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Alumni Awards

Call for Alumni Awards Nominations

The next Alumni Award recipients won't raise their own hands. That's why we need ​you. The accomplishments of the members of Nipissing University's global community of alumni (34,000) represent an inspiring account of positive social, cultural, and economic change in the world. Our Alumni Achievement Awards give us the chance to recognize those actions and share the stories of our vibrant and influential community.

It's easy to nominate an alumni award recipient, here's how:

  1. Choose the relevant alumni award and click on the link listed at the bottom of this page.
  2. Please ensure that all materials/information listed in the document are submitted.

Adjudication is overseen by the Nipissing University Alumni Advisory Board Alumni Awards Selection Committee, including the review of all nomination materials and selection of the recipients.

The Committee may choose to move a nominee into a different category, or not to roll the nomination forward (in which case the nominator will be informed).

​The deadline for nominations is January 16, 2017.

For additional information, please email:

Nipissing University and the Nipissing University Alumni Advisory Board were pleased to celebrate the achievements of this years alumni award recipients this past May:

Dr. James Jamieson Influential Alumni Award – Dr. Peter Bush

Dr. Peter Bush

Peter Bush, Provincial Landscape Ecologist, Forest Research and Planning, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources

Dr. Peter Bush, a career geographer for a quarter century, has made outstanding contributions of biogeographic knowledge to all major sectors of society including government, industry, academia, and non-government organizations.

At the time of completion of a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography at Nipissing University, Peter’s professional employment career began with service to Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) for which, during summers of 1990 and 1991, he was engaged in field survey work for a variety of species. His master’s thesis at Lakehead University was closely aligned with OMNR’s habitat suitability modeling program, and his findings were used by the OMNR Northeast Science and Technology unit to improve the forest habitat modeling for the pileated woodpecker. Peter’s PhD dissertation was also dedicated to improvements in habitat modeling, this time for northern goshawk. That work was also influential in OMNR’s habitat modeling program development.

During his time working as a research associate and post-doctoral fellow at Dalhousie University, Peter was engaged, under the leadership of Dr. Peter Duinker, in a study of old-growth conservation in the forests of southwest Nova Scotia. A major part of that project, in intimate collaboration with the Bowater-Mersey Paper Company, was a series of modeling exercises where alternative approaches to managing Bowater-Mersey’s forests for old growth were tested for both biodiversity enhancement and wood supply. Peter handled all the spatial simulation modeling for the study, spending much of his modeling time in the woodlands offices of Bowater-Mersey.

Peter’s latest assignment as a biogeographer, since summer 2010, has been serving as Protected Areas Coordinator for the central region of Nova Scotia. In that portfolio, Peter has implemented a wide range of both hands-on and leadership activities associated with the Government of Nova Scotia’s agenda to complete its protected-areas network by 2015.

Peter Bush has recently taken up a new position with the NS Department of Natural Resources (DNR) entitled “Provincial Forester (Landscape Ecology)”. Such an appointment is strong testament to government’s respect for Peter’s biogeographic capabilities. Peter now has an opportunity to make very significant contributions to environmental conservation across the entire province by applying his biogeographic expertise within DNR.

Last year Peter won the Canadian Association of Geographers Award for Geography in the Service of Government or Business. He holds adjunct status in Dalhousie’s School of Planning and School for Resource and Environmental Studies, as well as Saint Mary’s University’s School of Geography. His colleagues in those departments hold his work in the highest esteem, in part because of the applied examples and problem-solving opportunities he brings to those he teaches and whose research he oversees. He brings great energy, rigour and intellectual mastery to fostering a new generation of biogeographers in Halifax; on top of his direct contributions to government and business we can credit these skilled individuals who he has mentored.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award – Sylvie Vannier

Sylvie Vannier

Sylvie Vannier was born in Sturgeon Falls and returned to live in North Bay in 1987. She has 3 children, Chantal, Ariane (another NU alumni) and Nicolas, and 2 grandsons, Alexi and Loïc. She has always been involved in education in one form or another and in different boards in the area; in recent years she has worked as a high school English & Coop teacher, a student Success leader, a vice-Principal and a NU ABQ English instructor for B.Ed graduates. She also worked contracts for the Ministry of Education and in the 90s, chaired an International Certifying Board in Washington DC. She loves a challenge and is a bit of a thrill seeker: got her motorcycle license, has skydived, bungee-jumped and did the CN Tower EdgeWalk.

She hopes to continue to support well-being initiatives for youth and perhaps find the time eventually to travel a bit more and spend time with friends & family.

Rising Star Alumni Award – Robert Shaw

Robert Shaw

Robert Shaw graduated from the BPHE program at Nipissing University in 2014 and is currently enrolled as a PhD student in the Kinesiology program at McMaster University. His research focuses on physical activity behaviour change for people with spinal cord injuries and in August he will be moving to Kelowna BC to attend UBC and continue his studies/research. He hopes that his research will play an influential role in encouraging people with spinal cord injuries to participate in sport and physical activity by ensuring there are programs and facilities in place that facilitate participation. When he is not busy with school he is training for his other passion, wheelchair tennis. Shaw recently won the Canadian National Wheelchair Tennis Championships and will compete internationally as a member of Team Canada. Lastly, on a personal note, some hobbies of his include writing poetry, listening to music, and analyzing sports statistics.

Honorary Alumni Award – Edward Salai

Edward Salai

Edward Salai has won the Honorary Alumni Award. Salai began his career as a telegrapher at the age of 17 and has spent his lifetime working within the telecommunications industry. Salai is also a life-long learner, having enrolled at various institutions over the years. In 2008 he enrolled at the Muskoka Campus, in Bracebridge, after he had read an article in the local paper. In his early eighties Salai started off with Intro Psychology as a general interest and later became focused in pursuit of his undergraduate degree. Travelling an hour to attend classes day and night, Ed has high hopes of attaining his undergraduate degree in Child and Family Studies, with a minor in Psychology and a minor in Social Welfare from Nipissing. At 91 he has an insatiable desire to learn and make a significant contribution to his community.

For more information on the Alumni Awards nomination process, please select from the links below.

Please note that awards are not necessarily presented in all categories each year.​​​​​​​​​​​​

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100 College Drive, Box 5002, North Bay, ON, Canada  P1B 8L7
Tel: 705.474.3450 | Fax: 705.474.1947 | TTY: 877.688.5507
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50 Wellington St.
Brantford, ON, Canada N3T 2L6
Tel: 519.752.1524 | Fax: 519.752.8372

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