2007 Bryden Award Winners

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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 Karen Kraft Sloan
Outstanding Contribution Maxwell Gotlieb
Local Hero Charmaine Courtis
Redefine the Possible Paul Alofs
One to Watch Jennifer Corriero

Pinnacle Achievement

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

Karen Kraft Sloan (MES ’90)

Karen Kraft Sloan is a passionate environmentalist whose work has shaped national policy and inspired many Canadians. During her 11-year tenure as a Liberal member of Parliament, she served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment, co-chaired the parliamentary standing committee on environment and sustainable development, and played an important role in the government’s signing of the Kyoto Accord.

Kraft Sloan organized the 1999 and 2000 Eco-Summits that brought scientists, policy experts and parliamentarians together. She was awarded a gold medal in the Sierra Club of Canada 2000 Eco-Olympics. In 2002, she received the Douglas J. Pimlott Award, Canadian Nature Federation’s most prestigious award. Kraft Sloan was appointed Canada’s ambassador for the environment in 2005. More recently, she founded the environmental consulting firm EcoNexus. She is the special advisor to York’s vice-president of research and innovation.

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Outstanding Contribution

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

Maxwell Gotlieb (BA ’72, LLB ’75, LLM ’97)

Maxwell Gotlieb is a highly respected lawyer with Toronto’s Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP. A member of the York University Foundation Board of Directors, he exceeded all expectations by co-chairing the 2006 Brazilian Ball Carnival Event with his wife, Heather. The event generated $2 million in funding for the Accolade Project and immeasurable recognition for the University and its Faculty of Fine Arts.

In addition to his financial and volunteer contributions, Gotlieb has made significant academic impacts to York and other institutions. He was a sessional law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School for 11 years, instructed at the Admission Course of Law Society of Upper Canada and taught at Ryerson Polytechnic University. Aside from York, Gotlieb sits on the boards of numerous public, private and charitable organizations, including the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and the Baycrest Centre Foundation.

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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

Charmaine Courtis (BA Hons. ’77)

As a dedicated York grad, Charmaine Courtis has earned the lasting praise and respect of students, faculty, staff and alumni. Since accepting her first staff position at York in 1972, Courtis has worked her way up to become the executive director of Student Services and International Relations at the Schulich School of Business.

Courtis has shown exceptional leadership in improving the student experience by restructuring financial aid, enhancing Schulich’s diversity and international reach, and going far beyond her official duties. She has acted as a mentor for several student clubs for women, including the highly successful Women in Leadership organization. Her work has given Schulich one of the highest percentages of female graduate students in Canada.

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Redefine the Possible

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

Paul Alofs (MBA ’83)

Paul Alofs’ life-altering experience came while taking care of his mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 2002. Since then, the former music industry executive has been a key leader in the Canadian non-profit sector.

Currently president and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Alofs has served as the board Chair of Covenant House. Prior to making his mark in the non-profit sector, Alofs headed up HMV stores, BMG Music, North American Disney stores and the strategic business units of MP3.com. His many awards include Music Industry Executive of the Year, Innovative Retailer of the Year and Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

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One to Watch

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

Jennifer Corriero (BA ’03, MES ’06)

Jennifer Corriero is an innovative leader who has forged her own unique path to success as the co-founder and executive director of TakingITGlobal (TIG), one of the world's most successful online international development organizations for youth. TIG has active members in more than 200 countries. It is available in 12 languages, receives more than 1.4 million hits every day and has received many awards around the world.

Corriero has worked as a consultant and advisor on youth strategy for organizations such as Microsoft, VanCity and the Ontario Science Centre among others. She has been a speaker at dozens of events and conferences around the world, such as the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva). She has received numerous awards for her work and has been featured in the media, including The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Fast Company magazine and ABC News.

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