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Annual Report

Saluting our outstanding alumni

Seated, from left: Tracey MacDonald, Kayley Reed, Catherine Sutherland, Dr. Christopher Simpson, and Jeffrey Sparks. Standing, from left: Ruth Henry-Dickinson, Feiber Omana, Cindy Donovan, Ann Gushurt, Jennifer Waldschutz and President of the UNB Associated Alumni Brooke Yeates.

Members of the University of New Brunswick community have been making differences in the world around them since UNB was established. Our students, faculty, staff and alumni are volunteers, leaders, visionaries and, above all, committed to improving lives through their work.

Every year, outstanding alumni are celebrated through the Proudly UNB awards – saluted for their achievements and their ability to inspire. They bring honour to themselves and to their alma mater.

In 2017, we saluted the following nine members of the UNB family.

Alumni Award of Honour

Catherine Sutherland (BA ’78, BBA ’94) is a devoted longtime supporter of UNB. Mrs. Sutherland served on the Associated Alumnae Council for several years, including as Alumnae president from 2006 to 2008. She has been a strong advocate for UNB’s Saint John campus. Mrs. Sutherland volunteers regularly in the community as well as on the Alumnae and Alumni Associations. She shows her fierce pride in her alma mater at many alumni celebrations and is an outstanding ambassador for UNB.

Alumni Award of Distinction

Ann Gushurst (LLB ’94) is a leader in family law litigation, mediation and collaborative law with the Colorado family law firm of Gutterman Griffiths PC. She served as co-counsel on the case that brought marriage equality to Colorado and is considered a pioneer in human rights issues. She helped found the practice of collaborative law in Colorado, in addition to her work as a supporter of Metro Volunteer Lawyers, a non-profit which provides free legal services.

Dr. Christopher Simpson (BSc ’90) is the vice-dean clinical of the School of Medicine at Queen’s University, medical director of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization and former president of the Canadian Medical Association. Dr. Simpson has been instrumental in championing senior care, and helping guide the medical profession on the controversial fronts of assisted dying and medical marijuana. Dr. Simpson is widely recognized in his field as a national and international leader in cardiology, and is an active clinician, educator and researcher who has authored or co-authored some 350 peer-reviewed papers.

Jeffrey Sparks (BBA ’96) is the national director of volunteer engagement and organizational development with Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Mr. Sparks is well-known in his community as a champion of people living with disabilities and has made significant efforts to raise funds for the organization and increase awareness of neuromuscular disorders. In his past role as president of the Saint John Ability Advisory committee. he implemented an accessible sidewalk policy and enhance the city’s para-transit system. Mr. Sparks has been named a YMCA Leader to Watch, named one of the Leaders for the 21st Century and received a Terry Fox Humanitarian Award for his contributions.

Cindy Donovan (BN ’85) is the CEO of Loch Lomond Villa, a long-term care centre in Saint John. She has led the organization through a paradigm shift toward resident-centred care in the facility, and working to expand the model throughout the province. A leader at the local, provincial and national levels, Ms. Donovan was instrumental in bringing nurse practitioners into New Brunswick nursing homes. As a member of the Council on Aging, she contributed to the development of a 10-year aging strategy for the province.

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Feiber Omana (BBA ’06) garnered the highest first-year GPA and the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal at UNB as an international student from Columbia working three jobs. After graduating from the Harvard Business School’s MBA program with the highest distinction, he has gone on to become vice-president of corporate development and capital markets for Shaw Communications. In this role, Mr. Omana has contributed to several nationally recognized transactions, including the acquisition of Wind Mobile and the disposition of Shaw Media.

Kayley Reed (BPhil ’14) is the CEO of Wear Your Label, a fashion brand dedicated to raising mental health awareness. Since launching, Wear Your Label has drawn attention from the Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, MTV, FASHION magazine and People, and partnered with Joe Fresh. Miss Reed has continued to try to break the stigma surrounding mental health through public speaking and writing.

Alumni Volunteer of the Year

Ruth Henry Dickinson (BEd ’78) and Tracy MacDonald (BScCE ’94) are long-time volunteers with the women’s basketball program, and are themselves former players with the Red Bloomers. During the CIS Women’s Basketball Nationals, they put together a major reunion weekend for former players. Dedicating their time on a wholly volunteer basis, they developed an full event schedule that included a meet-the-team breakfast. They also promoted a fundraising campaign for the establishment of a scholarship in memory of a former player.

Honorary Membership

Jennifer Waldschutz is not a graduate of UNB, but her tireless efforts as an international recruiter have helped extend the UNB community to every corner of the globe. Miss Waldschutz spends eight months of the year travelling to India, the United Kingdom, Africa and the Middle east, promoting the university to prospective students while engaging existing alumni. Hundreds of students she maintains contact with have been able to experience everything the university has to offer through her efforts.