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Honorary Degree Recipients

The awarding of an honorary degree is a recognition by SAIT of distinguished achievement in scholarship, the creative arts or public service provincially, nationally or internationally. Our honorary degree recipients proudly take the opportunity to speak to our graduates about their own experiences at our bi-annual convocation ceremonies.

As part of its ongoing quest to recognize and support excellence, SAIT's Board of Governors seeks nominations for recipients of its honorary bachelor degrees. SAIT awards the honorary degree(s) to laud distinguished achievement in scholarship, the creative arts or public service, on the provincial, national or international stage. Nominations are currently closed.

Honorary degrees are presented at SAIT's Convocation ceremonies scheduled for June and October 2018.

Fall 2018 Distinguished Speaker

Jennifer Carlson, Honorary Degree Recipient

Jennifer Carlson, Distinguished Speaker
Oct. 11, 2018

Jennifer Carlson is the co-founder and visionary behind Baby Gourmet, Canada's leading brand of organic baby food, specializing in nutritious and delicious packaged food for babies and toddlers. She successfully launched the Baby Gourmet brand in 2006 at The Calgary Farmers Market and has since built a company with products distributed in major retailers across North America and China. Capturing over 35% of the baby food market share in Canada, Baby Gourmet has become the leading brand of baby food in Canada and is a household name for busy families across the country. Jen has led innovation with healthy kids snacking products, Slammers brand, which is widely distributed in over 6000 stores across the United States.

Over the past 10 years Jen has been recognized for her leadership and innovation in this space. Jen was named as one of SAIT's Distinguished Alumni in 2016. She was ranked #7 on the 2015 PROFIT/Chatelaine W100, a list celebrating Canada's Top Female Entrepreneurs. In 2014 Jen received the prestigious Women of Influence Trailblazer award and accepted the "Most Outstanding Product in Canada" by the World Tour by SIAL Awards (formerly SIAL d'Or Awards) on behalf of Baby Gourmet's Squoosh product line. In 2011 Jen was named Ernst & Young's Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year (Prairies).

Since founding Baby Gourmet, Jen has been featured in countless media outlets including The Huffington Post, Chatelaine Magazine, Today's Parent, The Globe & Mail, The Financial Post and Food Network's Food Factory.

Jen is the mother of two well-fed children, an innovator, an inspirational speaker and a contributing parenting expert on Huffington Post Canada. Her first cookbook "Growing Up Gourmet" hit shelves in spring 2016. Jen also holds the position of Chair of Innovation and New Ventures within the School of Business at Calgary based post-secondary SAIT. Her extensive experience is this area will help the organization develop programs to help build future innovators.

Jen's latest passion is her new company, Thirsty Naturals. Once again inspired by her now teenage children, Thirsty Naturals is an all-natural line of skin and body care products designed and formulated for the needs of teenagers. This exciting new line of products launched online is September 2018 with plans for retail distribution in early 2019.


Spring 2018 Honorary Degree Recipients

Alan Norris

Alan Norris, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 12, 2018

As chairman and chief executive officer of Brookfield Residential, Alan Norris oversees the management and strategic direction for the Brookfield Residential business. Brookfield Residential operates in 12 major North American markets, including Alberta, Ontario, Washington DC, California, Colorado, Texas and Arizona. Under his leadership, the company's asset base grew to $3.8 billion and the employee base to more than 1,300 people.

Alan's involvement in the community includes being the chair of the recently completed Resolve Fundraising campaign to raise $120 million for affordable housing in Calgary, a collaborative campaign representing nine different agencies that are addressing homelessness. He is also a past chairman of the Calgary Homeless Foundation and a past director of Theatre Calgary.

Alan was named the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Business Leader Award by the Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber. Alan holds a B.A. degree in accounting and economics and two Chartered Accountant Designations, Scotland and Canada.


Dr. Elizabeth Cannon

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 13, 2018

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon is the eighth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Cannon was dean of the Schulich School of Engineering.

Dr. Cannon is a professional engineer, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and an elected foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering. She is past chair of Universities Canada and currently serves as co-chair of the Business Higher Education Round Table and as a member of the U15 Group of Canadian research universities.

Dr. Cannon's research has been on the forefront of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in both industrial and academic environments. She has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. Dr. Cannon's work has been recognized with the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, APEGA's Centennial Leadership Award and the Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada in 2013.

Dr. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in mathematics from Acadia University as well as a BSc, MSc and PhD in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary.


Douglas Ramsay

Douglas Ramsay, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 14, 2018

Doug Ramsey is a co-founder of Calfrac Well Services and serves as vice chairman of the board. He also serves as a director of Tervita Corporation and as co-chairman of STARS.

As a distinguished alumnus (2012) of SAIT's Petroleum Engineering Technology program (1977), he is a proud supporter and donor to SAIT, with the naming of the Ramsay Centre of Petroleum Engineering Technology at the MacPhail School of Energy.

Doug focused his career on pressure pumping in the well completion sector of the service business which spanned the globe doing business in Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, the Middle East, USA and Canada along the way. He now calls himself semi-retired, sitting on public, private and not-for-profit boards.

He has been honoured with his induction into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame (2012) and the Calgary Business Hall of Fame (2015.) Doug and his wife, Susan are noted for their philanthropy with major donations over the past several years to SAIT, STARS and the Foothills County Hospice — their way of giving back through their good luck and success throughout the years.


Spring 2018 Distinguished Speaker

Brian Moukperian

Brian Moukperian, Distinguished Speaker
June 13, 2018

Brian Moukperian is the dean of SAIT's School of Transportation and one of the longest serving deans in the institution's recent history.

Over the past 17 years, Brian has demonstrated his passion for student engagement. To help foster student success, Brian has developed initiatives to connect with new students ahead of their first day of class, so they arrive feeling well-prepared to begin their SAIT journey. His initiatives have helped students build knowledge and confidence through opportunities such as work-integrated learning and industry nights.

In his role as dean, Brian has also worked to promote employee engagement. Through his Monday morning and good news Friday messages, staff in his school stay connected and up-to-date.

Brian represents SAIT as an advisor on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Training Board, and is a director of the Calgary Motor Dealers Charitable Foundation. Brian is a recipient of the 2010 Chair Academy Exemplary Leader Award. He also influenced the establishment of 14 awards in the School of Transportation and the Dean's Award for the top apprentice in every final-year program.

Brian is retiring from SAIT on June 29, with the hope of starting a new, bold, exciting chapter in his life.


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