A proud Alumni Association tradition, the Awards of Excellence honour those who’ve distinguished themselves in different places and at different stages of their career, all for the betterment of society.
Every year, we gather as a uOttawa community to celebrate our outstanding alumni. With awards recognizing alumni achievement, our alumnus or alumna of the year, commitment to the University, an exceptional young alumni and community service, our annual awards ceremony is an inspiring affair. Here are the 2022 winners:
Meritas Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement: When Calin Rovinescu (LLB ’80) finished his law studies, nothing about him suggested that one day he’d lead one of the largest corporations in the country. But his sharp strategic skills didn’t go unnoticed at Air Canada, which he advised as a managing partner at the prestigious Stikeman Elliott law firm. Later, he would transform the air carrier from a company adrift to a jewel of the Canadian economy. His accomplishments were such that the Globe and Mail twice named him its CEO of the year (2013 and 2019) and he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2021 for his brilliant career as an executive.
Alumna of the Year: A rising entrepreneurial star, Véronique Lecault (BSc '06, BASc ’06) has been making her mark in science and technology since she co-founded AbCellera, a powerful platform for discovering antibodies to prevent and fight many diseases. As director and COO, Lecault is highly influential in her community, sharing her passion for science and preparing our country, as well as the world, to face new challenges in health care.
Commitment to the University: Michel Prévost (BSocSi ’78, MHis ’85) has always been keenly interested in the roots of our campus. Still, did he ever think that his own name would be so closely associated with it? Not a stone of our built environment, not a detail of our Franco-Ontarian heritage is a mystery to Prévost, an archivist who’s been collecting a succession of distinctions in our region for many years. The Alumni Association wished to honour this history lover who not only has revealed to us chapters in our past but has actively invested in our future by offering scholarships and awards to a new generation eager to follow in his footsteps.
Young Alumnus Award: Entrepreneur and leader Nathan Hall’s (BSocSci ’07) desire to take concrete action against racial discrimination led him to found a social enterprise in 2020 that seeks to remedy inequalities in the workplace. His award-winning platform Culture Check works with Blacks, Indigenous peoples and people of colour who have experienced racism, as well as with allies and executives who wish to begin a cultural shift in their organizations. The empathetic, respectful workshops, consultations and resources he offers directly affect the lives of thousands of people each year.
Award for Community Service: Eric Agyemang (BCom ’15) is at the forefront of inclusive leadership, economic initiatives with high social impact and volunteerism serving underrepresented groups. For him, “in everything we do, there is a global implication.” That’s why, as president of OCISO, he oversees activities that help some 10,000 people a year of immigrant background integrate in the Ottawa area, whether by finding a job, going to school, learning the languages of their host country or receiving counselling to overcome trauma.
Honorary Member of the Alumni Association: For decades, the Rust name has been part of the University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Until his death in 1990, Professor Brian Rust, a passionate geologist and outdoorsman, was an outstanding field guide. Today, Susan Rust keeps a tradition dear to her late husband alive by offering financial support to students who wish to experience hands-on, transformative learning off the beaten path.
To all our recipients, thank you for raising the profile of the University, each in your own way!