Rolling out the red carpet in honour of excellence
Posted on Monday, October 4, 2021
By Michelle Read
The Faculty of Medicine community gathered virtually on October 2 to celebrate its outstanding achievements at the 2021 Awards and Recognition Gala, part of this year’s Homecoming.
Faculty members, staff, learners, donors and alumni came together online in support of the Faculty’s vision of leading innovation for a healthier world. Through its excellence in teaching and research, as exemplified by this year’s award winners, the Faculty continues along its journey of ranking among the top medical schools in the world.
Pre-gala, guests socialized with fellow virtual attendees at random, before MC Dr. Alireza Jalali took to the virtual stage to welcome everyone back after the Faculty’s “Summer of Kindness.”
“With the long-lasting pandemic, everyone deserved a break,” said Dr. Jalali, associate dean of external relations, engagement and advancement. He explained that the chance to recharge was in line with the Faculty’s prioritization of wellness for all.
Dean Bernard Jasmin continued at the virtual mic with his own words of welcome.
“Homecoming is a unique opportunity to unite the past with the present, and to celebrate excellence and our belonging to the great family of the Faculty of Medicine,” he remarked.
The festivities began by recognizing the contributions of some of the longstanding chairs and vice-deans whose leadership terms came to an end this year. Dr. Jalali presided over the presentation of the Outstanding Leadership Certificates.
“Aligned with our planetary health initiative, a tree has been planted in the name of each individual,” he said, noting that the leaders will each receive a commemorative plaque highlighting their tree’s location in Canada.
Before getting to the awards component of the event, the dean shared updates on several of the Faculty’s initiatives, including L’école des sciences pharmaceutiques and the Centre for Innovative Medical Education. He explained that the Faculty has been extremely active in program creation and revitalization, citing numerous laudatory comments from Central uOttawa.
“All of our academic programs [are] continuously shining in accreditation cycles,” he said. “A big thank-you to all who ensure that our learners receive a world-class education.”
Next, events turned to honouring the many accomplished individuals being recognized. The Faculty’s prestigious annual honours included the Alumni Awards of Distinction, the Awards of Excellence, and the Research Day Awards. (See right for a list of recipients.)
Between awards categories, the dean presented an update on research at the Faculty, pointing to its growing investment in its current areas of priority as well as its simultaneous commitment to emerging priorities.
“We continue to generate 50 to 60% of all research revenues received by uOttawa, making us by far the most research-intensive faculty at the University,” he said, also noting that the Faculty is now home to and leading a pan-Canadian, CIHR-funded network to track COVID-19 variants.
The dean later outlined growing priorities designed to strengthen the Faculty’s commitment to social accountability; equity, diversity and inclusion; and wellness.
Following the awards and recognition component, Dean Jasmin described two new initiatives of the Faculty, those of planetary health as well as the Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education.
The gala officially over, the networking salons opened their virtual doors, a special chance for anniversary alumni classes to reconnect with attendees who graduated with them.
The dean earlier acknowledged the importance of giving all exceptional individuals across the Faculty a time to shine in addition to those honoured at the gala.
“Our talented and dedicated staff, residents, students and postdoctoral fellows are vital to the success of the Faculty,” he stressed. “This is why there will be additional awards programs and recognition events throughout the academic year.”
See you at next year’s gala!
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