After two days of deliberation, seven students were chosen for induction into the Tricolour Society and became recipients of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award.
The award is the highest honour awarded to a Queen’s student for non-athletic and non-academic merit.
The award, named for the University’s first female chancellor and given out annually since 1939-40, serves to highlight those who make a notable impact upon the lives of Queen’s students in a variety of fields. Recipients are chosen for their steadfast commitment to and passion for bettering the Queen’s community.
Conrad Behrman, Sci ’15
Behrman has spent his time at Queen’s balancing the demanding workloads of Mechanical Engineering with his passion for music.
Behrman founded the Queen’s Music Club in first-year. Over the past four years as club president, he’s applied for AMS grants to create a space for musicians to learn, practice and play.
“Music is easier to continue with when it becomes something social,” he said.
Behrman has served as a member of the Queen’s Pediatric AIDS Coalition, where he organized and executed a dance marathon that raised thousands of dollars for pediatric AIDS research and treatment.
He said he was honoured to receive the Tricolour Award, and hopes the arts community at Queen’s “continues to grow out past the school and into the Kingston community”.
Tuba Chishti, ArtSci ’15
Chishti advocates for residence issues and works to promote equitable opportunities for students regardless of location.
As former President of the Main Campus Residents’ Council, she ushered through the amalgamation of the two residence societies. She’s currently the Chair of the AMS Board of Directors, and has spent time on Senate and the Queen’s Student Alumni Association.
She said she hopes to leave Queen’s a place where help is sought without hesitation, and added that she takes pride in her ability to pass along any knowledge she can to inspire and mobilize students.
“No failure defines you — it is what you choose to do in response,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter if your 100 per cent is not perfect, as long as it is yours.”
Sebastian Gorlewski, ArtSci ’15
Gorlewski has spent his years at Queen’s pursuing a degree in neuroscience and working towards destigmatizing mental health.
While serving on the AMS Social Issues Commission, Gorlewski worked on the Religious Affairs Committee and went on to become the co-chair of the Mental Health Awareness Committee. He became the Director of the Peer Support Centre in 2013; in that year the Centre saw a record number of visits. Under his management, campaigns like Queen’s TALKS and PSE Cares were implemented, and staff training was revitalized to become more personal.
He’s also served as a Residence Don for the past three years. He said he seeks to connect first-year students to the vibrant life Queen’s has to offer.
“The resources exist to do what you are passionate about, it is just a matter of knowing where to find them,” he said.
Ian Moore, JD ’16
Moore is not only on track to complete his law degree next year, but also recently completed a joint Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Moore is a co-founder of Queen’s School of Law newspaper Juris Diction. He said the Canadian Bar Association has offered to republish Juris Diction articles on their own sites, which has never been offered before to a Canadian law school.
Moore sits on the Law Students’ Society (LSS), and is also the founder of the Open Door Brunch Club, which offers a safe and welcoming environment to anyone within the Kingston community.
“I hope I can use whatever symbolic authority that comes with this opportunity to provide other students with a bit of happiness, the motivation to get engaged and, through Juris Diction, an encouraging space to share their views about law and policy,” he said.
Eric Rapos, PhD ’16
Rapos has been a member of the Queen’s community for the last nine years, during which he’s acquired three degrees in Computer Science.
Rapos has served as COMPSA President, a member of Computing Orientation, Speaker of the Society of Professional and Graduate Students Council (SGPS), a Graduate Student Senator and Chair of the Student Senate. Throughout this, his academic standing has remained notable, and he maintains a significant bond with the Queen’s community.
After nine years on campus, Rapos said he’s a strong advocate for the Queen’s experience. He said the award is “humbling”, and added that he “hope[s] Queen’s never changes in the sense that you can make your experience really your own”.
Currently teaching his first course at the University following four years of TA experience, Rapos hopes to become a professor himself.
“Who knows,” Rapos said, “I may be back here one day.”
Troy Sherman, ArtSci ’14
Sherman has established himself as a strong player in the Queen’s community.
Sherman served as an intern to the Journal’s Business Manager during his first year. Later, he served on the Journal Board of Directors and as Municipal Affairs Commissioner. He also founded academic journal Politicus and its adjacent lecture series.
He said his “proudest memory of Queen’s” is his involvement in the 2013 electoral district realignment appeal spearheaded by fellow award recipient Kevin Wiener, for its “difficult advocacy” and the congregation of so many different bodies united against one issue.
Sherman said regardless of Queen’s medium-sized student body, there’s a sense of togetherness that binds students regardless of their individual faculty.
“It doesn’t matter what title, faculty or year you are — what matters is that you have drive, your own ideas, and a willingness to learn,” he said.
Kevin Wiener, JD ’15
Wiener has spent his time at Queen’s serving in student government as an AMS representative, Senator, member of Queen’s Legal Aid, student caseworker, speaker to the LSS and now President of the SGPS.
Wiener was responsible for a successful 2013 Ontario Municipal Board appeal against City Council’s decision to redraw electoral boundaries, eliminate Sydenham District and remove students from the City’s population count. Wiener cross-examined and presented his own case for the appeal, and ultimately won the case. This not only maintained the right of Queen’s students to vote in municipal elections, but set a precedent for other cities on student rights.
He said he’d met many of the previous award winners.
“To join their company is a high honour,” he added.
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