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Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards

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Every year, the University of Regina celebrates the best and brightest among its more than 88,000 alumni with the Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards (ACAAs). Established in 1992, the ACAAs were created to honour our extraordinary alumni for their outstanding commitment to excellence, community engagement and leadership, and impact on the social, cultural, and economic well-being of our communities.

Nominations for the 2024 Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards are now closed. Stay tuned for more news coming this summer!

Award Categories

The University of Regina invites nominations for alumni who have made significant contributions to their communities, and have inspired through outstanding personal or professional achievements.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who, over the course of a lifetime, has distinguished oneself on a regional, national, or international basis in any field of endeavour.

Distinguished Professional Award

This award recognizes alumni who, over the course of their careers, have made significant contributions to their fields or areas of expertise. The recipient is a role model, setting standards of excellence to which others can aspire. Recipients may have distinguished themselves in business, academics, athletics, government service, not-for-profit leadership, the arts, or any other career path.

Humanitarian & Community Service Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Humanitarian & Community Service recognizes distinguished community or voluntary service which has made a difference to the well-being of others.

Dr. Robert & Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award

This award recognizes outstanding volunteer leadership and service to the University of Regina and/or the University of Regina Alumni Association. Nominees have dedicated themselves to service that has enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of the U of R through their generosity and commitment to the University’s values. *Note that this award is also open to non-alumni.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

This award recognizes graduates of the University of Regina under 35 years of age who have distinguished themselves through accomplishments in their professional careers or community service. Nominees must be age 35 or under as of December 31, 2023.

Academic Professional Award

This award recognizes graduates who have made significant contributions to a post-secondary academic career through research, teaching, program development and/or educational administration. At least 50 per cent of their current or past employment (if retired/emeritus) must be in academia.

Innovation Award

This award recognizes an alum or group of alumni who has/have created, implemented, or discovered an innovative program, process, or product within the last two years. The innovation must have significant meaning to the nominee’s profession, community, or the University of Regina. In order for a group or team nomination to be considered eligible, half of the group must be graduates of the University of Regina.

Nominate an outstanding alum today!

2023 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

Perry Bellegarde S.O.M., BAdmin’84

Chief Perry Bellegarde (Little Black Bear First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory) has dedicated his life to championing the rights and well-being of First Nations. For 35 years, he has held various First Nations leadership roles, including two terms as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) from 2014-2021. He describes himself as an oskâpêwis or helper.

As National Chief, Chief Bellegarde campaigned tirelessly to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other families in Canada. Critical accomplishments include the passage of Canada’s first national legislation recognizing and protecting Indigenous languages, and securing a legislative commitment to national implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  He has also raised the international profile of First Nations expertise on sustainable development, promoting rights-based solutions to the climate crisis from the Paris Agreement to The Sustainable Markets Initiative.

In 2018, Chief Bellegarde was recognized with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from both Queen’s and Lakehead universities.   In 2021, the Empire Club of Canada named him their ‘Nation Builder of the Year’, and the Royal Canadian Geographic Society inducted him as their Honorary President.

Chief Bellegarde is currently a special advisor to Fasken, an international law firm, and serves on the First Nations Bank of Canada Board of Directors, and is a special advisor to King Charles III’s Sustainable Markets Initiative.

Portrait of Perry Bellegarde

Distinguished Professional Achievement Award

Leah Lawrence BASc’94

Leah Lawrence was inspired to work on climate change and sustainable development while studying engineering at the University of Regina. Her professional journey first took her to Calgary, where she worked on climate strategy and energy technology investment, before becoming an entrepreneur and starting her own company. Leah’s focus on climate, technology and entrepreneurship eventually took her to Ottawa, where she is the president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). In her time at SDTC, Leah has transformed the organization, making it a champion for young companies and their potential to change the world. In her eight years at the helm, SDTC has made more than $1 billion available to aspiring entrepreneurs to test, scale up, and commercialize their ideas. Leah is known for her commitment to organizational excellence and governance for startups and organizations in transition. She was instrumental in the formation of the Innovation Asset Collective, Canada’s first patent collective, and currently serves as its vice chair. She is also a past director and chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) who honoured her with the Centennial Leadership Award, APEGA’s highest distinction for a member. Leah is also a fellow of Engineers Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Portrati of Leah Lawrence

Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award

Jada Yee BAdmin‘08, MAdmin’20

Jada Yee is a leader, volunteer, and educator. Currently the Director of Business Development for FHQ Developments, he has spent more than 20 years in various leadership roles within the casino gaming industry, and teaches in the Business and Public Administration program at the First Nations University of Canada. As a committed volunteer, Jada serves on numerous boards, including as Chair of the Regina Police Service Board of Police Commissioners; the Regina Food Bank; SaskPolytechnic: Program Advisory Council for the Business Certificate Program; City of Regina: Community Safety and Well Being; Regina Crime Stoppers; Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association (RAPA); Canadian Red Cross, and as the Indigenous Representative for the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business Students’ Association. In October 2021, Jada was elected to the National Board of Canadian Association for Police Governance, where Jada represents Saskatchewan. Jada was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for his outstanding community service. He is a proud member of the Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation, and is also of Chinese-Canadian heritage. Jada lives in Regina with his wife and four amazing children.

Portrait of Jada Yee

Dr. Robert & Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award

Verda Petry MEd’89

Throughout her long and distinguished career, Verda Petry has served as an educator, volunteer, and community advocate. She has been an embodiment of her strongly held values through her active volunteerism, along with service on a variety of boards and committees. Verda served as an educator for many years with Regina Public Schools and was recognized for her excellence in teaching with several awards including an Honorary Lifetime Membership from the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and a Master Teacher Award for outstanding service to mathematics education from the Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers Society. She served two terms as Chancellor of the University of Regina and is a member of Senate; she participated in several U of R committees including the Research Ethics Board and the Seniors University Group. As a committed volunteer, Verda has dedicated time to many organizations including the Regina Public Schools Teacher Association, the Regina Public School Board, Sherwood Credit Union (now Conexus), the Health Council of Canada, the Eden Care Society, and the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism. Verda is also a recipient of the 125th Confederation of Canada Medal for volunteer service in the community.

Portrait of Ann Bishop

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Brittany Hudak BSW’19

As an elite athlete, coach, and family support worker, Brittany Hudak is an inspiration to many. Brittany has been a member of Canada’s Para-Nordic Ski team since 2015 and is a three-time Paralympic Bronze medalist (PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022). She is also the winner of multiple World Cup and World Championship medals, and a three-time gold medallist at the Canada Winter Games. Brittany’s enthusiasm for sport has extended to mentoring other young athletes, including through the Classroom Champions Program, which pairs Olympic and Paralympic athletes with underserved students in classrooms across Canada. Brittany is also a member of Nordiq Canada Women’s Committee which aims to ensure equality of opportunity for girls and women in the sport of cross-country skiing. As a youth and family support worker, Brittany works with Enviros Wilderness School Association in their residential group homes for teens.

Portrait of Brittany Hudak

Academic Professional Award

Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell BSc’93 MSc’96

Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell is an internationally recognized scientist whose research focuses on the biology of acoustic communication in wild bats and mice — two large, fascinating, and biodiverse groups of mammals that communicate using ultrasound. Her research has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the US National Science Foundation as well as other government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industry. She has led two scientific societies including the North American Society for Bat Research. As an educator and professor, Matina served as Head of the Biology Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was the first female Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta. She is currently the Dean and Vice Provost of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Alberta. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Telus World of Science Edmonton, and is a Director on the Board of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute.

Portrait of Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell

2023 Sponsors

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Presenting Sponsor

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Video Sponsor

Past Recipients

Since 1992, alumni have been celebrated for their personal and professional achievements, and the positive impact they have had on their profession, community and the esteem of the University of Regina. In 2005, five distinct award categories were established and the recipients were honoured at an awards dinner.
2021 to Present

2022 Valerie Creighton C.M., S.O.M. — Lifetime Achievement Award
2022 Dr. Kathie Cameron — Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2022 Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen — Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2022 Ann Bishop — Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2022 Molly Thomas — Young Alumni Award

2021 The Honourable Reverend Dr. Lorne Calvert - Lifetime Achievement Award
2021 Honourable Graeme Mitchell - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2021 Latoya Reid - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2021 Doug McKillop - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2021 Dr. Sarah Plosker - Outstanding Young Alumni

2016 to 2020
2020 Shawna Argue - Lifetime Achievement Award
2020 Rosalie Tsannie-Burseth - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2020 Jacq Brasseur - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2020 Robert Jamont - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2020 Christine Selinger - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2019 Gary Drummond - Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 Trudy Stewart & Janine Windolph - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2019 Brianne Urzada - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2019 Paul McLellan - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2019 Tyler Willox - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2018 Ken Ottenbreit - Lifetime Achievement Award
2018 Dr. Allan Bonner - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2018 Jacqueline Tisher - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2018 Amy Moroz and Andrea Ward - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2018 Dr. Joana Cook - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2017 Guy Vanderhaeghe - Lifetime Achievement Award
2017 Dr. Greg Krätzig - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2017 Dr. Joan Halmo - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2017 Dr. Margaret Dagenais - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2017 Thomas Benjoe - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2016 Dr. Geoffrey Taylor - Lifetime Achievement Award
2016 Derek Stoffel - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2016 Dr. David Millar - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2016 Lisa King - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2016 Dr. Regan Schmidt - Outstanding Young Alumni Award
2011 to 2015
2015 Jim Hopson - Lifetime Achievement Award
2015 Dr. Kristian Baker - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2015 Rob Deglau - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2015 Barry Clarke - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2015 Cherish Jean-Baptiste - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2014 Leonard Schein - Lifetime Achievement Award
2014 Dr. Barry Pittendrigh - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2014 Sel Murrary - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2014 Sean McEachern - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2014 Courtney Keith - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2013 Ken Sunquist - Lifetime Achievement Award
2013 Marty Klyne - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2013 Mark Stefan - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2013 Sue Barber - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2013 Amber Fletcher - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2012 Bill Knight - Lifetime Achievement Award
2012 Dr. Nevan Krogan - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2012 Vera Tourangeau - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2012 Victor Thomas - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2012 Phoebe DeCiman Haugen - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2011 Dr. Eric Grimson - Lifetime Achievement Award
2011 Dr. Ross Mitchell - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2011 Bernie Kollman - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2011 Twyla Meredith - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Outstanding Service Award
2011 Rachel Mielke - Outstanding Young Alumni Award
2006 to 2010
2010 Frank Fowlie - Lifetime Achievement Award
2010 Elaine Bourassa - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2010 Doug Folk - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2010 Garth Fredrickson -Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Award for Outstanding Service
2010 Nick Carleton - Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

2009 Dr. John Hewson - Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 Georgina R. Jackson - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2009 Laura Pettigrew - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2009 Don Millard - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Award for Outstanding Service

2008 Dr. Norman Amundson - Lifetime Achievement Award
2008 Norman Bolen - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2008 Dr. Pammla Petrucka, Kevan McBeth, Sheenah Ko - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2008 Greg Swanson - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Award for Outstanding Service
2008 Dr. Dwight Newman - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2007 Ken Howland - Lifetime Achievement Award
2007 Dale Eisler - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2007 Greg Fieger - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Award for Outstanding Service
2007 Todd Bryanton - Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2006 Elaine McNeil - Lifetime Achievement Award
2006 Daphne Bramham - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2006 Richard Turchenek (Deceased) - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2006 Stuart Quinn and David Quinn - Dr. Robert and Norma Ferguson Award for Outstanding Service
2006 Erin Weir - Outstanding Young alumni Award
2001 to 2005
2005 Dr. George Anderson - Lifetime Achievement Award
2005 Ben Grebinski - Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
2005 Roxane Schury - Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service Award
2005 Hiedi Pearson - Alumni Service Award
2005 Pamela Lynn Ait-Allaoua - Young Alumni Award

2004 Linda Rankin - Professional/Business Award
2004 Gregory Marchildon - Professional/Business Award
2004 Charlie Baldock - Humanitarian/Community Service Award

2003 Sunil Ram - Humanitarian/Community Service Award

2002 Dawn Redmond-Bradley - Distinguished Alumni Award
2002 Erica Grimm-Vance - Distinguished Alumni Award

2001 Robin Schlaht - Distinguished Alumni Award
2001 Solomon Wong - Distinguished Alumni Award
1992 to 2000
2000 Lionel Bonneville - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
1999 Gary Bosgoed -Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
1998 Gwen Keith - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in Business and Professional

1997 Tom Robinson - Distinguished Alumnus Award for Humanitarian/Community Service
1997 Dr. M. Husain - Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement

1996 Myrtle Surjik - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
1995 Mark Kinzel - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
1994 Bernadette McIntyre - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
1993 Brian Hansen - Alumnus of the Year Award
1992 Dr. Derril McLeod - Alumnus of the Year Award (Deceased)