Donate Now!

NOSM University Achievement Celebration Honours Excellence in Health Education and Research

Posted on May 6, 2024
Dr. Sarita Verma stands in front of a podium and talks into a microphone. Behind her is a table with dozens of awards and a screen displaying stars.

NOSM University is proud to announce the accomplishments of faculty, preceptors, learners, alumni, and staff at the second-annual NOSM University Achievement Celebration, held on Friday, May 3, 2024. 

The awards ceremony, part of the annual Northern Constellations and Connections faculty development conference, drew health-care professionals from across Northern Ontario. The ceremony recognized 19 preceptors, 11 faculty, five learners, two staff, two alumni, and one honorary alumnus who have each demonstrated exemplary service and commitment to health care, medical education, and research in Northern Ontario. Nominations were made by members of the NOSM University and Northern Ontario communities.  

New this year, the Dr. Sarita Verma Awards for Distinguished Leadership at NOSM University recognized recipients who have contributed significantly to the betterment of the NOSM University community. 

In addition, NOSM University celebrated this year’s promotions, which are at the full and associate professor and professor emeritus levels. Dr. Bill McCready, a longtime leader at NOSM University who was recognized as Professor Emeritus, delivered the Last Lecture “Lessons Learned and the Role of Serendipity: How Fate Shaped a Long Career.” 

“NOSM University—the first and only medical university in Canada—has an incredible community of people behind it. We are so proud to recognize their extraordinary accomplishments,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and CEO of NOSM University. 

NOSM University congratulates the award-winners and the faculty who have received promotions. For the full agenda, please click here.

Faculty awards 

  • Physician Clinical Teachers’ Association Leadership Award: Dr. Sarah McIsaac, Greater Sudbury 
  • Academic Leader Award: Dr. Rony Atoui, Greater Sudbury 
  • Clinical Scholar Award: Dr. Ioannis Voutsadakis, Sault Ste. Marie 
  • Clinical Teacher Award: Dr. Amber Dudar, Thunder Bay 
  • Community Champion Award: Denise Taylor, Thunder Bay 
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick, Huntsville 
  • Medical Educator Award: Dr. Richard Painter, North Bay 
  • Scholar Award: Dr. Sujeenthar Tharmalingam, Greater Sudbury 

Learner awards 

  • Learner Peer Teaching: Dr. Michael Christie, Thunder Bay 
  • Learner Scholarly Activity: Arjav Gupta, Thunder Bay 
  • Learner Advocate/Leader: Ashley Wallace, Thunder Bay 
  • Learner-Nominated Teacher Award: Dr. Kiersten Parr, Timmins 

Alumni awards 

  • Rising Star Award: Dr. Kyle Harper, Timmins 
  • Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: Dr. Kim Varty, Thunder Bay 
  • Honourary Alumni Award: Chuck Schmitt (posthumously), Dryden 

The inaugural Dr. Sarita Verma Awards for Distinguished Leadership at NOSM University  

  • Faculty Northeast: Dr. David MacLean, Greater Sudbury 
  • Faculty Northwest: Dr. Kim Varty, Thunder Bay 
  • Staff Northeast: Dr. Kristy Côté, Greater Sudbury 
  • Staff Northwest: Marie Parkkari, Thunder Bay 
  • Learner Northeast: Dr. Mélanie-Rose Frappier, North Bay 
  • Learner Northwest: Taylor Murie, Thunder Bay 

Health Sciences Preceptor Awards 

  • Commitment to Clinical Education Award – Occupational Therapy: Linda Smith, Greater Sudbury 
  • Commitment to Clinical Education Award – Physiotherapy: Marie-Josée Dagenais, North Bay 
  • Commitment to Clinical Education AwardSpeech-Language Pathology: Sally Guillemette, Timmins 
  • Commitment to Clinical Education AwardDietetics: Rachel Palahnuk, Sault Ste. Marie 
  • Innovative Preceptor AwardOccupational Therapy: Sarah-Jane Mason, Huntsville 
  • Innovative Preceptor AwardPhysiotherapy: Fraser Stephenson, Sioux Lookout 
  • Innovative Preceptor AwardSpeech-Language Pathology: Carrie Linklater, North Bay 
  • Innovative Preceptor AwardDietetics: Chantal Bélanger, Greater Sudbury 
  • Interprofessional Collaborator AwardOccupational Therapy: Mavia DeNoble, Greater Sudbury 
  • Interprofessional Collaborator AwardPhysiotherapy: Jill Whitwam, Temiskaming Shores 
  • Interprofessional Collaborator AwardSpeech-Language Pathology: Brenda Liddle, Huntsville 
  • Interprofessional Collaborator AwardSpeech-Language Pathology: Allana Gowan, Huntsville 
  • Interprofessional Collaborator Award – Dietetics: Lela Hopper, Greater Sudbury 
  • Academic Excellence AwardPhysiotherapy: Cheryl Alderdice, North Bay 
  • Academic Excellence AwardDietetics: Bridget King, Greater Sudbury 
  • Northern Ambassador AwardOccupational Therapy: Monique Jardine, North Bay 
  • Northern Ambassador AwardPhysiotherapy: Derek Debassige, M’Chigeeng First Nation 
  • Northern Ambassador AwardSpeech-Language Pathology: Rachel Pessah, Timmins 
  • Northern Ambassador Award – Dietetics: Kelsey McGinn, Kirkland Lake 


  • Dr. Carita Lannér, Professor Emerita 
  • Dr. William McCready, Professor Emeritus 
  • Dr. Tara Baron, Professor 
  • Dr. Ayman Hassan, Professor 
  • Dr. Alex Moise, Professor  
  • Dr. Alain Simard, Professor 
  • Dr. Adedayo Alabi, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Mélanie Breau, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Chantal Corbeil, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Lily DeMiglio, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Joseph Del Paggio, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Sarah Facca, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Renée Gauthier, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Ken Hotson, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Naana Afua Jumah, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Tara Leary, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Virginie Marchadier, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Renée-Anne Montpellier, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Florence Morriello, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Rebekah Neckoway, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Laura Power, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Kerry Reed, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. David Savage, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Ravinder Jeet Singh, Associate Professor 
  • Dr. Karen Splinter, Associate Professor 

– 30 –  

NOSM University is Canada’s first independent medical university and one of the greatest education and physician workforce strategy success stories of Northern Ontario. More than just a medical university, it was purpose-built to address the health needs of the region. While advocating for equitable access to care, the university contributes to the economic development of Northern Ontario. NOSM University relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote, and underserved communities. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy, NOSM University is an award-winning, socially accountable organization renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research.  

For further information, please contact