October 27, OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport proudly announced Friday the student-athletes honoured as Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2011-2012 season.

Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one – or more – of their university’s varsity teams.

In 2011-2012, a record 2,610 students achieved the prestigious status, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,398 set a year ago.

Five CIS universities had over 100 Academic All-Canadians last year, including Laval (126), Alberta (124), Western (118), Waterloo (113) and Queen’s (102). Rounding out the national top 10 were Manitoba (98), Calgary (95), Dalhousie (95), McGill (85) and Saskatchewan (81).

Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually as Top Eight Academic All-Canadians.

The 2011-2012 recipients from Atlantic University Sport are hockey player Miranda McMillan (mathematics) and track and field athlete Nathan Musoke (mathematics & physics), both from Dalhousie.

Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec are Laval rugby player Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid (medicine) and McGill hockey player Marc-André Dorion (physical and health education).

The winners from Ontario University Athletics are Windsor track and field star Nicole Sassine (kinesiology and education), as well as Toronto soccer player Darragh McGee (doctorate of philosophy).

From the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, this year’s recipients are hockey players Hayley Wickenheiser from Calgary (kinesiology) and Kyle Ross from Saskatchewan (law).

Dorion, Wickenheiser and Ross are all honoured for the second time. Dorion and Wickenheiser were members of the select group a year ago, while Ross had received the distinction for the first time in 2008-2009 while studying at the University of Regina.

“We are extremely proud of the high number of student-athletes who achieve CIS Academic All-Canadian status across the country. It speaks volumes about the quality of our students, coaches, support staff and Canadian universities,” said CIS president Leo MacPherson. “The Top Eight recipients represent the cream of the crop, and to be selected among over 10,000 of their peers is an exceptional accomplishment they should be proud of.”

Following is a profile of each 2011-2012 CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadian recipient, as well as a list of all-time winners.


Name: Miranda McMillan

Hometown: Truro, N.S.

School: Dalhousie University

Faculty: Science

Program: Mathematics

Sport: Hockey

Eligibility in 2011-12: 4th year

Miranda McMillan is currently in her fifth and final season with Dalhousie’s women’s hockey team. In 2011-12, the 5-foot-7 senior finished third in team scoring from her rearguard position with five goals and 18 points in 24 league games. She helped the Tigers qualify for the playoffs with a 9-12-3 record.

In the classroom, the native of Truro, N.S., graduated last May with a Bachelor of Science (major in mathematics) and has returned to Dalhousie this year to complete her honours in statistics. She maintained a perfect 4.30 grade point average during the 2011-12 academic year thanks to nine A+ grades in as many courses. McMillan has been a member of the Dean’s List, a recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholarship and an Academic All-Canadian each of her first four years on the Halifax campus. In 2011, she received the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Leadership Award presented to the female athlete who maintains the highest GPA after three years at Dalhousie.

Also very involved in the community, the 22-year-old has volunteered for the Arthritis Society and helped run Hockey Nova Scotia development days in East Hants and Lunenburg.

Name: Nathan Musoke

Hometown: Lower Sackville, N.S. (born in Thimphu, Bhutan)

School: Dalhousie University

Faculty: Science

Program: Physics & Mathematics

Sport: Track & Field

Eligibility in 2011-12: 2nd year

Nathan Musoke was born in Thimphu, Bhutan and spent his formative years in Lower Sackville, N.S., and Colombo, Sri Lanka where his father was working for the United Nations. In 2011-12, he participated in four events at the AUS track and field championships, claiming a silver medal in the 300m and helping the Tigers capture gold in 4×400 relay.

A honours student in mathematics and physics, the 20-year-old kept an unblemished academic record in 2011-12 with 11 A+ marks for a perfect grade point average of 4.30. The impressive list of academic awards he received over the past year includes the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, the Burgess McKittrick 2nd Year Prize, the Dr. A. Stanley MacKenzie Prize in Physics, and the Dr. William J. Archibald Prize in Physics.

In the community, Musoke has volunteered as an official at the Hershey under-15 provincial track and field championships each summer from 2008 to 2012, and with the Special Olympic meet each of the past three years. He is involved with Imhotep’s Legacy Academy, a community outreach program with a goal of improving African Canadian representation in science, and is vice-president of the Dalhousie Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Society.


Name: Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid

Hometown: Quebec City, Que.

School: Laval University

Faculty: Medicine

Program: Medicine

Sport: Rugby

Eligibility in 2011-12: 3rd year

Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid’s third and final season with Laval’s women’s rugby team, in the fall of 2011, was a memorable one. The 23-year-old prop led the Rouge et Or to a perfect 6-0 record in the regular season, to the RSEQ conference title and to third place at the CIS championship, marking the young program’s first-ever podium finish at the national level. The Quebec City native was named an RSEQ all-star for the third straight campaign and made the all-tournament team at the CIS championship. She also became the first member of the Rouge et Or to be selected to the Canadian senior national squad.

Combining her passion for rugby with the rigorous schedule of a medicine student, Pinault-Reid achieved a 3.52 academic average on a scale of 4.33 in 2011-12. She merited the Rouge et Or Scholarship for academic excellence, was nominated for the prestigious Jean-Marie De Koninck Award presented to Laval’s top student-athlete, and was a CIS Academic All-Canadian for the third time in as many years.

Name: Marc-André Dorion

Hometown: St. Hubert, Que.

School: McGill University

Faculty: Education

Program: Physical Education & Health

Sport: Hockey

Eligibility in 2011-12: 4th year

Marc-André Dorion became one of the most decorated defencemen in CIS hockey history last season when he completed his four-year career with the Redmen. After leading all CIS blueliners in scoring with a 7-32-39 mark in 28 league contests, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior guided McGill to a third OUA banner in four campaigns and the first University Cup national title in program history. Named MVP of the OUA East division and the country’s best defenceman for the second time in three years, he capped off his remarkable career at McGill with the BLG Award as CIS’ top male athlete.

The physical and health education student also excelled in the classroom in 2011-12 maintaining a grade point average of 3.74 (out of 4.00). An Academic All-Canadian and a member of the Principal’s Student-Athlete Honour Roll each of his four years at McGill, he received the Prix d’excellence Guy Lafleur back in 2009 for his outstanding achievements in academics and hockey.

In the community, Dorion, who hails from St. Hubert, Que., has been involved with minor hockey at the atom, pee-wee, bantam and midget levels. He also volunteered with the annual McGill Varsity Council food drive for the Sun Youth Community Centre.


Name: Nicole Sassine

Hometown: Windsor, Ont.

School: University of Windsor

Faculty: Human Kinetics

Program: Kinesiology & Education

Sport: Track & Field

Eligibility in 2011-12: 5th year

Nicole Sassine ended her five-year track and field career at Windsor in 2011-12 as one of the most prominent student-athletes in Lancers’ history. In her final season, the 22-year-old was named CIS female athlete of the year in track events and captured the Dr. Wendy Jerome Trophy as the OUA’s overall female MVP. A four-time medallist at the OUA championships – including two gold – and three-time medallist at the CIS meet, she guided the Lancer women to a fourth OUA team title in five campaigns and a fourth consecutive CIS banner.

An A+ student in human kinetics before entering teacher’s college, the Windsor native was an Academic All-Canadian, a member of the Dean’s Achievement List and a member of the President’s Honour Roll each of the past four years. A former recipient of the Lancer Blue & Gold Scholarship, she merited the 2011-12 DeMarco Award as the top female student-athlete at the University of Windsor.

Name: Darragh McGee

Hometown: Donegal, Ireland

School: University of Toronto

Faculty: School of Graduate Studies

Program: Doctorate of Philosophy (Exercise Sciences)

Sport: Soccer

Eligibility in 2011-12: 4th year

Darragh McGee, who is currently playing in his fourth and final season with the Varsity Blues men’s soccer team, had a remarkable campaign in 2011 when he placed second on the team with six goals in 12 league games en route to OUA East MVP status and a spot on the first all-Canadian squad for the second straight year. The 26-year-old team captain, who plays both midfield and defence, helped the Blues reach the OUA final and advance to the CIS championship last fall.

Before moving to Toronto, the native of Donegal, Ireland received a Master’s degree in the sociology of sport from Loughborough University in the UK. An Academic All-Canadian each of the past two years, he is currently completing his doctorate and spent the summer of 2012 in Ghana, researching the nexus between the phenomenon of trafficking, child labour and the realm of sport. He has been published in both book chapters and journals since 2010.

McGee has also been a guest speaker/lecturer at the 2011 Sport & Globalization Conference (U of T), the 2010 Athletic Achievement Awards (U of T) and the 2009 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. He has volunteered as a Massey College intramural soccer coach and with the North Toronto Soccer Club.


Name: Hayley Wickenheiser

Hometown: Shaunavon, Sask.

School: University of Calgary

Faculty: Kinesiology

Program: Kinesiology (General)

Sport: Hockey

Eligibility in 2011-12: 2nd year

Canadian hockey icon Hayley Wickenheiser was once again dominant in 2011-12 in her second season with the Calgary Dinos, following up on a successful rookie campaign that saw her claim CIS player-of-the-year honours. Last season, the all-world forward was again named an all-Canadian after racking up 32 points in only 16 conference games and then guided the Dinos to the Canada West banner and the first national title in program history. The seven-time world champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist was voted MVP of the CIS championship final following a two-goal, two-assist performance in a 5-1 win over Montreal.

The native of Shaunavon, Sask., who resumed her studies in 2010-11 after a 10-year absence from school, maintained a 3.96 grade point average (out of 4.00) last year in the Faculty of Kinesiology to earn Academic All-Canadian status for the second time. She received the University of Calgary – Calgary Booster Club Scholar-Athlete Award, and was named Capital One Academic All-America college division at large female player of the year.

Through her Wickenheiser Foundation, she supports organizations such as KidSport, Right to Play, Dreams Take Flight, Clean Air Champions, and Spread the Net. She contributed to the World Hockey Summit in 2010 as a keynote speaker and hosted the inaugural Wickenheiser International Women’s Hockey Festival in November 2010 in Burnaby, B.C. Named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011 “for her achievements as an athlete and for her contributions to the growth of women’s hockey”, Wickenheiser was in Ghana at the time, working as an athlete ambassador for Right to Play.

Name: Kyle Ross

Hometown: Regina, Sask.

School: University of Saskatchewan

Faculty: Law

Program: Law

Sports: Hockey

Eligibility in 2011-12: 5th year

Kyle Ross wrapped up his exceptional CIS hockey career in 2011-12 with a personal-best 33 points (16-17-33) in 28 league games, good for fourth place in the Canada West scoring race. In his third season with the Huskies after transferring from the University of Regina, the 5-foot-11, 189-pound forward claimed the R.W. Pugh Award as the most sportsmanlike player in the country and was also the Canada West nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award, presented to the CIS hockey player who best combines athletics, academics and community service. More importantly, the former Regina Pats star guided Saskatchewan to its first Canada West title since 2007 and a berth into the University Cup national championship.

Ross, a native of Regina, graduated last spring from the College of Law with Great Distinction after finishing with a 4.00 grade point average. A five-time Academic All-Canadian, the 25-year-old was a Law Valedictorian at the 2012 U of S Convocation. He won the Law Society of Saskatchewan Gold Medal for maintaining the highest average of his graduating class, and was named Capital One Academic All-America college division at large male player of the year.

The Huskies’ captain each of his last two seasons with the team, Ross represented Huskie Athletics at a variety of events around campus and in the Saskatoon community over the years. He also volunteered with Campus Legal Services and ran the Calgary Half-Marathon in 2010 as a fundraising member of Team Diabetes.