PhD’24 candidate Erin Lee (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Caroline Kim (Sc’22, Mathematics and Engineering) are among this year’s recipients of Queen’s Student Recognition Awards for student leadership. Lee is one of two recipients of the Peer Leadership Award, and Kim is one of two recipients of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, Indigenization Impact Award.

Queen’s Student Affairs annually celebrates extraordinary contributions made by student leaders to support their peers, and local community members and initiatives.

The Student Recognition Awards honour student recipients — individuals or groups — of the Peer Leadership Award, the Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, Indigenization (EDII) Impact Award, and the Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award. Nominations are submitted by students, faculty, and staff.

“I want to congratulate and express my gratitude to this year’s recipients for their significant contributions, leadership, and engagement, on campus and in the community,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We are pleased to recognize and showcase the initiative and commitment to positive change these students are demonstrating at Queen’s and in Kingston.”


Erin Lee and Caroline Kim


The Peer Leadership Award is presented to students who, through their commitment, skill, dedication, and interest in helping others, have exemplified excellence in peer-to-peer assistance and outreach. The 2022 award recipients are Landon Montag (ArtSci’20, MSc’22) and Erin Lee (PhD’24).

Erin stepped up to become the Head Coach of the Varsity Swim Team (M/W), drawing on her experiences as a varsity swimmer and former team captain to ensure success. She sought out coaching resources and mentorship opportunities, and worked to develop individualized training for the 36 team members. As a Teaching Fellow for a Mechanical and Materials Engineering course, she launched a weekly Q&A initiative where students could submit questions after lectures which were selected and answered in a weekly write-up. Erin provided mentorship to her fellow graduate students and developed a friendly “self-competition” to incentivize students to meet their healthy active living goals and build community. This successful initiative sparked the formation of a team of students from multiple Queen’s labs to participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure. Erin is also a regular volunteer at student outreach events for her faculty and department; she is a Graduate Student Representative on the implementation team for the Faculty’s Strategic Research Plan, and always emulates a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of her peers.


The Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, Indigenization Impact Award is presented to Queen’s students who have demonstrated their commitment to empowering the diversity of the Queen’s community, and have worked to further understand the interplay and intersections among different identities. The 2022 award recipients are Victoria Yu (ArtSci’22, B.Ed.’23) and Caroline Kim (Sc'22).

For the past two years, Caroline has served as Director of Operations, and previously as an Aerodynamics Team member of the Queen’s Formula SAE (QFSAE) Team, which designs, builds, and races a sub-scale Formula 1-style race car. As one of the original Queen's Engineering student competition/design teams, QFSAE has a legacy of achievements and traditions, not all of them positive, and this was raised in 2020, through a series of anonymous posts to the Instagram account "Erased by FEAS." Under Caroline’s direction, the QFSAE has undergone, and continues to undergo, a dramatic transformation into a more welcoming, inclusive team. Caroline has been focused on changing the team’s climate and policies. For example, she has carried out an environmental assessment by surveying current and former team members, and establishing the team’s first EDII committee, first EDII commitment document, and a prioritized action list. Under Caroline's leadership, the QFSAE Team has demonstrated a genuine long-term commitment to change the team culture and promote diversity and inclusion at all levels. To help improve EDII knowledge and practice in other student clubs and teams, Caroline and her team hosted a virtual webinar, attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Head of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and approximately 75 members of FEAS student clubs/teams. As a Teaching Assistant, Caroline mentors first-year students, and volunteers for the Crisis Line and Chat at Sexual Assault Centre Kingston. She was an orientation leader, and outreach volunteer with Women in Science and Engineering.


In addition, the Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award is presented to Queen’s students who work with and encourage area youth who are experiencing social, behavioral, economic or other challenges by helping them realize their worth as individuals and their potential to achieve. It was created in honour of Brian Yealland, Chaplain at Queen’s University for 32 years. The 2022 award recipient is Bags of Promise, an organization created by Queen’s students and peers from Royal Military College to recognize the challenges faced by local youth experiencing homelessness..

All award recipients receive an award keepsake and their names are included on plaques located in the lobby of Gordon Hall. To learn more about these and other awards and funding programs, visit the Student Affairs website.


This article appeared in its original form in the Queen’s Gazette.