Past Recipients

See the past recipients of the University of Alberta's Community Connections Awards.



Community Scholar: Shalene Jobin

A scholar of Indigenous studies, Professor Jobin has devoted her career to Indigenous community engagement through her research, public education, consultations, and the expertise and support she brings into the communities she works with. The impact of her scholarship stretches well beyond the university’s borders; Professor Jobin regularly assists government and industry to engage more ethically with Indigenous communities, and helped to establish a self-government agreement between the Government of Canada and the Métis Nation of Alberta—the very first of its kind.

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Community Leader: WISEST

For almost 40 years, WISEST has inspired and empowered thousands of women, girls, and underrepresented groups to excel in science, engineering, technology and scholarship. Through education, outreach and mentorship, WISEST has reduced barriers and fostered inclusion across STEM fields, and facilitated invaluable experiences and mentorship opportunities for women and girls.

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UAlberta Advocate: Grocery Run & Fresh Routes Community Partnership

Through their community partnership, Grocery Run and Fresh Routes endeavour to help all Edmontonians access affordable, nutritious food and make informed decisions about healthy lifestyles. Their collaborative approach brings together the university, the City of Edmonton, community farms and gardens, nonprofit organizations, cultural associations, and local businesses to better tackle food insecurity and waste.

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Megan Strickfaden, Community Scholar

Community Scholar Award: Megan Strickfaden

As a design anthropologist, Dr. Strickfaden uses design to inspire better quality of life for those people who are often left vulnerable, marginalized, and disadvantaged by their environment. She works with cities and organizations around the world to bring her research to life: she has helped design purpose-built dementia care facilities, improve transportation systems for persons with disabilities, and re-imagine urban planning to support people with visual impairments.

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Lisa Prins, Community Leader

Community Leader Award: Lisa Prins

Ms. Prins follows a passion for post-secondary education that has helped found whole learning communities beyond the borders of campus. As the coordinator for Humanities 101, she brings free university-level courses to passionate learners who face economic, institutional, and social barriers to education.

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UAlberta Advocate Award: Recruitment Outreach & Work Experiences Team - City of Edmonton

UAlberta Advocate Award: Talent Outreach and Work Experience Programs - City of Edmonton

The Edmonton Talent Outreach and Work Experience team has made an unmatched commitment to connecting U of A students with transformative experiences that kick-start careers and open them to future opportunities. They consistently enable and encourage their full network of city employees to participate in job shadowing, opening up a diversity of new experiences and opportunities for our students.

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2018 Community Scholar Michael Frishkopf

Community Scholar: Michael Frishkopf

Professor (Arts, Medicine & Dentistry), Dr. Frishkopf has used music to build cultural understanding and awareness across campuses, cities, and even continents. His efforts have supported cultural connections and promoted health and education in regions as far away as Africa and the Middle East to bring about positive social change.

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The 2018 Community Leader AlbertaSat

Community Leader: AlbertaSat

Composed of more than 50 undergraduate and graduate students, the AlbertaSat team brought our province into space for the first time. They have proudly represented the U of A, served as ambassadors to alumni across the country, and educated and inspired thousands of school-aged children in Alberta through community outreach.

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2018 Ualberta Advocate Michael Aherne

UAlberta Advocate: Michael Aherne

A proud alumnus, Michael Aherne has helped to inspire a new generation of leaders at the U of A. Volunteering his time and expertise as a Peter Lougheed Leadership College mentor, he has guided U of A students on their personal leadership journeys, and helped share their efforts with the broader community.

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Community Scholar: Elaine Hyshka

Assistant Professor (School of Public Health), Elaine Hyshka approaches the issue of substance use through a public health lens.She works with policymakers, healthcare providers, and public health organizations to conduct research and improve health services.

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Community Leader: University Health Centre Nursing Team

(Crystal Hoven, Carly Lang, Terry Scott, Melissa Williams, Beth Woytas)

The team quickly set up a triage station, providing essential medical and emotional support for the displaced persons whose lives had been devastated by the Fort McMurray fire.

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The UAlberta Advocate: Shirley Ross

Professor Emerita, Faculty of ALES, Shirley Ross is an instrumental volunteer at the U of A's Green and Gold Community Garden. She shares her experience and knowledge freely, and is a friend and mentor to everyone involved in the project.

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Community Scholars: Catherine Chan and Rhonda Bell

Catherine Chan and Rhonda Bell, professors of human nutrition in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, have used their scholarship to create The Pure Prairie Eating Plan to support people living with chronic disease.

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Community Leader: The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Advocacy Committee

The SOGIAC was formed as a support group for Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry students struggling with issues related to their sexual orientation or gender. Their advocacy work has brought about change to the medical school curriculum, fostering a new generation of health-care professionals who are better informed, more sensitive, and better able to help change the lives of LGBTQ individuals throughout the community.

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UAlberta Advocate: Calder Bateman

Calder Bateman's work on the "Pride Tape" and initiatives through the U of A's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) has brought international media coverage and attention to these issues and was performed completely as an in-kind donation of time, talent, and passion.

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Community Scholar: Candace Nykiforuk

An Associate Professor (School of Public Health), Candace Nykiforuk has built and nurtured strong collaborations with local, provincial, and national partners, making key contributions to the health of our communities. Her "Community Health and the Built Environment" suite of projects explores how changing the built environment influences healthy decisions.

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Community Leader: Adopt a Heritage Chicken Program

Operated by the Poultry Research Station (Faculty of ALES), the program gives community members an opportunity to adopt a chicken from the program and, in return, receive a dozen eggs every other week while also giving them an easy way to become connected with the world of agriculture, and highlights the importance of biodiversity and genetic preservation of our food resources.

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UAlberta Advocate: Jack Francis

After a distinguished career as an animal technician in the Faculty of ALES, Jack Francis saw an opportunity to preserve agricultural history. Jack proposed starting an agricultural museum on the U of A's South Campus to collect and store agricultural artifacts. His dedication to the project has strengthened the connection between the university and the province's agriculture and food industries.

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Community Scholar: Cindy Blackstock

Cindy Blackstock has used her research to empower First Nations children and youth to create social change through the Shannen's Dream movement for education, to gain Parliamentary support for Jordan's Principle protecting access to government services to First Nations children in need, and to lead a historic human rights case on First Nations children's equity. Her research and advocacy activities have been used as models for children's rights movements around the world.

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Community Leader: The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus

The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus is a musical tradition spanning seven decades, all the while remaining wholly student-run. In addition to a roster of community performances in and around Edmonton through the academic year, the chorus takes annual spring tours throughout Western Canada and beyond, acting as ambassadors for the university and drawing alumni virtually everywhere they perform.

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UAlberta Advocate: Jim Hole

From his days as a student leader and athlete to becoming one of Alberta's most respected business leaders, Jim has devoted thousands of volunteer hours to advocacy for his alma mater. He has served as President of the Alumni Council, honorary co-chair of the university's centenary celebrations, a member of the U of A Senate and, most recently, as a member of the U of A Board of Governors. He has also been an integral contributor to the Senate's U School program.

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Community Scholar: Lola Baydala

Dr. Lola Baydala is a pediatrician, University of Alberta associate professor, and an advocate for the well-being of children. Her work goes far beyond her medical practice, focusing on the promotion and development of health education. By inviting community members to share their beliefs, protocols and input, she has helped Aboriginal communities create child-focused health programs designed to meet the unique needs of each community.

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Community Leader: Sharon Morsink

In addition to Sharon's regular teaching duties as an associate professor (Faculty of Science), she and her team of student volunteers have co-ordinated the U of A's campus observatory program, working together to make the facility accessible for all ages. Through those efforts, members of the public experience stargazing, free lectures and demonstrations on campus.

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UAlberta Advocate: Renée Vaugeois

Renée Vaugeois serves as executive director of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and has helped launch a number of human rights initiatives at the community level, including the U of A's Peace and Post Conflict Studies Certificate program. She has spearheaded projects such as the Ainembabazi Children's Project, the Ignite Change Now! Global Youth Assembly, and "Get Out and Stay Out" a two-day event held in conjunction with the U of A's Kule Institute for Advanced Study.

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