The Ontario Association of Emergency Managers (OAEM) Student Awards were created to showcase the upcoming talent we have within our growing emergency management community. The criteria sought after for the OAEM Student Awards are as follows: high academic excellence, volunteerism, a high level of enthusiasm and interest in emergency management field and contributions to the emergency management community.

About the Awards:

Brian Hook Memorial Award: 

This award is named after Major Brian Hook, who was a past president of OAEM. He attended Royal Roads University and The Royal Military College, and served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons from 1971 to 1999. Following his retirement from the army in 1999, Major Brian Hook spent 3 years with the Emergency Management Office in York Region before retiring again in 2002. He very much believed in helping students and giving back to your community, which is why we have the Brian Hook Memorial Award today.

The Brian Hook Memorial Award, which honours the memory of Major Brian Hook (CD), is granted to a student who has made significant contributions to the field of Emergency Management while maintaining a high level of academic excellence ($1,500). 

A Normand Academic Award:

The award is named after Alain Normand, an author, lecturer, teacher expert in Emergency Management, and a past OAEM President. He directed relief efforts in emergencies such as the Saguenay floods, the Quebec Ice Storm, the Haiti repatriation, and the Calgary floods amongst others. He has been the Emergency Manager for the City of Brampton, since 1999. Apart from being the past-President of OAEM, he sits on many national, provincial and local committees. Alain Normand is the recipient of the 2010 Canadian Award for Emergency Management from the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness. He teaches emergency management and business continuity at York University and Sheridan College. Alain is also the author of a series of novels on emergency management published by Authorhouse and available at Alain was involved in the coordination of the City of Brampton emergency response to the December 2013 Ice Storm; and, Fort McMurray relief operations as a Red Cross volunteer, where he was an Emergency Response Team Leader coordinating logistical aspects of national response from the Red Cross Mississauga Headquarters.

The A. Normand Academic Award is granted to a student who has showcased an exemplary academic paper relating to emergency management and/or business continuity ($1,000).

President’s Award: 

As an association, the OAEM Board of Directors wanted to highlighted professionals who have gone back to school to either upgrade their level of academic learning or change professions, as professionals bring with them skills and experiences that can be of great assistance within the emergency management field. Furthermore, as a volunteer association, we wanted to highlight the contributions that these professionals have made to emergency management.

The President’s Award is granted to a professional who has chosen to enhance their emergency management knowledge and practice, while maintaining a high level of academic excellence ($500).


Brian Hook Memorial Award Winner: Marie-Eve Bastien from York University

Marie-Eve Bastien is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Disaster and Emergency Management at York University. Previously, she received her B.A. in International Development from McGill University. During her last semester, she went to study in New Zealand where she had the chance to see the 2011 Christchurch earthquake’s damages. This is where her interest in disaster and emergency management sparked. She then worked as a screening officer at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, where the security and safety mindset became part of her daily life. Marie-Eve embraced her transition to Toronto in the Fall by becoming involved in her new Emergency Management community. She decided to run for the Disaster and Emergency Management Student Association (DEMSA) and was subsequently elected as President. Under this function, she has concurrently organized and planned multiple educational events, namely IMS 200 training, BEM training, Crisis Communications workshops, and other social events. She is also volunteering as a Personal Disaster Assistance Responder for the Canadian Red Cross. This summer, Marie-Eve is travelling to Istanbul for an internship at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Hub where she will work for the disaster risk reduction and energy portfolio. Marie-Eve hopes to deepen her understanding of Disaster and Emergency Management through this international experience.

Marie-Eve Bastien

A. Normand Academic Award Winner:Brady Podloski from York University

Brady Podloski is a first year Masters Student in Disaster and Emergency Management at York University. In his first semester, Brady joined the Disaster and Emergency Management Student Association (DEMSA) as the Alumni and Faculty Liaison and Logistics Officer (shared responsibility). Additionally, Brady works at York University’s, Office of Emergency Management as an Emergency Management Assistant, where he was the lead researcher for the Hazard Identification Risk Assessment, analyzing the Explosion/Fire and HAZMAT vulnerabilities and their frequencies for the University. Brady is currently working on completing a Major Research Paper (Master’s Thesis), where he is analyzing and clarifying the complexity within the topic of rising sea level displacement. He seeks to produce new and significant research for this topic that may assist managers and policy makers in the future. Brady also works as a Research Assistant for the ARGUS: Radar-based All-Weather Roadway Safety System Project. His role in the project is to assist with the research and analysis of the factors that contribute to vehicle collisions with first responders while outside of their vehicles.

Recently, Brady took part in the University of Geneva’s Volcanic Risk Management program where he was able to learn about various volcanic hazards and then participated in a field study working with volcanic scientists and gaining hands on experience.

Brady Podloski

President’s Award Winner:Stephanie Roy from Algonquin College

Stephanie’s interest in emergency management took root when she began her career in Office Administration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (AFFES). After completing her first contract with AFFES, Stephanie was able to acquire a permanent position working at the MNRF Cochrane District office. While in Cochrane, Stephanie has completed many training opportunities offered through Emergency Management Ontario and Algonquin College’s Emergency Management program. Stephanie’s passion for emergency management led to her participation on the Cochrane District Emergency Response Team and in the annual river surveillance flights for Northern Ontario communities. Additionally, Stephanie completes annual reviews and revisions to the District’s Emergency Response and Continuity of Operations plans. Also, to further develop her operational experience in Emergency Management, Stephanie completed an acting assignment working in the MNRF’s Emergency Operations Centre (MEOC) in Sault Ste. Marie for the 2018 flood and fire season. Stephanie’s devotion to the field of emergency management continues to grow as she pursues further education in this field and hopes to one day have a permanent career in Emergency Management with the MNRF.

Stephanie Roy

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