The University of Saskatchewan (USask) announces the 2022 winners of the Alumni Achievement Awards, one of the university’s highest honours.

This year’s seven recipients embody the university’s aspiration to be what the world needs because of their significant accomplishments and contributions since graduating from USask.

Nominated by their peers from a group of more than 165,000 alumni, these seven distinguished alumni are changing the world—one idea or action at a time.

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards

As the highest honour presented by the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association, this award recognizes an alumnus/alumna for an outstanding lifetime of accomplishments and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of society in any area, such as academics, athletics, arts, business, not-for-profit, public, or private sector. 

Dr. Robert Calder (BA’63, MA’65)

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Robert (Bob) Calder is a person of many talents and has accomplished widespread excellence. He has given his time and energy for nearly sixty years to pursuits both professional and personal that have had an impact on Saskatchewan and the world. As a writer and professor, Dr. Calder has explored a broad range of topics, including the life and work of William Somerset Maugham; British propaganda, battle fatigue and suicide in in World War II; the meeting of the Spanish and the Maya in Yucatan in the sixteenth century; and the history of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Dedicated to lending his expertise and guidance to others, Dr. Calder has contributed to countless hours to serving the University of Saskatchewan and broader community through his volunteer work promoting writers and writing in the province.

Dr. Sherine Gabriel (MD’82)

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

Called a “triple threat” by her peers for her excellence in clinical practice, research and education, Dr. Sherine Gabriel is a leading physician in the United States, a Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine and an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Emigrating from Egypt to Canada as a child, Dr. Gabriel challenged cultural and gender roles in the College of Medicine at USask and stood out as a leader among her peers. Dr. Gabriel started her career at Mayo Clinic as a resident physician and continued there as a physician, researcher, educator and leader for nearly 30 years, culminating in her appointment as dean of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in 2012. Dr. Gabriel’s research has resulted in more than 250 publications addressing rheumatic diseases. In 2019, she became the President of Rush University in Chicago, where she is preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals to thrive in a changing environment. 

Gordon (BComm'72) and Maureen (BEd'70) Haddock

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

Maureen and Gordon (Gord) Haddock have owned and operated 18 businesses over the past fifty years. Maureen and Gord graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, Gord with a Bachelor of Commerce and Maureen with a Bachelor of Education. Maureen has put her teaching skills and her passion for writing to good use in the many businesses she and her husband have owned. Gord developed his entrepreneurial skills while growing up in small town Saskatchewan. The two met as children and Maureen has written two books of short stories telling about Gord’s childhood misadventures, which she believes allowed him to become the entrepreneur he is today. The Haddocks love to encourage entrepreneurship as a path to good citizenship through scholarships, mentorship, and initiatives like the Haddock Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, and the Get a Bigger Wagon Young Entrepreneur Awards. They also support many developmental programs for children. The Haddocks are still involved in several business endeavours and Maureen writes for Saskatoon HOME Magazine and Prairies North Magazine. Retirement seems unlikely. 

Dr. Dennis Whyte (BE’86)

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Dennis Whyte’s scientific curiosity and determination began at an early age when his high school teacher commented that his idea to create nearly limitless energy through the fusing of two atoms was “too complicated”. Not easily discouraged, Dr. Whyte has spent the last 35 years in pursuit of the production of fusion energy – a clean energy source that has the potential to provide a monumental breakthrough in the battle against climate change. He is an educator and mentor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), paying forward the mentorship he received from USask Professor Harvey Skarsgard, who changed the course of his life by connecting him to the Plasma Physics program at the University of Quebec, where Whyte received his master’s degree. Dr. Whyte has published over 350 papers and is the director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He is also the MIT Hitachi America Professor of Engineering, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and is a co-founder of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a company whose mission is dedicated to delivering fusion power to the world.

 

 

One to Watch Awards

These awards recognize young alumni from either an undergraduate or graduate program who are making significant contributions in society at large, setting an example for fellow and future alumni to follow.

 

Kendal Netmaker (BA'11, BEd'11)

One to Watch Award

Author, entrepreneur and community builder, Kendal Netmaker’s early career impact has spanned multiple sectors earning him dozens of business awards and inspiring others to reach their potential. As a USask student, Netmaker founded an apparel company with a social profit motive that has helped thousands of Indigenous and underprivileged youth through scholarships and bursaries. His story of overcoming adversity has made him a role model for youth from all walks of life. Netmaker’s work to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians make him “one to watch” in advancing the country’s call for reconciliation. 

Palash Sanyal (MWS'18)

One to Watch Award

Palash Sanyal works as the strategic partnerships and project manager at the Global Institute for Water Security at USask, where he is closely engaged in water risks management studies, strategic initiatives like Water Day on the Hill, and water-food-energy nexus. Sanyal draws a decade of experience with multiple industries in water threats and impact assessment as well as infrastructure, technology, and policy development. A certified facilitator and coach, Sanyal facilitates intercultural dialogues surrounding water since 2012. A strong proponent of sustainable growth, Sanyal has focused on contributing to building an inclusive community in Saskatoon. He is the founding curator for the TEDxUniversityofSaskatchewan and World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hub Saskatoon. He is also an ambassador for the School of Environment and Sustainability, the Clinton Global Initiative, and Thought for Food. Sanyal currently serves on the Board of International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada and WaterAid Canada (Starting June 2022). If it's not freezing cold outside, you might find Sanyal on his motorbike or at a wedding as a marriage commissioner.

A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE

Learn more about the Alumni Achievement Award legacy.

Award design

The use of greystone is intentional in our Alumni Achievement award. You might recognize it as the defining feature found on many USask buildings.

What does it mean?

We caught up with influential past award winners to see what being a USask Alumni Achievement Award winner has meant to them.

Past recipients

Who are Alumni Achievement Award winners? They are leaders in their fields and being what the world needs.

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