IBBME Community Leaders Recognized

Zoryana Salo wins Cressy Student Leadership Award; Sandra Walker, Manager of Operations, is awarded Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Leadership award

Zoryana Salo carries herself with an air of efficiency. It’s something she has cultivated through more than a few volunteer activities – from organizing two days of events for IBBME’s Scientific Day to volunteering for the Science outreach program, Let’s Talk Science.

For two years Salo volunteered with StemCellTalks, which opens a dialogue with high school students about stem cell science. One of the program’s projects is the organization of a summer camp that Let’s Talk Science puts on at the Sandy Lake First Nations.

“We put together a week long program for Sandy Lake Students between the ages of 5 and 18 centering on health and bone health, and hands on activities centered around the theme of botany, then send volunteers up to the community,” she says. The summer camp serves a community of approximately 2,500 people.

Salo is also responsible for organizing IBBME’s annual tradition, Scientific Day. Along with a legion of volunteers, Salo went further this year in the addition of a Career Fair and Career panel. Over 200 students and industry guests registered for the event, which brought to IBBME companies such as Thermo Fisher Canada and IBM Canada.

“Zoryana is one of the pillars of the Biomedical Engineering Student Association and has represented our graduate students during our recent external review and within the Graduate Student Union,” said Professor Julie Audet, Graduate Program Coordinator for IBBME.

Read the full story on the Cressy Student Leadership Award recipients at this link.

Also awarded at a ceremony hosted by Dean Cristina Amon on April 24 th was Sandra Walker , IBBME’s Manager of Operations. Walker, who has been honoured in the past for her work with Engineering Science, says she was “thrilled” to receive an award recognizing her leadership in the faculty.

Walker joined the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering in 2000 as Administrator of the Division of Environmental Engineering.

“I was so excited to join FASE because I have a huge interest in architecture, and the thought of working with two expert civil engineers like Phil Byer and Bryan Karney was like a dream come true for me. ” says Walker of her first post. “They really started the dialogue about sustainability and efficiency, back in a day when ‘green architecture’ was only starting to be incorporated into building design,” she says proudly.
That post led to her next, as Administrative Coordinator of the Division of Engineering Science where, Walker relates, she had “the honour of working with Yu-Ling Cheng, who was Chair of the Division in 2003.”

Through a long and storied career that involved stints at the Mayor’s office and the Royal Conservatory of Music, ‘Sandy,’ as she is known throughout the Faculty, chooses her positions by connecting her experience to her passions.

“I would say that urban and community affairs are my primary interest,” she says. “I’ve always lived in Toronto and I love this city. I get very excited at development proposals: improving buildings, public spaces, or things that energize people like public art.”

“This [leadership] award is given to a staff member who demonstrates exemplary support for the Faculty’s mission and has made significant, sustained contributions to the Faculty,” stated IBBME’s Director, Professor Paul Santerre , of the award.

“I’m happy to present Sandra Walker with this award in recognition for her superb work managing both the day to day operations of IBBME, as well as major projects like the renovation of our teaching lab, and for her efforts to create a sense of community across the Institute.”

Currently, Walker is challenging herself in a secondment position as Director of the Dean’s office in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “I always look for the new pieces that will both challenge and allow me to expand my understanding of how the pieces of the puzzle fit together here at UofT and this secondment to the Dean’s Office has delivered richly on this front.”

Her reputation as a dedicated, passionate leader, however, proceeds her. “I have never seen a more committed Operations Manager in my 20 years as a professor at the University,” Dr. Santerre says of IBBME’s Manager.