Today, Algoma University celebrated the academic achievements of its graduating students during this year’s annual convocation ceremony held on the waterfront of Sault Ste. Marie at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion. Algoma University Chancellor Shirley Horn conferred degrees on 234 candidates of the Class of 2019, while also awarding 67 certificates.
“On behalf of Algoma University, we extend a hearty congratulations to the Class of 2019!” said President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina. “Convocation is a time of great pride for our University community as we celebrate the achievements of our graduating students. We have truly appreciated your time with us at Algoma and wish all of you the very best in this next phase of your life journey. We look forward to hearing the future stories of your continued success!”
Melissa Reed earned the Governor General’s Silver Medal for exceptional academic achievement. Established in 1873, the medal is one of the most prestigious awards that can be received by a student in a Canadian educational institution. The Silver Medal is awarded to the undergraduate student who achieves the highest academic standing upon graduation with distinction from a Bachelor’s degree program. Reed has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and will be attending the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa this fall.
Dr. Cheryl Reed-Elder was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr. Reed-Elder began her career as Assistant Professor at Algoma University College (AUC) in 1988 with a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Dalhousie University. She continued her education during her early years at AUC and successfully completed the Board exams to become a registered Clinical and Counselling Psychologist in 1996. In her 30-year career at Algoma, she has developed and taught 20 different courses and supervised at least 50 honours thesis students. She has been department Chair for several terms (2007-present) and volunteers on several other committees each year.
As part of the ceremony, Robert Cooper was recognized as an Honorary Member of Algoma University, an award granted by the Algoma University Senate. The award is presented to individuals who have contributed distinctive and distinguished service to Algoma, as well as the community. Robert “Bob” Cooper began teaching in 1967 and is an Adjunct Professor of English at Algoma University. During his career, Bob has taught 65 courses, including English as a second language and several theatre courses. Currently, Bob teaches three freshman writing courses at Algoma and is the Staff Advisor for the Algoma Students’ Drama Club, Theatre Algoma. Bob is a veteran (and award-winning) community theatre actor, who has been doing community theatre in Sault Ste. Marie since 1967.
Adam Carpenter was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award acknowledges the accomplishments of an Algoma alumnus/a who has reached a pinnacle of personal and professional achievement in his or her chosen field. Recipients of the award have successfully demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities in business and industry, community service, or public life. Adam Carpenter’s ties to Algoma University and his community run deep and remain strongly rooted today. He has built a lifelong commitment to his alma mater since the first day he stepped onto campus as a freshman. Adam joined the Algoma University Alumni Council in 2013. He has served in a variety of roles, including member, Chair and Past Chair of the Alumni Council. He continues to be actively involved with the Alumni Council and serves on a variety of committees, including; the Thunderbird Wall of Fame, Awards Committee, Homecoming, Alumni Strategic Planning Committee, as well as being a member of the Algoma U Classic Golf Tournament Planning Committee, raising money for post-secondary student scholarships.
Josephine-ba Mandamin was the recipient of this year’s 2019 Alumni Achievement Award. The Alumni Achievement Award acknowledges the professional, civic, and personal accomplishments of an Algoma alumnus/a who has graduated within the last 10 years. Nokimis (Gramma) Bidasige Josephine-ba Mandamin was an Elder and an environmental activist from Wikwemikong Unceded Territory. She was well known for her work in the preservation of water, the healing of water and the advocacy of water. She is an alumna of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and Algoma University, graduating in 2012 with a degree in Anishinaabemowin. Gramma Bidasige was a kind and generous Anishinaabe Kwe, one who embraced all that this good life had to offer her. Sadly, Josephine-ba passed away earlier this year. Her legacy lives on through the water walks that she has inspired and passed down to the next generation.
The University will host a similar ceremony in Brampton on Saturday, June 15th for students graduating from the School of Business and Economics at Algoma’s campus in this location. This year’s ceremonies will see the Algoma U alumni family grow to over 6,400 people.