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Outstanding Nipissing University alumni receive honours

North Bay Deputy Mayor Maggie Horsfield is among the five distinguished recipients of this year's Nipissing University Alumni Awards

Each year, the Nipissing University Alumni Advisory Board recognizes the achievements of five outstanding alumni during its annual Alumni Awards celebration.  

The Nipissing University Alumni Awards are presented in five categories: the Rising Star Alumni Award, Dr. James Jamieson Influential Alumni Award, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, the Philanthropy Award, and the Honorary Alumni Award. 

NUAAB is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards who will be officially recognized for their outstanding achievements at a private award ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 21:

Megan Odd — Rising Star Alumni Award

Megan Odd graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminal Justice in 2020, and a Master of Arts in Sociology in 2022. During her time at Nipissing, Megan was actively engaged in research and the community through her undergraduate and graduate theses. In 2021, she was invited to present her undergraduate honours thesis research “Implementing the Eight-Lamp Amber-Red Advanced Warning Light System on School Buses in Ontario,” to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in support of Bill-246, the Safer School Bus Act. While completing her master’s, she worked full-time at the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board where she was responsible for coordinating the 2021 point-in-time count of homelessness in the Nipissing district. Megan was hired at Canadore College as a Research Officer in January 2023 and transitioned to full-time professor of social sciences. To this day, Megan remains actively engaged in research through Canadore College acting as a faculty researcher on two projects. 

Dr. Jonathan Pitt Dr. James — Jamieson Influential Alumni Award

Holding multiple degrees from Nipissing University (BA (Hons.), B.Ed., AdEd., M.Ed.), Dr. Jonathan Pitt is an instructor at Nipissing University in the Schulich School of Education and Faculty of Arts and Science teaching Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education. As an Indigenous Educator, he incorporates his life experiences and land-based knowledge into his courses by bringing students onto the land to demonstrate that learning can occur outside the classroom walls, something that his students share as important to their learning and communities.  

Maggie Horsfield — Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

A lifelong North Bay resident, Maggie Horsfield holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science and History from Nipissing University and began her career at Nipissing in 2014 as a Student Recruitment Officer before moving to the President’s Office as the Executive Assistant. She was elected Deputy Mayor of the City of North Bay in 2022 and serves on serval boards for local organizations. Maggie is passionate about building relationships and connecting people to grow the community.  

Paige Trudeau-Shemilt — Philanthropy Alumni Award

Paige graduated from Nipissing University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. At a young age, Paige was formally introduced to public speaking and inspiring others because of her own fight with cancer. After delivering her first formal community speech at age eight at Relay for Life, Paige continued to share her personal battle with cancer, speaking at local schools during Terry Fox campaigns. When her husband, Jordan, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, more energy was sparked in raising awareness. She co-founded “Jordan’s Bash for Hope,” a colon cancer fundraising event for Colon Cancer Canada and for North Bay families going through their own health battles. Paige has endeavoured tirelessly in her commitment to various efforts and organizations.  

Maurice Switzer — Honorary Alumni Award

Maurice Switzer began as a cub reporter with the Belleville Intelligencer and retired as a publisher of Winnipeg Free Press, the only Indigenous person – and of the few of Jewish ancestry or journalism background – to hold such a position in that industry. Combining his media experience with a thirst for learning more about Indigenous Cultures, Maurice became the Director of Communications at the Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa and then the Union of Ontario Indians outside North Bay, before retiring from full-time work in 2014. He continues the public education initiatives that he launched at First Nations Political Organization and serves as a member of several Indigenous organizations including as Chair of the Nipissing University Indigenous Council on Education.