John Alex Pritz (2012)

Affiliation at the time of the award: McGill University

Citation: Alex’s nomination presents a remarkable story of international conscience and willingness to do difficult and impactful work in developing countries, including Haiti after its devastating earthquake. Emerging work on campus, in Senate and elsewhere, augments this work. Alex is making a difference in some very challenged and challenging environments. He is a very good relationship builder, especially across cultures. As a result of the Haiti work, Alex co-founded Developing Pictures, a now international student film group with chapters at McGill and Cornell University.

After receiving an inaugural McGill Dalai Lama fellowship for the Iwastology Program (Iwasto being Fillipino for to make right and wastology being the study of waste), Alex spent two months in the Philippines putting this project into action, teaching high schools students about our world of waste through the lens of exploratory filmmaking.

Alex does not use many “I” statements, but rather gives credit to anyone else that he has worked with. He says he came to University to gain the tools necessary to start working on what he considers to be the most pressing issues facing his generation. He has a grasp on the challenges that face students and leads by example.