The Hub Convocation Countdown: Day 6

Athabasca University Class of 2021: we’re counting down the days to June 11, 2021.

It’s all happening! Your hard work is paying off.

You’ll cross the virtual stage at the 2021 Athabasca University (AU) Convocation, and join the thousands of other AU alumni who have transformed their lives, and are now transforming communities all around the world.

Make no mistake—you’re in good company.

Over the years, we have recognized some of the best of the best with our Alumni Awards—and they have some incredibly inspiring stories. See for yourself!

Dr. Stefanie Ruel

photo of Stephanie Ruel in the desert
Dr. Stefanie Ruel is the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award winner.

The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award winner Stefanie Ruel had a distinguished career at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), taking on increasing responsibility with various space-based missions. She led multiple mission teams conducting life science research on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, but she still couldn’t break the glass ceiling.

Thinking upgraded qualifications would help break that barrier she registered in the Master of Business Administration program at AU—but during the course of that program she realized she was being discriminated against. She left the CSA, completed a Doctor of Business Administration with AU, and published her work looking at discrimination in the Canadian space industry in a book, STEM-Professional Women’s Exclusion in the Canadian Space Industry.

She continues her research on gender and diversity in various STEM fields in her role as a lecturer with the Open University based in Milton Keynes, U.K.

Award categories

Does this sound like you or something you know? It won’t be long before your friends, family, and former classmates are nominating YOU for an award in one of these four categories:

  • The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the accomplishments of an AU graduate who brings honour and prestige to the University. The recipient of this award is selected based on evidence of outstanding contributions to any field of human endeavor, or extraordinary contributions to his or her community.
  • The Rising Star Award recognizes an AU graduate who has demonstrated leadership and significant contributions to an area of expertise early in his or her career. The recipient will have shown significant success at an early age or in a new industry.
  • The Volunteer Service Award recognizes an AU graduate who has demonstrated a spirit of volunteerism and community service through active, unpaid involvement in and contributions to his or her community.
  • The Future Alumni Award recognizes the leadership, service and potential of a current AU student who has completed a minimum of 15 course credits at AU. The recipient of this award will have demonstrated academic excellence and substantial contributions to his or her community or career while balancing the demands of student life.

Learn more about the Alumni Awards—and all the other perks of being AU alumni—on the Alumni and Friends website.

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  • May 27, 2021