uOttawa’s best stories of 2023

Student affairs
Student life
Student experience
An old photograph held up in front of the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall.
This past year has been monumental for uOttawa. Here’s a recap of some top stories you may have missed as you were busy studying and enjoying student life.

Celebrating 175 years

The University of Ottawa celebrated its 175th birthday in 2023. Check out the timeline of key uOttawa moments that have shaped our history. Did you know that our football and athletics teams first used the Gee-Gees name in 1885? There are plenty of details here for trivia buffs.

First Indigenous writer-in-residence joins uOttawa’s English department

Jay Odjick

Jay Odjick, a writer, artist and television producer, created a native superhero comic book called Kagagi: The Raven, which became a TV show, and illustrated two books by Robert Munsch, among other projects. You can drop in and chat with him about writing, drawing and publishing.

Launch of the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range

A control room filled with many large computer screens.

IBM Canada’s first Cyber Range partnership on a Canadian university campus was launched right here in October. It offers training exercises and simulations designed to help businesses and governments strengthen defences against cyberthreats. The training will be integrated into some undergraduate and graduate courses. Challenges that will play out at the Cyber Range include a “Cyber War Game” and an “Inside the Mind of a Hacker” exercise.

New Data Literacy Research Institute

A graphic showing numbers above a skyline of skyscrapers.

With the Data Literacy Research Institute launch in October, uOttawa set its sights on becoming a global leader in the emerging field of data literacy,  the ability to collect, interpret, evaluate and explain data as information. The institute will conduct cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and develop training programs to combat misinformation, empower citizens and inform decision-making in areas like education, health care, sustainable development and technology.

CO-OP student examines endangered tree’s fruit

A fruit cut in half
Fruit from the Pleodendron costaricense. Photo credit: Osa Conservation

CO-OP student Serena Bezanson, who began a fast-track bachelor’s-master’s degree in cellular and molecular medicine this fall, spent a summer placement on the study of an endangered tropical tree, learning how to extract chemicals from the peel and pulp, analyzing them using a combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The fruit may have some compounds that have never been catalogued before. White-faced capuchin monkeys rub it on their fur — perhaps as an anti-fungal agent or mosquito repellant — while other raccoon-like animals feast on the fruit.

New vice-provost, equity, diversity and inclusive excellence

Professor Awad Ibrahim

Education professor Awad Ibrahim, holder of the Air Canada Professorship on Anti-Racism, was named as the University’s inaugural vice-provost, equity, diversity and inclusive excellence, in June, for a five-year term. Ibrahim will focus on removing systemic barriers, empowering University community members and ensuring that anti-racism and EDI perspectives have their place in every aspect of learning.

Our youngest ever graduate — at age 12

Andrea-Grace Patricia Dennis

Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis became uOttawa’s youngest-ever graduate, receiving an honours bachelor’s in biomedical science at age 12 in June. Anthaea-Grace started distance learning when she was three years old, did kindergarten and Grade 1 schoolwork simultaneously, started Grade 2 at public school at age four and, when she was age six, was assessed as learning at a Grade 8 level.

Opening of our $130-million Health Sciences Complex at Lees Campus

Students sitting outside the new Health Sciences Complex.

As a testament to our commitment to strengthening Canada’s health-care system and helping address a chronic health professional shortage, the University invested $130 million to build a state-of-the-art, five-storey brand new home for the Faculty of Health Sciences. The official opening of the Health Sciences facility took place in September.  The building houses the schools of Nursing, Nutrition Sciences and Rehabilitation Sciences, where audiology, speech language pathology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy will be taught.

Fifth Panda Game victory in a row

Gee Gees football players celebrate Panda Game win.

Our uOttawa Gee-Gees football team achieved its fifth consecutive Panda Game victory with a dramatic 55-yard field goal by Campbell Fair with seconds to go on the clock. The 18-16 win against the Carleton Ravens was a great way to kick off the 2023–2024 academic year. Get ready for more action in 2024!