MSU Students of Distinction Awards: spring 2018 recipients

May 4, 2018 at 09:26 am

The MSU Students of Distinction Award is granted in recognition of individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to the betterment of the MSU or student life at McMaster. This award acknowledges outstanding accomplishments and exceptional dedication. Several individuals and groups were presented with the MSU Students of Distinction award this spring. Former MSU President, Chukky Ibe, presented each honouree with a MSU pin and certificate of appreciation to thank them for their valued contribution to student life.

Mac Dance

Medium_img_1000Mac Dance is an amalgamation of several established McMaster dance organizations on campus that represents a community of dancers of all levels through its recreational and competitive teams. Through their passion for dance, Mac Dance provides McMaster students with a supportive community and on-campus studio space to engender creativity. Having placed 3rd at two provincial competitions this season, Mac Dance has had a strong year and hopes to continue their success throughout their next competition season.

Alicia Giannetti

Medium_img_0997_-_copyThrough her role as the primary individual behind McMaster OPIRG working group Threadwork, Alicia has been integral in promoting environmental sustainability on campus and throughout the Hamilton community. From gathering volunteers and implementing a clothing swap at McMaster to partnering with the MSU to introduce compost bins in the student centre, Alicia takes opportunities to educate people and raise awareness about how societal habits impact the environment and what that means for social justice. Her passion for environmental sustainability has had a positive and powerful impact throughout campus. 

Rachel Ireson

As founder of the McMaster Used Textbook Sales [All Years] Facebook page, Rachel Ireson has enabled thousands of students to find textbooks at affordable costs. Since its inception in 2003, the McMaster Used Textbook Sales [All Years] Facebook page has grown to a membership of close to 30,000 Facebook users. Rachel’s innovative idea to create a Facebook page has evolved into a large community network that aims to help make education more affordable and accessible for students.

Breanna Clifford

Medium_img_0403As the outgoing Charity Ball Coordinator and member of the MSU Campus Events team, Breanna Clifford has demonstrated exceptional dedication to supporting the McMaster community. Her exemplary leadership skills allowed Breanna and her team to creatively partner with the Eva Rothwell Centre to successfully host the 20th annual largest student-run formal on campus. Through the creation of videos and paintings made by children from the Eva Rothwell Centre, Breanna strived to create interest in the relationship between Charity Ball attendees and the organization they were donating to. Breanna’s efforts have exemplified her strong leadership and teamwork abilities, making her a known as an invaluable teammate amongst her peers.

Cassidy Breskin

Medium_img_0410_-_copyCassidy is in her first year at McMaster and became involved in the Mac community as soon as she stepped foot on campus. Already, Cassidy is a paid writer for the Silhouette and a co-chair for Model City Hall Hamilton. As the News Reporter for the Silhouette, Cassidy is dedicated to get to the bottom of every story she covers. Through her role as the co-chair of Model City Hall Hamilton, Cassidy is coordinating with students and city officials to encourage students to engage effectively with municipal officials and politics. Her commitment to engaging students with the Hamilton community is deeply regarded and has been able to diversify the content and readership of the Silhouette.

Red Frogs

By providing a positive peer presence in alcohol-fulled environments, Red Frogs aims to educate young people on safe partying behaviours, and promote and provide non-alcoholic activities that engage people in these environments. With the help of their volunteer team, Red Frogs continue to show dedication to the McMaster campus community by supporting students during large scale on-campus programming. 

Sadaf Rahmanian

Throughout her university experience, Sadaf has been heavily involved in student leadership initiatives while maintaining and outstanding academic record. She has twice been awarded an Undergraduate Student Research Award and was recently accepted for publication as first author of a linguistics research article in the Scientific Studies of Reading academic journal. Through her extra circular activities, Sadaf has participated in student government and has engaged with the university community since the outset. She has had a strong contribution to the McMaster Faculty of Humanities through her roles as a Humanities Welcome Week representative, the McMaster Humanities Society Mentorship Initiative Coordinator, part-time lab manager in Dr. Victor Kuperman’s Reading Lab, Vice-President of Operations for the McMaster Humanities society, President of the McMaster Humanities Society, and as the student address speaker at the Faculty of Humanities Annual Awards Assembly.  Having successfully obtained both academic and student leadership accomplishments through her time as a Humanities student, Sadaf is highly regarded as a role model within the McMaster community.

First Year Council

Medium_dsc_0052MSU First Year Council (FYC) is a governing body that aims to build community while advocating for the needs and concerns of first year students. This year FYC has seen tremendous growth through the areas of events, awareness, and advocacy. With a total of 14 successful events this past year, FYC provided a diversity of opportunities that catered to different personalities, informed students on important matters and built a stronger first year community. Through these events, FYC strengthened relationships with campus partners and aimed to act as a liaison by connecting first year students to both McMaster and MSU resources. As the governing body that advocates for the first year voice, FYC was able to bring forward important concerns and make change in their consultation committees. These changes included the extension of La Piazza hours during exam season, diminishing residence lockout fees, and bringing forward ideas and suggestions to the Bates Renovation plan. The tremendous growth of FYC this past year can be attributed to the outstanding leadership and passion of the 16 first year students and upper year coordinator that embody the First Year Council.

Hui (Frank) Luo

Medium_img_0393_-_copyAs a recipient of the McMaster English Language Development Diploma (MELD), Frank wanted to give back to the MELD Program. Through contributing to the co-curricular activities offered to MELD students, Frank has created a strong sense of community among the 2017-2018 MELD cohort that has lead to the creation of the first ever MELD Association and the inaugural MELD talent show. He is seen as a respected leader amongst the MELD community and inspires his peers to embody strong university and community engagement.


Nominations are always welcome and may be delivered to the MSU office, in MUSC 201. Those who know of a group or individual whose efforts have had a positive impact on the McMaster Students Union or within the McMaster community may click here for information on nominations.

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