Alumni Achievement Awards

2021 winners

Nominated by their peers from a group of more than 161,000 alumni, recipients of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Alumni Achievement Awards represent alumni who are changing the world one idea or action at a time.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards with degrees from the College of Arts and Science.

Wayne Brownlee
(BSc’75, MBA’77)

During his professional tenure with PotashCorp (now Nutrien), Brownlee led several transformational and highly successful changes within the company. He recently retired as executive vice-president and chief financial officer. His philanthropic efforts have been equally impactful. Throughout his life he has volunteered on several boards for various Saskatchewan charities. Brownlee’s family foundation recently made a $10-million donation to the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation literacy program, an initiative Brownlee is extremely passionate about and holds near and dear to his heart.



Ruth Cuthand
(BFA’83, MFA’92)

Cuthand is a mixed-media artist of Plains Cree and Scottish ancestry who is acknowledged as one of Canada’s preeminent contemporary artists. She is well known for her intricate beadwork portraying microscopic images of viruses. Cuthand has played an influential role in highlighting Indigenous art in Saskatchewan. In 2013, she was awarded a Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award. In 2020, she was named one of the winners of the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.



Heather Kuttai
(BA’94, MSc’09)

Kuttai is a human rights activist who encourages disability to be a positive part of one’s identity. During her time as a USask employee, she created supports for students with disabilities that ensured all students have equal opportunities to achieve success. She has achieved immense success herself in many areas throughout her life, including being a Paralympic medalist, a coach and mentor, author and more. She has dedicated her life to creating equality and equity for students and the community.



Dr. Jennifer Welsh

While working with the United Nations, Welsh focused her efforts on responsibly protecting people in vulnerable global situations. She’s educated others as a Fellow for many institutions, has taught across Canada and Europe, and authored several books and articles. In March 2018, she was named Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance, and currently serves as the director of the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies. She is also a Rhodes Scholar, the first female in Saskatchewan to achieve this prestigious designation.



Dr. Steven Woods

Originally from Melfort, Sask., Woods has found success in every step of his remarkable journey. The computer science alumnus has made significant advancements in the technological sector and in households across the world. Woods co-founded Quackware, the world’s first interactive voice portal, which was acquired by America Online/Time Warner in 2000. In 2008, Woods joined Google Canada as senior engineering director, a role he holds to this day and where he continues to make influential change as a sought-after leader in the tech world.


Read about all seven recipients of 2021 USask Alumni Achievement Awards on the USask alumni website.
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