KPU announces 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award winners

Thu, Oct 10, 2013

Metro Vancouver, BC — Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Alumni Association (KPUAA) is delighted to announce the four outstanding winners of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award:

  • Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development: Diploma in Marketing Management (1994)
  • Baltej Dhillon, Staff Sergeant with the RCMP: Diploma in Criminology (1988)
  • Maryanne Mathias, Co-founder and owner of sustainable fashion company Osei-Duro: Bachelor of Arts in Applied Design Fashion (2002)
  • Chris McCue, President of McCue Environmental Contracting: Diploma in Environmental Protection Technology (1994)

The award is presented annually to alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the university through exceptional career, public and community service; athletics; arts and culture; or academic achievements.

This year’s winners were selected from a pool of nearly 43,000 graduates and will be honoured and celebrated at an upcoming awards lunch on Thursday, October 24 at the Eaglequest Golf course in Surrey.

“The KPU Alumni Association is proud to honour all four winners as recipients of this year’s distinguished alumni award. Their success and notable contribution to society is something that all alumni can be proud of for years to come,” says Kristan Ash, chair of the KPUAA.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at

Stephanie Cadieux Baltej Dhillon Maryanne Mathias Chris McCue

Stephanie Cadieux graduated with honours from KPU’s marketing management diploma program in 1994. She has represented British Columbians as the MLA for Surrey-Panorama, and now serves as the representative for her home riding of Surrey-Cloverdale, where she has lived since 2001. Cadieux is currently the Minister of Children and Family Development. She previously served as Minister of Social Development, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government. Since the age of 18, Cadieux has been living with a spinal cord injury that resulted from a car crash. She is an active community volunteer and has spoken at various KPU events.


Baltej Dhillon graduated from the university in 1988 with a diploma in criminology and decided to join the RCMP. He met all of the initial requirements, however RCMP policy did not allow him to wear a turban. The issue went to the then-Commissioner of the RCMP, who sided with Dhillon. This led Canada’s Solicitor General to announce in the House of Commons that the policy would be amended to permit Sikhs to wear a turban while on active duty. Dhillon was the first turbaned cadet in Canadian history to enter training. He is currently the head of the British Columbia RCMP Provincial Intelligence Centre. Dhillon was also a founding member of the KPUAA and served as the chair of the board in 2009. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his community and youth service, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award in 2003, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012.

Osei-Duro was founded by Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh as an experiment in design and production in Ghana. The company - which has offices in Los Angeles and Acrra, Ghana - is dedicated to creating socially responsible and sustainable clothing that's fashionable. Osei-Duro uses small-scale manufacturing and works with local Ghanaian seamstresses, tailors and factories, providing them with training to increase the quality and marketability of their products. Many of Osei-Duro's garments are hand dyed, and feature a variety of artisanal pieces such as hand crocheting and hand cast brass. Mathias has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and technology from KPU, and an MBA in sustainability and strategic management from the University of British Columbia.

Chris McCue, President of McCue Environmental Contracting, has 19 years’ experience in the design, construction and operation of contaminated site remediation technologies and industrial wastewater treatment systems; first as a consultant and now as a specialized contractor. McCue completed KPU’s environmental protection technology program in 1994. Upon graduation, McCue secured employment in environmental consulting, focusing on contaminated site management and remediation. He left consulting mid-2000 to found McCue Environmental Contracting. He is a member of KPU’s Environmental Protection Technology Advisory Committee, providing industry expertise for the program, from which McCue hires graduates. He is also a board member of the British Columbia Environment Industry Association.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Alumni Association is dedicated to supporting the continued success of KPU alumni by providing them with valuable programs and initiatives. It aims to raise awareness of the value of higher education and make a positive impact on society locally and beyond.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 145 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Learn more at


For more information about KPU, contact:

Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
Tel: 604.599.2883