Concordia has produced influential leaders and researchers, groundbreaking artists and history-makers. Here are some of our big-thinking graduates, as well as loyal friends and generous supporters.
Louise Archambault BFA 93, MFA 00
Great Concordian Louise Archambault, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Atomic Saké, Prix Jutra, Delle Donne International Film Festival, Familia, City TV Award, Claude-Jutra, Gabrielle, Concordia University, Daniel Cross, Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, Williams syndrome, Locarno International Film Festival, Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur, Festival du film canadien de Dieppe, Academy Awards, Canadian Screen Awards, Soirée des prix Jutra, After the End Filmmaking and the tradition of excellence
Award-winning filmmaker Louise Archambault, BFA 93, MFA 00, began her career in the Quebec film industry holding a variety of posts, including still photographer, line producer and assistant director.
She started work on her own creations in the late 1990s while completing a graduate degree at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Her artistic vision materialized through a steady output of short documentary and fiction films.
One of these, Atomic Saké (1999), was awarded a Prix Jutra and Best Film at the Delle Donne International Film Festival. Familia (2005), her debut feature-length fiction film, was well received domestically and internationally. It won the City TV Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and the Claude-Jutra Award for Best First Film.
Archambault’s brilliant foray into the world of commercial cinema was followed by Gabrielle (2013), a multi-award-winning production. A touching and mesmerizing film, it introduces the talented Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, a young actress and singer with Williams syndrome. Premiering at the Locarno International Film Festival, it received the Prix du Public. It won similar prizes at both the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur and the Festival du film canadien de Dieppe.
Narrowly missing a nomination as Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, Gabrielle received multiple awards at home: Best Picture and Best Actress at the Canadian Screen Awards. It won in five categories at the 16th Soirée des prix Jutra. (Meilleure réalisation, Meilleur montage, Meilleur scénario, Meilleure actrice de soutien, Film s’étant le plus illustré à l'extérieur du Québec).
“When you see a success like Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle …, it really inspires everyone here — students, staff and professors — to maintain that tradition of excellence,” said Daniel Cross, chair of Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.
Archambault is now working on After the End, an adaptation of a British play set in a nuclear bunker.
Fay Arjomandi BEng 98
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2018
Fay Arjomandi has 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in digital communications and computing. She has served in C-level executive roles covering engineering, strategy, operations, product development and marketing. She is the executive chairwoman of H2 Wellness and founder and chief product officer at mimik. She is also a board advisor at startups Studytracks and Bright Buddies.
She served as CEO of NantMobile, Tensorcom,Vodafone xone, Mobidia, and L3 Technology, and as a board member at Wibbitz, MEF, US Vodafone Global Enterprise Inc., and chairwoman at Vodafone Americas Foundation. In 2007, Arjomandi was the Canadian technology and innovation representative to the White House.
She has authored 14 patents and in 2014 she was named one of the most influential women business leaders in Silicon Valley by San Francisco Business Week. In 2006, Arjomandi received the distinguished Business In Vancouver’s “Top 40 Under 40” award, presented to outstanding leaders in their fields.
Ghislain Arsenault BComm 85
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2017
Ghislain Arsenault Jr. is an enthusiastic ambassador of Concordia, the Stingers, specifically the football program, and the John Molson School of Business (JMSB).
He played a key role in founding the Champions Club, and through events like the annual golf tournament continues to raise money for scholarships and bursaries for student-athletes. He has also coached JMSB case competition teams, sharing years of entrepreneurial experience as the owner of Truck’N Roll, one of the largest carriers for the show business industry in North America.
“He is a friend and the most caring and philanthropic person I have come across in my five years at Concordia,” shares a current JMSB student and Stingers football player who nominated Arsenault for the award.
John Aylen MA 76
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2014 John Aylen is a lecturer in the Marketing Department at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business.
John Aylen is a lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business.
John is a marketing communications professional with more than 35 years’ experience in planning and implementing communications programs. His clients have included leading organizations in the pharmaceutical and health care industries, brewing, science and engineering, the not-for-profit sector and resource industries.
He is the president of the board of Youth Employment Services, a Montreal-based organization that helps people across the province find employment, start businesses or turn their artistic pursuits into money-making ventures.
John also sits on the board of the Old Brewery Mission, where he chairs the communications subcommittee. His other current involvement includes the McEuen Scholarship Foundation, where he is president and sits on the selection committee, fundraising for the Mordecai Richler Chair in Creative Writing and the St. Andrew’s Society McEuen Chair in Canadian Scottish Relations at McGill University.
John was president of the Concordia University Alumni Association from 2002 to 2005 and is a former member of the university’s Board of Governors.
David J. Azrieli LLD 75
Honorary Life Membership – 2014 honorary life membership, award, David J. Azrieli David J. Azrieli, C.M., C.Q., M.Arch., was born in Poland and came to Canada in 1954. He is now world-renowned as an innovative builder and designer. David graduated from Carleton University with a master’s degree in architecture in 1997, when he was 75 years old.
Azrieli was born in Poland in 1922. His parents, brother and sister were killed during the Holocaust. He fled Poland in 1939 and fought in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948 before settling in Montreal in 1954, where he made his fortune in real estate.
Renowned as an architectural innovator, Azrieli graduated from Carleton University with a master’s degree in architecture in 1997, when he was 75 years old.
He studied at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology from 1943 to 1946. Later, in Canada, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Université de Montréal.
The second of four children, Azrieli was an ardent philanthropist. In 1989, he established the Azrieli Foundation — which supports education, medical research, Jewish appreciation and Holocaust commemoration — to realize his charitable goals.
The Azrieli Foundation donated $5 million to Concordia in 2011 to establish the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies, a research hub that looks beyond the lens of Israeli politics. Norma Joseph, the institute’s associate director, says: “David was a builder. His vision as a philanthropist helped create institutions. We are indebted to him for his commitment to Israel studies and to Concordia.”
Azrieli also established the first endowed fellowships for Concordia graduate students. In 1984, he helped create the Azrieli Holocaust Collection, some 8,500 titles on anti-Semitism, at Concordia University Libraries. In 1975, Concordia bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Azrieli, calling him an “exemplary contributor” to the university.
Last year, Azrieli donated $560 million and Azrieli Group stock to his Azrieli Foundation. His family has given some $100 million in philanthropic funds over the past 23 years.
Azrieli’s financial success, much of it derived from his real estate acumen, fostered his love of Canada and devotion to Israel, where he thrived. “I have two homelands,” Azrieli once said, “two places I love and where I have been blessed to do what I love best. My opportunity to express myself professionally started in Canada and eventually let me fulfill my dream of making a contribution to my other homeland, Israel. The two have always been entwined.”
His deepest belief, as he once said, was that “genuine freedom is being able to do what you love to do. If you have to spend your life doing things you don’t love to do, you are no better than a slave. This then, is my message: do what you love to do.”
An avid reader of newspapers and lover of classical music, Azrieli was named to the Order of Canada in 1984. He was invested as a Chevalier of the Ordre National du Québec in 1999.
David Azrieli died on July 9, 2014. He was 92 years old and is survived by his wife of 57 years, Stephanie, GrDip 76, BA 71, and by his children, Rafael, Sharon, an opera singer and cantor, Naomi, CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, and Danna, vice-president of the Azrieli Group.
Brigeen Badour Cert 92, BA 00, GrDip 11
Great Concordian Making university possible
Brigeen Badour, BA 00, GrDip 11, has a knack for helping others – giving advice, volunteering her time and supporting Concordia students with her pocketbook.
A veteran Concordia staffer, she joined the university in 1985, working as a secretary in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. By 1987, she moved to the Centre for Mature Students — which later became the Student Transition Centre — where she soon found her vocation as an academic advisor.
Until she retired in 2013, she guided students along their academic path, helping them see their future more clearly, navigate through course selections, regulations and sometimes complex situations.
“With her enthusiasm and complete dedication to students, Brigeen embraced and exemplified the School of Extended Learning’s motto: ‘We make university possible,’” said Javier Lee, director of administration at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business.
“Not only was she knowledgeable about the university’s programs and the academic needs of students, she’s a great listener who would make every effort to understand the students’ needs, interests, goals, and expectations,” he added.
Without Badour’s guidance and assistance, many may not have enrolled at Concordia, let alone graduate.
“Brigeen went above and beyond,” said recent graduate Michael Daoussis. “I have never met such a kind, considerate and professional advisor in all my years.”
Many students and graduates have echoed these sentiments. “Every time I had an obstacle, Brigeen had a solution,” said alumna Manon Daisomont in an interview for Concordia’s Thursday Report in 2003.
In 2008, she co-organized Concordia’s Single Parents Support Network, which later became the Student Parents Centre
Badour has inspired others to contribute to Concordia in so many different ways. She brings out the best in her colleagues with her positive attitude and ready smile. She continually strives to advance the mission of Concordia, promoting the university and giving back.
In 2013, she funded the Pamela Badour Memorial Bursary — in the name of her late cousin — in support of undergraduate students who are also single parents. She is a longtime donor to Concordia’s Community Campaign and spearheaded events with her colleagues to benefit the campaign.
Badour is a three-time Concordia graduate. As a mature student, she earned a certificate in arts and science in 1992, a BA in human relations in 2000 and a graduate diploma in adult education in 2011.
Despite her retirement, Badour couldn’t stay away from Concordia, so she works on a casual basis at the John Molson School of Business and School of Extended learning.
Maziar Bahari BA 93
Great Concordian Maziar Bahari, Iran, communications, political science, Concordia University, documentary, Art of Demolition, Football Iranian Style, And Along Came a Spider, Mohammad and the Matchmaker, Targets: Reporters in Iraq, Iraq, Newsweek, Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, espionage, solitary confinement, torture, Free Maziar Bahari, New York Times, Then They Came for Me, The Guardian, The New Republic, Jon Stewart, journalism, The Daily Show, Gael García Bernal, Rosewater Story of harrowing, 118-day capture adapted for big screen
Iranian-born Maziar Bahari, BA 93, moved to Canada in the late 1980s to undertake studies in communications and political science at Concordia University.
Soon after graduating, he embarked on a directing career. His filmography includes documentary works that offer all-too-rare glimpses into the lives and challenges of the Iraqi and Iranian peoples. They include Art of Demolition (1998), Football, Iranian Style (2001), And Along Came a Spider (2003), Mohammad and the Matchmaker (2004) and Targets: Reporters in Iraq (2007).
Bahari served as Newsweek’s Iran correspondent between 1998 and 2011. He was in Tehran during the 2009 civil uprising, which followed the disputed victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential election. On June 21, Bahari was arrested and incarcerated under charges of espionage.
For 118 days, Bahari was held in solitary confinement, tortured and submitted to constant interrogation. The Free Maziar Bahari international campaign helped secure his release on bail at the end of October.
Bahari swiftly fled the country and reunited with his pregnant wife in London. He was subsequently tried in absentia and sentenced to thirteen and a half years in prison plus seventy-four lashes for crimes he did not commit.
Bahari retold his story in a New York Times bestseller titled Then They Came for Me. The Guardian described it as “a unique achievement.” The New Republic concurred: “An important and elegant book . . . a prison memoir enlarged into a family history.”
Bahari often thought of his father and sister while incarcerated — both suffered imprisonment in Iran decades earlier. He also drew on the knowledge he acquired as an undergraduate student to analyze his place of confinement and derail the process of interrogation.
His memoir is the subject of Rosewater, a movie directed by political satirist and television host Jon Stewart. Mexican actor Gael García Bernal will play Bahari.
“Maziar is an incredible person,” the actor told a group of students at Concordia during a 2013 visit to Montreal. He added: “It was the most incredible filming adventure I’ve ever put myself into.”
Robert Barnes BA 68
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2013 Benoit Pelland, award, robert barnes Robert (Bob) Barnes worked tirelessly on behalf of the Alumni Association of Sir George Williams University and Concordia University from 2001 until his untimely death in June 2012.
Robert (Bob) Barnes worked tirelessly on behalf of the Alumni Association of Sir George Williams University and Concordia University from 2001 until his untimely death in June 2012.
Bob earned a BA from Sir George Williams University, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, in 1968. He joined Sir George Williams’s alumni association in 2001 and was its president from 2005 to 2008. He served as its representative to Concordia’s Board of Governors from 2008 to 2010.
As chair of the association’s Signage Committee, he successfully campaigned to have the provenance of the Sir George Williams name recognized on plaques on the university’s Henry F. Hall and Molson buildings.
Outside of Concordia, Bob was an active volunteer for a number of community organizations, including the Rotary Club of Verdun-LaSalle, the Verdun Council of Community Agencies, the Quebec Winter Games in LaSalle and the Sherbrooke Street Businessmen’s Association. He also coached baseball and hockey and served as a warden in his church.
Honorary Life Membership – 2016
A love of philosophy, history and literature led Henry Beissel to initiate programs that eventually led to the founding of Concordia’s Liberal Arts College 36 years ago.
A distinguished professor emeritus, Beissel joined Sir George Williams University — one of Concordia’s two founding institutions — in 1966.
Concordia’s first rector, John O’Brien, asked Beissel to develop a creative writing program in the early 1970s. Beissel established and served as director of that program, which continues to flourish at both undergraduate and graduate levels to this day.
Throughout his academic career, Beissel wrote poems, plays and essays. His work Inuk and the Sun (1973) was featured at the Stratford Festival.
Great Concordian JMSB’s two-time Olympic champion
Alexandre Bilodeau is a shining star among Concordia University’s winter Olympians. The John Molson School of Business student made Canadians and Concordians proud at the Sochi Olympics in Russia, earning a second gold medal in mogul skiing.
The world champion successfully defended the title he had won at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, thereby becoming the first freestyle skier to stand twice on the highest level of the Olympic podium.
This was one of many firsts for Bilodeau who, at age 14, became the youngest athlete to perform a triple jump in competition. He started off as Rookie of the Year in 2006 and quickly collected victories at international ski events, including 19 World Cup gold medals and three World Championships in dual moguls.
Bilodeau retired from professional skiing after the 2014 World Cup season.
He has two heroes: his brother Frédéric, who is affected by cerebral palsy, and Jean-Luc Brassard, former Olympic freestyle ski champion.
Bilodeau has long been a spokesperson for — and a dedicated supporter of — many charitable organizations, including the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, the Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta, the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres for Cerebral Palsy Research and the Quebec Cerebral Palsy Association.
Now ready for a new challenge, Bilodeau is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has been studying intermittently, on a part-time basis, for several years. At a homecoming celebration Concordia held in his honour after his Sochi win, Bilodeau said it would have been impossible for him to reconcile his two lives — athlete and accounting student — without the support of professors and administrators.
“Without John Molson [School of Business] or Concordia people, I would never have been able to do school and skiing. And I probably would’ve stopped skiing if I couldn’t have done both,” he explained. The two-time Olympic champion has many projects in mind, but his priority is to step back into the classroom and complete his degree. In his own words: “Now changing my goal, it’s something refreshing and I’ve been looking forward to it.”
Jonathan and Maria Birks
Honorary Life Membership – 2008 honorary life membership, award, jonathan birks, maria birks Jonathan and Maria's enthusiasm for and attachment to Concordia rival even those of the most ardent alumni. As loyal supporters of numerous student bursaries and University programs through the Birks Family Foundation, they are cherished members of the Concordia family.
As loyal supporters of numerous student bursaries and University programs through the Birks Family Foundation, they are cherished members of the Concordia family.
They are especially passionate about the Centre for the Arts in Human Development, an innovative and unique project that applies creative arts therapies toward promoting growth and advancement for people with intellectual, developmental and mental health disabilities.
Maria del Carmen Denegri Birks, a native of Peru, is a director at Birkden Management Inc. Maria earned her BA in 1967 from the Universidad Catolica de Lima. She was the co-founder and former partner of Casa Inca, a retail outlet of Peruvian clothing, accessories and furnishings. She is also co-founder and director of the annual Montreal Toy Tea, a charitable organization that raises funds for children in shelters.
Maria is a former director of the Birks Family Foundation, I Musici di Montreal and the Montreal Opera, and is a past co-chair of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Ball, the Montreal Breast Cancer Annual luncheon and the Young Presidents' Organization's Regional Conference.
Jonathan Birks, a Montreal native, is president and director of Birkden Management Inc. He obtained a BA from McGill University in 1967, a Diploma (Honours) in International Law FROM the City of London College in London, England, in 1969, and an LL.L. (Law) from the Université Laval in 1970. Jonathan is also president and a trustee of the Birks Family Foundation and is a director for several public and private companies.
Jonathan is highly active in the community, serving as a director and chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, member of the Advisory Board of the YMCA of Greater Montreal, chair of Foundation Giving for the YMCA Kanawana Development Project and honorary consul of the Republic of Paraguay in Montreal. He is also the former president and CEO of Henry Birks & Sons Ltd.
He has earned several awards and distinctions, such as the Canadian Award from the John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Foundation in 1984, the Personnalité du mois de la Revue Commerce in 1989 and the President's Award from the Canadian Jewellers' Association in 2002.
Maria and Jonathan have been married since 1970. They have five children: Alexandra, Patrick, Francesca, Cristina and Ryan, and are the proud grandparents of Finn Jamieson Harland.
Donald Boisvert BA 75, MA 79
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2010 excellence in teaching, alumni, award, Donald Boisvert For more than 35 years, Donald L. Boisvert, BA 75, MA 79, PhD, has been a integral member of the Concordia family as an award-winning student, administrator and educator.
For more than 35 years, Donald L. Boisvert, BA 75, MA 79, PhD, has been a integral member of the Concordia family as an award-winning student, administrator and educator. Donald joined the Dean of Students' Office on the Loyola Campus after completing his master's degree in 1979. He thrived in various administrative and teaching roles and went on to earn a PhD in Religious Studies in 1990 from the University of Ottawa.
As Concordia's Dean of Students from 1996 to 2003, Donald helped build a welcoming and comprehensive Student Services program. Since 2003, he's been a Senior Lecturer for Concordia's Department of Religion, where he's taught a diverse range of religious studies courses and supervised and mentored graduate students. In 2002, he endowed the Donald L. Boisvert Scholarship for Gay and Lesbian Studies.
Donald has authored two books, including Sanctity and Male Desire: A Gay Reading of Saints (2004), which was a finalist in the Spirituality/Religion Category at the 2005 Lambda Literary Awards.
Frank Borowicz BA 69
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2008 alumnus, alumna, of the year, award, frank borowicz Frank S. Borowicz, L BA 69, may have left Loyola College nearly 40 years ago, but Loyola and Concordia University remain close to his heart.
Frank S. Borowicz, L BA 69, may have left Loyola College nearly 40 years ago, but Loyola and Concordia University remain close to his heart. Through the years, Frank has been an active participant in some of the University's key fundraising initiatives, such as the Frederick H. Lowy Fellowships, the Concordia Shuffle and the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity 40th Reunion Scholarship. A proud member of the TKE Fraternity, Frank co-chaired and co-emceed their 40th anniversary reunion event in 2007. He's also graciously played host for several Concordia alumni events held at his Vancouver offices.
Julien BriseBois EMBA 07
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2013 MBA, alumni, award, Julien BriseBois Julien BriseBois earned an Executive MBA from the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) in 2007.
Julien BriseBois earned an Executive MBA from the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) in 2007.
Julien was named assistant general manager of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010 after nine years with the Montreal Canadiens, most recently as VP of hockey operations.
He also is GM of the Lightning’s top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch (previously the Norfolk Admirals), of the American Hockey League. In 2011-12, the team won the league’s championship, the Calder Cup. In 2010, the Hockey News magazine ranked Julien number one in its annual Top 40 Under 40 people of power and influence.
Julien has been a regular participant at the JMSB’s annual Sports Marketing Conference. He was featured at Up Close and Personal during Concordia’s Homecoming 2012 and sat on the Concordia University Recreation and Athletics Campaign Cabinet in 2009.
He holds a law degree from Université de Montréal and is a member of the Quebec Bar, American Bar Association and Sports Lawyers Association.
Pierre Brunet BComm 70
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2014 award, Humberto Santos, J. Pierre Brunet
J. Pierre Brunet joined Concordia’s Faculty of Commerce and Administration, now the John Molson School of Business, in 1972, after an earlier career in industry. He holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a PhD in strategy at l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales [HEC] in Montreal.
Pierre has taught Organizational Behaviour, Management and Business Strategy courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was also director of the Concordia Executive MBA Program for a three-year term and a member of the university Senate.
In June 1999, Pierre took early retirement from the university and became president of Moody Industries Inc., a manufacturer of material handling equipment, until November 2000.
Pierre has sat on a number of corporate boards. At Concordia, he was a founding member of the board of directors of the International MBA Case Competition and of the Faculty of Commerce and Administration Advisory Board.
For several years he was also a regular business analyst and commentator on CBC Montreal TV newscasts.
Jean-Sébastien Bélanger BComm 08
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2008 outstanding student award, Jean-Sébastien Bélanger, award, jean-sebastien belanger Since enrolling at Concordia's John Molson School of Business (JMSB) four years ago, Marketing student Jean-Sébastien Bélanger has been both an active organizer of and participant in the business school's student activities and competitions.
Since enrolling at Concordia's John Molson School of Business (JMSB) four years ago, Marketing student Jean-Sébastien Bélanger has been both an active organizer of and participant in the business school's student activities and competitions.
Jean-Sébastien, who currently serves as the John Molson Competition Committee's VP Academic, spent last summer--together with fellow JMSB student Thomas Horvath and Marketing Instructor and Commerce Games Advisor Mark Haber--evaluating dozens of students vying for spots on the 45 JMSB teams that would compete in business case competitions across the province, country and world.
Jean-Sébastien has also represented Concordia at several competitions. He was an integral part of the International Marketing team that captured overall Gold at the 2008 Marketing Happening. He also participated in the 2007 CitiBank International Case Competition at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, was a member of the Entrepreneurship team that finished second at the 2008 Commerce Games/Jeux de Commerce in Trois-Rivières, Que., and the JMSB team that reached the finals of the 2008 Marshall International Case Competition--the world's largest international undergraduate competition--at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Calif.
Jean-Sébastien has contributed greatly to enhancing the University's student life as a member of the John Molson Marketing Association and an organizer of the national JMSB Sports Business Conference.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2017
Philippe Caignon is a professor of translation in the Département d'études françaises, academic director of Concordia’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and director of the Translation Studies master’s program.
An outstanding mentor, Caignon was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2014.
Caignon is known for developing teaching methodologies, as well as for his work in translation and terminology. He supports all kinds of students and strongly believes pedagogy must adapt to the student and not the other way around.
“He has helped at every step of the way, right up to my thesis defense and my upcoming graduation. He made me believe for the first time that perhaps I could teach one day,” says his former student and nominator.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2009 excellence in teaching, alumni, award, Walcir Cardoso Walcir Cardoso is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics/Teaching English as a Second Language in Concordia's Department of Education.
Walcir Cardoso is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics/Teaching English as a Second Language in Concordia's Department of Education.
Walcir's research focuses on second language acquisition of phonology within an approach that combines insights from theoretical and applied phonology, psycholinguistics and variationist sociolinguistics.
He is the director of the Department of Education's Applied Linguistics program and teaches Computers in Language Learning, Phonology, Second Language Acquisition of Phonology, Universal Grammar and Second Language Acquisition, Applied Language Studies and Methodology.
Walcir, a native of Brazil, earned a PhD in Theoretical Linguistics in 2003 from McGill University. He has authored several scholarly publications and regularly presents at local, national and international conferences.
His exemplary teaching skills were formally recognized twice in 2007, when he received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching from Concordia and the Teacher of Merit Award from the Société pour la promotion de l'enseignement de l'anglais au Québec.
Before joining Concordia in 2003, Walcir taught courses in theoretical and applied linguistics at McGill's Department of Linguistics and the Department of Foreign Languages of the Universidade Federal do Pará in Brazil.
Outside of academia, he writes about audio equipment for a specialized Brazilian magazine called Revista Áudio & Vídeo, and consults for Lexicon Branding Inc. on the evaluation of brand names for adoption in the Brazilian and international markets.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2014 alumni, award, excellence in teaching, engineering, Saul Carliner Saul Carliner is an associate professor and Provost Fellow for eLearning, and program director of the PhD in Education at Concordia. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication and as director of Research for Lakewood Media.
Saul Carliner is an associate professor and Provost Fellow for eLearning, and program director of the PhD in Education at Concordia. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication and as director of Research for Lakewood Media.
Saul’s research and teaching focus is on the design of materials for learning and communication in the workplace, especially online materials, the management of groups that produce these materials and the transfer of research to practice.
His teaching has already been recognized with multiple awards, research grants and fellowships, and he is a member of the Provost’s Circle of Distinction at Concordia. Saul has published eight books, including the recent Informal Learning Basics and classic Techniques for Technical Communicators (with Carol Barnum), and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles.
Among his other volunteer work, Saul is vice-president of Agence Ometz, a social, employment and immigration agency in Montreal. He is a Certified Training and Development Professional and a Fellow of the STC and holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Minnesota and Georgia State University.
Thérèse Casgrain has a long history of involvement with the struggles of Quebec women for rights. She is credited with having won almost single-handedly Quebec women's franchise to vote in 1940. The list of her activities covers a wide range from founding La Ligue de la Jeunesse Feminine to three-time provincial leader of the Quebec CCF party.
Casgrain was summoned to the Senate in October 1970. Her past memberships include: Past-President of the League of Women's Rights, Past-President of the National Federation of Liberal Women's Clubs of Canada, chartered member of the French Federated Charities, national president (1962) of the Voice of Women, founder of La Federation des Femmes du Quebec and member of Expo 67 National Council of Women.
Excerpted from the Loyola Alumnus, April 1974
Outstanding Staff Award – 2018
Rosa Cerone has been the Internship Coordinator for Concordia’s Department of Education since July 2012, but she has worked for the university intermittently since 1988. Her commitment to her work and her department is without equal. Her nomination for the Outstanding Staff Award was backed by 24 individual letters from faculty, staff, students and alumni — each with their own stories about Cerone’s warmth, dedication, guidance and encouragement. Below is an excerpt from just one of the letters:
“I cannot even find words that express how good Rosa is to our community.” says Ann-Louise Davidson, associate professor at Concordia. “She goes above and beyond the call of duty, she cares for our students and she is amazingly efficient in her work. Moreover, the significant partnerships Rosa has created with the employers are instrumental to the success of our internship program. We admit over forty graduate students a year, which Rosa always manages to place for six-month long internships or for field experiences.”
Great Concordian, Outstanding Staff Award – 2011 Frank Chalk, Concordia University, genocide, American History, African History, Foreign Policy, tricontinental, Third World, Sir George Williams University, mass violence, Kurt Jonassohn, History and Sociology of Genocide, Mass Murder in History, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, MIGS, mass atrocity crimes, The History and Sociology of Genocide, Canadian Association of African Studies, CAAS, IAGS, International Association of Genocide Scholars, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, CAHS, Canadian Advisory Council, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, IHRA, Roméo Dallaire, Will to Intervene, W2I, Rwanda, Concordia University Magazine, Kosovo, Mobilizing the Will to Intervene, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award, Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Medal Preventing genocide through research and advocacy
Genocide scholar Frank Chalk celebrates half a century at Concordia in 2014. After he arrived at Sir George Williams University — one of Concordia’s founding institutions — his speciality in American foreign policy and African history led him to examine the history of mass violence.
In 1980, he and sociology professor Kurt Jonassohn pioneered a full-year course on the history and sociology of genocide. Concordia then hosted the Montreal Inter-University Seminar on Mass Murder in History between 1982 and 1985.
The following year, Chalk and Jonassohn co-founded the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS), now a world-renowned research and advocacy organization. Its mission is to prevent mass atrocities through education, policy recommendations and the establishment of effective partnerships between key actors.
The pair published The History and Sociology of Genocide (Yale University Press, 1990), a field-defining work spanning Antiquity to the recent past.
Chalk is a widely published historian and a highly sought-after speaker who served as president for both the Canadian Association of African Studies and the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
A past Fellow of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, he was also appointed a member of the Canadian Advisory Council of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Chalk recently joined forces with now-retired Senator Roméo Dallaire, former U.N. force commander for the U.N. Assistance mission to Rwanda, to launch the MIGS-affiliated Will to Intervene project (W2I).
“W2I is research with a practical outcome, which is to teach advocates and opinion makers — NGOs, the media, faith communities, business, trade unions and legislatures — how to mobilize the top Canadian and U.S. political leaders to help prevent the next Rwanda,” he explained to Concordia University Magazine.
Chalk co-authored Mobilizing the Will to Intervene (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010) a comparative analysis of American and Canadian policies towards Rwanda and Kosovo.
“Concordia is about innovation, new horizons and dreams that can come true — not just for students, staff and faculty — but for the sake of humanity,” Chalk said 10 years ago. Initiatives such as the MIGS and W2I are indications that the same holds true today.
Chalk is the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and an Outstanding Faculty Award (2011) presented by the Concordia University Alumni Association.
Dennis Chan BComm 77
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2012 Benoit Pelland, award, dennis chan Dennis Chan is director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Corporate Advisory Limited, a partner of Alliance Capital Asia Limited, and director and independent non-executive director of various listed and unlisted companies in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Dennis Chan is director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Corporate Advisory Limited, a partner of Alliance Capital Asia Limited, and director and independent non-executive director of various listed and unlisted companies in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
During his 35-year career, Dennis has worked in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore in an array of specialized fields such as public accountancy, management and tax consultancy, and various industries including investment and financial services.
Dennis earned a BComm from Concordia in 1977 and also holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University. Among his several professional designations, Dennis is a Canadian Chartered Accountant.
He is a co-founder of the Concordia University Alumni Association's Hong Kong chapter and a director, senior vice-president and treasurer of the Concordia University Hong Kong Foundation. Dennis also established a scholarship fund for students from China studying at Concordia.
Yung Chang BFA 99
Great Concordian Yung Chang, The Fish Market, Earth to Mouth, Up the Yangtze, Vancouver International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Genie Awards, Golden Horse Film, Daniel Cross, EyeSteelFilm, Martin Duckworth, National Film Board of Canada, China Heavyweight, The Fruit Hunters, Milano Film Festival, International Documentary Festival, Environmental Film Festival, Adam Leith Gollner, Adam Gollner, Eggplant, Don Haig Award, Yolande and Pierre Perrault Award, Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, NFB, National Film Board of Canada Perfecting the craft of filmmaking
Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang, BFA 99, directed two short films soon after graduating from Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.
The Fish Market (2002), an independently produced fiction film, and Earth to Mouth (2003), a documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada, paved the way to Chang’s first feature-length documentary.
His critically acclaimed Up the Yangtze (2007) offers a compelling portrait of the people whose homes were destroyed to make way for the construction of China’s Three Gorges Dam, a massive hydroelectric project.
The film won numerous Best Documentary awards at festivals around the world, including the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival, the 2008 Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards and the 2009 Genie Awards. Up the Yangtze was also Grand Jury nominee for Best Documentary in the World Cinema competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Chang attributes part of his success to the engaging and rigorous education he received while in film school. He praises his professors for taking “the onus off the idea of having to make it in Hollywood” and instilling value in the craft of filmmaking. “They encouraged us to define our own vision. That’s something I’ll never forget,” he adds.
In 2012, his film China Heavyweight premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Documentary in the World Cinema competition. It also won Best Feature Film at the Milano Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards.
Chang’s third feature-length production, The Fruit Hunters (2012), is based on the bestselling book by Concordia alumnus Adam Leith Gollner, BA 04. The film won the Grand Prize at the 2013 Festival international du film d'environnement in Paris.
Chang is now set to revisit the language of fiction. He is currently writing the script of Eggplant, a feature-length story that revolves around a Chinese wedding photographer.
Régine Chassagne BA 98
Great Concordian Régine Chassagne, multi-instrumentalist, Arcade Fire, indie rock, Grammy Award, Juno Award, BRIT Award, Iain Cook, Fail-Safe, Communication Studies, Richard Reed Parry, Sarah Neufeld, Academy Award, Grand Ambassador, KANPE, Caribbean, Partners in Health, Haiti Arcade Fire co-founder sings for Haiti
Montreal-born Régine Chassagne, BA 98, is a multi-instrumentalist and founding member of indie rock band Arcade Fire.
Since its inception in 2001, the band has picked up numerous awards, including two Grammies, eight Junos, and two BRIT Awards. With four records under its belt, the group has achieved international stardom and brought attention to Montreal’s dynamic music scene.
Chassagne insists that Iain Cook, BA 93, MA 97, sound composition instructor in Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies — and former frontman of local punk legends Fail-Safe — played a role in her decision to carve her own musical path.
“Iain is one of the very best teachers I ever had. I loved the fact that he gave us specific assignments but let each of us come up with the answer in our own style,” she told Concordia University Magazine.
Arcade Fire features other Concordia graduates, including Richard Reed Parry, BFA 03, and Sarah Neufeld, BFA 03, who have joined the band on stage or in studio.
At the 2014 Academy Awards, Arcade Fire’s film soundtrack for Her was nominated for Best Original Score. Chassagne and her bandmates are set to begin work on a new album this fall.
Chassagne continues her work as grand ambassador of KANPE, an organization she cofounded in 2010 to “play an integral part in the fight to help Haiti break free from a vicious cycle of poverty.”
Chassagne, whose parents emigrated from the Caribbean country during the dictatorship of François Duvalier, sits on the organization’s board of directors. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Partners in Health, an organization that helps treat the sick and prevent diseases throughout Haiti. With Arcade Fire, Chassagne has helped raised more than $500,000 for the two organizations.
Francesco Ciampini BA 72
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2015
Francesco Ciampini opened his law practice in 1982. In addition to volunteering as a legal counsel, he has also been active in the Montreal Italian community, serving on the executive boards of National Congress of Italian Canadians, the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association and A.L.M.A. Canada Inc.
Ciampini has been the Concordia University Alumni Association’s corporate secretary since 1998 and its representative to Concordia’s Board of Governors since 2008.
Born in Italy, Ciampini settled in Canada as a young boy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in 1972 from Loyola College and, four years later, a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1977.
Today, Ciampini volunteers as legal counsel for several non-profit associations. He is formerly president of the Federation of Marchigiani Associations Canada Inc. and, for eight years, represented in Ancona, Italy, Canadians of Marchigiani origin or descent.
Gina Cody MEng 81, PhD 89
Great Concordian, Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2011 One of Canada’s top businesswomen
Gina Cody, MEng 81, PhD 89, is the first woman ever to be awarded a PhD in building engineering at Concordia.
On September 24, 2018, Cody made a $15 million gift to Concordia's Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. In recognition of her generosity and tremendous professional accomplishments, the faculty was renamed the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.
It became the first engineering faculty in Canada named after a woman and one of the first of its kind in the world.
Cody was the executive chair and principal shareholder of CCI Group Inc., a Toronto-based engineering consulting firm. She retired and sold her shares in 2016.
In 2010, she was named one of Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs by Profit magazine.
Named one of Canada’s best-managed companies in 2013, CCI also ranked the ninth-most profitable woman-owned company on Profit magazine’s 2010 list.
Marvin H. Coleby BA 12
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2012 outstanding student award, Marvin Coleby, award Marvin H. Coleby is pursuing a BA in political science (honours) and a minor in philosophy at Concordia.
Marvin H. Coleby is pursuing a BA in political science (honours) and a minor in philosophy at Concordia. The 20-year-old Paris native has lived in the Bahamas and was a member of the nation's junior national tennis team. He plans to attend law school.
In 2010-11, Marvin won the Best Club Executive Award as president of the Concordia Caribbean Student Union. The organization received the Montreal Community Cares award for its positive impact on the local Caribbean community.
During the same year, Marvin founded the Unifying Concordia: Inter-Association Charity Soccer Tournament. In 2011-12, he served as chair of the International and Ethnic Associations Council, through which he launched Concordia's inaugural Cultural Diversity Week.
Marvin was also VP Events for the sports fan club SWARM, editor-in-chief for the Concordia Pre-Law Society and president of Colors of Concordia. Previously, he completed an internship at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where worked with the president of the General Conference.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2012 excellence in teaching, alumni, award, James Conklin James Conklin is an assistant professor in Concordia's Department of Applied Human Sciences, where he teaches graduate courses in the Human Systems Intervention and undergraduate courses in group dynamics.
James Conklin is an assistant professor in Concordia's Department of Applied Human Sciences, where he teaches graduate courses in the Human Systems Intervention and undergraduate courses in group dynamics. James is also an associate scientist with the Bruyère Research Institute in Ottawa, a member scholar of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, and a fellow of the Society for Technical Communication.
His research interest lies in how knowledge is created and moves within and between bounded groups in workplace settings, and how this movement affects efforts to bring about planned change.
James holds a BA from the University of Manitoba, a bachelor of independent studies degree from the University of Waterloo and an MA from York University. He earned an MA in human systems intervention in 2004 and PhD in a special individualized program in 2009, both from Concordia.
Daniel Cross BFA 91, FA 98
Great Concordian Daniel Cross, documentary, producer, filmmaker, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, The Street, a film with the homeless, homeless, S.P.I.T., SPIT, Squeegee Punks in Traffic, Homeless Nation, homelessnation.org, United Nations, World Summit Award, EyeSteelFilm, Yung Chang, Brett Gaylor, Xun Yu, Tony Asimakopoulos, Mia Donovan, Mentor Award, Canadian Film and Television Producers Association Activist, filmmaker and mentor
Documentary filmmaker and producer Daniel Cross, BFA 91, MFA 98, is chair of Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.
Over six years, the director developed an intimate knowledge of Montreal’s homeless community to produce his first film, The Street: a film with the homeless (1997), born at Concordia. It earned him awards at film festivals in Vancouver, Vermont and Chicago.
His second documentary, SPIT: Squeegee Punks in Traffic (2001), let street kids tell their own story of survival and resistance.
In 2003, Cross founded Homeless Nation, a non-profit organization conceived as an online forum where outcasts, vagabonds and other groups excluded from the mainstream of society can share their stories “as an on-going dialogue for social awareness and positive change.” The United Nations recognized the activist project in 2009, granting Cross a World Summit Award.
Cross co-founded EyeSteelFilm, an award-winning production company with a filmography that includes works by fellow Concordians Yung Chang, BFA 99; Brett Gaylor, BFA 01; Xun Yu, MFA 11; Tony Asimakopoulos, Attd 93; and Mia Donovan, BFA 03.
Cross remembered in a 2013 interview the important role his former professors played in setting him on a successful career path. He is now acting as a mentor himself, positively influencing students and young filmmakers alike. In 2006, he received a Mentor Award from the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association. Through his work at EyeSteelFilm and the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, he has become a pillar of the Canadian film scene.
Giuliana Cucinelli BA 03
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2016
An assistant professor at Concordia’s Department of Education, Giuliana Cucinelli specializes in the area where learning and the digital world overlap.
She is a co-director of the Communities and Differential Mobilities Cluster at Concordia’s Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology. She previously held a postdoctoral position at the university’s Mobilities Lab in the Department of Communication Studies — the department she graduated from in 2003.
Before joining Concordia, Cucinelli was a postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), from 2013 to 2014.
During her time at MIT she also collaborated on research projects at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. This recognition adds to the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching she received from Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science in 2011.
Outstanding Staff Award – 2013 Nancy Curran, Garnet Key, Conference Series, outstanding faculty award, outstanding staff award, award As an event coordinator at Concordia’s Conference Services, Nancy Curran has earned a reputation among her colleagues for her genuine dedication to her work.
As an event coordinator at Concordia’s Conference Services, Nancy Curran has earned a reputation among her colleagues for her genuine dedication to her work.
Nancy has exhibited an equal commitment to a variety of volunteer causes at the university and elsewhere. She has been a long-time supporter and participant of the Concordia Shuffle and serves on the steering committee for Centraide. She is also a charter member of the Concordia Toastmasters Club, and has helped build the club into an established arena for students, faculty and staff to improve their public speaking skills.
Nancy also actively supports the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Day, the Magical Penny Jar, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Dans la Rue.
Her previous honours include the Concordia Council on Student Life Outstanding Contribution Award, two Engineering and Computer Science Council on Student Life staff awards, the Garnet Key Award and the Concordia Volunteer Recognition Award.
Outstanding Staff Award – 2007 outstanding faculty award, outstanding staff award, award, Roger Côté, roger cote, enrolment management In 2004, Concordia University created the position now known as Associate Vice-President, Enrolment & Student Services, to ensure that the University continues to provide students the best level of support and services.
In 2004, Concordia University created the position now known as Associate Vice-President, Enrolment & Student Services, to ensure that the University continues to provide students the best level of support and services.
The choice for the position was clear: Roger Côté. In the Fall of 2006 the Department of Recreation and Athletics and the Dean of Students office joined the Enrolment and Student Services team.
From 2001 to 2004, Roger led the Enrolment Management Transformation Project, which successfully implemented enhanced services for Concordia's enrolment services. Among his many responsibilities since arriving at the University in 1981, Roger was Director of the Financial Aid and Awards Office from 1984 to 2004, helping distribute scholarships, bursaries and fellowships to thousands of deserving students. He also served twice as Acting Dean of Students.
Roger Côté is one of the most trusted and approachable people at the University, who leads by example and serves as a great role model to the Concordia Community.
Amine Dabchy BA 11
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2010 outstanding student award, Amine Dabchy, award Amine Dabchy, who grew up in Morocco, began his undergraduate degree at Paul Cézanne University in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Amine Dabchy, who grew up in Morocco, began his undergraduate degree at Paul Cézanne University in Aix-en-Provence, France. After two years, Amine transferred to Concordia and in the fall, will graduate with a double major in political science and economics.
At Concordia, Amine has served as President of the Economics Students Society and Vice President External for the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations. In 2009, he was elected President of the Concordia Student Union (CSU) and successfully implemented changes to increase the CSU's financial transparency and accountability. He also worked to strengthen relationships between the CSU and university administration.
Amine has been active in other student associations and volunteers for several community organizations outside the university. He has worked diligently to find common ground for those who share opposing viewpoints and has been involved with promoting dialogue between religious groups. As a result, in 2008, he was one of 14 student leaders from across Canada who was chosen to participate in a cultural and political exchange program in Israel.
Barbara Davidson BFA 90
Great Concordian Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist
Barbara Davidson, BFA 90, knew by the age of 15 that she wanted to be photographer. She completed undergraduate work in fine art photography while snapping images for The Link, Concordia University’s student newspaper.
Davidson began her career at The Record, in Waterloo, Ontario, after receiving her degree. In 1995, she jumped on the opportunity to travel with the Red Cross to the Balkans, but circumstances resulted in her group being held hostage by a Serbian paramilitary group. Davidson’s experience in a war-torn and impoverished region proved life-changing.
Upon her return, she accepted a position at The Washington Times establishing her reputation in the field of photojournalism. She then worked at the Dallas Morning News before relocating to the West Coast where she joined the Los Angeles Times.
Davidson has since travelled around the world — to Afghanistan, China, The Congo, Iraq, Palestine, Rwanda, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Yemen to document humanitarian crises caused by armed conflicts and natural disasters.
Max Wallace, BA 90, aptly describes his former The Link colleague when he writes that Davidson’s “calm demeanour in the face of danger has earned her a reputation as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, and the laurels to go with it.”
Davidson won her first Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She had been named Newspaper Photographer of the Year a few months earlier at the Pictures of the Year International (POYI) competition. She replicated that feat in 2013 thanks to her ability to balance “powerful aesthetic with solid journalistic content.” By then, Davidson had earned multiple prizes, including a Visa d’Or Daily Press Award (2009), a National Press Photographers Association New America Award (2010) and a News and Documentary Emmy Award (2011).
She won a second Pulitzer Prize in 2011 with a series of photographs depicting innocent victims of Los Angeles’ gang violence. Davidson combines determination and compassion to give people a voice through her lens.
“The same thing holds true today as some 20 years ago when I worked at the student newspapers: It’s all about good storytelling. It’s all about having the passion to see those stories through,” she confided in a recent interview.
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2017
Paul Desbaillets volunteers to judge case competitions at the John Molson School of Business.
He is a co-owner of the Burgundy Lion Group, whose establishments include the Burgundy Lion Pub, Bishop & Bagg and three locations of Brit & Chips.
In addition to donating food and time to various causes, Desbaillets has raised over $200,000 via the annual GOAL soccer tournament for charities including Tyndale St. Georges Community Centre and the Montreal Community Cares Foundation. “Paul is the finest example of using his Concordia studies to succeed and taking that success and helping others,” says his friend and nominator.
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2018
Maxime Desharnais is in his final year as an undergraduate student in Concordia’s Civil Engineering program. An outstanding student leader, Desharnais strongly believes in community involvement and in empowering the youth to lead projects to improve the society.
He has been the president of the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Concordia chapter since 2016, but he has been heavily involved with the organization since 2014. As a junior fellow with EWB, he spent four month in Ghana, volunteering on a project to improve agricultural techniques. Desharnais also successfully advocated to have Concordia added to the list of Fairtrade campuses.
In March 2017, he helped host the largest Sustainable Development Goals youth training in Canada, aiming to inspire sustainable changes. He also started a partnership between a foodbank and grocery store to help feed those in need.
For his contributions, Desharnais has received the Loyola Alumni Prize in Engineering in Society, the Order of Merit in the humanitarian category from the City of Brossard, the Brian T. Counihan Scholarship for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life and a Concordia Volunteer Award in 2018.
André Desmarais BComm 78
Great Concordian Business powerhouse and philanthropist
The Desmarais family is the closest thing Canada has to royalty, suggests the Canadian Who’s Who, an index of Canadian biographies.
An officer of the Order of Canada, André Desmarais, BComm 78, LLD 07, is former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s son-in-law. His late father, Paul Desmarais, Sr., used to rub shoulders with heads of state, such as former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
André Desmarais has proven himself a model businessman and philanthropist in his own right. He is co-chief executive officer — with his brother, Paul Desmarais, Jr. — of Power Corporation of Canada, a Montreal-based multinational company with $500 billion in assets. He joined the company in 1983 and was a key figure in its expansion overseas, recognizing China as an important emerging market.
Recognizing his contribution to society and to Concordia, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2007.
André Desmarais has been tireless in giving back to his alma mater. With his wife, he established the France and André Desmarais fellowships to support graduate students across all four faculties at Concordia.
He has served as co-president of the Concordia Golf Classic since 2004. The classic has raised more than $3.5 million in bursaries and scholarships for students, making it one of the university’s signature fundraising events.
André Desmarais holds many leadership roles. He is honorary chairman and director of the Canada-China Business Council; director, Canada Life Financial Corporation; director, Seagram Co. Ltd.; and member of the Trilateral Commission, a non-governmental body that fosters closer collaboration between North America, Europe and Japan.
Those who have benefited from Desmarais’ generosity include the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Canadian Red Cross and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Desmarais was named an officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2009. In 2011, he received the Montreal Heart Institute’s Medal of Honour.
Jim Donaldson BSc 52
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2009 Benoit Pelland, award, jim donaldson, loyola Jim Donaldson, L BSc 52, a native of Revelstoke, B.C., grew up in Montreal, attended Loyola High School and then Loyola College.
Jim Donaldson, BSc 52, a native of Revelstoke, B.C., grew up in Montreal, attended Loyola High School and then Loyola College. After graduating, he spent five years in various sales positions but decided to pursue his dream of becoming an architect. He entered McGill University and earned his architecture degree in 1962.
Jim’s first position as an architect was with ARCOP, a creative and award-winning Montreal firm. Following a two-year internship, Jim and two fellow architects founded Donaldson, Drummond and Sankey. The firm went on to considerable success and worked on many public and private projects, including two buildings at Expo 67.
In the early ’70s, Jim became the director of Facilities and Properties for Air Canada, where he was responsible for design and construction of the airline’s properties worldwide.
In 1987, Jim was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Following early retirement from Air Canada in the mid ’90s Jim continued on projects, including a two-year stint with Star Alliance, and was Air Canada’s representative during the construction of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
For several years, he was president of the St. Patrick’s Foundation Board and continues to be a member of several building committees, notably for Loyola High School’s recent expansion. He is also a member of St. Mary’s Hospital Campus Planning Committee.
Jim has served on the Board of Directors of the Loyola Alumni Association for many years and has been the Association’s president for the past four. He is also a member of the Fundraising Committee of the Loyola RefectoryRestoration project. Jim’s wife, Marianne, was a member of the Concordia Board of Governors for 12 years.
John Dore BSc 75
Outstanding Staff Award – 2015
John Dore was head coach of the Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team for 26 seasons, and took them to the national championships 13 times.
In addition to leading several national teams, he is also a past president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches of Canada and was an international committee member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, U.S.A.
Dore is formerly assistant coach of Canada’s men’s junior national team (1998). His accolades include the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union Coach of the Year in 1991, the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as Canadian Interuniversity Sport Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 1991 and University Coach of the Year, by the Foundation for Quebec University Athletics in 1995.
Stephanie Dotto BA 11
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2009 outstanding student award, Stephanie Dotto, award Stephanie Dotto is a 23-year-old, first-year Concordia student working toward her BA in Human Relations.
Stephanie Dotto is a 23-year-old, first-year Concordia student working toward her BA in Human Relations.
When she was in her last year at Beaconsfield High School in her native Kirkland, Que., Stephanie heard a presentation about making a difference in the world and decided that every child should have, at the very least, one pair of shoes. So Stephanie and a friend proceeded to collect more than 1,200 pairs of gently used shoes from local elementary schools and shipped them to needy children in Malawi, Africa.
At 17, Stephanie founded a charitable organization called It All Started with the Shoes. In the past six years the organization has raised funds--with the help of Montreal businesses, churches, schools, Girl Guide units and individual benefactors--to help build two Malawian schools, fix the roofs on two others, add a nutrition centre to a rural hospital and ship three containers full of essential supplies.
In March 2003, Stephanie made her first visit to Malawi to deliver medicine, school supplies and toys. Since then, she has been back three times and is now working on several other aid projects. Stephanie frequently speaks at Montreal-area schools and to community groups to raise awareness of Malawian living conditions. Next week, she is Malawi bound for the fifth time.
In 2004, Stephanie was named West Islander of the Year by The Chronicle newspaper. The following year, she was recognized as a Young Woman of Distinction by the Montreal YWCA and as one of Canada's "Top 20 Under 20" by Youth in Motion.
Thomas Dowd BComm 92
John F. Lemieux Medal – 2018
Thomas Dowd is auxiliary bishop and Vicar-General of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montréal. After managing an international business unit at Ericsson Research Canada, he left the corporate world in 1995 to begin his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest in 2001.
Bishop Dowd was involved in the internet revolution early on, becoming the first Catholic priest in Canada with a blog. He was named a bishop in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Dowd was very involved in student life during his time at Concordia, and continued his association years later as a part-time theology teacher. He has served on many community boards and was named an Honorary Senior Fellow of Renison College in Waterloo, Ont. in 2014 for his work in ecumenism.
Loyola Medal Jean Drapeau, Loyola Medal, montreal, Mayor, City Hall
Excerpt from the press release:
Jean Drapeau more than any other individual best exemplified the spirit that imbued all Canadians during our country's Centennial Year. His dynamic philosophy coupled with endless enthusiasm and drive in seeing an "impossible dream" become a fantastic success stamps him as one of the outstanding men of the decade.
Expo '67 has left an indelible imprint on all Canadians, indeed all humanity. We are delighted that its inspiration has chosen to include The Loyola Medal among the multidunous honours extended him.
Great Concordian, Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching – 1995 Father Drummond, Stanley Drummond, Biology, Jesuits, Loyola College, Father of Biology, Society of Jesus, Reverend Stanley Drummond, Jesuit priest, Loyola Chapel, Loyola Alumnus, Concordia’s Thursday Report, Pioneering Jesuits, Allan Kunigis, Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching Concordia’s father of biology
Father Stanley Drummond began teaching at Loyola College in 1946. He was 33 years old and had just completed an MA thesis titled “Vascularity in the Brains of Summer and Hibernating Frogs” at the University of Toronto.
He had been ordained the year before and was now working towards completing both his Jesuit training and doctoral studies in biology.
Father Drummond’s first project upon joining Loyola College’s faculty was to develop research facilities for aspiring scientists and medical doctors. “The lab was practically a cupboard and in it we had 10 archaic microscopes, a model of a human heart and one of a human ear,” he told the Loyola Alumnus in 1971.
Father Drummond’s carpentry skills served him well — he designed and built the furniture needed to equip the Department of Biology he launched almost single-handedly in 1946. The “pioneering Jesuit teacher” pronounced his final vows five years later in the Loyola Chapel.
A caring and dedicated professor, Father Drummond remained in Montreal where he left a lasting impression on countless cohorts of students. Father Drummond defined his philosophy of education with the following triad: “Don’t lie. Admit mistakes. Be thoroughly honest with students.”
In 1995, the university’s founding father of biology received an Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1996, he celebrated a half-century in the classroom — the year of Loyola College’s centennial.
Father Drummond died March 16, 2012, in the 99th year of his life.
Brian Edwards BComm 71
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2013 award, Humberto Santos, brian edwards Brian Edwards has been an exemplary leader at Concordia for more than a decade.
Edwards earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, in 1971. He served on Concordia’s Board of Governors from 2000 to 2012 and was the board’s vice-chair from 2005 to 2012. He also chaired the Board of Governors’ University Advancement Committee. He is currently vice-chair of the Concordia University Foundation and KnowledgeOne Inc.
From 2005 to 2012, Brian was a trustee of the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation, which supports Concordia’s groundbreaking School of Canadian Irish Studies.
Brian is founder of BCE Emergis, one of North America’s most successful electronic commerce companies. He was its CEO from 1988 to 2002.
Today, Brian is a director on several corporate boards. His impressive community contributions include serving as chairman of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, co-chairman of the Centraide of Greater Montreal campaign and chairman of the Research Centre of the Douglas Institute.
Honorary Life Membership – 2010 honorary life membership, award, aaron fish Aaron M. Fish is the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Unican Security Systems Ltd., one of the world's leading international-security products companies.
After leaving high school in 1949, the 17-year-old entrepreneur started Canadian Key and Lock Supply. As Aaron's expertise, reputation and contacts grew, Bell Canada approached him with a request to develop a keyless lock for their facilities. In 1964, the Unican pushbutton lock was launched.
By 1999, Montreal-based Unican and its subsidiaries and affiliates boasted more than 3,700 employees and worldwide sales in excess of $450 million. Two years later, a Swiss company, now part of Kaba AG, purchased the Unican Group. Aaron sat on Kaba's Board of Directors until his retirement.
For his considerable business accomplishments, Aaron earned a Lifetime of Outstanding Achievement award from the Associated Locksmiths of America and the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Quebec government, the Bank of Montreal and several investment firms.
The Loyola Medal was presented to Canadian operatic contralto Maureen Forrester at a special ceremony on December 9, 1979, at Concordia's F.C. Smith Auditorium on the Loyola Campus.
A great Canadian, she is the first Loyola Medal recipient from the field of performing arts in Canada.
Following the presentation, Ms. Forrester responded musically, accompanied by the Montreal Chamber Singers under the direction of Mr. Harold Isaacs.
It was with the Elgar Choir of Montreal associated with the Montreal Chamber Singers that Ms. Forester began her singing career in Montreal.
Robert Frances BComm 87,
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2017
Robert Frances is a pillar of the Concordia community; he’s been extensively involved with the John Molson School of Business Advisory Board, as well as in fundraising and donations for the university.
Founder and president of PEAK Financial Group, which assists over 100,000 Canadians with their financial needs, Frances is also chairman of the board of LANDRD Audio.
In 1997 he was recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, an award founded by Caldwell Partners, and in 2006 he was named one of Quebec's top 25 finance leaders by Finance et investissement magazine. “He has been a faithful supporter of the university over the years,” says his nominator.
Louis Hugo Francescutti BSc 80
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2016
Louis Hugo Francescutti is the first Canadian to hold successive presidencies at Canada’s two major healthcare overseers: the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Medical Association.
An expert on injury prevention, Francescutti practices emergency medicine at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alta. He educates future healthcare professionals as a professor at the School of Public Health and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta — where he earned both an MD and PhD.
For his accomplishments, Francescutti was named one of Alberta’s top physicians of the century by the Alberta Medical Association in 2005.
Brian Gallery BA 57, LLD 10
Great Concordian, Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2010 Canada’s beloved Irishman
Brian O’Neill Gallery, BA 57, LLD 10, is an indefatigable civic leader and a champion of higher education. He is also one of Canada’s most beloved Irishman — and for good reason.
“He combines the capacity to dream big dreams with the practical skills to ensure that they become reality,” said Michael Kenneally, principal and chair of Canadian Irish Studies, on November 1, 2010. That day, Gallery received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding contributions and ongoing dedication to Concordia.
The former mayor of Westmount graduated from Loyola College in 1957. He maintained contact with his alma mater partly through the alumni association of which he was the president in the early 1970s. In 2007, he organized the golden anniversary celebration of his graduating class and helped secure funding for what became the Loyola Class of ‘57 Bursary.
In 1995, Gallery co-founded the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation to support the study of Irish history and culture. Funds raised through the foundation contributed to the creation of several scholarships and the establishment of Concordia’s Centre for Canadian Irish Studies, now known as the School of Canadian Irish Studies.
For his role in building the School, the Concordia University Alumni Association presented Gallery with the Humberto Santos Award of Merit in 2010. Accolades also came from Canada’s Irish community: Gallery received the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal Community Award (1997), was elected Montreal Irish Man of the Year (2000), and was made an Honorary Lifetime Member of the St-Patrick’s Society (2008).
More recently, Ray Basset, ambassador of Ireland to Canada, travelled to Montreal to meet Gallery and present him with a Certificate of Irish Heritage in recognition of his “role in making Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia one of the pre-eminent academic centres in the world for the study of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora.”
Gallery is also the recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation (1993) and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
Eric Moses Gashirabake BA 13
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2013 Eric Moses Gashirabake, Eric Gashirabake, outstanding student award, award Eric Moses Gashirabake, a native of Rwanda, survived the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and fled with his family to Kenya as refugees.
Eric Moses Gashirabake, a native of Rwanda, survived the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and fled with his family to Kenya as refugees.
The honours political science student enrolled at Concordia in 2009 and has since left an indelible mark on university student life.
He is founder and co-president of the World University Services of Canada Concordia for Student Refugees, which is raising funds to annually sponsor a refugee to attend Concordia.
Among other activities, Eric Moses is vice-president, Academic, Advocacy and Loyola Affairs, for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, and director of its Enhanced Shadow Program, and chair (external) of Concordia’s Garnet Key Honour Society. He also enthusiastically helped promote the 2012 Concordia Shuffle to fellow students.
Eric Moses received a Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution from the Department of Political Science in 2012. After he graduates in 2013, he will participate in a leadership trip to Germany and Poland and then begin law studies at McGill University.
Outstanding Staff Award – 2017 Michel understands the importance of getting the job done.
Michel Gendron has worked for Facilities Management’s Distribution Services for 27 years.
What started as a two-week contract has turned into the fulfilling career for a man who is proud of his work and dedicated to making his clients happy. If there is a problem with scheduling or a delivery, he is exceptional at on-the-spot problem solving.
A skillful leader, his contagious can-do approach is apparent in his colleagues. He definitely impressed his Concordia nominator: “Anytime we have Michel helping us with an event, he goes above and beyond what is asked by taking initiative. He understands the importance of getting the job done.”
Excerpt from the press release dated April 20, 1978:
Dr. Jacques Genest, renowned for his contributions to the study of high blood pressure, was awarded the Loyola Medal at a black tie dinner at the Engineers Club of Montreal.
The study of hypertension has come to be identified with Montreal-born Jacques Genest, director of Hotel-Dieu's Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. His studies documenting the inter-relationship between physiology and hypertension are recognized internationally as are his contributions to the broader issues of the social and ethical aspects of medical care.
Dr. Genest received his M.D. from the Université de Montreal and did post-graduate work at Hotel-Dieu in Montreal, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Rockefeller Institute and the Rockefeller Hospital for Medical Research in New York City.
Excerpt from Dr. Genest’s acceptance address:
It is with a deep sense of receiving a great honour that I accept the Loyola Medal for 1978. This pride is tempered by humility since I am sure all realize that any accomplishment, whether unique and very great or that of a lifetime, is rarely the product of a man alone but the consequence of many influences, including family upbringing, college and university training, the love and support of one's wife and family, and the help and advice of many friends, several of whom have done us the honour of their presence tonight, and of close and loyal collaborators.
My pride is therefore that of being the front man for a wonderful group to whom I owe so much.
Marc Gervais BA 50
Great Concordian, Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching – 1999 Father Gervais, CRTC, Ingmar Bergman, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Marc Gervais, Loyola College, Loyola Institute for Studies in International Peace, Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, Adam Gollner, Jesuit, Society of Jesus, pioneering Jesuit priests, Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission, The Mission, Black Robe, Cannes Film Festival, Loyola Peace Institute, Peace activism, The Book of Immortality Jesuit film scholar and peace advocate
Father Marc Gervais, BA 50, first visited France in the mid-1960s to complete his Jesuit tertianship. He travelled to the Riviera and attended his first Cannes Film Festival. Growing up in Sherbrooke, he had developed a passion for moving images, thanks to his grandmother who often took him to the cinema.
Father Gervais became a Cannes fixture over the years as he acquired notoriety as a film scholar. He joined Loyola College’s Communication Arts program in 1967, teaching film studies to enthused students, many of whom became accomplished writers and directors.
Father Gervais published seminal works on Pier Paolo Pasolini and Ingmar Bergman, sat on the juries of several international film festivals (Cannes, Oxford and Venice), served as commissioner for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and acted as consultant on a number of films, including Black Robe (1991) and The Mission (1986). In 1996, Father Gervais told the Winnipeg Free Press that he nearly secured a role alongside Robert De Niro in the latter film. “For about three months, [the producers] wondered whether they were going to use me or an established actor. Alas, they chose Jeremy Irons, who was awfully good in it.”
In 2000, Father Gervais received the Cannes Festival Critics Award for nearly 40 years of contributions. The heavy plaque was “sort of saying thank you for being around this long,” he told the CBC.
Father Gervais, in the opening pages of Ingmar Bergman: Magician and Prophet (1999), expresses his gratitude to generations of Concordia students who made “it all so meaningful, important and fun.” Adam Gollner, BA 04, remembers the Jesuit film scholar: “He believed that art’s main role is to connect us with the unseen. For him, watching film was the greatest form of prayer.”
Father Gervais discussed art, yet he spoke about the culture of peace through the Loyola Jesuit Institute for Studies in International Peace, which he helped establish in 1988. He retired in 2003 and spent his last days at the Jesuit Infirmary in Pickering, Ont. Gollner, in The Book of Immortality, captured some of his former professor’s last thoughts regarding a life of work: “Our travails give us purpose. Sacrifice leads to the life force; in a mysterious way, they flow one into the other.” Father Gervais died March 25, 2012.
Ned Goodman LLD 97
Honorary Life Membership – 2012 honorary life membership, award, ned goodman Ned Goodman is president and Chief Executive Officer of Dundee Corporation, chairman of DundeeWealth Inc. and chairman and CEO of Ned Goodman Investment Counsel Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dundee Corporation, in Toronto.
Ned Goodman is president and Chief Executive Officer of Dundee Corporation, chairman of DundeeWealth Inc. and chairman and CEO of Ned Goodman Investment Counsel Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dundee Corporation, in Toronto.
Widely recognized as one of Canada's most successful investment counsellors, Ned has more than four decades of investment experience as a securities analyst, portfolio manager and senior executive.
He is founder and benefactor of the Goodman Institute of Investment Management Program at Concordia's John Molson School of Business. It is the first program to offer graduates MBA and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations simultaneously. Ned is also chancellor of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. He has volunteered his time for many benevolent organizations through the years.
Ned holds a BSc from McGill University and MBA from the University of Toronto and earned a CFA designation in 1967. In 1997, he was awarded an honorary degree by Concordia.
Otis Grant BA 93
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2007 alumnus, alumna, of the year, award, otis grant Otis Grant, BA (Leisure Studies) 93 has been a fixture of the boxing scene, both in Montreal and abroad, for many years.
Otis Grant, BA (Leisure Studies) 93 has been a fixture of the boxing scene, both in Montreal and abroad, for many years. He is a two-time North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight champion and former WBO Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World. Following a near-fatal car collision in 1999, Otis made a remarkable recovery and reclaimed his boxing career.
Grant later began working as a counsellor at Lindsay Place High School in Pointe Claire, helping children with special needs integrate into school life. He is now the coordinator of the community learning centre at Riverdale High School and co-owns Grant Brothers Boxing in the west island with his brother Howard.
He established the Otis Grant and Friends Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the Old Brewery Mission and other community-based organizations to help the homeless, families in need and sick children.
Great Concordian Political science from the 1960s onward
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Henry Habib is an accomplished scholar of international law and Middle Eastern politics. He is a valued commentator in the national media and a highly respected speaker on international affairs. He is also the founder of Concordia’s Department of Political Science.
Now semi-retired, Habib is credited with providing a permanent home for the discipline at Loyola College in 1961. He served as chair of the department for 24 years — first at Loyola College (1961-1969) and then at Concordia (1982-1998).
Habib sat on the Board of Governors for more than two decades until 1997, when he received the title of Governor Emeritus. “I’m proud to belong to Concordia. We have become the mosaic of the Canada of the future,” he said in 2006 while celebrating 45 years of service.
Habib has taught thousands of students since the early days of the Department of Political Science. A dedicated and consistent professor, he instilled in his students a thirst for knowledge and the spirit of inquiry.
Habib discussed his approach to teaching in the Thursday Report in 1985: “If you are truly interested in what you’re telling your students, then you will come across as vital yourself.” That year, Concordia presented him with a John W. O’Brien Distinguished Teaching Award.
Former students George Lengvari, BA 63, and Daniel Colson, BA 68, took initiatives to thank Habib. They established the Dr. Henry P. Habib In-Course Bursary and the Henry P. Habib Undergraduate Bursary in Political Science to ensure his legacy
Honorary Life Membership – 2013 honorary life membership, award, peter hall While not an alumnus, Peter W. Hall has been an active and enthusiastic proponent of Concordia and the John Molson School of Business (JMSB).
While not an alumnus, Peter W. Hall has been an active and enthusiastic proponent of Concordia and the John Molson School of Business (JMSB).
Peter is a long-time member of the JMSB Advisory Board and served as the board’s chair from 2004 to 2006. He was named an emeritus member in 2012. He was also a member of the Concordia Board of Governor’s Real Estate Planning Committee from 2005 to 2012 and was involved in the planning of the Molson Building. He has initiated and supported a number of fundraising campaigns and readily provides business advice to JMSB faculty, staff and students.
Peter is the president of Per Hall Associates Ltd. in Montreal. He is a business developer and lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in Canadian and international infrastructure projects and is a leading expert in Public Private Partnership projects.
He holds a BA from Queen's University and a law degree from McGill University.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2008 excellence in teaching, alumni, award, Arpi Hamalian Associate Professor Arpi Hamalian's exemplary teaching career at Concordia began in 1974, when she joined the Department of Education.
Associate Professor Arpi Hamalian's exemplary teaching career at Concordia began in 1974, when she joined the Department of Education. She has since served as chair of the Department of Education, director of the graduate programs in both Educational Studies and Adult Education, and principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia's internationally renowned women's studies college.
Arpi is an Honorary Life Fellow of the Institute and was a Fellow of Concordia's Centre for Mature Students. She has been part of teaching teams in the inter-university PhD programs at the John Molson School of Business and Department of Communication Studies, and founding co -chair of the Concordia-UQÀM Chair in Ethnic Studies.
Her consistently outstanding course evaluations and the Concordia Student Life Award for Teaching Excellence she earned in 1997 are a testament to her dedication to both teaching and her students.
Arpi's other distinctions include a Commemorative Medal for the 125 th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, which she received in 1993 in recognition of her significant contributions to Canada.
Arpi, who currently serves on the boards of the Carold Institute and the North South Institute, is president of the International Organization of the Helen Prize for Women. She also served as the first president of Concordia University Faculty Association after it became certified in 1980-1981; president of the Quebec Federation of University Professors from 1999 to 2003; and president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO's Sectoral Commission on Education from 2002 to 2006.
Nancy Hammond BComm 89, MBA 93
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2014 MBA, alumni, award, Nancy Hammond, alumna, alumnus Nancy Hammond joined TD Bank Group in 1989 and has held numerous leadership and executive roles in general insurance, retail and commercial banking, discount brokerage, marketing and business strategy. Currently vice president of the Affinity Market Group at TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, Nancy oversees management of strategic partnerships for home and auto insurance with alumni and professional associations and large employer groups in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Nancy Hammond joined TD Bank Group in 1989 and has held numerous leadership and executive roles in general insurance, retail and commercial banking, discount brokerage, marketing and business strategy.
Currently vice president of the Affinity Market Group at TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, Nancy oversees management of strategic partnerships for home and auto insurance with alumni and professional associations and large employer groups in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
While at TD, Nancy has earned a variety of awards and enjoys sharing her experiences as a mentor to the young leaders of tomorrow within the company.
Nancy is currently an active board member with the Fondation de l’Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec, and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors' Directors Education Program in 2011.
She has been involved with Concordia as a scholarship donor and served on the boards of the John Molson School of Business Alumni Chapter and the Concordia University Alumni Association.
Susan Hawke BA 74
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2007 Benoit Pelland, award, susan hawke Susan Hawke has been with the Careers Resource Centre at Concordia for more than 25 years, helping thousands of students prepare for their important step into the working world.
Susan Hawke has been with the Careers Resource Centre at Concordia for more than 25 years, helping thousands of students prepare for their important step into the working world. From 1998 to 2003 she was a valuable member of the board of directors and treasurer of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University.
Susan’s special contribution to the University community, however, has been her work with the Concordia Used Book Fair. She first became involved with the Book Fair in the late 1990s, and in 2001 became its chief organizer.
In 2006, the 10th Annual Concordia Used Book Fair earned $8,235, pushing its 10-year total to over $70,000. The money raised goes to Concordia students facing financial hardship and to the Concordia Used Book Fair Scholarship, which Susan initiated in 2003.
Matthew Hays BFA 91, MA 99
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2007 excellence in teaching, alumni, award, Matthew Hays Matthew Hays, BFA 91, MA 99, has inspired countless students with his dedication and passion for film and the media.
Matthew Hays, BFA 91, MA 99, has inspired countless students with his dedication and passion for film and the media. He is a part-time faculty member at Concordia, where he has taught Film Studies since 2004 and journalism since 1999. He has also taught in the communication studies department at Concordia, and has conducted workshops at the Quebec Writers Federation.
While studying at Concordia, Matthew was the recipient of the André Bazin Award for outstanding achievement in Film Studies. He was also nominated for the Prix Arc-en-Ciel in 1995 for outstanding achievement/contribution to the Montreal gay and lesbian community.
Today Matthew is a regular contributor to the Montreal Mirror and the Globe and Mail. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian and The Advocate. His first book, The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers, is out this summer from Arsenal Pulp Press.
Xavier-Henri Hervé BEng 87
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2015 Engineering a better world through innovation
As an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering in the 1980s, Xavier-Henri Hervé, BEng 87, DSc 11, and four fellow students built a flight simulator prototype. They subsequently founded Mechtronix, a leading flight simulation enterprise based in Montreal.
Hervé served as its vice-president, International Sales (1997-2001); vice-president Business Development (2002-2008) as well as president and chief operating officer (2008-2012), contributing to the company’s worldwide commercial and strategic expansion.
In 2010, Hervé and another of Mechtronix’s founders, Joaquim Frazao, returned to Concordia to donate $150,000 for the renovation of the Society for Automotive Engineers’ workspace, now known as Intelligent Machines World.
Hervé is a dedicated supporter of the Concordia University community and a strong believer in multidisciplinary research. He founded District 3, an innovation centre that brings together student and alumni entrepreneurs from a variety of disciplines.
Hervé describes the project as “one common pool, one common zone, one common ecosystem, one common network — with one mission: to sustainably drive the production of innovations from idea at one end of the cycle to market validation at the other end.”
In recognition of his pioneering work, leadership and vision, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011. Addressing the graduating class, Hervé noted that innovation is about meeting the unmet need.
“Crafting, creating and engineering a better world is your mission. Combine perseverance, alignment of emotions, true leaders around you, a global perspective, and your team will bring you the heaven of innovation.”
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2011 excellence in teaching, alumni, award, Steven High Dr. Steven High is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Public History at Concordia. Steven co-directs Concordia’s groundbreaking Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling.
Dr. Steven High is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Public History at Concordia. Steven co-directs Concordia’s groundbreaking Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling.
He is also the principal researcher of the Montreal Life Stories project, which is interviewing Montrealers displaced by war, genocide and other human-rights violations. These stories are then integrated into animated film, online digital stories, radio programming, live performance, art and pedagogical resources.
Steven earned a PhD from the University of Ottawa. Since coming to Concordia in 2005, he has introduced a number of new courses in oral history. Steven is especially interested in how oral-history interviews relate to sudden transformative economic change, such as mill closings.
Through his research, Steven is building a state-of-the-art oral history research laboratory, the first of its kind in Canada, making Concordia the country’s foremost centre for oral and digital history. The lab provides a vibrant research space where technological and methodological experimentation and collaboration are encouraged and where students are involved and mentored.
Kahente Horn-Miller BA 99, MA 03, PhD 09
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2014 alumnus, alumna of the year, award, Kahente Horn-Miller
Kahente Horn-Miller is the coordinator for the Kahnawà:ke Legislative Coordinating Commission, which oversees the legislative development process based in ancient Haudenosaunee principles of consensus. She also is a sessional lecturer at Concordia and McGill universities.
An active member of the Kahnawà:ke community, Kahente researches and writes on issues that are relevant to her work and academic interests, such as Indigenous methodologies and Indigenous women. Her governance work and community-based research involves interpreting Haudenosaunee culture and bringing new life to old traditions and practices.
Kahente continues to work with the research advisory for the Kahnawà:ke Diabetes Prevention Project, along with writing and publishing in her areas of interest, most notably her recent work on participatory democracy and Sky Woman’s story.
It is through her teaching that Kahente challenges students to learn about her culture and about themselves as humans, which in the long term will foster relationships between Indigenous and non-native peoples that will go beyond the written word and the classroom and research settings.
Great Concordian Lynn Hughes, Digitalarti Mag, digital games, digital media, digital medium, art, literature, history and philosophy of mathematics, Department of Studio Arts, Painting and Drawing, Associate Dean, Research and International Relations, Faculty of Fine Arts, Dominic Peltier-Rivest, Centre for Academic Leadership, research-creation, digital works, videogames, video games, Research Chair in Interactive Design and Games Innovation, Interstices, interactive technologies, Hexagram, Institute for Research and Creation in Media Art and Technology, Technoculture Art and Games, TAG, Academic Leadership Award The art of enabling research-creation
Digital games constitute an exciting, emerging form of cultural production, according to Lynn Hughes in an interview published in Digitalarti Mag. She believes that, for example, they are relevant in an increasingly systematized world and alert us to the constructed, systemic nature of our realities, allowing us to be more critical.
Hughes is Concordia University Research Chair in Interaction Design and Games Innovation. Her interest in the digital medium derives from her work as an artist, researcher and teacher.
With an educational background in art, literature and the history and philosophy of mathematics, Hughes does not hesitate to colour outside the lines.
She joined Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts in 1989 as assistant professor of painting and drawing. She subsequently held a number of positions at the Faculty of Fine Arts, including that of Associate Dean, Research and International Relations.
She distinguished herself in that role, earning a 2012 Concordia University Academic Leadership Award. Dominic Peltier-Rivest, director of the Centre for Academic Leadership praised her for “guiding the faculty toward increased research capacity and a fuller articulation of fine arts to the research mission of Concordia.”
Hughes has been an energetic advocate of research-creation through her own interactive digital works as well as through the groups and centers she helped establish.
She was co-founder and co-director of Interstices, an inter-university research-creation group, which between 2000 and 2010, was one of the first research groups funded to promote research-creation. Interstices brought together graduate students from Concordia and UQAM to collaborate on interactive art productions.
She played an instrumental role in the funding and structuring of the Hexagram Institute for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technologies. With about 100 researchers, Hexagram remains the largest and most productive hub in Canada for research-creation in emerging models of interdisciplinary art and performance.
More recently, Hughes co-founded Concordia’s Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre a cross-disciplinary, interfaculty group of researchers and artists, which embodies her vision of uniting individuals and groups from Concordia and beyond.
Hughes’s own works have been exhibited across Canada and internationally, including in the US, Europe Asia and South America. She recently co-curated a major exhibition of contemporary games as culture at La Gaîté lyrique in Paris and is currently organizing exhibitions about ludic culture in Mexico City and Spain.
Loyola Medal Hughes is the 20th recipient of the prestigious accolade, conceived at Loyola College in 1961 to pay tribute to outstanding Canadians.
Concordia university recognized Hughes for her public service and nationwide drive to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
She is the National Spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Mental Health initiative and the ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign. By sharing her own past struggles with depression, Clara has helped break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
Clara Hughes is an athlete for all seasons. A six-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed skating, she’s the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Games.
Norman Hébert LLD 05
Great Concordian Dealership king and Concordia benefactor
It wouldn’t be outrageous to call Norman D. Hébert car king of Quebec, yet there’s more to the nonagenarian than a new set of wheels. Inspired by Henry Ford’s 20th-century goal — that any man with a good job should be able to afford an automobile — Hébert, LLD 05, began selling automotive components in 1950.
In 1959, Hébert purchased Park Avenue Chevrolet, a car dealership on the verge of bankruptcy. Every inch the entrepreneur, Hébert relocated operations to a barren lot in Montreal North in the hope that sales would thrive. They did.
More than a half-century and 600 employees later, Hébert’s tenacity — cultivated when he was a hotshot student politician at Loyola College — transformed the modest operation into a franchise titan. The outfit has earned diverse accolades, including Time magazine’s first-ever Dealer of the Year award in 1972.
Adding to a Midas touch for sales, Hébert was a pioneer too. His burgeoning dealer network was the first in Canada to computerize its accounts and introduce leasing. In 1969, as its founding chairman, Hébert launched the Montreal International Auto Show.
Hébert’s son, Norman Hébert Jr., BComm 77, joined the family business in 1981. Father and son innovated, introducing “auto malls” — tightly clustered, multi-brand dealerships — which quickly caught on with busy car buyers.
Today, Groupe Park Avenue controls 18 dealerships in Quebec. Including recent acquisitions in British Columbia, the company has the largest multi-brand inventory in Canada.
Business triumphs helped propel philanthropic initiatives, and Hébert has generously honoured his alma mater. Inspired by his wife Johanne, who studied at Sir George Williams Business College, and his son’s Loyola College education, Hébert volunteered as a canvasser on Concordia’s 1983-1988 Capital Campaign. From 1998 to 2003, Hébert served as a key member of Concordia’s Annual Campaign committee.
Today, Hébert and his family have given more than $1 million to endow scholarships in engineering and business at Concordia. The Norman D. Hébert Scholarships, awarded annually based on academic merit, mark the family’s enduring commitment to society-building.
The Hébert legacy will not only be remembered — it lives on. In 2005, Concordia presented Hébert with an honourary degree for his support. The Norman D. Hébert Meeting Room in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex reflects the family’s tremendous magnanimity. Following his father’s example, Hébert Jr. has been an active alumnus and was named chair of Concordia’s Board of Governors in 2012.
An active member of Montreal’s business elite, Hébert has held key roles in charitable and industrial organizations. He is past president of the Fondation Hôpital Notre-Dame, the Quebec Arthritis Society and Centraide’s Special Names Committee. Hébert is also former director of the Industrial Alliance Insurance Company and past president of the Montreal Automobile Dealers Association.
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2016
Emilio B. Imbriglio represents over 2,500 employees as the president and CEO of the accounting firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, a role he took on in 2013. He is an expert on public-private partnerships with a track record of advising on large-scale mergers and acquisitions.
Imbriglio shared his knowledge as a lecturer in accounting at both Concordia and McGill University over an 18-year period. Highly involved in the Italian-Canadian community, he was chairman of the board at Montreal’s Santa Cabrini Hospital. Among his other board memberships, Imbriglio served on the Canadian Council of Public and Private Partnerships from 2012 to 2015.
Virendra Jha 1988 hD
Great Concordian 42 years with the Canadian Space Program
Among his many accolades, Canadian Space Agency veteran Virendra Jha, PhD 82, was recently named winner of the International Astronautical Federation's most prestigious honour — the Allan D. Emil Memorial Award — for his outstanding contribution to astronautics.
He began his space career in 1972 at RCA Ltd. Montreal which supplied space hardware equipment for the Canadian Government's space related programs. The company later became SPAR Aerospace and is currently known as MDA.
SPAR and MDA have been recognized for manufacturing several communications satellites, earth observation satellites and the Canadarm both for the shuttle and also for the Space Station.
After serving Spar as the director of Engineering, Jha joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1991 and went on to serve as director general, Space Technologies, and then vice-president, Science, Technology and Programs before becoming chief engineer in 2009.
Jha earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Concordia. He also holds a BTech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and a master’s degree from McMaster University.
Sharing his knowledge with generations of students, Jha has taught as adjunct professor in Concordia’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. While at SPAR, he was one of the key players in starting the Master in Aerospace Engineering program in various Quebec Universities.
Among the awards Jha has received for his contributions to the Canadian Space Program are the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute’s Alouette Award (1999), the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Professional Man of the Year award (2004). In 2018 he was named a member of the Order of Canada.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2018
Yasmin Jiwani is a professor in Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies. She is the author of Discourses of Denial: Mediations of Race, Gender and Violence, and co-editor of Girlhood, Redefining the Limits, and Faces of Violence in the Lives of Girls.
Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies. Her research interests include mediations of race, gender and violence in the press, as well as representations of women of colour in popular media. She is currently the Concordia University Research Chair in Intersectionality, Violence and Resistance.
Emmett Johns BA 74, LLD 97
Official chaplain of the homeless
The late Father Emmett Johns, BA 74, LLD 97, had been a parish priest for nearly 40 years when he decided to dedicate himself to fighting youth poverty. In 1988, the Montreal native founded Dans la rue.
He took out a $10,000 loan and purchased a used motorhome, which he drove around the city at night to offer a safe place, a meal and a listening ear to homeless youths. Within a year, Bishop Leonard J. Crowley named Father Johns “official chaplain of the homeless.”
The young people who congregated around the motorhome at night affectionately called him “Pops.” The charitable organization has grown considerably and, thanks to dedicated volunteers and donors, it now provides a variety of services through its overnight shelter (the Bunker) and its day centre (Chez Pops).
Members of the Concordia community have been long-time supporters of Dans la rue. Students have organized many fundraisers over the years while the Department of Design and Computation Arts pioneered an outreach program with the organization to empower street kids and combat exclusion.
Parallel to these initiatives, Concordia’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling participated in the 20th anniversary of Dans la rue by helping collect, organize and present testimonies that retold the early days of Father Johns’s nighttime rounds.
In 1997, the Loyola alumnus received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University. Pamela Bright, then associate professor in the Department of Theological Studies, introduced him as a “beacon of light for more than 150,000 homeless and runaway youths on the streets of Montreal.”
He was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). Father Johns was admitted into the Order of Canada in 1999 and made Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec four years later.
Father Johns has received numerous other awards for his tireless efforts, including the Rights and Freedoms Prize awarded by the Commission des Droits de la personne et des droits à la jeunesse (2001), the Anne Greenup Citizenship Award (1998), the United Irish Societies of Montreal’s Simon McDonaugh Humanitarian Award (2002) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award (2008).
On January 13, 2018, Father Johns died. He was 89.
Jameson Jones-Doyle BA 08
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2011 outstanding student award, James Jones-Doyle, award, james doyle Jameson Jones-Doyle, BA 08, has already left an indelible mark on Concordia as a student and volunteer.
Jameson Jones-Doyle, BA 08, has already left an indelible mark on Concordia as a student and volunteer. The Montreal native earned a BA in Psychology, with a minor in Business, from Concordia in 2008 and is now pursuing an MSc in Administration at the university’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB). Jameson is also founder and President of BioBalance.
In 2009-10, among many achievements, Jameson served as VP Development for his program and as a Graduate Career Ambassador with JMSB’s Career Management Services, for which he was named Ambassador of the Year.
In 2010, Jameson became the first non-MBA student to be elected President of the Commerce Graduate Students’ Association.
He received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Concordia Council on Student Life, the Brian T. Counihan Scholarship for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life, the Award for Participation in Student Governance and the Ann Kerby Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. Recently, his thesis work won second place at the JMSB’s Annual Graduate Research Exposition.
Jameson’s extensive volunteerism includes serving McGill University’s Centre for International Development Law, coaching minor hockey and delivering motivational presentations for the National Stuttering Association.
Barry Julien BA 94
Great Concordian Internationally renowned comedy writer
Barry Julien, BA 94, loves monkeying around — so much so that he set out to make it his life’s work. The writer, comic, actor and native Montrealer got his start performing stand-up at age 17 and it’s safe to say his dreams came true.
Julien is now co-executive producer and writer at The Colbert Report, a Comedy Central spinoff of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and one of the most watched late-night television programs.
Julien began to write professionally for Canadian television in the ‘90s. His first big break at CBC’s beloved political satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes garnered him two Gemini Award nominations. He stocked another for his work on the YTV children’s series Mystery Hunters.
He wrote regularly for satirical newspaper The Onion and, in 2006, took over as staff writer for Talkshow with Spike Feresten, Fox’s longest-running, late-night television series.
Julien joined America’s favourite mock right-wing pundit, Stephen Colbert, in 2007. One of 10 staff writers at The Colbert Report, Julien was promoted to co-executive producer in 2012. While he was head writer in 2009, the team gave an in-depth, group interview at the Paley Center for Media.
Enjoying remarkable critical acclaim, Julien received several Writer’s Guild Awards and three Primetime Emmy Awards (2008, 2010 and 2013) for his writing. The show itself has taken numerous other awards.
Julien has even gone to war for his job. Four episodes of The Colbert Report were filmed in Baghdad for United Service Organization troops in 2009. Julien warmed up the crowd for Colbert and they each shaved their head to fit in.
Julien has stacked up several Hollywood acting credits. He appears in The Hunger with David Bowie, The Art of War with Wesley Snipes and The Last Kiss with Zach Braff, among others.
A proud Concordia alumnus, Julien returned to Concordia to present a workshop to Communication Studies students during the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Series.
With The Colbert Report in its last season, the world is waiting to see how Julien will get the next laugh.
Denis Kefallinos BEng 91
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2010 alumnus, alumna, of the year, award, denia kefallinos Denis Kefallinos, BEng 91, is President of Concordia University Alumni Association's Boston/New England Chapter.
Denis Kefallinos, BEng 91, is President of Concordia University Alumni Association's Boston/New England Chapter.
Christena Keon Sirsly S MBA 73, BSc 71
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2010 MBA, alumni, award, Christena Keon Sirsly, Christena Sirsly Christena Keon Sirsly, S MBA 73, a native of Rouyn- Noranda, Que., earned a BSc in Honours Chemistry in 1971 from Marianopolis College in Montreal.
Christena Keon Sirsly, S MBA 73, a native of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., earned a BSc in Honours Chemistry in 1971 from Marianopolis College in Montreal. Christena soon enrolled in Sir George Williams University's fledgling MBA program and was one of only four women to graduate with the Class of 1973.
She then embarked on an impressive, 37-year career, mainly in the transportation industry. Recently retired, Christena spent 24 years at VIA Rail Canada, working her way from a director to VP, Marketing, and finally, Chief Strategy Officer. She was instrumental to VIA's growth and to modernizing several of the passenger rail's programs and systems.
From 2000 to 2002, Christena served as Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and she continues to work with the Canadian Tourism Commission. She is a member of the Board of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Logie Rose-Virgine, a reintegration centre for women, and acted as President of the annual fundraising dinner for the Compagnie Franche de la Marine.
Jang-Hwan Kwon GrDip 96, MCSc 03
Outstanding Staff Award – 2012 outstanding faculty award, outstanding staff award, award, Jang-Hwan Kwon, IITS, jang kwon Jang-Hwan Kwon is manager of administrative systems for Concordia's Instructional and Information Technology Services, where he has worked in an administrative role since 1999.
Jang-Hwan Kwon is manager of administrative systems for Concordia's Instructional and Information Technology Services, where he has worked in an administrative role since 1999.
Jang earned a graduate diploma in 1996 and an MSc in computer science in 2003, both from Concordia. He also holds a bachelor's degree in engineering (transportation) from McGill University.
Jang has exhibited his dedication to the university in several ways. He created two endowments -- the Jang-Hwan Kwon Award in Computer Science and the Richard K. Dimond Memorial Award in Physics -- to help bring to Concordia talented students who would otherwise be unable to afford university. He also supports a number of Concordia-based fundraising initiatives such as the Community Campaign and Student Emergency Food Fund.
His greatest passion remains the Concordia Shuffle, the university's annual walkathon. Jang has been a member of the Shuffle advisory committee for many years and became its chair in 2011.
Jonathan Lachance BAdmin 11
Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2016
Jonathan Lachance is a real estate professional with a focus on sustainable property investment. He is the general manager of Equium Group Inc., a boutique real estate firm that invests, develops and manages a $200 million portfolio in Alberta. Lachance certified 2 million square feet of commercial property under various green rating programs. Among them is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
For his commitment to environmental stewardship, Lachance was included in Corporate Knights magazine's list of the top 30 Canadian sustainability leaders under the age of 30.
He chairs Calgary’s Sustainability Committee and is a member of the Urban Land Institute. Additional to his degree from Concordia, Lachance graduated from the University of Oxford, in the U.K., with an MSc in sustainable urban development.
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2016
Alexis Lahorra is dedicated to changing views on mental illness, which affects one out of every five Canadians. After overcoming the challenges of depression and anxiety, Lahorra helped launch the Concordia chapter of Jack.org — a national network focused on transforming how we think about mental health through various programs. Leading the Concordia chapter is over-and-above her regular academic obligations in communication and cultural studies with a focus on Spanish.
Before embarking on her studies at Concordia, Lahorra spearheaded an anti-bullying campaign called Stronger than a Rock. The initiative earned first place in the category of Mutual Aid, Peace and Justice at Forces AVENIR — which recognizes student engagement — in 2014.
Great Concordian “Jutra-hommage” for a stellar career in cinema
A powerful presence in Quebec cinema for decades, Micheline Lanctôt was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Jutra Award in 2014.
The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema part-time instructor launched her acting career at Cannes in 1972 after a chance encounter with celebrated director and screenwriter Gilles Carle. At the time, she worked in film animation at the director Gerald Potterton’s studios.
“I didn’t know her, I had never spoken to her. But I saw in her an elegance, and gradually, I began to visualize her in a landscape,” remembered Carle, director of La vraie nature de Bernadette (1972) in an interview for Take One.
Lanctôt then went on to star in Les corps célestes (1973), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974), Les liens de sang (1978), and Mourir à tue-tête (1978) to name but a few of the works that compose her filmography.
Her directorial debut, L’homme à tout faire (1980), was recognized with a Silver Medal for Best Picture at the San Sebastián Film Festival. Sonatine (1982), her second feature film, won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and a Genie Award for Best Achievement in Direction.
After receiving a phone call from Concordia University Professor Thomas Waugh, Lanctôt ventured into teaching in 1982. “It was the beginning of a big love story for me, which is still ongoing. When I fall out of love then I’ll stop giving my classes,” she confided in a 2014 interview.
Lanctôt returned to directing feature-length films with the encouragement of her students. Deux actrices (1993) featured two Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema alumnae – Pascale Paroissien and Pascale Bussières — and among its film crew were several students. Of all the films she has directed, Lanctôt is most proud of this one. It won Grand Prize at the 1994 Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois.
More recently, Lanctôt has made appearances in award-winning productions directed by Concordia University graduates, most notably Louise Archambault’s Familia (2005) and Chloé Robichaud’s Sarah préfère la course (2013).
Her 10th film, Autrui, premieres February 27, 2015, within the 33rd Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois.
Among Lanctôt’s numerous awards are the Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (2003) and the Prix Albert-Tessier du Québec (2000).
Outstanding Staff Award – 2016
One of the most accomplished coaches in the history of varsity women’s hockey, Les Lawton crossed the 500 victories threshold with the Concordia Stingers in 2003.
Over 34 years, he has led the women’s Stingers team to 15 Quebec championships and two Canadian Interuniversity Sport titles. With Lawton coaching, Canada won gold at the Women’s World Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 1994.
Athletes who have played for Lawton’s Stingers include Olympic gold medalist Cammi Granato, who was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
Lawton swapped his coaching bench for a desk as the interim director of Concordia’s Department of Recreation and Athletics from 2001 to 2003.
Nathalie Le Prohon MBA 99
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2009 MBA, alumni, award, Nathalie Le Prohon, Nathalie Prohon Nathalie Le Prohon, MBA 99, has enjoyed a distinguished career and leant her considerable skills to many volunteer organizations.
Nathalie Le Prohon, MBA 99, has enjoyed a distinguished career and leant her considerable skills to many volunteer organizations.
After Nathalie earned a BComm from McGill University in 1984, she spent the next 19 years with IBM Canada, climbing the rungs to VP, Strategic Outsourcing Sales. While at IBM, Nathalie earned an MBA from Concordia's John Molson School of Business. In 2003, she became president of Nokia Canada in Toronto and occupied that position for two years.
But in 2004, at the age of 42, Nathalie was diagnosed with an advanced and aggressive breast cancer. She went through two years of intensive treatments and is still under hormonal therapy. She has been cancer-free for four years.
This profound experience led Nathalie to refocus her career and life priorities. She now dedicates more of her time to her family and community causes.
Nathalie, her husband and two children recently returned to Montreal after 12 years in Toronto. Today, she serves as corporate director for Hydro-Québec and Bentall LP and was recently appointed to the Audit Committee of the Department of National Defence.
She's also a director for several, non-profit organizations, including the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and the Vanguard Development Fund.
John Lemieux BA 66
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2012 award, John Lemieux, Humberto Santos Award of Merit John F. Lemieux was a Senior Counsel at the national law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain in Montreal. He practiced in diverse areas including aerospace, defence procurement, construction and infrastructure as well as aboriginal claims.
Concordia mourned the passing of John F. Lemieux on July 15, 2017. To honour his legacy and his lifetime of school spirit, the Concordia University Alumni Association created the John F. Lemieux Medal in 2018. The award is presented to a member of the Concordia community whose trailblazing spirit and next-generation approach in the pursuit of excellence challenges current-day boundaries.
John F. Lemieux was a senior counsel at the national law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain in Montreal. He practised in diverse areas including aerospace, defence procurement, construction and infrastructure, as well as aboriginal claims. In his early career, John acted as counsel to several First Nations groups and was the Inuit of Quebec’s chief negotiator for the historic 1975 James Bay & Northern Quebec Agreement.
His business experience included serving as chairman of Milan-based construction firm Torno Quebec and president and CEO of Oerlikon Aerospace Canada.
John served on the Loyola Alumni Association’s Board of Directors from 2004-2014. He co-chaired the association’s successful $4-million Loyola Refectory Restoration Campaign, which culminated with the opening of the Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre in December 2011. He was the association’s representative on Concordia’s Board of Governors from 2006-2012.
In 2015 he established the John F. Lemieux Fellowship in Genocide and Human Rights Studies to enable emerging leaders to meet the goal of helping to prevent mass atrocities.
Among many volunteer commitments, John was president of the University Club of Montreal during its Centennial Year in 2007-08 and was the co-founder and president of Myeloma Canada, a national patient organization involved in the search for a cure for multiple myeloma, a rare, incurable blood cancer.
George Lengvari BA 63
Great Concordian, Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2002 Varsity basketball all-star and dedicated Concordia alumnus
Athleticism and business acumen run in the family for Concordia graduate George F. Lengvari, Jr., BA 63.
His uncle, Ferenc Csik, was a swimmer who won gold in the 100-metre freestyle at the 1936 summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. His father, George Lengvari, Sr., set a Canadian swimming relay record — at age 82!
Lengvari, Jr. is an accomplished athlete in his own right. An agile basketball player, he was instrumental in energizing the sports scene at Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions.
He brought the Loyola Warriors men’s team to its first Ottawa-St. Lawrence basketball title in the 1962-63 season. For his leadership on and off the court, he was named most valuable player that year.
His athletic prowess has also cemented him into Concordia lore — he was inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
After graduating from Concordia’s Department of Economics, Lengvari, Jr., completed a law degree at McGill University. He practiced international fiscal law in Montreal from 1968 to 1994. From then until 2009, he was vice-chairman of Weider Health and Fitness.
More than just a sports figure and savvy businessperson, Lengvari, Jr., served on Concordia’s board of governors from 1993 to 2000. He helped launch a Concordia alumni chapter in London, England, his current place of residence.
Lengvari, Jr., is behind the Dr. Ben Weider Bursary Endowment, established in 2002. He has also provided vital support to the Loyola Refectory Restoration and Concordia’s athletic facilities.
For his unwavering support of Concordia, Lengvari received the Humberto Santos Award of Merit in 2002. It honours alumni who have made lifetime contributions to the university community.
Paul Levesque BA 57
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2011 Benoit Pelland, award, paul levesque Paul M. Levesque, L BA 57, has exhibited remarkable commitment to Concordia and amateur sport. Paul earned a BA in 1957 from Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, and skied for its varsity team.
Paul M. Levesque earned a BA in 1957 from Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, and skied for its varsity team. He competed for the Canadian bobsled team that captured gold at the 1962 Commonwealth Games and Netherlands Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and four international-competition golds over the next four years. Paul fielded, coached (women and men) and slid for Canada’s inaugural Olympic luge teams at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.
He received the Canadian Centennial Medal from the Governor General of Canada in 1967 and the John F. Kennedy Sports Memorial Medal from the United States Amateur Athletic Union the following year. He was inducted into the Concordia University Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
Paul was recruited by Wall Street 40 years ago and is currently Senior Advisor to the international investment banking firm Coady Diemar Partners. In 1977, he launched and remains Chairman of the prestigious Canadian Association of New York’s Annual Hockey Achievement Award Dinner and is a founding member of the CUAA’s Tri-State Chapter.
Bernard Lonergan LLD 77
Great Concordian, Loyola Medal Father Bernard Lonergan, theological giant, Time magazine, Insight, Method in Theology, Loyola College, Society of Jesus, Newsweek, David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Brian Gallery, Jesuit, Loyola Medal, Lonergan College, philosopher, theologian, Peritus, Second Vatican Council, Order of Canada, Fellow of the British Academy A theological giant
The Globe and Mail called Father Bernard Lonergan, LLD 77, a “theological giant” in March 1970. Time magazine corroborated a few weeks later noting the Jesuit scholar was “considered by many intellectuals to be the finest philosophic thinker of the 20th century.”
Born in Buckingham, Quebec, in 1918, he relocated to Montreal to study at Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions. He was a gifted student, but ill health forced him to interrupt his studies in the early months of 1920. He returned later that year and carried on until 1922 when, in his sophomore year, he decided to join the Society of Jesus.
He taught Latin and Greek at Loyola College in the early 1930s as part of his regency assignment. Father Lonergan then studied in Rome and Amiens, France, before moving to Toronto, where he began work on Insight: A Study of Human Understanding and Method in Theology. Newsweek compared this seminal work to David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. He was the author of numerous books.
When Loyola College marked its 75th anniversary in 1971, Father Lonergan returned to his alma mater. Then-president of the Loyola Alumni Association Brian Gallery, BA 57, LLD 10, presented the Jesuit scholar with the Loyola Medal in recognition of an incomparable body of works which gave “needed point to human values in the present crisis of human existence, and clear direction to human aspirations in the generations to come.”
Concordia awarded Father Lonergan an honorary doctorate in 1977. Lonergan College was founded to encourage discussions and research dealing with aspects of the philosopher-theologian’s ideas. Similar centres now exist around the globe.
Father Lonergan was named a Peritus at the Second Vatican Council. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada (1971) and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (1975). He died in 1984.
Gabriel Lopez BA 08
Great Concordian, Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2007 José Gabriel Bran Lopez, Gabriel Lopez, Gabriel B. Lopez, Guatemala, Concordia University, Communications Guild Students Association, CGSA, Garnet Key Society, Uganda, Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program, Outstanding Student Award, CUAA, John E. O’Brien Medal, Youth Fusion, charity, non-profit organization, The Philanthropist, Kathy Assayag, Evelyne Abitbol, Jacques Ménard, Social Development Society of Ville-Marie, SDSVM, Nunavik, Jeanne Sauvé, Sauvé Scholar, Forces Avenir, Personality Award, Ernst & Young, Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Public Policy Forum, Emerging Leader, Michel Perron Award Youth Fusion founder keeps students in school
Gabriel Bran Lopez, BA 08, has travelled quite a distance since leaving civil war-torn Guatemala with his family in the early 1980s. As an immigrant child living in an impoverished neighborhood, he faced innumerable challenges as he sought to find his voice and his place in a new environment.
A supportive teacher led him to accept the leading role in a student play about a boy who suffers from leukemia. The experience proved life-changing and propelled Lopez to take an active role in student life at his school. He launched leadership programs, organized sporting events and helped create the first student council. He had found his calling.
While a student in Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies, he served as treasurer of the Communications Studies Student Association and as president of the Garnet Key Society. He travelled to Uganda with the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program.
Lopez is now president of Youth Fusion, a charity he established in 2008 to reverse dropout rates across Quebec. The organization began as a pilot project at Concordia.
“The idea was simple yet had never been implemented in Canada: hire university students and recent graduates and send them into poorly performing schools to implement projects that motivate teenagers to stay in school, strengthen their school spirit and give them a sense of belonging,” Lopez explained to The Philanthropist.
From seven Concordia-based project coordinators working in two Montreal schools, Youth Fusion has grown to employ dozens of coordinators from several universities to help students as far north as Nunavik stay in school.
Lopez is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Michel-Perron Award (2013), Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2011), Public Policy Forum Emerging Leader Award (2010), Sauvé Scholarship (2009-2010), Forces Avenir Personality Award (2007), Concordia’s John E. O’Brien Medal (2007) and the Concordia University Alumni Association’s Outstanding Student Award (2007).
Cardinal Léger was bestowed the Loyola Medal in 1967. Here is the citation read at the ceremony.
“Outstanding leadership and achievement on the Canadian scene, by reason of the character, philosophy, and contribution to the heritage of ·Canada of the recipient. “
To whom, more appropriately, might these terms, the criteria for the award of the Loyola Medal, apply than to Paul-Emile, Cardinal Leger, Archbishop of Montreal?
Priest, teacher, missionary, pastor of his flock, renowned and loved for his own great love and compassion for the poor, the aged, the sick, the very young, the disabled, the underprivileged, and all of those whose lot in life has been misfortune rather than good fortune, misery rather than joy, disillusionment rather than fulfillment.
Founder of seminaries, rector of the prestigious Canadian College at Rome, Archbishop, Cardinal Prince of the Church, leader of thought and of action in the preparations for, the carrying out, and the aftermath of the Great Council Vatican I; collaborator of His Holiness Paul VI, leading proponent of the ecumenical spirit of this day, recipient of a multitude of honours conferred by Church, by States and by the academic community, outstanding personality in this City, Province, and Canada itself.
In the person of Paul-Emile, Cardinal Leger, no paradox occurs, no contradiction arises in the presence of such diverse qualities. In this age of revolution, cultural, educational, moral, quiet and otherwise, essential truth shines forth from him.
Error is exposed. True progress is encouraged; rather it is initiated and insisted upon by him. Both clergy and laity, at all levels, are led by him to take their rightful place and to do their full duty - in the church, in the community, in the nation, and in the world.
From him, we know that the miseries of the African tribesman, of the Asian rice farmer, of the poor of our own community and of those unfortunates trapped in a life of crime or of vice, must be of more immediate and vital interest to us than our affluent society, the expansion of industry and commerce, the profusion of great new buildings and works, and advances in science and learning. For he has seen with his own eyes all of these, and setting such things in their due perspective he tells us that these latter phenomena are of benefit and validity only insofar as they may alleviate and redress the inequalities and injustices posed by the former.
By the brilliance of his career and its accomplishments; by the embodiment in him of that greatest of virtues, charity; by his message, which he not only preaches but lives to the full all of' his days; by his humility; by his wisdom; by his devotion and great service - we of Loyola, and all of the community, are continually edified.
Your Eminence; we are here tonight to honour you because of all of these things - but you, by your presence and your acceptance of what we have to offer, do us a much greater honour. Four thousand former students of Loyola, who form the Loyola Alumni Association, join their alma mater in bestowing upon you, as its second recipient, the highest honour in their gift – the Loyola Medal.
Loretta Mahoney BSc 62, MBA 74
Great Concordian “Girls Invade Campus for Co-Instruction,” read a headline in the September 25, 1959, issue of Loyola News.
Loretta Mahoney, BSc 62, MBA 74, was looking for a “well-rounded education with Catholic philosophy” when she enrolled at Loyola College in 1959.
Joined by fellow engineering student Gabrielle Paul, BSc 62, the two women pioneered co-education at the Jesuit institution, becoming the first female students to register for courses in the daytime program.
“Girls Invade Campus for Co-Instruction,” read a headline in the September 25, 1959, issue of Loyola News. Despite keeping a low profile in her first year, Mahoney quickly made a place for herself, contributing to college life and rising to the top of her class.
In 1962, Paul and Mahoney became Loyola College’s first female graduates. Mahoney also became its first woman valedictorian.
Mahoney’s dedication to overcoming prejudice against women in the field of natural sciences earned her a place among Concordia’s “pioneers, leaders, and visionaries.”
She remained committed to that cause as she rose through the ranks of the male-dominated energy sector, from analyst at the now-defunct Petrofina to director of Energy, Mines, and Resources with the Government of Canada.
Mahoney died in 2004. Yet her legacy lives on through the Loretta Mahoney Memorial Bursary, which she founded at her alma mater to encourage young female students to pursue undergraduate studies in engineering and computer science.
Bruce Mallen BComm 58, BA 64, LLD 04
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2009 award, Humberto Santos, bruce mallen Montreal-born Bruce Mallen, S BComm 58, S BA 64, LLD 04, was 16 when he enrolled in Sir George Williams College (soon to be known as Sir George Williams University) more than 50 years ago.
Montreal-born Bruce Mallen, S BComm 58, S BA 64, LLD 04, was 16 when he enrolled in Sir George Williams College (soon to be known as Sir George Williams University) more than 50 years ago. Bruce spent much of the next 25 years at Sir George Williams and Concordia University as a student, faculty member and administrator.
After earning his first degree at Sir George in 1958, Bruce went on to earn an MSc at Columbia University in 1959, an MBA one year later at the University of Michigan and a PhD in 1963 at New York University, where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow. He then returned to Montreal to serve as national director of Economics and Marketing Research and senior consultant at the consulting affiliate of the firm now known as Deloitte & Touche. In the evenings, he taught part-time and enrolled in Philosophy at Sir George. In 1964, he graduated on the Dean's honours list.
A year later, after leaving Deloitte & Touche and building an active private consulting practice, Bruce joined Sir George as a full-time faculty member in the Faculty of Commerce (now known as the John Molson School of Business). Over the next 13 years, he launched the Department of Marketing and was the MBA program's founding director.
In 1978, Bruce decided to enter the film industry and moved to California with his family. He became a successful film producer and distributor, as well as a real estate developer.
In 1996, he joined Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as dean of its College of Business. He retired from the university in 2008 and was appointed CEO of Krav Maga Worldwide, Inc., a self-defence, fight and fitness company headquartered in Los Angeles.
Among his many awards and honours, Bruce received honorary doctorates from Concordia in 2004 and the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, United Kingdom, in 2008
The Loyola Medal was presented Arthur F. Mayne, recently retired executive vice-president of the Royal Bank of Canada, at a black tie dinner in the Oval Room of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Thursday, May 8, 1969.
As Chairman of Loyola's Development Program, Arthur Mayne was well known for the outstanding leadership he gave to Loyola during the crucial years of her existence and growth.
However, Mr. Mayne's contribution to Canada has included participation in a wide diversity of health, social, educational and community needs in addition to his significant contribution to Canadian finance and industry. He has been selected because he is an outstanding Canadian.
Arthur F. Mayne joined the Royal Bank of Canada in 1925. Throughout the years he served with various branches of the bank in eastern and western Canada, the Assistant General Manager's Department in Toronto and in the Head Office in Montreal, Que., and with the International Division - a position that entailed a great deal of travelling throughout South America, the Caribbean Europe. In 1955 he was named Associate General Manager and five years later became General Manager (Non-Domestic Business). Mr. Mayne was· appointed Executive Vice-President and elected to the Royal Bank's Board of Directors in 1961.
A keen outdoor sportsman, Mr. Mayne is an avid fisherman, hunter, curler, skeet marksman and golfer. He is a Life Governor of Mary's Hospital; Governor of Montreal Children's Hospital; Trustee and Financial Adviser St. Patrick's Orphanage and Chairman of Loyola College's Development Program.
Arthur Mayne retired from the Royal Bank of Canada, which he has served for the past 44 years, on January 9, 1969.
Peter McAuslan BA 72
Great Concordian, Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2009 Sir George Williams' very own beer connoisseur
Peter McAuslan, BA 72, forever changed the Quebec beer landscape by founding the brewery that bears his name. A graduate of Sir George Williams University, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, he first worked as a community organizer for the YMCA before occupying a number of administrative positions at Dawson College.
He had been brewing his own beer for more than two decades when he decided, in the late 1980s, to dedicate himself to a passion that had been with him since his undergraduate years.
In 1988, McAuslan and his wife, Ellen Bounsall, founded McAuslan Brewing, known for its award-winning St-Ambroise and Griffon brands. As president and CEO of the company, he supported various non-profit organizations, including the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal and the Empress cultural centre. The Montreal Film Festival, the Montreal Fringe theatre festival and the Montreal Celtic Festival have also benefited from the support of McAuslan Brewing.
Last year, the couple announced they had sold the company to Les Brasseurs RJ and semi-retired in the Eastern Townships.
“I have started a small hop yard, have a maple bush, a large vegetable garden to keep me busy as well as community and business interests. I will have time to enjoy the pleasures of home brewing again,” McAuslan explained.
The beer connoisseur has remained an active member of the Concordia University community.
He served as co-chair for both Homecoming 97 and the Alumni and Friends Division of the university’s Campaign for a New Millennium. He was also president of the Concordia University Alumni Association (CUAA) from 2000 to 2002.
Naturally, he organized several Brewer’s Dinners and Beer Tasting events, which helped raised funds for scholarships offered by the CUAA. In 2009, he earned the Alumni of the Year award. He is also the recipient of an Award of Distinction from the John Molson School of Business.
Concordia University and the Loyola Alumni Association awarded the prestigious Loyola Medal to business executive, community volunteer and Schenley awards patron Donald W. McNaughton.
The last such presentation was made in 1979.
Mr. McNaughton, 64, former President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Schenley Canada Inc., was honoured at a ceremony Wednesday, April 17, 1991. Concordia Rector and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Kenniff made the formal presentation. Alex Carpini, Loyola Alumni Association President, and Mike Jalbert, nominating committee chair, co-hosted the evening.
Donald W. McNaughton is a member and past Chairman of Concordia's Board of Governors and has served as a director on several boards, including the Central Guaranty Trust Company and Loto-Quebec.
He has also been involved with many charitable organizations; he is immediate past President of St. Mary's Hospital, President of the St. Patrick's Society, immediate past Chairman of the Canada Safety Council and former Vice-President and Director of the Canadian Arthritis Society. He has also worked for the Society for Handicapped Children, the Council for Canadian Unity and the Boy Scouts of Canada, among others.
In 1963, McNaughton joined Schenley Canada Distillery as director of advertising, and quickly moved up the ranks. He was named president of the company in 1969 and CEO three years later. While at Schenley, McNaughton devoted considerable time to the Canadian Football League’s Schenley Awards, and was inducted into the CFL’s Hall of Fame as a builder in 1994.
His selection was made by a seven-member joint university I alumni nominating committee, which was established after the 1990 Loyola Alumni Association Inc. Board determined that the medal should be re-instated. McNaughton's nomination was unanimously approved by the University's Board of Governors.
Carol McQueen BA 95
Great Concordian From Rhodes Scholar to peacebuilding advocate
Carol McQueen, BA 95, began her post-Concordia life with an auspicious start: she was awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and headed off to the University of Oxford.
The Liberal Arts College graduate remained in the United Kingdom and earned her PhD from Oxford. Her dissertation dealt with safety zones in 1990s Bosnia, Iraq and Rwanda.
Her commitment to peacebuilding took off from there. In 2003, McQueen relocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she served as political affairs officer with the UN Peacekeeping Mission.
“As the plane descended toward Kinshasa […], I realized I was fulfilling a longstanding dream to work for the United Nations, in the hope of helping bring peace, even in a small way, to a country that had endured almost five years of intense conflict between rebels and government forces,” she told Concordia University Magazine at the time.
In the ensuing years McQueen held a number of posts at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada, including deputy director of the now-defunct Democracy Unit and policy analyst with the Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Group.
Building on her experience and doctoral research, she wrote Humanitarian Intervention and Safety Zones: Iraq, Bosnia and Rwanda (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Shortly after the book’s publication McQueen returned to her alma mater to deliver a talk, sponsored by the Liberal Arts College and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, on peacekeeping and the advances made in the prevention of mass violence.
McQueen later returned to Central and East Africa and worked as a political counsellor at the Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Following that, she returned to Canada and was director for Gulf States Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Her portfolio included responsibility for the Iran and Iraq files.
In August 2015 she was appointed as Canada's ambassador to Tunisia.
She is married and has two children.
Alexandra Meikleham BEng 16
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2015
Alexandra Meikleham entered Concordia in 2012 to pursue a degree in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
She recently represented the university at the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition, where her team placed first among 11 universities from around the world.
In 2014, Meikleham led the development of the Global Engineering Initiative — the first phase of a networked learning platform. She is actively involved in Concordia’s Garnet Key Society, which recently hosted Forces of Change, Concordia’s first interdisciplinary pitch competition.
Meikleham is a member of a semi-professional dance troupe, Scream Dance Project. This summer Meikleham will attend the Canadian championships of Highland dance where she will dance in and choreograph a piece with the Stephenson School of Highland dance. Meikleham has experience in theatre, the fashion industry and economics.
Marguerite Mendell BA 72
Great Concordian, Outstanding Staff Award – 2014 International authority on economic policy
Marguerite Mendell, BA 72, has spent her career avidly exploring ways to make communities better through sound economic policy.
In recognition of the profound influence Mendell has had on the social economy over the past three decades, in 2013 she was awarded the Prix du Québec — the highest accolade offered by the Government of Quebec.
On the honour, Mendell said: “My research has been based on the dynamic nature of Quebec society — a place I love. To be recognized by the government at this stage in my career is very rewarding, but also overwhelming.”
In 2014, she was named an officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
Mendell earned a PhD in economics from McGill University in 1983. She is co-founder of Concordia’s Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy, where she has served as director since 1987. She also teaches at the School of Community and Public Affairs in Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science, educating the next generation of public and economic policy analysts.
Her steadfast contribution to higher education at Concordia was honoured with the Concordia University Alumni Association’s Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in 2014.
The Parisian-born economist’s savvy is highly sought after outside the academic community — the Great Concordian has been consulted by three levels of government in Canada and by the European Union, mainly on issues related to social and community finance.
Mendell’s publications have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian and Korean — and have generated great international interest. Among those works are “The Three Pillars of the Social Economy: The Quebec Experience (1996-2007)” and “Karl Polanyi and Instituted Process of Economic Democratization.”
She was keynote speaker at the Social Economy Global Forum, co-hosted by the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, in 2013. She also served as director of the Scientific Committee for the International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Montreal.
Great Concordian Enfant terrible of Canadian abstract painting
Guido Molinari, LLD 04, a towering figure of the Canadian abstract art scene, began painting in his early teens. Often described as a self-taught artist, he did attend courses at Montreal’s École des Beaux-arts before eschewing formal training to work under the guidance of Marian Dale Scott at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
A 1951 encounter with members of the Automatiste movement helped Molinari situate himself within a post-Refus global Quebec. By the end of the decade, he had held his first solo show, exhibited his work in New York, founded the Galerie L’Actuelle and helped create the Non-Figurative Artists Association.
Molinari then went on to win the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Jessie Dow Award (1962), the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts Award (1965), the Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship (1967), the David E. Bright Foundation Award (1968) and the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas (1980).
An artist of international renown, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971. By then, he had already begun teaching at Sir George Williams University, one of Concordia’s founding institutions. Molinari had acquired 27 years of service as a part-time instructor by the time he retired in 1997.
His work at Concordia University “allowed him to work free from the dictates and voracious appetite of the art market,” he said in a 1995 interview for The Gazette, following the launch of a major retrospective at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
Molinari’s work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally and can be found in the National Gallery of Canada and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Molinari died in 2004. The achievements of this enfant terrible of Canadian abstract painting were recognized that year with a posthumous honorary doctorate.
“This remarkably giving man, this vibrant and entertaining teacher, was one of the original members of the small group of artists who were the foundation of our Faculty of Fine Arts,” said Concordia Professor Christopher Jackson.
Calandra Montour BA 12
Great Concordian Kanien'kehá:ka and serial volunteer
A member of the Kahnawá:ke First Nation — a Kanien'kehá:ka community southwest of Montreal — Calandra Karihwiióstha Montour, completed her undergraduate degree in Child Studies, with a specialization in children with special needs, and a minor in anthropology in 2012.
Eager to learn about other indigenous cultures and passionate about working in communities all over the world, Montour has volunteered in developing countries to build new infrastructure, educate children and participate in eco-friendly projects.
Montour has volunteered in Ecuador (2010) and South Africa (2012) through Volunteer Eco Students Abroad, a 15-day youth program that puts participants on eco-tours in indigenous communities. Participants help communities improve in areas as diverse as sustainable infrastructure, education, sanitation and water supply. Montour has also worked to maintain enclosures for animals at wildlife sanctuaries. In 2013, she volunteered in Nicaragua with Growth International Volunteer Excursions.
In 2011, Montour was one of five local students who each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Desjardins Caisse Populaire Kahnawá:ke. She made Concordia’s Dean’s List the same year and graduated with distinction in 2012.
Montour continued her studies at Ratiwennahní:rats Raotitióhkwa, a two-year program that helps students regain fluency in the community's native language (Kanien'kéha).
“I look forward to speaking Kanien'kéha with the elders and making them comfortable,” she says.
Her expertise in special needs and her traditional language skills will serve her well as she carves out a future in caring for elders. Currently enrolled in a vocational healthcare assistance program, she is considering a career in nursing.
Niloofar Moradi 2010 ng
Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2018
After earning her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Concordia in 2010, Niloofar Moradi started her career at Rolls Royce Canada. In 2011, Moradi joined Pratt & Whitney Canada as an aerodynamicist in the Turbine Aerodynamics department. In 2016, Moradi earned her Master of Applied Science at École de technologie supérieure in Montreal, while working full time. She currently works in the Turbine Mechanical Design department at Pratt & Whitney Canada, where she designs and integrates turbine components and coordinates interfaces with other modules.
Moradi is passionate about creating new opportunities for the next generation of engineers. She is an active participant in women and leadership events and hopes to inspire more young women to enter the field. Moradi was a guest speaker at Aero Conference 2017, organized by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and she is a member of the Aerospace subcommittee at Montreal’s Palais des congrès.
Honorary Life Membership – 2007 honorary life membership, award, avrum morrow Avrum (Avi) Morrow is a businessperson with a passion for the arts. A long-time supporter of Concordia, Avi was one of the original contributors to the Sir George Williams Art Gallery.
The late Avrum (Avi) Morrow was a businessperson with a passion for the arts. A long-time supporter of Concordia, he was one of the original contributors to the Sir George Williams Art Gallery. He also established the Dora Morrow Fellowship for Excellent Achievement in Visual Arts.
Avi co-founded Avmor, Canada's leading manufacturer of professional cleaning solutions, in 1948. He has also commissioned more than 400 paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings, on display at Avmor's Old Montreal headquarters.
His commitment to the future can be seen in Avmor's Sustainable Development initiative.
Avi was a member of the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts Advisory Board, and in 2005 received a Fine Arts Award of Distinction.
As a result of his philanthropy and commitment to the arts, Avi was named to the Order of Canada in February 2007.
Avi died on January 5, 2019.
Jacques Ménard BComm 67, LLD 06
Great Concordian, Loyola Medal L. Jacques Ménard, Ménard. Business Administration, University of Western Ontario, Burns Fry Ltd, Nesbitt Burns, BMO Financial Group, Claridge Inc., Léger Marketing, Stingray Digital, WestJet, Hydro-Québec, Expos, Alouettes, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Trudeau Foundation, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Groupe d'action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires, GAPRS, Youth Fusion, Beyond the Numbers… a Matter of the Heart, Réussir: Aller au bout de ses rêves, Michel Magnan, Jarislowsky Chair in Corporate Governance, Campaign for a New Millennium, Loyola Medal, honorary doctorate, Chancellor, Ordre national du Québec, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Order of Canada Vision, leadership, benevolence and commitment
L. Jacques Ménard, BComm 67, LLD 06, is chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and President of BMO Financial Group, Quebec.
He is a director at Claridge Inc., Léger Marketing, Stingray Digital and WestJet — as well as in the sport and non-profit sectors, including the Montreal Alouettes, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Trudeau Foundation and Institute for Research on Public Policy. A past chairman of Hydro-Québec, he is well-known in Montreal for his efforts to keep the Expos at home in the 1990s.
Ménard is also a champion of education. He is co-president of the Groupe d'action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires, Chairman of Youth Fusion, and the author of two books: Beyond the Numbers, a Matter of the Heart — dealing with student retention and success — and Réussir: aller au bout de ses rêves — a collection of real-world success stories to inspire young people.
Aptly described as a “superachiever” by Michel Magnan, Concordia’s Jarislowsky Chair in Corporate Governance, he continuously demonstrates “total commitment to the society in which he lives.”
Ménard is a long-time supporter of Concordia University. Despite a schedule that would leave most people exhausted, he makes time for causes close to his heart. He joined Concordia’s Board of Governors in 1994 and played an especially important role in the Campaign for a New Millennium. He received Concordia’s prestigious Loyola Medal in 1999 and an honorary doctorate in 2006.
When appointed chancellor of Concordia University in 2010, Ménard said, “I’m proud to continue my longstanding collaboration with a university that has greatly contributed to my career and my social concerns.” He completed his term in December 2014.
The 2010s have thus far been a period of celebration, with Ménard becoming an officer of the Ordre national du Québec (2010), receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and ascending to the highest level of the Order of Canada (2012).
In addition to his Concordia degrees, he holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. He will receive an honorary doctorate from McGill University at its spring 2015 convocation.
Rita Kwai Ching Ng BSc 87
International Excellence Award – 2018
Rita Kwai Ching Ng arrived in Canada from Hong Kong in 1981, completing high school in Ottawa before moving to Montreal to attend Dawson College. After graduating from CEGEP 1984, Rita Ng was accepted in Concordia’s actuarial mathematics program, earning her BSc in 1987.
She then moved back to Hong Kong and began a successful career in insurance. She also immediately joined the Hong Kong chapter of the Concordia University Alumni Association, where she remains a highly active committee member. She is also vice-president of the Concordia University Hong Kong Foundation Committee. In no small part thanks to Rita Ng’s hard work and dedication, both organizations are thriving.
Sheelah O'Neill BA 74
Outstanding Staff Award – 2009 outstanding faculty award, outstanding staff award, award, Sheelah O'Neill, communications Sheelah O'Neill, L BA 74, a Montreal native, is the Assistant to the Chair and Undergraduate Academic Advisor in Concordia's renowned Department of Communication Studies.
Sheelah O'Neill, BA 74, a Montreal native, is the Assistant to the Chair and Undergraduate Academic Advisor in Concordia's renowned Department of Communication Studies.
Sheelah began to work at Concordia University a year after graduating from Loyola College in 1974. In the subsequent 35 years, she has become an integral part of Communication Studies, served on many committees and given countless hours to the university community.
As the first point of contact for Comm Studies undergraduates, Sheelah ensures that each student's experience is a positive one, from before he or she is admitted until long after graduation. She frequently attends convocation to support students and remains in contact with many alumni.
Sheelah serves on the Department BA Committee and has been the staff representative for the Search Committee for the Chair of Communication Studies three times and for the Review Committee for the Dean, and was a member of the Graduate Studies Committee on web registration. She currently sits on the Loyola Alumni Association Board of Directors. From 1988 to 1992, Sheelah was a member of the Board of Directors, including a term as president, at Les P'tits Profs daycare on the Loyola Campus.
In 1993, Sheelah won the Concordia Council on Student Life award and in 2007 received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Achievement to Faculty and Staff.
Loyola Medal James Orbinski is Concordia’s 2017 Loyola Medal recipient. He is a medical doctor, humanitarian activist, author and leading scholar in global health. He is an advocate for those who have been silenced by war, genocide and mass starvation.
James Orbinski is Concordia’s 2017 Loyola Medal recipient. He is a medical doctor, humanitarian activist, author and leading scholar in global health. He is an advocate for those who have been silenced by war, genocide and mass starvation.
Orbinski gained field experience as a doctor with Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), becoming witness to the mass injustices taking place in countries like Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rwanda, Afghanistan and Somalia. He was the MSF’s head of mission in Zaire in 1996-97 during the refugee crisis, as well as during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Orbinski was awarded with the Meritorious Service Cross — Canada’s highest civilian award — for his medical humanitarian leadership during the genocide.
From 1998-2001, Orbinski led the MSF as its international president. In that role he represented the organization in humanitarian emergencies and on critical humanitarian issues in Sudan, Kosovo, Russia, Cambodia, South Africa, India and Thailand. In 1999, Orbinski accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the MSF.
Orbinski is currently the inaugural director of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University. He continues his humanitarian work around the world with Dignitas, an international medical and research organization dedicated to improving access to health care for people facing a high burden of disease.
Jamie Orchard BA 91
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2012 alumnus, alumna, of the year, award, jamie orchard Jamie Orchard is senior anchor and news editor for Global Montreal's Evening News, aired weekdays at 6 p.m. She has covered the news in Montreal for nearly two decades, including stints with CTV and CBC before joining Global.
Jamie Orchard is senior anchor and news editor for Global Montreal's Evening News, aired weekdays at 6 p.m. She has covered the news in Montreal for nearly two decades, including stints with CTV and CBC before joining Global.
An active volunteer, in 2008 Jamie won the Izzy Asper Community Service Award for her work with the Action Centre, an organization that provides help for physically and mentally challenged Montrealers.
Founder of Concordia’s renowned Communication Studies department and a Jesuit priest, the distinguished Professor Emeritus Fr. John (Jack) E. O’Brien, S.J., has been selected to receive the 2011 Loyola Medal, one of the highest honours awarded by Concordia University.
O’Brien is an accomplished teacher, author, speaker and administrator. After graduation from Loyola College in 1945, he joined the Society of Jesus, where he was ordained in 1957, and earned a doctorate in Communication from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1964. He returned to his alma mater, where he founded Canada’s first department of Communication Studies in 1965, then known as Communication Arts at Loyola College.
O’Brien’s pioneering vision and passion for the study and application of media, combined with his training as a Jesuit priest, led him down an unusual career path for a clergyman who had taken a vow of poverty.
While a student at USC, O’Brien was elected president of Alpha Epsilon Rho, known today as the National Broadcasting Society, an American association for broadcast and media students. For Montreal’s Expo 67 world fair, he chaired the Christian Pavilion programming committee. In 1983, his communications expertise took him to Rome where, as Secretary for Social Communication to the Father General of the Jesuits, he helped to reshape the training of young Jesuits worldwide.
Sandra Paikowsky BA 67
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2017
Sandra Paikowsky, is a professor emeritus in Concordia’s Department of Art History and a member of the Order of Canada for her role in the development of Canadian art history as a discipline.
Paikowsky joined the department in 1969 and retired in 2012. She co-founded the one-of-a-kind Journal of Canadian Art History/Annales d'histoire de l'art canadien in 1974, where she held the role of managing editor until 2010 and publisher until 2012. She remains a member of the journal's editorial board.
From 1981 to 1992, as the director and curator of the Concordia Art Galley (now the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery), she promoted women artists, modern and contemporary Montreal art and Canadian artists whose work was not usually seen in Montreal.
Luca Patuelli BComm 09
Great Concordian No excuses, no limits
Montreal’s Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, BComm 09, was one of the shining stars of the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics Opening Ceremonies. In 2013, he performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, receiving a standing ovation after wowing the audience.
His brilliant performances are the culmination of a decade-long exploration of the art of breakdancing.
Patuelli was born with a rare condition known as arthrogryposis, a disorder characterized by joint contractures and a lack of muscle development. It affected his lower body, but didn’t prevent him from taking on skateboarding.
When knee surgery forced Patuelli to abandon the sport in his mid-teens, he turned to breakdancing — using his strong upper body and crutches to assert himself on dance floors across the city, the country and the world.
He joined the Illmatic Styles in 2004 and accompanied the dance group to the United States where they performed on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Patuelli then travelled incessantly as he refined and expanded his inventory of dance moves. In 2007, he founded ILL-Abilities, a crew of differently-abled dancers from the Netherlands, Chili and the United States. His motto? No excuses, no limits.
Patuelli’s unflinching drive also helped him complete an undergraduate degree at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. The 2000s was a busy decade for him, but he succeeded thanks to support from administrators and professors during the seven years he spent at Concordia.
“It’s doable. School’s been extremely accommodating,” he explained in an interview for Concordia student newspaper The Link.
Patuelli has not slowed down since graduating six years ago. Aside from the Vancouver performance, he appeared at the 2011 Parapan American Games and, more recently, he danced on the set of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In 2015, he received the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal.
He is co-founder of Project RAD, a Montreal-based organization that offers dance programs for kids with disabilities.
Oscar A. Pekau
Honorary Life Membership – 2018
Soon after joining the Department of Civil Engineering of Concordia University (then Sir George Williams University) in 1971, Oscar A. Pekau was asked to transform the undergraduate program from five to four years.
Later, as department chair he modernized the undergraduate curriculum and expanded the department activities to include Environmental Engineering. In 2016, Concordia was ranked 20th in the world for Civil Engineering programs, and number one in Canada.
Pekau’s research attracted the collaboration of researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University in Beijing. Additionally, the State Education Commission of China invited him to deliver lectures at research and teaching institutions.
In 2015, he donated $250,000 to Concordia to create a Foundation for Undergraduate Scholarships in Civil Engineering.
Throughout his 46-year career, Pekau served on committees encompassing all levels of academic activity, including Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, Department Personnel, Faculty Executive, and Board of Governors. He retired in 2017 as Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
Benoît Pelland BAdmin 88
Benoit Pelland, award, distinguished service The Distinguished Service Award was renamed in 2001 in honour of Benoît Pelland, BAdmin 88.
Benoît Pelland was a member of the Concordia University Alumni Association from 1990 to 1998, and was its president from 1992 to 1994. Many people will remember his enthusiastic participation in the Loyola/Concordia Golf Tournament, including on the organizing committee.
He represented Concordia alumni on the university’s Board of Governors from 1996 to 1999, and was active for many years as a convasser for the Annual Giving campaign.
Mr. Pelland was also a member of the Advancement and Alumni Relations task force (October 1998 to October 1999) which played a key role in reconfiguring the department.
Annie Proulx MA 73
Great Concordian Annie Proulx, Ann Proulx Lang, E. A. Proulx, Annie E. Proulx, Sir George Williams University, Loyola College, Concordia University, Poggio Bracciolini. Renaissance economic history, Annales School, New England, freelance journalist, fiction, history, Wyoming, Vermont, Heart Songs, Postcards, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim fellowship, The Shipping News, Pulitzer Prize, Brokeback Mountain, The New Yorker, Academy Awards History, fiction, and award-winning stories
Pulitzer-prize-winning author Annie Proulx, MA 73, LLD 99, was enrolled in the doctoral program in history when Sir George Williams University and Loyola College merged to become Concordia.
Proulx had just completed a master’s thesis exploring the writings of Florentine humanist Poggio Bracciolini. Her interest in Renaissance economic history was matched by a similar fascination for the works of scholars attached to the Annales School.
Proulx was on the path to academia when she decided — shortly after successfully completing her oral examinations — to abandon her studies and move back to New England with her sons.
Proulx worked as a freelance journalist to support her family, but she also experimented with fiction in ways that reflected her continued interest in history.
“I was attracted to the French Annales School, which pioneered minute examination of the lives of ordinary people through account books, wills, marriage and death records, farming and crafts techniques and the development of technologies,” she told the Missouri Review in 1999. “There is this certain dispassionate, observational part of me that follows what’s happening in rural places,” she further explained in the Wyoming Library Roundup.
Proulx’s first collection of short stories was published under the title Heart Songs in 1988. Postcards (1992), her debut novel, received a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Proulx was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim fellowship in the early 1990s, which allowed her to complete The Shipping News (1993), a multi-award-winning novel adapted for the screen in 2001.
The Pulitzer Prize recipient has since published several novels and short stories including the widely-acclaimed “Brokeback Mountain,” which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1997. The story was subsequently adapted for the big screen. It won three Oscars at the 78th Academy Awards (Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score).
Proulx returned to Concordia in 1999 to receive an honorary doctorate.
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2013 alumni, award, excellence in teaching, engineering, Martin Pugh Concordia professor Martin Pugh is chair of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
Concordia professor Martin Pugh is chair of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He earned his PhD from the Houldsworth School of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds, England.
Martin continues to pique students’ interest by implementing new approaches in his teaching. As a result, students and peers consistently rank him among the best teachers at Concordia.
Other Concordia honours include the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and being named a member of the Provost’s Circle of Distinction, both in 2011. That year he was appointed as a fellow of the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Martin’s research is in the field of materials processing and property relationships in a variety of materials. A paper he co-wrote in 2007 for the Journal of Materials Processing Technology was recognized as one of the most cited articles of 2005 to 2010.
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2018 Julia is really there for her fellow students
Rachel Rammal is committed to social transformation, life-long learning and self-actualization. In addition to being a full-time undergraduate student in Concordia’s psychology program, she is actively involved within the university and the broader community.
As a member of the 60th Garnet Key Society, Rammal represents Concordia as an official ambassador at various functions. She has also spearheaded several academic, philanthropic and community initiatives as vice-president of Academic and Loyola Affairs for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA).
In her role as vice-president of External Affairs in the Concordia Undergraduate Psychology Association (CUPA), Rammal advocated for mental health and raised awareness to reduce stigmatization. She also represented and defended students’ rights on diverse committees and boards across the university and served as a mentor at the university’s Student Success Centre.
Rammal served as the Editor-in-Chief of Concordia’s interdisciplinary academic journal Between Arts & Science vol. 2. She also founded CU Book Fairies, the Concordia chapter of the Bookfairies Worldwide movement, to promote literacy and awareness about global issues.
Richard Renaud BA 69
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 1998 Philanthropist extraordinaire
A graduate of Loyola College, one of Concordia's founding institutions, Richard J. Renaud, BComm 69, is chairman and CEO of Montreal-based TNG Corporation. Trained as a chartered accountant, he is a self-made businessman who built an empire in private equity, also specializing in restructuring, buying and re-selling businesses.
He is a founding partner and chairman emeritus at Wynnchurch Capital; co-founder, co-chairman and co-CEO of Dundee Sarea; and chairman and director at Pethealth. Renaud has held directorial roles for more than a dozen companies over the years, including Northbrock Capital, Canstar Sports and Diagem.
Passionate about philanthropy, Renaud has been a creative and generous supporter of numerous charities and institutions: Centraide, the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, the Canadian Olympic Foundation and St. Mary’s Hospital, among others. In 1984, he founded the Roasters Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurial philanthropy, education and innovative healthcare programs.
Renaud has also been an ardent supporter of his alma mater, which he described as “the most under-told story in town” in an interview with Barbara Black for Concordia's Thursday Report.
The science complex at Loyola Campus carries his name in recognition of his generosity and ongoing commitment to the university. Philanthropy “is important if we are to have a civilized, caring and healthy society,” he told the crowd at the inauguration of the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex.
His contributions to Concordia — the Carolyn and Richard Renaud Endowment, the Hitting the High Notes Gala, and his invaluable efforts as director of the Concordia Foundation — have been celebrated in numerous ways: Renaud is the recipient of the Loyola Medal (2002) and the Concordia University Alumni Association's Humberto Santos Award of Merit (1998).
In 2008, Renaud was bestowed the title of Governor Emeritus after 20 years of service on the Board of Governors. The following year, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Recognized by the wider community, Renaud is the recipient of the Dalai Lama's Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award and a National Philanthropy Day Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2005, he was presented with the Cross Pro-Ecclesia at Pontifice for distinguished service to the Church of Montreal. In 2017, he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his philanthropic generosity as founder of the Roasters Foundation and for his leadership within a number of charitable organizations in the Montreal community.
Rhona Richman Kenneally
Alumni Award for Innovative Teaching – 2015
Rhona Richman Kenneally is a professor and past chair in Concordia’s Department of Design and Computation Arts, and a fellow of the School of Canadian Irish Studies. She is also editor of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. She holds a BA in English Literature, an MA in Canadian history and a PhD in architecture.
Richman Kenneally’s funded research and teaching work spans design studies and food studies and explores the complex interrelations between people and the things, buildings and other living beings that co-constitute the natural and built environment.
Her most recent project is a study of mid-20th-century Irish households and the changes brought on by new domestic technologies. Richman Kenneally won a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 2014.
She is the spouse of Michael Kenneally, principal of Concordia’s School of Canadian Irish Studies, and the proud parent of Gavin Kenneally, BEng 12, who was valedictorian at his convocation and recipient of the Concordia Medal, and is currently a PhD candidate in robotics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rod Rousseau BComm 53
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2010 Benoit Pelland, award, rod rousseau. loyola Rodolphe "Rod" Rousseau, L BComm 53, enjoyed a long and successful career in education and municipal and provincial politics. From 1961 to 2010, Rod served as President and Chairman of Montreal-based O'Sullivan College.
Rodolphe "Rod" Rousseau, BComm 53, enjoyed a long and successful career in education and municipal and provincial politics. From 1961 to 2010, Rod served as President and Chairman of Montreal-based O'Sullivan College.
From 1970 to 1986, he served as a city councillor in Ville Saint-Laurent, Que., and as a commissioner at the former Commission scolaire Sainte-Croix. From 1981 to 1995, he also served as President of the Saint-Laurent Liberal Association. He was a trusted associate of his former classmate, the late Robert Bourassa, Premier of Quebec.
Rod held a special place in his heart for his alma mater, Loyola College. He was a longstanding board member of the Loyola Alumni Association and a frequent participant at Concordia Homecoming events and golf tournaments. He lent his support to Concordia in other ways, such as championing the Loyola Refectory refurbishment project.
Following a short but courageous battle with lung cancer, Rod passed away on January 7, 2010, in Montreal.
Donal P. Ryan BComm 67
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2018
Born in Montreal, Donal P. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College in 1967. After graduation, Ryan worked for Expo 67 before travelling to France where he began a career in financial services. He has extensive experience in securities sales, corporate and investment banking and investment management and worked around the world, including in Geneva, Zambia, New York City, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.
In 2006, Ryan was approached by the Loyal Alumni Association (LAA) to help organize a fundraising golf tournament and he never looked back — eventually becoming director and then president of the association. From 2013 to 2014, in his dual-role as president of the LAA and executive vice-president of the Concordia University Alumni Association, he oversaw the merger of the associations.
Ryan lives with his spouse in Montreal and has three children and three grand-children. Retired, he volunteers as a board member for the Vitae Foundation in Sherbrooke and the St. Patrick Development Foundation in Montreal. He also partnered in creating a scholarship and bursary fund for student ski athletes through the Foundation of Greater Montreal.
Outstanding Staff Award – 2008 outstanding faculty award, outstanding staff award, award, Murray Sang, continuin education As director of Concordia's Centre for Continuing Education for the past eight years, Murray Sang has introduced professional career and web-based certificate programs and second-language courses, facilitated the expansion of community-based initiatives, such as the Summer Program in Management and Community Development and the University of the Streets Café, and struck key partnerships with industry, government and non-governmental organizations in both Canada and abroad.
As director of Concordia's Centre for Continuing Education for the past eight years, Murray Sang has introduced professional career and web-based certificate programs and second-language courses, facilitated the expansion of community-based initiatives, such as the Summer Program in Management and Community Development and the University of the Streets Café, and struck key partnerships with industry, government and non-governmental organizations in both Canada and abroad.
Murray, who has been with the Centre for 21 years, was also enlisted as a volunteer in 1993 for the Concordia Shuffle and became the organizing committee's Chair in 2005. The Shuffle is the annual 6.5-km walk-a-thon from the Sir George Williams Campus to the Loyola Campus that draws about 400 members of the Concordia family to raise funds toward scholarships and bursaries .
Throughout the event's 18 years, thousands of Shufflers have raised close to $750,000 for some 300 deserving graduate and undergraduate students. Murray 's efforts have helped turn the Shuffle into a banner fundraising event the Concordia community looks forward to every year.
Murray earned both a BSc in 1976 and MBA in 1979 from McGill University. He also served as the Canadian Association of University Continuing Education's secretary-treasurer and is a member of Concordia's task force on student retention, the Commission de l'éducation des adultes du Conseil supérieur de l'éducation, Québec, and the Board of Governors of Montreal-based Dawson College.
Humberto Santos BComm 75, MBA 79
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 1996 award, Humberto Santos, award of merit The Alumni Award of Merit was renamed in 1998 in honor of Humberto Santos, BComm 75, MBA 79.
The Alumni Award of Merit was renamed in 1998 in honor of Humberto Santos.
Mr. Santos was a Concordia graduate and one of the finest friends of the university. An immigrant from Portugal, he enrolled in night classes at Sir George Williams University in 1965, earning a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia in 1975, and a Master's of Business Administration in 1979.
He went on to a brilliant and demanding business career, but never forgot his alma mater. He served for six years on the university's Board of Governors, chaired the university's Annual Giving Campaign, and at the time of his death, was chairman of the Major Gifts division of the Capital Campaign. He often walked in the annual Concordia Shuffle for scholarships, singlehandedly raising thousands of dollars for students.
In 1996, Mr. Santos won the Alumni Award of Merit, the highest honour conferred by Concordia's three alumni associations.
Citation read at Dr. Selye's award ceremony:
This evening we present the Loyola Medal to a man who has profoundly changed attitudes throughout the medical world.
Dr. Selye’s work in experimental medicine at l’Universite de Montréal has opened up research in a field which has been long overlooked. I speak now, of course, of stress -- a phenomenon which touches all our lives. Not only has Dr. Selye discovered the importance of stress, he has taken measures through his writings to help us to cope with it. His widely-acclaimed book, Stress Without Distress, has assisted thousands of people to deal with stressful situations.
The essentials of Dr. Selye’s career cover six typewritten pages of his curriculum vitae. Even this is only a sparse list itemizing scholarly achievements, positions held, awards, honors, fellowships and dates spanning nearly fifty years. But from this data, we can draw a sound, if imperfect sketch of greatness.
Dr. Selye was born in Vienna in 1907, the son of a prominent doctor, in an age when the Austrian Empire had lost little of its imperial splendor. During the intellectually effervescent ’20s, the young Selye, at the age of 22, received his MD at the German University in Prague. By the time he was 35, he had received degrees and held teaching posts at the Université de Paris, the University of Rome, Johns Hopkins and McGill.
He then went to be an expert consultant to the office of the Surgeon-General of the U.S. Army. In the ’50s, he held a wide variety of posts in Latin America. During this period Dr. Selye was also director of the Université de Montréal’s Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, the directorship he holds today.
One could go one from here. There was the Rockefeller Research Fellowship, a consultancy in Calcutta, memberships in a score of world professional associations: The Associations of Cancer Research, the Aerospace Medical Association and Hungary's Centre for Coagulation of Blood, Capillar and Practical Research on Muscles -- to name just a few. We all know of his books and perhaps it's worth noting that at last count he had completed more than 1,200 articles relating to his field of study.
In short it would be a far simpler task to itemize what Dr. Selye has not done in his field, so impressive is his list of accomplishments. But it must be remembered too that Dr. Selye continues to work in his field.
The Loyola Medal, the top honor we can bestow, is awarded to the great, not so much for what they have done, but for what they are doing. Previous recipients include Paul-Émile Cardinal Leger and Therese Casgrain. They are examples of past accomplishment to be sure, but also of future potential. Dr. Selye is one of these. His work remains a vista, not a closed book.
The research findings of his institute hold great promise for mankind
Not long ago, Dr. Selye came to speak at the University. His words gave us a glimpse into his philosophy. He was speaking about mankind's over-reliance on the conventional view, and the dangers thereof. Dr. Selye said, “…the idea that the sun rises every morning and sets every evening is obvious -- but it is not true. It took enormous genius on the part of Galileo.”
Dr. Selye reveals his modus vivendi, I think: a readiness to buck the tide, to stand against the full force of conventional wisdom, a constant willingness to search for the new when lesser individuals seek refuge in the old. It is for this reason Dr., Selye stands in the halls of greatness.
The Loyola Medal is given to an outstanding Canadian, but Dr. Selye honors Canada by choosing this country as his own. We now hope he will honor us by receiving the Loyola Medal for 1976.
Katie Sheahan BA 78
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2010 award, Humberto Santos, katie sheahan In 2003, Katie Sheahan, BA 78, returned to her alma mater to become director of Concordia's Department of Recreation and Athletics.
In 2003, Katie Sheahan, BA 78, returned to her alma mater to become director of Concordia's Department of Recreation and Athletics.
Under her leadership, campus recreation offers more than 50 intramural and recreational activities for thousands of students, staff, alumni and the public, while more than 300 student athletes participate in its outstanding varsity sports program.
Katie helped oversee the first phase of a long-term project to develop both the outdoor and indoor Loyola Campus recreation and athletics facilities. Plans are underway to extend and renovate the aging 1967 Sports Complex and build a permanent stadium, with construction slated to get underway this year.
As well, the first-rate Concordia University Fitness Centre, Le Gym, which opened its doors on the Sir George Williams Campus in 2007, provides extensive fitness classes and the most modern exercise equipment to more than 7,500 students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Leading up to her Concordia appointment in 2003, Katie was a community partner who sat on the steering committee of Recreation and Athletics' Future Search conference, which invited interested individuals to propose recommendations on enhancements for the department.
Before Concordia, she spent more than 20 years at the YMCA, where she eventually became executive director of the Montreal branch and oversaw the successful downtown YMCA re-development project. She also chairs the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth House Foundation and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Montreal. Katie holds a BA in sociology from Concordia and a Master's in Management (Voluntary Sector Leaders) from the McConnell Masters' program of McGill University.
Mohammed Shuriye BA 08
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2007 outstanding student award, Mohammed Shuriye, award A native of Somalia whose family settled in Toronto in 1989, Mohamed Shuriye came to Montreal after finishing high school in 2003 to study at Concordia, where his involvement in student life was immediate.
A native of Somalia whose family settled in Toronto in 1989, Mohamed Shuriye came to Montreal after finishing high school in 2003 to study at Concordia, where his involvement in student life was immediate. He is completing a BA Honours in Political Science and a Minor in Western Civilization and Culture.
While maintaining a successful academic standing, Mohamed became the Vice-President of Finance of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA). During this period, he was also a Residence Assistant at Hingston Hall for 145 fellow students. In 2005, Mohamed was elected President of the Concordia Student Union (CSU).
Mohamed recently founded a not-for-profit organization, Youth Action Montreal, to stimulate youth action on climate change, and is a Student Success Mentor for students at Concordia. While at Concordia, he participated in the UN Youth Leaders Conference on the World Bank and the Harvard-MIT Negotiations and Disputes Seminar.
Peter Guy Silverman BA 53
Great Concordian Broadcast journalist turned ombudsman
After graduating from Sir George Williams University, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, Peter Guy Silverman, BA 53, spent the greater part of the 1950s and 1960s in London, where he worked for the Institute of Race Relations and served as a member of the British Army Emergency Reserve.
He returned to Canada in 1968 and earned a PhD from the University of Toronto on interwar British imperial defense in the Far East.
Silverman kicked off a career in broadcast journalism in 1974, when he joined Global Television. He wrote and hosted Code 10-78, a crime recreation series. In 1981, he moved to CityTV as business specialist on its CityPulse news program.
His signature consumer advocacy program — the award-winning Silverman Helps which ran from 1989 to 2008 — saw him resolve 95 per cent of complaints on behalf of consumers wronged by big business and bureaucracy. He now hosts The Peter Silverman Show on Toronto’s NEWSTALK 1010 radio.
An ardent activist, Silverman has lent his support to a variety of charitable organizations including the Aphasia Centre, Canadian Human Rights Voice, Habitat for Humanity, Save a Child’s Heart Foundation and the Peres Center for Peace.
He is the author of two books on child welfare: Who Speaks for the Children? and Voices of a Lost Generation.
A two-time Gemini nominee, Silverman has won numerous prizes, including the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award (2005), the Consumer Choice Man of the Year Award (2006), and the RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award (2009). He is a member of the Order of Ontario (2009) and the recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
Harold Simpkins BA 67, MBA 78
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2007 MBA, alumni, award, Harold Simpkins Harold Simpkins, S BA 67, MBA 78, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Concordia's John Molson School of Business (JMSB), where he has taught -- and has been gathering high praise from his students -- since 1980.
Harold Simpkins, BA 67, MBA 78, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Concordia's John Molson School of Business (JMSB), where he has taught -- and has been gathering high praise from his students -- since 1980. With colleague Jordan Le Bel, Harold launched an innovative online course in 2004, Marketing Yourself, which received the Canadian Association for Distance Education award for excellence and innovation in instructional design in 2005. He received the JMSB Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004.
Harold is the Academic Director of the JMSB Marketing Co-op Program and in 2007 was honoured with the Concordia University Institute for Co-operative Education's Momentum Award. He coaches several JMSB teams at inter-university competitions -- his Integrated Marketing Communications team won gold medals in the 2006 and 2007.
Harold concurrently is a consultant and is President of the not-for-profit organization Youth Employment Services, is a past president of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association and, until 2006, was a Director of the JMSB Alumni.
Julia Sutera Sardo
Outstanding Student Leader Award – 2017 Julia is really there for her fellow students
Julia Sutera Sardo is a second year political science and community, public affairs and policies student. She is president of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, an Arts and Science councillor for the Concordia Student Union and a board member of the Concordia Alumni Women and Leadership advisory council.
Through her volunteering, she works to mobilize students to eliminate oppression on campus by addressing issues of sexual assault, racism, inclusion and safe spaces. “Julia is really there for her fellow students, whether to guide them, help them with administrative tasks, advocate for them, or be a friendly face in the hallways,” shares her nominator.
Honorary Life Membership – 2015
Nick Tedeschi is the proprietor of a Montreal-based construction company and owner of Parisian Laundry, an art gallery in Montreal’s St-Henri neighbourhood.
Through a $1 million donation in 2006, he established the Dale and Nick Tedeschi Studio Arts Fellowships to benefit graduate students in Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts.
An entrepreneur, Tedeschi is a passionate art lover. He sits on the board of the Montreal Biennale and the Centre internationale d’art contemporain de Montréal. Tedeschi supports initiatives at Montreal’s Darling Foundry, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, the Montreal Biennale and the Canada Pavilion in Venice, Italy.
A graduate of Dawson College, Tedeschi’s generosity also extends to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Walter Tomenson BA 68
Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2013 alumnus, alumna of the year, award, walter tomenson, tomenson Walter S. Tomenson Jr. has displayed a true passion for Concordia since he earned a BA in economics in 1968 from Loyola College, one of Concordia's founding institutions.
Walter S. Tomenson Jr. has displayed a true passion for Concordia since he earned a BA in economics in 1968 from Loyola College, one of Concordia's founding institutions.
Jean-Marc Trottier AMBA 02
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2011 MBA, alumni, award, Jean-Marc Trottier Jean-Marc Trottier, AMBA 02, is a leader in the aviation management field. Jean-Marc is President of Ottawa-based aviation company Relations Solutions International and Executive Vice-President at Aviation Strategies International, an aviation consulting firm based in Montreal.
Jean-Marc Trottier, AMBA 02, is President of Ottawa-based aviation company Relations Solutions International and Executive Vice-President at Aviation Strategies International, an aviation consulting firm based in Montreal.
Jean-Marc’s career has taken him across Canada and has included several years managing Air Canada’s operations in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He participated in the planning of the runway reconstruction in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Jean-Marc holds a certificate from Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal and graduated from Concordia’s Global Aviation MBA program in 2002. He taught Transportation Policy at McGill University, among other courses, and earned a certificate in Studies on International Terrorism from St. Andrews University in Scotland.
He co-developed the Airport Management Professional Accreditation Program for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Airports Council International and the Aviation Security Training Professional Management Program for ICAO and Concordia and has delivered the programs in many countries and online. In 2008, with a group of graduates from Concordia and other universities, Jean-Marc created the World Aviation MBA Association, which has held conferences in Beijing, Dubai and Montreal.
Lois and Stanley Tucker
Honorary Life Membership – 2009 honorary life membership, award, lois tucker, stan tucker In 1938, Montreal native Stanley Tucker enrolled at Queen's University, where he studied history, political science and Latin. Stan loved the university's small, liberal arts feel, intimate classes and outstanding faculty members. He also had a passion for learning, and Queen's helped shape his mind and soul.
In 1938, Montreal native Stanley Tucker enrolled at Queen's University, where he studied history, political science and Latin. Stan loved the university's small, liberal arts feel, intimate classes and outstanding faculty members. He also had a passion for learning, and Queen's helped shape his mind and soul.
After Stan graduated in 1941, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was sent overseas. While in England three years later, Stan met and married Rita. After the war, they returned to Montreal and Stan embarked on a long and successful career as a life insurance broker and consultant.
Shortly after Rita died in 1980, Concordia University's Liberal Arts College solicited Stan's support. He read the College's syllabus and decided to back the program. After Stan met with the College's principal and vice-principal, he created the Rita Mary Tucker Library in memory of his late wife.
A short time later, Lois and Stan met and were married. The couple decided all their wedding gifts were to be directed to the Liberal Arts College scholarship fund and matched by Stan's company. Those funds now provide for three student awards each year.
Lois, also a Montreal native, has enjoyed being a painter and sculptor since she was 18. She has executed many sculpture and mural commissions throughout North America. It has always been important for Lois to be active in community and charitable organizations.
Stan and Lois are happy to have helped generations of Liberal Arts College students achieve their goals.
Outstanding Staff Award – 2010 outstanding faculty award, outstanding staff award, award, Lina Uberti, communications Since 2006, Lina Uberti has served as Alumni Officer, Geographic Chapters, in Concordia's Advancement and Alumni Relations Office.
Since 2006, Lina Uberti has served as Alumni Officer, Geographic Chapters, in Concordia's Advancement and Alumni Relations Office.
Lina's mandate is to help strengthen ties between the university's 20,000 alumni living outside Quebec and their alma mater. Lina has collaborated with volunteers to successfully organize dozens of alumni activities and programs in 11 CUAA geographic chapters in Canada, the United States and Asia. She also has assisted in planning regional events in the U.S., the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Lina previously worked for two years as Communications and Special Projects Advisor for Concordia's Faculty of Fine Arts. Before that, she spent eight years at the Montreal-based Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts as its Director of the School of Fine Arts.
Lina holds a BA in Art History from McGill University and is now pursuing a BA in Political Science at Concordia.
Awel Uwihanganye BA 08
Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year – 2015
Awel Uwihanganye is co-owner and managing director of Silverback Travel Company, which specializes in safari tours in Uganda. He recently served as CEO of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and on the board of directors for the Capital Markets Authority.
A social entrepreneur, Uwihanganye initiated the Young Achievers Award in Uganda and the Concordia Volunteer Aboard Program. He is also the founder and CEO of LéO Africa Forum, an organization promoting responsible leadership and building a strong voice for Africa around the globe.
Passionate about promoting social justice, Uwihanganye currently serves as country program coordinator for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung foundation in Uganda and South Sudan.
He spends part of his time reading on leadership and contemporary global politics and is working on his first book whose working title is Learning to lead in a globalized era.
Uwihanganye is a recipient of the Forces Avenir Award and a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and the African Leadership Initiative.
Mackie Vadacchino BComm 82, MBA 84
MBA Alumnus/a of the Year – 2008 MBA, alumni, award, Mackie Vadacchino Perseverance has paid off for Mackie I. Vadacchino, BComm 82, MBA 84. In the early '70s, Mackie worked full-time while pursuing her undergraduate degree part-time at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB).
Perseverance has paid off for Mackie Vadacchino, BComm 82, MBA 84.
In the early '70s, Mackie worked full-time while pursuing her undergraduate degree part-time at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB). She eventually became a full-time student and in 1982, after 10 years of dedicated effort, Mackie graduated Magna Cum Laude. She immediately began her MBA at the JMSB and graduated one year later, landing on the Dean's Honour List.
She then entered the Bank of Montreal's executive training program and climbed the executive rungs. Over the next 20 years or so, she held positions that included Vice President, International Business Development, of Teleglobe Canada Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer of Murray Axmith Inc., Executive Vice-President of Gildan Activewear and CEO of Les Aliments Soyummi Foods Inc. Mackie recently became CEO of Bioforce Canada, the Canadian pioneer and leader in high-quality natural products and phytopharmaceuticals marketed under the A. Vogel brand.
A staunch advocate and volunteer for Concordia, Mackie was a member of Concordia's Board of Governors for six years, a lead judge and board member for the John Molson MBA International Case Competition for 10 years, on the Advisory Board to the Dean for many years and taught a graduate-level marketing class at the JMSB. In 2004, she and her husband established the Mackie Vadacchino and Michel Robert de Massy MBA Bursaries. She and her family were the first to sponsor a classroom in the new JMSB building in honour of their father, Antonio Vadacchino. She is currently an active member of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and has also been a member of Equitas, a past board member of the Montreal Board of Trade and a past president of the International Women's Forum.
Caroline Van Vlaardingen BA 84
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2016 journalism
An award-winning broadcaster, Caroline Van Vlaardingen recently celebrated 30 years on the job at CTV News Montreal. The reporter, anchor and producer has covered major events that include Montreal’s École Polytechnique massacre in 1999.
She is recognized for her investigations of juvenile prostitution and human trafficking, medical scams and animal poaching. Van Vlaardingen’s honours include five awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and one from CanPro.
A part-time faculty member at Concordia’s Department of Journalism since 1996, some of Van Vlaardingen’s former students are her present-day colleagues at CTV News Montreal.
She has volunteered and supported a dozen causes and institutions over her career, including at her alma mater. She served on boards for the Concordia University Alumni Association and Aids Community Care Montreal. Her areas of interest as a reporter include the rights of women, children and minorities.
Georges Vanier BA 08
Great Concordian, Loyola Medal Georges P. Vanier, Georges Vanier, Loyola College, 22nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, League of Nations, High Commission of Canada in London, Canadian ambassador, Governor General, Maclean’s, J. L. Granatstein, Gold Medal, Insignus Ductu et Rebus Gestis, Loyola Medal "The most important Canadian in history"
Born in 1888, the Right Honourable Georges P. Vanier, BA 06, lived through Canada’s most trying times. A graduate of Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, he fought valiantly with the 22nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War, losing his right leg during the conflict.
He returned home with a Military Cross and a Distinguished Service Order — among other medals and decorations — for his bravery and contributions to the war effort.
Vanier helped pioneer Canada’s diplomatic service during the interwar years by serving with the military delegation at the League of Nations, acting as secretary to the High Commission of Canada in London, and leading the country’s legation in France.
The outbreak of the Second World War forced him to leave mainland Europe although he maintained contact with Charles de Gaulle’s Free France and other governments in exile. He returned to Paris in 1944 as Canadian ambassador until his retirement nine years later. He was brought back into active public life in 1959 when he became Governor General of Canada, an office he held until his death in 1967.
In 1998, Maclean’s named Vanier the most important Canadian in history. “Vanier was Canada’s moral compass as governor general, an unquestioned man of probity and honor,” explained J. L. Granatstein to the readers of the Canadian weekly.
It was with great pride that Loyola College welcomed back Canada’s top citizen in the early 1960s. Vanier had graduated as valedictorian in 1906, winning the Gold Medal for General Proficiency in Philosophy. He was invited back to his alma mater in 1963 to receive another medal. This one bore the inscription “Insignus Ductu et Rebus Gestis” (For Outstanding Leadership and Achievement).
In 1963, Vanier became the first recipient of the Loyola Medal, conceived to honour exceptional individuals “whose character, genius and philosophies have illustrated the ideals of the Catholic Church, contributed to the arts and sciences of Canada, and enriched the heritage of humanity at large.” Without a doubt, Governor General Vanier was a worthy recipient for the inauguration of this award.
Gerard J. Walsh BA 71
International Excellence Award – 2018
Gerard J. Walsh is the co-president of the New York City chapter of the Concordia University Alumni Association (CUAA). A native New Yorker, Gerard Walsh entered Loyola College in the seminal year of 1967 (Expo 67), graduating in 1971. He played varsity basketball for the Loyola Warriors and was co-captain in his senior year.
Walsh spent the bulk of his career as a director of Patient Financial Services in a number of prestigious hospitals across New York City.
In his role with the CUAA New York chapter, he developed relationships that provided him a second family. His favourite activity every year is to promote the Terry Fox Run for Cancer in Central Park. Over the past 15 years, the New York chapter has raised over $50,000 for cancer research at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2017, they raised more than any other contributing university.
Stephen Webster BSc 69
Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award – 2008 Benoit Pelland, award, stephen webster Stephen Webster, a long-time and cherished volunteer for the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University, moved to Montreal in 1957 from his native Granby, Que.
Stephen Webster, a long-time and cherished volunteer for the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University, moved to Montreal in 1957 from his native Granby, Que.
In 1960, he began studying chemistry at Sir George Williams University. After spending nine years working by day while taking courses at night, he graduated in 1969. Steve went on to enjoy a long career in research and development with Montreal-based Imperial Tobacco before retiring in 1996.
In 1992, Steve returned to Concordia as a member of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University’s Board of Directors. He successfully led the Association as president from 1997 to 1999. He remains an active participant on the Board and has served on many committees, most notably the Fund Raising Committee, which runs the annual Bowl-a-thon that brings together students and alumni for a fundraiser that has amassed more than $100,000 toward scholarships and bursaries.
Steve plans to lend his comprehensive knowledge of Sir George Williams, as well as his experience and passion, to planning a celebration of the Association’s 75th anniversary in 2012.
He has also volunteered extensively with Scouts Canada, serving as district president and assistant provincial commissioner, as well with Meals on Wheels and as a baseball coach.
Rosalind Wolfe BA 75
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2011 award, Humberto Santos, rosalind wolfe Rosalind H. Wolfe, BA 75, is the Senior Officer, Communication and Advocacy, at the Canadian Consulate General in Los Angeles, where she's enjoyed a long and successful career promoting Canadian film and culture.
Rosalind H. Wolfe, BA 75, is the Senior Officer, Communication and Advocacy, at the Canadian Consulate General in Los Angeles, where she's enjoyed a long and successful career promoting Canadian film and culture.
Rosalind, a Montreal native, earned a BA from Concordia (after starting at Sir George Williams University) in 1975 and an MA from Carleton University in Ottawa in 1976. After stints teaching at Pepperdine University and at the Chief Legislative Analyst's Office in Los Angeles, in 1981 she was recruited as Public Affairs Officer at the Canadian Consulate General.
By 2008, she had advanced to her current position, which includes responsibilities to develop and implement all the communications strategies and media relations for the Consulate in Los Angeles and the satellite offices in San Diego and Phoenix, as well as the territories of New Mexico and Nevada.
Among her many duties, Rosalind is responsible for organizing major events to celebrate Canadian nominees for the annual Academy and Emmy Awards. In 2004, she received the Deputy Minister's Award, which acknowledged her broad range of important contacts in the entertainment industry and her extensive work with the media.
Victor Zilberman GrDip (DSA) 85
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2007 award, Humberto Santos, victor zilberman Victor Zilberman, GrDip (DSA) 85, became Concordia's wrestling coach in 1977, and has kept the University at the forefront of interuniversity wrestling ever since.
Victor Zilberman, GrDip (DSA) 85, became Concordia's wrestling coach in 1977, and has kept the University at the forefront of interuniversity wrestling ever since.
After arriving to Canada in the mid '70s from his native Soviet Union, Victor received a bachelor's degree from Lakehead University in 1977, an MA in Comparative Education from McGill University in 1979 and a PhD from Université de Montréal in the Science of Education in 1991. He also obtained a Diploma in Sports Administration at Concordia in 1985. Victor has been a Physical Education teacher at Vanier College in Montreal for 27 years.
This two-time CIAU Coach of the Year has led the Concordia wrestling team to six national championship victories and brought home more than 65 gold medals at the CIS national championships, in addition to five world champion medalists, including his son, David.
Victor has been a member of the Canadian coaching staff at four Olympic Games and a number of World Championships.
Susan E. Raymer and Benjamin Wygodny
Humberto Santos Award of Merit – 2018
Susan E. Raymer and Ben Wygodny are long-time supporters of higher education and their alma mater. Raymer and Wygodny are deeply committed to their communities in Montreal and in Israel.
Their support of Concordia is legendary, as is their hospitality. The door to their Miami home is always open and many Concordians in Florida have experienced their warmth and generosity at alumni events at their residence.
They have established several initiatives at Concordia and Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. To bridge the gap between these two institutions, they created the Goldie and Joe Raymer Endowment Fund in honour of Susan’s parents. The fund promotes the exchange of students and faculty between Technion and Concordia. They also endowed the Raymer-Wygodny Global Engineering Initiative and are supporters of the entrepreneurial programs at District 3 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Rita Lc de Santis
Honorary Life Membership – 2011 honorary life membership, award, rita desantis Rita Lc de Santis has excelled in her professional and volunteer life. Rita is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, LLP, in the Corporate/Commercial and Commercial Real Estate practices.
Rita Lc de Santis is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, LLP, in the Corporate/Commercial and Commercial Real Estate practices. Rita has assisted companies and government and quasi-government entities on various projects, accompanied clients on trade missions to Africa and advised the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank.
In 2009, she was named by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women, was recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading practitioner of project finance law, was repeatedly recommended as a leading practitioner in the areas of property development and corporate mid-market in Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, and achieved one of Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rankings.
Rita holds a BSc in Honours Biochemistry and a BCL (University Scholar) from McGill University. She has volunteered for several community organizations and boards, including the Canadian Italian Business Professional Association, St. Mary’s Hospital Centre, Investissement Québec and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Rita has been a member of Concordia’s Board of Governors since 1999 and was Vice-Chair from 2005 to 2009.