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 2023 Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award: Elder John Crier

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

Elder John Crier

Elder John Crier, ’99 BA

ASK ELDER JOHN CRIER WHAT HE remembers from his studies at Augustana, and he’ll likely begin with the friendly atmosphere and down-to-earth instructors. But what also sticks with him are the memories of hiking, canoeing and exploring he did as part of his degree, which concentrated on Indigenous studies.

“We were out on the land, looking at the features, the topography,” he says. “I went on to use a lot of that in the land‑based teachings I led.”

The member of the Samson Cree Nation has retired from his day job — he spent 12 years as an elder at the Pê Sâkâstêw Correctional Centre and 11 years on the faculty of Maskwacis Cultural College — but continues his land-based teaching at the U of A and in cultural programs in and around Maskwacîs, Alta. His community work and contributions to Augustana are some of the many reasons he is this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. From developing a healing retreat centre to mentoring youth and adults alike, Elder Crier has used long-established teachings and traditions to help empower people and heal trauma. At Augustana his support of Indigenous programming, including providing guidance for round dances and leading ceremony for over a decade, have enriched the student experience and brought his love of land-based and traditional approaches full circle.

It’s something Elder Crier says is needed now more than ever. “The way the world is going, we’re creating a toxic environment, and we need to change that,” he says. “We need to reconsider how we create the relationship with the land.” 


Lois Aspenes Award: James Mayer

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

James Mayer

James Mayer, ’11 BSc, ’13 BEd

IT'S BEEN 44 YEARS SINCE JAMES MAYER FIRST SET FOOT ON THE CAMPUS of Camrose Lutheran College — now Augustana Campus — but he can still remember the feeling of butterflies in his stomach as he lined up at the registrar’s office. The small-town, 18-year-old kid from Camrose was in a completely new environment. “I was so intimidated,” he remembers.

He quickly learned, however, that one of the advantages of attending a small school like Augustana is that people are more than willing to help. It was a lesson that Mayer would often think about as he moved on to North Campus to complete his degree and later join the family business in Camrose as an insurance broker. It was a lesson that made him want to give back to students, too. His many contributions to the life of the campus make him this year’s Lois Aspenes Award recipient. In the past four decades, Mayer has been a constant supporter of Augustana, volunteering his time and money to everything from establishing student scholarships to off-setting the cost of acquiring scientific and athletic equipment. Mayer has also been an avid proponent and board member of the Battle River Community Foundation, which has also supported Augustana in various ways through the years.

He says it’s Augustana’s support and involvement in the community that has made him want to stay involved all these years later.

“Augustana is such a jewel, and I am so fortunate to be able to give back.”


Alumni Citation Award: Dee Patriquin

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

Dee Patriquin

Dee Patriquin

DEE PATRIQUIN KNOWS A THING or two about how to work with others — especially when it comes to solving big environmental problems. It’s one of the reasons she is this year’s recipient of the Alumni Citation Award.

For over 30 years, the environmental scientist and consultant has collaborated with people from diverse disciplines to find answers to some of the big environmental challenges facing our society. Whether in her current role as district environmental manager with Flatiron Constructors Canada or in past projects involving government and industry partners, Patriquin has had a similar goal: Getting people to work together — some of whom might have vastly different views about how things should unfold.

It’s a skill she has put to good use at Augustana both in and out of the classroom. As a professor, mentor and volunteer with initiatives like the Beaver Hills Biosphere, collaboration has been her North Star. She says the biggest challenge in fostering co-operation between people with different viewpoints is establishing trust between them. “You have to create a setting that allows them to talk about the problem from all those different perspectives and ask the questions that come up.”

She stresses that no single discipline has the answer, but when we listen to one another, we can find our way through the woods. “Building the realization that everybody has a role to play in solving these complex environmental problems is really critical.”


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