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Associated Alumni

2017 Proudly UNB Award Recipients

2017 Proudly UNB Awards

Recipient list

Alumni Award of Distinction

Cindy Donovan

Cindy Donovan, CEO of Loch Lomond Villa, a Saint John nursing home, has devoted much of her professional life to enhancing the lives of older adults and promoting positive aging. A Lieutenant Governor’s award recipient for Excellence in Aging (2016), Donovan has also been awarded the Rotary Vocational Award and the CCHSE Quality of Life Award. Donovan introduced Planetree©, a person-centered care model, into the nursing home and the province, resulting in Loch Lomond Villa being the only site in New Brunswick and the largest continuing care organization in the world to achieve this designation. Donovan was instrumental in bringing nurse practitioners into New Brunswick and in 2016 was appointed to the Council on Aging tasked with writing a 10 year aging strategy for NB. 

Alumni Award of Distinction

Ann Gushurst

Ann Gushurst, shareholder and president of Griffiths Law, PC family law firm, has established herself as a leader in family law litigation, mediation and collaborative law. She co-counseled a ground breaking case, which resulted in same sex marriage legalization in Colorado in 2015. Other landmark cases have successfully established legal parental status for same-sex parents, impacting similar cases in Colorado and across the United States. Gushurst has received numerous recognitions including 2014 Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado and Top 100 Colorado Lawyers (2014 – present). Gushurst also volunteers her time to Metro Volunteer Lawyers, a non-profit dedicated to providing free legal services. 

Alumni Volunteers of the Year

Ruth & Tracy

Ruth Henry-Dickinson and Tracy MacDonald, both former varsity women’s basketball players, share a passion for the sport and their alma mater. As members of the organizing committee for the 2016 CIS Women’s Basketball Nationals at UNB Fredericton, they organized a very successful reunion and celebration for VReds/Red Bloomers women basketball alumni, including a ‘Meet the Team’ breakfast, engaged alumni via social media leading up to and during the tournament, and promoted the fundraising campaign for a new scholarship in memory of a former player. In addition to their efforts in 2016, both Henry- Dickinson and MacDonald have volunteered in various other capacities within the university. 

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Feiber Omana

Feiber Omana, a native of Colombia, came to Fredericton as a high school exchange student and went on to receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal before graduating from UNB. After UNB, Omana attended Harvard Business School where he received the highest distinction in the MBA program. Formerly an investment banker in Toronto, New York and Calgary, Omana is a key contributor to Shaw’s strategic realignment as Vice-President, Corporate Development & Capital Markets for Shaw Communications. Omana has credited much of his success to UNB and the scholarship support he received. A strong supporter of the university, he graciously founded the Irene Leckie Memorial Scholarship and is currently sitting on the advisory board for UNB’s Centre for Financial Studies. 

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Kayley Reed

Kayley Reed is co-founder and CEO of Wear Your Label (WYL), a fashion brand dedicated to ending the stigma around mental health. Reed is also a passionate mental health advocate, writer, and public speaker. Since launching WYL in 2014, the company has received national and international attention from outlets like the Globe and Mail, BuzzFeed, MTV, FASHION Magazine and People. WYL has also participated in New York Fashion Week and Toronto’s Startup Fashion Week, and was 1 of 6 startups to join the Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation. Reed is also an ambassador for RBC #ChangeAgents campaign, has spoken at two WE Day celebrations and has received numerous awards, including Notable Young Entrepreneur (2016) and Lieutenant Governor General’s Silver Medal of Distinction (2014). 

Alumni Award of Distinction

Dr. Christopher Simpson

Dr. Chris Simpson, vice-dean of the School of Medicine at Queen’s University, is recognized as a national and international leader in cardiology. As past-president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Simpson championed seniors’ care, and helped guide the profession on issues of medical aid in dying and medical marijuana. Simpson has authored or co-authored more than 350 peer-reviewed papers and is an active clinician, educator and researcher. He has been a member of numerous boards and organizations throughout his career and was elected to fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2015. 

Alumni Award of Distinction

Jeffrey Sparkes

Jeff Sparks is the National Director for Volunteer Engagement and Organizational Development with Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) and a true inspiration for people living with disabilities. Well known in the Saint John community as an active volunteer, he devotes significant efforts advocating for people with disabilities in both his professional and volunteer work. A Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), Sparks has received numerous awards including the YMCA Leader to Watch (2007), 21 Leaders for the 21st Century (2005) and the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award (1992). 

Alumni Award of Honour

Catherine Sutherland

Catherine Sutherland has been a long time volunteer and supporter of the University and the Associated Alumni/ Alumnae. She served as a member of the Alumnae Council for several years, succeeding to the position of President from 2006 – 2008. During this time, Sutherland was instrumental in advocating on high profile issues including the 2007 recommendation that the SJ campus become a polytechnic and the 2008 change in the women’s hockey program from a varsity to a club sport. Sutherland also served on the Board of Governors and Senate, and has been a longtime volunteer of the Associated Alumni, regularly attending various UNB and Association events. 

Proudly UNB Awards

Learn more about our Proudly UNB awards program