Student Award of Excellence

Award Description

Formerly the 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.


Therapeutic Recreation Ontario renamed the “Adrienne Gilbert Student Award of Excellence” Award to the “Student Award of Excellence” in 2022.

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.

Nomination Criteria

A nominee must…

  1. be a Student member of TRO enrolled in full-time or part-time studies in TR at the undergraduate or Ontario College Graduate Certificate level or have graduated from a TR program within the last 12 months
  2. Not be on the Board of Directors
Reference Letter Guidelines

Reference Letter Guidelines:

The following guidelines have been designed to assist you in writing your letters of reference. 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 Professional Development 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 for approval to 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.

Previous Winners
  • 2023 Winner: Crystal-Jade Cargill, University of Waterloo
  • 2022: Jessie Jones, Canadore College
  • 2021: Stephanie Valdez, Seneca College
  • 2020: 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:

  1. Complimentary TRO conference registration for the current year
  2. Professional Contribution points for initial Registration (R/TRO) application (awarded = 4, nominated = 2, to a maximum total of 6 points)
  3. Recognition at the Annual TRO Conference Awards Ceremony
  4. Recognition on the TRO website, newsletter, and social media

Nominations closed on February 29, 2024

Established in 1999, Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) is the only professional association that represents Therapeutic Recreation practitioners in the province.

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