a few highlights of your community leadership experience:

Dias: “As President of the Student Teachers’ Union, I have demonstrated commitment to enriching the student experience by developing community-building events and volunteering on institutional committees, including the Faculty Council. Providing teacher candidates with opportunities to connect with students and faculty has enhanced the sense of community at OISE.”


Why is it important to give to others in the community?

Dias: “Community service is important because it assists communities in need, prompts volunteers to recognize what supports should be in place for such communities, and helps build a sense of citizenship among those involved. In my view, reaching out to one’s community promotes social responsibility and an awareness of community needs.”


Please complete the sentence, “With OISE I can…”

Dias: “With OISE I can be a leader who makes a positive impact on the communities I work with. I strive to give all students the opportunities they need to reach high levels of achievement. With OISE, I am closer to actualizing my goal of supporting and advocating for students communities.”


Christina Mitas

Christina Mitas

 


What does this award mean to you? 

Mitas: “To me, this award means that I have contributed to the OISE and University of Toronto community in a meaningful way. Joining so many amazing University of Toronto leaders in receiving this award is an absolute honour.”


Share a few highlights of your community leadership experience:

Mitas: “Being President of the OISE Graduate Students' Association has afforded me so many opportunities – allowing me to forge strong relationships with students, staff, faculty, and alumni and help enrich the OISE experience. I also loved serving as co-chair of the 15th Annual OISE Dean's Graduate Student Research Conference.”


Why is it important to give to others in the community?

Mitas: “I believe that it is important to give to your community because each of us possesses special talents and unique skill sets. When we give, in whatever capacity we can, we not only enrich our communities but also have the opportunity to learn from others and combine our talents to create more dynamic societies.”


Please complete the sentence, “With OISE I can…”

Mitas: "With OISE I can ... bring people together and achieve anything I put my mind to."


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