Members! Endless Gratitude to the 2012-2013 Excomm members - thank you for your service! Please help us welcome the 2013-2014 Excomm!
Katherine Wagner (Chair) - Montreal, QC
Katherine’s love of nature was born during her childhood, which was spent frolicking in the lake with the frogs, and nurtured during her travels with her family to Canada’s many national parks. Upon her entrance to high school, she became president of the Earth Club, implementing various greening initiatives within Trafalgar School for Girls. In her graduating year, she represented Canada at the annual World School Forum in Italy where she spent two weeks debating and discussing the topic of Food and Safety. Katherine then spent the summer of 2010 at Université Laval participating in the Shad Valley International program, the focus of which is sustainable development in today’s business world. The month culminated with the presentation of the design for a biofilter that functions to remove trace pharmaceutical residues from water. Having graduated from the Arts and Sciences program at Marianopolis College with the highest grades of all Science students, Katherine will soon undertake a Joint Honours Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting with a Minor in Environment at McGill University in Montreal. In her spare time, Katherine enjoys reading fantasy, dancing ballet, and concocting avocado ice cream.
Niamh Leonard (Treasurer) - Montreal, QC
A student in economics and psychology, Niamh Leonard is interested in many of the conceptual and practical challenges facing the Sierra Youth Coalition. When not running or reading, she looks for ways to promote environmental and social well-being, whether it be at a global or personal level. She is interested in the concept of “meaningful work” and how to transform today’s work environments so as to promote worker well-being. After her undergraduate studies, she hopes to do a PhD degree in clinical psychology and work jointly with corporations in order to improve the working environment of their employees as a management consultant. She is proud to be a part of the Sierra Youth Coalition’s positive, solution-oriented work -- so important in the present Canadian climate.
Andrew McAllister (Secretary) - Toronto, ON
Andrew McAllister’s passion for the environment derives from his hometown in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where from a young age he enjoyed picking vegetables from his family’s garden and biking along the river. Andrew recently graduated from Ryerson University’s Performance Production program, where aside from managing theatre, served as the catalyst for much of Andrew’s social activism today.
While in school, Andrew founded an environmental group and began working on a campaign to eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus. Through creative activism and student pledges, the campaign led to the successful implementation of the Ryerson water pledge and a commitment to upgrade water fountains on campus. At this time, Andrew also served as the Ontario Regional Action Coordinator for SYC and launched the Ontario Bottled Water Free Challenge to assist other campuses in going back to the tap.
Andrew’s environmental activism has grown to challenging the corporate control of food on campus. This past year he served as Vice-President Operations for the Ryerson Students’ Union where he developed the Good Food Now campaign. Alongside a group of student volunteers, he worked to push for more sustainable and affordable food options in campus cafeterias, while developing an alternative food model for his school to adapt. He also worked to revitalize the student owned and operated café with new food options and student-run events.
Hello Dear SYC Members!
Let me start by congratulating you all on the amazing work you do. “Sustainability” and “youth” aren’t often said in the same sentence, and I am grateful for groups that aim to make the two align.
I was initiated to the actions of the SYC through Niamh Leonard, a fellow sustainability-junkie who thought (and was on point!) that this position would interest me. I am extremely grateful to have found out about the SYC, as an active seeker of new ways to spread awareness and organize events centered on sustainability in school-settings (having ended my mandate as VP Sponsorship of the John Molson Sustainability Business Group (JSG) this past April). A little about me: I am a sustainability-oriented Marketing Major (yes, they exist!) at Concordia University.
The SYC’s Youth Action Gatherings and the National Sustainable Campus Conference series particularly interested me, as they seem to be a great opportunity to apply fundraising and logistics skills that I had acquired during my time with the JSG. Helping raise over 10,000$ in sponsorships, as well as organizing one of Canada’s biggest Sustainable Business Conferences (Business Beyond Tomorrow) was an amazing experience, and I am confident that if elected to the SYC Exec Board, I will help fuel our team in achieving sponsorship goals and beyond.
I am presently an intern with Concordia’s Sustainable Communities Partnership program, where my tasks range from brainstorming on ways to remodeling a database of partnerships, to social media, to designing a poster for a “Green Swap Shop”. Having designed the McGill Global Food Security Club’s new logo (and currently working on a new one for a Community Garden Project!), I am no stranger to graphic design or advertising, which could be used to increase the SYC’s outreach.
Don’t think the world of advertising and sustainability can co-exist? Looking for a good new recipe for quinoa? Shoot me a line! I would love to start a conversation and get to know all of you.
Thank you again for this opportunity and hoping to meet you all very soon!
My name is Mallory Carpenter and I recently moved to Ottawa after spending a year traveling in Australia. Prior to that, I finished my master’s degree in Geography at Memorial University in Newfoundland. My research was in ocean floor habitat mapping in Northern Labrador. I was extremely lucky to be able to travel much of Newfoundland and Labrador during my time there, including several months spent in the Torngat Mountains working with polar bears, seals, and hanging out with the occasional whale. My undergraduate degree is also in Geography and GIS, from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.
I’ve also been involved in the academic community during my many years at university - in grad school I was a member of the Executive Board of Directors on behalf of the geography department, and additionally served on several sub-committees. During my time in Thunder Bay, I planned several events that served to fund memberships to CSA’s (community supported agriculture) for underprivileged families and women’s shelters. Now that I’m a graduate, I’m looking for ways to stay involved in environmental advocacy.
In my spare time I enjoy paddling, and walking my dogs. I’m very interested in pursuing a career in science, and environmental policy, and have recently been working as a biologist for a conservation organization in southern Ontario (Long Point World Biosphere Reserve).
Christina Wagner is a sixteen year old secondary four student at Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal. She is an active member of the school’s “Earth Club” and is very interested in environmental issues. For Earth Week 2013, she and the other Earth Club members organised a curbside cleanup of the school neighbourhood, a bake sale to raise money for Cyclo Nord-Sud and to finance a new school composter, a battery drive as well as a clothing and accessory swap called Trashn’Fashion to give a new home to people’s unwanted clothes. Last January, she traveled with her school to Japan to see and to learn about the aftereffects of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. She has also volunteered as a tree planter for Les Amis de La Montagne and often spends her Sunday mornings volunteering with younger kids. She also participated in her school’s Outer’s Club trips where she went canoe and winter camping, braving both thunderstorms and freezing February weather. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, watching movies, swimming and playing her bass and B-flat clarinets. Christina also enjoys travelling around Canada with her family and seeing its national parks and natural wonders.
Nicolas has many fond memories of growing up around Lac Marois in the Laurentian countryside. He spent many summers swimming, canoeing, and sailing on the lake as well as playing soccer and rugby. In 2008-2010, he served as Lac Marois Teen Club President where he led several charitable initiatives for Leucan and Sainte-Anne-Des-Lacs Citizens Association. The former worked to aid cancer stricken children in Quebec and the latter worked on preventing blue-green algae. Nicolas is currently entering his final years of studies at McGill University in Montreal where is working towards a Joint-Honors degree in Economics & Accounting. Nicolas is set to complete coursework in environmental management, environmental accounting and in environmental economics. Aside from his studies, Nicolas has recently joined Quantdary (an independent data-driven newsletter) and he has been writing articles for the McGill Bull & Bear. His most recent article covered a debate at McGill concerning the merits of divestment from the Canadian tar sands. Nicolas has also served as a Board Member of the Finance Management Committee for the Arts Undergraduate society where he is actively involved in budgeting and financial decision making.
University student by day, environmental educator by night, Graham May hails from the temperate rainforests of coastal BC. He has a passion for education, conservation, and outdoor recreation. In 2008 he was named an International Climate Champion, and co-founded the eco-education program I-Commit. This project went on to inundate over 15,000 unsuspecting students in five countries with a love of the environment. In 2010 he represented Canada at the Global Youth Summit in London, England. In 2012 he biked across Canada leading environmental workshops in small communities and raising money for youth-led grassroots environmental initiatives (www.grassroutesbiking.com). In the same summer, Graham co-led a youth delegation to the Rio+20 Earth Summit, lobbying for Polar sustainability. Currently he’s planning an environmental leadership capacity-building bike ride to the Canadian Arctic in August 2013, and coordinating the first session of the Youth Arctic Council. Graham studies Environmental Studies and International Relations at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Most importantly, he loves to sing, sail, and swing dance, though usually not all at the same time.
Lisen Bassett - Montreal, QC
Lisen Bassett is in her final year of Honors Philosophy and Environmental Studies at McGill. She grew up camping by the ocean during the summer and after having a serious talk with her whale-shaped floatation device, she decided to dedicate her life to helping marine life. She now hopes to accomplish this goal by studying the law. She has delved into philosophical work about the inherent value of nature and the moral responsibilities humans have to non-human life. Turning thought into action is an exciting challenge facing this generation and she is proud to work with the SYC to help other youth across Canada feel empowered to make their environmental dreams come true.
Megan Poss (Ex officio: Past Chair) – Montreal, QC
Megan recently graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce, and as a student was actively involved in leading and coordinating numerous environmental initiatives. She was Co-Chair for the nationally attended Desautels Business Conference on Sustainability, and was President of the undergraduate group ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s Organizational Practices’. Additionally, she worked with McGill’s SSMU Environment Committee on various events, internal policy documents, and communication strategies. Her particular passion lies in addressing issues of sustainable development and the role that today’s youth leaders will have on tomorrow’s economic landscape. She sees great potential for SYC student members to go on to be the next business, NGO, and political leaders our planet desperately needs. Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, she is currently based out of Montréal working for an organization which provides a platform for youth to pursue social entrepreneurial actions. In her spare time she loves hiking, trail-running, cooking up vegan dishes, and seeking out urban green spaces.
The Executive Committee (affectionately known as the Excomm) is SYC’s official decision-making committee. Composed of ten enthusiastic youth from across the country (two are under 18, and the rest are under 30), the Excomm is responsible for shaping SYC’s direction, organizational governance and supporting the staff team.
Excommers have all sorts of exciting roles and responsibilities. As SYC leaders, they work on:
- strategic planning
- self-governance and evaluation.
Excomm members can also be responsible for:
- funder relations (if needed)
- representing SYC to Member of Parliaments in their region
- supporting the Sustainable Campuses Regional Action Committee of their region
David Biggar, Ariel Charney, Ellen Dashwood, Michelle Gagnon-Creeley, Susan Kim, Joanna MacDonald, Megan Poss, Farhana Sidiquee, Megan Stewart, Katherine Wagner
Joanna Macdonald, Adam MacDonald, Megan Poss, Farhana Sidiquee, Ellen Quigley, Louise Viellard, Jessica Magonet, Melissa Love
2009 - 2010
Maryam Adragni, Britney Allen, Brendon Goodmurphy, Maggie Knight, Marc Labelle, Adam MacIsaac, Jessica Magonet, Ellen Quigley, Meagan Wilson
2008 – 2009
Britney Allen, Lara Berliner, Greg Boyle, Joanna Dafoe, Brendon Goodmurphy, Sam Green, Laura Keating, Adam MacIsaac, Josée Madéïa, Megan Wilson
2007 – 2008
Neegann Aaswaakshin, Joanna Dafoe, Elizabeth Fraser, Sam Green, Justin Grenier, Laura Keating, Adam MacIsaac, Josée Madéïa, Nik Parent, Jake Torrie, Angharad Wylie
2006 – 2007
Paul Alderton, Barbara Hayes, Liz McDowell, Tim Murphy, Elissa Smith, Jonas Weselake-George
Dev Aujla, Catherine Boyd, Ed Keeble, Rosanna Nicol, Zani Showler, Amelia Warren