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Accomplishments – Fall 2016


Rio 2016 OlympicsDesiree Scott [BA/16] was in the starting lineup for Canada’s women’s soccer team when they captured a bronze medal with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games. This was Scott’s second consecutive bronze medal as she was also a part of Team Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The former Bison player and coach played an integral role as a midfielder for Canada with solid tackles and defence throughout the Olympic tournament.

Other former Bisons represented Canada at the Olympic games. TJ Sanders, Toon van Lankvelt [BA/13] and Dan Lewis [BA/01] played on the Canadian men’s volleyball team, Tyler Mislawchuk competed in the triathlon, and Derek Ingram served as head coach of the Canadian men’s golf team.

Sanders played for the Bison volleyball team in the 2009-10 season. In Rio the Canadian men’s volleyball team lost to Russia in the quarterfinals. Mislawchuk competed with the Bison swim team during the 2012-13 season. He finished in 15th position at the Rio Olympics. Ingram was a part of the Bison golf program from its inception in 1999 until 2009. He coached Canadian golfers Graham DeLaet and David Hearn who finished 20th and 30th respectively at the Olympic golf tournament.




Sharon-CarstairsThe Honourable Sharon Carstairs, PC, CM [LLD/07] has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for her public service and for her work as a champion of palliative care.


Gregg HansonGregg Hanson, CM [BComm (Hons)/76, CA/79] has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for his accomplishments as a business leader and for his sustained commitment to his community, notably in support of poverty reduction and Indigenous peoples.


Marie WilsonMarie Wilson, CM [LLD/15] has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to the development of the Northwest Territories and for her work as a commissioner with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.


Warren WinklerThe Honourable Warren Winkler, OC, OOnt [BA/59] has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the advancement of Canadian labour law and for making the justice system more effective and accessible as a former chief justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal.


Brain laser wins a Governor General’s Innovation Award


Mark Torchia [MSc/97, PhD/01] andRichard Tyc [BSc(ME)/89, MSc/94]were one of six teams who received the inaugural Governor General’s Innovation Award.

Torchia and Tyc received the award in May for their development of the NeuroBlate System, which allows brain surgeons to destroy previously inoperable tumours deep inside the brain. This revolutionary technology and its creators were featured in the Spring 2016 issue of UM Today The Magazine.

The NeuroBlate System, developed at the St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, is a unique technology that encapsulates the criteria for the Governor General Innovation Awards: exceptional technology that transforms a field and positively impacts the quality of life in Canada.

How does the system work? Surgeons begin by drilling a hole in the skull about the size of a pencil. They insert the Monteris NeuroBlate System MRI-guided laser probe. They then use real-time data to guide the probe through the brain to the tumour. There, the surgeons can put the probe into the cancerous mass and destroy it from the inside out with a laser.


On National Aboriginal Day (June 21) Emily Grafton [MPAdmin/08] was introduced as the new Executive Lead–Indigenization at the University of Regina. She is a member of the Métis Nation and has spent considerable time with Indigenous communities as a researcher in academic, government and non-governmental organizations. Grafton is nearing completion of her PhD in Native Studies from the U of M.


Dr. Sara Israels

Each year Manitoba’s most extraordinary women are honoured with the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg Women of Distinction Awards. Three U of M alumnae were among the award winners at the annual gala hosted this year on May 4 at the RBC Convention Centre. For her contributions to children’s health and bleeding disorders research Dr. Sara Israels [MC/79] was presented with the Science, Technology and Research award. Helen Robinson-Settee [BEd/87, MEd/14] was presented with the Education, Training and Mentorship Award for her advancement of Aboriginal education in Manitoba. The Health, Wellness and Fitness award was presented to Michelle Ranville [BSW/99] for her work enhancing older adults’ social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual lives.



On June 10, 2016 Robert Houle [BA/72, DLitt/14] received an honorary degree from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Houle was honoured for his distinguished career as a Canadian artist, curator, critic and educator. Read more about Houle.


On June 23, 2016 Marcia Kran [LLB/80, BA/87] was elected to the UN Human Rights Committee. This group of independent experts serves on a volunteer basis and meets three times a year to review countries’ records on civil and political rights. Kran is the first Canadian to be elected to the committee in over a decade. Kran’s appointment was acknowledged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tweeted: “Canada is back on the UN Human Rights Committee. Congrats Marcia Kran on winning the support of your colleagues from around the world.”


Jeremy Guenette [BFA(Hons)/02] is the co-producer and director of a Franco-Manitoban independent fi lm titled Mia. The feature is a film noir about a private detective who returns to Winnipeg to search for a missing young girl. The producers launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the editing and post-production. Mia is set for release in November 2016.

Canada’s representative in NYC

Phyllis Yaffe

Phyllis Yaffe [BA/69, LLD/13] has been appointed as Canada’s consul general in New York. Yaffe enters the position following a successful career in the publishing and entertainment industry, the majority of which was spent with Alliance Atlantis Communications.


Asper, Gail [BA/81, LLB/84, LLD/08] was honoured with a Doctor of Laws by Carleton University on June 7, 2016 in recognition of her humanitarian work, advocacy for human rights, and leading volunteer service to the community.

Baskerville, Marlene [BHEc(Hons)/70] and Beaulieu, Kelly [BA/87, BSA/91] received Certificates of Merit from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the 2016 convocation held on May 6, 2016 at the U of M.

Braun, Sheena [MEd/11] has been named as one of Canada’s top 40 principals by The Learning Partnership, a national organization dedicated to supporting publicly funded education in Canada. Braun is currently the principal of Ryerson School in Winnipeg.

Brewer, David [BSc/53] was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Theology) jointly by the University of Ottawa and St. Paul University at the spring convocation. His dissertation is entitled Rethinking the Question of Natural Evil in Light of Insights on Creation from David Burrell.

Chan, Raz [BA/91] has authored a new book titled The Human Excellence Project. Released on Sept. 30, 2016, the book chronicles Chan’s journey through martial arts in Winnipeg and how it had a profound impact on his adolescence.

Delaney, Kiki [BA/69, LLD/11] will be presented with the Edmund C. Bovey Award by Business for the Arts, Canada’s only national charitable association of business members who support the arts, at a gala to be held on Nov. 16, 2016. The award recognizes business leaders who have demonstrated a lifetime of significant philanthropy and volunteerism in the arts in Canada.

Hirsch, Jeffrey [BA/83, LLB/86] and Scott, Richard J. [BA/59, LLB/63, LLD/00] have been named to the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments.

Hiuni, Dahn [BFA(Hons)/88] presented Murmurs & Incantations at the New York International Fringe Festival in August 2016. Hiuni has spent the last decade working on the show which tells the story of a New York performance artist who travels to Poland in an attempt to revive his art career, only to be confronted by the ghost of his grandfather, a rabbi killed in the Holocaust.

Kinew, Wab [BA/03]; Fiola, Chantal [BA(Hons)/04]; Pura, Talia [BEd/83, MA/16]; Tien, Wai [BFA(Hons)/05]; Koroscil, Jess [BFA(Hons)/05]; Cook, Méira [PhD/98]; Macdonald, Catherine [MA/83]; and Neville, Sarah [BFA(Hons)/12] all took home top honours at the 2016 Manitoba Book Awards held on April 30, 2016.

Lloyd, Rob [BComm(Hons)/78] has been named to the Board of Trustees Santa Clara University. Lloyd is the CEO of Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles-based startup aiming to commercialize a new mode of ground transportation capable of near supersonic speeds.

Marsch, Rachel [BComm(Hons)/15] has contributed to what may be the first textbook focusing on the Indigenous economy to be published in Canada. Marsch sat on a panel that developed the concept for Indigenous Business in Canada: Principles and Practice, which was published in 2016.

Morry, Josh [BComm(Hons)/13, JD/16] has been accepted in the Master’s of Law at the University of Oxford. Morry started at Oxford in September 2016 and is the only Canadian to be accepted this year.

Nistor, Andreea [MSc/08] has been hired to serve as forensic pathologist for the province of Saskatchewan. She received her medical training in Romania prior to completing a residency in anatomical pathology at the U of M. Nistor brings unique skills and expertise in the field of medico-legal death investigation, particularly postmortem examination.

Richert, David [BComm(Hons)/06] raced in the Eurocup Formula Renault Championship, which is the curtain-raising event just prior to the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix race. At this race on the streets of Monte Carlo, Richert finished in 20th position.

Ruth, Doug [BScME/70, MSc/72] has been elected as President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Ruth is a professor in the department of mechanical engineering and Dean Emeritus, associate dean, and NSERC Chair in Design Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering.

Sinclair, Murray [LLB/79, LLD/02] has been named as the recipient of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. The former Justice for the Queen’s Bench of Manitoba is being honoured for his distinguished record of public service and work leading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Stanford, Joan [BA/69] has published a book in June 2016 titled The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing and Joy.

Verstraete, Larry [BSc/69, CertEd/70 BEd/73, MEd/90] has written a new book titled ‘Dinosaurs’ of the Deep: Discover Ancient Marine Reptiles. Illustrated by Julius Csotonyi [PhD/11], the book combines fascinating facts, astonishing discoveries, and the latest paleontological information to bring ancient marine creatures to life.

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