Four students joined the Tricolour Society and received the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award, the highest honour bestowed on a Queen’s student, for initiatives ranging from creating a more diverse and equitable campus to helping feed struggling students.
Fellow students and university leaders nominated Ishita Aggarwal, Meds’23, Morgan Lehtinen, Artsci’16, PhD’22, Max Moloney, Artsci’20, MSc’22, and Alyth Roos, Artsci’22, for going above and beyond to positively impact life at Queen's.
“Our university takes pride in producing graduates who go on to become a positive force for change and help shape our future,” says Alma Mater Society president Zaid Kasim, who led this year’s selection committee. “These four students are the leaders of tomorrow who have the skill, drive, and passion to one day make a big impact in whichever field they choose to pursue.”
Here is a look at the accomplishments of this year’s honourees:
Ishita Aggarwal, Meds’23
Aggarwal is passionate about EDIIA (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigenization, and Accessibility) and medical education issues. She is co-leading an assessment to evaluate the quality of anti-oppression and EDIIA curricular offerings at Queen’s School of Medicine. She has held many roles, including as a member of the Dean’s Action Table on EDI, Executive of QSOM’s Leadership Enhancement and Development Program, and Interprofessional Community Health Program Coordinator of KHealth. Outside Queen’s, she runs Mom’s The Word (MTW), a non-profit organization that hosts free prenatal workshops for homeless and low-income women and connects sexual assault victims with health professionals. To date, MTW has helped more than 1,500 women.
Morgan Lehtinen, Artsci’16, PhD’22
Lehtinen has used her time at Queen’s to help students achieve their full potential through professional mentorship, as well as creating inclusive environments to empower people from all backgrounds. She has held various leadership roles within the Department of Chemistry where she built initiatives providing students with opportunities for experiential learning and career development. She also led the launch of the Chemical Institute of Canada Kingston Section. Through that role, she co-founded Bonds for Success, a mentorship and networking program for students, faculty, and professionals in the chemical industry in Eastern Ontario. She’s helped build a more inclusive campus by co-founding the Queen’s Chemistry Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Awareness Society, and developing the Chemistry Graduate Student Ambassador position to help students transition to their new degree and give guidance on their career paths. After embarking on her own entrepreneurial journey, she works to inspire and support female entrepreneurs as program coordinator for the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre’s Konnect program.
Max Moloney, Artsci’20, MSc’22
Moloney has dedicated his time at Queen’s to battling student food insecurity. He’s been involved in several projects, most notably the AMS Food Bank, where he served as manager. During his tenure, he launched a digital platform for submitting food requests, which accommodated people with dietary restrictions. His contributions will continue to help food-bank patrons long after his time at Queen’s. During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Moloney was running the food bank by himself, packing and sometimes delivering orders to ensure no one went hungry during the initial stages of the pandemic. He is also a mental-health advocate, serving as co-president of Jack.org Queen’s.
Alyth Roos, Artsci’22
Roos’ most notable accomplishment is her work with the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), including a stint as president this academic year. She advocated for the organization that represents 13,000 Artsci students, manages a $1.5-million budget, and more than 2,000 volunteers. She had to overcome many COVID-19 challenges to organize remote student events and spearhead initiatives involving mentorship, sexual violence prevention, and town-gown relations. Along with her work with ASUS, she was also involved with Queen’s Model United Nations, Queen’s International Affairs Association, and student council for the Department of Political Studies.
This year’s ceremony was held virtually on April 8 and the ceremony can be watched online.
The first Tricolour Award was given in 1940 and many recipients have gone on make impactful contributions.
Recipients include the former governor of the Bank of Canada and Chancellor Emeritus David Dodge, Arts’65, LLD’02; former Member of Parliament and “the father of the Canadian Flag” John Matheson, Arts’40, LLD’84; Emmy-winning filmmaker Peter Raymont, Arts’72; entrepreneur and star of CBC TV’s Dragons’ Den Michele Romanow, Sc’07, MBA’08; award-winning author and Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson, Arts'71, and Queen’s first female chancellor, Agnes Benidickson, who was honoured in 1941 when it was known as the Tricolour Award.