Annalise Gignac and Suhaib MouallaAnnalise Gignac and Suhaib Moualla are the 2023 recipients of the Liburdi Engineering Mentorship Awards.

Scholarships recognize student mentors in engineering

Excellent academic performance and a desire to mentor and tutor earned notice for third-year engineering majors Annalise Gignac and Suhaib Moualla.

The annual Liburdi Engineering Mentorship Award, established in 2020 by the WinOne Office for First-Year Engineering and funded by materials engineering alumnus Joseph Liburdi (BASc 1967), provides $10,000 to support two-senior-level undergraduate students who excel academically and express an interest in mentoring other engineering students.

The Liburdi scholars lead the WinOne tutorial program, which provides peer tutoring support for all first- and second-year core courses. They onboard 10 WinOne tutors each semester for one full year, assist with promoting the WinOne tutorials to first-year students, and schedule weekly tutoring sessions and exam review sessions for all tutors — including themselves. In addition to academic support, the tutors mentor students about topics such as program selection, co-operative education, and senior project selection.

“Tutoring for me is the joy of helping others,” said Moualla. “It also helps build my social network and communication skills, as English isn’t my first language.”

Gignac said she is passionate about helping first-year students get involved.

“Engaging not only with course material but extracurricular activities makes students more well-rounded,” she said. “These activities are really important when applying for jobs.”

Associate dean of engineering Jennifer Johrendt says the tutoring has helped retain junior students in engineering while providing leadership opportunities for seniors.

“The approach is two-fold: the Liburdi scholars take on leadership roles as lead WinOne tutors and mentor the other tutors about their role in the educational journey of our newest students,” she says. “They also serve as peer tutors in the program for three consecutive semesters which allows them to apply continual improvement initiatives throughout the year.”

—Naomi Pelkey

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