Lifetime Achievement Award

Ken Ottenbreit BAdmin’80 is described by his friends and colleagues in various ways. Some call him a devoted family man, others, an august attorney and founding partner of the New York office of international law firm, Stikeman Elliott. Still others call him a compassionate humanitarian.

Many know him as the Canadian to call in the U.S. when something needs doing. Regardless, anyone who knows, works or volunteers with Ken Ottenbreit acknowledges that he is an extraordinarily worthy recipient of the Alumni Crowning Achievement Award Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ken began his career as a corporate lawyer in Toronto at Stikeman Elliott in 1983 and was sent down to assist the New York office on a temporary basis for three months in 1988. He never went back.

For 30 years, Ken has been a distinguished leader within the firm and a fixture in the New York legal and business community.

Ken’s skillful leadership also led to the creation of the Canadian Association of New York (CANY) – no easy task.  While CANY’s two founding organizations both had a history of good charitable work dating back to the 1860s, they didn’t always see eye-to-eye.

Ken Ottenbreit BAdmin'80 holds a Superman cape

Ken’s hard work and genuine decency brought the organizations and everyone together. Ken was not only CANY’s first president, but still serves on its board of directors.

Remarkably, he also finds time to serve as a director for Achilles International and the not-for-profit “Ice Hockey in Harlem,” a group dedicated to help children achieve academic success using skills learned playing Canada’s national obsession. As a philanthropist, Ken's efforts were acknowledged as he was a recipient of The Queen's Jubilee Medal.

One of Ken’s greatest legacy is as founder and organizer of New York City’s annual Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research. Seeing that no such run existed when he arrived in New York, Ken got it started in 1994 with only a few dozen participants.

Today, the run attracts thousands to Central Park every October and the fundraising has been impressive. In the past 23 years nearly $3 million dollars has been raised for cancer research. The funds have directly financed the research of Dr. Renier Brentjens at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and led to a significant breakthrough for those people battling Leukemia.

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Young Alumni Award

When it comes to expertise about women in conflict, Dr. Joana Cook is extraordinarily knowledgeable. Her expertise began when she was a curious political science student at the University of Regina seeking to understand womens’ agency in political violence. Cook is a Teaching Fellow and Senior Research Fellow with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. Both positions are based out of King's College, London, where Cook received her PhD. She is also an affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS).

Her PhD research examined women in relation to post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism responses in Yemen and the wider MENA region. Her research more broadly focuses on women in violent extremism, countering violent extremism, and counter-terrorism practices in Yemen and the wider MENA region.

Dr. Joana Cook BAHons'10 holds Thor's hammer

At a young age, Joana often read stories of young women in conflicts including the Second World War and the former Yugoslavia, and observed that women were often more adversely affected whenever violence was perpetuated.

This realization was continuously apparent to her in topics ranging from gender-based and intimate partner violence, to the many incidences of missing and murdered Indigenous women within Canada. It bothered Joana that while women were the most impacted by conflict and violence, they weren’t always part of the solution.

Dr. Cook’s work focuses on women, extremism, security, and counterterrorism. She is the former editor-in-chief for Strife, an international journal and blog focusing on conflict with over 1.3 million followers. She has provided policy expertise and research to international governments and has been featured on TV and in print in Time, BBC, Washington Post, CBC, National Post, and Telegraph.

During her time at the University of Regina, Dr. Cook wrote for the student newspaper The Carillon and taught English at Regina's Open Door Society. In her young life, she has travelled to over 30 countries and is well on her way to speaking four languages, and she’s just getting started.

[post_title] => The Extraordinary Dr. Joana Cook [post_excerpt] => This year marks the 14th anniversary of the University of Regina’s flagship alumni award program – The Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards. The awards were established to celebrate the accomplishments of University of Regina alumni who have realized outstanding achievement in their field. Meet one of this fall’s deserving recipients. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-extraordinary-dr-joana-cook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-22 13:43:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-22 19:43:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2352 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2018-11-02 11:06:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-02 17:06:31 [post_content] =>

During my sabbatical from teaching and administrative work as an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina I travelled to Svalbard, in the Arctic, for two very different artist residencies.

In June 2017 I spent three sleepless weeks during the time of the unsetting Midnight Sun aboard a tall-ship with 30 artist and scientists. We sailed around the western and northern coasts of the archipelago, visiting the fjords and glaciers and hiking so carefully across the rocky moraines and fragile tundra.

Still exhausted, in January and February 2018 I returned to Svalbard, but now during the time of the unrising sun; Polar Night. I was an Artist in Residence with Galleri Svalbard, the northernmost contemporary art gallery in the world, in the northernmost civil settlement on the planet. On my own, then, I felt that if the farthest I ventured was the roof of the gallery, it would be far enough.

I spent this time standing on that roof in the midst of day/night, all the dusk and twilight and night and aurora, day after day, for weeks, just standing. Looking. Being one who practices standing in the comfort of the dark.

All images are from the Practicing Standing series of documented performances in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, 2018.

Horowitz will hold a solo exhibition of works based on her arctic research from November 8, 2018 - December 31, 2018 at Galleri Svalbard in Longyearbyen. Text by Risa Horowitz.

Through Baudelaire…

Of course…we should all always be happier elsewhere than where we happen to be.

There are reasons people venture to the farthest reaches of this planet, leave their homes to locate themselves in places like Longyearbyen, with its feeling of otherworldliness and conflicted sense of isolation.

Here; gravity

Here; pouring rain in January

Here; where ninety-one straight months of warmer-than-normal temperatures

Here; where human waste flows into the fjord

Here; where we are proud to know how to operate rifles in case we need to kill polar bears

Here; where we imagine we are greater than we are and are reminded constantly that we are not

Here; where we knowingly colonize a(n other) place unfit for human survival

Here; where we have no choice but to be uniquely resilient and self-reliant, and to rely on one another…strangers though we may be

Here; where the waxing twilight shakes us from the shelter of the dark polar night

Anywhere!….we say…Anywhere...
So long as it be out of this world!

We are here.
This is where we belong.

This is how we walk on Earth.

[post_title] => Arctic dreams [post_excerpt] => During her sabbatical from teaching and administrative work as an associate professor of Visual Arts, Risa Horowitz travelled to Svalbard, in the Arctic, for two very different artist residencies. View some of her of documented performances from her “Practicing Standing” series. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => risa-horowitz [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-16 10:16:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-16 16:16:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )