Hart House congratulates 14 U of T undergrads who have, this spring, won two prestigious awards: the 2023 Audrey Hozack Student Leadership Award and the 2023 Judi Schwartz Memorial Scholarship.

Each year, Hart House recognizes the outstanding contributions that students make through their commitment and leadership. Indeed, student initiative, leadership, volunteerism and dedication have been integral to the vision of Hart House from its inception over one hundred years ago.

“Cultivating a space for student leadership is key and two donor-supported awards are perfect examples of how we can shine a spotlight on these remarkable undergrad and grad students: The Audrey Hozack Student Leadership Award and the Schwartz Memorial Scholarship,” says Peter Wambera, associate director of Advancement.

The 2023 Audrey Hozack Student Leadership Award

Audrey Hozack was the first woman to assume a senior leadership position at Hart House. She retired as Assistant Warden after 39 years of service. 

The donor who created this award was motivated to recognize the spirit of volunteerism and student leadership. The award also supports Hart House’s strategic goals of enhanced participation and engagement for communities whose members have been traditionally underrepresented in our space and programming.

This year, University of Toronto student specializing in physics and philosophy Aayu Pandey was bestowed this honour. As Co-Chair of the Hart House Student Literary and Library Committee, they have programmed events such as Re:Write and Dead Poets Society. Aayu regularly organizes book launches and panels on getting published as well as on creative writing. They also assist in maintaining Hart House’s Social Justice Reading List and Book Club, and curating for the Hart House Library.

Aayu Pandey

“Hart House is a space that cultivates creativity and inclusivity. [It] has provided me with familial coziness, support and accessible services when I needed them,” they say. “Not only does it have incredible resources and spaces, but also dedicated people working to make these spaces and services available to the community. I have formed lifelong friendships and found avenues to do meaningful programming in areas of social justice. Hart House is truly a place that has transformed my time at U of T.”

The 2023 Judi Schwartz Memorial Scholarship

Judi Schwartz was the founding curator and director of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House. An employee at the House for 32 years, she was a passionate advocate for student-led communities.

This scholarship recognizes the achievements and contributions of students involved with programming and engagement at the House, reflecting Judi’s lifelong belief in the wisdom of student leadership.

This year, there were 13 winners:

Daniella Ysabel Aguilar, a student double majoring in health & disease and nutritional sciences. She became involved in the Hart House Get Crafty! program. As a Creative Programs Assistant, she facilitates arts-based workshops for students and staff. 

Stephen Barber, an undergrad in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and a placement student working with Hart House’s Youth Access team. He was involved in workshops on physical literacy with participants from Native Child and Family Services.

Kathryn Beukeboom, a student studying conservation biology and evolutionary anthropology. She is the Hart House Student Farm Committee’s Steward. Through this work, she has gained an appreciation of the space and community that the House provides U of T students.

Fergie Galeromeloe, an international student from Botswana pursuing a double degree in actuarial science and statistics. He is a Youth Engagement Ambassador for the Brotherhood of Ethnic Excellence. He helps to lead workshops at high schools in Toronto.

Jesse McDougall, an undergrad in political science. He founded the community-building radio show, Tracks from Abroad, broadcasting from CIUT-FM 89.5, on the House’s third floor. Each week, he produces an hour of radio with stories and music.  

Malieka Shahid, a student studying kinesiology and physical education. She started with Hart House as a placement student in the Youth Access team. Since then, Malieka has become involved in many things, her primary position being a Hart House Ambassador.  

Jaime Sit, an undergrad double majoring in global health and biology. A former Logistics and Outreach Coordinator in the Hart House Recreational Athletics and Wellness Committee, she is now the Co-Chair. Jaime is also a Board of Stewards member.

Jiaqi Sun, a student studying financial economics and statistics. She joined the Hart House Finance Committee as its Treasurer before becoming its Student Chair. She was involved in a workshop for youth artists who participated in Artist in the 6ix by Youth Access.

Ania Suri, an undergrad studying art history, Spanish and music, and a member of the Hart House Get Crafty! team where she shared her passions for art and student health. She was also a Hart House Ambassador. 

Samara Tower, a student double majoring in history and French linguistics. She served as the Co-Chair and Steward of the Hart House Student Theatre Committee. She pushes to make theatre a more inclusive, equitable and welcoming space for students.

Elizabeth Wong, an undergrad majoring in diaspora and transnational studies, and ethics, society and law. Elizabeth has been a Chair and Treasurer of the Hart House Student Farm Committee for two years. She has organized plant sales and trips to the Farm.    

Bill Xu, a student studying neurosciences. A seasoned musician, he helped to shape the music production community, leading and cultivating a comfortable space at the Hart House Producers’ Circle.  

Victor Zheng, an undergrad in the Computer Science Specialist program, active in the Hart House Chess Club. He served as the Lead Organizer for intercollegiate, internal and community-wide events during his time on the Executive Board.  

Congratulations to all the winners!  

Learn more about the Annual Hart House Awards

To provide a gift of support to these award funds or support the House in other ways, please contact Peter Wambera at [email protected]