From left: Kwantlen Polytechnic University graduates and distinguished KPUAA award winners Maryanne Mathias

Kwantlen’s alumni association celebrates distinguished award winners

Outstanding university graduates honoured for their achievements.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Alumni Association (KPUAA) has honoured the following four 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award winners in Surrey:

• Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development: Diploma in Marketing Management (1994);

• Baltej Dhillon, Staff Sergeant with the RCMP: Diploma in Criminology (1988);

• Maryanne Mathias, co-founder and owner of sustainable fashion company Osei-Duro: Bachelor of Arts in Applied Design Fashion (2003;

• Chris McCue, president of McCue Environmental Contracting: Diploma in Environmental Protection Technology (1994).

Close to 150 guests recently gathered at the Eaglequest Golf course to honour the award winners, who were selected from a pool of nearly 43,000 Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) graduates. The annual award recognizes alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the university through exceptional career, public and community service; athletics; arts and culture; or academic achievements. The speeches during the event reflected how Cadieux, Dhillon, Mathias and McCue have created change, and given back to the province, nation, world, and environment.

“All four winners have made significant contributions to our communities locally or globally, and KPUAA is proud to celebrate their successes and recognize them for their achievements,” says Jeff Norris, executive director of the KPUAA, and KPU’s chief advancement officer.

Cadieux graduated with honours from KPU’s marketing management diploma program in 1994. She has represented British Columbians as the MLA for Surrey-Panorama, and now serves as the representative for her home riding of Surrey-Cloverdale where she has lived since 2001.

Cadieux is currently the Minister of Children and Family Development. She previously served as Minister of Social Development, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.

Since she was 18, Cadieux has been living with a spinal cord injury that resulted from a car crash. She has been an active community volunteer and has spoken at various KPU events.

Dhillon graduated from the university in 1988 with a diploma in criminology, and decided to join the RCMP. He met all of the initial requirements, however RCMP policy did not allow him to wear a turban. The issue went to the then-Commissioner of the RCMP, who sided with Dhillon. This led Canada’s Solicitor General to announce in the House of Commons that the policy would be amended to permit Sikhs to wear a turban while on active duty in the RCMP. Dhillon was the first turbaned cadet in Canadian history to enter training.

He is currently the head of the British Columbia RCMP Provincial Intelligence Centre. Dhillon was also a founding member of the KPUAA and served as the chair of the board in 2009. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his community and youth service, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award in 2003 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012.

Osei-Duro was founded by  Mathias and Molly Keogh as an experiment in design and production in Ghana. The company, which has offices in Los Angeles and Acrra, Ghana, is dedicated to creating socially responsible and sustainable clothing fashionable.

Osei-Duro uses small-scale manufacturing and works with local Ghanaian seamstresses, tailors and factories, providing them with training to increase the quality and marketability of their products. Many of Osei-Duro’s garments are hand dyed, and feature a variety of artisanal pieces such as hand crocheting and hand cast brass. Mathias has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and technology from KPU, and an MBA in sustainability and strategic management from the University of British Columbia.

McCue, president of McCue Environmental Contracting, has 19 years experience in the design, construction and operation of contaminated site remediation technologies and industrial wastewater treatment systems, first as a consultant and now as a specialized contractor.  McCue completed KPU’s environmental protection technology program in 1994. Upon graduation, McCue secured employment in environmental consulting, focusing on contaminated site management and remediation.

He left consulting mid-2000 to found McCue Environmental Contracting. He is a member of KPU’s Environmental Protection Technology Advisory Committee, providing industry expertise to the program from which McCue hires graduates. He is also a board member of the British Columbia Environment Industry Association.

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