Young Alumni of the Year Award

Young Alumni of the Year Award

If you have graduated in the last 10 years, you may be eligible to receive the Saint Mary’s Young Alumni Award.

This distinction is presented to young alumni who display outstanding achievements that may have earned them regional, national or international recognition through:  service to humanity, their profession, volunteerism or community service, the advancement of knowledge, or service to Saint Mary's University.

This award is granted to Saint Mary's University alumni within 10 years of receiving a bachelor's degree or within five years of receiving a graduate degree. A maximum of three candidates per year will be granted the young alumni award.

Selection candidates are considered annually by the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association's Awards & Nomination Committee.


The deadline to nominate a candidate for the 2021 Young Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award is August 27, 2021.

Nomination form

2020 Recipients

Ying (Wendy) Wang BComm’16

Ying (Wendy) Wang was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. She came to Halifax to pursue her studies in Marketing at Saint Mary’s University in 2013. As a student, Wendy was highly involved with the Faculty of Commerce as a member of the Commerce Society, Accessibility Mentor of Enactus, and Research Assistant & Teaching Assistant in the Marketing Department. She was also passionate about helping fellow international students through volunteering for the International Student Centre as a SAGA (Students Acting for Global Awareness) member from 2014 to 2015. In her final year at SMU, Wendy independently recruited a team of four students to participate in the David Sobey Retail Case Competition. Her team got the firstplace in both first round and final round, by analyzing data and providing industry solutions for Hope Blooms and RBC. 

After graduating with distinction (cum laude) in 2016, Wendy started her career in a bubble tea chain and worked her way up to Assistant Store Manager. She found her passion lies in liaising with various partners and assisting students, and landed a job in the post-secondary institution starting in 2019. Wendy will be starting her role as the Co-operative Education Student Liaison at Mount Saint Vincent University later this month. 

Joining the SMU Young Alumni Committee and serving as the Co-Chair External since 2018, Wendy continues to actively support the greater SMU community by attending Alumni & New Grad Webinars, Young Alumni Immigration Sessions, and Welcome Week Panel as speakers. Wendy never stops seeking opportunities to give back to the community, proven by her volunteer experience with The Coast, HRM’s Annual Welcome BBQ, IABC Maritime Canada, and Canada China Business Council Atlantic Chapter. She looks forward to building a larger network as well as helping more people to thrive in this city she is proud to call home." 


Dave Culligan BComm’16

Dave grew up in Timberlea Nova Scotia and received his Commerce degree in 2016. He chose Saint Mary’s because of its respected business program. While he was a student, Dave played Varsity football and learned about coding and the startup landscape through Hackathons. He also worked full time at McInnes Cooper while studying, where he met some amazing people and made great connections. He remembers many fantastic professors at Saint Mary’s but one in particular, Dr. Alireza Ahmadsimab, was really captivating and motivated him to get an A+. 

After his time at Saint Mary’s, Dave worked in marketing and fell in love with creating videos. This new passion inspired him to create a video of his life every day for a year and to post them online. This initiative then led him to found his own creative agency, “threesixfive”, which now has offices in Halifax and Toronto 

Dave understands the importance of giving back to the community. Through threesixfive, Dave has been able to support a number of different organizations through pro bono services & consulting. The company has also raised funds for causes such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. 


Past recipients 

  • 2019: Dr. Henry Annan BSc'14 & Sylvia Gawad BSc'14
  • 2018: Michael Brown BComm'14
  • 2017: Harry Ezenibe BA'14
  • 2016: Erica Sosnowski EMBA'15
  • 2015: Heather MacDonald & Jeff Mitchell
  • 2014: Chanda Chilanga and Beth Hamilton
  • 2013: Scott Noddin
  • 2012: Saeed El Darahali
  • 2011: Jacob Deng and Jeff Lohnes
  • 2010: Khalid Waleed Alkhudair
  • 2009: Jeff Britton
  • 2009: Jennifer Walker


Share: Page Feedback