Jimy Beltran awarded the Tom McCann Memorial Trophy

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Jimy Beltran has joined a diverse and impressive roster of St. Thomas graduates as the 2018 recipient of the Tom McCann Memorial Trophy.

The trophy is presented annually at the Graduates’ Dinner and is awarded to a member of the graduating class who best portrays the spirit of St. Thomas through contributions to university and student affairs, and who possess strong leadership, character, and personality traits.

Beltran, who is completing an honours in History and Political Economy, a major in Catholic Studies, and a minor in Business, undoubtedly fits the bill.

“Jimy has distinguished himself as a scholar, and a campus and community leader,” President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell said.

“His nominators describe him as a person who finds time to support his peers, both as a friend and a mentor, and one who makes time to help those in need, no matter how busy he may be.”

Beltran said receiving the Tom McCann award is the result of hard work, but also the support he received from the campus community.

“I’m truly honoured, but it’s not only the result of my efforts, but also of the support of friends and professors who have guided me every step of the way,” he said. “Without them and their encouragement, many of the projects I’ve worked on wouldn’t have been possible.”

An international student from Caracas, Venezuela, Beltran has been a member of the Dean’s List each year. He completed the Harvard Business School’s Core HBX Program, was one of only two STU students accepted into the Pond-Deshpande Ambassador Program, and was named a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Scholar in the two years he competed with the men’s volleyball team.

Outside of academics, Beltran served as the STU Students’ Union Vice-President—Student Life and has volunteered with Campus Ministry, STU Cares, Relay for Life, STU International Students’ Association, the STU Food Bank, and the John Peters Humphrey Model United Nations. He founded the STU Chapter of Global Brigades—he led 17 students on a service-learning trip to Panama last year—and Venezuela 180 which operates a website that amplifies the work of Venezuelan journalists who are trying to change the narrative in their country. The organization also provides food and medicine to local orphanages, hospitals, and senior homes.

“I think my desire to give back and help others is ultimately rooted in my Catholic faith,” Beltran said. “Helping others is an extension of my belief and therefore who I am. It’s a priority I carry with me every day.”

The soon to be alumnus was recently selected by the Venture for Canada Program for a two-year work term with a top entrepreneur. As his time at St. Thomas comes to a close, Beltran is hopeful the university community will continue to thrive in its focus on social justice and helping those in need.

“This institution, with its small community and liberal arts education, has given me the opportunity to forge friendships with professors, students, and staff that have helped me grow at a personal, professional, and spiritual level,” he said. “I hope the STU community will continue to stand in solidarity with people in need at local and international levels through real action.”