Shawna Argue has enjoyed a dynamic career as one of the most respected members of Saskatchewan’s engineering community.

“I am a detail-oriented, logical thinker,” says Argue. “Engineering is a profession that applies science to solving a variety of problems. I like that about the profession. But, more than that, it is the people that I have had the opportunity to work with over the years, from a variety of professions;  some were classmates, some colleagues, some clients, some volunteers and some all of the above! Many have become lifelong, close friends.”

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She is currently the director of Registration for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. Argue previously owned a consulting business working with a variety of Western Canadian clients in industries including resource extraction, oil and gas production, transportation, utilities and manufacturing.

“I have been told that I was the first woman to undertake a variety of activities in my profession,” she says. “At the time, I was not aware that was the case and didn’t even think about it. I have never been one to want to accomplish something just because I was a woman. I just wanted to get the job done.”

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Argue has been a tireless volunteer in the community, raising more than $40,000 for CIBC Run for the Cure and serving many organizations including the Royal Regina Golf Club, Assiniboia Club, Regina Business and Professional Women’s Club, Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Service and Royal Lifesaving Society Canada. She has also been the Saskatchewan director and president of the Canadian Society of Senior Engineers and is a warden for Camp#25 (Regina) for the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer Iron Ring Ceremony.

“I started volunteering early in my life for various causes—Red Cross, Royal Life Saving Society Canada, and many others,” Argue explains. “As I progressed in my career, my volunteer activities were refocused on my profession. I thought I was giving back to my profession by volunteering, but in fact, my profession was still giving to me as I continually learned more.”

Named a Woman of Distinction by the Regina YWCA in the Science and Technology category, Argue is also a recipient of the Regina Engineering Society’s Engineering Excellence and Volunteer Awards. In 2019, she was the first woman to receive the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – SK’s Lieutenant Governor’s Meritorious Achievement Award. She is also the first female University of Regina Engineering graduate to be recognized with an Alumni Crowning Achievement Award – Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I was very surprised and pleased when I was informed that I was receiving this award,” she says of her Lifetime Achievement Award. “It is a great honour and a humbling experience to be recognized in such a way. It is very special and meaningful to be recognized for my professional and volunteer achievements.”

Argue and her husband, Kent Walde BAdmin’84, have been married for 31 years. They live in Regina and also have an all-season cottage at Sunset Cove. They enjoy a variety of activities including vacationing at their timeshares in Kelowna and Barbados, cooking, golfing, gardening and sipping a fine wine.

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Robert (Sharky) Jamont has been a passionate volunteer and supporter of Cougars men's hockey since he attended the University of Regina in the 1980s.

During his decades-long service to the team, he has helped raise more than $500,000, ensuring that Cougars men's hockey remains competitive in U SPORTS competition. He began as a student volunteer trainer and equipment manager before moving on to become the assistant coach for the team. More recently, he took on an active role leading Cougars men's hockey alumni events and fundraising activities.

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"Like everything in life, all your experiences make up who you are," says Jamont. "I am very lucky to have met so many great people that are team members of the hockey team. As well, hockey has given me some tremendous opportunities for success in life away from the rink. Simply put, I would not likely be in the position that I am today if Reg Higgs had not invited me to be part of the team in '84. I was very fortunate to join at that time with so many talented people around me."

His enthusiasm for volunteering is fueled by his desire to see the team succeed and new players achieve their goals.

"It is exciting to have met so many great people who have come through the program and support the men's hockey team," he says. "It is rewarding to be a part of an organization that works together for the common goal of enhancing the experience of the hockey team."

Jamont played an essential role for the team during the early 1990s, forming the Cougars men's hockey alumni group, whose fundraising efforts have helped with equipment purchases, scholarships, meals for extended trips, and events for the players and coaches. An annual golf tournament was established as a fundraiser, with former Cougars hockey players from all eras coming back to the tournament each year. The fundraiser has evolved into a reunion of sorts, helping keep Cougars hockey ties strong.

In 2019, Jamont decided to take a step back after years of tireless volunteer work on behalf of Cougars men's hockey. He was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals - South Saskatchewan Chapter this past November as an 2019 Outstanding Individual Volunteer. He is also very appreciative to receive an Alumni Crowning Achievement Award.

"Receiving this award is very humbling, as you don't volunteer for awards," says Jamont. "I am extremely flattered with the support I received for the nomination and I am very grateful to be recognized for the work I have done over the last 25 years. When I looked at the previous award winners and saw two other hockey alumnus, Barry Clarke and Greg Fieger, I knew that I had joined a pretty special group as I respect the work of those two immensely."

When he's not working or volunteering, Jamont can likely be found outside. He enjoys watching sports and is an avid gardener. He also likes to hunt and fish. Jamont and his wife Leanne Stricker live in Regina with their hunting dogs Sadie and Vegas.

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Rosalie Tsannie-Burseth has been a leader in the field of education for 30 years as a teacher, principal, and director of education. She is also a vocal advocate for the preservation of Indigenous language and culture, and serves as a role model for many.

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"I love teaching. My goal was to teach Grade 5; however, the principal at Wollaston Lake School convinced me that I would do well with the little ones. When I started in 1987, I discovered that not one child spoke English. I took the opportunity to integrate the Dene language into the English kindergarten curriculum. It was then I realized the fun of teaching. When you create a nurturing environment for students, at any grade, the possibilities are endless."

Tsannie-Burseth has overcome many obstacles to become the respected trailblazer she is today. She is a residential school survivor who persevered despite being taunted and forbidden to speak her language. She defied cultural expectations with her education and career path, paving the way for other women in her community and beyond.

"I attended residential school in the early 1960s," she says. "I made plans then to become a teacher. My education curriculum at the residential school was not based on my linguistic nor socio-cultural background. At the same time, I always thought education was important, and knew I would teach someday."

When time permits, Tsannie-Burseth enjoys writing about Dene history and teaching methodology and pedagogy. She also works tirelessly to ensure Indigenous languages are preserved and suggests all Saskatchewan residents can help their safeguarding by supporting research that analyzes the state of Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan.

Tsannie-Burseth has served as the director of education at Hatchet Lake First Nation, as Chief of the same community and, most recently, as associate director with the Prince Albert Grand Council. She has received numerous awards, including the Governor General's Citizenship Award, Awasis Award, Role Model Award, Women of the Dawn Award, and Lieutenant Governor's Award. While she is grateful for all the recognition that has come her way, receiving a distinguished alumni award from her alma mater is especially gratifying.

"Receiving this award is amazing. It means that I have contributed to my lifelong passion-teaching. I have had many compliments about receiving the award, mostly from women, and they tell me I am their mentor and role model."

Tsannie-Burseth comes from a large, close-knit family of eleven children. Before her father passed away two years ago, he passed on many teachings that Tsannie-Burseth is dedicated to passing on to her three children and others. Her mother also lives at Wollaston Lake.

She loves to fish, pick berries and camp at Wollaston Lake. She is also an avid caribou hunter who admittedly hasn't hunted for a few years because of the declining numbers of the species. She enjoys photography and takes photos of Elders, northern landscapes and family members. She lives with her husband, Robert Burseth, at MacDowall, Saskatchewan. She is currently working on a doctorate degree at the U of R that explores building curriculum that promotes Indigenous language and culture.

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