Celebrating our 2023 Alumni Award recipients

We are pleased to recognize alumni who have made an impact on the Waterloo community and continue to stay connected. By supporting health and well-being in different sectors, their impacts do not go unnoticed across the community and the University of Waterloo. Please join us in congratulating our 2023 awards winners and all they have accomplished!

Alumni Volunteer Award 


Doug and SandraDoug Ranton (BSc '89, Kinesiology) and Sandra Ranton (BA '88, Recreation and Leisure Studies) have made significant contributions to their community to advocate for mental health and discuss the importance of suicide prevention. Their passion for this work and dedication as a couple have left a lasting impression in Waterloo Region.  

Doug Ranton served as the alumni representative for the University of Waterloo Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) for three years. The committee was tasked with executing the suggestions of the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH). As noted in his Award nomination form, Ranton “provided many insights that were vital to the functioning and success of CoSMH’s work and took a leadership role in fostering progress for several recommendations.”  

As a couple, Doug and Sandra Ranton have established the annual Jacob Ranton Memorial Basketball Tournament in honour of their son, Jacob. The tournament supports the initiatives of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) and raises funds to support the initiatives that are taking place.  

The Rantons both had impressive careers as teachers and understand the impact this event has on the community. As Jacob was an avid basketball player, it is a chance for senior boys’ basketball teams from across the region to come together and participate. But it is more than that: It’s also a chance to mourn together, raise funds and hear from inspirational speakers.  

In recognition of their commitment to advancing the Faculty of Health and the community through volunteer opportunities, Doug and Sandra Ranton are the recipients of the 2023 Faculty of Health Alumni Volunteer Award. 

Alumni Inspiration Award 


Amarah Epp-StobbeAmarah Epp-Stobbe (BSc '14, Kinesiology) was a standout for this award due to her excellence in academic, professional and personal fields. She is currently pursuing a PhD in kinesiology at the University of Victoria as a Mitacs scholar, focusing her research on predictive modelling of female athlete load in contact sports. 

Her passion for sport and performance rose while at Waterloo. Between her education and as a member of the Waterloo equestrian team, she was able to carve out a path that led her to a master’s degree and now a PhD program.  

Epp-Stobbe has supported more than 100 athletes across several Olympic and elite national-level sports programs through strength and conditioning, performance analysis, biomechanics and data science. Internationally, she supported the Canadian Olympic Committee at two Olympic games (Tokyo 2021 and Beijing 2022) as a member of the Performance Technology Home Team, which specialized in remote technical support and performance analysis for Canadian athletes and coaches. 

Not only is her professional career impressive for such a short period of time, but she also finds ways to volunteer with the Victoria Ultimate Players Society and shares her time managing horse shows at the Cedar Vista Stables Show Series. Nationally, Amarah volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Strength and Conditioning Association to empower and connect coaches. 

In recognition of her commitment to her field and passion for success, Amarah Epp-Stobbe is the recipient of the 2023 Faculty of Health Alumni Inspiration Award. 

Alumni Achievement Award


Nancy BarberNancy Barber (BA '98, Recreation and Leisure Studies) is an inspiration and leader in encouraging women to take leadership roles and develop their professional careers. As the president of Women in Aerospace Canada, she is striving to increase the visibility of women in the aerospace community and is leading by example. 

In 2020, she was also honoured as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. As noted in her nomination form, “her efforts have been extremely impactful for women striving to break into leadership positions and in the field of aerospace/aviation.” 

As a University of Waterloo graduate in Recreation and Leisure Studies, her commitment to education and the University has been longstanding. Nancy is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council and a representative of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. She has published in the Journal of Sport Management and continues to promote the Faculty of Health’s interests to the larger community.  

Outside of the accomplishments in aviation, Nancy is a member of the Revenue Development Committee for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and has served as a board member and advisor for Empowerment International for several years. 

In recognition of her many accomplishments and her ability to empower others, Nancy Barber is the recipient of the 2023 Faculty of Health Alumni Achievement Award. 

Nominate an alum! 

If you know an alum who embodies the Faculty of Health spirit through their contributions to the health and well-being of society, nominate them for an Alumni Award! Nominations close April 30, 2024.