Congratulations to the 2018 Winegard Award Winners

The Dr. William Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Involvement Awards are named for William Winegard, former University of Guelph president and former Guelph MP who served as Canada’s first minister of science and as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade.

This year, during two award presentations,  the awards were presented to:

Dr. Lianne Foti, Assistant Professor in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at the University of Guelph and co-founder of a volunteer educational program called ‘my world, my choice!’ (MWMC). As a professor, Dr. Foti encourages student engagement and volunteers her time coaching students in their extra-curricular activities such as case competitions, team sports, conference development/workshops, and student clubs.

Professor Foti has made an inspirational impact in both lectures and extra-curricular teaching at the University of Guelph. The program that Dr. Foti established (MWMC), teaches students about sustainability and challenges them to grow as leaders in their schools and communities. Dr. Foti volunteers her time with this program every semester and creates community engagement through mentorship initiatives. The program consists of inspiring university students through training and education to deliver a six-week program that interactively teaches sustainability to high school and elementary students in the community.

Dr. Foti received her award at the University of Guelph Community Breakfast on September 4, 2018. University of Guelph article. 


Crystal Gong, Biomedical Sciences student at the University of Guelph receiving her award on August 16 at PIN.

From left to right: David Aitken, Community Engagment Coordinator, Government Relations and Community Engagement at the University of Guelph, Christine Oldfield, PIN, The People and Information Network Executive Director, Student recipient Crystal Gong and Colleen Murdoch, Director, Communications, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.

Crystal believes that volunteerism and community engagement are essential in leading a meaningful life. She is passionate about working with vulnerable populations, public health promotion, and community mentorship. Crystal has dedicated most of her time between volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, as well as conducting community-based research with the Indigenous populations living in the Canadian Arctic.

In addition to her studies, Crystal volunteered with The Ontarion Newspaper, as well as editing student manuscripts for the University of Guelph student research journal SURG. Previously, she dedicated much of her time volunteering in her local senior home Sunrise Senior Living to play piano for their Alzheimer’s and Dementia program and volunteered at Credit Valley Hospital as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit baby snuggler and info desk receptionist. During her first and second year of university, she volunteered at Mount Sinai Hospital as a summer student to research autoimmune diseases and as a global medical assistant in Nicaragua to provide medical supplies and aid local physicians in rural and remote areas. She later volunteered her time as a Student Accessibility Services peer helper to aid in coordinating volunteer guides for students with mobile and vision impairments as well as served as a volunteer guide.


The contributions of the 2018 recipients are a shining example of the difference one can make by volunteering and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to these award winners.


Posted on September 6, 2018