Aug. 8, 2019

Meet UCalgary’s most aspiring alumni

Celebrate them at Arch Awards Sept. 5 at Central Library


Deb Cummings, Development and Alumni

Arch Awards recipients

2019 Arch Awards recipients

Adrian Shellard

2019’s Arch Award recipients are visionaries and innovators who aspired to greatness, transforming art and science, business, community, and education locally, nationally and around the globe.

The University of Calgary is preparing to celebrate six remarkable alumni who are blazing trails in their fields while exhibiting unbridled talent, enthusiasm, spirit and drive. Each of these distinguished graduates will be honoured Sept. 5 at the annual Arch Awards, part of Alumni Weekend 2019.

  • Photo above: Clockwise from top left: David Kendall, Scott Meikle, Grace Auger, Emily Hicks, Rob Allen and Mary Anne Moser are this year's Arch Awards recipients. 

Since the UCalgary Alumni Association first began honouring extraordinary graduates back in 1985, the Arch Awards have highlighted what can be achieved by the university and its alumni.

Throughout their careers, these distinguished graduates have contributed significantly to their industries and communities, creating spaces for us to marvel at, championing legal rights for Indigenous people, leading colossal coalitions of people, innovating new tech platforms, building cultural bridges across global organizations — and their impact has even stretched beyond our world.

The University of Calgary Alumni Association is proud to announce this year’s Arch Award recipients:

Dr. David Kendall, MSc’72, PhD’79

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient is a renowned atmospheric physicist who played a large role in putting Canada on the space exploration map with the Canadian Space Agency.

Kendall’s affinity for his alma mater has never wavered as UCalgary was where he says he learned — “and never forgot” — about “teamwork, transparency, openness, responsibility and consensus.”

Dr. Scott Meikle, BSc’84, PhD

With a home in Boise, Idaho, and an office in California, this year’s recipient of the International Career Achievement Award continues to hopscotch the globe for work. A global leader in the memory devices sector of the semiconductor industry, Meikle says that if you are going to work overseas, speaking a foreign language is critical.

Mores, customs and nuance change in foreign lands, but the fundamentals of leadership are always the same,” says the man who wrote his thesis in Japanese, obtained his PhD in Japan and has worked in Asia for 28 years.

Grace Auger, LLB’95

This year’s Career Achievement Award recipient has been a staff lawyer for Legal Aid Alberta on the Siksika Nation for 12 years. It’s a unique position, but then nothing about Auger’s career path has been typical. She was the only Indigenous law student in her cohort at UCalgary, and the only student raising three kids under the age of eight.

Auger has spent decades breaking barriers and fighting extraordinary obstacles — all while building bridges between Indigenous people and Western society.

Dr. Mary Anne Moser, BSc’88, MA’92, PhD’05

Current president and CEO of TELUS Spark, co-founder of Beakerhead, award-winning designer and communications director — these are just a few of the positions held by Moser, roles that made her an ideal candidate for this year’s Community Commitment Award.

When asked how Beakerhead was created, Moser says: “We wanted to bring worlds together, we wanted to rip down silos between science and art, and, in the process, all these beautiful things happened.”

Rob Allen, BComm’82

Currently the CEO of Aligned Outcomes and an active member of UCalgary’s Board of Governors, the 2019 recipient of the Alumni Service Award has served on dozens of the university’s advisory councils and committees and has been active in numerous mentorship programs.

In the past few years, Allen has shifted from being an IBM executive, where he worked for 30 years, to being an entrepreneur, and that shift has forced him to question what skills he needed to develop.

Emily Hicks, BHSc’13

Parlaying her theatre background into persuasive pitching gives this year’s Early Career Achievement recipient, Emily Hicks, enormous joy. The co-founder and president of FREDsense, a biotechnology startup, cut her entrepreneurial chops at UCalgary when she landed a spot on the university’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition team back in 2009. This experience with iGEM eventually led to the development of FRED (Field Ready Electrochemical Detector) that combines biology and engineering to detect chemicals in water.

This bridge between “doing” science and “presenting” science — that makes Hicks so extraordinary. At 29, Hicks and her team have already won dozens of awards, have spoken at numerous international conferences and, to date, have generated more than $2 million of investment and grant funding.

Learn more about each of the Arch Awards recipients.

Join us to honour the 2019 Arch Awards recipients on Sept. 5 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. as part of  Alumni Weekend 2019. Alumni Weekend is a family-friendly event that brings sports, entertainment and one-of-a-kind experiences together in one fun weekend of festivities and runs from Sept. 5 to 8.