Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The Dean’s Student Leadership Award recognizes the outstanding co- and extra-curricular leadership of our 1L and 2L students and values both traditional and non-traditional forms of leadership, including:

  • Contribution to a sense of community at U of T Law;
  • Leadership related to equity and diversity at the law school and/or in the legal community;
  • Leadership on U of T Law committees, clubs, organizations, journals and/or student government;
  • Encouragement of fellow students to become involved in co-curricular and/or extra-curricular activities.

"Congratulations to all leadership award nominees on what you have accomplished, and thank you for all that you have brought to our Faculty," said Dean and University Professor Jutta Brunnée, James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair. "We look forward to witnessing your future contributions within the legal community." 

The recognized students are now in their next year of study.

The Dean’s Student Leadership Award recipients for 2021/2022 are:

1 L Awardees

Ben Kitching

Ben Kitching, 2L

Ben demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity through his many contributions to student life at the law school. He participated in Out in Law and created a self-advocacy guide for queer youth at Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC). His efforts on Faculty Council and input on the Students' Law Society (SLS) positively impacted the faculty's governance processes and the experiences of many students. 

Hayley VandePol

Hayley VandePol, 2L

As an active member of the Indigenous Law Students' Association (ILSA) and contributor to the Indigenous Initiatives Office (IIO) at U of T Law, Hayley demonstrated her commitment to community and the wellbeing of her fellow students. Hayley's leadership was also evident during the land-based teachings last year, during which she shared her knowledge and experience to enrich the experience of others. As an associate editor for the Indigenous Law Journal, a volunteer with the the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, and participant in intramurals, Hayley models an impressive level of community engagement.

2L Awardees

Jada-Diamond Dunn

Jada Dunn, 3L

Jada's contributions as co-president of the Black Law Students' Association (BLSA) demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity, and an ability to build connections between students and faculty while furthering the law school’s mission of supporting student success. By bringing her knowledge and experience to the implementation of the Black Future Lawyers conference, Jada has helped build meaningful connections for potential future cohorts of law students. She also participated as a senior editor for the Critical Analysis of Law Journal (CALJ) and has supported other students in making links between the classroom and the wider academic and legal spheres.

JD student Kim Gubbels

Kim Gubbels, 3L

As an advocate for mental health and wellness, Kim's leadership as president of the Faculty of Law Athletic Association kept the law school intramural program running during a challenging year and afforded many opportunities for her peers to engage and connect. Kim also contributed to the law school Student Mental Health Committee and shared knowledge and experiences as a student in the collaborative JD/MBA program, extending the impact of interventions and programming observed to be effective.

Recipients will be invited to a lunch with the Dean and will receive a special certificate recognizing their accomplishment.

Photos courtesy of the awardees.