Pascal Genest-Richard (2012)

Affiliation at the time of the award: McGill University

Citation: From the youngest age, Pascal has been striving to make things move forward. A successful athlete and coach, he has also volunteered at a microbrewery in Ireland, an organic farm in Chile, and, as a volunteer consultant in agribusiness management helped to organize a Youth Leadership Conference gathering over 80 students from high schools in Ghana. An active member of McGill’s Music Club, Pascal qualified for three consecutive Quebec Engineering competitions, and was elected to be the student representative to the Faculty Environmental Committee. He speaks passionately about Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a non-governmental organization (NGO) with student chapters across the country, focusing on poverty issues as well as the actions to be taken both in Africa and in Canada to tackle the root causes of the problem. He has been instrumental in the creation of a bilingualism team within the NGO to institutionalize the translation of documents into both of Canada’s official languages.

Pascal shows the markers of someone who recognizes challenges for student engagement and acts to create awareness among his peers in engineering. This combination of abilities, combined with the other leadership traits of commitment, curiosity, passion and generosity, shows that he meaningfully engages people for change.