RNFOO Award winners 2020 Abamonga

Nichole Abamonga is a fourth-year nursing student at Ryerson University. She aims to pursue a career in obstetrical nursing and progress further to becoming a Family Health Nurse Practitioner promoting the values of primary health care and health equity, at both the local and global level. Besides work, she loves drawing on paper and completing jigsaw puzzles.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Agbanti Sandra

Sandra Agbanti is in her final year of the Second Entry Nursing Program at York University. She has extensive experience in counselling and program development for adults with developmental disabilities. Additionally, she is involved in various community and leadership activities involving mentoring, building emotional intelligence, and health promotion to reduce cardiovascular disease.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020
Zizo Aldaqqaq is a third year BScN student at uOttawa engaged in research, leadership, and community initiatives. As Vice President of Academic Affairs in the Undergraduate Nursing Student Association, Zizo has developed an innovative nursing mentorship program that has contributed to academical and social success for nursing students. 

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Belita Emily

Emily Belita is a PhD student at McMaster University. Her research interests include competence development in evidence-informed decision-making, knowledge translation, and community health nursing.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Biggar Louise

Louise Biggar is a first-year BScN student at the University of Toronto, from which she also received her MBA. Louise has 20 years of involvement with local and global social justice issues, a deep understanding of system-level trends and issues within Ontario’s healthcare system, and a profound passion for excellence in evidence-based patient care.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Bird Marissa

Marissa Bird is a third-year doctoral nursing student at McMaster University. Inspired by her clinical experience as a pediatric intensive care nurse, the aim of Marissa’s work is to improve clinical and quality of life outcomes for medically complex children.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Bourque Dana

Dana Bourque is in her final year of the accelerated BScN program at the University of Toronto. While completing her BSc in Bio-Medical Science at the University of Guelph, Dana begin volunteering at Camp Trillium and found her passion for nursing. Since beginning her BScN program she has participated in many interprofessional volunteer opportunities and professional development activities.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Bowers Toby

Nursing is a second career for Toby Bowers; previous experience in the non-profit sector showed him the importance of social justice and the determinants of health. He currently works as an RPN in the Nursing Resource Team at Toronto General Hospital, and as a PSW instructor at Humber College, while studying for his BScN through Nipissing University.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 cross nicole

Nicole Cross is in her first year of a Master of Nursing in Leadership in Health Care Policy and Education at Ryerson University. She completed her BScN at Western University in 2013. She has worked in both acute care and critical care units specializing in surgery, trauma and neurosurgery. She is currently working in the role of Advanced Practice Nurse doing clinical outreach as part of the Neurosurgery Education and Outreach Network at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Dinyarian Camellia

Camellia Dinyarian is in her final year of the second-entry BScN program at the University of Toronto. While working in knowledge translation and volunteering as a soccer coach for children with disabilities, she recognized the complexities pertaining to the navigation of systems and resources. Camellia developed an interest in nursing after collaborating with nurses on implementation projects, as well as speaking to parents as a coach.

Read more: Camellia Dinyarian

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Dos Santos Stephanie

Stephanie Dos Santos is a second-year student in the accelerated BScN program at the University of Toronto. During her Honour’s BSc degree at UofT, Stephanie worked and volunteered in various healthcare settings where she developed and strengthened her admiration for nursing as a career.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Durepos Pamela

Pamela Durepos is a PhD nursing student at McMaster University and works in the Intensive Care Unit at Hamilton Health Sciences. She is also a volunteer educator for the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton. Pam's research focuses on supporting the mental health and well-being of family caregivers in dementia as they prepare for end-of-life.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Early Kate

Kate is currently enrolled in the MScN/Pediatric NP programs at the University of Toronto. Additionally, she is working towards a collaborative specialization in global health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Kate has worked as a staff nurse for the past 8 years; her passion for pediatric critical care led her to extend her nursing work internationally.

Read more: Kate Earley

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Elliott Melissa

Melissa Elliott is an RPN in the field of Gerontological nursing. She is currently enrolled in the University of Windsor’s bridging program to obtain her Bachelor’s in Science and Nursing. Her long-term goal is to obtain her Doctorate so she will be able to teach and participate in research with a focus on geriatrics.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Evangelisto Aleda

Aleda is currently working as an RPN within an acute care setting while furthering her education through the RPN to BScN program at McMaster University. Aleda utilizes her knowledge obtained from her BA in community health to provide health education and strives to advocate for holistic based care. She looks forward to building a nursing career within a critical care setting. Aleda is committed to lifelong learning, and strives to achieve autonomous practice as a long-term goal.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Gandzi Marina

Marina Gandzi is in her fourth year of the BScN program at McMaster University. While completing her degree, Marina took on a variety of leadership roles within the university, working in student government, as a nursing peer tutor and as a teaching assistant. In the future, Marina looks forward to completing her NCLEX and pursuing a career aligned with her passions for health equity and critical care.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Gumapac Nathaniel

Nathaniel Gumapac is a second year BNSc Student at Queen’s University where he is actively involved in the university community through positions in the Nursing Science Society, School of Nursing, and as co-founder of the Queen’s Filipino Association. Passionate about mental health, Nathaniel ardently advocates for other students in his program as Year President and Orientation Executive, coordinating events tailored to improving their university experience.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Haines Marlene

Marlene Haines is a PhD Student in the School of Nursing at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on the overdose crisis, harm reduction, safer supply, managed opioid programs, and drug policy. Marlene is also a Nurse Coordinator with Ottawa Inner City Health where she manages, coordinates, and facilitates comprehensive care in the community for individuals experiencing homelessness and people who use substances.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Hektor Angelica

Angelica Hektor is a second year Practical Nursing Student at Confederation College. While working as a respite provider, she spent many hours on a paediatric unit and subsequently developed a passion for nursing. After becoming an RPN, she plans to obtain her BScN and work in the area of paediatrics. 

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Houston Amanda

Amanda Houston (nee McIntyre) is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, at Western University, and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. Her doctoral research explores various avenues to improve emergency health care. She is also the senior researcher in the neurorehabilitation research team under Dr. Robert Teasell at Parkwood Institute in London, Ontario.

Read more: Amanda Houston

Sean Hui

Sean Hui is a fourth-year nursing student at McMaster University. Having developed a passion for evidence-based practice, Sean has conducted research in the field of musculoskeletal health at St. Michael’s Hospital which led to  publishing the paper "Having Caregiving Responsibilities Affects Management of Fragility Fractures and Bone Health" in Osteoporosis International.  Sean’s interest in pedagogy and education has led him to collaborate with faculty members in McMaster’s School of Nursing to implement virtual simulation in BScN Professional Practice Courses. Sean’s goal post-graduation is to pursue a career in academia conducting clinical research.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 johnson Samantha

Samantha Johnson is doctoral student in the first cohort of York University's new PhD of Nursing program. She is affiliated with Toronto Public Health, has multiple publications in mental health and nursing education, and a research interest in the field of public health nursing. Samantha’s doctoral study aims to examine the concept of advocacy and identify strategies that support greater involvement of public health nurses in the development of social justice initiatives.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Kelsall Jenna

Jenna Kelsall is a first-year student in the Scholar Practitioner Program at Nipissing University in Toronto, Ontario. She completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto where she began to uncover her passion to serve marginalized populations. Her areas of interest include social justice, harm reduction, and culturally competent care. She strives to be a leader among her peers by advocating for social justice education and the use of evidence-based practice. Jenna aspires to a career in public health nursing.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Kennedy Victoria

Logan Kennedy is a first-year doctoral student in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University. Her proposed dissertation research will examine the sexual health of diverse young women in the Canadian context. Logan has over a decade of clinical experience in the areas of women’s health, sexual and reproductive health, adolescent health, and HIV. Her clinical and research interests include the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young women, women's health equity, and the social and structural determinants of health.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Lastimosa Rodolfo

Rodolfo D. Lastimosa Jr. is an internationally educated professional from the Philippines where was a PT, RN, Midwife and holds a MN degree. In Canada, he is an RPN pursuing his RN through the BScN for IENs program at York University. Rodolfo is developing his leadership skills through a number of positions on and off-campus, including IEN President of Class 2020; executive member of the Nursing Students Association of York and the Nursing Student Tutoring, Ambassadorship and Mentorship Program; Faculty of Health Student Senator; and Vice President of the Nursing Students of Ontario of the RNAO. Rodolfo looks forward to making a difference in the lives of the people as an RN in Canada.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Lawrence Kim

Kimberly Lawrence is a graduate student at Ryerson University, focusing on Leadership in Health Care Policy and Education. Her clinical background in intensive care at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has inspired her to influence advancements in nursing practice and quality care. Kimberly is passionate about quality improvement concerning trauma critical care and interprofessional collaboration.

Read more: Kimberly Lawrence

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Le Ben

Ben is in his final year of the Second Entry BScN at the University of Toronto. His previous degrees include a Hons. BSc from UofT in Immunology and Psychology, and a MA in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University. He is currently the Director of Finance of the Nursing Undergraduate Society, and the Co-Chair of the Queer and Trans Nursing Coalition. He also works part time in Long-Term Care as a nursing clerk/receptionist. He is interested in Neuro-Trauma and Emergency nursing, and eventually returning to Long-Term Care as a nurse manager.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 lin li

Lin Li is a PhD student in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. She also works as an RN at McMaster Children’s Hospital. Her experiences working with children and youth with medical complexity has led her to pursue research aimed at improving health and quality of life for these children, youth, and their families. Her doctoral work focuses on supporting the transition to adulthood and transfer to adult services for youth with medical complexity and their families.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Mamiza Marian

Marian Mamiza is completing her second-entry BScN program at McMaster University. Her previous BScH degree from OntarioTech University is evidence of her passion for healthcare. Marion’s decision to pursue a nursing career was highly influenced by her need for continuous learning and personal growth through holistic and meaningful interactions with others, especially at the bedside. Marian is highly interested in specializing within a neurology/neurosurgery unit, and hopes to lead a younger generation of nurses through preceptorship while advancing her own journey of life-long learning.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Mangaoil Remar

Remar is a fourth-year PhD candidate at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. He is currently a Senior Manager of Operations and Practice (after-hours) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He completed a BScN at McMaster University in 2008 and a MN at the University of Toronto in 2013. Remar’s clinical background includes emergency mental health and forensic nursing. Remar’s research uses a mixed method design to explore nurses’ appraisal of seclusion and restraint use, and their decision to participate in immediate staff debriefing in inpatient mental health settings.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Mazzarello Sasha

Sasha Mazzarello is a second-year student in the compressed BScN program at the University of Toronto. She completed her BSc in Biomedical Science and her MSc in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. She spent six years working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre. Sasha is interested in pediatric nursing, health equity, pedagogy and research.

Read more: Sasha Mazzarello

Rebecca McElroy

Rebecca McElroy received her BSc in Life Sciences from Queen's University and is now in her final year of the accelerated BScN program at the University of Toronto.  Her decision to pursue a career in nursing largely came from her experiences with a health education NGO, where she worked in a variety of community settings to explore aspects of sexual and mental health with youth of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Rebecca hopes eventually to work with Indigenous populations in remote areas of Canada where there is an enhanced need for access to culturally safe health care services and health care professionals.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Mcleod Grace

Grace McLeod is a third year BScN student at the University of Windsor. Grace has a passion for ensuring best practice, supporting those around her, and encouraging healthy work and learning environments through her various mentoring and volunteering roles. Grace is looking forward to becoming an RN and further implementing these principles in the field.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Medeiros Christina

Christina Medeiros is a second year PhD of Nursing Student at University of Toronto, a Performance Measurement Specialist at RNAO, assists in conducting research projects at SickKids and UofT, and teaches nursing courses at George Brown College. Christina's thesis focuses on the decision-making needs of parents of children with severe cerebral palsy recommended for hip surgery. Christina became interested in this research area when she was a staff nurse in the orthopaedic surgical unit at SickKids and wanted to aid parents who voiced their concerns postoperatively.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Millington Anna

Anna is a second-year nursing student at the University of Toronto, with a previous degree in physics from McMaster University. She is very excited about exploring all of the possibilities open to her as a new graduate nurse! Her long-term goals include pursuing a career in research.  In addition to her studies, Anna currently spends her time volunteering in the community, singing in a choir and working in health policy research.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Morgan Baylie
Baylie Morgan is in her second year of the Accelerated Standing Track BNS program at Queen's University. During her Honours BSc at University of Ottawa with she gained invaluable research experience.  At Queen’s, she is involved in the community, providing guidance to new students by coordinating exam review sessions and mentoring a first-year student. Baylie values integrity, compassion and lifelong learning.

Read more: Baylie Morgan

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Nguyen Megan

Megan Nguyen is a Public Health Science PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Megan's doctoral thesis uses an arts-based  approach to explore how individuals with cancer experience their emotions during treatment. Her aim is to mobilize different ways of thinking about emotional distress through the arts for the purpose of informing nursing interventions to better support cancer patients’ emotional needs and ultimately, to advance the quality of oncology care.

Elizabeth Orr

Elizabeth Orr is a PhD student at McMaster University’s School of Nursing. She has also worked with critically ill newborns and their families for over 13 years in the NICU at Sick Kids. Through her clinical work, Elizabeth developed a passion for seeking ways that nursing care can be delivered to achieve the best possible outcomes for this special population. Her thesis explores the transition-home experiences of young mothers with infants discharged from the NICU.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Pearo Chelsy

Chelsy Pearo is a student in the RPN to BScN program at Trent University. She is passionate about palliative nursing and hopes to contribute to the advancement of evidence-informed best practice and patient-centered care. Her dream is to one day serve rural communities as a nurse practitioner and help to implement health policies that will improve access to healthcare.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Pople Megan

Megan Pople is a first year Master of Public Health student at the University of Toronto. She is a registered nurse who is passionate about working with underserved populations and has specific interests in maternal-child and refugee health. She is currently focusing her graduate education on health equity, and seeks to address systemic barriers that impact population health.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Prabhakar Priya

Priya Prabhakar earned a BSc. in Physiology and Sociology from McGill University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Toronto. Her work experience has been primarily clinical and research focused, with particular attention on the intersections of race, poverty, colonization and forced displacement and the consequences these factors have on health. Priya is drawn to the Nursing profession because of its scope of practice and its emphasis on advocacy. She hopes to always approach her practice from a harm reduction and decolonial standpoint. In her free time Priya is a classically trained Odissi dancer and an avid scuba diver.  

RNFOO Award winners 2020 rams Victoria

Victoria Rams is currently a MN student in the Health Systems Leadership and Administration stream at the University of Toronto, and a staff nurse on the Trauma Neurosurgical unit at St. Michael's Hospital.  Victoria has been heavily involved in workplace initiatives: last year, she collaborated with the Wound Care Team at SMH and championed a pressure injury assessment & prevention initiative on her unit, is an active member of a unit-based council, and has been involved in several workplace improvement projects.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Sisson Kariz

Kariz Sisson is a Registered Practical Nurse working at the Carpenter Hospice while attending McMaster University’s RPN to BScN program.  Kariz is dedicated to the nursing profession, and strives to provide a patient-centred, holistic approach to care. Kariz has a passion for advocacy and continuing education. She aspires to pursue a career in nursing leadership where she can expand her scope of influence and have a positive impact on policies that improve the quality and accessibility of care.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Statsenko Anna

Anna Statsenko is an RPN in Mackenzie Health Hospital’s Emergency Department, and a part-time student at Nipissing University where she is pursing her BScN. Understanding that nursing is a lifelong learning process, Anna’s passion is to share her knowledge with others in positive and friendly environment which will decrease horizontal violence among nursing field.

Katelyn Sushko

Katelyn Sushko is an PhD student at McMaster University. Her research focuses on exploring technology solutions to improve diabetes self-management among women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in pregnancy.  Katelyn completed her BScN at McMaster University in 2016 and has since worked as an RN in the Neonatal ICU. Katelyn’s interest in health research was sparked when, through the Canadian Institute of Health Research Professional Student Award, received when she was working on her undergraduate degree, she had the opportunity to work with School of Nursing faculty on a systematic review regarding the impact of education interventions on diabetes outcomes.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Teng Rick

Rick is a nursing student in the 4-year nursing program at Ryerson University. He also works with the Ryerson Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School, aiding in the organization of various learning initiatives for future healthcare professionals, and works with the University Consulting Group, providing non-profit organizations in the community with strategy and operations expertise. As a healthcare professional, Rick holds strong interests in humanitarian work, acute care, and the Canadian Armed Forces.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Truong Lee

Lee worked for three years in health promotion and program development. That experience included improvements in access to healthcare for 2SLGBTQ+ communities in rural areas. Lee is currently an active member of the Scholar Practitioner Program's social justice group, which provides capacity building training for their peers. Lee is an innovative leader in inclusion that is excited to ignite their nursing career in public health.

RNFOO Award winners 2020 tuner lalezar

Lalezar Tuner is a 2nd-year student in the York /Seneca Collaborative BScN program with a passion for oncology nursing, developed initially after learning about the use of nuclear sciences in cancer treatment. She is planning to specialize in oncology nursing, conduct research in oncology care, and advocate for the dissemination of cancer prevention initiatives.

Read more: Lalezar Tuner

RNFOO Award winners 2020 Valdez Tabitha

Tabitha Valdez has been working as an RPN on the Surgical Inpatient Unit at Bluewater Health hospital for the past 7 years, and has been a Clinical Instructor for Lambton College. She is currently in her 1st year of the collaborative Lambton College/University of Windsor RPN to BScN program. She has a passion for helping others and making a positive impact on peoples’ lives.

Read more: Tabitha Valdez

RNFOO Award winners 2020 walpole melissa

Melissa developed a strong commitment to women and children through her 14 years of working in childbirth where her experiences teaching families and new grads sparked a passion for teaching.  Her passion for learning has been fueled by the bridging program at Nipissing University, where she has exceeded her expectations.  Recognizing the value of setting goals and working hard, she is considering options to pursue master’s studies when she finishes her current program. Melissa is grateful to her co-worker who inspired her to pursue a degree which has now opened so many other possibilities.

Edmund J. Walsh

Edmund J. Walsh, MScN, RN, is a doctoral student at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University.  He graduated from the BN program at Memorial University in 2014 and the MScN program at Western University in 2018.  Edmund’s research interests include nursing leadership, work environments, and workforce sustainability.  In particular, he is passionate about understanding how nurse managers’ authentic leadership behaviours influence a variety of staff and organizational outcomes, including workplace bullying and job turnover intentions.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 Wang Danny

Danny Wang is an RN and Master of Health Informatics student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. Prior to graduate school, Danny worked at the RNAO, developing quality indicators to monitor and evaluate the impact of evidence-based practice. Danny is driven to lead meaningful and sustainable healthcare innovation enabled by technology.

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RNFOO Award winners 2020 wilkes sara

Sara Wilkes has worked in the NICU at McMaster Children's Hospital for the past 7 years. She is now in her first year of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Online Master’s Program at the University of Connecticut, and hopes to continue working at McMaster as an NNP after graduation. Additionally, after teaching neonatal nursing in China and Guyana, Sara hopes to continue sharing the exemplary Canadian approach to neonatal care across the world.

Read more: Sara Wilkes