Announcing the Dean’s Student Leadership Award Recipients
The Dean’s Student Leadership Award was created in 2021 to recognize exceptional contributions by undergraduate students to the environment and well-being of all students in AMPD. Nominated by their fellow students, faculty members and staff, this award serves both to highlight the contributions of exceptional individuals within the School of AMPD, but also to encourage and support continued opportunities and recognition of the many ways that leadership manifests among our community. The criteria for this award focus on leadership, broadly defined, including specific initiatives and elected positions, representation within respective departments, and a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion.
The adjudication committee, which included student representation, received many outstanding nominations. From the excellent profiles submitted, we are pleased to recognize the two inaugural recipients:
Gloria Mampuya, BFA Theatre 2021
Natalia Morales Caceres, 3rd year, BFA Film
Both recipients have served as passionate and dedicated advocates for students across the School.
Gloria Mampuya founded and served as the inaugural President of the IBPOC Artists Association, a student-created association created to support students across AMPD. They have also worked as a peer mentor lead in the Office of the Director of Students and Community Engagement, a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, as well as in service to numerous projects, committees and initiatives within the Department of Theatre. As one of Gloria’s recommenders wrote, “Gloria epitomizes excellence in leadership and has contributed in significant, meaningful, and (I believe) long-lasting ways to the Department of Theatre and AMPD. She is worthy and deserving of the AMPD Dean’s Student Leadership Award.”
Natalia Morales Caceres has been a dedicated advocate for students in Cinema and Media Arts (CMA), and across the School. She currently serves on the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, as the Vice President of Academic Affairs on CASA, as the President of the Film Students Association in CMA. Her commitment to her fellow students has been appreciated by many. As one of her nominators wrote, “Natalia is so deserving of this award; she truly embodies what it means to be a leader. She is a kind, intelligent, well-spoken, welcoming, and confident young woman. Natalia has been an extremely encouraging figure in my life this past year and always answers any questions I have with such a great attitude, truly affecting my experience as a first-year YorkU student in a positive way.”
About Gloria Mampuya…
Now graduated, Gloria came to York University looking for community and ways to develop her artistic expression. As they started to find this community, they also noticed the injustices and harm that were still present even on this incredibly diverse campus. This prompted the need to create ways of support for students on campus. Going through discrimination is incredibly painful but, having a community to rely on made it somewhat bearable for Gloria. This gave her the idea to create an association that would be a gathering place for all racialized students in AMPD and a communication bridge to faculty. Unfortunately, she ran out of time and wasn’t able to accomplish all the goals for the year. Still, the most important goal was achieved, creating a safer gathering space for marginalized students. There is so much strength in community, and Gloria is leaving the reins to this community to grow and create the environment where we can all thrive.
About Natalia Morales Caceres…
Natalia Morales Caceres is a 3rd Year Film Production student with a passion for cinema, advocacy, and the arts. She strives to make the Faculty of AMPD and YorkU a place that can best serve and ensure the excellence of its students within her roles on the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, Vice President of Academic Affairs on the Creative Arts Students Association, as well as representing the students of AMPD on Faculty Council and YorkU Senate. Her goals are to uphold equity, accessibility, and inclusion, focusing on ensuring an intersectional lens along with addressing student concerns and opinions in matters of academic governance and pedagogy. Within the Department of Cinema and Media Arts, she will be returning in her role as President of the Film Students Association this upcoming year, using this platform to build community and create resources for film students alongside the FSA team. Natalia believes that there is so much that AMPD can offer, and encourages all students to get involved in student-led initiatives and projects. She looks forward to continuing to serve the AMPD and CMA community to foster collaboration and uplift student voices in the coming years.