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This year's Distinguished Alumni: Jennifer Berkenbosch (right), James Vriend (second from right), and their family.
This year's Distinguished Alumni: Jennifer Berkenbosch (right), James Vriend (second from right), and their family.
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King’s announces recipients of 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards

The King’s University Alumni Achievement Awards acknowledge alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their community, career, and the world.

The King’s University is proud to announce the recipients of its 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards. This year’s recipients are a group of alumni who have worked hard to serve others, to speak out against racism, and to feed their communities.

This year’s Accomplished Young Alumni award recognizes the community contributions and professional achievements of Alana (B.Mus ’08) and Reuben Mahaffy (B.Sc, B.Ed ‘11), master teachers in elementary music and secondary science, respectively. Alana and Reuben represent all of the amazing graduates of the King’s Education program who are working incredibly hard to be positive, present, and creative in a very difficult year for all teachers and learners alike. As examples of the dedication these two continually demonstrate to their students, on one occasion Reuben personally mailed out and delivered leaves of cabbage to his students so they would have the materials required to complete science experiments, and Alana delivered ice cream and good cheer to a student struggling in isolation.

The King’s University’s 2020 Servant Leader Award celebrates Olejuru Anozie’s (B.A. Psych ‘19) service and advocacy in her emerging academic and professional life. While studying at King’s, Olejuru and her roommates started a non-profit organization to increase medical clinic accessibility for those who face systemic healthcare barriers in Guatemala. Immediately after graduating, she moved to New York to obtain her Master’s degree in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. Through her graduate coursework and research, Olejuru is making space for people whose stories have been silenced. She currently works with Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada and participates in antiracism advocacy within her church and social communities. Olejuru aspires to be a doctor who reflects the love of Christ and an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. “Without the intentional care and guidance from my spiritual mentors and professors at King’s,” she says, “I may never have had the opportunity to ask the difficult questions and to do the self-reflection that has led me to where I am today.”

Finally, King’s is pleased to present its 2020 Distinguished Alumni award to Jennifer Berkenbosch and James Vriend (B.A. Social Science ’06) for their impactful and inspirational accomplishments, both internationally and locally. The best place to look for evidence of their ‘distinctiveness’ as alumni is on their vegetable farm, Sundog Organic Farm, which James and Jennifer started more than 10 years and ago and which has since developed into a significant contribution to Edmonton’s local food economy. Their venture is about sustainability, not profit; quality rather than quantity; effectiveness rather than efficiency; and local economic and ecological units rather than industrialized agriculture. With a passion to address the disparities in the world, James spent time serving as an instructor in a school in Honduras. As an artist, Jennifer has gone on to exhibit her art both regionally and internationally. Her work is held in public collections across North America. Together, their contributions to the local and global community, through art, education, and care for the land, embody The King’s University’s mission to bring renewal and reconciliation to every walk of life.

The King’s University Alumni Achievement Awards acknowledge alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their community, career, and the world. View previous award recipients and other stories of alumni making a difference at kingsu.ca/impact.

 

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