Photos of each of the six recipients of the 2023 USask Alumni Achievement Awards.
Each year, Alumni Achievement Awards are presented to notable USask alumni for their accomplishments and impact on their communities and the world. (Photos: Submitted)

Six outstanding USask alumni honoured with Achievement Awards

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) announces the 2023 winners of the Alumni Achievement Awards, one of the university’s highest honours.

This year’s six recipients embody the university’s aspiration to be what the world needs because of their significant accomplishments and contributions since graduating from USask. 

Each of the winners have made outstanding contributions and earned recognition for excellence in their respective fields which include law, education, philanthropy, performance art, public policy, Indigenous language revitalization, community building, and engineering.

Each year, Alumni Achievement Awards are presented to notable USask alumni for their accomplishments and impact on their communities and the world. Award recipients are nominated by their peers and chosen for their achievements and innovation, commitment to excellence, community engagement and leadership, as well as contributions to the social, cultural, and economic well-being of society.

“USask is proud to have more than 170,000 graduates in 120 countries,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “This year’s Alumni Achievement Award recipients exemplify the creativity, resilience, generosity and global impact of our alumni community. The accomplishments of these USask graduates are extraordinary and deserving of this prestigious honour.”

This year’s honourees will gather at a special gala in October to receive their award and celebrate their achievements.

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

As the highest honour presented by the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association, this award recognizes an alumnus/alumna for an outstanding lifetime of accomplishments and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of society in any area, such as academics, athletics, arts, business, not-for-profit, public, or private sector.

  • Dr. Belinda Daniels (BEd’98, MEd’05, PhD’21)Dr. Daniels is the founder of the nēhiyawak Language Experience, a non-profit organization. She was awarded the Outstanding Indigenous Educator Award of 2015 by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. Her work in Indigenous language revitalization has been recognized by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.
  • Arla Gustafson (BA’82): With nearly 37 years in the non-profit sector, Gustafson has been a leader in shaping a strong philanthropic culture in her community. Following a decades-long career as Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society and CEO of United Way of Saskatoon, Gustafson served for 15 years as CEO of the Royal University Hospital Foundation, where she oversaw a $140 million fundraising effort to advance research, education and patient care at the Royal University Hospital and the College of Medicine.
  • Dr. M.N. Srikanta Swamy (MSc’60, PhD’63): A pioneering researcher, Dr. Swamy has published more than 350 journal articles, holds five patents, has co-authored nine books and has supervised/co-supervised more than 50 doctoral theses. Among his many significant recent research discoveries is an evaluation of a method for using deep learning techniques to determine early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Outstanding Impact Alumni Achievement Award

This award recognizes an extraordinary alumnus/alumna who is currently making significant personal and professional contributions in society, demonstrating exceptional leadership in their field(s) of endeavour, maintaining a standard of excellence that inspires their colleagues and peers, with promise of future achievement and resulting in a demonstrable betterment of their community. 

  • Sarah Buhler (LLM’11): Prior to joining the College of Law at USask as an associate professor, Buhler practiced law in Saskatoon and served as the first executive director and supervising lawyer at Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City (CLASSIC), an organization that provides free legal services for low-income residents, and that has received local, national, and international recognition.
  • Shauna Curry (BE’94): A graduate of the College of Engineering with a degree in Agriculture and Bioresource Engineering, Curry is the CEO of CAWST: Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology. Based in Calgary, CAWST is both a licensed professional engineering consultancy and a registered Canadian charity, providing training, consulting and expertise in water and sanitation in developing countries.

"One to Watch" Alumni Achievement Award

This award recognizes young alumni who are making significant contributions to society at large, setting an example for fellow and future alumni to follow.

  • Zoey Roy (BEd’17, MPP’20): An author, educator, and creative force, Zoey Roy is building her career of connecting with young people and bringing messages of anti-racism and healing into classrooms across the country.  

This year’s Alumni Achievement Awards will be held on October 19 at Remai Modern, hosted by award-winning CBC journalist and USask honorary degree recipient, Susan Ormiston (DLET’22).

Anthony Bidulka, chair of the Alumni Advisory Board awards committee, is available for interviews. 

More information on the Alumni Achievement Awards can be found at  

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