Distinguished Service, Professors and Teaching Award Recipients: Fall 2016

Distinguished Service | GSA Teaching Award


Photo of Ace Burpee

Diploma in Journalism (S.A.I.T.)

WEDNESDAY, October 19

Mr. David ‘Ace’ Burpee is a Winnipeg radio personality and tireless volunteer who lends his voice to dozens of charitable organizations in Manitoba. This recognized community builder donates his time at more than 250 events every year, bringing his creativity, enthusiasm and authenticity to each person he meets.

In 2013, Mr. Burpee received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his staggering commitment to Manitoba communities. A year later he was recognized as a Manitoba Hero for championing organizations like the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, the United Way of Winnipeg and the Children’s Hospital.

Early on in life, Mr. Burpee learned about the importance of not only working hard but of giving back and having fun along the way. He grew up in the rural town of Cooks Creek, where he spent his childhood tending to farm animals, catching frogs, and building rafts to float down the creek with his sister.

From his dad, who was CEO of Winnipeg’s YMCA-YWCA, he learned about breaking down barriers so everyone had equal opportunities in life. His mom, who was an occupational therapist at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, taught him about compassion. Mr. Burpee is now a steadfast ally and advocate for those with mental illness.

A storyteller at heart, he earned a journalism diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and has since worked in the communications field in various capacities. His column with Metro Winnipeg, the Top 100 Most Fascinating Manitobans, is a favourite of many and is evidence of Mr. Burpee’s reach and impact in our province.

For 13 years he has co-hosted the Ace Burpee Show on 103.1 Virgin Radio, a role that allows him to be creative while offering a helping hand and building community spirit.

Mr. Burpee is known for bringing good ideas to life, from designing a T-shirt that supports disaster zones to producing a Winnipeg Jets anthem that unites a city.

He has made it his life’s mission to be kind, to work hard and to take any opportunity to help others that he can.

The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize Mr. David ‘Ace’ Burpee with the Distinguished Service Award.


Photo of Kirk J. McManus

Kirk J. McManus
B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc.(Man.); Ph.D.(Alta.)

THURSDAY, October 20

Dr. Kirk McManus empowers his students to be independent, critical thinkers and equips them with the expertise they need to succeed not only in their careers but in life.

This associate professor in biochemistry and medical genetics shares his extensive knowledge while challenging his students to push themselves further.

A senior scientist with the Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology within CancerCare Manitoba, Dr. McManus received the prestigious Rh Award in 2014 for displaying exceptional innovation, leadership and promise in his field.

He uses innovative digital imaging microscopy to investigate genes that regulate the chromosomes involved in colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Canada.

Dr. McManus believes a better understanding of how this cancer begins on the microscopic level will lead to novel treatments that could save lives.

Despite his rigorous schedule, he has an open-door policy for his students, who are grateful for his commitment to helping them achieve their goals.

He brings a love of science and a sense of humour to each class, encouraging lively discussions and debate. Students describe Dr. McManus as not only an exceptional teacher but an inspiring mentor and role model. In fact, every student in Dr. McManus’s lab has received an award for their scholarly excellence—a testament to the inspiring environment in which they learn.

Dr. McManus also lends his expertise to several committees that involve the Ph.D. program and its curriculum development in order to continuously review and make improvements to the benefit of students.

In April, he received the University of Manitoba’s Merit Award for Teaching, Service and Research.

The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize Dr. McManus with the Graduate Students’ Association Teaching Award.

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Updated October 11, 2016