Two LMP students receive University of Toronto Student Leadership Awards
The University of Toronto Student Leadership Award recognizes outstanding student leadership, service, and commitment to the university. During the award’s 25-year history, it has celebrated the exemplary contributions of more than 4,000 students whose commitment and service had a lasting impact on their peers and the university.
Two students in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology were recognized this year: Undergraduate student Nathaniel Vo and Translational Research Program student, Sally Moy who were honoured for their exemplary leadership and service to U of T.
Congratulations to these outstanding students!
4th year Undergraduate Specialist Program
Nathaniel Vo is in his final year of the undergraduate program and has certainly been busy while in LMP. He has dedicated much of his time in leadership roles spanning recreation, sports and academic areas, something he felt was important. “Leadership is a vital skill to develop throughout your studies, whether that involves engaging and planning events for your community or becoming a good mentor to the more junior students in the program.”
From establishing the Trinity College Photography club, to having an active role in the University College Dragon Boat Club, he has always worked hard to create an inclusive and accessible environment for his peers.
It is, however, in his membership of the Laboratory Medicine Student Union (LMPSU) that he has made the biggest impact. He has played active roles in committees that have informed changes to the undergraduate curriculum, managed social events, mentored, and represented the undergraduate student population in LMP.
His highlight has been the LMPSU annual conference. He played a role in the last few years, but as Co-President of LMPSU this year, his involvement increased, particularly in communications and liaising with speakers. “It was a huge amount of work,” says Nathaniel, “It took around six months to organize so I’m very proud of what we achieved.”
Nathaniel is a keen researcher having spent a large part of his time in the lab of Dr. Susan Done studying breast cancer, which became full-time over the summer as part of the LMP Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program. He is now completing a thesis project on adipose tissue and obesity in Dr. Hoon-Ki Sung’s lab. Having applied to do a masters, he is interested in combining his research experiences of obesity and cancer and to eventually become a clinician-scientist.
On receiving the award, he said, “I’m really happy that my leadership is recognized in this way, but it is also due to all the people and friends I have worked with over the last few years”.
2nd year Translational Research Program
Sally Moy is in the 2nd, and final, year of the TRP, completing it while she works at Baycrest.
Sally centers her leadership work around three pillars: education, citizenship and community. She takes part in the Graduate Management Consulting Association where she helps graduate students transition into consulting. As part of her citizenship, she represents her peers in town halls and in giving feedback to the department. For community, she has participated in a number of TRP initiatives including the TRP Social Committee.
Due to the length of her program, she has only experienced it virtually during COVID. Since the start of her program, she has been heavily involved in the social committee something she admits was challenging as “how do we keep people engaged during a time of Zoom university?” Lacking in-person connections, Sally spent time meeting everyone in the program one-on-one to build relationships.
“I think leadership for students is really important,” she explains, “I encourage all students to pursue leadership opportunities on campus as they build lifelong skills such as communication and teamwork that you'll take into the workplace.”
Sally’s highlight has been her role in creating the Impact Gap Podcast with her peers. “We were learning about patient-centered care,” explains Sally. “When discussing with my classmates, we realised there were lots of great podcasts that focused on researchers and clinicians, but not any really focused on the patient.”
Now she is focusing on her capstone research project where she is investigating the healthcare innovation field by interviewing stakeholders such as incubator accelerators, hospitals, pharma companies, and the innovators themselves.
“I’m so excited to be chosen for this award,” says Sally, “When I look at who else has received this award and the extraordinary work they have done, I am very honoured.”