Alumni Awards Gala


Gala 2018 Recipients
Master of Ceremonies Rico Garcia & Principal Daniel Woolf with the 2018 QUAA Gala Award Recipients. Photo by Stephen Wild.

The Queen's University Alumni Association (QUAA) Gala Awards is a celebration of Queen’s spirit– the drive for both academic and non-academic excellence, the passion to make a difference in our communities, and the selfless contribution to the Queen’s community. 

The award recipients are made up of a diverse group of people, many of whom are leaders in their own communities, across Canada and around the world. Each alumni award carries a unique significance that joins the most recent recipients to those who came before them and were celebrated for their accomplishments and contributions to the Queen’s community and society. Past recipients include NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel, PhD’95; former Princeton University president Shirley Tilghman, Arts’68, DSc’02; MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi, Artsci'94, LLD'16; and former Member of Parliament and “father of the Canadian flag” John Matheson, Arts’40, LLD’84.

As a member of the Queen’s community and extended community, we welcome all nominations for next year’s alumni awards and encourage you to join the Queen’s University Alumni Association in celebrating the immense contributions of our alumni, students, faculty and volunteers.

For photos from the 2018 Gala Awards, view the Flickr album

This Year's Award Recipients:

Marlene Brant Castellano

Alumni Achievement Award: Marlene Brant Castellano, Arts'55, LLD'91

Dr. Brant Castellano is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honour bestowed by the QUAA.

The member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is a leader in Aboriginal education and research who has dedicated her life to the rights and well-being of Indigenous people. She was a professor of Native Studies at Trent University and has served on many government and academic research committees.

She retired from Trent in 1996 but continues to work on reconciliation between Aboriginal people and all Canadians, including the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force.


Alumni Humanitarian Award: Eric Windeler, Com'82, LLD'15

Mr. Windeler is a mental health advocate who founded in 2010 with his wife, Sandra Hanington, after their son, Jack, died by suicide while in his first year studying at Queen’s. 

Mr. Windeler quickly built, a national youth mental health organization that works directly with student leaders to develop initiatives to improve mental wellbeing on campuses across Canada.


Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching: John Allingham, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences

Dr. Allingham has received praise from his students for his dedication to teaching and going above and beyond.

He is not the type of teacher who stands in front of the classroom and talks for an hour. He believes in active learning. He creates eye-catching videos and brings in props to help explain complex topics. He also spends countless hours working with students outside the classroom on projects such as the Queen’s Genetically Engineered Machine Team (QGEM).

Photo of Janice Hill

Alumni Mentorship Award: Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill, Ed'99

Kanonhsyonne is the former director of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre who was recently named the inaugural Director of Indigenous Initiatives at Queen’s.

She has been a long-time advocate for Indigenous students at Queen’s and in the Kingston community. She has spent countless hours on committees and working with staff and administrators to develop a welcoming and supportive environment for Indigenous students.

Sue Bates on campus

Herbert J. Hamilton Volunteer Service Award: Sue Bates, Artsci'91

Ms. Bates has inspired many alumni and volunteers with her overwhelming love of all things tricolour. She has a long history of volunteering for both Queen’s and the alumni association.

The former University Council member launched an alumni branch in Turks & Caicos in 1999 when she lived in the Caribbean country. When she returned to Kingston, she continued to volunteer with the local branch, eventually becoming Kingston Branch President. She is currently the president of the QUAA.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud at Buzzfeed Canada

One to Watch Award: Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Artsci'11

Mr. Abdelmahmoud has come a long way since his days as news director at CFRC and has emerged as a rising Canadian media star.

He is currently an editor at Buzzfeed Canada and is a regular panellist and contributor on CBC’s The National.

Jasmit Kaur De Saffel photo

Outstanding Student Award: Jasmit Kaur De Saffel, Artsci'17

Ms. De Saffel excelled both academically and as a volunteer with various Queen’s organizations. She served on the Queen’s University Senate and held various positions with the Queen’s Student Alumni Association, Alma Mater Society, Residence Society, and Queen’s Journal.

All her efforts earned her an Ontario Volunteer Service Award from the provincial government. She deferred her acceptance to law school for a year and is currently a parliamentary assistant working in the Canadian Senate in Ottawa. 

Stacy and Mark love story

Marsha Lampman Branch Volunteer Award: Edmond Chan, Artsci'97

Mr. Chan has been volunteering with the Hong Kong Branch of the QUAA for more than 20 years and was instrumental in helping coordinate the Queen’s 175th Celebrations in Hong Kong in May 2017. 

Photo of Julia Reid



Rising Star Volunteer Award: Julia Reid, Artsci'08

Ms. Reid is currently the president of the New York City Branch. She has been working hard to build the alumni community in the Big Apple by recruiting new volunteers to the Branch executive and hosting about a dozen events over the past two years. 



Initiative of the Year Award: "Stefanie Reid at Canada House," London UK Branch 

The Branch hosted a talk with track star Stef Reid, Artsci’06. It helped more than 100 alumni reconnect with Queen’s and deepen tricolour pride as the World Para Athletics long jump champion inspired everyone with her story of how she went from Queen’s to the Paralympic Games.

Stacy and Mark love story

Queen's Student Alumni Association Volunteer of Distinction Award: Alyssa McLeod, Artsci'18

Hailing from Ottawa, Alyssa is pursuing a medical degree in Political Studies and Philosophy.

During her time at Queen's, Alyssa has enjoyed involvement with ASUS, QDC, QFLIP, and volunteering in the Kingston community. Alyssa is grateful for her international exchange to Sciences Po in Paris, France, and is excited to return to QSAA for a third year as VP Volunteers. 

For a full list of awards, visit the Awards & Fellowships page.

For more from this year's Gala read Alumni Association Honours its Best at Gala.