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Class Acts 2023

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 2022 Class Acts or 2021 Class Acts for more great stories.

Authors and creators

Class of 1960-1969

Klassen, Sarah (BA 63) was nominated at the Manitoba Book Awards 2023. Her novel The Russian Daughter was shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

Matas, Carol (Collegiate 67) is the 2023 Silver Birch Express Award Nominee for grade 3 – 4 fiction book Who’s Looking? How Animals See the World.

Class of 1970-1979

Burgess, Linda Lori (BA 74) has published the book “Five Minutes to Curtain - A Teacher’s Guide for Creating and Staging Original Plays” J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing 2022.

Sweatman, Margaret (Collegiate 71, BA 74) was nominated at the Manitoba Book Awards 2023. Her book The Gunsmith’s Daughter was shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

Walton, Diane (BA 73) in 2022, she and her husband, Rick LeBlanc, sold their long-time Alberta home, retired and moved to Nova Scotia, in the heart of the Acadian community where Rick grew up. she continues to manage the Canadian Science Fiction Magazine, On Spec.

Class of 1980-1989

Posner, Ari  (Collegiate 88) is the 2022 Canadian Screen Award Winner for Best Original Music, Animation for Let’s Go Luna! The Way of the Gaucho.

Walsh, Meeka (BA 84) was nominated at the Manitoba Book Awards 2023 in several categories. She was shortlisted for the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award for her book Malleable Forms.

Werthman, Nerissa (Collegiate 81) is the curator of  Instant Opus Improv Series, a long-running series where she has the privilege of asking amazing New Orleans musicians who've never played together before to perform completely improvised music to a captivated crowd of jazz nerds.

Class of 1990-1999

Robertson, David A., (BA 99) was nominated at the Manitoba Book Awards 2023 in several categories. His book The Theory of Crows was shortlisted for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. The Stone Child: The Misewa Saga, Book Three was shortlisted for the McNally Robinson Book for Young People (Older Category) award and Version Control was shortlisted in the graphic novel category. He was also short listed for the Manitowapow award.

Rahman, Saira (Collegiate 99) established the film production company Snow Angel Films in 2010 with her sister Nilufer. Their mission is to tell compelling stories through diverse voices that encourage constructive conversations toward shaping a more sustainable and compassionate world. Saira and her sister were named as two of Ace Burpee’s Top 100 Most Fascinating Manitobans for 2022.

Class of 2000-2009

Bautista, Darlyne (BAH 05) wrote a children's book to be used by the Winnipeg School Division in it's Filipino bilingual school program. Where is Winnipeg? is a heart-warming tale that will give kids a sense of what it may mean to move from the Philippines to Canada.

Cherissa Richards (BAH 02) is the director of the production of Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind, on from Feb. 15 to March 11, 2023 at the John Hirsch Mainstage at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Class of 2010-2019

Barker, Ila (Collegiate 13, BA 17) had her song Intuition licensed for Travel Manitoba’s Explore MB Campaign.

Brodovsky, Jacob (Collegiate 10) released a new album I Love You and I’m Sorry. He is a singer-songwriter, summer camp director, and college radio host from Winnipeg.

Dreaver, Sylvia (BAH 18) is a curator and cultural worker. Sylvia currently works at the Canada Council for the Arts with Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations.

Fraser–Monroe, Cameron (Collegiate 17) is Ballet Kelowna’s Artist in Residence for the 2022-23 season.

Mann, Cassidy (Collegiate 13) was named one of five Indigenous artists who are “changing our sonic landscape” by The Globe and Mail.


Business and industry

Class of 2000-2009

Koldingnes, Vanessa (BA 06) has been appointed Vice-President (External) at the University of Manitoba.

Zajac, Nicole (BA 07) CPA and MBA. Nicole is the Chief Financial Officer and a Partner at Penner Oil. She was recently named as a 2023 CPA Manitoba Early Achiever Award recipient.

Ward, Connor (Collegiate 05) is the co-owner of a speakeasy in the owner of The Basement Speakeasy and Comedy Lounge located in the Howard Johnson Hotel on Portage Ave. in Winnipeg. The 6000-square-foot venue, outfitted with vintage furniture to look like a prohibition-style speakeasy, plays host to various types of live entertainment including comedy, jazz concerts and burlesque shows.

Class of 2010-2019

Burr, Ashley (BSC4 12) continues to work in the clinic with the general public and with various sports. She has a special interest in pregnancy & postnatal care & minimalist footwear. She is also a con-ed instructor for External Approaches to Pelvic Health & Intro to Cupping.

Fenn, Taylor (BA4 19) is the new Director of Marketing and Communications at Peak of the Market. Fenn joins Peak of the Market after three years in the communications department at the Louis Riel School Division. Peak of the Market Ltd. markets quality produce; supplying a wide variety of fresh, quality vegetables across Canada and throughout the United States.

Class of 2020-2029

Kulshrestha, Anu (PACE 21) has been working as an Application Developer in Market Force Information LLC since July 2021.

Redhead, Marie-Anne (BAH 21) is the new Assistant Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art at The Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq. She is of Ininiwak and Francophone heritage, and is a member of the Fox Lake Cree Nation of northern Manitoba.


Class of 1970-1979

Card, Ruth (BA 70) has lived in Saskatchewan since 1972 when she was offered a position as a social worker in Weyburn after graduating with a Master of Social Work from U of Manitoba that year. She is retired and married to Greg Grace (BA 69), also retired and they live in Regina.

Walton, Diane (BA 73) in 2022, she and her husband, Rick LeBlanc, sold their long-time Alberta home, retired and moved to Nova Scotia, in the heart of the Acadian community where Rick grew up. she continues to manage the Canadian Science Fiction Magazine, On Spec.

Class of 1980-1989

Casselman, Jewel (BED 88) won a Juno as MusiCounts teacher of the year for her dedication to early music education.

Green, Fiona (BA 87) was profiled on CBC as one of nine profiles on outstanding Manitoba women in honour of International Women's Day. Read profile

Class of 2010-2019

Bhathal, Prabhjeet (PACE 18) found PACE to be both a very professional and fun loving atmosphere at the same time. His instructors wre trained professionals working as Project Managers.

Cheung, Yu (BAH 14) is currently studying Ph.D. in Criminology at the University of South Carolina with a focus on policing and intimate partner homicide. In addition, he served as a secretary of international student affairs at the graduate student association.


Class of 2000-2009

Garner, Kristin (BA 07, BED 07) founded the Emotional Literacy Movement (ELM) in 2021, an organization aimed at making emotional literacy education more accessible to public and educational institutions. www.emotionalliteracymovement.com

Law and public service

Class of 1960-65

Johnson, Janis (Collegiate 65) was named to the Order of Manitoba 2023. She served in the Canadian Senate for over 25 years, making her longest serving Manitoba senator. An advocate for both the cultural sector and women’s health and education, she contributed to the founding of the Mature Women’s Health Clinic (now the Women’s Health Centre) and founded the Gimli Film Festival. She chairs the Valuing the Icelandic Presence Committee at the University of Manitoba and assisted in the development of Qaumajuq.

Class of 1970-1979

Walsh, Sherri (Collegiate 78, BA 81) was the recent recipient of the inaugural University Of Manitoba Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni Award. This award is presented to a University of Manitoba Law graduate who is recognized for outstanding professional achievement in their legal career and who has shown dedication and commitment to the betterment of the legal profession while also exhibiting the qualities of integrity and professionalism.

Class of 1980-1989

Pinsky, Lawrence Isaac (Collegiate 83, BA 89) was called to the Manitoba bar in 1993. Pinsky has been practising law with Taylor McCaffrey LLP since 1998 and became a partner shortly thereafter. His main areas of practise are in advocacy, principally in family law and in other specialized areas, and in family mediation and arbitration. Pinsky sat on the Manitoba human rights adjudication panel for three terms. Pinsky is an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association, family section; a co-founder, director and president of FAMLI (the Family Arbitration and Mediation Legal Institute); and a co-founder and co-chair of the National Family Law Arbitration Program. He has volunteered on multiple boards and has been a speaker, presenter, and guest lecturer at various universities over the years.

Class of 1990-1999

Inness, Sarah Ann (BAH 94) was called to the Manitoba bar in 1999. Inness has been a partner at Campbell Gunn Inness Seib since 2007. Inness has been a sessional instructor in the faculty of law at the University of Manitoba in the subjects of criminal law and procedure (2015 to 2017) and introduction to advocacy (2017 to present). Inness received the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association of Manitoba merit award in 2020. In June 2022, Inness participated as a host in a podcast for the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. Inness has been a member of the Faculty of the National Criminal Law program since July 2022.

Class of 2010-2019

Johnston, Tyler (BA 19) former Wesmen Women's Soccer player earned her Law degree from the University of North Dakota in May 2023.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Class of 1980-1989

Fehr, Beverley (BAH 80) an eminent UWinnipeg social psychologist, has had her research included in an episode of CBC's The Nature of Things. "The Secrets of Friendship" features Dr. Fehr's research on male friendships and bonding. "It has only been relatively recently that researchers have begun to examine the benefits of friendships," Dr. Fehr says. "It turns out that close friendships are associated with many indices of well-being, including physical health, mental health, and emotional health."

Class of 2000-2009

Azad, Meghan (BSCH 04) is the 2022 receipient of the presitigious Steacie Prize - one of Canada's most coveted awards for researchers 40 years or younger. The Steacie Prize is awarded by the trustees of the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fund, a private foundation dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering in Canada. The prize is awarded annually to a young scientist or engineer who has made notable contributions to research in Canada.


Class of 2010-2020

Grant, Taryn (Collegiate 12) was the silver medalist in women's water-ski jump at the 2022 World Games, and 2022 MasterCraft Pro winner.

Class of 2020-2023

Krueger, Anja (Collegiate 21) was the 2022 Canada Summer Games Silver Medal in Women's Sprint Triathlon.