Announcing the 2022 Alumni Achievement Medal winners

For this special anniversary year, the Faculty of Mathematics is recognizing 10 remarkable Mathies

The Faculty of Mathematics takes great pride in the accomplishments of its graduates. To acknowledge the exceptional contributions and achievements of these individuals, we established the Alumni Achievement Medal in 2002 and the Young Alumni Achievement Medal in 2012.

In 2022, the awards committee chose 5 winners for each medal: one for each year from 2019 to 2021 and two for 2022 in recognition of it being the 20th anniversary of the Alumni Achievement Medal and the 10th anniversary of the Young Alumni Achievement Medal. The medallists will be presented with their awards at an event during Alumni Weekend on June 3, 2023. 

Read more about the winners below.

Alumni Achievement Medal

Bonnie Foley-Wong, Founder and CEO, Pique VenturesBonnie
BMath 1997, MACC 1997 Masters of Accounting

Bonnie Foley-Wong helps leaders strategically plan for the future and make informed and empathetic decisions. She currently leads the Sustainable Investment team in Canada at Mercer, one of the world’s largest investment consulting and asset management firms.

Bonnie is the founder of Pique Ventures and founding investor in Pique Fund, which invested in eight women-led technology ventures and realized two exits to date. She received a Startup Canada Entrepreneur Promotion Award and YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in recognition of Pique Ventures’ impact.

Bonnie led the investment strategy for a not-for-profit’s $300M investment program, financed more than $1 billion in private capital in Europe and North America, and advised business leaders as a corporate finance advisor and auditor. She is the author of Integrated Investing: Impact Investing with Head, Heart, Body, and Soul. She has been published in Business Insider, Inc., Forbes, and Huffington Post.

Judy Dinn, CIO, TD BankJudy
BMath 1994, Business Administration  

As CIO, Judy is responsible for technology strategy, planning, delivery and ensuring the security and stability of the TD Bank technology portfolio. She plays a critical leadership role in driving transformational change across the organization so that TD can deliver digital products and services to its customers. She is an avid supporter and sponsor of women in technology as a mentor. She co-founded the organization Think About Math with the University of Waterloo, which supports high school girls continuing with STEM.

Judy is the Chair of the Individuals with Diverse Abilities platform at TD and is passionate about building inclusive workplaces where everyone has a voice and feels valued. She practices meditation daily and is a licensed nutritionist and yoga instructor. Her education from Waterloo has been a foundation to helping her open doors to various opportunities and she has leaned on her math and computer skills throughout her career.

Kevin Kimsa, Managing Partner, Climate Innovation CapitalKevin
BMath 1988, Statistics/Computer Science      

Kevin Kimsa has spent 34 years working in the technology industry.  He founded and operated three software companies, including Solect Technology Group (1993-2000), a customer care and billing platform, and AudienceView Ticketing (2002-present), one of the world’s largest primary ticketing companies with over 4500 venues under management.

In the venture capital community, he has held several roles including managing director at Omers Ventures (2013-15), co-founder and managing partner at ScaleUP Ventures (2016-present), and co-founder and managing partner at Climate Innovation Capital (2019-present). Climate Innovation Capital focuses on the decarbonization of the economy.

Kevin has sat on the Board of more than 40 organizations, including numerous private tech companies. He co-owned the Ottawa Renegade football club and the Toronto Rock lacrosse club.  He co-produced numerous theatrical productions. In April 2003, he was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 in the Report on Business magazine. Living in Toronto, Kevin is married with six children.

Mohammad Taghi Hajiaghayi, Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland Mohammad    
MMath 2001, Computer Science  

Mohammad T. Hajiaghayi is a Guggenheim fellow, ACM fellow, IEEE fellow, AAAS fellow, EATCS fellow, Blavatnik honoree, and Jack and Rita G. Minker Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has also received the EATCS Nerode Prize, ONR Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER award, as well as the Northrop Grumman and Google Faculty Award (twice), and several awards from DARPA, AirForce and ONR.

He received his Master’s from UWaterloo, his PhD from MIT, and was a post-doctoral fellow at CMU. He has been employed as a research scientist at top research labs such as Overstock, AT&T Labs, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM. His main area of research is algorithmic framework design and he is editor-in-chief of Algorithmica. He designs efficient online, game theory, approximation, fixed-parameter, streaming and parallel algorithms for big and complex games and networks, and often tests them in the real world for practical situations.

Rudy Karsan, Managing Partner, Karlani CapitalRudy
BMath 1979, Actuarial Science

Rudy Karsan has been a unicorn builder, entrepreneur investor, CEO, actuary and mentor for over three decades. He has been a managing partner at Karlani Capital since 2014. A lifelong learner and “doer,” he embraces emerging technology with boundless excitement. Give him a great idea and a stellar team to work with, and he will help grow it into a transformative enterprise. Rudy’s first unicorn was Kenexa, an enterprise HR SaaS company that he took public in 2005 and then sold to IBM in 2012 in a record deal. He has been recognized multiple times for his entrepreneurial and humanitarian achievements and is the author of a New York Times bestselling book on employee engagement, We.

Young Alumni Achievement Medal

Ashwin Vadivelu, Director, Strategy and Origination, EllisDon Community BuildersAshwin
BMath 2016, Business and Math Double Degree                                      

Ashwin is a CFA Charterholder and director with EllisDon Community Builders (EDCB), a team which focuses on developing affordable and supportive housing projects across Canada. Prior to helping start EDCB, Ashwin was a project finance professional with EllisDon Capital, where he structured and developed infrastructure and real estate transactions—leading and closing projects with capital costs of more than $300M and raising more than $800M in private debt and equity across the healthcare, justice and transportation sectors.

Ashwin is an expert financial modeller and has been a guest speaker on financial modelling for the Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure program at the Schulich School of Business. Prior to joining EllisDon, Ashwin completed terms with the Debt Capital Markets and Equity Derivatives groups at Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets. Ashwin holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Outside of work, Ashwin is heavily involved within the community, exemplified through being a recipient of the Top 30 under 30 award from the Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action in 2021. Ashwin is a board member of Hope4Child Relief Mission, a CRA-registered charity focused on education & livelihood in Sri Lanka, and was also a Board Member for the Canadian Tamil Professionals Association, where he spearheaded the first corporate sponsorship for the group.

Henry Shi, Co-Founder, Super Inc.Henry
BCS 2014, Computer Science 

Henry Shi is the founder of (formerly Snapcommerce), a mobile commerce and fintech superapp with more than 30 million members with $100M in funding and more than $1B in total sales. They help customers experience more of what life has to offer, regardless of income or circumstance. Previously, Henry was an ex-Google engineer who graduated in the top 1 percent of his class at Waterloo and has a Masters in Machine Learning from GATech. His entrepreneurial accomplishments have been recognized by Forbes’ 30 Under 30, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Deloitte Fast 500.

Dr. Karima Ladhani, Founder, CEO, Barakat BundleKarima
BMath 2010, Business and Math Double Degree                                   

Dr. Karima Ladhani is a social entrepreneur, women’s health advocate, innovation consultant and investor. She is the Founder and CEO of Barakat Bundle, a social enterprise that creates life-saving health and education bundles for mothers and newborns in need in South Asia.

She is currently a visiting scientist at Harvard University where her work has impacted health and education policymaking across 30 countries.

She mentors entrepreneurs from across the African continent, India and the United States through her work at Next Health Accelerator, Aspen Digital Equity Accelerator, Builders + Backers, and as an entrepreneur in residence at Georgetown University.

Dr. Ladhani is a graduate of Harvard University (PhD, MPH), University of Waterloo (BMath), and Wilfrid Laurier University (BBA). She has received numerous accolades including the 2022 Women’s Forum Rising Talent, Top 50 South Asian Founders to Watch, 40 under 40 Public Health Catalyst Award, Aspen Ideas Festival Global Voices Scholar, Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Award, Harvard Business School New Venture Award, LinkedIn For Good Award, WeWork Creator Award.

Dr. Joy Jiang, Associate Professor of Medicine, Washington UniversityJoy
PhD 2018, Statistics

Dr. Joy Jiang is a tenured associate professor in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. She obtained her PhD in Statistics in 2018 at the University of Waterloo and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Jiang has made major contributions to original statistical methods research, with a particular focus on breast cancer risk prediction using medical images. She is actively working on novel methods that capitalize on the exploding volume of data to improve our understanding of the breast cancer pathway.

Her work has been recognized and funded by the National Institute of Health where she was awarded the NIH MERIT Award in 2021. This year, Dr. Jiang was recognized as a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 in Healthcare for her development of statistical methods for precision oncology.

Vy (Ngoc) Le, Director, Canada LifeVy
BMath 2011, Business and Math Double Degree

Vy is a seasoned actuary and a risk management leader with a strong business and growth mindset. She is currently a director at Canada Life, leading the financial risk management oversight within Canada.

As a fellow alum of the double degree Mathematics and Business Administration program from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, Vy continues to pursue a lifelong journey of academic study and accreditation including FSA, FCIA, CERA, CFA and MBA. She is completing a Master of Computer and Information Technology.

She is an active volunteer with various actuarial organizations including the Society of Actuaries, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Actuarial Foundation of Canada. In 2020, she started the “V Life Journal - Actuarial, Career & Lifestyle” Youtube channel. One of her goals is to promote the actuarial profession and guide young professionals with their career planning related to math, data and tech.