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Honouring achievement

Business faculty to hand out awards for excellence, community service

Campus and Community

By Susan White

Memorial’s business faculty is recognizing two business leaders and four student volunteers for their efforts to better their industries and communities at an upcoming celebration.

Brad White is pictured on the left wearing a white collared shirt and black suit jacket. Deirdre Ayre is pictured on the right. She has blond hair and wears a black dress.
From left are Brad White and Deirdre Ayre.
Photo: Submitted

The Faculty of Business Administration is holding its annual Partners Celebration on Thursday, May 27, at 11:30 a.m. Registration is now open for the virtual event.

Best in business

Brad White (B.Comm.(Co-op.)’91), principal at Blue Deer Capital Partners Inc., is being honoured with the 2021 Alumni Honour Award.

Deirdre Ayre, head of Canadian operations for Other Ocean Group Canada, will receive the P.J. Gardiner 2021 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

“Each year, we recognize people in our business community who have made a difference, whether it is through innovative business practices, exceptional growth or dedicated community involvement,” said Dr. Isabelle Dostaler, dean of the business faculty. “This year’s winners are excellent examples of the type of business leaders we hope to honour with these awards.”

Dedicated to community

Four students are also being recognized for their service to the university and broader community.

Business administration student Marium Oishee will take home the 2021 Dr. Robert Crosbie Undergraduate Student Citizenship Award, while recent graduate Kristen Murray (B.Comm.(Co-op.)’20) is the 2020 recipient.

Adele Jackson (MBA’21) and Pragadeesh Ravichandran (MBA’20) will receive the 2021 and 2020 Dr. Victor Young Graduate Student Citizenship Award, respectively.

Partners was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the alumni and entrepreneur awards were not presented.

Philanthropist and financial leader

Mr. White has more than 25 years of experience in the finance industry, including co-founding alternative asset management companies Salida Capital and EdgeHill Partners. In addition to his current role at Blue Deer Capital Partners, he’s also a director of Orca Gold and Synaptive Medical. He holds a chartered financial analyst designation and is the founder and benefactor of the Embley Park Foundation, a private philanthropic organization.

Mr. White is the chief benefactor of the White Trading Lab at Memorial’s business faculty. The lab boasts state-of-the-art Bloomberg terminals and enables students at Memorial to engage with the finance industry in real time. He’s also a financial contributor and mentor to The Fund, Memorial’s student-managed investment fund.

High-tech advocate

Ms. Ayre is widely recognized as an advocate for the Canadian high-tech sector. In 2006 she led the establishment of Other Ocean’s videogame development studio in Prince Edward Island, followed by its quality assurance company, Sculpin QA, and a second studio based in St. John’s.

In 2016 she led the expansion of Sculpin to include developing original intellectual property. Ocean Group’s work, along with that of its partners, was nominated for an Emmy award on the globally successful Rick and Morty franchise. The company currently employs more than 80 people in Atlantic Canada.

Undergraduate student leaders

Marium Oishee has long black hair and wears a white shirt and black jacket.
Marium Oishee
Photo: Submitted

Hailing from Bangladesh, Marium Oishee is in the final year of Memorial’s bachelor of business administration program.

She is a former editor-in-chief and current business manager of The Muse and served as president of the International Student Resource Centre from 2019-20.

She’s also been both vice-president and president of the Business Administration Undergraduate Student Society.

Kristen Murray has blond hair and wears a blue shirt.
Kristen Murray
Photo: Submitted

Kristen Murray of St. John’s is an aspiring social entrepreneur. During her studies, she served as president of the commerce class of 2020 and chair of the Business Day committee.

She was an active member of Enactus Memorial, a student representative on two undergraduate student committees at the business faculty and a volunteer for other student groups such as the Memorial Sexual and Gender Advocacy Resource Centre.

In the fall of 2021, she’ll return to Memorial as part of the third cohort for the master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Adele Jackson has brown hair and wears a black shift.
Adele Jackson
Photo: Submitted

Adele Jackson, from Barrie, Ont., is a passionate advocate for sustainability.


With undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental sustainability, she’s spent her time in the master of business administration program focusing on ways to implement lasting change.

She currently works as a consultant for Wood PLC and has volunteered for a number of conservation and environment-based initiatives, including the World Wildlife Fund and Ducks Unlimited.

Pragadeesh Ravichandran wears glasses and a white collared shirt with a grey jacket.
Pragadeesh Ravichandran
Photo: Submitted

Pragadeesh Ravichandran of India has volunteered in a variety of leadership roles during his time at Memorial, including as an operations lead with TEDx Harbourside Park and vice-president of internal affairs with the International Students Resource Centre.

He has won a number of awards for his community service and achieved the platinum award from the Student Volunteer Bureau.

‘Very proud’

“Our student award-winners have demonstrated an admirable commitment to bettering their communities while also balancing a busy academic load,” said Dr. Dostaler.

“They exemplify the type of graduate we aim to produce at the business faculty – one that seeks to improve the world in which we live by helping to improve the lives of vulnerable people, serving the community and using business acumen to seek innovative solutions. We are very proud of them all and look forward to celebrating them at Partners.”

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