August 20, 2019

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Grads of many talents

U of W pair pursue excellence in diverse endeavours


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R.M. (Bob) Kozminski’s business acumen in the local automotive industry is well-known to Manitobans. He also has a deep commitment to community through philanthropy and volunteerism with a particular interest in education, health and child safety.

After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg, Kozminski went on to earn a law degree.

Kozminski is a founding member and director of the U of W Foundation. In 2004, he assumed responsibility as campaign chair for the World of Opportunity Capital Campaign, which successfully attracted $135 million in campus development, endowment, program funding, scholarships and bursaries — the most ambitious campaign in U of W’s history.

Hartley T. Richardson, C.M., O.M., received an Honorary Doctor of Laws for his leadership in business, service to the community, and lifelong commitment to The University of Winnipeg and the citizens of Manitoba and Canada.

As President and CEO of James Richardson and Sons, Limited, a private, family-owned corporation, he has been involved in the international grain trade and agri-foods business, real estate, oil and gas development, financial services and investments.

Richardson also initiated one of the most important gifts to U of W, resulting in the state-of-the-art Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, where thousands of students now study, helping to revitalize Winnipeg’s inner city.

Diane McGifford is a tireless advocate for post-secondary educational opportunities in Manitoba, having shared her passion and insights as the longest serving Minister of Advanced Education and Training in Canada.

She received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1970 at UWinnipeg, and went on to obtain a Master of Arts and a PhD in English in 1979. McGifford worked as an English professor at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Winnipeg.

McGifford’s political career spanned 16 years, beginning as an MLA in 1995. In 1999, she was appointed to Premier Gary Doer’s first cabinet as the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism. In 2001, she became Manitoba’s first Minister of Advanced Education.

During her many years in this role, McGifford made some of her most significant and lasting contributions to the province. She established, “Bright Futures,” a suite of programs that bring community-based organizations and schools together designed to address student success and access to post-secondary education among traditionally marginalized and under-represented populations. McGifford has also been a steadfast supporter of U of W’s Opportunity Fund.



Lesley Sisler has been called the memory and conscience of U of W’s Collegiate, the high school on campus. During her tenure as associate dean, Sisler helped shape the collegiate and was instrumental in creating the mission statement and instructor’s handbook.

As an educator, Sisler was so highly esteemed by her colleagues that she was nominated for and received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Sisler joined U of W in 1978 and quickly established herself as a dedicated educator, mentor and academic leader. She served as an instructor, counsellor and assistant/associate dean of the collegiate, and is herself a graduate of both the collegiate and U of W. She has been named a Fellow of United College.

Brian Keenan has been a renowned teacher of philosophy for more than 35 years, most of which was spent at U of W until his retirement in 2008. With his Socratic style, Keenan attracted and engaged countless students, who founded an annual essay prize in his honour when he retired. He also received the Clifford Robson Distinguished Teacher Award in 2006.

Keenan’s greatest joy is to foster debate. In his classroom, students talk as much as he does — they are dialogues, not lectures — discussions that continue out into the hallways. Joining U of W in 1972, he spent a significant portion of this time acting as chair of the philosophy department. Keenan has been named a Fellow of United College.

Steve Coppinger dedicated time and energy to U of W for more than 45 years, and in retirement he continues to serve the university with enthusiasm.

Coppinger entered the Collegiate in 1967 and went on to earn a BA in Geography at U of W. As soon as he graduated, Coppinger embarked on what would become a 36-year career at the university.

For 18 of those years he was associate vice-president, finance and administration.

In retirement, Coppinger shifted his considerable energy to the University of Winnipeg Retirees Association and was a member of a small fundraising committee that raised $40,000 for a UWRA scholarship, recognizing students who demonstrate strong academics and community service. Coppinger is being named a Fellow of United College.



The University of Winnipeg Alumni Association will honour former mayor Susan A. Thompson (Collegiate ‘67, BA ‘71) with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Alumni Association president Chris Minaker (BA ‘04) lauded Thompson, saying, “The Alumni Council selected Susan not only because of her remarkable career as mayor, but also because of her lifetime of service to her community, especially to The University of Winnipeg community.”

Thompson is a well-known entrepreneur, fundraiser, diplomat and community leader. After a distinguished career in business, Thompson entered civic politics. As mayor of Winnipeg, she managed a city budget of $1.2 billion and more than 10,000 employees. She led Winnipeg through major flooding when the city faced what became known as the ‘Flood of the Century’ in 1997.

After her term as mayor, Thompson was appointed Canadian Consul General in Minneapolis, where she served an eight-state territory consisting of 15 million people and $32 billion in Canada-U.S. trade.

Thompson returned to Winnipeg in 2003 to assume the role as founding president and CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation. Together with the foundation board, she managed an unprecedented $38 million endowment fund and provided stewardship to over 7,600 donors. Just prior to Thompson’s retirement, the foundation concluded the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history. More than $135 million dollars were raised in support of student awards, capital projects, and academic enhancements.



Known for her humour, warmth, and intelligence, Caleigh Christie, a Bachelor of Science, Honours, Geography student, has earned the University of Winnipeg’s 2012 Campus Sustainability Recognition Award.

“Caleigh applies her impressive intelligence to meaningful academic and community work”, said Alana Lajoie-O’Malley, U of W manager, Campus Sustainability Office. “She undertakes this work with passion, enthusiasm, and commitment which inspires others while thoroughly enjoying all that she does.”

Christie has acted as the co-president of the Geography and Environmental Studies Students’ Association, the UWSA Bike Lab coordinator, and as a member of the Environmental Studies Department Advisory Committee. She has played an integral role in increasing awareness in innovative sustainability projects — encouraging others, young and old, to redouble their sustainability efforts.

Christie is a core member of the UWSA Ice Riders Bike Gang, the winter cycling team that is the spirit and energy behind the UWSA Bike Lab. She was one of four students who created a short film documenting the group’s aspirations for an all-season cycling repair and advocacy centre.

The University of Winnipeg Campus Sustainability Recognition Award was established to celebrate notable contributions to campus sustainability.



Retired history professor, director of the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies and distinguished ethnohistorian, Prof. Jennifer S. H. Brown, has earned the rank of Professor Emerita.

Brown’s publications have shed light on familial and social relations among fur traders and Aboriginal communities across three centuries. Her work also tackles the complex and multiple origins of people of mixed descent whose life trajectories led them towards diverse identities, Métis and other.

By bringing together documentary and oral records generated from various perspectives, Brown has helped to preserve, develop and disseminate Aboriginal historical education. This work has not only advanced research in her field but has also increased the understanding of Aboriginal communities, histories and cultures among a wider audience.

Brown has held a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (Aboriginal Peoples in an Urban and Regional Context), among numerous other honours and awards. She has also been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy II (Social Sciences), the highest honour for scholarship in Canada.

The honour of Professor Emeritus will be conferred on retired classics Prof. Iain McDougall, who taught at U of W for 30 years.

McDougall has brought prestige to U of W and has created broad and lasting benefits to his students, colleagues and the discipline of classics in general.

An active researcher, McDougall’s active scholarly activities led to numerous published articles in peer-reviewed classics journals. One of his most impressive accomplishments is a two-volume set on the Lexicon of Diodorus Siculus. The result of two decades of conscientious investigation, this 1,700-page work is considered a highly valued research resource by scholars of classics worldwide. It resides in every major research library in the world.

Under McDougall’s term as chair of classics, the department gained the reputation as being among the best undergraduate Classics department in Canada. In addition to his usual teaching load, his mentorship created many award winning students that earned Classic Awards within and outside the campus.

In 1992, he was awarded the Dr. Robin Farquhar Award for Excellence Contributing to Self-Governance in recognition for his many years of exceptional service on several committees, including the Board of Regents.



Awards and Prizes

Bill Gadsby Pre-Service Teaching Award — Pamela Louise Gordon

Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba Graduation Prize in Business and Administration — Qianying Lin

Gawthrop Prize — Margaret Anne Elizabeth Morton

Lost Prizes Award — Margret Ruth Pawluk Henderson

Mayor’s Medal — Caleigh Erin Christie

Nisbet Memorial and Winchester Prize — Raymond Ares

O.T. Anderson Award — Lauren Maria Cecile Bosc

Ron Norton Prize in Psychology — Kerri Danielle Paschke

Swiss Ambassador Book Prize for Distinction in French Studies — Celine Helga Doll

Tait and Anderson Prize — Ray Temmerman


Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree

Governor General’s Gold Medal, Master’s — Melanie Jane Dennis Unrau

Governor General’s Silver Medal, Undergraduate — Peter Mark Slivinski

Graduate Student of Highest Distinction Award — Margaret Anne Elizabeth Morton, Melanie Jane Dennis Unrau

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Education — Peter Mark Slivinski

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Education — Natalie Maria Rose Fitkowsky, Svitlana Oleksia Maluzynsky


Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree (Honours)

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Arts — Andrea Katryn Blanchard

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Science — Joel Richard Kosowan

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Arts — Lynne Williams

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Science — Lisa Jane Teichroeb


Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree (4-Year)

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Arts — Christina Louise Reinke

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Anna M. Hawkins

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Science — Katherine Diane Dearborn

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Arts — Emily Jean Wessel

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Qianying Lin

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Science — Rebekah Danielle E. Rittberg


Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree (3-Year)

Lieutenant-Governor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Arts — Jon Michael Kornelsen

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Kirsten Ria Penner-Goeke

Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Science — Gabrielle Rebecca Levin

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Arts — Kelly Alynne Leask

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Adriana Passante

University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Science — Jamie Angela Slivinski


Medals for Achievement in a Major (Honours)

Anthropology — Brigitte Jeannine Savard

Applied Computer Science — Yi Zhe Zeng

Biochemistry — Joel Richard Kosowan

Biology — Lisa Jane Teichroeb

Biopsychology — Nicholas Hans Krueger

Chemistry — Joshua Evan T. Yakiwchuk

Classics — Melina Sturym

Criminal Justice — Alison Chantel Carrey

Economics — Mulamba Rita B. Abemba

English — Lynne Williams

Geography — Genevieve May Berard

History — Emma Mary Fieldhouse

History of Art — Emily Glinski Doucet

Interdisciplinary Linguistics — Brendon Daly Yarish

International Development Studies — Andrea Katryn Blanchard

Mathematics — Blake William Madill

Philosophy — Damian Ezequiel Melamedoff

Physics — Jared Kyle Wiebe

Politics — Andri Matthais Shchudlo

Psychology — Rebecca Danielle Martin

Sociology — Meghann Marie McLachlan

Student-Designed Major — Sarah Ann Leeson-Klym

Theatre and Film — Ariel Natan Levine

Theatre and Film — Dance — Janelle Dawn Hacault

Urban and Inner City Studies — Andrea Leslie Derbecker

Women’s and Gender Studies — Lauren Maria Cecile Bosc


Medals for Achievement in a Major (4-Year)

Anthropology — Kara Janina Dueck

Biochemistry — James Blain Johnston

Biology — Rebekah Danielle E.Rittberg

Biopsychology — Jesse Levi Shantz

Business and Administration — Anna M. Hawkins

Combined Major — Kaitlin Slone Young

Conflict Resolution Studies — Christina Louise Reinke

Economics — Laura Denise Valentini

English — Allison Norris

Environmental Studies — Katherine Diane Dearborn

Geography — Matthew Qmar Morison

Human Rights and Global Studies — Katrina Nicole Sklepowich

History — David Thomas Guenther

Interdisciplinary Linguistics — Naomi Catherine Goerz

International Development Studies — Stephanie Lynn Janisse

Joint Communications (UW/RRC) — Emily Jean Wessel

Kinesiology and Applied Health — Andrew T. Grant

Mathematics — Matthew Qmar Morison

Politics — Tyrone Louis Krawetz

Religion and Culture — Porcha Lee Palmer

Rhetoric and Communications — Allison Nora Ferry

Statistics — Elizabeth Wall-Wieler

Medals for Achievement in a Major (3-Year):

Anthropology — Amy Lynn Schellenberg

Applied Computer Science — Kelleigh Dayle Ryan

Biochemistry — Prabhjot Singh

Biology — Jamie Angela Slivinski

Biopsychology — Robin Louella Stonebridge

Business and Administration — Stephanie Nicole Wilson

Chemistry — Oluwaseyi Samuel Akinbobola

Combined Major— Kelly Alynne Leask

Conflict Resolution Studies — Colin Denis Bourrier

Criminal Justice — Rita Katsanos

Developmental Studies — Beth Alisson Baggs

Economics — Kirsten Ria Penner-Goeke

English — Jon Michael Kornelsen

French Studies — Janis Roseanne Severloh

Geography — Sarah Marie Bisson

Human Rights and Global Studies — Nicole Breckman Jowett

History — Paul Kenneth Figsby

International Development Studies — Alaina Nicole Jacobsen

Kinesiology and Applied Health — Ashton Paige Freund

Mathematics — Gabrielle Rebecca Levin

Physics — Timothy Chau

Politics — Zoe Danielle Abreder

Psychology — Miranda Diane Grayson

Rhetoric and Communications — Nur Liyana Mohammed Fudzi

Sociology — Karen Elizabeth Bell

Spanish Studies — Erica Lorena Dorfman

Theatre and Film — Nur Liyana Mohammed Fudzi

Theatre and Film—Dance — Kathleen Tess Rutherford

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