Rector Owen Crawford-Lem
Rector Owen Crawford-Lem, Artsci’24, presents the 2023 Tricolour Award at the QUAA Awards Gala on June 17, 2023.

Tricolour Society adds four new members

Four students have received one of the most prestigious honours at Queen’s. 

Niki Boytchuk-Hale, ConEd’24, MEd'26, Kyla Gibson, Artsci’25, Tara Rezvan, Com’23, MSc’24, and Meena Waseem, Com’24, have been announced as this year’s recipients of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award.  

The Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award is given annually by the Office of the Rector to students for “valued and distinguished service, leadership, character, and community impact.”  

Recipients will receive their awards during a ceremony on April 5.  

They also join a group of distinguished alumni as the newest members of the Tricolour Society. 

The Tricolour Society served as a model for Canada's highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada, which John Matheson, Arts’40, LLD’84, helped establish in 1967 as a Member of Parliament. 

“This year’s recipients have left a lasting mark on the Queen’s community. Their dedication and kindness have served as examples for their fellow students,” says Rector Owen Crawford-Lem.   

“The university is a better place because of the dedication of Niki, Kyla, Tara, and Meena. They embody the best aspects of the Queen’s community and fully deserve this tremendous honour.”  

Boytchuk-Hale is an inclusive and collaborative leader who has fostered co-operation between students and the administration. In her final year of the Concurrent Education program, she has held several positions with the Alma Mater Society (AMS) since 2020. As AMS director of marketing, Boytchuk-Hale created and implemented the innovative AMS Asks U social-media campaign.   

Gibson, a third-year Life Sciences major, is dedicated to creating a more inclusive campus for equity-deserving groups. As co-founder of the Commitment Scholars engagement committee, she designed and implemented a mentorship program, helping more than 20 equity-deserving scholars engage in peer mentoring. 

Rezvan, a master’s student, has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between academia and the business world through her commitment to producing socially impactful research at Smith School of Business. In collaboration with Smith School of Business’ Research Office, she founded the Research Impact Hub, which connects undergraduate commerce students with opportunities to engage with innovative academic research. 

Waseem, a fourth-year Commerce student, has been a positive force for change throughout her time at Queen’s. She advocated for equitable developments in admissions, curriculum, and financial aid in her program, and organized and co-led the university’s first ever “Ramadan-in-Residence” initiative to create inclusive and robust Ramadan programming for students living in residence.

First awarded in 1940, the Tricolour Award has a long history at Queen’s and boasts an impressive list of alumni among its members. Past recipients include Dragons’ Den TV star Michele Romanow, Sc’07, MBA’08; architect of the Canadian flag and the Order of Canada John Matheson, Arts’40, LLD’84; and former Bank of Canada governor and Queen’s Chancellor Emeritus David Dodge, Arts'65, LLD’02.  

For more information about the Tricolour Award and this year’s celebration, please contact Queen’s Rector Owen Crawford-Lem.