The Magis Award for Young Alumni honours a young alumnus with a record of extraordinary professional, community or academic achievement.

The recipient is a young adult who has continued to include religion in their lives, is intellectually competent, loving and open to growth. Following the teachings of St. Bonaventure’s College these alumni remain committed to justice in the generous service of the people of God. Recipients of the award will be 30 years of age or younger as of the close of nominations for the Awards.

To nominate a person for the Magis Award, please fill in the nomination form found here and submit to the President’s Office either in person or email to

2019 Magis Award Recipient – Mr. Michael O‘Keefe ’13

While at St. Bon’s, Michael O’Keefe ’13 flourished as a well-rounded student demonstrating many successes in academics, music, leadership, spiritual growth, and more.He continues to grow and succeed to this day, always striving to reach his full potential. Upon graduation from St. Bon’s, Michael was awarded over $250,000 in scholarships, including the Memorial University Alumni Association Entrance Scholarship, one of the University’s largest. At Memorial, while earning his Bachelor of Music degree (Honours) with a double major in Trumpet Performance and Musicology, Michael was named to the Dean’s List each year, and was awarded the University Medal for Academic Excellence in Music and the Dr. Maureen Volk Award for Academic Excellence at convocation last year.

A passion fuelled by the St. Bon’s music program, Michael continues to perform at home, across the country, and internationally. He was a National Finalist at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals National Music Festival in 2016, was Principal Trumpet at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute in 2017, and was selected as a winner of the Memorial University Concerto Competition in 2018. Michael also performed for two seasons as a member of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and was a Teaching Artist at Project Grace, a cost-free program offering music learning and development to children from all walks of life.

Demonstration of leadership and service, a large part of Michael’s education at St. Bon’s, has remained with him since graduation. In addition to volunteer work at Eastern Health Long Term Care, Michael has completed international humanitarian service trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to build much needed housing and educational facilities. While at Memorial, Michael took on several leadership roles, serving on the University Senate and Students’ Union Board of Directors for four terms. Because of this work, he had the opportunity to represent the University nationally at the Universities Canada Converge 2017 conference to discuss what Canada can become in the next 50 years. He was also selected as one of 10 Canadian and 10 American university students to attend the Fulbright Youth Institute on Canada in the World. For his service to Memorial University, Michael was awarded the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Award and Fry Family Foundation Scholarship, the University’s highest honours for leadership. Michael has since worked as a Legislative Assistant at the House of Commons in Ottawa.

Perhaps most notably, Michael was named the 2018 Rhodes Scholar for Newfoundland and Labrador, the 28thRhodes Scholar in the long and proud history of St. Bon’s, but the first since it reopened as a Jesuit school in 1999. Widely regarded as the most prestigious scholarship program in the world, Michael has since begun graduate studies at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, earning a Master’s degree in Music Performance, during which he received trumpet tuition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Michael is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the Blavatnik School of Government, also at Oxford. He has had several exciting opportunities since moving to Oxford, including the experience of interviewing esteemed classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Michael is currently on the organizing committee for the inaugural Rhodes Forum on the Humanities, to be held in Oxford in November, and serves as the Director of Finance on the Board of the Global Scholars Group, a network of international scholars in the United Kingdom, who are committed to finding creative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

2018 Magis Award Recipient – Mr. Kieran O‘Connell ’10

Kieran O’Connell is a proud member of the St. Bonaventure’s College Class of 2010. After graduating from St. Bon’s, he attended Memorial University of Newfoundland where he completed a double major in Communications and English. Kieran now works as Guest Co-ordinator at The Gathering Place, a not for profit institution that provides service, nourishment and socialization to the marginalized in our community. 
While at Memorial, Kieran spent much of his personal time working on various music endeavors – playing shows and recording with various bands. Kieran also founded an arts and media blog while attending MUN, called Secret East, with some of his friends. The blog – for which Kieran contributed written content, photography and filmography – focuses on artists from the Maritime and Atlantic provinces that may otherwise go undocumented.
Upon completion of his Bachelor of Arts degree, Kieran was offered a five-week position at The Gathering Place and a full time, permanent position elsewhere.  Taking a chance, he turned down the full time job and took the 5-weeks of work at The Gathering Place. Clearly, the risk was worth it as he’s still there, several years later, continuing to demonstrate his commitment to justice. 
In his role as Guest Coordinator, Kieran not only coordinates guests with the services provided by The Gathering Place, but also coordinates needed service for guests with outside agencies. He works closely with each guest and must navigate politics, policies and inadequate conditions and services to connect guests with their needs. Kieran also has become involved with important community initiatives led by the Community Food Sharing Coalition, the Community Action Group on Harm Reduction, End Homelessness St. John’s and the Downtown Primary Healthcare Collaborative. 
Kieran is a true man for others. The respect and dignity with which he treats his guests demonstrate that Kieran lives the Jesuit tradition of not only providing service to others, but standing with them in the trenches. Through these experiences, Kieran has been motivated to begin preparing for the LSAT in order to pursue a Law degree to better position himself to advocate and fight for the justice of all persons. In the small amount of free time Kieran finds for himself, he has recently begun to learn Judo, which he thoroughly enjoys. 

2017 Magis Award Recipient – Dr. Lesley Bautista ’05

After being named valedictorian of the St. Bonaventure’s College Class of 2005, Dr. Lesley Bautista ’05 was awarded the Whealan-O’Reilly Merit Scholarship for College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Biology. She entered the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University in 2009, where she continues with her residency in Anesthesia. At this year’s Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Meeting, her team placed second in the resident simulation competition.

Lesley has been involved in athletics since a young age, earning awards and breaking records in gymnastics and track and field, particularly pole vaulting. She was Holy Cross’s nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year in 2009 and was awarded the Meegan Athletic Achievement award for outstanding achievement during her college career. Using her athletic talents, Lesley has given back to St. Bon’s by voluntarily coaching Track and Field with ages 8-16 for the past 6 years.

Through all of Dr. Bautista’s academic and athletic endeavors, she has managed to continue to serve others. She has volunteered for various charities and initiatives during medical school, including retrieving medical histories for newly arrived refugees in conjunction with the Association for New Canadians. During her time in Worcester, Lesley became involved in the community, volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and tutoring at a local inner city high school. In 2009 she participated in a nine-day immersion program in Kenya to gain a better understanding of women in poverty. In February of this year, Dr. Bautista travelled to Haiti with Team Broken Earth to provide much needed medical services.

2016 Magis Award Recipient – David Browne ’09

During his time at St. Bonaventure’s College, David was active in the school community. Throughout high school, David volunteered with the St. Ignatius Social Justice group in a variety of capacities. He helped organize events ranging from fundraising dinners to the second Kairos weekend.

David also played on a number of the school’s sports teams during his tenure at St. Bon’s – he was given the Donald C. Crane Award for Most Improved Athlete in 2007 and the High School Basketball Team’s Most Valuable Player in 2008. In graduating with President’s Honours in 2009, David was given the Larry O’Keefe Award. David subsequently entered the Civil Engineering program at Memorial.

He continued to be involved in Social Justice campaigns through his work with Engineers Without Borders (EWB). In that group, David worked in a number of local roles – from advocating for the University to sell more fair trade products to eventually serving as President of the University’s EWB chapter. However, the highlight of David’s time with EWB came when he was selected as the Chapter’s Junior Fellow in the summer of 2012. In that role, David volunteered in northern Ghana for 4 months with the organization’s Agricultural Extension team. In that capacity, he acted as a consultant for a Fruit Exporting company in exploring how knowledge around innovative farming techniques is transferred from researchers to rural farmers.

Since graduating from Memorial University in 2014, David has worked for the Marine Institute as part of a research team focused on improving offshore and marine safety. In the fall of 2015, David started a Masters in Water Resources Engineering at the University of Guelph. In that role, David is studying the presence and movement of insecticides in the groundwater at two sites in Ontario. David continues to be involved in sports such as Ultimate Frisbee and soccer.

2015 Magis Award Recipient – Charlotte-Anne Malischewski ’08

Since graduation, Charlotte-Anne has endeavoured to put her Jesuit education into practice by not only striving for academic excellence, but also seeking ways to contribute meaningfully to a more just and equitable world.

She holds an honours Bachelor in International Studies and Music from Earlham College, a Master’s with distinction in Refuggee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford, and a double civil and common law degree from McGill. She has worked with displaced populations in New Orleans, Jordan and Palestine and conducted research on conflict resolution and migration in Northern Ireland and India. She advocates for migrant rights, gender equality, and accessible education.

Most recently, Charlotte-Anne founded Contours, a magazine on the intersection of women and law, and worked on refugee cases with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project. She is now working as a judicial clerk at the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa.

2014 Magis Award Recipient – Charlotte Allison ’07

From a young age Charlotte has been dedicated to social justice. In 2005, she saw the need for a Social Justice Club at St. Bonaventure’s College. With the guidance of a teacher, Charlotte founded the club and led it in its early years. Charlotte’s legacy is still seen at the school, as the SocialJustice Club continues today. In recognition of Charlotte’s commitment to social justice during her time at St. Bon’s, Charlotte received the Ignatius of Loyola Award for leadership and dedication to social justice at her graduation.

After graduating from St. Bon’s, Charlotte attended Memorial University and completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2013. While pursing this degree, Charlotte worked as a Camp Counselor at the Easter Seals of Nova Scotia’s Camp Tidnish during the summer of 2010. As a camp counselor she worked with adults, teens and children with mild to severe cognitive delays and physical disabilities. For her work at this camp, Charlotte received the Everest 2010 Mountain of Learning Award for her exceptional commitment to experiential education through her participation in activities related in her intended profession. Upon finishing her Kinesiology degree, Charlotte was unsure of what her next educational steps should be, so she took the opportunity to travel and volunteer in India and Nepal.

Charlotte spent time in India from October to December 2012.  During this time Charlotte worked with Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, helping care for women with physical and cognitive disabilities. In January 2013, Charlotte headed to Nepal. While traveling to Nepal, Charlotte learned of the Umbrella Foundation, a charity that works to alleviate the impact of trafficking, poverty and war on children and their families in Nepal. It was her work with this foundation that called her to pursue a career in Social Work as she believed that this was the best path that would allow her to develop the necessary skills to help vulnerable populations in Canada, and in the third world.

Charlotte is currently pursuing her Bachelor in Social Work at Carleton University where she will graduate in 2015. After graduation Charlotte plans on pursuing a career in anti-trafficking and disabilities work, hopefully in Asia.

2013 Magis Award Receipient – Miriam Westin ’07

Miriam Westin graduated from St. Bonaventure’s College in 2007.  While attending the school she was active in many aspects of school life especially in arts, sports and music. She achieved outstanding academic results and scholarships.  For her work and leadership with Operation Christmas Child she was awarded the YMCA Peace Medal.

Upon graduation, Miriam was awarded a full scholarship to study at Holy Cross, a Jesuit College in Massachusetts.  While in attendance at college she volunteered with the Spring Break Immersion programs travelling to rural Virginia to learn from and serve in various communities with a group of fellow students from Holy Cross.  While studying at Holy Cross, Miriam was chosen to have an exhibit of her art in Boston.  She spent time in China and studied Chinese language and culture and travelled to Washington, D.C., for the Jesuit University Humanitarian Action Network conference for students and faculty as part of the Holy Cross delegation.

Having been an outstanding leader at Holy Cross, she was selected as the 2011 Valedictorian from a class of 691 Bachelor of Arts graduates.

After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Studio Art and Architectural Studies, Miriam was accepted for an internship with the human rights non-governmental organization, International Justice Mission (IJM) in a South Asia. She worked during the summers at her Parish and with Festival 500.   She returned to South Asia where she was an administrative intern in IJM’s field office working to combat sex trafficking of minors. She has been involved in variety of other social justice initiatives.

Miriam is currently completing a Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, California. This degree provides graduates with a broad understanding of global urban poverty while simultaneously providing the opportunity to complete distance studies and internships in an overseas community. She will continue her work for the poor of the world.