Bold alumni leaders

Dal alumni are making a difference through their leadership every day. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we recognize 21 bold alumni leaders who are breaking down barriers and advancing society as human rights champions, scientific pioneers, innovative entrepreneurs, health care advocates, policy leaders, and more. Browse their photos and follow the links below to read their full stories.

 Rebecca Thomas (BA’09, MA’13) Mi’kmaw activist and poet laureate Rebecca Thomas (BA’09, MA’13) is changing public perceptions about Indigenous people and culture. Her provocative and emotionally charged poems communicate a painful history in a way that’s both beautiful and didactic.
 Dr. Nancy Jane Lane (MSc’60) After being told ‘girls can’t be scientists’, Dr. Nancy Jane Lane (MSc’60) became a leading researcher in cell biology at Cambridge University, after studying at Dalhousie, Oxford and Yale. Encouraging women in science is her life’s mission.
 Rose Mlay (BScN’91, MN’98) Rose Mlay (BScN’91, MN’98) is working to make childbirth safer for the women and children of Tanzania. She is National Coordinator of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Tanzania.
 Kim Pate (LLB’84) By investigating human rights violations and advocating for Aboriginal women and prisoners with mental health issues, Kim Pate (LLB’84) has played a key role in improving the treatment of women in Canada’s justice and incarceration systems.
 Sharon Carstairs (BA’62, LLD’13) Sharon Carstairs (BA’62, LLD’13) considers the dying to be the most vulnerable people in Canada. That’s why the former senator is so focused on engaging Canadians in discussions about how we die. Her pioneering work has resulted in critical enhancements to palliative care.
 Stefanie MacDonald (BMgmt’11) Making a difference is not something that Stefanie MacDonald (BMgmt’11) gives much thought to. But given the sheer number of initiatives she is involved with, or has launched in her life, you realize this outstanding mentor, creator and entrepreneur really doesn’t have to. It’s pretty much second nature.
 Pamela Palmater (LLM’99, JSD’09) Lawyer, educator and activist Pamela Palmater (LLM’99, JSD’09) has devoted virtually every moment of her professional life to First Nations advocacy. Her actions have helped shift government policy in a more just direction and greatly impacted quality of life for Canada’s indigenous populations.
 Zoë Caron (BSc’07) Zoë Caron (BSc’07) first took a stand for the environment when she was six years old. More than two decades later, she’s made some impressive headway in resolving issues of ecology, sustainability and conservation at home and around the globe. In 2016, Caron was appointed as an environmental policy advisor to Prime Minister Trudeau.
 Karn Nichols (BSc’84) Karn Nichols (BSc’84) has dedicated her life to helping disaffected youth to overcome their fears and shine by creating spaces where this can happen. It’s the philosophy behind MacPhee Centre, a creative learning facility where young people can connect their passion and purpose through the arts.
 Emma Halpern (LLB’06) Whether advocating for victims of sexual violence in Serbia, introducing restorative justice to Nova Scotia’s schools, or caring for a homeless youth in her own community, Emma Halpern (LLB’06) is fueled by a singular desire – to bring about a more inclusive and equitable society.
 Anne McGuire (MHSA’92) and Chris Power (MHSA’89) Hospital CEOs Anne McGuire (MHSA’92) and Chris Power (MHSA’89) are the voices of optimism in the national conversation about the future of Canada’s healthcare system.
 Dr. Natalie Archer (BSc’95, DDS’01) In her application to Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry, Dr. Natalie Archer (BSc’95, DDS’01) vowed she would make a difference as a dentist. She has made it her life’s work to follow through on this promise by getting to the root of elder dental care.
 Barb Stegemann (BA’91) Barb Stegemann (BA’91) wanted to create economic growth in some of the world’s poorest regions. And she’s doing it one fragrance at a time.
 Sarah Cooper (BA’96) When Sarah Cooper (BA’96) couldn’t find any organically and ethically produced kids clothing she liked, she launched her own line. Her company, the Fableists, is making change for the better, one garment at a time.
 Dr. Christy Sutherland (MD’08) Dr. Christy Sutherland (MD’08) understands that addiction is a chronic disease, not a choice. As an addiction medicine physician in Vancouver, the 2014 Dalhuosie Alumni Award recipient‘s life focus is to help some of society’s most marginalized individuals.
 Jennifer Corson (BEDS’90, MARFP (TUNS)’91) Romantically thrifty. Economically creative. Sustainably inclined. There are many ways to describe green-minded problem solver Jennifer Corson (BEDS’90, MARFP (TUNS)’91) and the incredible impact of her energy efficient designs.
 Sara Austin (BA’98) Children everywhere can finally get help from the UN when their rights are being violated. Former World Vision Canada director and 2015 Dalhousie Alumni Award recipient Sara Austin (BA’98) played a key role in making it happen.
 Linda Marie Gillingwater Rainsberry (BA’66) Though she held many titles over the years – writer, director, producer, and educator – Linda Marie Gillingwater Rainsberry (BA’66) was, at heart, an agent of incredible change with a powerful dedication to making a difference.
 Dr. Jemima MacKenzie’s (MD'1904, LLD’40) Dr. Jemima MacKenzie’s (MD’1904, LLD’40) pioneering passion shines through the Indian hospital she built and in the lives and descendants of the 44 children she adopted.
 Christine Hanson (BA’94, LLB/MPA’98) Working amongst the game changers of Capitol Hill, Christine Hanson (BA’94, LLB/MPA’98) quietly shaped Canada’s economy, environment and culture. Now, she’s making a difference closer to home as the director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.