July 9, 2020 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Written by Katrina Clarke, Alumni and Development Officer

Congratulations to Maureen Spencer Golovchenko ’77, 2020 Alumni Award of Distinction Recipient and to Rachel Braden ’11, 2020 Recent Graduate Award Recipient.

2020 Alumni Award of Distinction Recipient
Maureen Spencer Golovchenko ’77
Communications Professional

As a local Londoner, King’s was a natural fit for Maureen. “After graduating from Catholic Central High School, coming to King’s was an easy choice. It felt warm and welcoming – with friendly people, small classrooms, a sense of spirituality, and lots of green space.” Following her studies at King’s, Maureen earned a diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Fanshawe College, and a professional designation as an Accredited Business Communicator.

Throughout her career, Maureen has been known as a community builder and a collaborator. “Collaboration is definitely a recurring and rewarding aspect of my work! Throughout a lengthy communications career, I was blessed with opportunities to work with different workplace teams – each trying to change the world in some way. Being able to bring people together through a series of cross-sector, community-building projects was a dream job for sure.”

In addition to her professional success, Maureen is an active volunteer and mentor, particularly within the field of communications. Having been an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators since early in her career, Maureen served 8 years on the local chapter’s executive committee. Maureen also volunteered for 8 years on the King’s University College Alumni Board of Directors, including two years as President.

Maureen’s advice for students today is to get involved early. “Later in life, I learned the journey is enhanced when you reach out to others on the same path. I would do it sooner at King’s if I had the chance to do it again.”

The Alumni Award of Distinction recognizes a King’s graduate who is an inspiration to others, has made a significant contribution to the community or society, or one who has reached a high level of accomplishment in his or her field.

Read more about Maureen here.


2020 Recent Graduate Award Recipient
Rachel Braden ’11
Social Work Program Liaison and Part-Time Faculty
School of Social Work, King’s University College

Rachel Braden is a three-time King’s graduate, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology in 2011, a Bachelor of Social Work in 2013, and a Master of Social Work in 2014. As a student, Rachel enjoyed the best of both worlds that King’s had to offer, and she credits her professors for not only challenging and supporting her, but also for reinforcing the importance of “out of the box” solutions. From 2014 to 2019, Rachel worked at the London Family Court Clinic, first as a student and then clinician on the Child Welfare and Youth Therapeutic Court team, and later in the role of Child Witness Project Coordinator. While in this role, Rachel developed the first courthouse facility dog program in Ontario. She became the handler for Merel, Ontario’s first accredited courthouse facility dog, who provided a calming presence for children and youth required to testify in the justice system.

Together, Rachel and Merel have been advocates for courthouse facility dog programs across Canada. They are active volunteers for numerous charitable organizations, and were named to the 2019 Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List in London.

Rachel’s career is transitioning back to the classroom as she is now working and teaching in the School of Social Work at King’s. “I love being part of the academic journey, and I enjoy learning from the students who have so much to offer. Returning to King’s truly feels like coming home.”

The Recent Graduate Award recognizes the accomplishments of someone who has graduated from King’s within the last 15 years. It celebrates achievement in such areas as: service to humanity, professional accomplishment, community service, the advancement of knowledge, or service to King’s.

Read more about Rachel here.


King’s will celebrate the accomplishments of Maureen and Rachel at a Virtual Alumni Awards Reception on Friday, October 16, 2020. More information to be announced.