Connections - Summer 2023

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STU Alumni & Friends Summer 2023
STU’s AwardWinning Social Enterprise Program What’s New at STU
Tribute to

“Being a member of the STU Moot Court team was one of my favourite undergraduate experiences. It provided me with the opportunity to develop the skills and resources to excel in any future program,while also allowing me to meet and work with a group of extremely talented and driven individuals. It is an excellent opportunity for all St. Thomas students, and I highly recommend taking advantage of it during your degree.”

– Maggie Jardine, (BA'23) is a member of STU's Moot Court Team.

“Being a scholarship recipient has enhanced my STU experience by helping me be more involved with the STU community! STU communities such as the St. Thomas University International Students Association (STUISA), where we celebrate multiculturalism at STU, help new international students feel welcome and share our diverse culture with the rest of the STU community.”

– Estefania Martinez, (BA'24) is a Chancellor's International Scholarship recipient and is on the executive of the St. Thomas University International Students Association, which is supported by the STU Fund.

2 St. Thomas University | Connections STU Fund impacts today’s students Interestedin establishinganewstudentaward orincluding St.ThomasUniversityinyourestateplans?ContacttheOffice ofAdvancementandAlumni Relationsat506-452-2140 Tomake agift thatwillsupportstudents, orcall 506-452-2140
the STU
makes an impact for students today! Your gi helps to make possible such things as: Scholarships and Bursaries Travel Study Programs
Learning Opportunities Mentorship, Tutoring & Writing Workshops

We welcome your comments

Phone: 506.452.0521



Facebook: St. Thomas University Alumni

Twitter: @StThomasAlumni

LinkedIn: St. Thomas University (CA)

Connections is a publication of the

Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3B 5G3. It is distributed free of charge to more than 13,000 St. Thomas University alumni and friends worldwide.


Office of Advancement and Alumni

Relations, St. Thomas University


Jacqueline Cormier, BA’08


Ashlen Albright, BA’09

Wanda Bearresto, BA’87

Angela Bosse, BA’18

Jeffrey Carleton

Emily Davis, BA’23

Kesang Deker

Dionne Izzard

Kathleen Johnson, BA’13

Eric Lewis

Jodi Misheal

Emily Oleksuk, BA’20


Shelley Rolland-Poruks, BA'01

Aaron Sousa, BA'23

Brooke Stanford, BA'23


Keith Minchin

Design, Layout, Printing

Karen Smith Design


Alumni Association

Board of Directors 2022-2023

Don Bossé, BA’82, BEd’83 (Fredericton, NB)

Dr. Dawne Clarke, BA’95 (Fredericton, NB)

Mary Beth Gorey, BA’75 (Fredericton, NB)

Bibi Wassimah Joomun, BA’20 (Ottawa, ON)

Suzanne Lalla-Murphy, BA’88 (Fredericton, NB)

Dennis Livingstone, BA’73 (Riverview, NB)

Alaina Mejia, BA’21 (Corner Brook, NL)

Sabrina Sotiriu, BA’10 (Ottawa, ON)

Margaret (Margie) Tracy, BA’75 (Fredericton, NB)

Melissa Wah, BA’10 (Fredericton, NB)

Dr. Angela Wisniewski, BA’03 (Fredericton, NB)

Brianna Workman, BA’19 (Ottawa ON)

Thank You for the Welcome

President and Vice-Chancellor

Dr. M. Nauman Farooqi

Thank you for the warm welcome that I have received in my early days at STU. Attending the retirement celebrations for Dawn Russell, I saw the respect and gratitude the STU community has for her leadership. The $2 million scholarship gift to STU from the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation and Irving Oil in her honour shows that her accomplishments were widely appreciated.

I am an ‘accidental academic’ who moved from business to education through family business, corporate finance, and consulting. Through teaching I discovered the energy of students and the satisfaction one could derive from their learning and growth.

I was attracted to STU by the community; this campus is brimming with energy, students and professors know each other, and they learn together inside and outside the classroom. STU is a small, connected, and caring university where I hope to make my contribution.

The fall semester will provide the opportunity to meet more professors and students on campus and at our guest lectures, theatre productions, and Tommies games. I’m also looking forward to meeting you and hearing your stories of how STU shaped your life. •

4 Cover Story 7 Alumni Association 10 Reflections 11 Giving News 12 Profiles 16 Campus Watch 24 New & Noteworthy FEATURES Social Enterprise Program Students build profitable and purposeful businesses. Harnessing the Power of Neurodiversity Rick Brennan writes book and launches podcast about neurodiversity and leadership. Homeschool To Go Houlie Duque has global aspirations for homeschooling program. Gender Equity in the Investment Industry Nadia Barry Fuglstad runs female-led investment firm. On the Cover: President Dawn Russell retires after a 12-year tenure.
by Keith Minchin 12 13 14 15
Contents Summer 2023 3

Cover Story

Celebrating the Presidency of Dawn Russell, 2011-2023

Aproud alumna of STU, Dawn Russell (BA’77) went on to earn a law degree from Dalhousie and a master’s degree in law from Cambridge. She was a Professor and Dean of the Dalhousie Law School, and for her many achievements, received a King’s Council designation.

“Dawn Russell always ‘punched above her weight’. She combined charm and persuasiveness with such finesse that you seldom realized your arm had been twisted or your pocket picked. She was eternally optimistic and unrelentingly passionate about her causes. On campus she was a friend, counsellor, confidante, and cheerleader. St. Thomas was blessed to benefit from her leadership.”

Even as other opportunities arose, Dawn was determined to return to her alma mater. She was motivated by the chance to “give back” to STU for the many benefits that she and her siblings had received.

From her first day as President, Dawn wanted to create the most positive experience possible for students, faculty, and staff alike. She set high standards for inclusive leadership.

She modernized our academic structure. She improved transparency. She created the conditions that allowed others to thrive. And she ensured each received the credit they were due.

Over 12 years in the President’s Office, Dawn oversaw the implementation of better student services and supports, new academic programs and Certificates in Experiential Learning and Digital & Media Literacy, the establishment of an Office of Experiential Learning and Career Development, and support for Moot Court.

“Dawn Russell has always been a leader, whether as Dean of Law at Dalhousie, President of St. Thomas, or at one of the many organizations of which she has been a member, including my own corporate Board.”

St. Thomas University | Connections 4
“President Dawn Russell was a supporter and champion to improve the university experience for Indigenous students. We will miss her leadership, but are grateful for her legacy.”
– Hon. Graydon Nicholas, Chancellor
– Hon. Frank McKenna
John Bragg, C.C., O.N.S.

In the early days of her presidency, STU began the steps towards reconciliation through Indigenous student programming, building the Wabanaki Centre, and our Senate Committee on Indigenization. Her leadership became a model for other universities.

“It was a good day when Dawn Russell returned to her alma mater. It has been a privilege to get to know Dawn, and to work with her throughout her presidency. Her passion for St. Thomas, and for the students who passed through during her tenure, is well-known to anyone who knows her.”

While all this was happening, “The Campaign for St. Thomas” became the most successful capital campaign in the university’s history, doubling the initial goal and raising $20M. The more people learned about STU and saw the passion Dawn had for her university, the more they supported her leadership.

“President Russell’s tenure has exemplified what authentic, bold, and courageous leadership looks like. Having the opportunity to work with her during my time as a student has remained a constant source of inspiration. I am profoundly grateful for President Russell’s immense contributions to make STU the incredible university that it is.”

Today, thanks to Dawn Russell, a student starting at STU has the opportunity to earn a four-year scholarship approaching $100K, to study at a national-calibre university, to live in a refurbished residence, to become a World Champion Moot Courter, to earn a certificate in an emerging field, and to have the possibility to earn a Beaverbrook, SSHRC, or Rhodes Scholarship.

“The Harrison McCain Foundation makes its charitable decisions largely based on the individuals who will be leading the initiative we are choosing to support. We have been hugely supportive of our investment in St. Thomas University because of the outstanding leadership of Dawn Russell.”

Summer 2023 5
– Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney – Ann McCain Evans, O.C. – Brianna Workman, Class of 2019, STUSU President

Cover Story

Like her predecessor Dan O’Brien, Dawn understood that a university could be a beautiful learning environment. Her achievements included upgrades to Harrington and Vanier, a new Student Lounge, a refurbished Chapel, and our Great Hall.

To honour her extraordinary contribution the Board of Governors approved the renaming of the student lounge in Sir James Dunn Hall. Henceforth, it will be known as the “Dawn Russell Student Lounge,” a fitting tribute given how much of Dawn’s work supported and encouraged students.

This all started on her first day. Not her first day as President, but her first day as a student when she saw her opportunity for a life-changing education, and a vocation which could be providing that same education and opportunity to others. In that, she succeeded greatly.

Dawn, thank you for your years of service and leadership to your alma mater •

“Dawn Russell returned to serve her alma mater as President and, through her integrity, sense of humour, and genuine personal commitment, rebuilt a sense of mutual respect and trust within the University community. As STU’s first female president, she ushered in a new era of equality and inclusiveness that set STU apart. I value her mentorship and consider myself privileged to have served under her leadership.”

St. Thomas University | Connections 6
“Thank you, Dawn, for your belief in the importance of students and education, community, justice and service. Your deeply-held belief that the values and mission of the University can and do make a difference in the world around us is inspiring. It is the way in which you live those commitments that I respect above all else.”
– Margaret Tracy, Class of 1975, Past-President St. Thomas University Alumni Association – Dr. Kim Fenwick, VicePresident (Academic and Research)

Message from the STUAA President Dennis Livingstone

Iwant to welcome the members of the class of 2023 to the ranks of alumni –and welcome you to your first issue of Connections, STU’s alumni magazine.

As you enter a new stage of your life, I hope you will cherish and value the friendships you have forged during your time at STU and remember the lessons you learned here, whether they were in the classroom, cafeteria, sport field, or in the Black Box Theatre. These experiences will serve you well as you begin the next chapter of your life, your new beginnings.

Here on campus, we are also celebrating new beginnings as we welcome our new President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Nauman Farooqi. The STU Alumni Association looks forward to working with Dr. Farooqi to continue to promote and celebrate our alma mater and its alumni.

As always, I want to encourage our alumni to stay engaged with the STU community. Attend an alumni event, cheer on the Tommies, or come back to campus for a lecture or play. And don’t forget to stay in touch and let us know what you’re up to! •

Alumni Association Save the Date

We hope you can join us at our upcoming alumni gatherings. Details will be sent via email and posted on the website.

For more information about a gathering in your area, please contact our office at 506-452-0521, or

September 14, 2023

Fredericton, NB

Annual Harvest STU Alumni Pit Stop

September 23, 2023

St. Thomas University Alumni Association Annual General Meeting

Tommies Reunions – Save the date

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Alumni Weekend

October 13-14, 2023

Women’s Volleyball Alumni Weekend

November 25-26, 2023

Women’s Hockey Alumni Weekend

February 2-3, 2024

Check your email and our website for updates if you played these sports! •

T-Ring Winners


Eare this year’s recipients of T-Rings from the Alumni Association.

“When people ask where I went to school, I can’t wait to proudly show my T-Ring and tell them that I attended St. Thomas University. I am very thankful for the STU Alumni Association for this generous contribution towards my T-Ring. Over the past four years, STU has become my home away from home, and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to carry a small piece of STU with me wherever I go next,” said Emily Green. “The T-Ring not only represents my personal achievements but shows my pride and gratitude towards St. Thomas University. St. Thomas has guided me along a path where I have found my passions and gained independence, and has opened doors to new experiences. I will cherish the memories and friendships I have made for the rest of my life. Besides walking across the stage to receive my diploma, receiving my T-Ring is one of my last few steps on my St. Thomas path,” said Madison LeBlanc. •

mily Green (BA’23) (left) and LeBlanc (BA’23) (right)
Summer 2023 7

STU Alumni Events

Alumni Women’s Hockey Day

January 28, 2023

Father Tom Daley Scholarship: Adelaide King

The recipient of the Father Tom Daley Scholarship in 2023 was Adelaide King (BA’23). “Being awarded this scholarship allowed me to focus on finishing my honours thesis this semester and eased the stress of working less as a result. I am extremely thankful and honoured to have been selected for this scholarship and to be able to honour the name of Rev. Tom Daley in the process. Thank you so much to the STU Alumni Association for making this possible!” •

Back Row (l-r): Stephanie Wood (BA’05); Niki Colpitts (BA’03); Lauren Henman (BA’19); Coach Peter Murphy; Rita Dorofeeva (’17’19); Danielle Ring (BA’20); Stephanie Ford (BA’18, BSW’20); Paige Jackson (BA’19, BSW’21); Emily Hobbs (BA’07) and Rebekah Connors (BA’08). Front Row (l-r): Jaclyn Purcell (BA’19); Mariah Carey (BA’22); Alex Woods (BA’20, BEd’21); Emily Oleksuk (BA’20); Lauren Legault (BA’20, BEd’21); Murray; Emma Pye (BEd’22) and Ashley Duguay (BA’08, BEd’09)

Back Row (l-r): Niki Colpitts (BA’03); Stephanie Wood (BA’05); Kathleen Boyle (BA’11, BEd’12); Courtney Fox (BA’12, BEd’13); Marianne Spencer (BA’07); Alex Woods (BA’20, BEd’21); Paige Jackson (BA’19, BSW’21); Emma Pye (BEd’22); Lauren Henman (BA’19); and Danielle Ring (BA’20). Middle Row (l-r): Stephanie Ford (BA’18, BSW’20); Lauren Legault (BA’20, BEd’21); Mariah Carey (BA’22). Front Row (l-r): Amy Nelson (BA’08); Kelly Hogg (BA’06); Ashley Duguay (BA’08, BEd’09); Murray; Rebekah Connors (BA’08); Rita Dorofeeva (’17-’19) and Emily Oleksuk (BA’20)

8 St. Thomas
| Connections


Alumni Women’s Volleyball Day

February 4, 2023

Despite record-breaking cold and wind, members of the alumni cheered on the current Tommies with two wins! (l-r): Dominique Caravan (BA’16, BEd’17); Gabrielle Anderson (Boutilier) (BA’11); Ksenia Sehic (BA’13); Amy Reid (BA’17); Ashley Jordan (BA’15) and Hannah Millier (BA’21)

Alumni Men’s

March 2023

and Women’s Basketball 2023

Back Row (l-r): Ryan Sullivan (BA’00); Jillian Lamoreau (BA’13); Dale Kozak (’83 -’86); Don McKay (BA’74) and Al Doucet (BA’85, BEd’88). Front Row (l-r): Bridgette GreerMcEwing (BA’97); Heather Atherton (BA11); Amy Andow (BA’10) and Karen Kozak (BA’97)

Back Row (l-r): Ryan Sullivan (BA’00); Chris Cummins (BA’94); Randy McKinnon (BA’95); Women’s Coach

Fred Connors (BA’00); Mark Hegarty (BA’91); Karen Kozak (BA’97) and Dale Kozak (’83-’86). Front Row (l-r): Bridgette GreerMcEwing (BA’97); Monique

Allain Former Women’s Coach, Annette Hegarty and James

2023 9
(l-r): Chris Cummins (BA’94); Will Vickers (BA’83, BEd’85); Stephen Horsman (BA’85, BEd’86); Don Bosse (BA’82, BEd’83) and Al Doucet (BA’85, BEd’88).

STU@UNB 25 Years Later, Friendships are Still Going Strong

Twenty-five years ago, there was a floor of St. Thomas women who lived at Lady Dunn, the UNB residence. It was a special partnership formed for the year between the two universities, as that year, there was an abundance of applications for residence at STU that couldn’t be accommodated by the university. With a lucky twist of fate, applications for the all-female residence Lady Dunn were down that year, and so a formal partnership was put in place, and STU@UNB was born.

About 40 St. Thomas students lived at Lady Dunn and took up the whole second floor. The residence had proctors and a House Committee just like they did up at STU, and these were roles taken on by more senior UNB students. The student leaders welcomed the STU girls with open arms right from the getgo. Two STU@UNB Reps were also chosen to liaise between the St. Thomas Student Affairs Office and the floor at Lady Dunn. I had the pleasure of being one of these reps, which, was a bit extra special as I was also a first-year student.

Having met the Director of Student Affairs in the summer at Summer Orientation, he sensed my enthusiasm and school spirit and asked me if I would be interested in this role. Coming from Ontario and being a bit older, I jumped at the chance to take on the role and have a reason to get to know everyone!

Lady Dunn was (and probably still is) a very spirited house with a history of fun and friendship. If ever you were out at the Social Club or Dolans Pub and the song “Oh What a Night” by the Four Seasons came on, people from all corners of the bar would gather and dance together. It was cheesy, but also exciting.

The year was a lot of fun and there was always a sense that we STU Lady Dunners had the best of both worlds. We got to go to

St. Thomas and have that small classroom experience, but also got to live in a lively “big school” residence where there were so many fun traditions in place.

At the end of the year, STU’s Student Affairs office hosted the women up on campus for a year end dinner in Sir James Dunn Hall. Pretty much the entire floor of STU@UNB residents came, including the Proctors and House Committee from Lady Dunn, and some of the UNB and STU Residence Administration.

To this day, I remain friends with many of the women I met that year. It really doesn’t feel like 25 years have come and gone already. And I still want to get up and dance every time I hear “Oh What a Night!” •

St. Thomas University | Connections 10
Some STU Lady Dunners, reuniting in 2014 (l to r): Darlene Noble, BA’01; Lana Bradley BA’01; Sara MacDonald (Manuel), BA’01; Maggie Gorman, BA’01; Shelley RollandPoruks, BA’01

Giving News

Irving Oil, Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation Gift $2M

to Increase Access to Education at St. Thomas University

Students will have greater access to post-secondary education with the transformative gift of $2 million from Irving Oil and the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation for the establishment of new entrance scholarships.

Three full-tuition renewable entrance scholarships will be established and funded through the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation Scholarship Endowment. When fully mature, this endowment will fund 12 Arthur L. Irving Family Scholars each year.

Established in recognition of the dedicated leadership of recently retired President Dawn Russell, these scholarships will recognize academic excellence. In announcing the gift, Arthur, Sandra and Sarah Irving spoke to Dawn Russell’s commitment to educational excellence in her twelve years leading the university.

“We are proud of our partnership with St. Thomas University to support students in achieving their dreams,” says Sandra Irving. “We congratulate Dawn Russell on her vision at St. Thomas University to

always put students first, to create meaningful connections and foster a close-knit community, where students are supported and can learn and thrive.”

The inaugural three Arthur L. Irving Family Scholars will begin their studies at St. Thomas University in the Fall of 2024.

“At Irving Oil, we believe strongly in the transformative value of education, and in supporting equitable learning opportunities for students,” says Irving Oil President Ian Whitcomb. “St. Thomas University provides an incomparable educational experience, and this investment will help relieve financial barriers some young people face.”

Dr. Kim Fenwick, Vice-President Academic and Research, expressed thanks and gratitude from the university for this gift, acknowledging “the support for generations of students as a tribute to the leadership of Dawn Russell, and to the belief of Irving Oil and the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation in the excellence in education at St. Thomas University, and in New Brunswick.” •

Summer 2023 11
“We are proud of our partnership with St. omas University to support students in achieving their dreams. We congratulate Dawn Russell on her vision at St. omas University to always put students rst, to create meaningful connections and foster a close-knit community, where students are supported and can learn and thrive.”
– Sandra Irving

STU’s SocialAward-Winning Enterprise Program

Students Building Profitable and Purposeful Businesses

Anew program at St. Thomas University is helping students transform their business ideas into reality.

The Social Enterprise Program helps students launch sustainable, inclusive, and socially responsible enterprises.

As part of the program, students attend weekly workshops facilitated by Frederictonbased entrepreneurs, business owners, and start-up consultants through a partnership with Ignite Fredericton, a local economic development agency. The students are also given access to vital services, mentorship, and resources through the Planet Hatch facilities. Eleven STU students participated in the first cohort of the program.

The Social Enterprise Program was established by the Office of Experiential Learning and made possible by FutureNB and FutureWabanaki initiatives in New Brunswick. The program recently earned the Award of Excellence in Student Services, a recognition from the Atlantic Association of College and University Student Services.

beadbyemily: Emily Storey

beadbyemily aims to provide a platform for Indigenous artists to showcase their beadwork, artwork, and culture. Emily initially started the project as a hobby, selling her beadwork through a Facebook page but soon realized her project had the potential to make a positive impact on the community.

Emily said she learned that any project can create a positive impact, regardless of its size or nature.

“The Social Enterprise Program allowed me to have a creative outlet and networking opportunities for future career prospects. I enjoyed connecting with STU staff, fellow entrepreneurs and my peers,” she said.

This summer, Emily is building her business, spending more time on her beadwork, and exploring ways to expand, educate, and thrive.

Altitude Coffee: Mariano Padruno Miranda and Sebastian Rubi Mariano and Sebastian took their passion for sustainability and entrepreneurship by launching their own coffee business. The Honduras-based bio-organic coffee brand is cultivated 1,700 feet above sea level and is free of harmful chemicals.

Being part of the Social Enterprise Program gave the students a deeper understanding of how businesses operate and the motivations behind them.

“We have been able to apply concepts we learned from our business classes at STU, along with the support of the program,” said Mariano.

The students are further developing their business through a summer internship program with Planet Hatch. Their goal is to import coffee and obtain all necessary licenses and permissions by the end of the season.

Upcycle Lab: Estefania


Upcycle Lab is a sustainable fashion project that aims to reduce fashion waste one garment at a time. It repurposes donated textiles into unique clothing items. This provides sustainable wardrobe choices for customers and prolongs the life of garments.

Estefania founded the project after realizing the alarming impact of the fast fashion industry on the environment.

She credits the Social Enterprise Program with allowing her to apply her in-class learning about social justice in a business setting.

“The program taught me that establishing a profitable and purposeful business is a genuine possibility,” she said.

Estefania’s current work is developing marketing materials, familiarizing herself with equipment, and refining her business plan. Her goal is to start repurposing and selling unique garments by the fall.

St. Thomas University | Connections 12

STU Alumnus Harnesses the Power of his Neurodiversity

Rick Brennan knew from a young age he was different from the rest, seemingly filled with limitations. But he didn’t let that slow him down from climbing the corporate ladder to lead a $4 billion division of a Fortune 5 company.

He’s now using his experiences as an undiagnosed neurological person (Atypical) and turning them into The Atypical Leader - Harnessing the Power of Neurodiversity, a book and podcast series to inspire other atypicals to turn their so-called limitations into personal superpowers.

Brennan, who graduated from St. Thomas University in 1979, said he always had a unique approach to life. He saw things through a different lens and often struggled academically.

“When I went to university, there were two categories: you’re smart or you’re stupid,” he said. “And yet, somehow I kept advancing through the ranks of companies.”

By the time Brennan was in his thirties, he was diagnosed with serious cognitive dysfunction, which explained the difficulties he faced with reading, writing and math. His comprehension skills, however, remained strong.

“Although I didn't understand the pieces, somehow I had developed coping strategies where I could grasp the context of a conversation or the task at hand,” said Brennan.

He failed often and felt stupid compared to his colleagues, but Brennan said he took steps to overcome his limitations; Dale Carnegie courses, books, good friends, and understanding the power of people were game changers.

While all that helped him, he doesn’t believe in turning weaknesses into strengths.

“Turn your strength into a greater strength,” said Brennan.

“I was good with teams, so I became better with teams. I'm organized, so I became more organized.”

He began writing the book five years ago. It wasn’t until one of his friends read drafts of his book that he realized what he was writing.

“She said, ‘Rick, this book’s about neurodiversity,’ and I said, ‘what's that,’ so that's kind of how it evolved,” said Brennan.

He then started to understand the positive impact of his neurological issues and how to turn so-called limitations into skills.

His son then convinced Brennan to market the book with a podcast series.

Brennan said the method to his madness is simple: in spite of the criticism he faced from others, he learned to own who he was. He asked for help and became willing to take risks and make mistakes.

“The trick to creating highperformance teams is to create a positive environment that allows people to make mistakes. When this happens the brain releases dopamine, which allows the brain to develop, be creative and find solutions,” he said.

The first podcast episode dropped on May 13 and is available through most platforms. The book was released in July. He hopes he can help people learn to maximize their uniqueness – regardless of what society tells them.

“It’s time for all us neurodiverse to own who we are, mistakes, stumbles and all,” he said. •

For more information about Rick Brennan’s book, please see and to listen to the podcast, visit www.atypicalleader. com/episodes.

Summer 2023 13 by Aaron Sousa, BA’23

Global Aspirations for Homeschooling Program

When Houlie Duque was researching homeschooling options, she couldn’t find a program that provided the kind of holistic, bilingual education she was seeking for her children.

So Houlie, an experienced teacher, created the homeschool model she wanted. The St. Thomas alumna (BA‘13) launched HomeSchoolToGo in 2020. Houlie says the curriculum can be taught by parents at home in about 10 hours a week. It includes core academics along with soft skills such as conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking. Lessons and concepts are taught through active learning, videos, reading, STEM projects and play. Support for parents is offered

by HomeSchoolToGo’s educators, including Houlie and fellow STU alumna Courtnay Gillingwater (BA’13, BEd’18).

“Active learning is what we do at HomeSchoolToGo,” says Houlie, the company’s CEO and marketing director. “You're teaching in a way that’s applicable to life.”

She uses an example of a kindergarten student learning basic math. A parent could be having a snack with the child and ask them to pair the snacks in groups of two and then count by twos. Many of life’s simplest moments can provide learning opportunities for children.

“It's going to create a direct channel between the memory of the child and the concept that you're trying to teach,” she says. “That alone is going to accelerate the learning in such a way that you're not going to need to sit the child at a desk for long periods to learn.”

HomeSchoolToGo is inspired by Montessori and Waldorf philosophies and is built on a foundation of parent involvement, customized education and project-based learning. Nearly 50 families are enrolled in the program and Houlie says the company recently signed a contract to provide programming for a group of schools in South America. The company has received $170,000 in funding, including $75,000 in equity funding, from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and $25,000 in grants from Planet Hatch.

Houlie has global aspirations for HomeSchoolToGo: “I would say this is a calling of a global scale. HomeSchoolToGo is looking to impact the world, not just a handful of people.”

Reflecting on her time at St. Thomas and how it affected her professional path, Houlie, originally from Colombia, says the university provided “my first taste of the North American world.”

“I think going into a huge university would have been intimidating and would have stifled my growth,” she says. “At STU, I played sports, I did theatre, I took kinesiology classes at UNB. I did so much to fully express my authentic being. St. Thomas University provided an opportunity that allowed me to see myself in all these different environments and interact with people from all these different backgrounds. It gave me this perspective to really see who I was and what I could do in the world. STU gave me confidence in myself and the opportunity to develop my skillset in a way that was off the beaten path.” •

HomeSchoolToGo currently offers programming in English and Spanish for pre-kindergarten to Grade 2, with a Grade 3 curriculum beginning in the fall. For more information, visit

St. Thomas University | Connections 14
Houlie Duque, BA’13

Fighting for Gender Equity in the Investment Industry

Alumna Runs Female-Led Investment Firm

Nadia Barry Fuglstad says gender equity is worth fighting for –whether it be in the boxing ring or in the board room.

As a teenager growing up in Ireland, she joined her male friends at the local boxing club after school, despite being told that girls were not allowed to train there. She persisted and in 2005 became Ireland’s first woman to win a national championship in Boxing.

Today, she is using her boxing gloves to break glass ceilings in the investment industry as she runs one of the first female-led investment firms in New Brunswick.

Fuglstad began her career as a broker in a bank-owned investment firm where she stayed for 11 years. She loved the work but felt the culture there was not sustainable for a working mother of two.

“I was the first one in and the last one out. I put my head down and got my work done. As a female in the industry, you have to go above and beyond to prove yourself, because

it’s traditionally a male dominated industry. Any female advisor I’ve ever had the pleasure of working alongside tends to go above and beyond and is meticulous because they can’t afford to make a mistake. When you’re a female, you’re held to a higher standard,” she said.

Although she was given opportunities and rose through the ranks at the firm, she hit the “proverbial glass ceiling.”

Still, she had a reputation for being a skilled advisor who cared about her clients. This led to Edward Jones, a large US investment firm, approaching her to run their first branch in New Brunswick. She started the firm from scratch, surrounding herself with a team that shares similar values and work ethic.

Only 15-20% of financial advisors in Canada are women, something Fuglstad hopes changes in the future.

Fuglstad says her interest in finance started at St. Thomas. She was an international student and played on the women’s soccer team.

Because she didn’t have family in town, Don Feeney, who volunteered with STU Athletics, and his wife Nancy Ross, took her under their wing. Nancy Ross was one of the first female advisors in Fredericton and became Fuglstad’s mentor.

“She always had great insights and direction and told me, ‘I see a lot of potential for you to do this type of work. And I see a lot of the same traits in you that I had.’ She encouraged me to take the courses to get licensed to trade the Canadian stock market.”

Now, over a decade into her career, she says she approaches investment advising with a person-centred approach.

“I love connecting with people on a human level. If I don’t know my clients as people first – the things they value, their dreams for themselves and their families, whether the markets keep them up at night – then how can I build a financial strategy that serves them, that gives their money purpose?” •

15 Summer 2023
by Jacqueline Cormier, BA’08
“I was the first one in andheadthelastoneout.Iputmy downandgotmy work done. As a female tointheindustry,youhave goaboveandbeyond it’stoproveyourself,because dominatedtraditionallyamale industry.”
Nadia Barry Fuglstad, BA’09 Photo by: Keith Minchin

Campus Watch

Dr. M. Nauman Farooqi Appointed

President and Vice-Chancellor

Award-winning scholar and academic leader Dr. M. Nauman Farooqi has been appointed St. Thomas University’s fourteenth President and ViceChancellor. The five-year appointment began July 1, 2023.

Dr. Farooqi will provide leadership for strategic planning and academic and administrative activities consistent with STU’s mission and board-approved policies.

Farooqi previously served as Dean of

Business and Social Sciences at Mount Allison University, where he was responsible for managing the academic departments of Commerce, Economics, Geography and Environmental Science, Political Science and International Relations, and Sociology. He served as the inaugural Director of the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He also brings experience in academic program development, international programming, and pathway agreements.

Dr. Farooqi received his PhD in Business Administration and MBA from the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at St. Louis University in the United States, and an MBA from Quaid-i-Azam University in Pakistan. His research interests are in the areas of Hawala (informal value transfer systems) and experiential learning. He has a successful record of publications in academic journals, peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and academic conference presentations. •

David Ferguson Named Chair of the Board of Governors

Former senior public servant David Ferguson has been appointed chair of St. Thomas University’s Board of Governors, effective March 1. Ferguson has served on the board since 2017. Most recently, he led the search committee that resulted in the selection of Dr. M. Nauman Farooqi as President and Vice-Chancellor. He has also chaired the human resources committee and was a member of the executive and government relations committees.

Ferguson was a senior provincial public servant in New Brunswick who served as clerk of the executive council and secretary to cabinet. He began his career in the public service in 1972 and subsequently was appointed deputy minister of advanced education and labour, deputy solicitor general, deputy minister of natural resources and energy, and deputy minister of natural resources. In 2011, he was appointed chair of the board of Horizon Health Authority, where he served for five years. He succeeds alumnus Peter Forestell, KC, who served as chair of the Board of Governors for more than six years. •

16 St. Thomas University | Connections

STU is a Place of Potential Celebrating Spring Convocation

Valedictorian Leanne Hudson hopes her fellow graduates will embrace change and growth to reach their full potential.

She spoke to the more than 300 graduates who received degrees in social work, applied arts, and arts at Spring Convocation about how much the members of the graduating class had grown over four years.

“As we met new people, discovered our interests, became inspired by our teachers, and got more involved in our campus – we changed. Each of us have become more of who we are supposed to be in the process.

STU has been a place of potential for many of us,” said Hudson, who is from Annapolis Royal, NS.

University Medals

University Medal for Arts

Adam McDougall from Calgary, AB (Honours in Political Science)

Indigenous graduates were honoured at the annual Eagle Feather Ceremony prior to Spring Convocation. The ceremony gifted

Indigenous graduates an eagle feather–a symbol of wisdom, honour, and respect–which they carried with them as they received their degrees.  •

University Medal for Social Work

Brandy-Leigh Parr from Fredericton, NB (Mi’kmaq Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work)

During the ceremony, honorary degrees were bestowed upon Melanie Ann Ross and Ted Nolan.

Melanie Ross is a vocalist and artistic director. She has been a preserver and promoter of traditional music, keeping the history of the “old songs” alive. During Convocation, she sang “The Banks of the Miramichi.”

Ted Nolan is an award-winning hockey coach and philanthropist. As a player and coach, he faced discrimination and racism – he went from ‘loving the game to surviving the game’ – though his success provided him with the opportunity to inspire Indigenous youth, either through the Ted Nolan Foundation or the 3Nolans Hockey School, which develops the hockey, life, and leadership skills of Indigenous youth.  •

Governor General’s Medal

Mason Rattee from Delta, BC (Honours in Great Books)

Eagle Feather Ceremony

Convocation 17 Summer 2023

“Home is about the People”

Honouring Faculty Members

STU Celebrates Summer Convocation

Sarah Kelly says she found a home at STU. In her valedictory address at Summer Convocation, she spoke to the more than 100 graduates who were receiving their bachelor’s degrees in arts and education and their master’s degrees in social work.

“Our time together at STU has taught me that – as much as “home” is about a certain place or a certain city – at the end of the day, home is really about the people with whom we share these special places,” she said.

“Regardless of where we go, through the good and through the not-so-good, we will always have each other, our STU family, our home away from home. For that, I am forever grateful.”

Wolastoqey lawyer and Chief of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, Patricia Bernard, delivered the address to graduates.

“Your impact extends beyond your occupation. You are providers of knowledge, nurturers, mentors, and role models,” she said.

“You have the power to instill confidence, inspire dreams, and to the educators, unlock the hidden talents within students.

You have the power to create safe spaces where diversity is celebrated, empathy is fostered, and inclusivity is cherished.”

Summer Convocation was Dr. M. Nauman Farooqi’s first Convocation since he became President and Vice-Chancellor. Despite being new to the community, he told the graduates that he shared a commonality with them.

“We do share one important characteristic –each of us had choices, and each of us selected STU. And I suspect for many of the same reasons… I was attracted by a community of scholarship, learning, compassion, energy, and pride. A small, caring, connected community where you have a big canvas to paint your masterpiece,” he said. •

Medalfor Academic Excellencein KatieEducation Hoedl fromRichibuctoRoad,NB St. Thomas University | Connections 18
Campus Watch
St. Thomas University honoured six faculty members at spring and summer convocations for their professional achievements. Dr. William (Bill) Randall (Gerontology) received the designation Professor Emeritus. Dr. Anthony (Tony) Tremblay (English Language and Literature) received the designation Professor Emeritus Dr. Erin Fredericks (Sociology) received the John McKendy Memorial Teaching Award. Dr. Janice Harvey (Environment and Society) received the Award for Excellence in PartTime Teaching. Dr. Kristi Allain (Sociology) received the University Scholarship Award. Dr. Karla O’Regan (Criminology and Criminal Justice) received the University Service Award. •

Students Awarded Fellowships at Washington Institutes

Graduating students Ethan Nylen and Mason Rattee have been accepted to prestigious fellowships in Washington this summer. Rattee will be attending the Hudson Political Studies Program, a six-week program which focuses on the study of political theory and practice through the reading of classic texts and also entails workshops led by public policy experts.

“I am looking forward to being able to study under the scholars I respect in these fields,” he said. “Six weeks of political philosophy and theory is in my wheelhouse.”

Nylen will be attending the Hertog Political Studies Program. This program explores the theory and practice of politics in a seminar setting. Courses examine political philosophy, contemporary public affairs, economics, and foreign policy.

“My research has been on political philosophy which is what this fellowship program is all about. I’m looking forward to meeting people with similar interests from around the world, and it will be cool to be challenged by the top scholars in the field,” Nylen said. •

The Plutonium Project

Eight students from the Environment & Society Program presented their research on the Plutonium Project With guidance from five faculty members and funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), they have been researching the proposal to develop new nuclear reactors at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy. •

Black History Month Panel Discussion

As part of Black History Month, the Black Students’ Association organized a discussion on the importance of representation in the classroom. Three professors spoke about their experiences being Black students and scholars. The discussion featured Dr. Fikru Gebrekidan (History), Dr. Christian Mbarga (Romance Languages), and Dr. Marvin Claybourn (Psychology) and was moderated by Quintina Northrup of the Black Students’ Association. •

Student Research and Ideas Fair

The Student Research and Ideas Fair saw more than 30 students presenting their work on a wide range of academic disciplines. The annual fair is an opportunity for students to develop an in-depth understanding of a research topic under the guidance of a faculty mentor and share their findings with the wider community. •

Summer 2023

Connects Students with Incarcerated Young Adults Social Justice Book Drive

Students in Dr. Susan Reid’s Youth Justice classes are using books to create connections with incarcerated youth. The students collected 250 books for federally incarcerated young women, who are approximately the same age as the students. This social justice initiative provided an opportunity to put in-class learning to work

and make a difference in the lives of vulnerable young women.

The Book Drive was spearheaded by Criminology professor and Director of the Centre for Research with Vulnerable Women and Youth (CRVWY), Dr. Susan Reid in collaboration with STU alumna Meghan MacEachern, BA‘16, Assistant Director of CRVWY.

“The goal of this initiative was to provide students with an opportunity to experience peer connection with a vulnerable young adult through books, literature, and discussions," said MacEachern.

“What's wonderful about this experience is students have had a brief opportunity to engage with a peer that they don’t know in a way that is meaningful.” •

Atlantic Journalism Awards

Two St. Thomas University students were recognized for their contribution to student journalism at this year’s Atlantic Journalism Awards. Giuliana Grillo De Lambarri received the m5 Student Journalism Award and Jacob Moore received the Boyne Clarke Student Journalism Award. •

Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism

Award-winning health journalist André Picard delivered the Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism. The lecture was recorded for broadcast by CBC Radio’s Ideas. In his talk, “Pot, Policy and Pandemics: Reflections on 40 years of Health Journalism,” Picard discussed how health care and journalism have changed and where he believes they are headed in the future. •

Experiential Learning Trip to New York City

Agroup of History and Fine Arts students and professors spent a week in New York City, soaking up art, history, and theatre on an experiential learning trip. Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, and Ellis Island, and taking in a Broadway performance gave students the opportunity to connect their in-class learning to real-world experiences. •

St. Thomas University | Connections 20

Campus Watch

Moot Court at a Glance

This year, STU Moot Court competed at the American Moot Court Association Eastern Regional where STU placed fourth out of 50 teams competing, earning a bid to the national competition in Louisiana. Three students in the regional competition came home with speaker awards.

Four students competed at the Osgoode Cup in Toronto, the Canadian undergraduate moot championships.

Two students were quarter finalists at the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot and came second in the brief writing competition. •

Theatre at a Glance

This year, Black Box Productions presented New Brunswick’s only queer theatre festival, Plain Site the hilarious The Other Dean’s List; a wonderful journey throughout the world with The Fofana Kingdom; and a fairytale-inspired musical, Mr. Information. STU Musical Theatre presented Seussical the Musical musical about creativity, friendship, and individuality. •

Athletics 2022-23 Tommies Award Winners

Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year

Abby Lanteigne (Women's Volleyball) was named Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year after a sensational season. Her 2022-23 campaign earned her a spot on the ACAA All-Conference team, a CCAA All-Canadian, and the ACAA Player of the Year.

Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year

Geoffrey Lavoie (Men’s Basketball) was named Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year. This season, Lavoie was named to the ACAA AllConference team, was a CCAA All-Canadian, and was ACAA Player of the Year. In four seasons, Lavoie has two ACAA All-Canadian awards, as well as two ACAA All-Conference appearances, ACAA All-Conference Second team, and ACAA Player of the Year.

John Frederick Walls Award

Adam McDougall (Men’s Volleyball) was named this season's John Frederick Walls Award winner. McDougall served as the Tommies' co-captain and was vital to the Tommies' success, was a Dean’s List student and a member of STUSAC.

Cathy Wadden Commitment Award

Caroline Pietroski (Women’s Hockey) received the Cathy Wadden Commitment Award. Pietroski was a Dean’s List student, a leader on her team, co-president of STUSAC, and one of the best goalies in the Atlantic University Sport throughout her time as a Tommie.

Summer 2023 21

Isabella Mehlitz – 2023

Recipient of Prestigious Tom McCann Award

Isabella Mehlitz, a graduating student from Fredericton who achieved excellence in academics and community service, praised the values instilled in her through her classes and campus activities as she received the top student award at the Grad Dinner.

The Tom McCann award is presented to a student who possesses strong leadership, character, and personality traits, and who best portrays the university’s spirit through their contributions.

One of her professors describes her as someone who embodies the spirit of the liberal arts: a perceptive and critical thinker who devotes her time to bettering society.

“The value of working as a team, becoming active in my community, and positively impacting others are among the many values I learned at STU,” she said. •

STUISA Multicultural Fair

The St. Thomas University International Students' Association hosted the annual Multicultural Fair. This year's theme was Embracing Our Colours, which showed the community’s broad diversity of cultures and traditions. The fair involved artistic performances, the international food fest, a cultural market, and more! •

Indigenous Education and Reconciliation

STU Education students learned more about Indigenous issues and reconciliation this spring thanks to the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a massive floor map that shows the locations of Indigenous communities, historic and modern treaties, residential schools, and more. Indigenous language groups are featured instead of provincial and territorial boundaries. Teacher candidates also developed lessons based on the map for elementary students from Montgomery Street School. This project was part of the Indigenous Education and Reconciliation course, which is mandatory for all Education students. •

STU Student Services

Recognized for Excellence

Members of STU’s Student Services team were recognized by the Atlantic Association of College and University Student Services for excellence in their work. Ale Navas, Internships Coordinator, won the Dr. Richard Papenhausen Award for New Professionals, and the Office of Experiential Learning and Career Development, comprised of Clara Santacruz, Miriam Richer, Erin Feicht, and Ale Navas, won the Award of Excellence in Student Services for their Social Enterprise Program. •

St. Thomas University | Connections 22

Faculty News

Dr. Shannonbrooke Murphy Appointed to the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Dr. Shannonbrooke Murphy, holder of the Endowed Chair in Human Rights at St. Thomas University, has been appointed to the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission for a three-year term.

As a Commissioner, she will be part of the quasi-judicial decisionmaking body that determines if a human rights complaint should be dismissed or referred for a formal hearing before the Labour and Employment Board. Members of the Commission are appointed through an open, merit-based competitive process.

Dr. Murphy has two decades of experience in human rights legislative, policy, and constitutional reform work, and she specializes in teaching human rights advocacy. •

Research at a Glance

Dr. Anthony Jehn received a $120,000 Establishment Grant from the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation to support his long-term research project “Young Adult Health Behaviours: The Effect of Education.” This research will examine the impact of education-related disparities in health behaviours in the transition from young adulthood to later life stages.


Social Work and Spirituality: Interfaith Forum to Address Current and Future Challenges”

– a conference organized by Dr. Arielle Dylan and Dr. Clive Baldwin, was held at St. Thomas University in April. •

Dr. Albert Banerjee received a $15,000 Mitacs Accelerate Internship for his project “Evaluating and Learning from a Mind-Body Medicine Course: A Mixed Methods Study.” This is the latest installment of an ongoing series of collaborations between Dr. Banerjee and Dr. Bill Cook of The Iris Centre for Mindfulness, Peace and Healing. •

Faculty Book Launch

Dr. Gül Çalışkan launched her book, Forging Diasporic Citizenship: Narratives from German-Born Turkish Ausländer (UBC Press). The book examines the daily lives of German-born Berliners of Turkish origin and challenges the notions of citizenship through their stories. •

Summer 2023 23
Campus Watch

New & Noteworthy

News from classmates and friends around the world


After graduating, Rod Violette (BA’55) joined the RCAF and became a fighter pilot on the F-86 and obtained the status of Fighter Weapons Instructor (FWI). (The United States Navy calls them Top Gun.) In 1965, he became a pilot with United Airlines along with 350 of his cohorts. In time, he became a captain and Line Check Airman (LCA).

Patrick Jamieson (BA’72) was the Director of Communications for the Catholic Health Association of Canada from 1971-81. He was the first lay editor of the Prairie Messenger Saskatchewan in 1982 and is the founding editor of Island Catholic News. He wrote a history of Catholics on Vancouver Island (1997) and a Biography of Bishop Remi De Roo (2002).


John McDermott (BA’64, BEd’70) was a Captain in Canadian Forces for 33 years. He was the President of DanceSport Atlantic for 10 years and produced Canadian DanceSport Championships in 2008 and 2013.

Michael Pare (BA’69) has been happily married for 52 years to Teresa Witlib. They have two daughters and two grandsons. In 1975, he received an LLB from UNB, after which he practiced, over time, private and public sector law in NB, NS and Ontario. In 1988, he joined Justice Canada in Halifax as a prosecutor. During his period there, he acquired an expertise in Indigenous law. In 1999, he moved to Ottawa where he assumed the role of Aboriginal Litigation Manager for what was then the Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio. In 2009, he returned to litigation exclusively with the Civil Litigation Section of Justice Canada. He is now retired and is focusing his attention on his wife, daughters and grandsons, save for the time he devotes to improving his golf game.

Mary Pendergast (BA’73) had a 25-year career in education in PEI, spent three years as Writing and Research Instructor at the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar, and is finishing up 10 years as a Board Member of the Parole Board of Canada. She earned a master’s degree in literacy education from Mount St. Vincent University. She has four adult children, eight grandchildren, and has many community projects in PEI under her belt. She received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) for community service, and now she looks forward to her upcoming retirement from the Parole Board.

Jud Moffat (BA’76) has one son and three grandchildren. She worked with Peel Regional Police for 34 years and retired in 2016 as Director of Risk Management Services. After retiring she left the Greater Toronto Area and moved north to live in Midland overlooking Georgian Bay.

After retiring from teaching in 2018, Jim Higgins (BSW ‘86, BEd ‘90, BA’99) got involved in election work. He has trained poll workers for two federal elections and one municipal election, worked as a poll worker in a provincial election and was recently awarded the position of Municipal Returning Officer for District M13. He was responsible for overseeing the recent Municipal election for communities from McAdam to the Fundy Isles. He received a master’s degree in educational administration from UNB in 2000. He spent 33 years working with youth, 30 in the school classroom, one as Vice Principal at Vincent Massey Elementary School in St. Andrews. He received an “Excellence in Teaching Award” from his local school district.

Doreen Vautour (BA’89) is enjoying a successful career at King’s University College in London, Ontario. She is currently in the position of Associate Dean of Students


Margaret (Peggy) Basom (BA’71) received a master’s degree in Special Education from Connecticut State College. She worked as a Special Education Teacher and Director of Special Education from 1971-1980. She then earned a doctorate in education leadership and taught in school leadership programs in higher education from 1986-2015.


Lisabeth (Betsy) Brown (BA’80) retired in August 2021 after teaching in elementary schools in Orange County, Florida for 39 years. She was awarded Teacher of the Year for Azalea Park Elementary School in 2011, 2016, and 2021.

Jack Hall (BA’80) was inducted into the Notre Dame College School Athletic Wall of Fame on April 14, 2023. He was a multi-sport athlete at Notre Dame who specialized in basketball and soccer. He was known for his athletic prowess, high character and team-oriented approach. He was also inducted into the STU Tommies Wall of Fame in 2011.

St. Thomas
University | Connections

Suzanne Boudreau (BA’95) has taught in Asia for over twenty years. She has been an elementary school teacher, university professor, and private tutor. She is now a kindergarten teacher living on the beach in Thailand.

Heather Watterson (BA’92) graduated from Holland College in 2017 with a Diploma in Computer Information Systems and has been working as a Software Tester with Radnet Managed Imaging Systems ever since.

Donna Alward (BA’94) is a New York Times Bestselling Author of nearly 70 novels and is currently shopping her first historical fiction based on the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

Vicki Hape (BA’95) has been working in the field of Human Resources for more than 20 years, working in various industries, both public and private. She has worked with GNB for the last seven years and recently changed roles to work with Aditya Birla Group. She received a master’s in business in 2018.

Diane Woodworth (BEd’98) is currently living in Calgary, where she is teaching and is a department head at an online school, Vista Virtual. She completed an MEd in Educational Technology at MUN.


Laura Hiscock (BSW’00) worked for the Department of Health from August 2000 to March 2022. She started in Community Addiction Services in Charlotte County, NB and transferred to the Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Fredericton in 2008. In 2012, she graduated from Memorial University with an MSW. In November 2022, she transitioned to private clinical practice full-time. She had her first son in August 1999, got married in June 2002, had a second son in July 2003, and welcomed her first grandchild in November 2022.

Heather Morris (BA’00) lives with her three boys Weston, Cooper, and Scout. She has been a municipal employee of the Codiac Regional RCMP for the last fourteen years. Her current role as the community intervention officer, with the Community Policing Unit, allows her to liaise and engage with community partners while supporting vulnerable populations. She is on the board of directors for the Riverview Soccer Association and Neighborhood Watch. In her spare time, you will find her on a soccer pitch, a football field or in a hockey rink cheering on her boys!

Leigh Wood-Landry (BA’01, BEd’02) is married to a Canadian Armed Forces veteran and loves supporting military families through her work at the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre, primarily in the areas of parent support and special needs inclusion.

For most of her career, Tianna Butler (BA’02) has worked in youth mental health, community and outreach services. She has received accreditations in many training programs, including becoming an ASIST Master Trainer. She is also an acknowledged Feather Carrier with Eastern Door Feather Carriers Collaborative, working within Indigenous communities to promote life, helping individuals, families and communities to connect back to life through culturally based activities and learnings. In July 2022, she stepped back from frontline work, and accepted a new position with NL-Integrated Youth Services, where she is the Manager for Labrador and Western Newfoundland.

After teaching for 4 years, Elizabeth Kearns (BA’05, BEd’06) began working in the charitable sector. She is currently working as the Director of Development at the YMCA of Fredericton. She is happily married and has a son and a daughter.

Race with Steph

This summer Steph Fauquier (BA’11) is completing one triathlon in each Canadian province with the goal of raising money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. By the end of the summer, Steph will have completed over 500 kms of racing.

In early 2021, Steph’s mum, Dr. Robin McLeod - a globally renowned surgeon and recent recipient of the Order of Canada (Officer) was diagnosed with Aphasia, and later Alzheimer’s Disease. This was the most devastating news of Steph’s life - so she decided to do something about it.

Money raised for Race with Steph will go to the University of Toronto’s Tanz Centre for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, where an endowment fund in her mother’s name will fund life-saving Alzheimer’s research in perpetuity.

For more information, please check out

Bryan Sparks (BA’08) moved to Ontario to attend Humber College and completed a postgraduate Public Relations program after studying Communications at STU. He has held various communications roles in Ontario over the past decade from a pilot union to municipal government.

Summer 2023 25

New & Noteworthy In Memoriam

Michael Cameron (BA’08) is working for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Data Innovation and Analytics team in Esquimalt British Colombia.

Sarah Thorne (BA’08) has been an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador since 2019.

Megan MacLean (BSW’09) competes in the sport of Agility across Canada. She placed nationally in the top 10 in Canada with her Cocker Spaniel Sophie three times since 2014. Sophie was the second Cocker Spaniel in Canada to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at 16 years of age. Sophie passed in 2022 at age 18. Megan continues in the sport with her other cockers Illusion aka Lulu, Chantico aka Chani, and upcoming puppy Persephone aka Seffa. Retired pups Isabella aka Izzy and Leonard aka Len enjoy watching their sisters taking to the field.

Robyn Papillon (BAACJ’19, BA’20) is living in Hopedale, NL with her husband, where she is working at a Supportive Living House. She also guards detained prisoners at the RCMP detachment

After graduation, Kathryn Parks (BA’16) received a Bachelor of Theology from McGill University, a Master of Divinity and Diploma of the College from Presbyterian College, part of the Montreal School of Theology and will be ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in 2023.

We extend condolences to the family and friends of the following alumni and friends who passed away recently:

Tim Kelly, BA’98 CCR’93

May 23, 2019

Brian Colepaugh, BA’81 BEd’82

December 1, 2019

Charles Roy, BA’57

February 26, 2021

Robert “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, BA’65, BEd’67

April 26, 2021

Patricia Elliott, BA’83

June 4, 2021

Lorraine Taylor, BA’79


After STU, Greg Rodger (BA’10) pursued an engineering degree in Geodesy and Geomatics. He briefly worked in GIS for the Department of Natural Resources in Fredericton. He has been working as a land surveyor in Ontario since 2015, obtaining his professional license in 2021.

Brian Walton (BA’11) received an MBA in Supply Chain Management & Logistics and currently works as a Logistics Manager.

Ashley Troy (BA’15) is working for Horizon Health Network in Human Resources. She is married to her husband Geoff and they have three kids: Riley (17), Noah (12), and Haiden (5).

After graduating from STU with a double major in French and Spanish, Micaela Cockburn (BA’16) completed a Bachelor of Arts in Translation at the University of Ottawa. She moved back to New Brunswick and now works as a translator (French to English) for the Province of New Brunswick.

Kasey Munn (BA’16) is currently living in London, Ontario after completing an MSW at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2018. She is a social worker at Huron University College.


Olivia Stymiest (BA’20) has completed a master’s degree in art therapy at Concordia University. She is working outside Saint John as a Licensed Counselling Therapist (Candidate) and Art Therapist at a trauma-focused clinic.

Jessica Swinamer (BA’ 21) is a full-time teacher, located in Carleton County, NB. In her spare time she competes as a Professional Lumberjack and placed third overall in the female division for the Maritime Lumberjack Association.

After graduating from STU, Chloé Thériault (BA’21) continued to work for the John Howard Society of Fredericton and worked as a Program Support Worker followed by Street Outreach. She is now working at the Military Family Resource Centre on the base in Wainwright, Alberta as the Integration Coordinator where she welcomes newcomers to the community, providing them with any resources they may need to deal with their posting.

Joselyne Levy Ruiz (BA’22) is working at Scotiabank as a financial advisor. Thanks to STU’s internship program, she had the chance to grow her network and get a job offer even before graduating.

Salima Tourkmani-MacDonald (BA’22) is currently attending the University of Toronto, completing a master’s degree in English in the field of creative writing. •

October 23, 2021

Stephen Lange, BA’72

January 19, 2023

Fred Wallace - Former Staff Member

February 5, 2023

Agnes Driscoll Siscoe, BA’48 February 17, 2023

Heidi Lafford, BA’01 February 21, 2023

James Young, BA’81

February 22, 2023

His Honour T. Denis Lordon, BA’69 March 2, 2023

William (Bill) Dunn, BA’71 & Former Faculty March 5, 2023

The Most Rev. J. Edward Troy, LLD’85 - Former Chancellor March 12, 2023

John McAloon, CH ’45 BA’50 March 13, 2023

Katherine Weeks-Mitchell, BA’97 March 21, 2023

Allison (Al) Whitehead, BA’73 March 24, 2023

Gary Vincent, BA’74 BEd’75 March 27, 2023

Anne Stapleton – Former Faculty April 3, 2023

Carol Anne Richard, BA’88 BEd’92 April 7, 2023

Joan (Taylor) Lautard, BA’83

April 4, 2023

The Rev. M. Joyce Perry, BA’93 CGR’99

April 22, 2023

Barry Biggar, BA’86 BSW’87 June 2, 2023

Gail Moore, BSW’97 June 20, 2023

St. Thomas University | Connections 26

Be Part of the Future

Planning for the future is a key part of ensuring the people you love and the institutions you hold dear are part of your legacy. Leaving a planned gift is an easy way to declare your commitment to St. Thomas and to safeguard the future of its students.

Imagine knowing that your connection to St. Thomas will serve as a catalyst and motivation for future learners. Many students, every year, benefit from the thoughtfulness and planning of those who have chosen to make St. Thomas part of their legacy.

There are several ways to plan for the future:

Bequest | Consider leaving a Bequest for St. Thomas in your Will. You can either determine a set amount, or leave a percentage or the remainder of your estate to St. Thomas University once all other bequests and expenses have been paid.

Securities | You can give publicly-listed securities such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds to St. Thomas University through your estate. A donation of securities is a great way to make a significant difference to our students and university. The elimination of the capital gains tax on gifts of securities may create a considerable tax advantage for you.

Beneficiary Designation | You can name St. Thomas University as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance or insurance annuity assets.

If you have been thinking about including St. Thomas in your plans for the future, please contact Dionne Izzard at or 506-452-2140

506-452-2140 planned giving

STUdents are asking for your perspective.

We’ve partnered with Ten Thousand Coffees to create STU Connects, a networking platform that matches alumni with students and recent grads for career inspiring conversations, either online or in person.

All you have to do is meet a student virtually once a month. Chat on the phone or exchange emails. Answer their questions, share your experience and provide insight.

Join today:

Have you been waiting for an opportunity to learn Spanish? Will you be traveling to a Spanish-speaking country when the cold weather hits, or would you simply like to experience the joy and challenge of learning a new language?

St. Thomas University will be offering an Intensive Beginning Spanish course this fall (2023) IN THE EVENING, in the hopes that some of our STU Alumni will join us! The course will be offered from September 6 - December 6. No prior Spanish knowledge is required.

For more information, please contact Mary Lou ( or Jasmina (

Summer 2023 27
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n Get a quote and see how much you could save! Go to The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex home and auto insurance program is underwritten by Security National Insurance Company and distributed in Quebec by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Inc., Damage Insurance Agency, and in the rest of Canada by TD Insurance Direct Agency Inc. Our address: 50 Place Crémazie, 12th Floor, Montréal, Québec H2P 1B6. ® The TD logo and other trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or its subsidiaries. Due to provincial legislation, this car and recreational insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. 8249-032 0 Feel confident with preferred rates from TD Insurance. Alumni could save more when you bundle Car with your Home, Condo and Tenant Insurance. Get preferred rates and coverage that fits your needs. An exciting benefit for you as a St. Thomas University alumni. HOME | CONDO | CAR | TRAVEL The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY. It is distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. in Québec, by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in Ontario, and by TD Insurance Direct Agency Inc. in the rest of Canada. Our address: 50 Place Crémazie, 12th Floor, Montréal, Québec H2P 1B6. Due to provincial
administrative services
the insurance policies.
trade-marks are the property of their respective owners. ® The TD logo and other TD trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. An affinity program partner of Take advantage of your alumni privileges.
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