SWAAC Student Leadership Award

About The Award

At least two awards, each in the amount of $4,000, will be awarded annually to the women students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the college or general community while maintaining exemplary academic records.


Women who are registered at any Member Institution of CIC (Colleges and Institutes Canada) within a designated region are eligible to be nominated. Regions are defined as follows, and eligibility shall rotate among them:

​Western Provinces (2024)
Quebec (2025)
Atlantic Provinces (2026)
Ontario (2027)

1. Outstanding academic performance.
2. Evidence of leadership, including but not limited to such things as:

  • Executive positions in student organizations
  • Participation on committees (student committees and college committees)
  • Organization of special events, conferences, etc.
  • Involvement in advocacy groups
  • Involvement in volunteer organizations, within the campus setting and/or in the general community.
  • Innovative/creative problem-solving or overcoming personal challenges

Each college in the designated region may nominate, through the Vice-President Academic or her/his delegate, one person for the award. The Vice-President shall also be responsible for the appointment of a nominating committee for the award and for providing the Selection Committee with all necessary documentation in support of the nomination, including:

  • Biographical data
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic records
  • Three letters of referenceThe deadline for submission of nominations: January 19, 2024.

The Selection Committee shall be the elected members of the Executive Committee (or its delegates), excluding those from the region from which the award recipients will be selected.

Nominations for the 2024 competition (Western Provinces) must be sent via electronic mail to:

SWAAC President
Dr. Donna Kotsopoulos

Western University

If you have any questions about the award or require further information please contact Megha Ajmani, SWAAC Registrar and Treasurer at swaacadmin@uwo.ca

*biographical information usually includes information about former and current studies, areas of interest, research, publications, other awards, interests outside the university, and community or volunteer work. It’s usually in a narrative form, about 1-2 pages in length, and is an opportunity for the nominee to tell the adjudication committee some things about herself, and to explain at greater length her background/interests/passions/ambitions/volunteer work.

Recent Award Recipients

Caitlyn Massad 

Currently a student attending St. Clair College, in Windsor Ontario, and is enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Social Justice and Legal Studies program, scheduled to graduate this spring. Caitlyn’s active involvement at St. Clair College spans a number of leadership roles in both academic and volunteer capacities. She worked as an academic tutor for several years on campus as well as volunteered her time as a peer mentor for new students entering the Social Justice and Legal Studies program. Caitlyn has achieved academic distinction each semester while continuing to seek new opportunities to expand on her skills beyond the classroom. In 2021, she assumed a role as a Student Researcher in the Research and Innovation department at St. Clair College, collaborating on a three-year NSERC funded Social Innovation Fund grant, concentrating on literacy interventions for families and children in low-socioeconomic communities. Her role as a student researcher is a combination of community engagement, data entry/analysis, and report writing, which has allowed Caitlyn to develop hands-on skills in advocacy and community collaboration. Caitlyn has further honed these skills through several volunteer positions she has sought out, in order to support the needs of her community. She is a passionate volunteer at an organization called Windsor Family Homes and Community Partnerships, wherein she serves as a food bank worker and programs assistant. One of her greatest accomplishments in this position entailed successfully assisting in the writing of a grant to secure new funding for community services. Additionally, she volunteers as a Community Mediator, and she is also in the process of designing an identification bank for the homeless population in Windsor, in collaboration with a local counselling and advocacy centre, Family Services Windsor-Essex. Her leadership in the academic and larger community also encompasses being a Student Affiliate Member with WE-Spark Health Research Institute; she has presented at conferences and has been awarded for both verbal and written presentations of her work.

Caitlyn is always striving to look for different and better ways to enhance the community around her. She is a trailblazer amongst her peers, most notably as the first St. Clair College Student accepted directly into law school. Caitlyn wants to make a difference in the community; she experienced first-hand living in a low-income family and understands systemic inequities that are in need of change. Her humble background has made her always want to give back to her community in any way possible. She never lets anything get in the way of her dreams and believes that with hard work and dedication anything is possible.

1137 Western Rd, London Ontario N6G 1G7.

Skip to content