Exceptional alumni: Meet Dal's 2024 Aurum Award winners

- June 4, 2024

Left-right: Mike Davis, Jeff Dahn, Douglas Ruck, Patricia Bishop and Mike Oulton, and Kim Furlong. (Nick Pearce photo; others provided)
Left-right: Mike Davis, Jeff Dahn, Douglas Ruck, Patricia Bishop and Mike Oulton, and Kim Furlong. (Nick Pearce photo; others provided)

Dalhousie’s flagship alumni awards, the Aurum Awards, were given out on Friday, May 24 at a ceremony during Dal Alumni Days. Each year, many incredible Dal alumni are nominated by their peers and winners are selected by the Dalhousie Alumni Association.

This year’s winners stand out for their commitment to our collective well-being, whether that be through improving health, sustaining agriculture, evolving our social systems or building a clean-tech future.

We are pleased to introduce the 2024 Aurum Award winners and celebrate their impressive accomplishments.

Kim Furlong (BScPT’88, MSc’00) is a physiotherapist, business owner, lifelong volunteer and advocate for adults and children with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Furlong owns and operates NL Balance & Dizziness Centre, a specialized physiotherapy clinic in St. John’s that treats people who live with dizziness and balance issues. Furlong is also the founder of iBIKECAMP, a non-profit organization dedicated to making cycling accessible to those with disabilities. 

Read more about Kim and watch her video.

Douglas Ruck (BA’72, LLB’77) is a labour relations and human rights lawyer, former Ombudsman for the Province of Nova Scotia, former chair of the Labour Board of Nova Scotia, and current chair of the Board of Governors at the University of King’s College. Following in the footsteps of his father, the late Senator Calvin Ruck, Doug Ruck’s work identifying and mitigating anti-Black racism has made him a sought-after voice in the social justice and civil rights landscapes. 

Read more about Doug and watch his video.

Mike Davis (BEng’01, MEng’08) is President and CEO of Davis Pier Consulting, a social-impact consulting firm founded in Halifax. Davis leads a team of people intent on making the world a better place by engaging communities affected by health-care and social policies in decision-making processes. He also sits on the board of Kids Help Phone, donating his time and talent to improve that organization’s national reach and impact.

Read more about Mike and watch his video.

Patricia Bishop (BSc(Agr)’99) & Josh Oulton (DipTech’96) are organic farmers and entrepreneurs at TapRoot Farms and Noggins Corner Farm in Port Williams, N.S., who promote food security through their commitment to sustainability and stewardship. The community shared agriculture (CSA) program they created sees boxes of farm-fresh products distributed to over 400 people weekly. They’ve invested in textile production and are the sole producers in Canada growing flax and spinning it into fibre, which is then used to make linen. They’re also known for their commitment to the fair treatment of Jamaican temporary foreign workers, who help grow and harvest their crops.

Read more about Patricia and Josh and watch their video.

Dr. Jeff Dahn (BSc’78) is a professor in Dalhousie’s department of Physics and Atmospheric Science. He is best known for contributing to the development of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric vehicles, laptops and cellphones. Since 2016, he has worked with Tesla Motors as that company’s only university research partner, and he is currently trying to figure out how to prove that lithium-ion batteries can last beyond 50 years...without spending 50 years testing them.

Read more about Jeff and watch his video.

We are so proud of the incredible work being done by our alumni to strengthen our communities, both here and abroad. Their stories are proof that it only takes one person to make a difference and to create lasting change.

If you know an alum who deserves to be recognized for their accomplishments, whether in research and innovation, community engagement and leadership, or for their contributions to the social, cultural, and economic well-being of society, stay tuned for nomination information for the 2025 Aurum Awards, which will open this September.


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