Alumni Awards

Mackenzie Awards

Introduced in 2007, these awards, named after David Mackenzie, Collingwood School’s first Headmaster, are presented to Collingwood alumni who have exhibited outstanding excellence in one of the four strands (Academics, Arts, Athletics or Service).

Alumni Association Honours Awards

introduced in 2013, recognize outstanding accomplishments as a result of business or professional achievements, or will recognize the display of great courage in the face of adversity.

Alumni Association Volunteer Awards

Also introduced in 2013, recognize an alumni for service to the Alumni Association and/or to Collingwood School.

Awards in all three categories may not necessarily be given out each year.

If you wish to nominate a Collingwood alum for any of the above awards, please fill out this form.


2017 Mackenzie Award - Athletics: Emily Overholt '15

Collingwood was honoured to present alumna Emily Overholt, Class of '15, with the Alumni Association Mackenzie Award on November 20 at the Morven morning assembly. This award, named after David Mackenzie, Collingwood School’s first Headmaster, are presented to Collingwood alumni who have exhibited outstanding excellence in one of the four strands. In 2015, Emily was Swimming Canada’s female swimmer of the year and the youngest member of the national swim team. At her first Olympic Games, Emily finished just short of the podium in the 400 individual medley. She then won her first Olympic bronze medal with the 4×200 freestyle relay team. At the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, Emily won a bronze in the 4×200 freestyle relay, a silver in the 200 freestyle and a gold in the 400 freestyle in Games record time.

2017 Alumni Association Honours Award: Emily-anne King '06

Collingwood was also pleased to honour alumna Emily-anne King, Class of 06, for her outstanding volunteerism with her local charity Backpack buddies. Emily-anne was unable to attend the ceremony so the award was presented on her behalf. Since 2012, Emily-anne has worked to end childhood hunger in Metro Vancouver. A founder of the Backpack Buddies Program, this local charity provides backpacks full of food for children in need on Friday afternoons. Each and every Backpack delivered is fundraised and packed by other students in the community, creating a model of kids helping kids. Collingwood is proud to be a donor “buddy” school, along with 13 other schools around the Metro Vancouver area. Currently, the Backpack Buddies Program feeds over 1460 children every month.


2014 Mackenzie Award - Athletics: Sean Greenwood '05

We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2014 Mackenzie Awards for Athletics is Sean Greenwood '05. Sean was a superb rugby athlete while at Collingwood, and found his interests turning towards skeleton racing while studying economics at the University of Calgary. What started as curiosity became a passion, and evolved into an Olympic journey to Sochi 2014 after he volunteered at the Winter Games in Whistler in 2010. With no coach and being self-financed, Sean's rise in the world rankings has been incredible, but not entirely unexpected for those who knew him at Collingwood. "He was an intensely dedicated rugby player in his senior years and it's not surprising that he could turn that kind of dedication to another sport like skeleton," said the Director of Athletics, David Speirs.

In 2012 Sean was selected to race for Ireland, his mother's birth county, and qualified for a World Cup spot that first year. For a year he worked hard to race enough to qualify for the Sochi games and finally lived his dream in 2014, as he headed to Sochi, Russia to compete and test his mettle. Ranked 20th after the first run, he had a dramatic accident during his second run, flying off his sled and sliding along the ice. In a remarkable display of athletic ability, he was able to get back on and finish the race, ranking 27th overall but was unfortunately not qualified to move forward. When asked about his Olympic experience, Sean said that "the games were an amazing experience, and one that I think about every day with a bit of a shock that I was honoured enough to go."

In the time since the Sochi Olympics, he has taken over the running and organizing of the Irish Skeleton Association and works full time in the energy business. Currently, he is ranked 40th out of 123 athletes on the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation ranking for 2014/2015.

You can hear Sean describe the sport in his own words in a video made by Simple Matters Films director David Goldberg (Collingwood Alumni '05) here.


2013 Mackenzie Award - Arts: Sarah Goldberg '03

We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2013 Mackenzie Award for Arts is Sarah Goldberg' 03. Sarah is a Collingwood lifer who was first introduced to acting in grade 8 Drama. Her first audition led to a principal role in The Visit, which led to lead roles in every other Collingwood production until her graduation in 2003. Post Collingwood, Sarah attended the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and began working as an actor in London immediately upon graduation. Her first big break came when she was cast in Six Degrees of Separation at London’s Old Vic Theatre in 2007 and Sarah has been working as an actor in London and New York ever since. In 2011, Sarah received a nomination for an Olivier Award for best actress for her performance in Clybourne Park. She then went on to play the same role on Broadway in 2012. In 2013 Sarah appeared in two Off Broadway shows, Look Back in Anger and the critically acclaimed The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, in which Sarah was described as “outstanding” by The New York Times. Sarah has also done film and TV in both London and New York, most notably playing a CIA analyst in Batman: The Dark Night Rises.


2012 Mackenzie Award - Academics: Taufiq Rahim '00

We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2012 Mackenzie Award for Academics isTaufiq Rahim ’00. Taufiq is a political analyst and the Executive Director of Globesight, an advisory firm for strategy in emerging markets and complex political environments. He is also a co-founder of Project Encounter, a UAE-based non-profit initiative that promotes constructive engagement between the Middle East and the West.

Taufiq received his A.B. in Public and International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and his Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was also a Teaching Fellow in Contemporary Political Islam.

Taufiq was a Visiting Fellow at the Dubai School of Government, served as an Expert Advisor to the United Nationals Alliance of Civilizations for the Doha Forum, and sat on the Steering Group for the Project on Cultural Dialogue & International Security at Chatham House this past year. In 2012, he was named one of the Top 99 Under 33 Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He has spoken at forums and conferences in a diverse range of countries including Qatar, the United Kingdom, the United Sates, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Syria, Libya and Sweden.

Taufiq has worked across four continents with public, private and social sector organizations, including past experience with McKinsey & Company’s Middle East office, the Aga Khan Foundation’s Rural Development Programme, the United Nations Political Office in Lebanon, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C.

As a prominent commentator and analyst on regional issues, Taufiq frequently provides commentary for media across Europe, the Middle East and North America, including CNN, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CTV, Russia Today, Dubai One, New York Times, Time, Financial Times, Globe and Mail, Al-Safir, Gulf News, and He blogs regularly on and has regularly published in online and offline media including the Huffington Post, The National (AE), The Toronto Star and


2011 Mackenzie Award - Service: Dr. Riley Senft '97

Congratulations to Dr. Riley Senft '97 on receiving the 2011 Mackenzie Award for outstanding achievement in one of the four strands - Service. In May of 2011, Riley interrupted his medical residency in anesthesiology and spent five months running across Canada to raise awareness and funds to battle prostate cancer. Running up to 70 km a day, he raised over $500,000 towards his goal of $1 million for search at the Vancouver Prostate Centre. Through his campaign, Step Into Action, Riley continues to work on reaching his $1 goal.


2010 Mackenzie Awards - Arts: Andrew Stewart '90

Andrew Stewart ‘90 - 2010 Mackenzie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts. Andrew graduated from Collingwood School, as Head Boy, in 1990. While at Collingwood, he was very active in music and was a founding member of the Woodies, a Collingwood a cappella singing group. After Collingwood, Andrew completed his BA at UBC (1994), a law degree at the University of Alberta (1997) and a master's of law at Cambridge University (1998). Andrew practiced corporate finance and tax law in Vancouver for several years after completing his legal studies. However, while studying and practicing law, Andrew maintained his passion for music and continued singing and developing his love of music.

In 2004, Andrew commenced formal voice training and then returned to UBC to complete a music performance diploma in opera in 2006. He was then selected as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio from 2006-2008. Since then, Andrew has worked as an operatic bass-baritone, performing a wide range of repertoire for various opera companies. Most recently, Andrew performed the roles of The Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro for Vancouver Opera, Comte de Grieux in Manon for Calgary Opera, Nourabad in The Pearl Fishers for Edmonton Opera, and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni for the Canadian Opera Company. Andrew is currently pursuing advanced vocal training in Europe.

In Collingwood Silver: Celebrating 25 Years Andrew reflected on his years at Collingwood, noting, "I myself firmly believe I would never have become a professional opera singer had it not been for my exposure to music and choir at Collingwood School.”

2010 Mackenzie Award - Athletics: Janet McLachlan '95

While at Collingwood Janet was a member of the field hockey, basketball, rowing and tennis teams and received the Pedca Spirit Award in both grade 11 and 12. Following graduation, she attended the University of Victoria where she played varsity basketball for five years. During that time, the Vikes won the National Championships twice. Janet was named a First Team National Tournament Allstar in 1999 and 2000 and in 2000 was named a Canada West Allstar.

After a successful five years at UVic Janet went on to play a year of professional basketball in France, before joining the Canadian FISU games basketball team at the 2001 World University Games in Beijing China.

After the FISU Games Janet returned to UVic to complete her B.Sc. degree and made the switch from basketball to rugby. Over the next four years she played for club teams in Victoria, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver, provincial teams in Quebec and Alberta and the Canada A and B national teams. Shortly before trying out for the 2006 World Cup team Janet suffered a career ending knee injury and was forced to retire from rugby.

A rugby teammate introduced Janet to Wheelchair Basketball and she started playing for the Edmonton Inferno. She completed her teaching degree at the U of A and moved back to Vancouver where she joined the BC Breakers. In 2008 Janet made the National Wheelchair Basketball team, one of the most successful National teams in Canadian history, just in time to compete at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

The University of Alabama offered Janet a scholarship to play Wheelchair Basketball and study Interior Design. There she helped lead the Crimson Tide to back to back National Championships in 2009 and 2010 and was named player of the game in the 2009 final and tournament MVP in 2010. Janet then returned to Canada to compete with the BC Breakers in the 2010 National Championships, where BC won the gold and Janet was named MVP of the tournament.

Since joining the National Wheelchair Basketball team in 2008 Janet has continued to be a member of the team. At the 2010 World Championships in England, Canada placed 3rd, with Janet leading the tournament in points per game, rebounds per game, free throw percentage and over all player rating.

2010 Mackenzie Award - Academics: Wendy Fok '00

Wendy graduated from Collingwood in 2000 with a lengthy list of awards in all four strands. She then studied Mandarin and Chinese History at Tsing-Hua University in Beijing and French at the Sorbonne in Paris. Next, she enrolled at Columbia University in New York and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. Wendy’s academic journey then took her to England, where she studied at the University College of London for a year.

In 2005, Wendy enrolled at the Princeton School of Architecture and graduated with a Masters of Architecture and a Certification in Urban Policy and Planning. She was subsequently granted a number of fellowships and in 2009 she was the winner of the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award and the Premier Prix winner of the École des Beaux Arts de Fontainebleau in France.

Wendy has been a presenter at both Yale and Princeton Universities and her art installation works have been displayed in New York, Athens and the Czech Republic. She had worked in numerous cities including Athens, London and New York, and since 2008, she has worked in Vienna as an architectural designer. Wendy is also co-organizing an Urban Dialogues symposia series in Hong Kong. Wendy’s written and design works have been published in Art&Design, Interior Design Asia, FRAME Asia, Middle East Architect Magazine, Urban Flux, and the Prague Quadrennial and her installation works have been covered by Fringe Festival, TimeOut New York, New York Mag, and Architectural Newspaper, to name just a few.

In her spare time, Wendy is the Contributing / Overseas Editor of a+a Magazine, published in China, and a freelance writer for FRAME Asia, Interior Design China, AREA Magazine. She is also the Overseas Editor for France and Austria of the Architectural Society of China.

Ali Pirbhai '96 - 2010 Mackenzie Award for Outstanding Service. Ali was one of our founding Collingwood students, entering Grade 1 in 1984 and graduating in 1996. Since then he has achieved well beyond his years in service to the community. In 2004, Ali co-founded Child Aid International, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping orphan children worldwide, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or faith. At present, the organization sponsors over 400 orphan children in the war-torn country of Iraq, providing for basic needs such as food, clothing, education and healthcare. It has two offices in Iraq and is one of a very few international non-governmental organizations that are effectively delivering aid to Iraqi orphan children.

In addition to sponsoring orphan children, the organization distributes gifts to over 1,500 orphan children during the holiday season in Iraq. It has also shipped hospital equipment and supplies to Iraq to equip the children’s wing of a hospital situated in an impoverished Basra neighbourhood.

Since co-founding Child Aid International, Ali has remained involved with many facets of the organization. He helped to coordinate and also served as the Master of Ceremonies for the organization’s past two major fundraisers in Vancouver and is currently working on its third large-scale fundraiser. He is also working with his team to continually enhance the systems and processes of the organization.

Ali holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the UBC Sauder School of Business and obtained his CA and CPA designations in 2003. Since 2006, he has been a partner at Karyon Group, an integrated communications, consulting and capital projects firm. He is also a director of a private real estate investment company and the owner of Vespa Metro Vancouver, an Italian scooter boutique.

In 2006 the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia recognized Ali’s outstanding service efforts by awarding him their Community Service Award. He was also awarded their 2007 Early Achievement Award, an award presented to CA's who distinguish themselves early in their careers through professional achievement and volunteer service.

Ali’s volunteer activities do not stop with Child Aid International. He also volunteers his time to benefit the Vancouver community. For the past several years, Ali has volunteered at the Sauder School of Business as a board member of its senior-level management simulation course. He has also been involved in reaching out to university students by speaking at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Ali has also volunteered as a business mentor with Junior Achievement of British Columbia, an organization dedicated to helping BC high school students unleash their potential and gain valuable life skills through exposure to the practical side of business.


Dr. Pam Walker ’98 – Academics. Pam attended Oberlin for her undergraduate degree – BA Hons in Neuropsychology, Pre-Law and Ethics and graduated in 2002. She followed that with a doctorate from Oxford in Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology in 2005. She played varsity field hockey while doing her university degrees. She currently is with the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, England.

Jennifer Winstanley ‘01 - Service. Jennifer worked with an NGO called "Bridges Across Borders" as a summer legal intern in the summer of 2007 in Cambodia and in 2008 she worked with the same NGO in northern Thailand working on public health and access to health care legal training in the Chiang Mai women's prison. Subsequently, she worked on a research project on human trafficking in Canada, looking specifically at best practices internationally in the prosecution of human traffickers, and with a new Canadian NGO called the "Canadian Center for International Justice". The goal of the group is to increase prosecution of war criminals that take refuge in Canada, and to work with survivors to help them seek compensation.


Jennifer Bebb (Henfrey) '01 – Arts. In the March/April 2007 issue of American PHOTO magazine, Jennifer and her husband Steve were named one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World. Jen and Steve have since opened Bebb Studios on the North Shore. Focusing on the relationships within families and the arts that results, they have brought their eclectic flare to the portrait market.

Michael Simpson ’01 – Athletics. After developing a passion for running while still a Collingwood student, Michael went on to become a professional triathlete. In 2005 he won the prestigious Los Angeles Triathlon, and in 2006 he burst onto the international stage when he came 5th in the Half Ironman World Championships. He won the Mackenzie Award in 2007, in which his results included a 10th place in the US Open Triathlon, 8th place in the New York City Triathlon. place in the LA Triathlon and 9