WATERLOO, Ont. (March 5, 2014) - Wilfrid Laurier University has announced four finalists for the annual Outstanding Women of Laurier Award. The award will be presented at a luncheon Wednesday, March 26th at the Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel.
The Outstanding Women of Laurier (OWL) Award recognizes a female Laurier student who combines athletic and academic achievement with an active commitment to leadership and the development of young athletes through community teaching or coaching. The event has generated more than $260,000 for women's athletic programs, scholarships and Laurier's mentor coaching program since it began in 2006.
Kelly Murumets, a Wilfrid Laurier alumna and the newly appointed President and CEO of Tennis Canada, will deliver the keynote address, while Daiene Vernile, anchor and producer of CTV Southwestern Ontario's current affairs program Provincewide, will host the event.
The finalists for the Outstanding Women of Laurier Award include (in alphabetical order):
: Bonsu is a fourth-year History major from Oakville, Ont., and a forward on Laurier's varsity women's basketball team. A nominee for the second consecutive year, she was recently named the 2013-14 OUA West Division Tracy McLeod Award recipient, given in recognition of determination, perserverance and unwavering spirit. Over the course of her athletic career, Bonsu's play has been defined by her ability to be an excellent rebounder that has seen her finish in the top 10 in the country for offensive rebounding in two of her four seasons. She is involved in coaching at a Titans Basketball Camp operated by her former high school, and at the Golden Hawk Basketball camps for girls in Waterloo. She is also a volunteer for Lauriers Succeed Clean program which educates youth about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. Outside of sport, she is a member of the club Laurier Students for Learning, which focuses on promoting children's literacy throughout Kitchener-Waterloo.
: Brown is a third-year Business major from Waterloo, Ont., and a forward on Laurier's varsity women's soccer team. A two-time CIS First Team All-Canadian, Brown has enjoyed a standout athletic career with the Golden Hawks in her three seasons with the team. She has twice been named the OUA West Division MVP and holds the distinction of twice leading the conference in goal scoring. A CIS Academic All-Canadian in 2011, Brown has been involved with coaching youth locally at her former high school, St. David Secondary, as well as through the Golden Hawk co-ed Soccer camp. Last year, as a member of KW United FC, Brown helped reach out to the Kitchener-Waterloo community by assisting with a Kitchener U12 rep team.
: Chaput is a fourth-year Kinesiology and Physical Education major from Guelph, Ont., and a guard on the varsity women's basketball team. A three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian, Chaput has served as one of her teams captains for each of the past two seasons. A versatile player for the Golden Hawks, she has played four different positions over her career at Laurier and her play in 2013-14 was instrumental in helping the Hawks match their best regular season record at 15-7. Chaput was honoured this year for her work in the classroom as she was awarded the prestigious McGraw-Hill Ryerson Student Scholarship, an award given out to just 20 university or college students across the country. Away from the court, she has volunteered with Special Olympic track and field athletes, Big Brother Big Sister Waterloo Region and has served as an Athlete Academic Success Mentor for Laurier's Athlete Academic Success Program.
: Tikka is a fourth-year Biology major from Thunder Bay, Ont., and a defender with the varsity women's soccer team. A two-time CIS All-Canadian, she has played a key role in the success of the Golden Hawks over the past four years, helping lead the team to two OUA Championships. Last year, Tikka was named the Presidents Award winner as top female athlete at Laurier and this past year, represented Team Canada at the 2013 FISU Summer Games in Kazan, Russia. Tikka has served as a volunteer with both the Elite Athletes Soccer summer camps as well as serving as a camp counselor for the Golden Hawk co-ed Soccer camp. Away from the pitch, the two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian serves as an Instructor Assistant for the biology lab at Wilfrid Laurier.
This year's OWL keynote speaker, Kelly Murumets, prior to joining Tennis Canada, was instrumental in the relaunch of the iconic Canadian brand ParticipACTION in 2007 thanks to her dynamic leadership. She is also a proud Laurier alumna who graduated from the University with a Master of Social Work Degree and was honoured in 2011 as one of Laurier's 100 Alumni of Achievement. She currently serves on the Dean's Advisory Council for the Laurier School of Business & Economics.
Murumets is a passionate leader who has a history of effecting change in organizations. Prior to joining ParticipACTION, she was president of a publicly traded U.S. telecommunications company, where she oversaw the integration of four bankrupt /nearly bankrupt companies into one thriving organization that ranked seventh in Deloittes Technology Fast 50 Program. Murumets is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and has advised leaders from Canada, the United States, South America and Europe on how to develop focused strategies and realize results within their organizations.
In 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012, Murumets was named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity list, named an Amazing Advocate on More Magazine's Top 40 over 40 list and one of Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in 2009. She has also been identified as one of the 'Ten Most Influential Figures in Sport in 2012' by the CBC. In 2013, Murumets was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
The Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon leadership sponsors include: RBC Royal Bank, M&M Meat Shops Ltd., and Miller Thomson LLP.
For more information about the Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon, or to purchase tickets online, please visit www.laurierathletics.com/owl