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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Faculty of Science

Laurier announces finalists for Outstanding Women of Laurier Award

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Feb 25/11| For Immediate Release


Peter Baxter, Director, Athletics & Recreation
519-884-0710 ext. 2216 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO — Wilfrid Laurier University has announced three finalists for the annual Outstanding Women of Laurier Award. The award will be presented at a luncheon Tuesday, March 8 at the Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel. 

The Outstanding Women of Laurier 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 $220,000 for women’s athletic programs, scholarships and Laurier’s mentor coaching program since it began in 2006. 

Canadian figure skater and Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochettte will deliver the keynote address. Rochette has competed at the World Skating Championships since 2003, placing in the top 10 four times and earning a silver medal in 2009. She has won several International Skating Union Grand Prix events, and toured with Stars on Ice Canada in 2010. Off the ice, Rochette shows a commitment to humanitarian causes, and recently travelled to Peru with World Vision Canada. 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):

Hanna Burnett: Burnett is a third-year arts student from Oshawa, Ontario, who plays on Laurier’s varsity women’s lacrosse team. In her first year, she was named the women’s lacrosse rookie of the year (2008-2009) and the team won the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship. As she continued on the team, Burnett was named OUA MVP, an OUA second team all star and was honoured with the Academic Achievement Award for maintaining strong academics while competing in varsity athletics. Burnett is also actively involved in volunteering in her hometown to help coach new young talent. She works closely with the Oshawa Jr. Blue Knights girls as well as other representative and house leagues from Oshawa. 

Samantha Schmalz: Schmalz is a third-year kinesiology and physical education student from Southampton, Ontario who plays on Laurier’s varsity women’s rugby team. In her first year, Schmalz was named the team’s rookie of the year. Off-season, she plays for the Waterloo County women’s rugby team and the U23 Ontario women’s rugby team. Schmalz also volunteers for the “Best Buddies” program, where she spends time at the gym working with a young girl who loves to be active. 

Brittany Shaw: Shaw is a fourth-year biochemistry and biotechnology student from Kitchener, Ontario. She is the co-captain of the Laurier swim team. Her greatest achievement on the swim team was in her third year, when she made four individual Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national time standards. In 2010, she travelled to Egypt representing the World Lifesaving Championships and was selected for the national team. In Shaw’s spare time, she is a coach with the Region of Waterloo (ROW) swim club and volunteers for the Special Olympics as a coach for their swimming program. She also volunteers for the Students Offering Support (SOS) organization, and recently travelled to Nicaragua with SOS to help build a school for an underprivileged community. 

The Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon leadership sponsors include: RBC, RBC Dominion Securities, Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel, M&M Meat Shops and Miller Thomson LLP. 

For more information about the Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon, or to purchase tickets online, please visit


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