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A collage of UM alumni who did incredible things in 2023.

Clockwise: Asper alum Ben Chutta [BComm(Hons)/15] competes in the Amazing Race Canada with longtime friend Anwar Ahmed, Asper MBA program alum Kathleen BlueSky [MBA/15] surrounded by fellow Wiijii’idiwag Ikwewag staff, UM School of Art graduate and Rhodes Scholar Joel Nichols

2023 in review: 9 unique ways UM alumni made an impact

Globe-trotters, local restaurateurs, philanthropists and Rhodes Scholars - these are the alumni who affected the world in extraordinary ways this year.

December 18, 2023 — 

A Taste of Success

Restaurateur and entrepreneur extraordinaire Mike del Buono [BComm(Hons)/13], managing partner of Burnley Place Hospitality Inc., triumphs with Winnipeg favorites King + Bannatyne, Bar Accanto and Nola. Bar Accanto made the 2023 long list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine (Nola made the same list last year).

Race to the Top

Talk about amazing! Asper alum Ben Chutta [BComm(Hons)/15] gets in his travel miles and a podium finish as a contestant on The Amazing Race Canada. 

Shining a Spotlight on Impact 

The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards once again honoured a selection of graduates from our community of changemakers whose impressive achievements have positively impacted social, cultural and economic conditions around the world. 

Legally Tech

Recent Faculty of Law grad Hardeep Suri [JD/2023] contributed to the development of ground-breaking legal app Law Newbie, an online research assistant designed to improve access to legal justice. 

A Generational Legacy 

It’s powerful to give back in meaningful ways, like when UM Faculty of Science alum Rick Zillman decided to carry on his wife’s legacy of caring for students by making a planned gift. The resulting Miaw Jin Scholarship is for graduates of St. Norbert Collegiate and Vincent Massey Collegiate, schools where his wife Paulina taught during her career. 

Smiling Faces

Here’s something to smile about! Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry alum Carla Cohn [DMD/91] takes 30 years of teaching and advocacy to help launch her solo practice Kids Sleep Dentistry Winnipeg. 

Following Traditions

File this one under empowerment. Asper MBA program alum Kathleen BlueSky [MBA/15] melds the past traditions and the next generation, as co-founder and board chair of Wiijii’idiwag Ikwewag, a program which provides birthing support that promotes traditional Indigenous childbirth and parenting teachings. 

A Career Worth Sharing

Award-winning educator and UM alum Laura MacDonald [Dip.D.Hyg./81, M.Ed./87, PhD/21] credits curiosity and passion as the driving force behind her innovative 36-year career in dentistry and dental hygiene education. 

100th Milestone 

A milestone for sure…UM School of Art graduate Joel Nichols is named UM’s 100th Rhodes Scholar, the first ever successful finalist from the School of Art. 

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