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Eight honoured with Alumni Recognition Awards

25th annual awards recognize Concordia’s best
April 1, 2016
By Leslie Schachter

With this year’s slate of Alumni Recognition Award winners come distinguished alumni, faculty, staff, students and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the Concordia community both locally and abroad.

Their efforts will be formally recognized at the 25th Annual Alumni Recognition Award Banquet sponsored by the Concordia University Alumni Association and organized by Advancement and Alumni Relations on May 19 at the Sofitel Hotel Montreal.

These are the 2016 honourees:

Humberto Santos Award of Merit

Emilio B. Imbriglio Emilio B. Imbriglio

Emilio B. Imbriglio, BComm 81, GrDip 82, is the CEO of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and one of the foremost public-private partnerships experts in Canada. He has long been associated with Concordia as a part-time accounting teacher, business coach and financial strategist. He was chairman of the board at Montreal’s Santa Cabrini Hospital, a co-founder of the Rivière-des-Prairies Chamber of Commerce and a long-time member of the Canadian Italian Chamber of Commerce. He was named Cavaliere dell’Ordine d’Italia in 2010.

Honorary Life Membership

Henry Beissel Henry Beissel

Henry Beissel, a renowned playwright, poet, author, essayist and translator, is the founder of Concordia’s Creative Writing program. In 1966 he joined the faculty of the Department of English at Sir George Williams, one of Concordia’s founding institutions. Against all odds, he established the Creative Writing program that continues to flourish today. His most well-known and successful work is Inook and the Sun, which premiered in 1973 and has been performed all over the world. He retired in 1996 as distinguished professor emeritus.

Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award

Caroline Van Vlaardingen Caroline Van Vlaardingen

Caroline Van Vlaardingen, BA 84, recently celebrated her 30th anniversary as a reporter for CTV Montreal News. She has won four Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) awards for her work as a journalist and has lent her support to numerous community causes including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Missing Children’s Network, St. Columba House and Equitas. She has been teaching journalism at Concordia since 1996 and enjoys working alongside several of her former students.

Alumnus of the Year

Louis Hugo Francescutti Louis Hugo Francescutti

Louis Hugo Francescutti, BSc 80, has made it his mission to raise awareness of public safety and the promotion of injury prevention. In addition to his dedication as an emergency physician in two of Edmonton’s most challenging hospital environments, Francescutti has spearheaded various public safety awareness initiatives and campaigns including an award-winning multimedia injury prevention program for teenagers called HEROES and an emergency medical response electronic medical record.

Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Giuliana Cucinelli Giuliana Cucinelli

Giuliana Cucinelli, BA 03, is an assistant professor in the Educational Technology program within the Department of Education. She is co-director of the Communities and Differential Mobilities research cluster of Concordia's Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology and a research associate of the Mobile Media Lab. Cucinelli's research-creation program focuses on the social, cultural and educational impacts of technology. She is particularly interested in digital media theory and production, social media, youth culture and digital media practices, inter-generational storytelling, social justice, critical disabilities, and technology and mobilities.

Outstanding Staff Award

Les Lawton Les Lawton

Les Lawton has won over 500 games as head coach of the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team, a position he had held for more than 30 years. During his tenure, he guided the Stingers to victories in the inaugural CIAU (now CIS, Canadian Interuniversity Sport) women’s ice hockey championships in 1998 and 1999, in addition to 15 Quebec championships. Lawton was also head coach of Team Canada’s women’s team in 1994 when they defeated the United States for the gold medal at the World Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Young Alumnus of the Year

Jonathan Lachance Jonathan Lachance

Jonathan Lachance, BAdmin 11, is the general manager of Equium Inc. in Calgary, where he oversees the management of a $200 million real estate portfolio across Alberta. He is an award-winning environmental steward within the real estate industry. Lachance is actively involved in affordable housing development and community engagement through a furniture recycling program in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Outstanding Student Award

Alexis Lahorra Alexis Lahorra

Alexis Lahorra is a communication and cultural studies and Spanish student at Concordia. She is the founder and president of the local chapter of, a student group that supports and sustains mental health awareness at Concordia. The group’s goal is to engage Concordia and the surrounding community in a conversation on mental health through loud, positive and fun initiatives. Lahorra is also a student ambassador for Concordia’s Alumni Relations. She hopes to graduate in 2018.


The 25th Annual Alumni Recognition Awards Banquet

Thursday, May 19, 2016

  • 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile Hotel, Picasso Ballroom, 2nd floor, 1155 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal

Thank you to our sponsors:


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