Five Durham College alumnae nominated for 2021 Premier’s Awards

Nominations underscore excellence in Indigenous cuisine, COVID-19 frontline work, business and more

Oshawa, ON – Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce that, in recognition of their outstanding career success related to their college experience and the significant contributions they have made to their community, five alumnae – Caroline Wright, Tamara Dus, Judy Pal, Tamara Green and Ellen Campbell – have been nominated for the 2021 Premier’s Awards.

The Premier’s Awards honour the important social and economic contribution that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. The awards were launched in 1992 and are administered by Colleges Ontario. Presented annually, the Premier’s Awards recognize graduates in the following seven categories – Apprenticeship, Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate, and Technology.

“We are DC proud of our five outstanding alumnae and their nominations for this prestigious award,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Their accomplishments and the impact they make in their sector and communities is proof that a college education lays a strong foundation for incredible and uniquely rewarding careers. Good luck to our nominees!”

DC’s nominees include:

Caroline Wright – Sports Business Management, 1996

Caroline Wright has spent the past two decades supporting the success of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), one of the largest and most diverse sports and entertainment portfolios in North America. As the senior director of Operations and general manager for MLSE Facilities, she manages all MLSE venues, including Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field, Coca-Cola Coliseum, and more. She has been recognized with multiple awards from the NHL, NBA and MLB for leading business results, and in 2018, was presented with an MVP Award for leading the building conversion of the Air Canada Centre to Scotiabank Arena. Most recently she was recognized by Sports Business Journal. Wright is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the Business category.

Tamara Dus – Registered Nursing, 1993

A registered nurse and the director of Health Service, Occupational Health and Wellness for the University Health Network (UHN), Tamara Dus leads COVID-19 employee response, addressing frontline worker burn-out and stress from the pandemic. She also co-leads the provincial pilot vaccination roll-out to support Ontario’s immunization strategy for vaccine clinics. Dus was instrumental in establishing the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Ontario, and in December 2020, administered the first five doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the province. She has been recognized as the Most Influential Woman in Emergency & Critical Care Solutions in Ontario by Acquisition International. Dus is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the Health Sciences category.

Judy Pal – Sports and Entertainment Administration, 1983

Judy Pal is a sought-after consultant who has worked with international police agencies in Canada, Chile and Trinidad and held numerous communications and administration leadership roles across police organizations in North America. She is credited with re-tooling the image of the largest police department in Atlantic Canada and has conducted image and media training for more than 200 commanders with the NYPD and thousands of law enforcement professionals. She is also a regular contributing trainer at FBI Regional Command Colleges across the U.S. and has taught and spoken at events across North America, Australia, Uruguay and the Philippines. Pal is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the Community Services category.

Tamara Green – Culinary Management, 2017 and Advanced Baking and Pastry Arts, 2018

The founder of the personal chef company Indigenesis, Tamara Green provides Indigenous ingredient-based catering inspired by the Great Lakes region and surrounding Indigenous nations. She prepares items with historical ingredients used prior to Canada’s colonization, avoiding the flora, fauna and animals that were introduced to the area by settlers. Through Indigenesis, as well as her participation in local events like Ontario Culture Days, Green provides opportunities to learn history through food while honouring Indigenous culture and cuisine. Green’s recipes have been published online and in print, and featured in the Fall 2020 edition of Grapevine Magazine. Green is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the Recent Graduate category.

Ellen Campbell – Water Quality Technician, 2013

Ellen Campbell’s passion for clean water has allowed her to nurture an incredible career. She is a senior operator and mechanic with the Ontario Clean Water Agency and member of the agency’s Executive Leadership Committee, as well as the marketing manager for the Ontario Association of Sewage Industry Services. Outside of work, Campbell has sat on the Walkerton Clean Water Centre’s Board of Directors and is the founder of Rain It In, a national non-profit and annual competition that challenges post-secondary students to create innovative solutions to mitigate the impacts of intense rainfall events and floods. Campbell is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the Technology category.

This year’s Premier’s Award winners will be announced in November. For more information, please visit


About Durham College

With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby, Durham College (DC) offers over 11,000 full-time students access to more than 140 post-secondary programs, including four honours bachelor degree and nine apprenticeship programs.

DC enables students to develop career-ready skills for the ever-changing job market by offering an exceptional college education. With a focus on experiential learning, led by experienced faculty, through field placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads are known for having the skills and knowledge employers need.

At the Oshawa campus, the Centre for Collaborative Education brings together local, Indigenous and global communities, featuring the Durham College Spa, Global Classroom and interprofessional simulation and anatomy labs. The campus is also home to several of the college’s applied research centres, including the AI Hub, Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and Mixed Reality Capture Studio. Additionally, the flexible, fully automated, and industrial-grade Integrated Manufacturing Centre serves as a model of the new standards in education in advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and engineering.

At DC’s Whitby campus, construction has begun on the new Skills Training Centre. Designed to shine a spotlight on skilled trades training, innovation and education, this building will expand the college’s capacity to provide students with hands-on training, access to simulators and other forms of instruction in shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices, crane operation, automotive, millwright and plumbing, among others.

The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes the award-winning Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food grown and prepared by students in the college’s horticulture, culinary and cook apprenticeship programs.