Evening of accolades for McMaster students and graduates

There are many thousands of living graduates of McMaster. In their ranks are representatives of almost every trade, business or profession. Many of them have made names for themselves because of their accomplishments in their vocations and avocations. Included in this alumni ‘hall of fame’ are graduates whose names are household words; others are not as well known but their lives are just as absorbing.

“The McMaster students and alumni who stand on this stage reflect an institution that has strength in every faculty,” said President Patrick Deane at the awards ceremony on May 29. “They inspire engagement with our broader communities and that aspires to be the kind of focal point for different ideas, cultures, perspectives and backgrounds that represents the very best of Canadian society.”

The Alumni Gallery is a photographic and biographical display of some of these alumni who lead interesting lives and make outstanding contributions to society.

Honorary Member

John Kelton

Dr. John G. Kelton, Distinguished University Professor, is the Executive Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Innovation in Healthcare at McMaster University in Hamilton. He took the role after completing, in June 2016, a highly successful 15-year term as the McMaster’s Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Vice-President for Health Sciences. He had also concurrently been the Dean of the University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. During his term, McMaster rose to be one of the top 40 universities in the world in medicine and health sciences. Dr. Kelton has an active clinical practice as a hematologist for Hamilton Health Sciences, along with an internationally-recognized research program into platelet and bleeding disorders. He has gained global renown particularly for his focus on bleeding disorders of pregnant women and heparin induced thrombocytopenia.

Distinguished Service Award

Suzanne Labarge ’67

Suzanne Labarge graduated from McMaster with a BA in 1967 and went on to complete an MBA from Harvard University in 1971. She spent 14 years with Royal Bank and 10 years in senior positions with the federal government. She went back to work for RBC and retired in 2004 as the bank’s vice-chairman and chief risk officer. She is also an engaged volunteer, particularly at McMaster where she has served on the University’s Board of Governors and on the cabinet of The Campaign for McMaster University. Her philanthropy created the Raymond and Margaret Labarge Chair in Research and Knowledge Application for Optimal Aging at McMaster as well as the multi-faceted Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. Suzanne received an honorary Doctor of Letters from McMaster in 2011 and she began her service as the University’s chancellor in 2013.

Alumni Gallery

Sarah Casanova ’91

Faculty of Business

Sarah Casanova joined McDonald’s Company (Japan), Ltd. 15 years ago, learning about the local market in Japan, then took on the role of managing director of McDonald’s Malaysia before assuming the role of CEO for McDonald’s Company (Japan) Ltd. She guided McDonald’s Japan through the stormy waters of 2014 and 2015 and returned the company to growth. Casanova represents the growing number of women taking on leadership positions in some of the world’s largest enterprises, a lack of women in leadership is a prominent feature of business in Japan, and an issue Sarah is committed to tackle.

Hoda Elmaraghy ’72, ’76

Faculty of Engineering

Hoda ElMaraghy is a trailblazer for women in engineering. She became the first Canadian woman to earn a doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1976; and in 1994 she became the first woman to serve as dean of engineering at a Canadian university. Currently, she is a Distinguished University Professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at the University of Windsor and Director of its Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Center. In addition to her pioneering research, Hoda ElMaraghy is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the International Academy for Production Research, Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as well as a senior member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She is a member of the Order of Ontario and was elected to international membership by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Robert Kendrick ’80

Faculty of Social Sciences

Robert Kendrick has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to increasing awareness of matters regarding social well-being and unfailingly engaged in practices and actions that have improved the quality of life for members of our society. Not long after his teaching career began, Rob learned that he had early-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Using his skills as a teacher, he has become an advocate and mentor for others impacted with the disease, learning all he can PD, participating in research projects, trying new and emerging interventions while sharing his experiences so that others may benefit. He engages in social activities designed for people with PD disease, and hosts a popular blog he began on living with the disease.

Mary Lou Maher ’83

Faculty of Business

Mary Lou was appointed the Canadian Managing Partner, Quality & Risk Management in January 2018, in addition to her role as Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity.  She was named a Trail Blazer for Women Chartered Accountants and placed into the Hall of Fame for the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She has received the Life Time Achievement Award from Standing Proud and the Senior Leadership Award for Diversity from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. She created KPMG Canada’s first ever National Diversity Council and is the executive sponsor of pride@kpmg.

Steve Merker ’91, ’92

School of Phys. Ed., Faculty of Social Sciences

Steve Merker is the Vice President of Corporate & Community Partnerships for The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. His main responsibilities include managing and overseeing The Ride to Conquer Cancer and the 100’s of other important events raising $40 million annually. A varsity swimmer, Steve is an inductee in McMaster’s Athletic Hall of Fame and was awarded the Ivor Wynne Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year at McMaster in 1990.

Gary Stein ’77

Faculty of Health Sciences

Gary is a passionate philanthropist with a diverse career history. Throughout his life, he was a bank director, a practicing physician, and a nuclear chemist/researcher. Additionally, Gary has expressed his passion for helping others through his continued involvement in community initiatives and advisory roles. He is heavily involved with his local Jewish community, has contributed greatly to the private business sector, and has dedicated his time to serving as a Board member for multiple organizations.

McMaster Alumni Community Impact Awards

Mark John Stewart ’06, ’10

Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Business

Mark John Stewart is a born and raised Hamiltonian who is dedicated to the betterment of his city. Mark is currently the Managing Director of Wentworth Strategy Group, a management consultancy serving a global client base which focuses on small and medium enterprises. He also teaches strategic management in the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management program. He is the founder of FlyPrint, a marketing agency that was launched in 2007 which has supported the success of many organizations, including the Hamilton Family Health Team, Empowerment Squared, the Disability Justice Network of Ontario, Climb for Cancer, and a long list of many more. Mark has been recognized as one of CBC’s Top Five Young Professionals to Watch and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He was the recipient of the 2019 Business and Professional Excellence Award at the Reverend John C Holland Awards in recognition of his professional accomplishments and community contributions.

Alex Mazer ’01

Arts & Science

A graduate of McMaster University, the University of Toronto, and Harvard Law School, Alex is a co-founder of Common Wealth, a mission-driven business focused on strengthening retirement security and providing high-quality collective retirement plans for workers without pensions. Common Wealth’s recent work includes Common Good, a collaborative initiative with leaders in the Canadian nonprofit sector to create a national, portable retirement plan for nonprofit workers and creating the first retirement plan for lower-income Canadians in collaboration with SEIU. As Director of Policy to the Ontario Minister of Finance during the global financial crisis, Alex helped deliver major reforms to Ontario’s retirement system, tax system, and fiscal policy. Alex’s volunteerism focuses on issues of education, violence against women, youth sports, and Toronto city politics.

Eustace Orleans-Lindsay ’11

Faculty of Health Sciences

Eustace Orleans-Lindsay is an award-winning pharmacist with over 25 years’ experience practicing in Africa and North America. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, a Master of Science degree in Global Health from McMaster University and is currently a PhD Student at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in the University of Toronto. Currently, he works as a managing pharmacist with ‪Loblaw Companies Limited in Norfolk County, where he has been involved in initiating innovative projects to help eliminate some of the systemic barriers faced by migrant farm workers in the area. Norfolk County hosts over 6000 seasonal agricultural workers annually, the most of any other region in Canada.

McMaster Arch Award-Young Alumni Award

Vasiliki Bednar ’08

Arts & Science

Vass Bednar is the Head of Public Policy at Delphia, an artificial intelligence company that is working to empower citizens to reclaim the value of their personal data. Prior to this role, she was a Policy Associate at Airbnb  where she worked with legislative bodies and government agencies on fair rules for homesharing. She previously chaired the Expert Panel on Youth Employment for the federal government. Vass earned a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance and served as Associate Director of the Rotman School of Management’s Martin Prosperity Institute, where she worked with urbanist Richard Florida on a range of economic geography projects. A proud millennial wonk, Bednar has also worked as a Senior Advisor at Queen’s Park and has successfully completed the Action Canada and Civic Action DiverseCity fellowships. She was previously the co-host of Detangled, a pop-culture and public-policy radio show.

Darren De Sa ’09, ’12

Faculty of Science, Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Darren de SA is an orthopaedic surgeon whose clinical scope includes adult and paediatric sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery, and trauma. He completed both his medical and orthopaedic surgical residency training at McMaster University, subspecialty training in young adolescent and paediatric trauma at Western University, and recently completed his Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. In this latter role, he acquired extensive experience as Assistant Team Physician for the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), and worked collaboratively with the medical teams for the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and the University of Pittsburgh collegiate athletics. Darren has published over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts, numerous book chapters, and delivering podium and poster presentations on the national and international stage. Most recently, he served as Assistant Editor for the joint JISAKOS/ESSKA “Basic Methods Handbook for Clinical Orthopaedic Research: A Practical Guide and Case Based Research Approach”, and is a manuscript reviewer for KSSTA and Arthroscopy. He is an active member of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and Arthroscopy Association of Canada and is now the Associate Head Team Physician for the Hamilton Forge FC soccer club and Assistant Team Physician for the Hamilton Tigercats.

Janelle Hinds ’15

Faculty of Engineering

Janelle Hinds is the founder of Helping Hands, a platform to help youth volunteer and get civically engaged while building skills for their future careers. As the Program Coordinator of this youth-led initiative, she delivers workshops to newcomer and racialized youth to build leadership skills and more to ensure all youth are active citizens. She has worked on integrating efforts to increase diversity in many of her endeavours and always looking for more opportunities to help others in their efforts.  She is now a leading Diversity Equity and Inclusion advocate and consultant helping organizations create inclusive workforces, products and services. She was recently awarded United Way of Greater Toronto’s Youth Leadership Award, Samara’s Everyday Political Citizen Award and Dutch Organization Inspiring Fifty’s top women in Technology and Innovation.

McMaster Marauder Hall of Fame

Albert Lager Prize for Student Initiative Award

Hanu Chaudhari

Faculty of Health Sciences

Hanu is from Mississauga, Ontario and is currently a fourth-year Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization student in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He has extensive experience working at varying levels within healthcare, research, and business in the health sciences. He is currently a thesis student in the Miller Lab researching novel therapeutics for influenza virus infections. Prior to this, Hanu gained exposure to varying levels of healthcare through direct patient interactions, working alongside surgeons and clinicians, and performing clinical research.

He transitioned to infectious disease research at the beginning of 2018 and is currently a thesis student in The Miller Lab. Hanu’s project is focused on the development of novel antibodies for use against influenza virus infections. He is also studying the role of antiviral drugs and the adaptive immune system in the context of influenza virus infections. In 2018, he was awarded the Institute for Infectious Diseases Summer Student Fellowship for his work. As well, he created an educational video in which he surveyed undergraduate students at McMaster to understand their view on seasonal flu vaccines to address vaccine hesitancy on campus.

Haleigh Longo

Faculty of Engineering

Haleigh studied Mechatronics Engineering, extending the length of her program in order to experience more out-of-classroom experiences that McMaster offers. Through her time at McMaster, she has shown a passion for helping her peers learn and grow. As Associate Vice President of Services and Productions for the McMaster Engineering Society, she created and chaired a new committee focused on creating advertisements, teaching students graphic design. She helped plan the Conference on Diversity in Engineering, an event attended by engineering students from across Canada working towards a common goal of making engineering a more inclusive field. She has lent her planning skills to many events at McMaster, including the MSU Creating Leadership Amongst Youth (CLAY) Conference and HackTheCity, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting student innovation in Hamilton. In addition to all of her activities, Haleigh has also made the time to volunteer, greeting incoming and potential students with brightness and enthusiasm.

Yina Shan

Faculty of Health Sciences

Yina Shan is graduating from the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program with a Specialization in Global Health. Her undergraduate experience has been shaped by the relationships built and lessons learned from her engagement with the McMaster University and Hamilton communities. As the Co-President of the McMaster Public Health Association, Yina worked with an interdisciplinary team of students and professionals to create opportunities for learning and engagement in public health, including an annual conference. She has also collaborated with diverse stakeholders to promote environmental sustainability and health advocacy at the local and global scales, serving as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar in Strengthening Health Systems with the McMaster Health Forum, an Events Coordinator with the McMaster Water Network Student Chapter, a co-author of the McMaster Student Union’s Environmental Sustainability Policy, and a McMaster University Student Scholar with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health. Yina committed to bridging the McMaster and Hamilton communities over her four years by coordinating visual arts programming for elementary schools with McMaster MakeBelieve and volunteering with McMaster Best Buddies.

Micah Zagala

Faculty of Health Sciences, Nursing

Micah is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing program. As a passionate, dedicated leader, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing student learning and enriching the student university experience through her involvement in various social, academic and advocacy initiatives. For two years, Micah served as a core executive member on the McMaster University Nursing Students’ Society. First, she held the position of the education chairperson, where she coordinated educational events and initiatives within the nursing program to promote academic learning. In her final year, she held the role of the President, leading a team of 50 executives from McMaster, Mohawk, and Conestoga in representing the voice of all students from the McMaster Nursing Collaborative Program. Micah has also played a prominent voice in advocacy, sitting as the student representative on the Undergraduate Nursing Education Committee, Curriculum Innovation Education Committee, and the Nursing Student Advisory Group.

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