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OISE alumni and friends receive Arbor Award honours for volunteer service

By Eileen Thomas

September 21, 2010

Congratulations to OISE's 2010 Arbor Award recipients: Rose Dyson, Rosemary Evans, Cary Greenberg and Anne Tough, whose volunteer contributions have benefited and enriched OISE in countless ways.

The Arbor Awards were created by the University of Toronto in 1989 to recognize volunteers for outstanding personal service to the University. Since then, U of T annually acknowledges the alumni and friends whose loyalty, dedication and generosity has added substantially to the quality of the University of Toronto experience for students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Arbor Award is a way of thanking them and letting them know that their contributions of time, energy and expertise are celebrated.

To Rose Dyson (MEd 1985; EdD 1995), who has volunteered at the University and OISE in many capacities over the past 20 years, the Arbor Award recognition means a great deal. Her work representing OISE on the College of Electors provided her with insight into the functioning of the University, and enabled her to better understand the challenges that universities have confronted over the past decades.

In addition to her work as a consultant in media education, Rose was Vice-President of the OISE Alumni Association from 1987 to 1993. She volunteered for student events, including Summer Bash, the reception for new graduates and student awards. After graduating, she remained connected with students and faculty with whom she had worked on peace education projects. Currently, she is Chair of Canadians Concerned about Violence in Entertainment.

“It is gratifying to know that my contributions are acknowledged and appreciated,” says Rose. “This experience has been invaluable and has enriched my academic work in broader contexts.”

Rosemary Evans (BEd 1976) views her work with OISE over the years as a privilege and an opportunity for personal enrichment through her connections to the OISE community. In addition to her duties as Head of Academics at Branksome Hall, she has committed her time and leadership abilities as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, where she had many chances to gain a deeper understanding of OISE’s goals, challenges and accomplishments. She found the lively discussions, informed by the broad and deep experience of fellow members representing many and diverse education stakeholder groups from around the province, to be enjoyable and contributed observations and advice that have helped to strengthen OISE and define its future directions.

Over the past three years, Rosemary has been a great friend to OISE, strengthening connections she already had with OISE and the University as an alumna, former Initial Teacher Education program instructor, and contributor to resource texts for teachers.

“As a volunteer I have had the opportunity to contribute to research initiatives, and work with OISE teacher candidates and graduate students,” says Rosemary. “OISE has provided me with the opportunity for continuous professional learning and kept me in touch with the latest developments in my profession. I always feel I gain more than I give.”

Cary Greenberg counts herself lucky to have had the opportunity to volunteer at the Institute of Child Study (ICS), and interact with the staff and principal, who have enriched the lives of her family by celebrating and nurturing her daughter’s curiosity and quest for understanding. As a friend of OISE and the University, Cary used her skills of collaboration, positive action, intellectual insight and commitment during six years as a parent member of the ICS Laboratory School Research Committee, where her research experience studying breast cancer at the Princess Margaret Hospital has informed her important contributions to discussions about research at the ICS Laboratory School. More recently, she served two years as one of the inaugural members of the ICS Laboratory School Advisory Board, which advises OISE’s dean on the mission and policies affecting the school.

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the Institute of Child Study community in any way that would help advance innovations in education and extend its philosophy to as many others as possible,” says Cary.

Anne Tough has been a familiar face around the Institute of Child Study (ICS) since she retired from teaching at the Institute’s Laboratory School in 1996, where she was a beloved and exceptional teacher for grade one and two for almost 20 years. Her active volunteer role has continued unabated over the past 16 years. She continues to visit the Institute’s Jackman Art Studio, where the art teachers appreciate her regular trips with valued, recycled items for childrens’ building and art projects. 

Anne's service to the Lab School Alumni Association as Co-Chair helped to prepare for the Institute’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in 2001, bringing together alumni, faculty, staff, and families from St. George’s Nursery, Windy Ridge Children’s School, and the Lab School. This was no small feat and her efforts to help ICS connect with alumni are ongoing. Anne co-edited the Lab School’s Alumni ECHO annual spring newsletter for seven years, and she continues to play a crucial role in alumni activities, helping to retrieve archived photographs, memorabilia, and connect with former young students.

As ICS begins planning for its 85th Anniversary Celebration in May, 2011, Anne's tremendous care, dedication, and great volunteer support will serve the Institute well. Anne remains a valued and vital member of the ICS Community, which is grateful for her great kindness, lovely smile, enthusiasm for the Institute, brilliant memory, and for being such a remarkable human being.

All Arbor Award recipients were honoured at a special presentation and reception held at President Naylor’s official residence on Monday, September 20.