The Jack Matthews Award is a prestigious recognition presented to a graduating student each year at the TIP/TISA Formal Grad Gala.
“The Jack Matthews Award, which is named in honour of the legendary Canadian educator who established the Trent International Program in 1982, is awarded to a student who fulfills the values of global citizenship that Matthews represented,” said Dr. Michael Allcott, director of the Trent International Program (TIP).
A committee of students and TIP staff members choose students whose leadership and commitment to global citizenship has accomplished things on the Trent campus, community and beyond the bounds of Trent University as the recipient, based on nominations from students and Trent University staff, said Allcott.
“I have huge respect for Mauricio’s multiple leadership roles on campus, his years of work with Trent Radio and his work with [Student Association for International Development] SAID and the Community Movements conference,” commended Allcott.
“Adrianna’s leadership in [Trent International Student Association] TISA, her work with multiple student organizations and in SAID have also had a huge impact on our campus,” he added.
“Her writing for Arthur and the critical and thoughtful perspective she brings to her research and discussion of every issue, especially Fairness to International Students, make her a great example of how global citizens need to be prepared to speak truth to power.”
“Both Mauricio and Adrianna have developed remarkable self-confidence and humility. These are admirable qualities in leaders and global citizens. Both of these students have my profound respect, and it was my honour to present them with the 2016 Jack Matthews Award,” stated Allcott.
In extension, Arthur took the opportunity to profile and highlight the contributions of each winning recipient that made them worthy of the honour.
Mauricio Interiano, originally from Honduras, first came to Canada six years ago through the United World Colleges scholarship for International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma at Pearson College in Victoria, BC. He continued his stay to study BA Honors in International Development and Sociology after he was offered the Jack Matthews International Full Scholarship (Pearson College of the Pacific) at Trent.
Interiano made sure he left a profound legacy here at Trent by being involved with a multitude of organizations. The following are the roles he filled at Trent:
Trent Radio as Production Manager Assistant where he assisted with all aspects of running a Radio Station.
Interiano co-chaired the Student Association for International Development to organize and execute a series of educational and social events that encouraged discussions, ideas and communication for student studying international development at Trent University.
As the co-chair of the Trent Community Movements Conference he was responsible for organizing and executing a student-organized conference that deepened communication, and promoted solidarity both locally and globally through workshops, dialogue and critical reflections on challenges in international development.
He took the leadership to engage with students in the university community, and assist new students with the transition to university life as the co-chair of the Trent University Orientation Week (2015-16).
Further, he also held the external relations position for the Trent Community Movements Conference (2014) and director of publicity with TISA (2014). As the executive of the second largest student association at Trent, he took charge of publicity, campaigns, collaboration with other organizations and the representation of the international students at university administrative level.
Interiano expanded his involvement though roles such as, international ambassador for TIP(2013– Present), first-year representative of TISA (2013) and by participating with Living Learning Communities (2013) as a member of the Leadership and Civic Engagement community at Trent University for students who are eager to step up and make a contribution to their communities—both now and in the future.
Adriana Sierra was already deeply involved in a culturally diverse setting even before she made her journey towards Trent to take international development and environmental studies. While in her hometown Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sierra went to an international school called Discovery School that exposed her to a culturally diverse setting very early on.
While here at Trent, Sierra expanded her involvement at various levels.
In her first year, Sierra was the first-year representative of HOLA (Organization for Latin Awareness), and volunteered for TISA. She also performed during the annual Cultural Outreach; which was her first immersion into the international community at Trent.
In second year, as HOLA’s president she was closely engaged with TISA and all other regional groups on campus. She became more involved with the international development studies department and student groups.
She played a huge role as a member of the organizing committee for the annual Trent Community Movements Conference. The conference is purposeful to shed light on world issues and create a space that brings together students, activists, community members and academia.
Her third year saw Sierra as the Director of Finance for TISA. She helped organize events, sat on university committees and attended Board of Governors meetings. She volunteered for Arthur Newspaper and wrote about international student issues.
She continued her role in organizing the Community Movements Conference and also took up the responsibility of Cultural Assistant at TIP Camp (International student orientation).
Come her final year, she was the co-chair of SAID, and with her team brought in a mobile exhibition of the Agha Khan Foundation, collaborated with groups like OPIRG, Council of Canadians and Sustainable Trent to host a series of events.
She then went on to continue her involvement with the Community Movements Conference as the co-chair, and as the community liaison to the World University Service of Canada (WUSC).
Her involvement was furthered as a reporter for Arthur; she covered events and issues related to the international community at Trent.
What vision of Trent beckoned you here?
Interiano: I decided to come to Trent mainly because of the international development program, the international students and the sense of community that it has due to the size of the university.
Sierra: I stumbled upon Trent. It is small university, with undergraduate research opportunities and a strong international community. I took the introductory course in international development studies as an elective and decided to pursue it as a double major because of its emphasis on world issues that I was familiar with from home, and because of the sense of community and academic excellence that the department offered.
How do you feel winning this prestigious honour?
Interiano: I feel honoured, humbled and deeply thankful to be one of the recipients of this award. This award holds great meaning and sense of achievement to me because it comes directly from the community that I serve. Trent’s community is strong and vibrant where we all learn, grow, struggle and share together.
Sierra: Jack Matthews dedicated his life to creating a global community that celebrates diversity, and it is an honour to receive this award. I am thankful for the Trent International Program that he founded, and for the IDST department for enabling me to find my place and my voice at Trent and for the communities that they have created.
What is your biggest achievement here at Trent?
Interiano: I think everything that I have done has been significant in different ways. Co-chairing the Trent Community Movements Conference and making it a new levy group this year is something that I feel very proud of. But also my work at Trent Radio and TISA mean a lot to me.
Sierra: My biggest achievement here at Trent has been one of personal growth. TIP and the IDST department allowed me to find my voice and have played a crucial role in enhancing my critical thinking skills, in giving me the confidence to make my voice heard (or rather read) and further instilling in me the importance of celebrating difference.
What lesson are you taking home with you, from being a part of this vibrant Trent Community?
Interiano: I have taken advantage of all the opportunities that we have here. Trent is a place where you can find yourself and build your identity. [It is] also the place where you will find friends and relationships that will be long lasting.
Sierra: From the TIP and IDST communities, I am taking with me countless memories, lasting friendships and invaluable lessons learned inside and outside the lecture hall. Most importantly, I am taking with me the sense that I have found my place.
Life after Trent?
Sierra: I will be traveling home for the summer to spend time with my family in Tegucigalpa and will be moving to Geneva, Switzerland in August to begin my masters in development studies, with an emphasis on sustainability at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.