Award Recipients’ Insights: Robyn Hoja and Team Creativity

Robyn is the 2015-2016 recipient of the Student Leadership Award.

Accepting compliments has never been my strong suit. When someone starts talking about me I try to flip the conversation to something else as I am not one for the spotlight. This is odd, since I grew up immersed in theatre and dance, I excelled in public speaking, and I never really knew how to be quiet in class. I suppose there are different ways we can enjoy being highlighted and I chose the path that engaged others. Given the opportunity to reflect on my past three years at Ryerson it has become incredibly humbling, as every success is not a solo act. I have been incredibly fortunate that everything I have been a part of, or hoped to pursue, has been well received and widely encouraged by peers. I echo the statement that there is truly no ‘I’ in team. Whether that means working alongside fantastic students, creating projects with mentors, or engaging new audiences, it is always a group effort.

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Since my first year, I have been very fortunate to be a part of teams that welcome and encourage growth from students. From Course Unions, the Ryerson Communication and Design Society, and Housing & Residence Life, though all have unique positions and objectives, they all have been incredibly empowering to be a part of. It was from these groups that I found the internal structure needed for my own student group, the Ryerson Musical Theatre Company. Creating a group open to all programs quickly showed the importance of atmosphere and how it influences the overall outcome and feeling of a team. RMTC prides itself on it’s positive and welcoming environment that provides an extra outlet for students hoping to be involved in theatre outside of their focal degree. While it may have been my initial idea to launch this group, it would not have happened without the support and creativity of others. The cumulative need and desire for a theatre extracurricular on campus and the passion and drive from our executive and production teams is how we are able to propel this idea into a reality.

While I am honoured to be recognized for my accomplishments in Student Leadership at Ryerson, I take this award as a reminder to always appreciate the help and support that I have from team members, friends, family, peers, and most importantly, from Ryerson for creating such a welcoming environment for students to excel and grow.