Faculty Alumni Awards

It is a long standing tradition to present outstanding Alumni with awards in recognition of their career achievements, continued support of the campus community and the valuable time that they have given to the institution. The award recipients exemplify what it means "to Lead and to Serve".

Nominate an alum who you know is doing great things!

Augustana Alumni 2020 Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr Deena Hinshaw

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus/a in recognition of outstanding achievement in one’s vocation.

 Photo of Deena Hinshaw.

Since graduating from Augustana University College in 1997, Dr. Deena Hinshaw has dedicated her career to the health and well-being of Albertans.

After her time on campus, Dr. Hinshaw pursued medical school at the University of Alberta. Following graduation, she completed a residency in family and community medicine at the U of A, which included earning a master of public health degree. After completing clinical training, she stayed connected to the U of A as a clinical professor with the Division of Preventive Medicine.

While most know Dr. Hinshaw for her current role as Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, her work in public health began over a decade ago; first as a medical officer of health in the Central Zone, then the medical officer of health lead in the area of public health surveillance
and infrastructure. This position was followed by serving as the deputy chief medical officer of health in the Ministry of Health before taking on her current position.

Over the past year, Dr. Hinshaw’s work has moved into the public eye due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this enhanced public-facing expectation and the increased demands of her role, Dr. Hinshaw has continued to lead Alberta through the challenges of the pandemic,
embodying the Augustana value of servant-leadership in her calm and compassionate way. 

“Here at Augustana, we can hardly take credit for Dr. Hinshaw’s many accomplishments,” said Dean Demetres Tryphonopoulos, “but we are proud to have played a small part in her education and development.”


Lois Aspenes Award: Yvonne Becker

Awarded to an alumnus/a in recognition of significant contributions to the Alumni Association or to the life of Augustana.

 Photo of Yvonne Becker.

Throughout her involvement at Augustana—as a student, athlete, professor, coach, athletic director, volunteer, donor and community member—Yvonne Becker has cemented herself as a standard of involvement for others to embrace and emulate.

With her many commitments stretching across campus, Yvonne became known as one of the first people who would volunteer and lend a helping hand. In each role, whether as a coach on the court sidelines or as a volunteer welcoming donors to an annual awards banquet, Yvonne has worked to build up our community with those around her.

“Every bit of every day and every interaction is important,” said Yvonne.

Yvonne’s work to improve the Augustana community has also reached beyond campus. In particular, she’s dedicated countless hours towards the betterment of athletics within the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), often as the only female voice around the executive table. Such work included introducing a harassment policy for both associations, improving equity requirements within the CCAA, working to establish the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program (which still runs today) and becoming an enduring champion of female collegiate sport, all while promoting the Augustana experience to her peers.

With all that she has done and continues to do, Yvonne has bettered the Augustana community by being a part of it, making her a deserving recipient of the 2020 Lois Aspenes Award.

“Augustana is the thread that pulls through much of my life,” said Yvonne, “I take seriously the ‘to lead and to serve’ part of our history, and I think that's an important part of creating a profound community.”


Alumni Citation Award: Margaret Rathnavalu

Awarded to a non alumnus/a in recognition of significant contributions to the life of Augustana.

Photo of Margaret Rathnavalu.

As a small, residential campus in rural Alberta, Augustana is closely tied to the members of its surrounding community. A shining example of how this connection can manifest is through the engagement of the 2020 Alumni Citation Award recipient—Margaret Rathnavalu.

Margaret has been a member of the Camrose community since she was young, and credits her upbringing for instilling active neighbour and community interaction as an essential way of life. Today, this value is seen in how Margaret thoughtfully offers her time to Augustana.

Whether it’s attending campus events and workshops, furthering the education of students through student awards or supporting Spirit of the Land conferences and the Chester Ronning Centre, one can be sure Margaret is involved.

Margaret’s enthusiasm for the campus and its liberal arts and sciences education is clear in her advocacy. From 2012 to 2018, Margaret championed the Spirit of the Land conference that attracted people from across Alberta to campus every fall to discuss key topics of our time. Most recently, her leadership took form in the promotion of Augustana’s impact—on both students and the surrounding community—by organizing a Friends of Augustana rally held last summer. During a time when many were distant and isolated due to pandemic restrictions, the rally brought our community together to share their campus experiences—all while ensuring provincial health regulations were met.

Margaret’s willingness to not only get engaged but advocate for the campus demonstrates how community members make significant contributions to life at Augustana and the experiential education of its students. Without people like Margaret, our Augustana Campus would not be the same.

“I’m just an ordinary person,” said Margaret, “but ordinary people are important in this world.”

A printable (pdf format) Awards Nomination Form is provided below. Nominations will be considered by the Alumni Association Nominations and Awards Committee. The committee's recommendations are then provided to the Augustana Alumni Association Advisory Committee for final decision.

Instructions for returning nomination forms is provided on the form.

Possible awards:

Distinguished Alumni Award
Awarded to an alumnus/a in recognition of outstanding achievement in one's vocation.

Lois Aspenes Award:
Awarded to an alumnus/a in recognition of significant contributions to the Alumni Association or to the life of Augustana.

Citation Award:
Awarded to a non alumnus/a in recognition of significant contributions to the life of Augustana.

Award Nomination Form