Leadership Awards

ORION presents 2018 Leadership Award winners

TORONTO, May 2, 2018 – ORION has honoured three distinguished members of Ontario’s research, education and innovation community with a 2018 Leadership Award at its annual THINK Conference.

These exceptional leaders have leveraged ORION’s unique digital infrastructure and specialized services to pursue a range of pioneering projects. By using ORION’s high-speed fibre optic network and cloud software solutions – the only digital tools dedicated exclusively to supporting Ontario innovators – these individuals have made a significant contribution to Ontario’s digital economy. The award winners were celebrated today at THINK, a two-day gathering of scientists, educators, researchers, politicians and entrepreneurs focused on advancing Ontario’s innovation ecosystem.

Category: Innovation

John Ferri is an accomplished media professional with two decades of executive experience in large news and digital publishing environments. As vice-president of current affairs and documentaries at TVO, John is helping to strengthen media coverage of local affairs in regional communities across Ontario. His work leverages ORION’s network to support news hubs in the under-represented regions of Sudbury, Thunder Bay, London and Kingston, co-located within local post-secondary institutions, bringing the voices and perspectives of their regions to the rest of Ontario.

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Category: Kindergarten to Grade 12

Joanne Borges is the acting principal of École Sir John A. MacDonald Public School in Kingston, and an educator who emphasizes using technology to enhance students’ learning. Under her leadership, the school’s library was transformed into a shared learning commons and maker space focused on STEAM-based experiential learning. She shares her extensive knowledge of technology-enhanced learning with educators across her school board, in her local community and throughout Canada.

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Category: Higher Education

Carolyn McGregor is the two-term Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She has conducted pioneering research in big data analytics, real-time stream processing, temporal data mining, patient journey modelling and cloud computing. She now uses this research to drive progress in critical care medicine, mental health, astronaut health and military and civilian tactical training. Her work allows hospitals to use predictive analytics to make smarter health-care decisions.

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Quick Facts:  

  • ORION’s annual Leadership Awards recognize outstanding achievement and innovation by those using ORION’s network and cloud services.
  • Award winners are determined based on nominations from ORION’s user community across Ontario and evaluated by ORION’s Leadership Award committee.
  • ORION is Ontario’s only provincial research and education network. Covering 6,000 kilometres, it connects more than 100 institutions and regions, including universities, colleges, hospitals, research institutions and school boards. More than two million researchers, educators and innovators rely on ORION to share and communicate with each other, and to connect to a global grid of similar networks across Canada and worldwide.
  • ORION is one of 12 provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, that form Canada’s National Research and Education Network. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today’s digital economy.
  • Research-related activities on the ORION network directly contribute $4.4 billion annually to Ontario’s GDP.


Alfonso Licata, president and CEO, ORION: Ontario is on the right track thanks to the accomplishments of these Leadership Award winners, and their forward-thinking work demonstrates the value of advanced digital infrastructure to drive innovation. We are proud to play a role in supporting these innovators and fuelling the engine of research, education and innovation in Ontario.

Linda Franklin, President and CEO, Colleges Ontario and award sponsor: “The talent, expertise and accomplishments of these award winners is remarkable. It’s a pleasure to celebrate their important work, as well as the role of advanced digital infrastructure in allowing Ontario’s higher education institutions to be partners and enablers of innovation projects.

Bryan Paterson, mayor, Kingston, Ontario: On behalf of Kingston City Council, I am very pleased to congratulate Joanne Borges, current acting principal of École Sir John A. MacDonald Public School on receiving the prestigious Orion Leadership Award. Joanne is a passionate educator who has made some incredible contributions using technology to enhance students learning experiences.  This award is well deserved and we commend her for her innovative approach and accomplishments in education.

John Ferri, award winner: “This award from ORION validates the importance of TVO’s work in strengthening news gathering and reporting in underrepresented regional communities. Our Ontario Hubs project gives a platform to these diverse voices and varied perspectives, which allows us to create a more inclusive, engaged society. ORION’s network has been invaluable to our work by allowing us to efficiently partner with connected post-secondary schools to facilitate the reporting process.”

Joanne Borges, award winner: “Thank you, ORION, for providing the digital infrastructure and services that have allowed me to help advance technology-enabled learning at my school and across my school board. It’s incredibly important to have the tools and services to modernize K-12 education and ensure students are prepared for our increasingly digital workforce.”

Carolyn McGregor, award winner: “Making health care in Ontario more effective and efficient depends on high-calibre research that investigates our best strategies, tools and methods. ORION’s network allows for big data processing and health analytics that is pivotal to improving patient care and ultimately, saving the lives of Ontarians, including some of our most vulnerable infants. Thank you for acknowledging my work and for providing such an important resource for health informatics.”

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About ORION:  

ORION is a not-for-profit organization committed to actively supporting Ontario’s researchers, educators and innovators. Since 2001, we’ve facilitated new discoveries and learning by connecting institutions and regions, enabling collaboration, forging partnerships and providing our community with the digital tools they need to make the world a better place.

Read more about ORION at https://www.orion.on.ca|@ORIONNetwork

For further information:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications, ORION
416-507-9860 ext. 250

Watch Kingston’s Mayor Paterson present Joanne Borges Leadership Award.