April 23, 2021
Med school's Alumni of Distinction Awards celebrate range of medical, education and research achievement
An Oblate priest, a paediatrician, a gynaecologist and researchers in physiology, psychiatry, and neuroscience — six of the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) most accomplished alumni are being honoured as the newest recipients of the faculty’s Alumni of Distinction Awards.
"Our alumni are an ongoing source of pride and astonishment to me. I often hear of graduates doing amazing things in settings I would have never imagined. Our award committee struggles every year to choose from the outstanding candidates who are nominated," says Dr. Elisabeth Woolner, MD’88, director, alumni engagement in the CSM.
These six exceptional alumni will receive their awards during an online celebration on May 6, 2021. The online format of this celebration allows for fellow alumni and colleagues from any distance to support the recipients.
“I hope that people far and wide will join us to hear these wonderful stories about our alumni. One positive thing about these times we are in is that the online format creates the opportunity for so many more people to enjoy this celebration,” says Woolner.
The CSM has been recognizing distinguished alumni since 2006. Whether celebrating alumni commitment to mentorship, their breakthroughs in medical science, or their tireless work in international health, we take pride in applauding the diverse and talented graduates of the CSM. Join us on May 6 as we pay tribute to these outstanding alumni.
Alumni of Distinction Award for Excellence in Education
Dr. Suzette Cooke, MD'96, PhD'15, is an award-winning educator who designs curricula and conducts research in medical education. She was instrumental in re-designing the Teaching Scholars in Medicine program and offering faculty development workshops across the departments of Medicine and Surgery. Cooke is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). She is also a member of the CSM’s Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Dr. Trevor Day, BSc’00, PhD’08, involves students as active participants in research and creates meaningful experiential learning opportunities that have a transformative impact. Day engages undergraduate students in all aspects of the research endeavour, integrating his teaching, mentoring and research activities. He also has an active interest in science communication, particularly how scientists can better engage the public in the importance and relevance of science. Day is a professor of physiology at Mount Royal University.
Alumni of Distinction Award for Excellence in Research
Dr. Gerald Zamponi, PhD’93, conducts research examining how ion channels and receptors contribute to neurological disorders such as chronic pain, with the goal of developing therapeutic interventions. His work also deciphers how different regions of the brain are functionally connected to processing pain signals. Zamponi is a professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the CSM, where he is also the senior associate dean (research). He is a member of the CSM’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Dr. Scott Patten, PhD’94, applies epidemiological (population-based) approaches to answering questions related to mental health, including the prevalence of mental disorders, associated risk and prognostic factors and patterns of mortality. Patten is a professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences at the CSM, where he holds the Cuthbertson & Fischer Chair in Paediatric Mental Health. He is also a member of the CSM’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Alumni of Distinction Award for Excellence in Service
Dr. Jaelene Mannerfeldt, MD'89, has been called to remote and international service for most of her professional life. She has worked in Inuvik, Iraq, Pakistan, Laos, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda. Mannerfeldt is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the CSM. She is also the resident well-being specialist in the Office of Postgraduate Medical Education.
Dr. Maurice Schroeder, MD’76, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest and physician, lived and worked in Peru almost continuously from 1978 to 2017. Trained both in family medicine and in tropical medicine, he not only provided comprehensive medical care to his patients, but also established multiple outreach clinics, provided leadership to the local hospital and its staff, and ministered to the needs of his parish. He is retired from practising medicine and now resides in Battleford, Sask., where he is involved in First Nations dialogue with Nakoda and Cree reserves as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.