University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

2009 Cressy Awards

Photo: 2009 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. Innis College students Nicole Hugel, Webnesh Haile and Brian Chang pose with Gordon Cressy (second from right), former U of T Vice-President of Development and University Relations.

At a special ceremony hosted by U of T President David Naylor, 159 student leaders from across the University were awarded the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards. Five outstanding Innis College graduating students were recognized for their extracurricular contributions to the College and the wider community. Congratulations to Innis College students Brian ChangDeborah GannWebnesh HaileNicole Hugel, and Rolla Tahir.



In 2006, Brian co-founded the Innis College Choir which is now in its third season. He served as the Social Representative on the Innis College Student Society, represented Innis College on the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU), and served as Associate Vice-President External. Brian will be graduating in June 2009 with an Honours BA and majors in Environmental Policy and Practice, and Political Science. He will be attending York University in the fall to complete a Masters of Environmental Studies with a focus on Canadian Environmental Federalism.


Deborah is currently completing her English Specialist and Celtic Studies Major. Following graduation in June 2009, she will begin her Masters at U of T’s Centre for Medieval Studies, with the aim of completing a PhD degree in Medieval Literature. For the last four years, Deborah has served as an Executive Member of U of T’s Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, and volunteered for three years as an editor of Notebook: A Journal of Contemporary Jewish Issues.


Webnesh Haile is a student in the Behavior program at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. At Innis, Webnesh is one of two Non-Resident Student Life Co-ordinators on the Innis College Student Society (ICSS). Looking back on her time at the University, Webnesh admits that the experience helped her grow tremendously, both academically and personally. “Serving on the ICSS and Innis College Council were fantastic ways for a commuter like me to make friends, and work with students and staff,” says Webnesh. Next year, she plans to work, travel overseas and apply to law schools. To the delight of the College, Webnesh plans to remain involved with Innis as an alumna.


Throughout her time at the College, Nicole Hugel has been very involved with the Innis College Council and Innis College Student Society, most recently as the coordinator of Innis College Orientation Week 2008. Nicole has also dedicated much time as a volunteer at the Princess Margaret Hospital –an experience that will no doubt help Nicole as she pursues a career in medicine.


“The four years I have spent at Innis College as a Cinema Studies Specialist have been the most inspiring,” says Rolla. Among the many highlights over the years, her top 3 include: being taught by Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan; working with the Cinema Studies Student Union; and, being published in Camera Stylo. After graduation, Rolla hopes to continue to be involved with the Toronto film community while maintaining ties with people she has met during her time at Innis College.


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