Alumni Recognition Awards acknowledge outstanding contributions and commitment 

The Concordia University Alumni Association celebrated the 17th Annual Alumni Recognition Awards last night at the Sofitel Hotel on Sherbrooke St. Congratulations to the 2008 recipients:

Alumnus/a of the Year

Magnifying glass

Frank S. Borowicz, QC, CA (Hon) earned his BA from Loyola College in 1969 and went on to earn law degrees from Harvard and Dalhousie. A prominent arbitrator, mediator and governance advisor, he has taught at the University of Windsor and helped found the University of Victoria Law School. He also participated in fundraising activities at Concordia, including the Frederick H. Lowy Fellowships, the Concordia Shuffle and the Tau Kappa Epsilon 40th Reunion Scholarship, graciously playing host for several Concordia alumni events at his Vancouver law offices.

Humberto Santos, Award of Merit

Magnifying glass

Katie Sheahan, BA 1978, sat on the steering committee of Recreation and Athletics’ Future Search conference while she was director of the Women’s Y, and subsequently returned to Concordia in 2003 to become director of that department. She presided over the successful initiation of the downtown fitness centre, Le Gym, and helped oversee the first phase of a long-term project to develop the outdoor and indoor Loyola Campus recreation and athletics facilities.

Benoît Pelland, Distinguished Service

Magnifying glass

Stephen Webster, BSc 1969, was a board member of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University and served as president from 1997 to 1999. He remains an active participant on the board, serving on the fundraising committee that runs the annual Bowlathon, which has raised more than $100,000 toward scholarships and bursaries.

Honorary Life Membership

Magnifying glass

Maria and Jonathan Birks, of Birkden Management Inc, are active philanthropists, and their enthusiasm for Concordia rivals that of the most ardent alumni. They are passionate supporters of bursaries and university programs through the Birks Family Foundation, especially Concordia’s Centre for the Arts in Human Development, which serves people with intellectual, developmental and mental health disabilities.

Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Magnifying glass

Associate Professor Arpi Hamalian began teaching at Concordia in 1974. She has served as chair of the Department of Education, director of the graduate programs in both educational studies and adult education, and principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, where she is an honorary life fellow.

She has been part of teaching teams in the inter-university PhD programs at the John Molson School of Business and Department of Communication Studies, and founding co-chair of the Concordia-UQÀM Chair in Ethnic Studies.

She has consistently had outstanding course evaluations, and won the Concordia Council for Student Life Award for Teaching Excellence in 1997. She also won a Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, which she received in 1993 in recognition of her significant contributions to Canada.

Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

Magnifying glass

Murray Sang has been an administrator in the Centre for Continuing Education for 21 years, the past eight years as director. He introduced professional and web-based certificate programs and second-language courses, facilitated the expansion of community-based initiatives, such as the Summer Program in Management and Community Development and the University of the Streets Café, and struck key partnerships with industry, government and non-governmental organizations in both Canada and abroad.

He enlisted as a volunteer in 1993 for the Concordia Shuffle, the annual 6.5-km walkathon for scholarships, and became the organizing committee’s chair in 2005. Throughout the event’s 18 years, thousands of Shufflers have raised close to $750,000 for scholoarships for about 300 students. Murray’s efforts have helped turn the Shuffle into a banner fundraising event the Concordia community looks forward to every year.

MBA Alumnus/a of the Year

Magnifying glass

In the early 1970s, Mackie Vadacchino worked full-time while pursuing her undergraduate degree at what is now the John Molson School of Business. She eventually became a full-time student, and in 1982, graduated magna cum laude. She immediately began her MBA at the JMSB and graduated a year later, landing on the Dean’s Honour List.

She entered the Bank of Montreal’s executive training program and subsequently held executive positions at Teleglobe Canada, Murray Axmith, Gildan Activewear and Aliments Soyummi Foods. She recently became CEO of Bioforce Canada, a leader in natural products and phytopharmaceuticals marketed under the A. Vogel brand.

A staunch advocate for Concordia, she has been a member of Concordia’s Board of Governors, a judge for the John Molson MBA International Case Competition, a member of the JMSB advisory board and teacher of a graduate-level marketing class. In 2004, she and her husband established the Mackie Vadacchino and Michel Robert de Massy MBA Bursaries.

Outstanding Student Award

Magnifying glass

Jean-Sébastien Bélanger is a marketing student who has been active as an organizer and participant in the business school’s activities and competitions. As the competition committee’s VP academic, he was involved in evaluating the students who vied for spots on 45 JMSB teams, and competed himself in competitions as far away as Hong Kong and southern California.


Concordia University