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Class Acts 2022

UWinnipeg alumni are leaders in the community; scientists, writers, artists, politicians, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who expand knowledge and inspire innovation. Class Acts provides a snapshot of these achievements and is a great way to stay connected. Whether you received an award, changed jobs, joined a committee, published a book, or explored a new hobby, we'd love to hear from you. Please e-mail alumni@uwinnipeg.ca to be included.

The following lists share alumni achievements and milestones in 2022. See 2021 Class Acts or 2020 Class Acts for more great stories.

Authors and creators

Class of 1970-1979

Sweatman, Margaret (Collegiate 71, BA 74) has released a new novel The Gunsmith's Daughter. The story of a young woman travelling to Vietnam to see the impacts of her father's weapons.


Class of 1980-1989

Bergen, David (BED 85, DLE 07) won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Out of Mind at the 2022 Manitoba Book Awards.

Casselman, Jewel (BED 88) of Lakewood School is one of five nominees for a special prize — via the MusicCounts music education charity. Casselman is in the running for the Prestigious Teacher of the Year Award, which comes with a $10,000 cash prize, as well as a contribution to the winner’s school’s music department. The 2022 Juno winners will be announced at an award ceremony May 15 in Toronto.


Class of 1990-1999

Gordon, Ariel (BA 96, BSC 96) is the Writer-In-Residence at The Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture (CCWOC) at the University of Manitoba from February to April 2022.

Greiser, Randall (BA 99) is author of The Ordinary Leader (ACHIEVE Publishing, 2017), and co-author of The Culture Question (ACHIEVE Publishing, 2019) and Don’t Blame the Lettuce: Insights to Help You Grow as a Leader and Nurture Your Workplace Culture (ACHIEVE Publishing, 2022). Don’t Blame the Lettuce explores a variety of leadership insights that will help leaders meet challenges, respond to opportunities, and nurture a healthy workplace culture in new and innovative ways.

Loewen, Wendy (BED 93) is co-author of The Culture Question (ACHIEVE Publishing, 2019) and Don’t Blame the Lettuce: Insights to Help You Grow as a Leader and Nurture Your Workplace Culture (ACHIEVE Publishing, 2022). She is the Managing Director at ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership.


Class of 2000-2009

Coates, Brenlee (BA4 09) won the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award - Children's Illustration for You Came From My Heart (Illustrations by Roberta Landreth) at the 2022 Manitoba Book Awards.

Martin, Suzanne (Suzie) (BAH 08) is the Artistic Director of Theatre Projects Manitoba.

Omand, Colleen (BA 08, BED 08, PBDE 11) is a teacher in the bilingual Cree-language program at Isaac Brock School and won first place with her grade ones in a contest put on by the Indigenous Languages Symposium. The song was the Cree version of Raffi's iconic Baby Beluga.

Woodbury, Tara (BA4 07) the executive producer of CTV’s highly successful Transplant, and was the producer of the dystopian drama film Night Raiders. She was named the first Canadian content executive for Netflix. She will be developing and commissioning scripted series for the streaming giant in Canada.


Class of 2010-2019

Carter, Eden (BA 13) is the senior video producer and cinematographer for Think Shift, but loves to do short film and creative projects in her spare time, especially in collaboration with other women-identified folks. She recently worked on the short film 'Hello my name is,' Winnipeg brothers Chris and Connor Vũ reflect on their decision to choose new names before moving to Canada.

Ferguson, Joel Robert (BA4 18) won the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry for The Lost Cafeteria at the 2022 Manitoba Book Awards.

Gregory, Taylor (BA 15, BED 17) is the Founder and Artistic Director of Meraki Theatre Productions, which is a Winnipeg based independent theatre company.

Gruwel, Marieke (BAH16) co-authored "Women's Contributions to Manitoba's Build Environment: The case of Green Clankstein Russell" published in June 2021.

Hajjar, Christina (BA 17, BBA4 17) entered the film Don't Forget the Water into the Gimli Film Festival. She was co-recipient of the audience choice award for Best Manitoba Short Film along with alumnus Ryan Steel.

Remoto, Karen (Maricar Remoto) (BA 11) is one of the co-founders of the Asian Arts Collective of Manitoba and currently works as the production co-ordinator at Winnipeg Film Group. She recently worked on the short film 'Hello my name is,' Winnipeg brothers Chris and Connor Vũ reflect on their decision to choose new names before moving to Canada.

Rackal, Carly (BAH 18) is the Creative Assistant for Meraki Theatre Productions, performing, staging, costuming, directing, and sound designing for past productions. More recently, she has helped Taylor with programming for youth camps as well as assistant teaching. 

Spillet-Sumner, Tasha (BA 12, BED 12) won the McNally Robinson Book for Young People for I Sang You Down from the Stars at the 2022 Manitoba Book Awards.

Steel, Ryan (BA 19) entered the film Portage Place Mall (With Love) into the Gimli Film Festival. He was co-recipient of the audience choice award for Best Manitoba Short Film along with alumna Christina Hajjar.

Wozny, Robert (PACE 06, BA 11) has written Storytelling for Business The Art and Science of Creating Connection in the Digital Age. Storytelling for Business reveals why storytelling remains the most impactful way to create a meaningful and sustainable connection with the people who matter the most to your business, and how to tell YOUR story well.


Class of 2020-2022

Phommarath, Sidney (BA 21) is an Asian Canadian filmmaker from Winnipeg. Her passion for social justice and documentary film making stems from her family's refugee experience. She recently worked on the short film 'Hello my name is,' Winnipeg brothers Chris and Connor Vu reflect on their decision to choose new names before moving to Canada.

 

Business and industry

Class of 1990-1999

Szklarczuk, Brian (BA 97) also has an MPA. While studying pursued an international cycling career. Following 20 years as a global health economist (EU/World Health Organization) returned to his cycling roots, co-founding Prairie Velo located in Wolseley.


Class of 2000-2009

Bedi, Akash (BA 00, BSC 01) is the President of the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board for 2022.

Bell, Shawna (PACE 05) is the Executive Director, The Christmas Cheer Board of Winnipeg.

Reimer, Maria (BAH 00) is the Board Chair for Steinbach Credit Union.

Roth, Olatope (BA4 05) has been successful in building her own accounting firm. Award winner – 2016 Afro Canadian Heroes Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Recently featured on the Cover of CPA Alberta. Mother of one amazing daughter. Non-profit founder and change agent.


Class of 2010-2019

James, Kelsey (BA 19) is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She also graduated from Red River College’s creative communications program.

Community

Class of 1960-1969

Woolison, Frances (BSC 68) along with her husband Jim (BSC 69) are founding members of Prairie Rivers Coliving Cooperative, a diverse group of people who are collaborating to create a joyous, healthy, coliving community.


Class of 1970-1979

Harrison, Trevor (BA 79) received the Speaker Research Award from the University of Lethbridge. He is renowned for his interdisciplinary approach to research that delves into many of today’s vital issues related to globalization, populism, immigration and political economy.

Skrepnek, William (BA 72) is a retired Water Resource Planner who would like to say: "still proud, keep up the good work—everyone involved with this great institution".

Trimbee, Annette (BSC 77) MacEwan University President and Vice-Chancellor, received an Indspire Award. She was recognized for implementing one of the first Indigenous course requirements in Canada during her tenure as UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor. Dr. Trimbee was also recognized for launching Build From Within – Ozhitoon Onji Peenjiiee, a program which removes barriers for Indigenous students who want to become teachers, enabling them to access UWinnipeg's Faculty of Education.


Class of 1980-1989

Casselman, Jewel (BED 88) who teaches at Lakewood School, is one of five teachers across Canada who was nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award by MusiCounts which is presented at the Juno Awards. MusiCounts is a national music education charity that helps kids across Canada learn music.


Class of 2000-2009

Hiebert, Kelly (BA 07, BED 07) was one of six teachers awarded the General Governor's History Award. Hiebert was recognized for his project that called on students to interview Holocaust survivors as well as historians, educational experts and theologians about the growing problem of hate and antisemitism in society. Students then created a documentary called “Truth Against Distortion: Survivors Speak Out Against the Rise in Hate.” It provides a record of survivors’ testimonies and an important educational resource for students.

Johnston, Carly (BAH 05) completed her MA with the University of Manitoba in 2012. She currently works for the Manitoba government's public service as an executive director.

Lentz, Tanya (BAH 01) is now a clinical neuropsychologist with a private practice in St. John's, NL. She has worked all over Canada and still misses Winnipeg.

Thiesen, Natalie (BSC 06) has been appointed the Board of Destination Canada. She is currently Vice-President of Tourism at Economic Development Winnipeg (Tourism Winnipeg). She is also a volunteer board member of Festival du Voyageur, for which she is currently President.

Whitford, Corey (BA 01) after graduation, he was hired as an announcer for Native Communications Incorporated from 2003 to 2006. Following that stint, he joined Grassroots News for the next 11 years.


Class of 2010-1019

Olynik, Brendan (BSCH 10) is an Explosives Inspector with the Government of Canada, now based in Winnipeg. Previously, he performed work as a RCMP Forensic Advisor, DNA Analyst, as well as other federal security and public service roles all across Canada.


Class of 2020-2022

Hallows, Elena (MMFT 20) "It was a 21 year journey from first course to the walk across the stage at the 2022 convocation! (I was a 2020 graduate). The degree wasn't only an academic exercise, it was a personal journey of learning how much motivation and advocacy I was capable of".

Entrepreneurs

Class of 2010 -2019

Tallman, Marc (BBA 17) is the founder of Empty Cup Collective, and has opened 3 independent cafes in Winnipeg.

Class of 2020-2022

Borys, Mackenzie (BBA4 22) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Musician Guidance. This service provides users with one-on-one mentoring, connections with music experts, and opportunities to learn directly from industry figures, including coaches, songwriters, and producers who have worked with stars such as BTS, the Jonas Brothers, and Britney Spears.

Law and public service

Class of 1960-1969

Axworthy, LLoyd (BA 61) is Co-chair along with the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration of the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.


Class of 1970-1979

Perry, Valerie (BAH 72) appointed as Queen's counsel. Queen’s counsel is an honorary title given to a lawyer by the lieutenant-governor in council, based on recommendations made by the minister of justice following consultation with an advisory council.


Class of 1980-1989

Benarroch, Michael (BAH 82) was appointed to the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.

Buchwald, Richard (Collegiate 83) was appointed to Queen's counsel. Queen’s counsel is an honorary title given to a lawyer by the lieutenant-governor in council, based on recommendations made by the minister of justice following consultation with an advisory council.

Epp, Tracey (BA 86) was appointed to Queen's Counsel. Queen’s counsel is an honorary title given to a lawyer by the lieutenant-governor in council, based on recommendations made by the minister of justice following consultation with an advisory council.

Langer, Baerbel (BA 89) was appointed to the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.


Class of 1990-1999

Delaquis, Danys (BAH 91) partner at Canty Lutz Delaquis Grant in Saint John, NB was appointed a Judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, Family Division.


Class of 2000-2009

Choi, Liz (Collegiate 01) was appointed to the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.

Friesen, Chad (PACE 02) was appointed to the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.

Pancotto, Rosanna (BA 01) was appointed to the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.

Volkov, Denys (MPA 05) was appointed to the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council.

 

 

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Class of 1990-1999

Anderson, Marcia (BSC 98) was named Physician of the Year 2022 by Doctors Manitoba for significant contribution to the practice of medicine and/​or to the community by a member of Doctors Manitoba. 


Class of 2000-2009

Jia, Fanli (BAH 08) was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure at Seton Hall University, NJ, USA.

Sports 

Class of 1970-1979

McIsaac, Tim (Collegiate 79, BED 83, BA 85) was included among Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame inductees for 2022. He won 28 medals at the four Paralympic Games between 1976 and 1988 in Para swimming. He was the first blind student to graduate from the University of Winnipeg. He will be officially inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in October.

Straub, Angela (BED 77) will be inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame for 2021 & 2022. From 1972-77, she played for Canada’s national team in numerous tournaments, was a four year starter for the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, and won a Provincial Senior Women’s championship along with a Canadian Junior Women’s championship, where she was named MVP. She has been inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Manitoba High school Sports Hall of Fame. 


Class of 2010-2019

Boru, Gololcha (BBA4 14) was awarded the 2021 Volkswagen Canada Community Change Maker after work in the soccer community caught the attention of the Canadian Premier League. This is awarded to unsung heroes in local soccer communities, those who are going above and beyond to drive inclusivity, accessibility and change for the better.

Cox, Alyssa (BA 15, BED 15) has been named the Head Coach of Wesmen Women's Basketball.

Fast, Jill (PBDE 18) is the first female varsity football head coach in the Winnipeg High School Football League coaching the Portage Collegiate Institute Trojans.