Brandon University Alumni Association announce award winners

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Devotion to their community is the common thread that runs through this year’s list of Brandon University Alumni Association (BUAA) award recipients.

“Every year, it is humbling to read through the outstanding accomplishments of Brandon University alumni who are nominated for our awards. In their work and in their life, they have really left their mark. What struck me this year was really the depth of commitment that each display,” said Carla Eisler, the BU Alumni Officer.

This year’s award winners are:

  • Whitney Kreller-Lamont (Distinguished Young Alumni Award)
  • Barbara Martin (Distinguished Alumni Award For Community Service)
  • Mitch Taylor (Alumni Award For Career Achievement)
  • Dr. Allan J. Ryan (Alumni Award For Career Achievement)
  • Dr. Cheryl J. Craig (Wall Of Fame Award)

“Learning that I will receive this award is very special, and I am both humbled and proud to be so honoured by my Brandon University peers,” said Taylor.

All five awards will be officially bestowed at Homecoming Weekend, next month.

“This year’s Homecoming promises to be a really special one,” Eisler said. “For the class of 1966, it is their 50th anniversary reunion, and they were one of the last classes to graduate from Brandon College.”

Other special class reunions at Homecoming this year will be the Class of ’51, the Class of ’56 (including Teacher Training and Bachelor of Paedagogy), the Class of ’66 (including Teacher Training) and the Class of ’76. As well, all students who have attended the Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies program from 2001–2016 are extended a special invite, as the program celebrates 15 years of education and practice.

“Of course, every year, there are so many alumni who come from every class year to take a look around their alma mater, to see what’s changed and what’s still so familiar,” Eisler said. “We encourage people not to necessarily wait for a special anniversary year, but to come each year. Many years, we end up with impromptu reunions as old friends run into each other again on campus.”

The BUAA is also available to help organize reunions based on shared student interest, not just class year, she said, suggesting that members of academic clubs or student government, for example, might find they have a lot of fun sharing memories, even if their class years weren’t the same.

“Just like your college or university experience, the best parts of Homecoming are the bonds that you form,” she said. “Sometimes that happens in the most unexpected way.”

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Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, and educates students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

2016 BUAA award recipients

Whitney Kreller-Lamont, BSc ’07, BEd (AD) ’09

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award is presented to Brandon University Alumni, 35 years of age or younger, in recognition of their significant achievements in their profession, sport, or community service.

Whitney, a teacher at Ecole Secondaire Neelin High School in Brandon since 2009, continues to follow her passion for learning and now teaches the International Baccalaureate Mathematics Program at Neelin. Devoted to her students both inside and outside of the classroom, she is highly respected by both students and colleagues, and is recognized for always putting in the extra effort to help those around her. Whitney is involved with many of the school’s extra-curricular activities and was co-founder of the Neelin High School Triathlon Team, co-founder of the Students Working Against Tobacco program, and has served as the coordinator of the Graduation Committee.

Barbara Martin, Associate ’65, BA ’67, Cert. of Ed. ’70

The Brandon University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to community service.

Community service has been a part of Barbara Martin’s life for many years. Barbara has been instrumental in building and expanding programs and services for children and families in her community of Temiskaming Shores, Ontario. Barbara has served on several boards throughout her life including, the District Child and Family Services and the Public School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee. She worked with service providers to develop mental health services for children and teens and to expand programs and services for clients of Community Living in Temiskaming. In recognition of Barbara’s service, Family and Children’s Services for the District of Temiskaming named their new building in her honour.

Mitch Taylor BSc ’65

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession, career, business, or industry.

Mitch Taylor is a distinguished businessman and entrepreneur who has been involved with several landmark ventures including the development of Vancouver’s iconic tourism and entertainment attraction, Granville Island, the False Creek waterfront, and the establishment of the Granville Island Brewing Company. Along with his extensive list of business accomplishments, Mitch has made ample time to give back to the community, through service on boards and through philanthropy. He is currently CEO of Knight Signs in Vancouver.

Dr. Allan J. Ryan, BGS ’75

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession, career, business, or industry.

Allan J. Ryan is an associate professor of Canadian Studies and Art History, and holds the New Sun Chair in Aboriginal Art and Culture at Carleton University. Since 2002 he has hosted an annual interdisciplinary conference on Aboriginal arts at Carleton. Among his publications is The Trickster Shift: Humour and Irony in Contemporary Native Art (1999), recipient of an American Book Award for its contribution to multicultural literature. He is also co-curator, with Zena Pearlstone, of the exhibition About Face: Self- Portraits by Native American, First Nations and Inuit Artists, shown at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2005-2006. More recently he has lectured on Aboriginal art and cinema in China and Brazil.

Dr. Cheryl J. Craig, BA ’76, Bed ’85

The Wall of Fame Award is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made significant achievements in their career on a provincial, national, or international level bringing honour and prestige to our University.

Cheryl J. Craig is a Professor and the Houston Endowment, Inc.’s Endowed Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. Her research niche focuses on the influence of context on teachers’ knowledge developments, their communities of knowing and their curriculum making. She is Executive Editor of Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice and an Associate Editor of Reflective Practice. Craig’s research regularly appears in the field of education’s most esteemed journals. In 2011, she was named an American Educational Research Association Fellow. In 2012, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Division B (Curriculum Studies), American Educational Research Association.

Additional note:
Dr. Craig is a keynote speaker for an upcoming conference at Brandon University. Mental Health on the Prairies Conference: A Focus on Transitions, takes place Oct. 12–14, 2016. For more information, see or email


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