Alumni Awards

The accomplishments and achievements of Algoma University’s alumni are recognized through two annual awards, the: Alumni Achievement Award and Distinguished Alumni Award.

To submit a nomination for either of the Alumni Recognition Awards, please download and complete the Alumni Recoginition Awards Form (PDF), and return it to the Alumni Office.

Alumni Achievement Award

The Algoma University Alumni Achievement Award acknowledges the professional, civic, and personal accomplishments of an Algoma U alumnus/a who has graduated within the last 10 years.

Recipients of this award will have successfully demonstrated:

  • Achievement in their chosen field;
  • Leadership abilities; and/or
  • A commitment to their community through active involvement.

Recipients of the Alumni Achievement Award are individuals who have truly distinguished themselves since graduating from Algoma University, and who have become a source of pride and/or inspiration to the Algoma University community.

2017

Arlene Pitts, BA 2007

Arlene Pitts is a long-time activist, both within Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto, where she is currently living.  Her commitment to meaningful social change has made significant contributions to the communities in which she has lived.  Arlene’s strong social and political consciousness has propelled her into success and led to the improvement and empowerment of some of the most marginalized people within our society.

She has worked tirelessly to improve sex workers’ rights, and advocate for people struggling with drug use. She focuses her activism on how public policy systemically affects the lives of marginalized and at risk people.

More recently, Arlene has worked as a Case Manager at St. Stephen’s Community House and as a Coordinator with the Women’s Harm Reduction Program at South Riverdale Community Health Centre, working with people struggling with addictions. Here, she has found ways to partner with various community groups and created various programs to better aid those she worked for. Her deep commitment to her clients led her to champion innovative and critical initiatives.

For her work at St. Stephen’s Community House, Arlene was awarded Toronto’s Vital People Award. The award honours exceptional community leaders and provides funds for training and development opportunities.

She graduated from York University’s prestigious Master’s of Public Policy, Administration and Law program in 2015.

Arlene graduated from Algoma U in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. As a student she was very involved on campus, including having served on the Algoma University Students’ Union as VP External and was a founding member of the Algoma University Student Food Bank, a student-led initiative which began to combat hunger amongst the student population.

2016

Kareem Roberts, BBA 2008

Kareem Roberts, is the Founder & President of K-Robs Social Enterprise, a non-profit consultancy organization that partners with local NGOS, and organizations with similar missions, to seek opportunities to overcome challenges and barriers that prevent children in developing countries from accessing quality education.

Kareem grew up in Brampton and New York City. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) from Algoma University in 2008 and continued on to obtain a MBA from Laurentian University. Kareem is currently completing his Doctorate in Business Administration from Herriot-Watt University in the UK, with the goal of becoming a university professor.

Kareem began his career working as a financial planner for Scotiabank, and Alterna Savings Credit Union. Three years ago, Kareem began seeking out ways in which to add deeper substance to his life experiences and career ambitions. He packed up and traveled to over a dozen nations; seeing the effects of contemporary world dynamics, and deeply empathizing with global disparity. This awakening experience created the momentum, and was the catalyst for K-ROBS Social Enterprise.

In 2013 Kareem Roberts spent a month in Tanzania, devoting most of his time to volunteering at Gloryland Prep School. He began by teaching in one of the classes, but changed roles to help with accounting, budgeting and project management. After two years of helping with project management at Gloryland, the previous project manager,Susan McDonald, passed her position onto Kareem. Shortly after that, Kareem founded K-ROBS Social Enterprise.

Kareem and his team are actively engaged in establishing an all-girls school in Arusha, Tanzania. The All-Girl School Project is based on the fact that within the Tanzanian community girls have a high dropout rate, and many elders and adults do not fully understand the importance of educating girls. Through this project they aim to increase the number of girls enrolled in, and graduating from, all levels of schooling which will have a number of beneficial outcomes for the girls themselves as well as the community at large.

Kareem is currently working with Algoma University Business Students (AUBS) on a volunteer work project that will allow the students to exercise their business skills/knowledge while also utilizing their critical thinking, personal relations, and communications skills, as they volunteer their time to work on a project with the Gloryland Prep School.

2015

Shirley Horn, BFA 2009
A path of lifelong learning bonds Shirley Horn to Algoma U. She first attended the actual site of what is now known as Algoma University at age six, when it was Shingwauk Indian Residential School. Shirley returned to Algoma University in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hon) in the spring of 2009.

When asked why she chose Algoma University, Shirley said: “I was always interested in art, and recognized I had some talent, but wanted to get the formal education. Algoma University was the right choice for me. I believe it was my destiny to revisit it. It has a lot to offer.”

Drawn to sculpture with natural materials, Shirley saw her future creative work focusing on producing art that reflected her residential school experiences. Her desire was to take her art into the communities to speak about how she addressed her feelings, and how people can move forward in a positive, non-destructive manner. She said, “It’s important that the truth is told – and no one can tell it for us.”

Shirley is one of the founders of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the National Residential School Survivor Society. She understands the importance of the healing process and says: “I have a history here. This place is an incredible part of my journey and it has led me to where I am today.”

2014

Andrew Ross, BBA 2004
Andrew graduated in 2004 from the Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) program.  As a student, Andrew was very involved in student politics.  He served as the first President of the Algoma University Student Union, when it changed from being a student association to a student union.

An avid golfer, Andrew began his career combining his love for the sport with his job working as the General Manager for a local golf course.  He later joined the Sault Youth Association as the Editor in Chief/Project Lead, overseeing the publication staff.

Andrew took his years of retail experience, his entrepreneurial skills, and talent for leading a dynamic team to the Enterprise Centre in January of 2007.  As the General Manager of Enterprise Centre, Andrew is responsible for cultivating small business and developing new small businesses within the Algoma District.  He and his staff deliver programs for the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services in the Algoma District and Chapleau, as well as promoting programs for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Despite his busy schedule Andrew made time to be involved with his alma mater.  He joined the Algoma U Alumni Council in 2007, and has held the positions of member, Chair and Past Chair, and continues to serve on the Council today.  Andrew also represented the Alumni Council on the Algoma U Foundation Board, later taking on the roles of Vice Chair and becoming Chair in 2010.

Andrew continues to be involved with Algoma University, participating in the annual  Northern Ontario Business Case Competition, where he has served as a judge and shares his business and entrepreneurial expertise with 4th year BBA students.   He continues to serve on a number of Boards and Committees throughout the community, including the Sault Community Career Centre, Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation, Chamber of Commerce Awards Committee and Buskerfest.

2013

Terence Bos, BBA 1997
Terry graduated from the Bachelor of Business Administration program in 1997.

Currently the CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation, Terry began his career back in February of 1999 when he was hired as an Intern. With a one year contract in his hand, his job was to assist in the preparation of the Business and Land Use Master Plan. After the completion of his contract he was retained in a marketing position until being promoted to the Manager of Finance and Administration in 2002, Airport Manager in 2004, and later to the position of CEO in July 2010.

Terry attained his Airport Administration and Services certificate from Sault College in 2003. He was bestowed the title of Certified Member (CM) designation from the International Association of Airport Executive (IAAE) in 2009 and is currently writing his thesis paper in the process of attaining the Accredited Airport Executive status with the IAAE.

Terry is active in his community, having volunteered his time with the Sault Ste Marie and District Scouts Canada, as well as serving in the capacity of assistant coach with a number of Sault Minor Baseball teams.

Terry is a member of the Airport Management Council of Ontario (AMCO). He was elected President of AMCO in 2010 and re-elected as President for a second consecutive term in 2011. Terry is also involved with the SSMADC Board as CEO.

2012

Robert Key, BBA 2000
Robert graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (Accounting Specialization). His stellar achievements were acknowledged by being awarded the Gold Medal Business Award (for graduating with the highest grade in the business program) and the BBA Accounting Gold Medal Award (for graduating with the highest grade in the accounting program).

Robert’s talents were quickly recognized and he was hired in July 2000 by DuPont Canada Inc., a position that he held for 3 years. During this time he began working on his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation which he achieved in 2004. Continuing with his pursuit for higher education, he went on to receive his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2005 and the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation in 2006.

Since graduating from Algoma U, Robert’s career has taken him to an array of large companies in industry sectors ranging from Manufacturing and Chemicals, Financial Services, Retail, to his current position as the Director, Treasury Operations at Research In Motion, a company that he has worked for since 2006.

Robert is a Director on the Association for Financial Professionals Canada (AFP Canada) and a Board Member with the Bank of America CashPro Advisory Board. He has been invited to share his knowledge on various financial topics at a number of speaking engagements including the EuroFinance conference in Miami and the AFP of Canada Treasurers forum in Toronto.

2011

Michael Cachagee, BA 1994
Mike Cachagee was forced to attend three Indian Residential Schools – St John in Chapleau, Bishop Horden in Moose Factory and Shingwauk as a child.

After having worked in the automotive sector for 30 years, he returned to Shingwauk Hall in the 1980’s and enrolled at Algoma U to complete his dream of obtaining his university degree in Political Science.

After graduating, Mike became a Native Student Advisor at Algoma U, helping to increase First Nations enrolment to over 100 students. Mike moved to Thunder Bay where he became Dean of Native Education at Confederation College, administering programs and services for 600 students at several campuses.

“Leadership roles at all levels have dominated Mike’s life for 25 years. He was Chief of his community, the Chapleau Cree First Nation and was subsequently appointed to important roles as Treaty negotiator and political advisor to the Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation”.

Mike was instrumental in establishing the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and has been President of the National Residential School Survivors’ Society since 2003. He has served on the Algoma U Board of Governors, as the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association representative.

In 2006 Mike helped to secure the landmark Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

On June 11, 2008, Mike Cachagee was one of several dignitaries present on the floor in the House of Commons to hear the historic apology to all former students of Indian Residential School delivered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

2010 

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Groulx, BA 1986
Eric Groulx graduated from Algoma U in 1986 with a BA in Psychology. He went on to obtain his BA Honours in Public Policy Administration from York University in 1988.

Upon completion of his studies, Eric began his career working for the Ministry of Community and Social Services and over the next 20 years he held a number of positions within the Provincial Government including serving as a Policy Analyst, Caseworker, Technology Services Manager and later as a Liquor Inspector with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

While a student at Algoma U, Eric joined the Royal Canadian Artillery 49th Field Regiment (Reserve) in Sault Ste Marie. His career with the military which began part time has spanned 26 years.

In 2002, after rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Eric became the Commanding Officer of the 49th Field Regiment, a position he held for five years. In 2007, LCol Groulx left to serve with the International Security Assistance Force headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan as a Liaison Officer. LCol Groulx served as SooToday.com’s Special Correspondent in Afghanistan, providing updates back home about the work that Canadian soldiers were doing in Afghanistan.

Since completing his first mission, LCol Groulx has returned to Afghanistan two more times. His missions involved developing courses and exercises to train the Afghan Army and Police Officers to work in active operational headquarters. While there has been significant development since his first tour, LCol Groulx believes that training the Afghan National Security Forces to be able to maintain security throughout the country is key to ending the need for Coalition Forces.

2009 

Les Dunbar, BA 1980
Les graduated from Algoma U with BA (Economics) in 1980, while working full-time at Algoma Steel. He continued his studies at Lake Superior State University, earning his MBA.

Changing careers in the early 1990’s, Les entered the world of finance as an Investment Advisor. He became Edward Jones’ first Limited Partner in Canada in 1995 and was one of 20 people selected (out of 9000 candidates) to receive Edward Jones’ Extraordinaire Mentor Award.

A strong community volunteer, Les believes in giving back to his community. Les has been actively involved with many organizations including the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Downtown Rotary Club, and the United Way. His volunteer activity has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Trillium National Award and the City of Sault Ste. Marie Mayor’s Award.

After attending an alumni event in 2004, Les joined the Algoma U Alumni Council and was instrumental in rebuilding the Alumni Council. He helped to organize the Algoma U Reunion in 2005 and has been deeply committed to the University ever since. Les currently sits on the Algoma U Foundation Board of Directors, the Algoma U Board of Governors, Chair of the Finance Committee and Chair of the annual Foundation Dinner Planning Committee.

2008

Dave Jones, BA 1989
David Jones is the founder of Turtle Concepts. He is presently an entrepreneur, researcher and motivational speaker.

Dave strongly believes in his traditional Aboriginal teachings. Since 1999, Turtle Concepts has traveled worldwide with the message that “you have a right to feel good about yourself” and to “celebrate your successes”

Dave holds a degree in sociology from Algoma U and a degree in Education that empowers him to speak confidently. He is currently applying to be a Ph.D. candidate with a plan to research the effects of gaining confidence and how difficult that may be, especially for Aboriginal People.

Dave is a founding member and moderator for the Youth Panel for the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, The Director for the Canadian Aboriginal Fashion Show, a Board member of the National Aboriginal Music Awards and a former elected member of the Garden River First National Council.

2007

Diane Marshall, BA 1974
Diane Marshall is well known for her outstanding service and career with the Algoma District School Board. As an educator, Mrs. Marshall developed programs for special needs and gifted children. She later became the Administrator of Special Education with the ADSB and was first female Superintendent.

Diane continues to be active in the community, serving with such organizations as the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Christmas Cheer program, Sault Area Hospital Board, Canadian Cancer Society, United Way, Algoma University College Foundation, and the Central United Church.

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Algoma University Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the accomplishments of an Algoma University alumnus/a who has reached a pinnacle of personal and professional achievement in his or her chosen field.

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award will have successfully demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities in business and industry, community service, or public life. They will have brought distinction to Algoma University through endeavors which have been heralded within their profession or community, or even beyond it.

Supporting documentation may include:

  • Notable achievements in other fields of endeavor;
  • Degrees and honours previously bestowed by Algoma University or other bodies;
  • Other information deemed helpful to the Selection Committee.

2017

Dr. John Willinsky, BA

Dr. John Willinsky is the founder of the Public Knowledge Project, more commonly known as the PKP. The PKP makes research available to all by creating a sophisticated open-source scholarly publishing system. The PKP is used by more journals today than any other system in the world. With over 2.3 million articles published, the PKP continues to facilitate the global sharing of scholarly research and data.

In 2016, Dr. Willinsky was awarded with the prestigious Connection Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for his work with the PKP. With a prize of $50,000, the Connection Award acknowledges those who facilitate the exchange of research knowledge, and creating intellectual, cultural, social, and economic impact.

Today, Dr. Willinsky is a Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University and directs the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, as well as the Honours in Education Program. He is also a part-time Professor in the School of Publishing at Simon Fraser University where he directs the PKP in partnership with Simon Fraser’s Library.

Dr. Willinsky graduated from Algoma University College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He earned his Master’s of Education from the University of Toronto in 1979 and his PhD in Education Foundation from Dalhousie University in 1982.

Unfortunately, Dr. Willinsky could not be with us to receive his award but he wanted to share his reflections with the Class of 2017 today. He expresses his deepest thanks and honour for receiving this award. Dr. Willinsky gives some of the credit for founding the PKP to the Sundays spent browsing scholarly journals in the Arthur A. Wishart Library in the 1970s.

He says, “I fell into the habit of visiting the Wishart Library on weekends. I’d sit among stacks of journals and periodicals, going from one intriguing study or review to another. Two decades later, with the arrival of the Internet, I saw a chance to offer that Wishart experience to a wider world. Fortunately, I was not alone in thinking that it was time for scholarship to be more public… Today, another two decades on, and nearly half the recently published research and scholarship is freely available online. My hope is that the graduating class will use some of that literature, at least when they can’t make it back to Wishart. Either way, I heartily congratulate the students on their well-earned degrees. I’m here to assure them that an education at Algoma is warranted for life.”

2016

Justice Charles H. Vaillancourt, BA
Charles Vaillancourt began his career as an elementary school teacher. He studied part-time at Algoma University College, while he continued to teach, earning a BA in Geography/History. He continued his studies, attending Law School at Western University.

Charles Vaillancourt practiced criminal law in Sault Ste. Marie for 16 years, and team-taught criminal jurisprudence at Algoma University College and Lake Superior State University from 1980 to 1990 with Judge James Greco.

Justice Vaillancourt was a small-claims court judge in Sault Ste Marie before being appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1990.

During his 25 year career, Justice Vaillancourt has heard more than his fair share of interesting cases in the courts.

  • In 1998, Justice Vaillancourt was assigned to hear R. V. Powley, a highly publicized and landmark case that took place in Sault Ste. Marie, involving Metis hunting and fishing rights that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • In 2014, Justice Vaillancourt came up with a compromise solution for a niqab-wearing woman who was a complainant in a sexual assault case, allowing only the back of her head to be shown to most of the courtroom, while the accused, Crown lawyers, court staff and judge saw her without a veil.
  • Most recently Justice Vaillancourt was assigned to the case that attracted national attention, the Senator Mike Duffy trial.

He has been described as, “Bold.  Not being affected by public sentiment. He plays no favourites in the courtroom. Very patient. Balanced with no shortage of common sense”.

Justice Vaillancourt responds by saying, “To say that I enjoy my current career immensely would be a gross understatement. I can say that there is never a dull moment and I have been fortunate to have more than my fair share of interesting cases. Judges are not in the happiness business”.

Justice Vaillancourt maintains his teaching connections by lecturing for the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Criminal Lawyers Association, and Osgoode Hall Law School.

2015

Greg Punch, BA 1975
Greg Punch received his BA (Economics) in 1975 from Algoma University College.

Now a private consultant specializing in primary healthcare, business and program development, governance and strategic planning, Greg has enjoyed a long and rewarding career in both the public and private sectors. He was Senior Financial Officer with the North Regional Office of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and Manager of Accounting for Bailey Hoogovens Canada

Greg went on to join the Group Health Centre and for the next 23 years served in a variety of capacities including: Director of Corporate Development, Director of the Comprehensive Health Organization Feasibility Study, Director of Finance and Administration and Chief Operating Officer. He retired in 2012 as the President and CEO of the Group Health Centre.

A longtime resident of Sault Ste. Marie, Greg is very involved in the community. He is a member and Past President of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, and President and Board Chair of Algoma University’s Health Informatics Institute. Previously, he held the positions of Director of the Group Health Centre Trust Fund, Director of the Group Health Centre Scholarship Fund, President and Chair of the Board of Algoma Child and Youth Services, Vice-chair of the Algoma District Network (Adnet), Chair of the Fundraising Committee for the Algoma Residential Community Hospice, and Treasurer of Lakeshore Kiwanis.

2014

Terry Rainone, BA 1973
Terry Rainone received his BA (Economics) in 1973 from Algoma University College.  He later went on to complete his Master of Business Administration degree from Lake Superior State University in May 1992.

A well-known and respected businessman and developer, Terry is the President of Palmer Group which is comprised of four companies in the construction, development and aggregate sectors.  He is also the President of Rain-One Investments and Secretary-Treasurer of McRain Developments Inc.

Active in the community, Terry served as President of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital, Chairman of Finance of the Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital and Chairman of the Planning Committee of the Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital. He also served as Secretary of Sault Ste. Marie Homebuilders’ Association. Terry served as Executive Director of the Community Development Corporation from October 1995 until April 1996 and was recently appointed to the Sault Ste Marie Economic and Development Corporation Board of Directors.

Terry was awarded the Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce President’s Award in 1993.  This award recognizes someone who makes an exceptional effort, which goes above and beyond the call of duty in any area of business and community development.  In 2013 the Chamber of Commerce awarded Palmer Construction Group with the Safe Work, Sound Business Award.  This award recognizes a business that uses a safe work management system, participates in workplace and/or community injury prevention programs and has exceptionally good injury frequency and injury severity performance.

A strong supporter of post-secondary education, Terry has supported both Algoma University and Sault College with very generous gifts to their respective capital campaigns.  Terry cites both institutions as being essential to the growth and development of Sault Ste Marie and believes that it is important to give back to the community.  Palmer Construction Group has also been a sponsor of the Algoma U Classic Golf Tournament, which helps students by raising funds for the Algoma University Scholarships & Bursaries Program.

2013

Terence Bos, BBA 1997
Terry graduated from the Bachelor of Business Administration program in 1997.

Currently the CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation, Terry began his career back in February of 1999 when he was hired as an Intern. With a one year contract in his hand, his job was to assist in the preparation of the Business and Land Use Master Plan. After the completion of his contract he was retained in a marketing position until being promoted to the Manager of Finance and Administration in 2002, Airport Manager in 2004, and later to the position of CEO in July 2010.

Terry attained his Airport Administration and Services certificate from Sault College in 2003. He was bestowed the title of Certified Member (CM) designation from the International Association of Airport Executive (IAAE) in 2009 and is currently writing his thesis paper in the process of attaining the Accredited Airport Executive status with the IAAE.

Terry is active in his community, having volunteered his time with the Sault Ste Marie and District Scouts Canada, as well as serving in the capacity of assistant coach with a number of Sault Minor Baseball teams.

Terry is a member of the Airport Management Council of Ontario (AMCO). He was elected President of AMCO in 2010 and re-elected as President for a second consecutive term in 2011. Terry is also involved with the SSMADC Board as CEO.

2012

Robert Key, BBA 2000
Robert graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (Accounting Specialization). His stellar achievements were acknowledged by being awarded the Gold Medal Business Award (for graduating with the highest grade in the business program) and the BBA Accounting Gold Medal Award (for graduating with the highest grade in the accounting program).

Robert’s talents were quickly recognized and he was hired in July 2000 by DuPont Canada Inc., a position that he held for 3 years. During this time he began working on his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation which he achieved in 2004. Continuing with his pursuit for higher education, he went on to receive his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2005 and the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation in 2006.

Since graduating from Algoma U, Robert’s career has taken him to an array of large companies in industry sectors ranging from Manufacturing and Chemicals, Financial Services, Retail, to his current position as the Director, Treasury Operations at Research In Motion, a company that he has worked for since 2006.

Robert is a Director on the Association for Financial Professionals Canada (AFP Canada) and a Board Member with the Bank of America CashPro Advisory Board. He has been invited to share his knowledge on various financial topics at a number of speaking engagements including the EuroFinance conference in Miami and the AFP of Canada Treasurers forum in Toronto.

2011

Michael Cachagee, BA 1994
Mike Cachagee was forced to attend three Indian Residential Schools – St John in Chapleau, Bishop Horden in Moose Factory and Shingwauk as a child.

After having worked in the automotive sector for 30 years, he returned to Shingwauk Hall in the 1980’s and enrolled at Algoma U to complete his dream of obtaining his university degree in Political Science.

After graduating, Mike became a Native Student Advisor at Algoma U, helping to increase First Nations enrolment to over 100 students. Mike moved to Thunder Bay where he became Dean of Native Education at Confederation College, administering programs and services for 600 students at several campuses.

“Leadership roles at all levels have dominated Mike’s life for 25 years. He was Chief of his community, the Chapleau Cree First Nation and was subsequently appointed to important roles as Treaty negotiator and political advisor to the Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation”.

Mike was instrumental in establishing the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and has been President of the National Residential School Survivors’ Society since 2003. He has served on the Algoma U Board of Governors, as the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association representative.

In 2006 Mike helped to secure the landmark Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

On June 11, 2008, Mike Cachagee was one of several dignitaries present on the floor in the House of Commons to hear the historic apology to all former students of Indian Residential School delivered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

2010

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Groulx, BA 1986
Eric Groulx graduated from Algoma U in 1986 with a BA in Psychology. He went on to obtain his BA Honours in Public Policy Administration from York University in 1988.

Upon completion of his studies, Eric began his career working for the Ministry of Community and Social Services and over the next 20 years he held a number of positions within the Provincial Government including serving as a Policy Analyst, Caseworker, Technology Services Manager and later as a Liquor Inspector with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

While a student at Algoma U, Eric joined the Royal Canadian Artillery 49th Field Regiment (Reserve) in Sault Ste Marie. His career with the military which began part time has spanned 26 years.

In 2002, after rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Eric became the Commanding Officer of the 49th Field Regiment, a position he held for five years. In 2007, LCol Groulx left to serve with the International Security Assistance Force headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan as a Liaison Officer. LCol Groulx served as SooToday.com’s Special Correspondent in Afghanistan, providing updates back home about the work that Canadian soldiers were doing in Afghanistan.

Since completing his first mission, LCol Groulx has returned to Afghanistan two more times. His missions involved developing courses and exercises to train the Afghan Army and Police Officers to work in active operational headquarters. While there has been significant development since his first tour, LCol Groulx believes that training the Afghan National Security Forces to be able to maintain security throughout the country is key to ending the need for Coalition Forces.

2009 

Les Dunbar, BA 1980
Les graduated from Algoma U with BA (Economics) in 1980, while working full-time at Algoma Steel. He continued his studies at Lake Superior State University, earning his MBA.

Changing careers in the early 1990’s, Les entered the world of finance as an Investment Advisor. He became Edward Jones’ first Limited Partner in Canada in 1995 and was one of 20 people selected (out of 9000 candidates) to receive Edward Jones’ Extraordinaire Mentor Award.

A strong community volunteer, Les believes in giving back to his community. Les has been actively involved with many organizations including the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Downtown Rotary Club, and the United Way. His volunteer activity has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Trillium National Award and the City of Sault Ste. Marie Mayor’s Award.

After attending an alumni event in 2004, Les joined the Algoma U Alumni Council and was instrumental in rebuilding the Alumni Council. He helped to organize the Algoma U Reunion in 2005 and has been deeply committed to the University ever since. Les currently sits on the Algoma U Foundation Board of Directors, the Algoma U Board of Governors, Chair of the Finance Committee and Chair of the annual Foundation Dinner Planning Committee.

2008

Dave Jones, BA 1989
David Jones is the founder of Turtle Concepts. He is presently an entrepreneur, researcher and motivational speaker.

Dave strongly believes in his traditional Aboriginal teachings. Since 1999, Turtle Concepts has traveled worldwide with the message that “you have a right to feel good about yourself” and to “celebrate your successes”

Dave holds a degree in sociology from Algoma U and a degree in Education that empowers him to speak confidently. He is currently applying to be a Ph.D. candidate with a plan to research the effects of gaining confidence and how difficult that may be, especially for Aboriginal People.

Dave is a founding member and moderator for the Youth Panel for the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, The Director for the Canadian Aboriginal Fashion Show, a Board member of the National Aboriginal Music Awards and a former elected member of the Garden River First National Council.

2007

Diane Marshall, BA 1974
Diane Marshall is well known for her outstanding service and career with the Algoma District School Board. As an educator, Mrs. Marshall developed programs for special needs and gifted children. She later became the Administrator of Special Education with the ADSB and was first female Superintendent.

Diane continues to be active in the community, serving with such organizations as the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Christmas Cheer program, Sault Area Hospital Board, Canadian Cancer Society, United Way, Algoma University College Foundation, and the Central United Church.