2005 Bryden Award Recipients

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A series of awards presented each year to grads who have attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

Pinnacle Achievement Sandie Rinaldo
Outstanding Contribution Helen K. Sinclair
Local Hero Steve Dranitsaris
Redefine the Possible Debra Lynne Brown
One to Watch Farouk Jiwa


Sandie Rinaldo Pinnacle Achievement

A graduate who has achieved distinction in their field and whose integrity and ability inspires alumni, faculty, staff and students

Sandie Rinaldo (BFA ’73)

Sandie Rinaldo is a Canadian TV journalist who has anchored the weekend CTV National News since 1985. In 2004, she also began co-hosting W5 with veteran news anchor, Lloyd Robertson.

Rinaldo arrived at CTV in 1973, only one week after graduating from York. In 1976, she joined Canada AM as a reporter-at-large and then became the first woman in Canadian history to anchor a daily network newscast when she was promoted to news anchor in 1980.

Rinaldo has been recognized multiple times for her news coverage by the International Film and TV Festival of New York, the Radio-Television News Directors Association and the Gemini Awards.

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Helen K. Sinclair Outstanding Contribution

A graduate who has dedicated their work to the advancement of York through exceptional service, commitment and/or contributions

Helen K. Sinclair (BA '73)

Helen Sinclair is the founder and CEO of BankWorks and BCN.tv, a satellite communications company, which runs a network of over 200 interactive virtual classrooms and meeting rooms in 70 hotels and conference centres across Canada.

Previously, Sinclair was president of the Canadian Bankers Association and held a variety of positions with The Bank of Nova Scotia. In addition to the Board of Governors at York, Sinclair sits on the boards of the Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. She has had extensive involvement in the not-for-profit sector and is past Chair of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

Sinclair holds an MA in economics from the University of Toronto, an honorary doctorate from Acadia University (1993) and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. She was also the 1973 recipient of York’s Murray Ross Award.

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Steve Dranitsaris Local Hero

A graduate and employee who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in their devotion to the University with contributions, achievements, leadership and/or early accomplishments

Steve Dranitsaris (BA '73)

Steve Dranitisaris is the senior executive officer in the office of York’s Vice-President Finance and Administration. His remarkable track record with the University spans 30 years and includes co-founding the alumni sports program, editing Alumni News, initiating the alumni annual fund program, and founding York’s Sport Hall of Fame.

During his career, Dranitisaris has held the positions of executive officer of the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, associate and acting director of Private Funding, assistant and acting director of Alumni Affairs, student liaison officer at Stong College and convocation officer. He has also been involved in many University committees, task forces, building projects, and student scholarships. For the past 10 years, he has served on the York University Alumni Association and been alumni representative to the University Senate.

Dranitisaris received the 1993 President’s CPM Award and the University’s 1996 Health & Safety Award. In 1994, the Master’s Committee Room in Stong College was named in his honour.

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Debra Lynne Brown Redefine the Possible

A graduate who has demonstrated leadership and successes that are innovative, unconventional and daring

Debra Lynne Brown (BFA Spec. Hons. '78)

Debra Lynne Brown is an internationally renowned choreographer. Serving as principal choreographer at Cirque du Soleil since 1987, Brown’s many credits include Alegria, Slatimbanco, Mystère, and La Nouba. She also served as principal choreographer for The Golden Ass by the Canadian Opera Company, The Ghosts of Versailles by the Metropolitan Opera and many other prominent productions.

Her film credits include Catwoman, Barney’s Great Adventure, Journey of Man and the multidisciplinary film Satie and Suzanne, which won a 1997 Grammy Award. Brown has also worked with Aerosmith, Björk, Celine Dion, and Madonna, choreographing videos, live performances and television specials.

Brown has won eight national awards in gymnastics, having choreographed for individuals and teams across North America. She also created and produced Apogée, a trampoline-based ballet that has appeared at prestigious events and galas throughout North America and Europe.

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Farouk Jiwa One to Watch

A graduate who has become a remarkable professional and/or achieved community accomplishments early in their career

Farouk Jiwa (MES '03)

Farouk Jiwa is currently senior manager at CARE Enterprise Partners, a division of CARE Canada that seeks to apply innovative, market-based approaches to poverty reduction in the developing world. He is also the co-founder and director of Honey Care Africa, an innovative social enterprise promoting sustainable community-based beekeeping across East Africa.

Jiwa is the recipient of a number of prestigious international awards including: the Equator Initiative Prize at the World Summit on Sustainable Development; the International Development Marketplace Innovation Award from the World Bank and George Soros Open Societies Institute; and the World Business Award from the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum and the United Nations Development Programme. Jiwa was also recognized by the Schwab Foundation at the 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos as among the World's Most Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs.

Jiwa also holds an BSc (Honours) in environmental biology from Queen's University.

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