Lassonde Scholars

Endowed by founding donor Pierre Lassonde, the Lassonde Scholarship is one of the most generous awards available to students in Canada with a value of up to $80,000 over four years.

Recipients must demonstrate the traits of a future Renaissance Engineer – creativity, passion, ingenuity, rational thinking and confidence – in all aspects of their life including academic pursuits, extracurricular activities and their own interests.

Lassonde Scholars are a group of bright young minds whose energy and ideas enrich life at Lassonde.


2016 Recipients


Marmara El Masri

Marmara is a third-year Computer Security student who has been an exceptional leader in the Lassonde community. In addition to her personal mentorship efforts, she also founded Excel Lassonde, a free one-on-one peer tutoring service, by students and for students.

As the founder she manages student connections, building mentorship channels and strengthening community ties at Lassonde. She is also a resident advisor at Pond Road Residence where she supports the wider York community through academic and personal mentoring.



Saiba Trisa

Saiba is a first-year Engineering student. In addition to impressive grades, she has been involved in great leadership and entrepreneurship initiatives. She is currently a member of the residence council at Bethune College where she advocates for the rights of the residents of Bethune College.

A true renaissance engineer, Saiba led projects in her high school as a member of environmental club, science club, an event organizer and professional dancer.



Simran Kanda

Simran is a first-year Engineering student who has taken on a lot of challenges during her first year at Lassonde. She has been an active participant in WISE, CS Hub and Lassonde Student Government.

She is a member of Raise Your Voice in the Lassonde Student Government where she serves as a leader and mentor to other Lassonde students. 



Daman Chhina

Daman is a third-year Computer Engineering student whose entrepreneurship efforts have only intensified since high school. Daman took his project leads and science competition wins to the next level when he became the Vice Chair at IEEE at York.

In this position he has been building industry partnerships between Lassonde students and local companies. Last year he completed a co-op with Uber in Colorado, learning entrepreneurship from one of the largest tech giants in the world.



Sorin Gruia

Sorin is a second-year Geomatics students whose high school mentorship activities included tutoring students in Math and Physics and teaching elementary school students about water conservation.

At Lassonde, he is continuing this work in mentorship by taking part in the Lassonde Squad where he advises incoming students. He is also part of the Atmospheric Science Club and had participated as a Frosh Leader for the incoming class of Lassonde students in 2016.



Emily Secnik

Emily is a first-year Engineering student. While in high school she founded the first LGBTQ+ group in her school board. The group advocated for diversity and inclusivity activities within her school and others in the school board.

At Lassonde she has been involved in supporting the Lassonde 50:50 challenge, most recently by designing and leading a series of workshops of young students in the Rexdale community.



Maira Zafar

Maira is a second-year Mechanical Engineering student and a Renaissance Engineer with many perspectives and diverse interests. In addition to her work mentoring and volunteering at Lassonde, Maira is also a writer, photographer and artist.

Maira has been involved in many outreach activities including GoEngGirl, Fall Campus Day and Women’s Weekend. She had also worked as a research assistant with Professor Sunny Leung, studying solutions to support the environment.



Brandon Loy

Brandon is in his second year in Electrical Engineering at Lassonde and he has amassed an impressive number of personal entrepreneurial projects in addition to his stellar academic performance.

His projects include constructing a tesla coil, desktop gaming computer, DIY water-cooling mechanism for graphics card, a Jacob’s ladder and many arduino projects. He is a mentor with Excel Lassonde and an advocate for the environment.



Praise Ayorinde

Praise is a fourth-year Computer Science student. She has been a  mentor at Lassonde and a leader at York University. She leads the Excel Lassonde initative as part of the executive committee and is a volunteer with the North York Women Shelter.

She is a leader in the York Community as well, serving as the Service Director for Golden Key, an international honour society.



Dan Colvin

Dan Colvin is a second-year Mechanical Engineering student with a wide variety of unexpected skills that make him a true Renaissance Engineer. An internationally-competing unicycler, Dan is also an entrepreneur

He’s using his technical engineering skills to design and develop tools such as specialty cameras that will help record unicycling. He is also using this video content to educate others on the sport.



Mohammad Khan

Mohammad is a fourth-year Computer Science student at Lassonde and has been a student leader in a number of community organizations during his time at the School.

From Frosh Leader to President of the Student Government, Mohammad has been part of galvanizing the community at Lassonde. He is currently a senator in the YorkU Senate and a Male Ambassador for Women in Science and Engineering, supporting the school’s goal of gender balance.



Joshua Abraham

Joshua is a second-year Computer Engineering student whose knowedlge of financial markets is taking engineering beyond the technical. In high school Joshua was the founder of the Stock Trading Clubs and an executive member of the Science Club.

At Lassonde he is continuing to get engaged, participating in Discovery Days, the Ontario University Fair, and as a Bergeron Centre tour guide.



2015 Recipients


Haaniyah Ali

Haaniyah is a first-year Mechanical Engineering student who comes to Lassonde from Holy Name of Mary Catholic Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. In high school, Haaniyah proved to be a charismatic leader and innovator. In addition to her stellar grades, she co-chaired the Social Justice club, leading events and organizing initiatives.

Haaniyah proved to be a motivated entrepreneur when she founded an annual volunteer fair where non-profitable organizations connected with students to offer volunteer opportunities. Haaniyah doesn’t let naysayers dissuade her when she is determined. Despite discouragement, she successfully painted a replica of van Gogh’s Starry Night in her final year of high school.



Andre Barreto

Andre is a first-year Computer Science student who has an impressive list of leadership and academic accomplishments. As part of the Shad Cup at Queen’s University, Andre developed an app that encourages Canadians to get outdoors.

While a finalist in the Innovation Robotics competition, Andre developed a robot – aesthetics, packaging, and business components – that helps customers park their cars in the garage. In addition to this, he has amassed a roster of prizes including Ontario Scholar, Honour Roll and Business Organization Studies Award.



Cameron Boyce

Cameron is a second-year Electrical Engineering student who has demonstrated both engagement and leadership in the Lassonde community in his first year at the School. He has been working as a peer mentor coordinator, developing various mentor training resources. He is also a member of the peer leadership subcommittee at Bethune College.

Cameron oversees the RaiseYourVoice student initiative through the Lassonde Student Government where he works to ensure student issues are brought to attention of decision-makers. Most recently, he has been part of the team of students establishing an Engineers Without Borders chapter at Lassonde, taking the role of Global Engineering Lead. 



Ryan Clark

Ryan is a second-year Earth and Atmospheric Science student who has been involved in peer tutoring students in math and science courses for many years. He has been a leader in supporting other academically in high school and university.

Ryan’s mentoring and volunteering extends well beyond his mastery of formulas in the classroom. He has practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for years and worked as an instructor, teaching children of age between 5 and 15. Ryan was also part of his school’s wrestling team, and an assistant instructor in Muay Thai, running a weekly class.



Germiel Cacho

Germiel is a first-year Mechanical Engineering student whose passion for tech design and mathematics throughout high school led him to Lassonde. While in school, Germiel participated in various projects including Rube Goldberg Machine and the design of high school floor plans. For a final project, Germiel developed his own quadcopter.

As a leader in his school Germiel tutored fellow students in AutoCAD and volunteered for various charitable events including walkathons, food drives, and clothing drives.



Filipe Gonzalez

Felipe is a first-year Space Engineering student who brings inspiring community and academic leadership initiatives to Lassonde. In high school, Felipe won numerous science and math competitions. Additionally, he was the president of his high school’s ‘Senior Reach for the Top,’ a multi-school academic quiz competition.

Felipe was also a staff writer for school newspaper and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Toronto Centre. In his community, Felipe was a youth leader and church council representative. He also organized a film festival, ran a charity food drive and canvassed door-to-door for mayoral candidate John Tory.



Sam Guraya

Sam is a first-year Electrical Engineering student who is an award-winning community leader and peer mentor. He devoted his time to tutoring in Camp I Can for students who are struggling academically. He also volunteered at Malton Village Long Term Care Centre, assisting the residents with various activities in events. For his hard work and dedication to his community, Sam won a community service award presented by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Jagmeet Singh, MPP of Bramalea-Gore-Malton.

In high school, Sam was a part of his Student Activity Council (SAC), organizing various school events including a school barbeque, carnival and a semi-formal. He was in his high school band and part of the "Reach for the Top" team.



Sogand Talebi

Sogand is a first-year Space Engineering student. In high school, she was executive member of the Robotics Club, President of Student Outreach Club, President of Prism Interfaith Club and an executive member of Physics Club.

She received the York Secondary Catholic Presidents’ Council breakout award for outstanding leadership, the Trustee Michael Carnovale Award and the Antonia Pinelli Pathfinder Award. In addition to these titles and honours, Sogand volunteered at FIRST Lego League Canada as a tournament director and taught principles of robotics to elementary school children at Richmond Hill Public Library.



Semi Hasaj

Semi is a second-year Space Engineering student. He received Paul Stanbury Award for leadership in mathematics at his graduation and organized tutoring sessions for fellow students in his local library.

Semi was also a part of Antibes Multicultural Festival, an event that hosts hundreds of community members annually. Semi worked as a summer camp leader for the city of Toronto over the past three years, running a variety of interactive learning activities for children including Science with Semi and Haunted House Designing.



Sarah Karam

Sarah is a second-year Electrical Engineering student who has helped to mentor students and build a strong sense of community. This summer she interned at Bombardier Aerospace with the Wiring group.

In high school, Sarah was selected as a Peer Minister for students in grades ten to twelve. There she supported incoming students and helped them get oriented to the life in high school. She worked with students to make sure they adjusted well and organized various events.



Simin Lin

Simin is a second-year Computer Engineering student who has been actively involved in student life at Lassonde since starting last year. Most recently, he worked with a Lassonde professor to design a 2nd year mechanical engineering course. He also served as a class representative for Physics 1800, finishing with top grades.

Simin is currently a peer mentor and student member of PARR (Lassonde Faculty Council Committee). He is also part of a team of entrepreneurs will be competing in the upcoming SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.



Adib Nasehi

Adib is a first-year Civil Engineering student who has demonstrated leadership skills within an academic environment as well as in the industry. He was instrumental in founding the “Seneca Society of Civil Engineering Technologists” with fellow students at Seneca.

He organized and hosted the national engineering conference at the college to connect employers with students. As a licensed gas technician, Adib gained hands-on experience working in the industry while studying. Adib also volunteers at Toronto’s community gardens and plays soccer as a forward striker for his local adult soccer league team.



Oskar Niburski

Oskar is a second-year Software Engineering student who brings to Lassonde a wide range of life experiences and entrepreneurial initiatives. Oskar has most recently been working at Hockeystick as a full-stack web developer, completely rebuilding the application. He is also also the cofounder for QuickHaps and was a developer for Raiseanaim Inc. and Bitmaker Labs. 

In addition to his impressive portfolio of projects, Oscar is one of the winners for York Engineering Competition and took 4th place in the Web Development contest organized by CS HUB. He is a former 20under20 Thiel Finalist for chemistry research.

In 2014, Oskar was selected to be part of the Lassonde-Technion Intensive Summer Program in Entrepreneurship, where a group of students spent three weeks in Israel learning what it takes to start a new venture.



Alexandre Seguin

Alexandre is a first-year Computer Science student whose artistic interests and community activities complement his commitment to his studies. In high school, Alexandre was a section leader for his high school band and part of the Barbershop quartet.

His passion for the environment led him to volunteer for EcoExpo and city of Ottawa. Always ready to mentor struggling students, Alexandre was the go-to tutor for physics and mathematics for his peers.



2014 Recipients


Tetiana Sitiugina

Tetiana has a wide range of academic and community accomplishments which she brings to Lassonde. She volunteered as a Nurse’s assistant at Chartwell Retirement Residence and was Peer Leader for NOW (Newcomer Orientation Week) Program where she facilitated various workshops.

In high school Tetiana tutored fellow students and was part of the Alexander Mackenzie Specialist high Skills Major Council. In June 2014, she was names Ontario Scholar and also received the Ontario Cooperative Education Association (OCEA) Student Certificate of Achievement.


Akhil Khurana

Akhil is a Lassonde scholar with a variety of experiences in community engagement. In 2013, he participated in the Heart Lake badminton tea and Heart Lake senior Boys soccer team. He made honour roll at Heart Lake Secondary school and graduated as an Ontario scholar and received the Heart Lake Scholar Award.  

He also has been a volunteer at the Brampton Animal Shelter since July 2013. In 2014, Akhil volunteer-coached U-15 House League Soccer team where he organized practice and managed the games.


Nudrat Chaudhry

Nudrat volunteered with various community groups, demostrating leadership and initiative. She worked as a teacher's assistant in Science and Math at Discovery Public School and was a peer tutor at Maple High School, helping students in Biology, English and Math.

She had organized several fundraisers including: bake sales at Nasir Academy, Teens for Jeans and the Heart Foundation fundraiser. For her contributions she received the Sir Zafarullah Khan Leadership Award in 2014.


Linar Ismagilov

Linar began his leadership development with the Royal Canadian Army where he was a Cadet warrant officer. He commanded a platoon of younger cadets whom he taught everything from leadership to outdoor survival.

After finishing high school Linar worked at Centaur Floor machines. His technical knack led him to design and produce a new version of a lighting system that uses LEDs instead of fluorescent bulbs. Linar has been working on various entrepreneurial projects including a folding skateboard. Recently he invested in a CNC router which he uses to manufacture parts and offers a service to those who need theirs made.


Matthew Klincans

Matthew is a Lassonde Scholar who brings a variety of experiences in leadership, hands-on learning and academic excellence to Lassonde.

Matthew worked in the arts at the Station Gallery and assisted at Nova’s Ark, a charity that provides social opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. He worked a farm hand and assisted members while they socialized and interacted with the animals.

Matthew won the Duke of Edinburgh’s award and was part of the Sinclair Sprockets Robotics team in his high school. He was part of the "build and design" , 3rd year senior member of the ‘build and design’ team.  The team made it to the world competition in 2013.


2013 Recipients


Ariel Laboriante


Samuel Clemens


Alexandra Innanen


Benjamin Brunson