Alumni News and Notes

Fall 2016

Announcing the 2016 Alumni Award Winners 

St. Paul's alumni are making their colleagues, their communities, and the world better through their professional work, volunteerism, and philanthropy. 

We are proud of the contributions our alumni make to society and believe they deserve to be recognized for their outstanding achievements. 

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Nancy McCalder (BA '78)

In recognition of an exemplary career dedicated to helping others

Nancy McCalderNancy McCalder (née Derbyshire) is a graduate of the Honours Co-op Recreation and Leisure Studies program and lived at St. Paul's in 1973-74. Recently retired, Nancy spent more than 25 years working in mental health awareness and advocacy in Alberta. As Executive Director of The Support Network, she worked with Alberta Health Services to create the Wellness Network, Alberta's first peer-to-peer mental health support service.

For much of her career, Nancy was a leading advocate to increase funding for and accessibility to mental health services in Alberta. Her work was instrumental in the development and expansion of services for Albertans, including the 24 Hour Distress Line, Suicide Grief Support and 211, a way-finding telephone and web service to enhance wellness for users. She also was part of a national committee that is working towards the development of a national suicide prevention line.

As Executive Director of The Support Network, Nancy led a team of volunteers, professionals, and practitioners to deliver daily supports for people in crisis who seek information, and for those impacted by a loss to suicide in the city of Edmonton. After retirement, Nancy established the McCalder Mental Wellness Foundation to continue her support of mental health services in her community.

In recognition of her long service to the people of Alberta as a leading advocate, practitioner, and for working to eliminate the stigma of mental health, Nancy was recently named recipient of the 2016 True Leadership Award by the Lieutenant Governor's Circle on Mental Health and Addiction.  

Sean Murphy (BASC '93)

In recognition of an exemplary career as a leader in business management and service to community

Sean Murphy headshot

Sean Murphy, CPA, CMA, FCMC, PMP is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering and lived at St. Paul's in 1988-89.

He is a Partner, Consulting and Technology Solutions, with MNP LLP and has over 20 years experience as a management consultant specializing in business & IT strategy, digital transformation, information management and project management.

Sean founded and was CEO of A Hundred Answers (AHA), an award-winning Ottawa-based professional services firm that was recognized as one of Canada's fastest-growing companies and as one of Ottawa's top employers as voted by employees prior to its merger in October 2016 with MNP LLP.

Under Sean's leadership, AHA was known for its support of the Ottawa community with employees participating in many Ottawa-area fundraising events, and the firm provided funding for Aboriginal students at University of Ottawa and Queens University.

Sean also holds a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa and recently joined the University of Waterloo Alumni Council as one of two College representatives.

Sean is married to Tracy, and has three children, Delaney, Jack and Quinn. 

Young Alumni Award

Dana Decent (BES '13)

In recognition of dedication to the environment and sustainability

Dana Decent

Dana is a graduate of the Environment and Business program and lived at St. Paul's during her first year in 2008-09.

Since graduating in 2013, Dana has worked in the not-for-profit sector with My Sustainable Canada and Sustainability CoLab, in the private sector with Sun Life Financial. Currently, Dana works in the academic sector with the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA) — a national applied research centre within the Faculty of Environment. As Manager of the ICCA, Dana is responsible for operational functions and research support for the centre’s programs.  

Dana is an active volunteer and supporter of the University community — in the past several years she has volunteered with the St. Paul’s GreenHouse program, as well as Faculty of Environment open houses and breakfast series events. Dana currently volunteers with the Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition (WRRC) to create safe-space social events for members of the LGBTQ community.

Recently, Dana was recognized by Corporate Knights magazine as one of Canada's Top 30 Under 30 in sustainability for being "an emerging leader in corporate and organizational sustainability with an outstanding record of contribution across the private and not-for-profit sectors."

In addition to her full time job at ICCA, Dana is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Sustainability Management.

Visit the Alumni Awards page to learn more about our criteria, past winners or to nominate an exceptional alumnus. 

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In Memoriam

St. Paul's pays tribute to alumni who have recently passed away.

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The '80s are back!

alumni hugging old friends

During Reunion Weekend, on the first Saturday of October, one of the largest groups ever of St. Paul's alumni gathered in Alumni Hall for an evening full of hugs, photo sharing, trivia, live music and, of course, many laughs.

For many, it was the first time back at St. Paul's since graduating 25 or 30 years ago, and the first time seeing familiar faces in many years.

Alumni in attendance traveled from as far away as Australia, Texas, Alberta and Ottawa.

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St. Paul's alumnus surprised by familiar artwork

Alumnus Chris Solar surprised to find his design being used in new ways

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The 1980s era reunion was a huge success and the following alumni deserve our thanks: Laurie Blackstock, Louie Verardi, Deanna Neville-Verardi, John Sercombe, Heather Sercombe, Diane Freeman and Peter Hicks. 

Jim Watson and Rick Myers

Among the highlights were a discovery that Jim Watson looks remarkably like Principal Rick Myers (above) and that '80s era alumni think highly enough of St. Paul's that they are now sending their kids to live here! (Below)

Matt and Patrick Devine

Other highlights included local craft beer from Innocente Brewery and an excellent selection of Niagara wines chosen by Diane Freeman. Dave Duncan, pictured below, proudly wore his old residence shirt and Engineering jacket.

Alumnus views display of old newsletters and photos