Six students – Hana Chaudhury, Com’18, Emilio Frometa, MIR’18, Max Garcia, Cmp’17, Asha Gordon, Artsci’18, Adam Grotsky, Artsci’16, Law’19, and Alexandra Palmeri, NSc’18 – have been named recipients of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award, one of the highest honours a student can receive from the university.
“These are the best of the best that we have at Queen’s,” says Rector Cam Yung, Artsci’17, whose office is in charge of selecting which students are inducted into the Tricolour Society. “These are people who help others in need of support and have recognized gaps that have impacted students and the Kingston community. They have stepped up when others were at low points and worked their butts off to support and advocate for others.”
Here is a short bio on each recipient:
- Hana Chaudhury, Com' 18, has a long list of activities and roles advocating for students, in particular for women and racialized students on campus, including serving on the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion, Queen’s Female Leadership in Politics and Queen’s International Affairs Association.
- Emilio Frometa, MIR’18, is the offensive captain of the Queen’s football team and the founder of the Autism Mentorship Program, an organization that pairs varsity athletes with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
- Max Garcia, Cmp’17, has spent much of his time at Queen’s helping students making the transition from high school and then to life after Queen’s, whether that is being a resident donor serving as president of the Queen’s Student Alumni Association. He advocated for classmates as president of the Computing Students’ Association and successfully lobbied the School of Computing to hire another professor.
- Asha Gordon, Artsci’18, has been an integral part of race and ethnic inclusion at Queen’s through her work with clubs such as Queen’s Black Academic Society and Levana Gender Advocacy Centre. She worked with colleagues, students and alumni to co-found the Queen’s Black Alumni Chapter.
- Adam Grotsky, Artsci’16, Law’19, is the former president of Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) and current president of Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) who implemented several crucial programs, most notably the Arts and Science Internship Program, which provides students with invaluable work experience to complement their in-classroom learning.
- Alexandra Palmeri, NSc’18, has had a positive impact on her faculty during her three years as Nursing Science Society president. Among her many accomplishments were supporting students through the academic appeals process, advocating for curriculum changes, revitalizing two workplaces for students, and co-founding of Threads of Inquiry– a clothing company that raises funds for undergraduate nursing student research.
“I want to thank all the recipients for their service. That is the purpose of the Tricolour Society – to say thank you,” says Mr. Yung.
The Tricolour Award has a long history at Queen’s. It was first handed out in 1940, and one of those original recipients was John Matheson, BA’40, DSA’77, LLD’84, who went on to serve in Ottawa as a Member of Parliament. In 1967, he helped create Canada's highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada, which he said he based on the Tricolour Society. He is also considered the father of the Canadian flag for leading the committee that helped select the red maple leaf as our new flag in the 1960s.
Other notable Tricolour Award past recipients include: Dragons’ Den TV star Michele Romanow, Sc’07, MBA’08; author and Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson, Arts’71, LLD’05; Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Raymont, Arts’72; and former Bank of Canada Governor and Queen’s Chancellor Emeritus David Dodge, Arts'65, LLD'02.
Students are selected for their distinguished service to the university in non-athletic, extra-curricular activities, with the three tenets being service, leadership, character.
This year’s recipients will be honoured at a ceremony on April 7 at Grant Hall.