uOttawa to confer honorary doctorates on 11 inspiring leaders

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During its upcoming spring Convocation, the University of Ottawa will confer Honorary Doctorates on eleven outstanding individuals to celebrate their storied accomplishments.

Honorary degrees are conferred honoris causa or “for the sake of honour” and are the highest honour a university may bestow upon someone for their substantial contributions to their own profession or to society at large. They celebrate their unbridled dedication to serving their community and helping make the world a better place, whether that be through their advocacy, philanthropy, research, or public service.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Daniel Alfredsson – former NHL hockey player and longest serving team captain, now member of the player development coaching staff with the Ottawa Senators and long-standing mental health advocate.
  • Alexandra Szacka – Decorated journalist, former CBC/Radio-Canada foreign correspondent and Bureau Chief, and author.
  • Ruth Westheimer – aka Dr. Ruth, sex therapist, radio host, professor, and author. 
  • Albert Dumont - Poet, Storyteller, Algonquin Traditional Teacher, has dedicated his life to promoting Indigenous spirituality and healing.
  • Mike DeGagné - President & CEO of Indspire, former Nipissing University President and Vice Chancellor.
  • Deborah Diniz - Brazilian university professor, human rights activist, documentarist, and public intellectual.
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan - leader in science, engineering and education and Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation.
  • Pascal Mayer - French scientist - his discoveries and inventions are essential components in next generation sequencing (NGS).
  • The Honourable Lisa Raitt – Former federal cabinet minister and MP, co-chair of the Coalition for a Better Future, and co-chair of the Task Force on Housing and Climate.
  • Angela Cooper Brathwaite - Nurse and anti-racism advocate. Her areas of research include preventing Type 2 diabetes, culturally tailored interventions, and systemic racism in nursing.
  • Dr. Cara Tannenbaum - Scientific Director of CIHR, medical leader, health research expert and government advisor.

Full bios.

These recipients are multi-hyphenates with strong moral character and they will be celebrated for their unrivalled talents and leadership.

The Honorary doctorates will be conferred throughout various ceremonies at the University’s spring Convocation, which will take place June 6-9, 2024, at the Shaw Centre.

For additional information:[email protected]