Meet our 2021 winners and read their inspiring stories to learn how they are helping to build a better world. Watch a video of the award recipients.

Lee Cohen (LLB’80)

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Lee Cohen (LLB’80)

When 174 Sikhs arrived in Nova Scotia after escaping civil war, Lee Cohen (LLB’80) represented them. From that moment, he dedicated his practice to immigration, refugees and human rights, changing hundreds of lives in the process, including his.

Ayat El-Dewary (BA’04)

Ayat El-Dewary (BA’04)

Displaced from Kuwait during the first Gulf War, Ayat El-Dewary (BA’04) knew at an early age she wanted to help others in the same situation. As the Representative a.i. with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, she has helped raise over $200 million to deliver shelter, health care, financial assistance and hope to refugees around the world.

Dr. Irving Fish (MD’64)

Dr. Irving Fish (MD’64)

Irving Fish (MD’64) spent his career helping children with neurological conditions overcome barriers to academic success. Now as co-founder of the Ethiopian School Readiness Initiative, he is helping disadvantaged children in that nation access the support and tools they need to stay in school and excel.

Teresa Mellish (Dip Agr’66)

Teresa Mellish (Dip Agr’66)

When a hurricane decimated banana crops in Dominica in 1979, Teresa Mellish (Dip Agr’66) raised funds to help. Realizing she could do much more, she has helped raise millions to address food security in Kenya as co-founder and treasurer of Farmers Helping Farmers.

Doug Townsend (BComm’04)

Doug Townsend (BComm’04)

Restauranteurs and community volunteers Doug Townsend (BCOMM’04) and Renée Lavallée had barely closed their doors due to COVID-19 when they saw an opportunity to help. With support from partner organizations and customer donations, they transitioned into a community kitchen to feed those in need.