May 18, 2022 —
Manitoba’s newest health professionals will graduate on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne campus convocation ceremonies.
The 175 graduates represent two colleges at the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences: the Max Rady College of Medicine and the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry (including the School of Dental Hygiene).
The Max Rady College of Medicine ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. The Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry and School of Dental Hygiene will be held at 2:30 p.m.
The ceremonies will take place on the UM Bannatyne Campus in Brodie Centre, 727 McDermot Avenue. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed: 10 a.m. ceremony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hchJmcHJ8PY) and 2:30 p.m. ceremony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL30iE1rmBc).
“Congratulations to the Class of 2022. You’ve faced many challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but you’ve persevered, and I commend your hard work and determination. This experience will only make you better health-care professionals,” said Dr. Brian Postl, dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and vice-provost (health sciences).
The Max Rady College of Medicine Class of 2022 includes 113 graduates. Of these, 84 will complete their residencies in Manitoba. The class includes nine students of self-declared Indigenous ancestry and seven French-speaking students who are graduating in the college’s bilingual stream. Twenty-six of the graduating class are from rural Manitoba or have rural attributes.
The Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry has 36 graduates in the Class of 2022, and 26 from the School of Dental Hygiene.
Honorary degree recipients
At the 10 a.m. ceremony, Margaret Lavallee will receive an honorary degree. For more than 50 years, Lavallee, a Traditional Ojibway woman, has been committed to sharing Indigenous culture and knowledge, improving health services for Indigenous communities and mentoring young people. She is the respected Elder in Residence in the Education division of Ongomiizwin, the Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing in the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
At the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, Dr. Mary Jane McCallum will receive an honorary degree. Dr. McCallum, a First Nations woman of Cree heritage, has made an extraordinary impact as a champion for health care in northern and Indigenous communities, a social justice advocate and an Indigenous leader. Dr. McCallum is believed to be the first Indigenous woman in Canada to become a dentist. In 2017, she was appointed to the Canadian Senate, where she continues to represent Manitoba.
The following graduates of the Class of 2022 are available to speak with the media after the 10 a.m. ceremony:
Max Rady College of Medicine graduate Rachel Rudney, 42, grew up in Winnipeg. Watching the compassionate care her father received at the end of life solidified her decision to pursue medicine. While attending medical school, she was also raising two daughters. Prior to medical school, she worked in an administrative position in the Office of the Dean, where she put mail in the boxes for medical students and she always hoped that one day she would have her own mailbox. She will do her residency in the field of dermatology, with two years in Manitoba and three years in Toronto.
Max Rady College of Medicine graduate Gabrielle Wilson, 26, grew up in Winnipeg, and also lived in Portage la Prairie, Lac du Bonnet and Regina. Growing up, she saw and heard many instances where friends and family were hesitant to access health care because of negative interactions with the health-care system. Now it’s her goal to make going to the doctor as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. From 2018 to 2020, she was the Local Officer of Indigenous Health and advocated for Indigenous students and raised awareness of traditional teachings. She was also a mentor in the Gekinoo’amaaged Indigenous Student Mentorship program. She will do her residency in Indigenous Family Medicine in Victoria, B.C.
The following graduates of the Class of 2022 are available to speak with the media after the 2:30 p.m. ceremony:
School of Dental Hygiene graduate Vidhi Patel, 24, was born in India and moved to Canada when she was 12 years old. She became interested in the dental hygiene profession after visiting a clinic to have her teeth cleaned. The dental hygienist not only cleaned her teeth but also provided her with information on how to better care for her teeth and how oral health is related to overall health. Patel enrolled in the dental hygiene program to play a key role in improving people’s health. She will work as a dental hygienist in Brandon, and has plans to pursue a master’s degree in oral biology.
Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry graduate Aaron Quach, 28, grew up in Winnipeg. Prior to starting dentistry, he earned a B.Sc. (Pharm.) in 2016 also from UM and worked as a pharmacist for two years and part-time during dental school. He wanted to become a dentist to be in a profession that improves people’s lives and is accessible to patients while also having autonomy over his practice. A highlight of his time at UM was treating patients as part of his education. He provided COVID-19 vaccinations during the pandemic. He will move to Ottawa to begin his career as a dentist.
International Dentist Degree Program graduate May Taha, 40, was raised in Alexandria, Egypt. She practiced dentistry for three years in Egypt before moving to Canada. It was a challenge moving to Winnipeg during the COVID-19 pandemic with her husband and kids. She enjoyed her time in the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry because it not only prepared her with dental skills and knowledge but also provided her with training on how to apply for jobs, buy a practice and understand the legalities of practicing. Taha plans to practice in a clinic and would also like to teach at the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry.