Dr. Maureen Dunne of Distance Education and Learning Technologies’ (DELT) is the recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. Dr. Dunne was among 45 recipients announced in Ottawa on Oct. 22 by Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.
Created in 1996 by Roméo LeBlanc, the award is presented to individuals and groups whose unpaid, voluntary contributions provide extraordinary help or care to people in the community. Recipients have served over a number of years and normally have not been recognized previously by a national or provincial honour.
The award consists of a framed certificate and a lapel pin for everyday wear. The award symbol represents Canadians who selflessly give of their time and energy to others.
Dr. Dunne was admittedly shocked when she got the news of her award. “I just always saw it as my role to bring people together,” she modestly explained. “After that, peoples’ own energy would do the job.”
Among her many accomplishments throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Dunne has touched the hearts of many students and individuals. She is credited with co-ordinating several groups of students in the Gonzaga High School Viking Volunteer program (1988-1993); establishing the St. Paul’s Elementary and Gonzaga High School pastoral teams; working with the Archdiocese of St. John’s and St. Pius X parish; working with a team to develop the St. Teresa’s Literacy project; initiating and chairing the Avalon East School Board’s Inner-city Schools Council of Principals to address the issues of poverty in our schools and to lobby for increased services and funding for children; serving on the Canadian School Boards’ Advisory Board on Poverty and Children’s Issues; serving on the founding board of St. Bonaventure’s College and offering other volunteer services; housing a Chilean graduate student for 14 months when the student’s husband became critically ill and subsequently died.
Through her countless volunteer activities and selfless giving, Dr. Dunne has changed the lives of many. As only one example, today, the Chilean graduate student who stayed with Dr. Dunne now works as an economist in the Central Bank of Chile.
Ann Marie Vaughan, director, DELT, said she wasn’t at all surprised that Dr. Dunne was recognized in this way. “I’m really glad that others have chosen to honour and notice her in caring ways.”