University of Calgary

Alumni Association announces 2013 Arch Awards recipients

UToday HomeApril 12, 2013

Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Gary Kovacs, BComm’90, MBA’99Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
Gary Kovacs, BComm’90, MBA’99

Graduate of the Last Decade Award recipient Natalie Panek, BSc’07Graduate of the Last Decade Award recipient
Natalie Panek, BSc’07

Future Alumni Award recipient Scott Weir, BA’14Future Alumni Award recipient
Scott Weir, BA’14
Three years ago, the University of Calgary Alumni Association received an email from an alumnus who, after reading the alumni e-newsletter, wanted to update his alma mater on his new job.

That alumnus was Silicon Valley leader Gary Kovacs. His new job was a pretty big deal: CEO of Mozilla Corporation, developers of the Firefox web browser. This year, Kovacs is the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Calgary Alumni Association.

“I was overcome with emotion,” says Kovacs, when he first found out he’d received the award, which has been given out since 1985. “I was overwhelmed and incredibly humbled to even be considered. I am proud to represent the University of Calgary as an ambassador and recipient of this wonderful award.”

Alongside Kovacs, the alumni association is honoring aerospace engineer Natalie Panek with the Graduate of the Last Decade Award (GOLD). At just 28 years old, Panek has accomplished much and is already inspiring a future generation of women in science.

Panek made history as a member of the University of Calgary’s first solar car team in 2004. She has interned at NASA, has her pilot’s licence, and dreams of leaving our atmosphere on a space mission.

When Panek received the news that she’d been chosen, she says it was “like doing any extreme sport or activity, sensory overload and a blank canvas at the same time” and being nominated by her dad made the moment even more special.

Rounding out this year’s recipients is Arts student and Students’ Union executive member, Scott Weir, our 2013 Future Alumnus, who’s making sustainable strides for urban farming and commercial aquaponics in Calgary and has been said to put “150 per cent” into everything he does.

Weir’s research into commercial aquaponics has caught the attention of Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the government of Canada and most recently, Cornell University. But even with these accolades, Scott “remains humble and genuine and is simultaneously a strong leader and team player.”

The University of Calgary is honoured to recognize its alumni, current and present, and the impact they have on our campus, city and our world.

The Arch Awards will be celebrated on May 16 in downtown Calgary.

Find out more and be inspired at www.archawards.com

 

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