Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award was created by the Macdonald Branch of the McGill Alumni Association to recognize distinguished graduates for their outstanding professional contributions, scholarly distinction and/or service to the community at large. The first Awards were presented at Homecoming 2006 and are awarded at Homecoming every year.

In 2009, we were pleased to introduce the Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the achievements and contributions of our younger alumni.

2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Luce DaigneaultLuce Daigneault BScAgr’82, MSc’85

Luce Daigneault has been the Executive Director of Québec Vert since 2003 (formerly FIHOQ). Québec Vert represents and promotes the Quebec Ornamental Horticulture (OH) Industry in order to ensure its sustainable growth. Québec Vert is the point of reference for government, media and the public regarding the OH Industry. Throughout her career, Luce has been involved in the establishment of several organizations servicing and developing the ornamental industry, such as:


  • Les Fleurons du Québec;
  • La Table filière de l’horticulture ornementale du Québec Inc.;
  • La Chaire de leadership en enseignement sur les infrastructures végétalisées – Jean Tremblay de l'Université Laval;
  • the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA)

She is also actively involved on several Boards of Directors and Committees of industry organizations both at the provincial and federal levels. These include COHA, HortiCompétences, la Table filière de l’horticulture ornementale and Les Fleurons du Québec. She has also been co-chair of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada's Horticultural Value Chain Round Table, as well as the chair of Labour, Research and Ornamental Working Groups.

Previously, Luce played a significant role in the establishment of the Institut québécois du développement de l’horticulture ornementale (IQDHO), which she directed for 14 years. Prior to this, she was Deputy Managing Director of Pépinière Auclair et Frères, and Manager of the Plant Department of Ball Superior Ltd.

Luce has an MSc and a BSc in agronomy, with a major in Plant Science from Macdonald College of McGill University and was a lecturer in Plant Science at Macdonald College.

Gibson PattersonGibson (Gib) Patterson BScAgr’60

Gib was born at Billings Bridge RR#1 in Gloucester Township Ontario, which now is known as a number on Hunt Club Road, in the same room where his father was born 38 years earlier. After finishing grades in Hopewell Public School in Ottawa, he attended Ottawa Technical High School in downtown Ottawa and then enrolled at Macdonald College in General Agriculture to learn the science of farming and agriculture.

He graduated in 1960 and started his new job as "Assistant AG Rep" in Hastings County in charge of the Junior Educational work of 4-H and Junior Farmers on May 1 of that year. In 1962 he married Elsie Martin, and together they bought a 100 acre farm near Metcalfe Ontario, 13 miles south of Home Farm, where he grew up.

Gib started teaching at Osgoode Township High School in 1963 and did that for nine years while farming and doing some real estate accumulation (in his spare time).

The opportunity to purchase some land presented itself in 1971 which was the start of the golf business. He installed a golf driving range, mini golf, and dairy bar on Hunt Club Road Home Farm, near Ottawa airport and the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. Developing land for golf courses spoke to his science background – to grow green grass led to “Go Green, Go Golfing” theme all while still planting 600 acres in soybeans, wheat and hay.

Gib’s lasting legacy is his tireless contribution to community work in agriculture, from teaching 4-H youth about leadership and tillage conservation to hosting regional and international plowing matches. As well, he volunteered with countless organizations, often in a leadership position.

The three Patterson golf courses built by Gib and his family, host many functions that contribute to local community charities, such as the Ottawa Hospital, the Bob Pugh Golf Classic, raising monies for 4 scholarships at Macdonald, and the legacy golf tournament “Plowing for a Cure” which raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. Gib’s contributions have earned him numerous awards - the Order of Ottawa and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal among many others.

With Elsie and 4 very helpful children, the rest is history, a story he is always happy to tell!

2022 Distinguished Young Alumni Award Recipients

Isabelle LamIsabelle Lam BSc(NutrSc)’19

Isabelle is a 2019 Macdonald Campus Alum, a registered dietitian and co-founder of Remix Snacks. While completing her bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences and dietetics back in 2018, she partnered with Jamie Lee to start Remix Snacks - a start-up that creates healthy, bean-based snacks with upcycled ingredients to reduce food waste. Their snacks are now being sold online and in over 380 retail locations across Canada.

She’s been a recipient of the BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program and Visa She’s Next Grant Program. She has been featured in the Globe & Mail and by the Women of Influence.

Isabelle continues practicing as a dietitian in her virtual private practice, working with clients on their nutritional journey. When she’s not building Remix or consulting clients, Isabelle can be found training for her next marathon or triathlon.


Jamie LeeJamie Lee BSc(NutrSc)’19

Jamie completed her bachelor's in Dietetics and accreditation at McGill University and stayed in Montreal to join the Quebec Order of Dietitians. She practices as a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorder recovery and runs Remix Snacks.

She co-founded the start-up with her partner Isabelle Lam in 2018. She fell in love with the entrepreneurship community and food industry, motivating her to pitch at the McGill Dobson Cup competition and compete in Dragon's Den. Their products are available online and in over 380 retail locations across Canada.

Jamie is exceptionally grateful for the support and encouragement she received, and continues to receive, at McGill and Macdonald Campus, where her professors and peers first inspired her to make her own path as a dietitian, pairing her work in clinical nutrition with the food and snack industry.

Reflections of past DYAA recipients

In 2009, we launched our Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Ten years later, we asked past recipients to reflect on the meaning of this award.

Anne Desrochers, BScAgr’02, MSc’04

First recipient of the Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2009.

Anne studied at McGill University’s Macdonald Campus from 1999 to 2004, obtaining both her BSc in Agriculture and her MSc in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering. She has worked in the agricultural sector since she graduated and has held different positions and worked on a wide range of projects in Canada, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. When she was nominated and obtained the first Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award in October 2009, she was working in Haiti as a volunteer with local farmers on an agro-environmental and food security project. Receiving this award was a great honour and inspired her to pursue her passion and continue with her work. Today, Anne is the Director and Founder of her consultancy company called Solanum Consulting, which is based in Barbados. Her main focus has been to promote and encourage the use of resilient, innovative and sustainable approaches and solutions in agriculture, particularly with vulnerable groups such as small-scale and subsistence farmers, rural women and youth and indigenous communities across the Caribbean. Apart from that, Anne does shade house farming of vegetables and is expanding her activities to include climate-controlled gourmet mushroom production in the near future. She has been accepted to pursue a PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of the West Indies and is the mother of two boys. She would like to encourage other young women and men to promote and apply for the Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award and would also like to inspire more youth into the agricultural sector.


Oriana Familar,(AgEnvSc)’06, MSE

Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2010
Sustainability Consultant, Centre local de développement (CLD) of Brome-Missisquoi

This award brought me recognition in my career domain and allowed me to discover the beautiful tradition that is Homecoming.




Frédéric Thériault, BSc(AgEnvSc)’04, MSc’08

Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2011

I was very pleased to win the Macdonald Young Alumni Award in 2011. As en entrepreneur, a distinction like this is always good to build your brand and recognition among your community. Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm is a collective enterprise built by Mac Graduates that is very well respected among Canadian organic vegetable growers as well as in our community in Vaudreuil-Soulanges and the West Island of Montreal.



Prosanta Chakrabarty, BSc(Agr)’01

Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2012
Associate Professor of Biology and Curator of Fishes, LSU Museum of Natural Science

The Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award means the world to me. Mac was where I learned to be an adult and a scientist, and that I could be recognized for having “made it” by my alma mater gave me a great deal of pride in my accomplishments and led to several other important recognitions.


Sarah Archibald, BSc(AgEnvSc)’12

Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2016
Sarah just completed her Masters and is now Program Manager North Amercia for Pur Project a supply-chain sustainability consultancy.

Receiving the Distinguished Young Alumni Award was an absolute honour. @McGillMacCampus is recognized as a leader in agricultural research and teaching. This award has catalyzed my ability to open doors into the supply-chain sustainability and agroecology space.




Loloah Chamoun, BSc(FSc)’15

Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2017
PhD candidate Human Nutrition currently doing an internship at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

Receiving the Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award was a very humbling and enabling experience as this award recognizes and values the inspiring works of McGill Alumni. Not only did it give voice to some of my personal experiences and aspirations, but it also allowed me to reaffirm my motivations and inspired me to keep challenging myself in my career.



Chloé Anderson, BSc(FSc)’15, MSc’17

Macdonald Campus Distinguished Young Alumni Award, October 2018
Associate Scientist at Chew Innovation in Boston, Mass.

Last time I was at Macdonald I found a proud, inspiring and strong supportive community as well as my first job in the food industry – this award changed my life.

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