Meet OAEM’s 2022 Student Scholarship Winners!

Meet OAEM’s 2022 Student Scholarship Winners!

Every year OAEM is happy to offer three different student awards. In order to apply students must be enrolled in an emergency management related program and either have an Ontario address of residence or attend an educational institution in Ontario. This year we were lucky to have applicants from a variety of post-secondary programs across the province. The competition was close, with many detailed and passionate professional packages submitted. Many thank yous to everyone who applied!

Marg Verbeek President’s Award is named after Marg Verbeek, the first President and one of the founding members of OAEM. Marg was also the President of the International Association of Emergency Managers in 2005-06. She studied at Ryerson University and Royal Roads University and has more than 30 years of emergency management experience. This award highlights a professional who has gone back to school to either upgrade their level of academic learning or change in professions to emergency management and is based on their grade point average (GPA) and contributions they have made to the field. The value of this award is $500.

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This year we are happy to present this scholarship to Jamie Hvidsten. Jamie works as a Primary Care Paramedic in Ottawa, Ontario. She is currently completing her first year at Royal Roads University in the MA in Disaster and Emergency Management program. She also holds a BSc in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. Jamie became interested in furthering her education in disaster and emergency management when she had the opportunity to work on many Covid-19 initiatives such as vaccination and swabbing programs for vulnerable populations in Ottawa. Her current interests involve disaster prevention and mitigation for vulnerable populations. She recently has accepted a contract to work as an Emergency Management and Business Continuity Coordinator with The City of Ottawa.

A.Normand Academic Award is named after Alain Normand, an author, lecturer, teacher and expert in Emergency Management, and a past OAEM President. Alain directed relief efforts in emergencies such as the Saguenay floods, the Quebec Ice Storm, the Haiti repatriation, and the Calgary floods. He was a long time Emergency Manager for the City of Brampton until his retirement in 2021. And he teaches emergency management and business continuity at York University and Sheridan College. For this award students submitted a 1,200 – 1,500 word essay related to emergency management and business continuity. The value of this award is $1,000.

A person smiling for the cameraDescription automatically generated with low confidenceThis year we are happy to present this scholarship to Michael Storozuk. Michael has been a police officer for over 27 years in Alberta and Ontario. He completed his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Athabasca University during this time. Currently, he is enrolled in the Master of Public Safety – Emergency Management program through Wilfrid Laurier University, with an anticipated completion date in August 2023. Michael has garnered an appreciation for the vast emergency management field and looks forward to using his work and educational experiences to teach Emergency Management courses after retirement. When he is not working on his academic pursuits, you can find him enjoying family time with his kids and grandkids, where he seeks to develop an appreciation for their next new adventures.

Brian Hook Memorial Award honours the memory of Major Brian Hook (CD) who was a past president of OAEM. He attended Royal Roads 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 the community. This award is given to a student who has made significant contributions to the field of Emergency Management while maintaining a high level of academic excellence. The value of this award is $1,500.

This year we are happy to present this scholarship to Sarah Cowan. Sarah is enrolled in a Master’s program in Disaster and Emergency Management (MDEM) at York University. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science from the University of Waterloo where she graduated with distinction. In her first year of the MDEM program, Sarah was elected President of the Disaster and Emergency Management Student Association (DEMSA; 2020-2021) and worked diligently with the association executive to bring academic, social, and professional development opportunities to her fellow students. She is engaged in several research projects to understand decision making processes better, and the application of DEM principles in a variety of social and professional contexts. Outside of the classroom, Sarah is an active member of the IAEM Bulletin Editorial Committee, and a Co-Chair of the CRHNet Emerging Professionals Committee. 

Thank you again to everyone who applied for an award this year and to this year’s winners for their incredible dedication! Our field is better for having you be a part of it. Stay tuned next fall for the next open awards call!