2021 Recipients


Marilyn Hundleby, PhD, RPsych, CRHSP

Order of St. Stephen’s College

Dr. Marilyn Hundleby is recognized for her work with Wellspring Edmonton, both as one of the founders of the organization and as the current Psychologist and Program Director. Under her leadership, Wellspring Edmonton offers a broad range of programs that afford a multitude of opportunities to gain deeper understandings of the lived experiences of patients and families going through a diagnosis of cancer, including treatment and beyond. At present, Wellspring Edmonton provides over 48 evidence-based and evidence-informed programs offered by credentialled and experienced facilitators. These programs span many categories—Expressive Arts, Exercise, Music, and Group and Individual Support—and are designed to address the needs of patients, partners, the bereaved, caregivers, volunteers, and family members. Dr. Hundleby’s involvement with Wellspring Edmonton stretches back to 2008, when she was one of the founding members of the organization and worked tirelessly to fundraise the materials and labour needed to construct Wellspring Edmonton’s 12,000 sqft. facility. A major area of interest for Dr. Hundleby throughout her career has been the integration of the Arts in the healing process, particularly after medical or psychological trauma. She is the author of numerous academic articles, presentations, posters, and workshops, including co-author (with S. Abbott) of Cancer and the Art of Healing (Alberta Cancer Foundation, 2006). Prior to her work at Wellspring Edmonton, she also founded the Arts in Medicine Program at the Cross Cancer Institute. Dr. Hundleby is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a Salute to Excellence Award from the City of Edmonton (2018), two awards from Look Good Feel Better (2012 and 2017), and she was named a Global Edmonton Woman of Vision (2002).

lorraine-nicely-imageLorraine Nicely, MTh, MRelEd, BEd

Doctor of Sacred Letters (honoris causa)

Lorraine Nicely is honoured for her transformative and integrative contributions in the areas of pastoral counselling, spiritually-integrated psychotherapy, and ecological spirituality. In addition to graduate degrees in theology and religious education, Ms. Nicely holds professional certifications as a CASC/ACSS Certified Psycho-Spiritual Therapist, a CASC/ACSS Certified Supervisor-Educator (PCE), and a Diplomate of the American Association of Pastoral Counsellors. Ms. Nicely’s contributions to the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care/Association canadienne de soins spirituels (CASC/ACSS) are numerous and well celebrated. She is a past president of CASC/ACSS (1991–1992), during which time she addressed aspects of the Association’s governance that disadvantaged women. Under her leadership, the Association also developed and secured its first Code of Ethics, which in turn led to the establishment of common standards for ethics and professional behaviour across Canada and the United States. In the mid-1980s, Ms. Nicely was hired by the Pastoral Institute of Edmonton as both a pastoral counsellor and supervisor. As the Director of Training and later Executive Director, Ms. Nicely assisted in the transformation of the Pastoral Institute of Edmonton into the Community Counselling Centre in 1995. Her work at the Community Counselling Centre caused Ms. Nicely to see the need for Edmonton-based, graduate level education in pastoral counselling. As a result, in the early 2000s she was one of the co-founders of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling degree at St. Stephen’s College (known today as the Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality). Ms. Nicely served St. Stephen’s College in many capacities through her career, both on the Academic Senate (2002–2011) and as both a member and chair/convenor of the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Program Committee (1998–2018). During these years, Ms. Nicely also founded and facilitated the Kukui Fountainhead Retreat Centre in Devon, Alberta (1999–2017), and she shared regularly in the communal life of Edmonton’s L’Arche community (2009–2020). The Kukui Fountainhead Retreat Centre fostered nature-centered spiritual practices that modelled ecologically sustainable ways of living off the land. Through almost two decades of work at Kukui Fountainhead, and a decade with L’Arche, Ms. Nicely fostered welcoming, sacred spaces that nourished body and soul for anyone seeking spiritually-integrated counselling, spiritual direction, and innovative healing modalities. Ms. Nicely is the recipient of the CASC/ACSS Award of Excellence in Pastoral Practice: Counselling (2006), she was one of four women recognized by CASC/ACSS at the “Honouring Women” celebration (2010), and she is the recipient of the CASC/ACSS Verda Rochon Distinguished Service Award (2018). Through her years of service to the community at Kukui Fountainhead, her private practice, and her mentoring of spiritual caregivers, Ms. Nicely has embodied and practiced the College’s understanding of ministry as “the self-reflective awareness of the nurturing quality of service to the human community and Earth.”


Omar Yaqub, BSc, MBA

Doctor of Sacred Letters (honoris causa)

Omar Yaqub is honoured for his exceptional service that has brought about transformation and international recognition to Edmonton’s social services sector. Mr. Yaqub currently serves as the Servant of Servants (Executive Director) of Edmonton’s Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA). Through multiple years of volunteer and professional service, he has helped IFSSA grow from a neighbourhood organization that served 2,500 people per year to a Canadian leader that serves 5,000 people per month. Under his guidance, IFSSA has increased access to socially, spiritually, and culturally relevant services for marginalized and barriered populations across a number of realms, including food security, domestic violence, corrections, and foster care. Through his work with IFSSA, Mr. Yaqub has made significant contributions to faith communities and the social services sector in Edmonton, forging partnerships with the Greater Edmonton Alliance, the Edmonton Food Bank, Bent Arrow, Catholic Social Services, the Mennonite Central Committee, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and 30+ Muslim organizations. Mr. Yaqub is regarded as a unifying figure who has helped connect isolated communities to one another. He has turned intra-community rivalries into partnerships and alliances in diverse areas from politics to social services. When he started with IFSSA, the Association’s focus was primarily on one Edmonton suburb; today it is a culturally and spiritually relevant organization that provides service in 8+ languages, works closely with Indigenous partners, and draws together diverse peoples with origins in 60+ nations. Mr. Yaqub has created sustainable sacred spaces within the Muslim community that are welcoming of different faiths and focussed on those in need of service. Through his advocacy, the first Muslim paid chaplaincy program was created at the University of Alberta and NAIT. He has also worked from a multi-faith position, including partnership building with Mennonites and Catholics to help settle 500+ refugees in Edmonton, forging connections with Indigenous Elders, and working with Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and others to advocate for more inclusive schooling practices within the Edmonton Public School Board. Mr. Yaqub is the recipient of several awards, including the EMCN Rise Award for Community Service (2015), the University of Alberta Business School Coop Mentor of the Year (2015), and an Alberta Centennial Medal of Honour (2005). Under his leadership, the IFSSA received the Government of Alberta Inspiration Award for Combating Domestic Violence (2020), the Canadian Mental Health Association Professional Care Award (2020), and has achieved accreditation with Imagine Canada (2020).