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Alumni Awards

2013 Alumni Awards

On Friday, October 25, Nipissing University celebrated its amazing graduates at the Alumni Awards Reception, the kick off to Homecoming weekend. 

The university marked the achievements of four graduates with alumni awards and recognized one individual with honorary alumni status at the event, taking place from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Harris Learning Library.

Jaymie Lathem and Shannon Palmer each received a Rising Star Alumni Award.  Rob Graham and Kristopher Stevens each received a Distinguished Alumni Award, and Dr. Maria Cantalini-Williams was named an Honorary Alumni.

“The Alumni Awards is a great night spent celebrating some outstanding leaders who share the bond of having attended Nipissing.  As a graduate myself, it is inspiring how their Nipissing degree has helped them achieve so much,” said Genevieve DeBruyn, president of the Alumni Advisory Board. “We are also very happy to be recognizing the contribution one individual, Dr. Maria Cantalini Williams, has made to this institution by naming her an honorary alumnae.

Nipissing University and the Nipissing University Alumni Advisory Board were pleased to celebrate the achievements of this year’s alumni award recipients:

Jaymie Lathem, Rising Star Alumni Award Recipient
Jaymie Lathem is an emerging artist based out of Northern Ontario. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nipissing and studied drawing and painting at both the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Alberta College of Art and Design. Lathem’s Fine Art practice is an exploration of identity and individualism in an attempt to gain a better understanding of self and the many perceptions of self-identity as interpreted internally and externally. Lathem is currently participating in a micro residency program here in North Bay through Near North Arts entitled You Are Here: Visualizing Place at the "Gateway to the North". Lathem is also an Artist Educator through the Royal Conversatory and is a Learning Through The Arts member. Lathem has been working locally with the School of Success through the Children's Aid Society leading art workshops and classes.

Shannon Palmer, Rising Star Alumni Award Recipient
Shannon Palmer grew up in both Northern and Southern Ontario, living with her mother and four siblings. She attended Nipissing University where she earned a double major in Gender Equality and Social Justice Studies (thesis: Racing Emotion: Race and Emos Alternative Masculinities) and Social Welfare and Social Development Studies (thesis: Hungry for Change: The Case for the Right to Food in Canada). After completing her studies at Nipissing, she worked with an AIDS Service Organization and a women's shelter, before continuing her studies at Lakehead University. Since graduating from Lakehead, Palmer works as a clinical therapist with a community-based counselling agency.

Rob Graham, Distinguished Alumni Award
During Rob Graham’s seven years as an assistant professor in the Schulich School of Education, he has designed and taught several components of the innovative program, including technology enriched learning, classroom management, imagination creativity education, and classroom methods. As well, he has had the opportunity to teach within the field of technology enriched learning for the past three summers in the Aboriginal Teacher Certification program and the Teacher of Anishaabemwin as a Second Language. This work has added to a diverse teaching portfolio that includes teaching appointments in Japan, Hawaii, a penal institution, an intermediate public school and adult education. By rough estimate, Graham has taught over 10,000 students in his 20-year teaching career. Graham always endeavours to bring a high level of inventiveness, vision, commitment and enthusiasm to his teaching. He also plays the drums in the classic rock cover band MLC. The annual Eddie Charity Pub that Graham organizes has grown into a well-known celebration that has raised in excess of 10,000 for local charities over the past six years. As a family man with two young children and a wife who is also a well respected educator, Graham loves to spend time supporting his children in their musical and athletic endeavours.

Kristopher Stevens, Distinguished Alumni Award
Kristopher Stevens, is a frequent speaker on sustainable energy and community power. He is a transformative entrepreneur with experience on four continents in the corporate, public and non-profit sectors. He specializes in grassroots mobilization, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, energy policy, corporate communications and strategic planning. Throughout his career, Stevens has recruited executives for Fortune 500 multinationals, hosted a popular South Korean radio program, researched economic reform in Africa and studied the sensitive topic of social friction in Ontario's electricity sector. He is the executive director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, which actively champions policy and regulatory change for a more sustainable society powered, heated, cooled and transported by a portfolio of sustainable energy. Stevens served as the founding chair of the Green Energy Act Alliance, which led the successful campaign for Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act.

Dr. Maria Cantalini-Williams, Honorary Alumni 
Dr. Maria Cantalini-Williams’ background includes over twenty rewarding years as a school board teacher and program consultant, followed by ten very fulfilling years at the Brantford campus of Nipissing University. During her time as an associate professor and director/associate dean, Cantalini-Williams enjoyed teaching a range of courses and worked with many colleagues and members of the community to build the growing campus.  She was involved in various initiatives including the David Suzuki Writing Project, the Innovative Practicum Models Research Project, the School Board-University Research Exchange and various Early Learning-Kindergarten projects. She was instrumental in developing an agreement with the University of L’Aquila and the practicum in Sulmona, Italy. She has accompanied seven international experiences to this destination and published related research attesting to the benefits for participating teacher candidates.

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.​​

Nipissing University
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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Bracebridge, ON, Canada P1L 1E2
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50 Wellington Street
Brantford, ON, Canada N3T 2L6
Tel: 519.752.1524 | Fax: 519.752.8372
Nipissng University

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