Distinguished Alumni


Olympic champion and Political Science graduate Alex Baumann (centre) with, from left to right, Dr. Patricia Pickard (Human Kinetics), Cindy Ives-Bigeau (Alumni Affairs), Dr. Jeno Tihanyi (Human Kinetics/ Coach), Dr. Wendy Jerome (Founder of the Sport Psychology Program) ca 1996. 

Graduates of Laurentian University’s Faculty of Arts have gone on to distinguish themselves in a variety of fields of endeavour. Of particular note are the many contributions to the Aboriginal and francophone communities of Northern Ontario. 

Gaetan Gervais

1965:              Dr. Gaétan GERVAIS graduated with a B.A. in history from Laurentian University and went on to obtain an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa. He taught in the Department of History at Laurentian University (1972-2010). He initiated the creation of the Franco-Ontarian flag with students Jacqueline England (who sewed it), Michel Dupuis, Donald Obonsawin and Yves Tassé. It was raised for the first time on September 25, 1975 at the University of Sudbury. He was one of the founders of the Institut franco-ontarien (IFO) in 1976. He was recognized with an honorary doctorate of Laws by Laurentian University in 2011. He received the Order of Canada in 2014. 

1967:              Dr. Robert SEGSWORTH graduated with a B.A. in history from Laurentian University and went on to obtain an M.A. from Carleton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Stirling. A specialist in public administration and local government, he taught in the Department of Political Science at Laurentian University (1970-2014). He was the recipient of the Laurentian University Teaching Excellence Award in 2008-09. He served as Acting Dean of Social Sciences (1976-77) and Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities (1995-99). 

Etienne Saint-Aubin

1969:              Étienne SAINT-AUBIN graduated with a B.A. in political science from Laurentian University after serving as SGA president (1968-69). A lawyer since 1976, he coordinated French language services for the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto. A pioneer of the bilingual legal system in Ontario, he created the French Language Services Act of Ontario in 1986. He received the Order of Ontario in 1996 and was awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s Award of Merit in 2000.

1971:              Donald OBONSAWIN is a member of the Abenaki First Nation. He graduated with a B.A. in political science from Laurentian University and went on to pursue graduate studies in Quebec. From 1987 to 2002, he served as deputy minister in seven Ontario ministries. He is founder and president of Directions, a management consulting company. He was recognized with an honorary doctorate of Letters by Laurentian University in 1999.

 

1971:              John RODRIGUEZ moved to Canada from Georgetown, Guyana in 1956. He attended Toronto Teachers’ College, taught in St. Catharines (Ontario), and moved to Coniston (Ontario) in 1962 where he became a school principal. He took evening courses at Laurentian University while a member of the Board of Governors of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (1969-71) and graduated with a B.A. in English and Spanish literature. In 1972, he was elected to the House of Commons as NDP MP for Nickel Belt (Ontario) where he served for 18 years. In November 2006, he was elected Mayor of Greater Sudbury.

1972:              James MARCHBANK moved to Canada from Scotland in 1969. He graduated with a B.A. in economics and Canadian history from Laurentian University. In 1982, he became director of development at Science North. He held the position of CEO from 1987 to 2011. Under his direction, Science North has become the largest tourist attraction in Northern Ontario and the second largest science centre in Canada. He was a recipient of the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal and the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award of the Canadian Association of Science Centres. He received an honorary doctorate from Thorneloe University in 2006 and an honorary doctorate of Laws from Laurentian University in 2013.

 

1974:              Michael ROACH graduated with a B.A. in economics and political science from Laurentian University. He is president and CEO of CGI, an IT and business process services provider with over 100 offices worldwide. He spent 25 years with Bell Canada in a variety of leadership roles. He is a member of Laurentian University President’s Advisory Council. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Laurentian University in 2006.

1979:              Maria (Masha) KRUPP graduated with a B.A. in modern languages (French and Russian) from Laurentian University and went on to obtain an M.A. in Slavic languages from the University of Alberta. For almost 10 years, she worked for the federal public service at CSIS, RCMP and RCMP Security Service as a Slavic languages specialist, intelligence analyst and translator. She is the founder and president of the Masha Krupp Translation Group (MKTG) Ltd., the largest Canadian-owned translation firm in the country. Based in Ottawa, the firm employs more than 100 full-time staff. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters by Laurentian University in 2014.

1980:               Leland BELL is a member of Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island. He graduated with a B.A. in native studies from Laurentian University. He has been painting for over 30 years and his works can be found in collections across North America and Europe. His mural Survival (1985), commissioned for the 25th anniversary of Laurentian University, hangs over the entrance to the Fraser Auditorium. He also designed two eagles for Laurentian University’s coat of arms (2010). He was recognized for his contributions to Anishinaabe culture with an honorary doctorate of Letters by Laurentian University in 2008.

Helene Chayer

1982:              Hélène CHAYER graduated with a B.A. from Laurentian University and went on to obtain a B.Ed. from Nipissing University and an M.Ed. from the University of Ottawa. For more than 30 years, she has championed the French language and culture in the school system. She held the position of director of education and secretary-treasurer of the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario. She has served on many regional, provincial and national committtees in the field of education.

 

1985:              Dawn MADAHBEE is a member of Sucker Creek First Nation and is a traditional powwow dancer. She graduated with a B.A. in political science from Laurentian University. She is the general manager of Waubetek Business Development Corporation, an Aboriginal financial institution serving First Nations and Aboriginal entrepreneurs throughout northeastern Ontario. She previously chaired the Northern Ontario Development Corporation.

1989:              Ronald CAZA graduated with a B.A. in economics and philosophy from Laurentian University and went on to obtain a law degree from the University of Ottawa. Originally from Chelmsford, he practices law in both official languages and worked at Nelligan O’Brien Payne for 15 years prior to joining Heenan Blaikie where he is now a partner. Much of his time is spent defending francophone minority rights in Ontario. In 1998, he took on the defense of Ottawa’s Montfort Hospital which the Ontario government had slated for closure and which became a symbol of Franco-Ontarian language rights. He was recognized with an honorary doctorate of Laws by Laurentian University in 2013.

 

1989:              Nancy RECOLLET is a member of Whitefish River First Nation and has been living in Sudbury since 1975. She graduated with a B.A. in political science and psychology from Laurentian University. She taught at Cambrian and Sault Colleges prior to working in the public service. She has worked for the Anti-Racism Secretariat, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat. She is a member of advisory committees to the Police Services Board and the City of Greater Sudbury.

1990:              Alex BAUMANN moved to Canada from Prague, Czech Republic. He earned two gold medals for swimming at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Between 1978 and 1987, he held 34 national titles and set 6 world records. He continued to swim competitively while studying at Laurentian University where he obtained a B.A. in political science. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and of the Order of Ontario and a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in physical education by Laurentian University.

1994:              Dr. Michel BOCK graduated with a B.A. in history, earned an M.A. in 1996 and went on to complete a Ph.D. in history at the University of Ottawa. He is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, specializing in Franco-Ontarian and Quebec history. He holds one of the University of Ottawa’s Research Chairs in Canadian Francophonie. His book Quand la nation débordait les frontières: les minorités françaises dans la pensée de Lionel Groulx earned him the 2005 Governor General’s award for French language non-fiction. 

1999:               Dr. Darrel MANITOWABI is a member of Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island. He graduated with a B.A. in anthropology and went on to obtain an M.A. from McMaster University and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He taught at the University of Sudbury (2004-11) prior to his appointment at Laurentian University in 2012. He is currently an assistant professor of anthropology in the School of Northern and Community Studies and Coordinator of the new Masters in Indigenous Relations. His research interests include Aboriginal health and the impact of casinos on Indigenous communities.