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CBC Future 40 list highlights UM big thinkers and change makers

UM celebrates with six awarded faculty and alumni

November 22, 2022 — 

CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 Awards are back and the announcement comes with a significant list of UM representation. The biennial award honours Manitobans under 40 years of age who are making a meaningful impact in our province.

“We want to share their inspiring stories and discover all of the promise and possibility that the future holds with Manitoba’s best and brightest young leaders, thinkers, builders, and change-makers,” says CBC Manitoba. UM’s recognition of this outstanding group of people, many at the onset of their careers, is one to present with pride. They are making differences in their communities and show a passion for our province.

The top 10 winners were announced on November 21 and UM is proud to celebrate six winners from our community! These six faculty and alumni were among the exceptional individuals who will be profiled in a CBC publication. The winners also gain exclusive CBC Manitoba Future 40 brand and promotional rights, receive a profile on their social networks, an engraved award and an invitation to their networking reception.

Among the award winners are:

Dr. Brett Houston [BSc/09, BSc(Med)/13, MD/13, PhD/22]

Hematologist and UM clinician investigator, Dr. Houston is unique in her care for patients with blood disorders. Her clinic is dedicated to elderly patients with leukemia and bone marrow failure and is one of a kind in the province. Her impact in the field provides both hope and treatment options for many vulnerable patients.

Dr. Filiz Koksel [PhD/15]

Head of the UM food processing lab, Dr. Koksel is an inspiration to the next generation of food scientists. Her passion for teaching through experiential learning can be seen through a variety of her UM food engineering courses. On an international level, her work to uncover how food quality is altered during processing is attracting both wide-spread attention and significant funding.

Dr. Kaarina Kowalec [BSc (Hons)/08, MSc/11] 

An advocate for women and girls in science, Dr. Kowalec is living the dream of her 10-year-old self. Dr. Kowalec teaches and mentors PharmD and graduate students at UM and is an inspiration to young adults who are pursuing careers in science. As a scientist at UM studying an area known as ‘precision medicine’, her research uses a person’s own genes to predict how a disease develops or which medicine will work best.

Dr. Melanie Lalonde [BSc(Maj)/14, BSc/14, MSc/17, PhD/22]

A program development specialist for the UM Faculty of Science Wawatay program, Dr. Lalonde is advocating to make undergraduate science education more inclusive and welcoming to Indigenous students. Through her designs and Indigenous science programming, she makes and locates opportunities and resources for Indigenous science students and builds connections between Wawatay and the broader community.

Dustin Murdock [MPT/20]

The physiotherapist from Fisher River Cree Nation completed his master’s in physical therapy at UM and has a dream for his work within the field: “My vision for physical therapy is to be the antithesis of a clinic with less focus on diagnosis and finding problems but rather focusing on building and empowering people to find what they can do and recognizing the complexities and nuances of what it means to be a human.”

Paul Ong [PpBDipEd/15, MEd/19]

A UM master’s degree holder in education for sustainable well-being, Ong is using the skills developed at UM and his internationally-achieved talents in a variety of ways. His accomplishments as an artist, a vice-principal with Winnipeg School Division and his contributions to the community are being recognized with this award. He continues to be a powerful force through his annual sold-out Concert for a Cause – an effort that has raised close to $100,000 in donations for local charities.

UM also came in strong among those nominated for the honour. The following 32 individuals received a nomination for the CBC Future 40 award, reflecting the impact of a UM education. Although there were only 10 awards given, these nominations also provide an opportunity to applaud the vast talents within our alumni, staff and faculty community:

Christey Allen [BSc/11]

Kristian Andres [BMRPT/09, MPAS/16] 

Nandika Bandara, assistant professor in Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences

Kirsten Bernas [BA(Hons)/04]

Jennifer Chen [MSc/13]

Ruvimbo Chimutsa [JD/12]

Heitha Forsyth [BMus(Perf)/08]

Cindy Foster [BA(Hons)/18] 

Aleeza Gerstein, assistant professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Statistics 

Zohreh Gervais [BMus/09]

Jason Gisser [LLB/09]

Alicia Gooden, Staff 

Hammoud Jumaa [MA/22] 

Jacqueline Keena [BSc(Agribus)/16] 

Masroor Khan [BComm(Hons)/17] 

Leah Klassen [JD/14]

Melanie Lalonde [BSc(Maj)/14, BSc/14, MSc/17, PhD/22] 

Dylan MacKay [PhD/14] 

Jayme Menzies [JD/13]

Dustin Murdock [MPT/20] 

Adam Nepon [MBA/18]

Liam O’Neil [BSc/08, MD/12,Med Resident/19]

Premal Patel [Medical Resident/18] 

Manon Pelletier [BesSc/06,Med Resident/12] 

Jamie Pfau [BSW/22]

Inna Rabinovich-Nikitin, post-doctoral fellow and assistant professor, Max Rady College of Medicine, Physiology and Pathophysiology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Brittany Semeniuk [MA/17] 

Amanda Sherrett [PBDipEd/21] 

Kristine Tapley [BSc(Agecol)/12, MSc/16] 

Kristjan Thompson [BSc/07, MD/11, BSc(Med)/11, Med Resident/16] 

Keaton Whitaker [BComm/16] 

Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, former UM professor

James Young [BSc/12, BEd/14] 

Learn more about these inspiring winners and nominees by reviewing the full list.

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