On Thursday, February 4, 2021, we celebrated the incredible achievements of our 2021 Honoured Alumni.

Watch the 2021 Memorial Award Recipient Video!

Our 2021 Honoured Alumni

Our 2021 Honoured Alumni:

Emily Choy [Ph.D./17] - Biological Sciences - Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and Environment and Climate Change Canada

Dr. Choy has been tirelessly contributing to research on climate change and its effect on the Canadian North, collaborating with local Inuit and Indigenous peoples to further her work on how climate change impacts the Arctic ecosystem, specifically seabirds. Through her research, she aims to introduce a new perspective and bridge the gap between Western science and traditional knowledge. She is also an active science communicator, using social media and community outreach events to raise public awareness of research in the North.

Read more

Dr. Kyle Elliott [MSc./08, Ph.D./14] - Biological Sciences Assistant Professor; Canada Research Chair (Tier II) Chair in Arctic Ecology, McGill University

Dr. Elliott is an expert in evolutionary research into seabird physiology and behavior. His work is interdisciplinary, benefiting from his diverse educational background (Honours in Physics & Math at UBC, a second Honours thesis in Conservation Biology, as well as an M.Sc. in ornithology and a Ph.D. in Arctic seabirds at the University of Manitoba). An accomplished scientist, Dr. Elliott has had 102 publications to date, spanning a wide range of high-impact general (Science, PNAS) and specialist journals (Biology Letters, Journal of Animal Ecology). In 2017, the World Economic Forum recognized him as one of the top 40 young scientists. Additionally, he is a devote proponent of the importance of education and science outreach. Over the years, he has supervised many undergraduate, M.Sc., and Ph.D. students, as well as appeared on science media outlets such as Discovery Channel, the Weather Channel, and Animal Planet.

Read more

Dr. Sheryl Tittlemier [BSc. (Hons)/96] – Chemistry - Research Scientist/Program Manager/Head of Technologies Section at Canadian Grain Commission

Dr. Tittlemier has made many contributions to the field of global mycotoxins. As a renowned leader in the discipline, she has published 80 peer-reviewed research articles, made 135 conference presentations, and influenced food security policymaking in the United Nations and the World Food Program. For nearly two decades, Dr. Tittlemier has been working for the federal government towards the goal of global food safety. As the Program Manager of the Trace Organics Analysis laboratory of the Canadian Grain Commission in Winnipeg, Sheryl has been overseeing a dynamic team of researchers who closely collaborate with grain producers and handlers to improve the working protocols of Prairie farmers and processors. Her work has been fundamental in ensuring a safe food supply for humans and animals.

Lorisa Dubuc [B.C.Sc. (Hons), Psychology Minor/02] – Computer Science - Executive Director (VP), Developer Experience User Research, Goldman Sachs, London.

An active researcher and innovator in user experience (UX), Ms. Dubuc has built a career on bringing UX strategies to the industry sector, with notable companies being Citrix, Google, and IBM Canada. 2014 was an eventful year for her when she not only founded the user experience consultancy firm UXistential but also became a member of the World Association of Co-operative Education Hall of Fame. She was nominated by the University of Manitoba for her efforts in using technology to improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

Read more

Dr. Ann Gargett [BSc. (Hons)/66] Mathematics - Emerita Professor of Oceanography, Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion.

Dr. Gargett is a prominent retired physical oceanographer, applying physics to the movement and transformations of ocean water. After completing a double major BSc. in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Manitoba, she did her Ph.D. in physical oceanography at the then Institute of Oceanography at UBC. Upon her graduation, she became part of the first cohort of scientists at a federal west coast oceanographic laboratory that eventually became the Institute of Ocean Sciences. Her research focus is in the field of small-scale ocean turbulence and its effect on fisheries, sediment transport, and large ocean-scale circulation. She has nearly 60 publications in top oceanography journals, as well as in Science and Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Her work contributes to our growing understanding of climate change and has led to her election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Read more

Dr. Waylon Hunt [BSc., (Major)/04, Ph.D./12] – Microbiology - Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder at Intrinsic Analytics Inc.

Dr. Hunt received his BSc. (Major) in Microbiology and Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Therapeutics from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Since 2012, Dr. Hunt has guided the development and implementation of federally and provincially regulated occupational health programs to ensure the health and safety of industry and industry-partner workers, especially those exposed to hazardous work environments or employed in safety-sensitive positions.

Read more.

Dr. Ryan Mitchell [BSc. (Hons)/05, Ph.D./11] – Microbiology - Chief Analytics Officer & Co-founder at Intrinsic Analytics Inc.

Dr. Mitchell received his BSc. (Honours) in Microbiology and Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Therapeutics from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. At IA, Dr. Mitchell is responsible for the compliance and regulations surrounding workplace drug metabolite analysis. He also plays a supporting role in the implementation of regulated occupational health programs.

Read more

Dr. Jon-Jon Santiago [BSc./02, BSc. (Hons)/04, M.Sc./07, Ph.D./14] – Biochemistry - Chief Scientific Officer & Co-founder at Intrinsic Analytics Inc.

Dr. Santiago received his BSc. (Honours) in Biochemistry and M.Sc. & Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Physiology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Since co-founding IA, he has been developing occupational health screening and disease prevention programs, as well as directing IA's research and scientific projects, including the development of novel assays for personal health and innovative workplace solutions towards the health and safety of workers.

Read more

Intrinsic Analytics (IA) was founded in 2012 by three University of Manitoba graduates, Drs. Hunt, Mitchell, and Santiago. The company's mission is to provide bioinformation services that improve medical advocacy and the health & safety of individuals, employees, and enterprises. IA has since grown into a national network of clinics, offering a full suite of occupational health testing programs and services. More recently, IA has contributed to our COVID-19 response by implementing a comprehensive workplace testing/screening program to deliver fast and accurate results.

Dr. Shawn Qu [M.Sc./90] – Physics & Astronomy - Chairman, President, & CEO of Canadian Solar

Dr. Qu is a leader in the rapidly emerging solar energy sector and has been raising Canada’s profile on the global stage with his company Canadian Solar. Founded in 2001, Canadian Solar has grown into one of the largest photovoltaic solar product manufacturers and solar power project developers in the world. The success of the company is impressive – it became a publicly listed company on NASDAQ in 2006, reached 600 million dollars in revenue in 2009, and currently has seven manufacturing facilities, employing 8000 people and helping thousands of customers in more than 150 countries.

Read more

Dr. Robert Tate [M.Sc./75, Ph.D./00] – Statistics - Senior Scholar at the University of Manitoba, Director of the Manitoba Follow-up Study

Statistics is unique in that it could integrate with and transcend into almost every other discipline. This uniqueness is evident in Dr. Tate’s body of research, having collaborated with individuals and teams in various fields of health and social sciences, locally, nationally, and internationally. Most notably among his work has been Dr. Tate’s contributions to the Manitoba Follow-Up Study (MFUS), the longest-running study of cardiovascular disease and aging in Canada. It started at the University of Manitoba in 1948, and in the 72 years of the project, 44 of them have involved Dr. Tate, more than 50 of whose publications come from this study. Today, as Director of the MFUS, Dr. Tate maintains an active research program, continuing to advance health science in the years to come.

Read more

Dr. Nirvani Umadat [BSc./07, BSc./11, D.M.D/11] – General Science - Dental surgeon, Founder of Aspire Dental Centre, Co-founder of Bdin, Citizen-Scientist Astronaut Candidate with Project PoSSUM

Dr. Nirvani Umadat is a dental surgeon, healthcare entrepreneur, and biotechnologist. She is the co-owner and founder of Ascent Dental Care, focusing on applying digital dentistry to restorative care. She is also the co-founder of Bdin, a digital solution that improves the process of patient admissions. Dr. Umadat has spent the last decade providing volunteer dental care to remote communities around the world. In 2016, her team developed an application to improve access to hospital care in South America. Now, she continues to be involved in clinical research, studying the oral microbiome. Dr. Umadat is also a Project PoSSUM Citizen-Scientist Astronaut Candidate and has been honoured by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Emerging Leaders Awards category in 2018.

Read more

2021 Memorial Awards

Fundamental Contributions to Discovery Science - Dr. Kenneth Standing BSc (Hons)/48, DSc/09 1925-2019. An alumnus and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics, he was a pioneer in time-of-flight mass spectrometry and its applications to biomedical macromolecules and proteomics. Dr. Standing and his team are responsible for contributions in the characterization of the SARS-CoV-1 virus during the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak. In recognition for his ground-breaking work, he received numerous awards including NSERC’s Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering, the Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Industrial and Applied Physics, and the Ernest C. Manning Principal Award.

Applications that Changed the World - Dr. Jennifer Shay MSc/59, PhD/66 - 1930-2018. A two-time UM alumna and passionate field ecologist, Dr. Shay became the founding director of the Delta Marsh Field Station, bringing field education to Manitoba. She was a Professor Emerita in the Departments of Botany and Landscape Architecture and was a respected mentor for her undergraduate and graduate students in the classroom, lab and in the field. Her distinguished career included many awards, including the Canadian Healthy Environment Award for Lifetime Achievement, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and Officer of the Order of Canada.

Beyond Science - Eira ‘Babs’ Friesen BSc/39 - 1917-2008. A former Lady Stick of the Science Students’ Association, she went on to be an inspiring community activist dedicated to improving the lives of women. Her contributions include forming the Y-Neighbors program and the Women’s Resource Centre at the YWCA, and volunteering with the UN Platform for Action Committee. For her work she was inducted into the Order of Canada, and received the Queen’s Jubilee Award, the YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and the 50th Anniversary United Nations Global Citizen Award.

Follow us on social media! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn


Created with an image by Mahmoud-Ahmed - "dna 3d biology"