Archived copies of the ceremonies will be available at on McMaster’s YouTube account 3-4 weeks after the ceremonies to allow for the videos to be captioned
Taaha Hassan is a graduating Bachelor of Health Sciences (Hons.) student who has worked passionately as an advocate for his fellow peers. As the elected Health Sciences Caucus Leader, he was outspoken in representing over 1500 students in the McMaster Students’ Union. He also served as Treasurer for the Health Sciences Society and co-president of the award-winning nonprofit, CPR Global. For the past 3 years, Taaha has been committed to serving his community as a Personal Support Worker for disabled individuals in Hamilton. In addition, his passion for AI and healthcare has led him to receive numerous research awards for his work on mental health projects. Finally, he enjoys learning new languages and traveling, being fluent in Urdu, Hindi, French, and Spanish (in certain contexts…). In his leisure time, he loves playing/watching sports, writing short prose, capturing photos, and spending moments with loved family and friends. Taaha would like to dedicate this honour to his mother, father, sister, grandparents, mentors, and friends for their never-ending support throughout his journey at McMaster and beyond.
|President’s Award of Excellence in Student Leadership: Helena Tang
Helena is passionate about innovative and interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences with an Interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability. During the 2022-2023 school year, Helena served as a Student Sustainability Ambassador Program (SSAP) Organizer, focused on connecting sustainability clubs to students. She also supported sustainability on campus as the Student Office Coordinator and an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Academic Sustainability Programs Office. Her notable project includes her important roles as a student and mentor for the development of McMaster’s Sustainable Procurement program.
Helena also served as the President of McMaster’s Mindfulness Club. She is interested in the connection between mindfulness and sustainability. To bridge the gap between McMaster and the broader Hamilton community, she volunteers as a Core Committee member of Mindfulness Hamilton, working to promote mindfulness through organizing events and leading a podcast interviewing mindfulness leaders.
|President’s Award of Excellence in Student Leadership: Andrea Jacob
Throughout her time at McMaster, Andrea Jacob has been committed to spreading her passion for gender equity, empowerment, and fostering community for those around her.
Andrea has had the privilege of serving as a Health Sciences Welcome Week representative and executive, stylist executive and co-chair for the Health Sciences Charity Fashion Show, and research assistant lead for the CeliacCONNECT project with McMaster Children’s Hospital. As the co-founder and co-president of Girl Up McMaster, Andrea strove to make an impact at McMaster and within Hamilton. Through her leadership, the Girl Up McMaster team held several events and workshops with renowned speakers, as well as successfully established three mentorship programs within the Hamilton community: Mission Services of Hamilton, YWCA Hamilton, and Westmount Secondary School.
Andrea looks forward to continuing to share her passions in future endeavours as she continues her education at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine.
|President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning: Caitlin Mullarkey
Dr. Caitlin Mullarkey is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. Through active, student-centered learning, which encourages cooperation between students and faculty, Dr. Mullarkey empowers and immerses students in learning activities that allow them to apply and adapt their knowledge to new scenarios. As a testament to the impact of Dr. Mullarkey’s approach, one student writes, “By transforming knowledge-based courses into highly personalized experiences focused on conceptual understanding and subsequent application, she is effectively fostering the next generation of scientists.”
Since joining McMaster in 2017, Dr. Mullarkey has demonstrated a consistent commitment to teaching excellence. She collaborated in the development and launch of “DNA Decoded,” a free massive open online course (MOOC) that has enrolled over 34,000 learners globally. Dr. Mullarkey has also developed an open-education resource to support the online delivery of biomedical laboratory courses available through eCampus Ontario. She has secured competitive grants to create new content and delivery methods to support her research activities in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Most recently, Dr. Mullarkey created the Biochemistry Summer Scholar’s Program, a 12-week experiential learning program focused on research skills development, mentorship, and career growth for equity-deserving undergraduate STEM students. She is a two-time recipient of the McMaster Student Union Teaching Award for the Faculty of Health Sciences for her instruction in virology and advanced immunology.
“Dr. Mullarkey is an educator of the highest calibre who has elevated McMaster’s reputation beyond our institutional walls,” writes a colleague. “Her educational leadership and teaching activities have enhanced all five of McMaster’s institutional priorities, and her accomplishments are highly worthy of this [award].”
|Dr. Hendricus (Henk) Gerard Schmidt
Dr. Hendricus (Henk) Gerard Schmidt is a professor of Psychology at Erasmus University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and founding dean of its problem-based psychology program. While he has held many other prestigious academic leadership positions at both Erasmus University and Maastricht University, it is his long history of research investigating problem-based learning for which he is best known. His main areas of interest have been learning and memory and his extensive list of publications include research on problem-based learning, long term memory and the development of expertise in medicine.
Dr. Schmidt has been at the forefront of the efforts to clarifying the cognitive underpinnings of problem-based learning. He has published extensively, many of those publications rightly regarded as seminal, and ensured that the ethos of PBL was widely disseminated.
He is perhaps the most cited researcher in the domain of medical education. He has published more than 250 articles in peer reviewed journals, many books and many chapters in books. He has supervised more than 30 PhD students. He is the founding editor of two journals.
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