May 21, 2019

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Set to take on the world

Great young minds graduate at U of M as excellence is rewarded


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The 133rd annual Spring Convocation of the University of Manitoba has six sessions this year, each day at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


Governor General’s Gold Medal for outstanding achievement at the graduate level: Prateep Kumar Nayak

Governor General’s Silver medal for outstanding achievement at the undergraduate level: Jonas Lippuner

Governor General’s Bronze Medal for highest standing in the two-year Diploma in Agriculture: Garrett Mitchell Blake Sawatsky

Governor general’s Bronze medal for highest standing in a two-year diploma program other than agriculture: Carla Marie Zamrykut


University Gold Medals for highest standing in an undergraduate Faculty or School

Agricultural and Food Sciences: Kelvin Scott Friesen

Architecture: Kathleen Laura Black

Art: Lisa Renee Bedard

Arts: Shauna Kirsten Sawich

I.H. Asper School of Business: Michelle Jade Harris

Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface: Chantale Anna Marie Cenerini

Dentistry: Kevin James Vint

Education: Lisa Diane Barkman Hobbs

Engineering: Leo Jerome Cortens

Human Ecology: Monika Yvonne Wetzel

Kinesiology and Recreation management: Gavin Reid McHale

Law: Ari Myles Hanson

Music: Dana Rosemary Thacher

Nursing: Julie Elizabeth Girardin

Pharmacy: Kaley Gineen Autumn Kawchuk

Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources: Meredith Louise Pind

Science: Jonas Lippuner

Social Work: Janet Lynn Napier



Dr. George E. Yee, celebrated physician and philanthropist, grew up in one of Winnipeg’s poorest neighbourhoods but overcame poverty to graduate from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine in 1960.

Yee vowed to give back to his alma mater if he were ever able to do so. Upon graduating, he worked at the Winnipeg General Hospital and then in various hospitals, often as their chief pathologist. Today he is the CEO and Laboratory Director of Medical Laboratories of Windsor, Ontario, the busiest in Canada.

He has underwritten the U of M Class of 1960 Entrance Scholarship in Medicine, and in 2008 provided a $2.5 million gift to establish the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, a place that fosters interdisciplinary research and collaboration that will result in new ways to improve patient care and safety.

Lloyd Robertson is recognized as one of the most trusted journalists in Canada. With 35 years at the helm of the CTV National News, he became one of longest-serving national news anchors in TV history, longer than both Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite.

For more than 60 years Robertson reported to Canadians on events that mattered, covering the election of nearly half of Canada’s prime ministers, and the death of four of them. He was there when the Berlin Wall rose, and he reported when it fell. He covered the Moon landing and the Gulf War. Robertson retired in 2011, a few years after being inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of two Gemini Awards.

Tannis Richardson is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer who has made a difference in countless lives. A U of M graduate, she joined the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1950 as a member of the Women’s Committee and then the Volunteer Committee.

Over the years Richardson has helped the WAG raise funds for numerous projects and in light of her exceptional service she became one of the first members of the Advisory Council of the Volunteer Associates of the WAG, a position normally confined to past WAG presidents and board members.

Richardson is also a long-time benefactor and leader of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and in 1991 was the first recipient of the Foundation’s Laureate of Excellence Award. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and was honoured with the One Step Closer Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Sir Gordon Ying-Sheng Wu is a visionary philanthropist, dedicated to innovation and excellence. He was one of the first international students to come to Canada from Hong Kong, attending U of M in 1953. Wu’s father foresaw the expansion of automotive transportation in China and launched Hong Kong’s first taxi service.

Upon returning home, he helped expand the family’s business to include other businesses and eventually led to creating the Hopewell Group. Wu anticipated the importance of infrastructure development within China and played a key role in building bridges, superhighways and power stations in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia. Today, Wu is dedicating his engineering skills to designing and building wind-powered turbines to help China tap clean energy. He has given generously to U of M, supporting the construction of the Engineering Information and Technology Complex.

Robert Brennan retired from Manitoba Hydro in 2011 as its longest serving president and CEO. During his tenure he transformed the Crown Corporation into a modern, customer-driven electric and gas utility that has invested in Manitoba and supported numerous research projects at U of M.

Under Brennan’s leadership, Manitoba Hydro built more dams and utilized the engineering prowess of U of M faculty members to explore alternative energy resources and to design new power grids and production methods. Brennan’s leadership also helped Manitoba Hydro establish profit-sharing deals with Northern Aboriginal communities.

He is currently chairman of the Riverview Health Centre Foundation, director and treasurer of Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, and past co-chair of the YMCA/YWCA.

Douglas Cardinal is one of Canada’s premier architects. Born in Alberta of Métis and Blackfoot heritage, Cardinal created an Indigenous style of architecture marked by smooth organic lines and influenced by his Canadian and Aboriginal heritage. His design process involves a strong community-oriented philosophy, in which he involves elders and community leaders to influence his design’s conceptual development.

One of Cardinal’s most famous works is the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, which brought him numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2001. He also created Thunderbird House in Winnipeg. In 1990, Cardinal was awarded the Order of Canada; in 2003, he was elected a Member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Sister M. Cyril Mooney left Ireland for India in 1956 and completed her PhD in zoology at the University of Lucknow. In 1979 she was named principal of Loreto Day School in Kolkata and soon began to revolutionize the Indian school system as a champion of the poor and disenfranchised, committed to education and challenging the caste system.

Mooney belongs to the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto). Recognized as an education innovator, in 1994, she received UNESCO’s NOMA Award for spreading literacy. In 2007, the President of India honoured Mooney with the Padma Shri Award, the Government of India’s fourth-highest civilian honour; Mother Teresa is the only other foreign-born recipient.



Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Saunderson Award for Excellence in Teaching

Prof. Robert J. Elias began his studies at the University of Manitoba and in 1978 returned to the U of M’s department of earth sciences to take a post as lecturer. The following year he became an assistant professor and since 1988 he has taught as a professor in geological sciences.

Despite his reputation among his students for crafting difficult tests, they describe him as “awesome.” Known for his humour and slideshows, Elias has received various teaching and research awards over the course of his career. In 2000, he and co-authors won the People’s Choice Award at GeoCanada 2000 for their poster, “The world’s biggest trilobite: a giant among arthropods.” That same year, Guinness World Records gave Elias a certificate for discovering, with co-workers, the world’s biggest trilobite. Then, in 2004, he and some colleagues won the University of Manitoba Outreach Award for their work on creating the Ed Leith Cretaceous Menagerie. In 2005 he received the Paleontological Research Institution’s Gilbert Harris Award for excellence in systematic paleontology.

Prof. Subramanian Sivaramakrishnan began teaching at the University of Manitoba’s I.H. Asper School of Business in 1999. He is also currently a visiting professor of marketing at the Universidad de Murcia in Spain and Baruch College in Singapore and Taiwan.

His students praise his dedication to teaching and his ability to make them enthusiastic about learning. His students enjoy his ability to infuse his lectures with humorous anecdotes and to provide abundant examples to illustrate his points. This is Sivaramakrishnan’s fifth teaching award.

He began receiving teaching awards in 1994 at Penn State University where he was given the university-wide Outstanding Teaching Award. In 1998, at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, he won the university-wide Award for Innovative Teaching. In 2002 the Asper School of Business presented him with the Associates Award — Teaching, and in 2009 the school honoured him with the CMA Merit Award for Research, Teaching, and Service. Sivaramakrishnan has written two marketing textbooks and, in the last six years alone, he has authored 10 refereed publications and delivered a number of conference presentations. He’s involved in numerous committees and has conducted pro bono market research projects for organizations such as the Festival du Voyageur, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Manitoba Museum, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.


Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Excellence in Teaching

Prof. Pauline Broderick began teaching at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Education in 2005 with a focus on arts education. She inspires her students with a passion for the arts which she has carried with her from her days as a teacher at the Prairie Theatre Exchange Theatre School. While there, Broderick expanded the theatre’s role in using drama as a means of developing life skills and social awareness through her work with the Choices Program, an anti-gang initiative, and Upward Bound, an innovative adult education program.

Broderick also served as education director at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People where she taught a range of classes to children, teens and adults. In the course of her career her varied experience in the public school system (Pembina Crest School, Garden City Collegiate, Oak Park High School and West Kildonan Collegiate) allowed her to hone her pedagogical skills and understand the power of the arts to engage and educate. Like all good actresses, Broderick is always present in the moment and responsive to it, and there is no better way to connect with her students and inspire them.

Prof. Barbara Goodwin re-joined the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Nursing in 2005 to resume her teaching career. Prior to that, she was a staff nurse at Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre and a clinical education facilitator in the U of M’s Faculty of Nursing. In 2002, she moved to Alberta to obtain her Master’s degree and while there worked as a staff nurse in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at the University of Alberta Hospital.

During that time Goodwin also worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. In 2005 she returned to U of M as a second level Instructor, and since 2007 she has also worked as a staff nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Intermediate Intensive Care Unit at the Health Sciences Centre, a post she had previously held.

She received two graduate scholarship awards in 2002, and two more in 2004. Goodwin won the Favourite Faculty Award in the Faculty of Nursing in both 2011 and 2012. This comes as no surprise to her students who proclaim her to be the “best prof ever.” She is known for her lighthearted approach, an ability to explain complex material, and for possessing a humour that can lighten the mood of a challenging course.

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