Adrienne Gilbert Student Award of Excellence

This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of students within and outside of their academic programs. In celebrating the academic and extracurricular accomplishments of students, we highlight the vast array of experiences and knowledge that these future professionals bring to our field.

2021 Award Winner

Stephanie Valdez


Therapeutic Recreation Ontario renamed the “TRO Student Award of Excellence” Award to the “Adrienne Gilbert Student Award of Excellence” in 2012 when Adrienne Gilbert retired as a way of acknowledging the contributions she had made for so many years in the education of TR students.

Adrienne Gilbert made significant contributions to the field of Therapeutic Recreation not only as a well-respected faculty member in the Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation Program at University of Waterloo, but also through her countless hours volunteering in various positions on the TRO Board of Directors.

Past award winners:

2021 Kandice Hurlock, Mohawk College
2019 Kirsten Heinonen, Mohawk College
2018 Haley Bauman, University of Waterloo
2017 Megan Duquette, Niagara College
2016 Nancy Kahl, Mohawk College
2015 Lisa Coleman, University of Waterloo
2014 Alycia Leonard, Lambton College
2013 Jenna Derkson-Scott, Niagara College

The Winner Receives:

  • Complimentary TRO Conference Registration for the current year (>$250 value) 
  • Professional Contribution points for initial Registration (R/TRO, R/TRO DIP) application (awarded = 4, nominated = 2, to a maximum total of 6 points)
  • Recognition at the Annual TRO Conference Awards Ceremony Dinner (includes two complimentary tickets)
  • TRO Award plaque
  • Recognition to members in various TRO communications: TRO website, e-TRO newsletter, social media etc.

Nomination Criteria:

Open to TRO Student members enrolled in full-time studies in Therapeutic Recreation at the undergraduate or Ontario College Graduate Certificate level, as well as students who have graduated from a TR program within the last 12 months. Please note that all supporting requirements of this award must pertain to the time when the person was a student, not after they have graduated. Past recipients of the Adrienne Gilbert Student Award of Excellence are ineligible to re-apply for the award.

Reference Letter Guidelines:

The purpose of the TRO Adrienne Gilbert Student Award of Excellence is to recognize the outstanding contributions of students within and outside of their academic programs. As part of the application process, students are asked to solicit two letters of reference. The following guidelines have been designed to assist you in writing your letter. Please address the following points in the reference letter:

One letter from an Academic Instructor that describes: One letter from a TR Professional that describes:
Overall leadership abilities of the student
Personal Character (e.g., integrity, interpersonal skills, initiative, critical thinking ability)
Level of interest and knowledge in therapeutic recreation
Accomplishments (please include any relevant examples of initiatives, self directed learning, etc.)
Academic achievements
Professionalism (e.g., professional conduct, ability to relate with clients, staff and volunteers)

Selection Process:

The Awards Sub-Committee consists of a minimum of three volunteers including: at least one representative from the Membership Services Committee and up to six TRO members (TRO’s Communications Coordinator is an ex-officio member). It is responsible for reviewing TRO award nominations and will forward recommendations to the Membership Services Committee for approval by the TRO board of directors. The selection committee will identify if there is a conflict of interest with any of the award categories, any persons with a conflict of interest will not be part of the discussion and decision-making process for that award.

Application Requirements:

Anyone may nominate a student TRO member for this award, ​or a student who has since graduated from the TR program within the last 12 months.

Nominators: please provide us with the student’s name and contact information. You as the nominator do not have to complete the questions below. Please send student’s name, student’s email and name of award to the Communications Coordinator at:

Nominees: Students, you are required to complete the nomination package including two letters of reference, your resume and the form below.

  1. Download the award nomination form and complete the questions. Upload your completed form where indicated in the award nomination form below. Download Adrienne Gilbert Student Award of Excellence Nomination Questions
  2. Using the Reference Letter Guidelines above, ensure that your two letters of reference on official letterhead have been emailed from the source directly to: by the nomination deadline.

If you have any questions about the award nomination process, please contact the Communications Coordinator at:

Thank you for your involvement in the award application process!