Remembering Michelle Harkness

With profound sadness, we confirm that Michelle Harkness, AllerGen’s Manager, Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Training and Events, and a longtime colleague and friend, passed away on August 22, 2017, following a brief illness.

Michelle managed AllerGen’s HQP program with passion and a genuine and indefatigable commitment to helping students, early-career professionals, research staff, researchers, and AllerGen’s partner organizations achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Michelle became AllerGen’s HQP coordinator in 2011, and built the program into a powerful platform for capacity building, skill development, networking and career enhancement. Due to Michelle’s tireless efforts, AllerGen’s HQP program has become a model emulated by other Networks of Centres of Excellence across Canada.

Michelle attended to the needs and requests of all those she worked with, earnestly and generously, and in doing so touched many lives in many ways: providing moral support, advice and mentorship, and facilitating career- and life-changing opportunities.

As a colleague, Michelle was always available, always willing to embrace new challenges and to contribute wherever she could, and equally committed to her own self-improvement as well as that of others.

Michelle’s passing represents an enormous loss to AllerGen, and an even greater personal loss to all those who knew and loved her. She is greatly missed.

Michelle (center) receives an award for excellence in HQP support and mentorship from AllerGen’s Managing Director Diana Royce (left) and then-ASNPN President Amrit Singh (right) at AllerGen’s 2016 Research Conference.


All are welcome to join us in a celebration of Michelle’s life

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Philpott Memorial Church
84 York Blvd
Hamilton, ON

Visitation: 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Celebration of Michelle’s life: 3:00 pm

Additional details are provided in her obituary, which was printed in the Hamilton Spectator on Saturday August 26, 2017.


In lieu of flowers, Michelle’s family invites donations to the Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award, newly established in Michelle’s honour by AllerGen NCE Inc.

This award will support AllerGen’s researchers, trainees and partners.

Donations toward the award can be made via AllerGen’s partner organization, The Sandbox Project.

Cheques can be mailed to: 36 Toronto Street, Suite 1LG, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2C5

Credit card contributions can be made directly through Canada Helps:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-sandbox-project/

Posted in Announcements, In Memoriam