Alumni Awards 2021

Alumni Awards 2021

2021 Alumni Award Recipients

Emily Gillespie

Dr. James Jamieson Influential Alumni Award

Presented to a graduate whose dedication and leadership has influenced significant change and prosperity within their community. The recipient may be an alumnus of one of the following institutions: North Bay Normal School, Teacher’s College, Nipissing University College or Nipissing University.

Emily Gillespie portrait

About Emily Gillespie

Emily Gillespie (she/they) is a queer, mad and autistic author, multi-disciplinary artist disability activist, accessibility consultant, researcher, mentor, and professional daydreamer. She has a BA in English and Gender Equality and Social Justice, and an MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University and a certificate in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Dancing with Ghosts (Leaping Lion Books, 2017) is her first novel. Her poetry and short-stories can be found in several journals and anthologies. Her work explores themes of memory, identity and mental health journeys.  She is currently drafting her second novel about the limitations of the emergency mental health system.  She has been the recipient of three grants for her current work in progress including Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council funding. Emily is part of a performance art group that is funded to travel the GTA during the summer of 2021, with a touring accessible performance art caravan.

She is passionate about social and disability justice and has worked and volunteered with the disability community for over ten years. They currently sit on the board for ARCH Disability Law Centre. In addition, they are passionate about working to make the arts, art spaces, and art facilitation more accessible.  She has also helped to organize accessibility at protests, including the annual Take Back the Night march. They are working on a project to map accessible public art across Ontario. They are currently a research assistant at Brandon University, studying how to make the education system more inclusive to autistic folks and they bring this passion for inclusive education to their work in the arts. They are also facilitating creative writing workshops at various disability organizations across the country. Emily enjoys working in community spaces and examining individual and collective experiences. She views storytelling as a tool for resisting predominant social narratives.  In their spare time Emily enjoys reading, writing, swimming, travelling, and dreaming about a more just and inclusive world.

Dillon Richardson

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is presented to an alumnus whose achievement and excellence in their endeavours have distinguished them as a valued leader. The recipient will have demonstrated positive influence through their professional pursuits and as a result of their actions, the alumnus will have made a strong contribution to the prestige and reputation of Nipissing University.

Dillion Richardson portrait

About Dillon Richardson

Dillon began his career working in recreational sports in the cities of Ottawa and North Bay through his university studies at Nipissing University. Through his bachelor's degree in Physical and Health Education at Nipissing University, Dillon gained experience through course work and different placements teaching and coaching amateur sport in the community. He was involved with campus life as the Student Senator of Education and the Co-Chair of the Kinesiology Games/Conference. An advocate for youth leadership, Dillon was involved as a volunteer with Motivate Canada for several years, where he coordinated workshops across Ontario.

After graduating from the program, Dillon completed an internship with the national sport federation for basketball, where he supported the country’s top athletes compete at the highest level. This opportunity helped him forge his career path in sport management.

Dillon then pursued further education at the University of Windsor, where he completed a Master of Human Kinetics degree. While completing his degree, he was selected as Canada’s representative for the International Olympic Committee’s Young Ambassador Program, where he travelled to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China to promote the cultural and educational initiatives to the competing athletes. Through this experience, Dillon also completed his internship with the Canadian Olympic Committee in Montreal, Quebec and thesis on analyzing the athletes’ experiences at the Games.

His next experience brought him to the national federation for gymnastics, where for three years he managed the trampoline national team and development programs across the country. The highlight being directly supporting athlete, Rosie MacLennan, qualify and win a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, where she became the first Canadian summer sport athlete to win consecutive gold medals.

Dillon then “jumped across the pond” to Germany to begin a position with the International Paralympic Committee and the international sport federation, World Para Powerlifting. In his role as Performance and Development Manager, Dillon is responsible to grow the sport in different areas and deliver programmes to engage athletes, coaches and referees from over one hundred and thirty countries around the globe. With his academic background in physical and health education, and sport management, Dillon takes inspiration from different fields to implement innovative projects to get more people with a disability practicing sport. He initiated projects such as “She Can Lift” that introduced the sport to women with physical disabilities across Latin America, Asia and Europe to improve health outcomes and change gender perceptions in society, and he created the project “LiftED (Lift Educational Video Database)” that provided free technical education to athletes, coaches, referees, and administrators across the globe. Furthermore, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, he was the lead behind World Para Powerlifting becoming the first Paralympic sport to launch an online, virtual competition.

Alexander Maycock

Rising Star Alumni Award

The Rising Star Alumni Award is presented to a recent graduate of Nipissing University who has demonstrated significant achievements on a professional, community or volunteer basis or has displayed promise of significant future accomplishments. It is awarded to an alumnus who has graduated in the last five years.

Alexander Maycock portrait

About Alexander Maycock

Alexander is a varsity student-athlete, captain, coach, researcher, writer, and YouTuber with a proven track record of academic, research, and athletic excellence. In 2019, he represented Nipissing University and Team Canada at the World University Games Competition in Russia. In December 2021, he is once again representing Canada at the World University Games, this time in Switzerland.

Alexander has received the President’s Scholarship for his academic excellence in each year of his Undergraduate studies. On multiple occasions, he has been recognized by Nipissing University Athletics as an Academic All Canadian. In 2020, he was named Nipissing University Male Athlete of the Year. Also in 2020, he was recognized with the Paul Nelson Memorial Award for the most outstanding coaching philosophy in Dr. Mark Bruner’s upper year Coaching Course.

In 2021, Alexander earned a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category in recognition of exceptional Leadership skills and outstanding contribution to the University, academic program, or community.

Alexander worked as a Research Assistant in the Exercise Physiology Lab as part of a community placement for his Undergraduate program. His work in the lab lead to an abstract being accepted at the 2020 American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. His research was also presented at the 2020 Nipissing University Undergraduate Research Conference.

Outside of the classroom, Alexander is a NCCP certified Ski Coach at his hometown club, Mono Nordic, where he teaches kids and adults of all abilities how to Nordic ski. He also dedicates time to creating content for an active YouTube channel, using his platform as an international level Nordic skier to promote an active lifestyle within his community. This past summer, he created an 8-week track running program for 15 local youth athletes in his hometown, Orangeville.

Following his Undergraduate accomplishments, Alexander is now pursuing his Masters in Kinesiology focusing on the effects of Beetroot Juice supplementation on sport performance. He earned a Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) Award through the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) in his first year of Graduate studies. Alexander also aspires to become a varsity level ski coach or work as a Physiologist with high performance sport teams.  

Reflecting on this award, Alexander says, “it is a great honour and privilege to receive the Nipissing University Rising Star Alumni Award. I want to thank my Professors, Coaches, Peers and Teammates for being a big part of his outstanding Undergraduate experience.”

Dr. Mike DeGagné

Honorary Alumni Award

The Honorary Alumni Award is presented to an individual who is not a graduate of the university, but whose actions and dedication have made a positive impact on the Nipissing University experience. This honour recognizes friends of Nipissing University for outstanding service, commitment and contribution, past or present, to the University.

Dr. Mike DeGagné portrait

About Mike DeGagné

Dr. Mike DeGagné (Ojibway from Animakee Wa Zhing 37 First Nation) helps Indigenous students find, and achieve, their life purpose in his role as President & CEO of Indspire, Canada’s largest Indigenous charity. He previously served as President and Vice Chancellor of Nipissing University in 2013, becoming one of the first Indigenous presidents of a Canadian public university. While President of Nipissing, Dr. DeGagné dedicated much of his work to Indigenous issues and ensuring that Nipissing University took a leading role in the Indigenization of the post-secondary education sector. He later served as the first President of Yukon University, a new hybrid post-secondary institution in Whitehorse, Yukon.

In 1998, Dr. DeGagné became the founding Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation where for 15 years he worked to encourage and support community developed, delivered, and culturally based initiatives addressing the intergenerational effects of abuses suffered in the Indian residential school system. In recognition of his support for residential school survivors and First Nation communities, Dr. DeGagné was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada – Canada’s highest civilian honour – in 2014, and was also awarded the Order of Ontario.

Tammy Morison

Philanthropy Alumni Award

The newly created Philanthropy Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus or champion of Nipissing University who is making significant contributions to improve their community through their generosity, dedication, commitment and service. The ideal candidate is passionate about an important social cause, freely gives their time, exemplifies great leadership qualities and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to improving the social challenge related to his or her cause. This can include attempting to break down biases, change perceptions and alleviate issues impeding progress while working toward conquering a problem or responding to a need in a tangible way.

Tammy Morison portrait

About Tammy Morison

Since 2004, Tammy Morison has dedicated her career to the healthcare needs of her community through her leadership of the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) Foundation. She has led the organization as President and CEO since 2014. Her leadership is focused on building partnerships and relationships, inspiring her community to invest in its physical and mental healthcare needs. The impact: continually improving access to the best possible care, close to home.

NBRHC is a district medical and regional specialized mental health facility serving 120,000 and 500,000 respectively. Additionally, NBRHC provides provincial women’s forensic mental health services with an eight-bed specialized inpatient unit.

Powerful patient and family testimonials about healing; from illness and grief, to gratitude are what fuels her passion for the sector and the impact that philanthropy can have. Tammy leads a team of exceptional relationship builders who recently completed a $6M campaign to transform Cancer Care, Close to Home. Morison creates conditions for her team to strive to exceed expectations set by both her and the Foundation Board. Empowering her colleagues, she knows the value of encouraging both collaboration and autonomy. She is a motivating, transparent and inclusive leader. In 2018, Tammy was the recipient of Influential Women of Northern Ontario’s Executive of the Year.

Morison focuses her passion for volunteering with causes that are close to her heart. She served as a director with One Kids Place – Children’s Treatment Centre for six years and currently, Tammy is devoting her time and energy to the healthcare philanthropy sector. Now serving as Past Chair with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) Canada Council, she has built collegiality from coast to coast, with the focus on advancing activities to provide exceptional professional development, scholarships, and resources for Canadian professionals. She was recently appointed to the AHP Board of Directors, who govern and guide AHP, an international organization, and its mission to inspire, educate and serve those transforming healthcare through philanthropy.

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Tammy currently resides in North Bay with her daughter, Summer.