SOTYA Winner 2022: Alyssa Nurse - University of Toronto

February 2023

The Student of the Year Award, University WIL, has been awarded to Alyssa Nurse, who is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto in the fields in Economics and Political Science with an exceptional CGPA. Miss Nurse has not only excelled in her academics but also in her extra-curricular/volunteer activities. She was awarded a competitive internship at the NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) because of her previous achievements and her drive to excel. During her internship Miss Nurse has worked with her supervisor, Mr. Robert Baines, to provide timely written articles for the NAOC website, organize and host public events and political conferences, and conduct meaningful research. Mr Baines says: “Alyssa’s involvement with our work at the Association has been simply outstanding. She was given a very sensitive and important task as our liaison to the British High Commission in Ottawa to help design, plan and execute a high-profile event with significant impact to Canada’s defence and security. The event included coordinating with the Defence Attaché of the United Kingdom as her main point of contact and resulted in direct engagement with the High Commissioner, multiple NATO country embassies and members of policy, media and political circles in Ottawa.” 

Miss Nurse is involved in numerous clubs and organizations within the University of Toronto and has impacted the university community in several important ways. Drawing from her writing experience, she has contributed meaningfully to the development of The Quilt, Journal of Caribbean Studies at the University of Toronto. She has recently taken on the role of Chief Editor for the journal. In this role she has helped many racialized students find a platform for their voice, Miss Nurse said “[…] These events are designed to help minority students feel seen, heard, understood, and celebrated. It was through hearing their stories I was able to see so much of myself in them and their experiences.”

Miss Nurse serves as well as the Co-President of the Caribbean Studies Student Union (CARSSU). With CARSSU she has led projects to deliver books to Federal Prison Libraries in Ontario, organized events to support career advancement of visible minorities, developed literature on conflict resolution strategies to improve community relations, and hosted regular weekly meetings to support the operations of CARSSU. Miss Nurse’s leadership skills have been important in achieving positive outcomes for CARSSU.