Academic community members recognized for outstanding work by OCUFA Awards of Distinction

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TORONTO, June 18, 2024 –The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) extends a big congratulations to the 2023-24 Awards of Distinction recipients—members of the university community who exemplify the best qualities in teaching, librarianship, scholarship, and collective bargaining at Ontario universities; and journalism on Canadian postsecondary education.

“The award recipients made significant contributions to the postsecondary sector, both on and off campus,” said Nigmendra Narain, OCUFA President. “It ‘takes a village’ to build and maintain a thriving university community, and that’s why the awards reflect the multifaceted professions in the sector.”

This year, award recipients include a professor who dedicated over a decade to improving equity initiatives on campus; an investigative journalist exposing the overuse of non-disclosure agreements at universities; and a faculty association member who steered successful rounds of collective bargaining under challenging circumstances.


The recipients of the OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards, recognizing excellence in education and librarianship at Ontario universities, are:

  • Ayesha Khan, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University (Teaching Award)
  • Mavis Morton, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Guelph (Teaching Award)
  • Heather MacDonald, Health and Biosciences Librarian, MacOdrum Library, Carleton University (Academic Librarianship Award)

The OCUFA Henry Mandelbaum Graduate Fellowships for Excellence in Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts recognizes candidates with demonstrated academic excellence, provided significant community service, and showed exceptional academic promise in their university careers. The recipients are:

  • Noah Adams (Doctoral), Adult Education and Community Development, University of Toronto
  • Nida Ansari (Masters), Higher Education, University of Guelph

The recipient of the OCUFA Mark Rosenfeld Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism, which supports a reporter to pursue in-depth and innovative journalism on higher education, is:

  • Lauren Phillips, Education Reporter, The Coast Halifax

The OCUFA Equity and Social Justice Committee Award celebrates the outstanding contributions of OCUFA members whose work has contributed meaningfully to the advancement of professors, academic librarians, and/or academic staff who are Indigenous, women, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, living with disabilities and/or belong to other historically marginalized groups. The recipient is:

  • Dolana Mogadime, Brock University Faculty Association (BUFA)

The OCUFA Lorimer Collective Bargaining Award honours and recognizes outstanding contributions to improving the terms and conditions of employment of Ontario university faculty through bargaining. This year’s recipient is:

  • Leslie Jermyn, Executive Director, Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA)

The recipient of the OCUFA Service Award, established to honour individuals who have done, or continue to do, exceptional work on behalf of OCUFA and its members, is:

  • Gyllian Phillips, Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA), OCUFA Past President, Past OCUFA Board Chair, and Member-at-Large (incoming)

The awards will be presented at the OCUFA Awards of Distinction event at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel on Saturday, October 26, 2024.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents more than 18,000 faculty, academic librarians, and other academic professionals in 30 member organizations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at


For more information, contact:
Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite, Communications Lead at