2020 Alumni Association Awards of Excellence winners

Meet the 2020 Alumni Association Awards of Excellence winners!

Meritas Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement

Recognizing alumni who have distinguished themselves through excellence and achievement in their professional field throughout their career; have demonstrated leadership in their profession; have made a positive contribution to the prestige, influence and reputation of the University of Ottawa; and have exercised and continue to exercise a strong positive influence in the community.

Dr. John Jack Kitts
Faculty of Medicine and Telfer School of Management
MD ’80, EMBA ’01

Ottawa Hospital CEO Jack Kitts was named 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient as part of the Best Ottawa Business Awards. Dr. Kitts was also named to the Order of Canada in 2018 for his “distinguished career as an anesthesiologist and health-care leader.” As president and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital for nearly 20 years, he has guided one of Canada’s largest teaching and research hospitals (with a staff of 12,000), developing and implementing unique patient-centred care practices. He has also been influential in creating a more integrated health care system in Ontario. He has led the hospital through a period of massive change in the delivery of health care in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. He was also the architect of a successful cultural transformation after four separate hospitals amalgamated and became what is now the Ottawa Hospital.

His leadership and management style have served as a model to those he has mentored, including many of his staff, other professionals and organizations as well as many students. He remains actively engaged in the University’s MHA and medical programs as a preceptor, mentor and educator, generously sharing his extensive knowledge and experience with students and faculty.

Dr. Kitts is known nationally for his focus on and expertise in the patient experience, performance measurement and physician engagement, making him a sought-after adviser and inspirational speaker on these key topics in health care today.


Alumnus/Alumna of the Year Award

Recognizing outstanding achievement by one of our members over the past year.

Dr. Rob S.B. Beanlands Faculty of Medicine MD ’83

Dr. Rob S.B. Beanlands
Faculty of Medicine
MD ’83

Dr. Beanlands earned the CIHR-ICRH/CCS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Cardiovascular Sciences in 2019. He is also the current (2019)  president of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and a past president of the Canadian Nuclear Cardiology Society.

He is Vered Chair and chief of the cardiology division at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Ottawa Hospital, an international leader in cardiovascular imaging and founding director of the National Cardiac PET Centre (the only PET facility in Canada dedicated to cardiovascular disease), and a professor in the cardiology division of the Department of Medicine, Department of Radiology (cross-appointment) and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (cross-appointment) in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He has been a career investigator supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) and is a Tier 1 uOttawa Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging Research.

In the last three years, he has presented his work at leading centres around the world, including Royal Brompton Hospital in London, Technical University Munich, the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical School (both Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass General), Johns Hopkins University and Cedars-Sinai Los Angeles. He was also a specially invited member of the UN expert mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency that recently met in Brazil to deliberate on the future of radiation-based imaging in medicine.


Award for Commitment to the University

Recognizing an extraordinary alumnus or alumna who has set a high standard for volunteerism or philanthropy in support of the University.

Dr. Marie des Anges Loyer DaSilva Faculty of Health Sciences Dipl. ’55, Cert. ’58, BScN ’60, MEd ’68, PhD ’82

Dr. Marie des Anges Loyer DaSilva
Faculty of Health Sciences
Dipl. ’55, Cert. ’58, BScN ’60, MEd ’68, PhD ’82

Marie Loyer is an excellent ambassador for the University of Ottawa — she’s always there when it’s time to support the efforts of nursing students, professors conducting research into mental health promotion or public and community health, or members of the Faculty of Health Sciences. We are truly fortunate to have  her as one of our graduates, staff and donors.

Dr. Loyer DaSilva had the vision after her retirement to create the first research chair in public health and community nursing. The Loyer DaSilva Research Chair in Community and Public Health Nursing was established in 2006, in partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences. It recognizes the enormous contributions of Professor Marie Loyer.

Marie Loyer has consistently made major contributions to the University of Ottawa (research, teaching, service) as a student, alumna, faculty member and donor,  always promoting her alma mater. Her commitment to nursing has not gone unnoticed. In 2010, she received the prestigious Canadian Public Health Association R.D. Defries Award, given to a member who has devoted a lifetime to public health in Canada. She also received the Dean’s Award for Commitment to the Faculty of Health Sciences during the Faculty’s 30th anniversary celebrations in October 2019.


Young Alumni Award

Recognizing significant contributions by an individual in his or her field, whether through professional achievement or community service. The recipient must be 40 years of age or under and set an inspirational example for future alumni.

Soukaïna Boutiyeb

Soukaïna Boutiyeb

Bringing people together, Soukaina  is particularly committed to the causes of women’s rights and the promotion of  French in minority settings. She is the executive director of the Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne (AFFC) and, since 2017, has been president of the Association des communautés francophones d’Ottawa (ACFO Ottawa). She is the first ACFO president of visible minority background, as well as an immigrant. She was treasurer of the  Réseau du patrimoine franco-ontarien (RPFO), member of the executive of the Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française  and administrator of the Centre espoir Sophie.

Soukaina played a key role leading the development of the new ACFO Ottawa Bilingual Ottawa project. The project, the result of a $1.25 million grant, aims to develop bilingualism in the city. It is of historic importance for ACFO Ottawa and is by far the largest project it has managed in its 50 years of existence. This funding was made possible thanks to the hard work and leadership of Soukaina, who managed to get various community groups to join forces and build a stronger community.

As part of the #LaRésistance movement, in the aftermath of the announcement of cuts to services in French, Soukaina was an outstanding spokesperson. She was a constant presence in the media educating people on the issue.


Award for Community Service

Recognizing alumni who have made outstanding volunteer contributions in their community.

Jo-Anne C. Poirier

Jo-Anne C. Poirier

Jo-Anne demonstrates commitment to community in everything that she undertakes, whether serving as chair or director for the boards of a number of organizations.

She currently serves as board chair,  the Shaw Centre; board chair,  the Change Foundation; board member, TVO; board member, Calian Group; board vice-chair, CHEO; and founding co-chair, Public Service Leaders Forum. Past roles include director and vice-chair, City of Ottawa Board of Health (2014–2018); member, United Way Ottawa Community Services Cabinet (2010–12); board member, Crime Prevention Ottawa (2009–13); founding co-chair, Housing Partnership Canada (2013); director and co-chair, Champlain Local Health Integrated Network (2005–10); adviser, Ottawa chapter of Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (2003–07); trustee, Ottawa Community Agencies Pension Fund (2006–07); and director, Regroupement des gens d’affaires (2003–06).

Under her leadership, VON has received designation as an organization offering services in French under the French Language Services Act.

Cross-generational knowledge exchange is also important to Jo-Anne. She mentors a roster of young people building careers in community service, a personal investment in the future strength of Ottawa.


Honorary Member of the Alumni Association

Recognizing a person who is not a graduate of the University, but whose actions and dedication have had a beneficial impact on the  uOttawa student experience.

Dr. Robert G. Korneluk

Dr. Robert G. Korneluk

Dr. Korneluk graduated with a PhD in developmental biology from the University of Toronto in 1982.

He holds the honour of Distinguished Professor of the University of Ottawa, where he has been a member of the Faculty of Medicine since 1986, serving as professor of pediatrics and of biochemistry, microbiology and immunology.  He is scientific director of the Apoptosis Research Centre and senior scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.

At the University of Ottawa, he has mentored over 60 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, with a dozen holding academic positions. He has published nearly 200 reports and book chapters, many of which are highly cited. Along with his long-time colleague, Dr. Alex MacKenzie, he co-founded the Apoptosis Research Centre, to understand the basic underlying principles of cell death dysregulation in disease and how the latter can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit for diseases like diabetes and neurodegeneration. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including most recently Member of the Order of Canada (the first time a scientist at the CHEO Research Institute has received the honour), as well as serving three consecutive terms as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar.

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