Outstanding Student Award

Gala Award

This award recognizes a current Queen’s student who has helped connect alumni and students. The student’s contribution(s) can be made in the year of nomination or over several years.

Rebecca Maciver

2020 Recipient

Rebecca Maciver

Artsci’12, PhD’20

Rebecca Maciver is an exceptional student leader who is dedicated to enhancing connections between students and alumni. Rebecca has been instrumental in helping Queen’s graduate students access QSAA resources. Even while completing her PhD requirements in Pharmacology and Toxicology, she has been a positive example for her peers and an inspiration to the Queen’s student community.

Past Award Recipients


Jasmit De Saffel was an exceptional student and volunteer with the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA). Her four-year tenure with the QSAA included roles as Ambassador, Chair (Outreach), Vice-President (Philanthropy), and finally, President. Ms. De Saffel created a lasting legacy at Queen’s. The impact of her contributions across campus and to the organization will continue well beyond 2017 when she graduated and moved on to a new chapter in life.

A Political Studies major, Ms. De Saffel may have learned the theories and history of politics in the lecture halls, but her natural ability to reach out to people, to listen and get to know the details of issues, served her in the roles she took on with the QSAA. She connected hundreds of alumni with thousands of students through innovative communications campaigns and dynamic speaker events, and through her exceptional creation and delivery of the Tricolour Giving Initiative campaign.

Her vision, passion, and dedication have directly led to excellent strategic planning, impressive programming, and high volunteer engagement and satisfaction. Ms. De Saffel is a natural leader that other students on campus strived to emulate.

Since Mike Young, Artsci’16, began his student life at Queen’s in 2011, he has proven himself to be a resolute and loyal Queen’s student.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree in Gender Studies, he not only immersed himself in his education, but he also took on the role of first-year co-representative for the Concurrent Education Student’s Association (CESA), as well as a seat on the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award Selection Committee. He continued his work with CESA into his second year, becoming Head Teach for CESA’s Orientation Week and creating Breakfast In B.Ed, an event that promoted mental health awareness and provided resources to Concurrent Education students.

Mr. Young’s increasing involvement in student life led to his interest in the elected role of Rector, a position he successfully ran for in 2014, on the issues of student autonomy, mental health and well-being, and student equality. As Rector, Mr. Young created the firstever Rector Terms of Reference document and worked tirelessly to improve the recognition of Tricolour Award recipients for their incredible contributions to the Queen’s Community and to connect them with other members of the Tricolour Society. He was also recently given the opportunity to deliver Sexual Assault Bystander Intervention Skills Training as a facilitator.

Mr. Young says, “The role of the Rector is to be the voice of the students and a liaison to the university, but being a confidential support system for students is a role that is often underutilized. I want the students to know that I am here for them and they can stop in and see me in my office at any time… I really want to keep alive the innovative spirit that Queen’s has to offer.”

Mr. Young continues to exemplify the Queen’s innovative spirit and is wholly deserving of the Outstanding Student Award. He was also honoured with the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award which is the highest tribute that can be paid to a student for valuable and distinguished service to the university in non-athletic, extra-curricular activities.

Mike Young was honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on April 8, 2017.

As Vice-President Events (2013) and President of the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (2014), Taylor Jennings, Artsci’15, has proven she is a natural leader. Determined to reach out to her fellow students, she has motivated and engaged them in initiatives that advance students’ causes and education.

In cooperation with Alumni Relations, she invited prominent and inspiring alumni, such as astronaut, Drew Feustel, PhD’95, last year’s Alumni Achievement Award recipient, to speak to students to illustrate the merits of a Queen’s education.

From setting up face-painting booths, displaying photos, and flying balloons, Ms. Jennings is always finding ways to brighten up the campus and beyond with Queen’s tricolour.

Ms. Jennings continues to connect Queen’s students with alumni as AMS Advancement Officer, and is responsible for programming homecoming events organized through the AMS, including the Reunion Street festival. Ms. Jennings fulfils an important role for homecoming, one that encourages students to connect with alumni.

Ms. Jennings inspires pride and loyalty for Queen’s from fellow students and alumni alike. It is outstanding students like Taylor that strengthen the future of the global Queen’s Alumni Network.

Taylor Jennings was honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on April 2, 2016.

When Nick Francis served as the 33rd Rector of Queen’s University from 2012-14, he not only embraced the role’s primary function of representing students on the Board of Trustees, he became a bold advocate for mental health and anti-stigma issues on campus and across Canada.

When the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair was established, Mr. Francis proudly endorsed the initiative, referencing his own personal experience. “The chair will help us learn more about the root causes of the stigma [of mental health], how it affects both those with an illness and those around them,” wrote Mr. Francis in an appeal to alumni in 2012.

Mr. Francis has sat on numerous committees, served as an ombudsperson, and has mentored dozens of student leaders in the AMS and elsewhere on campus. He has organized student conferences off-campus, held a part-time job, and all the while managed to successfully maintain a high academic standing.

Nick Francis was honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on March 28, 2015.

2014 Rico Garcia, Artsci'14

2012 Jennifer Parker, Artsci'12, Ed’13

2011 Jillian Burford-Grinnell, Artsci'09, MA'11, Law’14

2010 Michael Ceci, Artsci'10

2009 Leora Jackson, Artsci'09, MA'11

2008 Zhaodi Culbreath, Sc'08

2007 John (Connor) Langford, Sc'08, PhD’13

2006 John-Andrew Pankiw-Petty, Artsci’06

Award Eligibility & Criteria

Candidates should be:

  • A current student of Queen’s University in a recognized degree, diploma or certificate program
  • Someone who recognizes the importance of the QUAA mission and actively seeks to encourage and promote alumni and student connections
  • Recognized by their peers as someone who is an inspiration to the Queen’s student community

For more information about alumni awards, please contact Lenore Klein, 613-533-6000 ext 78846.