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OISE's Great Grads: 2013 Cressy recipient Jeff Myers



by Fred Michah Rynor


Jeffrey MyersOne of OISE’s most visible student representatives is graduating and he’s certainly having mixed feelings about walking out the door one last time.

An honoured recipient of this year’s Cressy Student Leadership Awards, Jeffrey Myers (Adult Education and Community Development) was a three-term president of OISE’s Graduate Student Union, a Faculty Council Graduate Student Representative, a member of the Teaching Awards Committee and the Staff Recognition Awards Commitee  -- among many other initiatives including being a grad and research assistant, guest lecturer, etc.

“I didn’t know much about the Cressy Award until I researched it and discovered what a huge honour this is,” says Myers, now 36. “I was really happy when told I’d been selected and it made me think of all the others on campus who also do amazing work.”

Myers hasn’t yet decided on where he’ll end up in the education world “and I’m not sure if I’ll actually be at the front of a classroom but I’m keeping my options open. I’m visiting Brazil for the next few months with my partner Felipe so who knows, maybe I’ll be teaching or working in some form of educational administration there.”

In a media release describing Myers and his impact on his fellow classmates, it was noted that he “has made many important contributions to the quality of student life at OISE, encouraging students, building community and mobilizing people with graciousness and humility. He is a tireless advocate for accessibility and has participated widely in multiple initiatives, events and activities.”

He says he’s especially driven by such topics as international education, a learning discipline “that helps people access other ways of viewing the world. As well, I’m interested in language education, especially English as a second language (he also speaks  French, Portuguese, Japanese and a bit of Korean).

“Language is so important to the process of learning because a large part of your relationship with the world is structured by how you speak with its people.”

Myers will certainly miss his OISE family, realizing that “it’s been an important part of my identity for the last decade of my life and I’m really grateful for the education I received here. This college is an incredibly rich and fertile ground for ideas on the world and specifically adult education and community development programs. OISE lets you be free and encourages you to really explore what you’re curious about.”

He’s been aided in his education through the university’s Funded Cohort Program along with a U of T Doctoral Completion Award but he says he won’t be ending his educational journey any time soon.

“I don’t feel education always has to be in a formal setting so I’ll definitely be educating myself when I go to Brazil and wherever else I end up. As graduation got

closer and closer I was a bit worried about the future but now I’ve just stopped being anxious because now I’m ready for the next chapter of my life.”

The Cressy Awards, named after Gordon Cressy, former vice-president of development and university relations, were created by the University of Toronto Alumni Association and the Division of University Advancement in 1994. They recognize “graduating students for their outstanding contributions to improving the world around them and inspiring others to do the same.”

The awards committee chooses students who, through their extra-curricular activities and participation in student and campus life, have made real change to their faculty, school, college or the University of Toronto as a whole.