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Barbara MacKinnon Receives Honorary Degree


Algonquin College awards honorary degrees on occasion to acknowledge exemplary achievement in education, industry, community service, or other areas of leadership in our society. 

This honour is bestowed upon those who have made a difference in the lives of our students and our College Community – individuals who share Algonquin’s values of caring, learning, integrity and respect, and who serve as shining examples of what is possible when one is committed to the betterment of our community and our world.

Barbara MacKinnon has been one such shining example on the Ottawa landscape for over 30 years. Barbara has made a career out of helping people and is highly regarded for her tireless work with multicultural communities, vulnerable populations and children.

Barbara first launched her career in Ottawa at Causeway, a local organization serving people with chronic mental health challenges and other disabilities. From there, she took on the role of Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ottawa Branch) and later assumed a leadership role at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre.

Barbara’s strong commitment to the health and well-being of children led her to take on her current position as Executive Director of the Children’s Aid Society in 2003.

An active volunteer, Barbara sits on the United Way Allocations Committee and on the Board of Directors of Crime Prevention Ottawa, and is a member of Ottawa’s Child and Youth Agenda Committee. She also serves as Chair of Success by Six—a grassroots community effort that promotes early childhood development.

Barbara’s achievements have been recognized with numerous awards, including a Woman of Distinction Award for non-profit management, a United Way Community Builder Award, a University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Alma Mater, and the Dr. T.A. Sweet Award from the Ontario Psychiatric Association. Ottawa Life Magazine recently included her in its 9th Annual Top 50 People in the Capital.

The Algonquin community congratulates Barbara and her family, Boyd, Luke and Beth.  The College would like to thank Barbara for her continued leadership, energy and commitment and welcome her as a permanent member of our College Community.

Courtesy of Algonquin College