Acadia Bulletin - Spring 2020

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for ACADIA EVERY GIFT MAT TERS “We have students who are going on to do absolutely amazing things, taking journeys that probably none of us would ever have expected. And at the end of the journey, students have an opportunity to make a big difference in the world as a result of being at Acadia University.” Professor Barb Anderson (’77) Director, School of Nutrition and Dietetics

Join Us. Campaign for Acadia. Barb Anderson’s background in Public Health Nutrition and Management has framed her teaching interests in: Adult Learning applied to Nutrition and Dietetic Practice; Leadership in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics; Health Promotion; and Community Nutrition. She is also interested in student learning related to reconnecting nutrition to food issues, especially food sustainability.

CABINET MEMBERS Nancy McCain (’82), Cabinet Chair, Toronto | Clive Anderson (’89), Singapore | Paul Bailey (’75), Toronto Libby Burnham (’60, ’00), Toronto | Don Clow (’83), Halifax | Henry Demone (’76), Lunenburg Shih Fang (Dino) Ng (’01), Kuala Lumpur | Ruth Hennigar (’81), San Jose, CA | Karen Hutt (’89), Halifax Allan MacDonald (’92), Toronto | Peter MacKay (’87), Toronto/New Glasgow | Ian MacNeily (’81), Toronto Tracey McGillivray (’87,’15), Ottawa/Toronto | Kevin Mullen (’86), Calgary | Larry Mussenden (’86), Bermuda Kerel Pinder (’06), Freeport, Bahamas | David Roy (’08), Toronto | Derek Smith (’05), London, UK Ron Smith (’71) | Cynthia Trudell (’74), Armonk, New York | Stephen Wetmore (’77, ’16), Toronto Lana Wood (’82), Calgary/Vancouver | Francis Yip (’90), Hong Kong EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS: Bruce Galloway (’68, ’03), Chancellor | John Rogers (’79), Chair, Board of Governors

Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor | Donalda MacBeath (’75), President, Acadia Alumni Association Dr. Rod Morrison, Vice-President, Advancement | Brendan MacNeil, President, Acadia Students’ Union Nancy Handrigan (’92), Executive Director, Philanthropy, and Campaign Director

IN EVERY ISSUE From the Acadia President . . . . . . . . 2 From the Alumni President . . . . . . . . 3 Alumni Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Those Who Serve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14



Tech Impact Business leader Cathy Simpson (’90) promotes female empowerment and private sector growth in Atlantic Canada.

Eye on Acadia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Campaign for Acadia . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Alumni Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Athletics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Alumni Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Acadia Remembers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


Surprise! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a citizenship ceremony at Acadia that celebrated inclusion and diversity.

Final Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45


Outstanding Honorees ON THE COVER: Five Deans (from left to right): Dr. Suzie Currie, Dean of Pure and Applied Science; Dr. Anna Robbins, Dean of Theology; Dr. Anna Redden (seated), Dean of Research and Graduate Studies; Dr. Ann Vibert, Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies; and Dr. Laura Robinson, Dean of Arts. Photo: Peter Oleskevich

Dr. Catharine Farrow (‘89) and Mr. Paul McFarland (‘10) are this year’s Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients. Stand Up and Cheer!


Student Relief Fund When Acadia’s faculty, staff, alumni and friends say that our students are a top priority, they don’t fool around. The University’s COVID-19 Student Relief Fund is a good example.



Acadia an oasis of knowledge and learning in difficult times



Photo: Peter Oleskevich


he peaceful and rich educational experience that Acadia alumni know so well came to a screeching halt in March with the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am extremely proud of Acadia’s calm response and the swift adaptation to alternative ways of teaching and working together, as well as our creation of a Student Relief Fund to assist those in need through special bursary support. You can ready more about this effort on page 35. The dedication and compassion of our faculty and staff combined with the flexibility of our students enabled the successful completion of the academic year. All eligible students graduated on time and are now enfolded into the broader alumni family. My congratulations go out to them for their perseverance. Convocation was postponed, but we acknowledged their graduation remotely through video messages and mailings and we will celebrate their achievements when it is safe to gather, hopefully for a fall Convocation. In April, we were rocked by the tragic news of senseless violence here at home in Nova Scotia. Shock quickly turned to grief as we learned one of our own, RCMP Constable Heidi (Burkholder) Stevenson (’93), was among the victims. Heidi’s time at Acadia was the start of many lifelong friendships and her part-time job with Campus Safety and Security as a student led to a passion for policing. In tribute to her heroism, we have established the Constable Heidi Stevenson Memorial Award in her memory. You can learn more about the Award on page 22 as we focus on “Those Who Serve” within our alumni community. Through all of this, we continue to look to the future. Global climate change, combined with the evolution of exponential technologies, is increasing the degree of economic, social, and physical change at a rate never witnessed. This degree of change is redefining the narratives used to describe our society and global political priorities and today’s students will need to be prepared for dealing with continuous change and disruption throughout their lives.

An oasis amidst this chaos and serenely positioned in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, Acadia continues to preserve and create knowledge through research and teaching in a stimulating learning environment. Our approach of educating the whole person has never been more relevant than it is today. Critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, self-motivation, resilience, numeracy, literacy, and cultural sensitivity are essential components of the character that an Acadia education builds. Embracing the development of these attributes, our new strategic plan, Acadia 2025 – Transforming Lives for a Transforming World, was approved by the Board of Governors and the Senate in March and speaks to themes that are important to us: economic and social development; the environment and sustainability; truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples; inclusion and diversity; research and innovation; and the internationalization of education. As we have always done, we will provide a personalized and rigorous experience that will encourage students to become engaged citizens and responsible global leaders. In closing, I extend my congratulations to Donalda MacBeath on her election as President of the Alumni Association and thank the broader alumni community for supporting the next generation to greet with confidence all of the opportunities and challenges that await their vision, action, and inspiration. Dr. Peter Ricketts President and Vice-Chancellor


SPRING 2020 Volume 103 / Issue 1 Publisher Office of Advancement, Acadia University Editor Fred Sgambati (’83) Vice-President, Advancement Rod Morrison Advertising Manager Sandra Symonds Alumni Association Board of Directors Donalda MacBeath (’75) Matt Rios (’14) Tammy Walker (’92) Leah McNally (’07) Ryan Conrod (’06) Jeff Aucoin (’95) Carol D’Amelio (’72) David Davidson (’81) Fred Gilbert (’65) Hilary Arenburg Gobien (’12) Heather Hickman (’77) Christine McRae (’11) Kyle Power (’13) Stephanie Reid (’05) Tony Stewart (’72) Ted Upshaw (’80) Sam Zhang (’05) Tiffany James (’14) Natalie Irwin (’01) Kelton Thomason (’07, ’10) Taylor Wilson (’20, ex-officio) Olivia Shive (’21, ex-officio) Graphic Designer Cathy Little Printing Advocate Printing Distributor Russell House Marketing The Bulletin is published twice a year, Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer, by the Office of Advancement, Acadia University. It is distributed on the Acadia campus and by mail to more than 28,000 alumni. All material is ©2020 Acadia University, and may be reprinted with written permission. Acadia Bulletin welcomes Letters to the Editor: Fred Sgambati Office of Advancement Acadia University Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 902.585.1725 Advertising inquiries: Production and Events Manager Alumni Affairs Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 902.585.1708

Alumni Association takes proactive role, stands ready to serve


t is not lost on me as I write this message during an unprecedented world health crisis how now, more than ever, we need to acknowledge and applaud the heroic efforts of those who serve: doctors, nurses, health care providers, police officers, public health personnel, first responders, and so many others too numerous to list here. The Acadia Alumni Association, in conjunction with Acadia University and the Office of Advancement, took a proactive approach to the crisis and, conscious of public health, safety and security and in concert with federal and provincial directives, postponed and cancelled a series of alumni events scheduled for this spring. It was a decision not taken lightly, but deemed necessary given global circumstances. Further postponements or cancellations may also occur in the future. Nevertheless, I encourage our alumni family to stay connected and support one another. We need to look forward to better days beyond the pandemic with energy, optimism and a commitment to promote the greater good. If we are looking for inspiration in the interim, we need look no further than the accomplished, dedicated and hard-working alumni that we are proud to call our own. They exemplify the quality and depth of Acadia graduates who have gone on to do great things in their careers or chosen paths. In this edition of the Bulletin, we recognize a sampling of our Acadia alumni who have

chosen service. Their stories and career accomplishments are compelling and they deserve recognition for the work they do, often under very challenging circumstances. To help you stay in touch with your Association and your fellow alumni, you can access all the latest news and updates online through our alumni website, the monthly e-Newsletter, and our Acadia alumni social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The Alumni Association will remain actively engaged in supporting Acadia, its faculty, staff, students and alumni to ensure that, when the pandemic passes, the University can continue to deliver the exceptional educational experience and alumni and community engagement it is known for. To our newest Acadia alumni – our graduating class of 2020 – I extend greetings and hearty congratulations on behalf of the Acadia Alumni Association, recognizing and regretting that you have completed your Acadia experience in such adverse circumstances. You have achieved much and reached an important milestone in challenging times, and we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments later in the year. Welcome to the next phase of your lifelong Acadia journey.

With best wishes, Donalda MacBeath (’75) President, Acadia Alumni Association


Photo: Peter Oleskevich

Five Deans, from left to right: Dr. Suzie Currie; Dr. Anna Robbins; Dr. Ann Vibert; Dr. Laura Robinson; and seated, Dr. Anna Redden.




Strong Leadership Five Deans, all alumnae: sharing knowledge, shaping the world

By Fred Sgambati (’83)


t’s a classic Acadia story: students arrive in Wolfville, have a transformative educational experience, earn a degree, then go out and change the world. There’s a certain magic to it, a water-into-wine alchemy that defines the Acadia experience and produces people who, at the end of their academic journey, sprout metaphoric wings and take flight, seeking sky in all its glory; full of confidence and anticipation, determined to accomplish great things. Five such people have done just that – soared after graduation from Acadia and are thrilled now to return to their alma mater with purpose and intention to share accumulated knowledge and hard-earned professional acumen with the University’s students and fellow leaders. Five Deans in all, pillars of Acadia’s academic infrastructure: • Dean of Arts, Dr. Laura Robinson (BA ’88; HC ’88); • Dean of Pure and Applied Science, Dr. Suzie Currie (BSCH ’91); • Dean of Theology and President of Acadia Divinity College, Dr. Anna Robbins (MRE ’93; MAT ’97); • Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies, Dr. Ann Vibert (BA ’74); • Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and Director, Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research, Dr. Anna Redden (BSC ’79; BSCH ’82; MSC ’86). All went on to earn graduate degrees before returning at one time or another to Acadia and each has a story to tell. For consistency, we asked them the same questions, fully expecting a wide range of responses. They didn’t disappoint.


Strong Leadership

lived in Windsor, so I grew up with the assumption that I would attend Acadia. I’m not sure I was aware there were other options!

Q. What was your area of study here? A. I did Honours English, graduating in 1988.

Q. Who were your mentors, and how influential were they?

Dr. Laura Robinson Q. Where do you come from originally? A. I grew up “in the military” so I was born in Montreal, then moved to (in quick succession) North Bay, Ontario; Tuscon, Arizona; Toronto, Ontario; Gander, Newfoundland; Chatham, New Brunswick; Ramstein and then Lahr, Germany; and finally to Shearwater Nova Scotia in the early 1980s, when I came to Acadia. My parents are originally from the Halifax area and I’ve always called Nova Scotia home, even though I never really lived here as a young person. It was the constant in my life as we always “came home” in the summer.

Q. Why did you choose Acadia? A. My sister came to Acadia in 1973 (graduating in ’77) when I was seven, and my grandfather and two uncles



A. Two professors made a difference for me: Ray Thompson was my longsuffering thesis advisor who always pushed me to work harder; and Jeanette Auger taught me a course called ‘Women in the Modern World’, which transformed and galvanized me to work toward social justice.

Q. What were the takeaways from your Acadia experience? A. I became infused with a passion for wanting to change the world. I became aware of injustice, and I pledged to make a difference. I saw further education and becoming an educator as a means to that end.

Q. How meaningful is it to return to your alma mater and have a role in determining the University’s academic offerings and priorities for current and future students? A. I cannot even begin to articulate how thrilled I am to be back at Acadia and as the Dean of Arts. To be here working with our faculty members and students to shape the world we are in for the better is a dream come true. To return “home” feels completely right to me. The feeling of positivity at Acadia right now is electric, and I am very optimistic about our future.

Dr. Suzie Currie Q. Where do you come from originally? A. I grew up in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Q. Why did you choose Acadia? A. I was planning to attend St. FX my whole life, as both my parents went there. When I was in Grade 11 at Memorial High School, I attended the Grade 12 graduation and President Dr. James Perkin (DLT ’95) from Acadia gave the graduation address. I can’t remember what he said, but I remember I loved it and we spoke afterwards. This put Acadia firmly on my radar. I applied to Acadia (along with St. FX and Dal), came to Wolfville for a visit and loved it. Acadia also gave me a very healthy scholarship. The rest is history!


Q. Who were your mentors and how influential were they?

terrified of him, not because he was frightening – he wasn’t – but because he was brilliant. He spoke prose. I fell in love with Victorian Literature and Professor Evelyn Garbary (DLT, ’79), who captivated us all, taught us how to read, and said to me, in her own inimitable way, “My dear, you are a writer.” Professor Peter Booth: his profound love of classics was absolutely infectious. They, as well as other faculty here, changed my life.

A. Dan Toews in biology was a very significant mentor for me while I was here. He helped me find my passion.

Q. What were the takeaways from your Acadia experience?

Q. What was your area of study here? A. Biology. Although, in my first year, I couldn’t decide between English and Biology. I took first-year science and the English course for majors. Let’s just say my decision to move on in biology was pretty clear after that course!

Q. What were the takeaways from your Acadia experience? A. Follow your passion and do what you love. Dream big, experience the world, keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to use your elbows (I was on the rugby team)!

Q. How meaningful is it to return to your alma mater and have a role in determining the University’s academic offerings and priorities for current and future students? A. I could say more about this, but it’s my dream job! Acadia gave me my start and so many opportunities. I’m so grateful and thankful that I came here as an undergraduate. Having experienced several universities since I was first at Acadia, I am a huge supporter of our model of undergraduate education and delighted that I can now contribute in a more senior way and give back.

Dr. Ann Vibert Q. Where do you come from originally? A. Truro, Nova Scotia, graduated from Cobequid Educational Centre.

Q. Why did you choose Acadia? A. In my Grade 12 year, my best friend and I went around to spend a weekend at each of the local universities on our short-list: Acadia, Dalhousie, and Mount A. We agreed on Acadia: it had a reputation as an academically strong university (all three did) and it was a gorgeous fall weekend when we visited. Honestly, I think it was the beauty of the campus that decided us.

Q. What was your area of study here? A. English and Classics.

Q. Who were your mentors and how influential were they? A. Dr. Roger Lewis: I was absolutely

A. The beauty of this place stayed with me always. At Acadia, I learned how ideas work, how in particular times and places they are in the air, resonating across arts and sciences, politics and popular culture. As I said above, I learned how to read – I had always been a reader, but here I really learned how to read, mostly by demonstrations from my professors. And I made lifelong friends – they are all over North America now, but these days we make a point of getting together as a group every second summer.

Q. How meaningful is it to return to your alma mater and have a role in determining the University’s academic offerings and priorities for current and future students? A. I consider that a life gift. In the evenings in the fall I walk my friend’s dog on the dikes and watch the tower on U Hall turn pink and gold at sunset. I have to pinch myself – I feel like I’m in a novel. I am deeply and consciously grateful every day for how my life turned out, and for how, after a number of turns, I’ve ended up back here where I began a scholarly life.



Strong Leadership

Master of Divinity in those days. But I fell in love with Acadia Divinity College (ADC), and the study of theology. While we were serving full-time in our first church in Clementsvale, I drove up the Valley a couple of times a week to complete the Master of Arts (Theology) degree. I learned biblical Greek from the textbook on my steering wheel on the 101. (I don’t recommend that!) Today, of course, I could Zoom into class – that’s a great development for students like me.

Q. Who were your mentors and how influential were they?

Dr. Anna Robbins Q. Where do you come from originally? A. I grew up in Saint John, NB. Attended Prince Charles and Princess Elizabeth Schools, and graduated from Saint John High School.

Q. Why did you choose Acadia? A. I actually completed my undergrad degree at Carleton. I went for journalism and finished in politics. But a call to ministry together with my new husband meant graduate study at Acadia; for Atlantic Baptists there was no other suggestion offered. It was the best and most life-changing move of our lives to come to Acadia and study theology.

Q. What was your area of study here? A. I first completed the Master of Religious Education, since women often struggled to find a church with the



A. All the profs were mentors in different ways, and it would be impossible to overestimate their influence. Everything in my life that came after Acadia was marked indelibly by Acadia. Dr. Oliver Ohsberg probably had the greatest formative influence because I took so many of his courses. But it was Rev. Dr. Allison Trites (’12 HON) who led me to a point where I could accept my call based on an appropriate interpretation of the New Testament; Dr. Dennis Veinnot, who taught me to think theologically; Dr. Miriam Ross (’84 HON), who gave me some of the skills of the academic as I served as her TA for four years and worked on SSHRC-funded research with her; and Dr. Roy Williams, who nurtured my developing love for theology and was unfailing in his encouragement.

Q. What were the takeaways from your Acadia experience? A. The takeaway was me! My call and my theological and scholarly formation took shape at Acadia. As I continued in ministry, and further

studies, and eventually as a professor and leader, I could not stand in front of a group and speak without hearing the voice of one of my Acadia profs echoing in my brain. I drank up everything I could while I was at ADC and used every bit of it in real life and ministry.

Q. How meaningful is it to return to your alma mater and have a role in determining the University’s academic offerings and priorities for current and future students? A. After 15 years in the UK I wondered if I would ever get back to Acadia – it grows on you like that for life! It was providential that the right job was open at the right time when I returned in 2012. Today, I am thrilled that my education and experience have led me to a place in my life where I can apply all of my skills and knowledge to the task of leading ADC as its President. My desire is to see our students released to their vocations feeling as equipped as I did, for the opportunities and challenges that await them. As Dean of Theology, it is an absolute privilege to work alongside such dedicated and capable scholars and administrators in the college and university, who serve with selflessness and excellence, with a passion for students and their learning that is unsurpassed. I believe Acadia’s spirit grows out of the very soil of this place, birthed by Baptists for the good of everyone who wants to receive an education, with openness and equality. The opportunity to build the Faculty of Theology in this place and at this time is a gift that I hope ADC will both give and receive. It feels like good things are stirring and I am very excited to be part of it.


Q. Who were your mentors and how influential were they?

Dr. Anna Redden Q. Where do you come from originally? A. I grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and went to Windsor Elementary School and later Windsor Regional High School.

Q. Why did you choose Acadia? A. I was involved in track and field in high school and would often come to Acadia for sports events and to watch basketball games. I felt very comfortable whenever I was at Acadia; it was the right size for me and, as a teenager, I always wanted to be an Acadia student. I didn’t think twice about it and I didn’t apply to any other university.

Q. What was your area of study here? A. I studied biology, with a focus on ecology.

A. My mentors while an undergraduate student were largely biology Master’s students who were often teaching assistants. I looked up to and admired them. Many of these Acadia alumni became colleagues and close friends, some of whom I continue to see on a regular basis. Dr. Graham Daborn, one of my biology professors and my supervisor for both Honours and Master’s research projects, was the most significant mentor throughout my education at Acadia. I have adopted his approach to mentoring students and providing meaningful learning opportunities. We stayed in touch after I left Acadia and, when I returned as a professor, we naturally collaborated on a number of projects, including those of the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute, which we and three others founded in 2012.

Q. What were the takeaways from your Acadia experience? A. An education doesn’t end with an undergraduate degree; it is a lifelong activity. I also learned the importance of collaboration and leadership while studying at Acadia. Thanks largely to Dr. Daborn, I was given many opportunities to be involved in projects that involved government and industry partners, and scientists from a range of other institutions. These were wonderful eye-opening and “exponential growth” experiences for me. Because of this, I have offered similar experiences to my research

students, all of whom have benefitted professionally and personally from these opportunities.

Q. How meaningful is it to teach at your alma mater and have a leadership role in determining the University’s academic offerings and priorities for current and future students? A. My first academic appointment was in Australia, where I taught for eight years. While there, I longed to return to Acadia as a professor. In fact, it was my “dream job” upon completing my MSc in biology. The dream came true in 2005 when I was appointed a professor in biology! The circle was then complete and I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity. I have enjoyed teaching at Acadia. Our students are attentive, appreciative and open learners. Teaching at Acadia is a highly valued activity and students respond well to personalized approaches to delivering information and learning experiences. I believe we are the “just right” university size. My current role is leading Acadia’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies. I interact with Acadia’s graduate students on a regular basis and enjoy mentoring these young professionals and assisting with their leadership activities. Acadia has much to offer in the years ahead and I am proud and excited to be among the five female Deans, all alumna, who are involved in steering the academic bus into our future.



Piecing Together Fragments of the Past Two researchers, one in Nova Scotia and one in England, are helping us understand the present by reconstructing the past

By Rachel Cooper (’89)


tephen Flemming (’84, ’88) and Greg Edgecombe (’85) both study how the past influences the present, but they work within very different timeframes. For Flemming, as executive director of Sherbrooke Village on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, the timeframe is measured in decades. For Edgecombe, a merit researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London, England, the timeframe began millions of years ago. “In my work, written history is meaningless,” Edgecombe says. “We are left with the genetic code, bits and pieces of information from fossils, and comparative anatomy.” A palaeontologist, Edgecombe uses the tools of geology and biology to study the tree of life. “About half my work is on living animals,” he says. “To understand and interpret the anatomy of fossils, you need to understand their modern relatives. When I look at a fossil, I try to see it as it would have been in life. And now and then you get a Eureka! moment, when you almost want to say to someone, ‘Bring me the tree of life – I have a branch!’”

Immersed in history In Sherbrooke Village, written history underpins the experience that brings this late-Victorian Nova Scotian village to life. Unusually for such a museum, almost all the buildings are on their original foundations; the others were moved from within the community. “A living history museum is about being immersed in history,” Flemming says. “All of our interpreters are in



Stephen Flemming (‘84, ‘88)

Greg Edgecombe (‘85)

costume and in character.” The visitor’s experience is framed as “Step into 1867,” the year of Canada’s Confederation, when Nova Scotia was prosperous and therefore reluctant to become part of a new nation. “We tend to think tough decisions are always in our time,” he says. “Tough decisions are in every time. We try to challenge visitors to consider the aspirations for this country then and to reflect on how well we are doing.” Yet Sherbrooke Village does not dwell only in the past. For its 50th anniversary in 2020, the museum established RICHES, the Rural Institute for Cultural Heritage and Environmental Sustainability, to help grow the cultural sector in eastern Nova Scotia. Flemming also heads the organizing committee that is bringing North America’s first whale sanctuary to Port Hilford near Sherbrooke Village. Before joining Sherbrooke Village in 2016, Flemming had a 25-year career with Parks Canada, most recently as superintendent of Elk Island National Park in Alberta. An early interest in wildlife and conservation brought him to Acadia for a BSc and later an MSc in biology. “The thing about Acadia – obviously I’m biased here –


is that relationship you have with the professors and your fellow students. It has such depth that it broadens your perspective,” he says. “In the biology department, we could be talking about science, but we’d wander over to talking about cultural things, then wander back. I attribute a large part of my perspective on weaving back and forth between science and culture today, almost like breathing, to Acadia.”

Studying the tree of life Growing up in New Brunswick, Edgecombe was a keen collector, not only of natural history objects such as fossils and rocks, but also of cultural items such as coins and stamps. “I was always interested in classification, so I was trying to find out how these collections were meant to be arranged,” he says. “It’s not surprising that I’ve spent my career working in museums and as a systematic biologist.” Edgecombe uses different toolkits to work out evolutionary relationships and find common patterns in the different layers of evidence. “Trying to solve the shape of the tree of life is like a detective story when the trail has gone really cold. The branch points between different living lineages often happened hundreds of millions of years ago,” he says. “Palaeontology is one of these toolkits. Comparative anatomy is another, and molecular biology is another.” In March of this year, Edgecombe’s textbook, The Invertebrate Tree of Life, was published by Princeton University Press. He and co-author Gonzalo Giribet spent the last three years putting together this textbook on animal evolution seen through the paradigm of the tree. He credits Acadia geology professor Reg Moore with setting him on his career path. “He was probably the most influential person in my education and my decision to

embrace scientific research,” he says. Moore had built large collections of fossils that were housed in the basement of the science building. When Edgecombe became interested in the fossils, Moore offered him working space and the keys to the lab. “Reg Moore’s attitude was essentially, ‘Open up any drawer, find anything that intrigues you, and follow it wherever it leads.’ That’s the first time in my education that I’d had that opportunity, and it was transformative,” Edgecombe says. “You could see all these doors opening and all these roads ahead of you. You could follow these questions anywhere. I found that utterly mesmerizing, and I’m extremely grateful to him for giving me that opportunity, for entrusting me to work in the collection.”

A broad way of thinking Flemming’s Acadia studies also introduced him to the handson, experiential learning he promotes today. “As a student, you were thrown into all kinds of things,” he says. “Among them was bird-banding on Bon Portage Island, which was a powerful experience” (see Acadia Reminiscence). He now works on what he calls deep experiential tourism as a way to preserve the cultural flavour of rural Nova Scotia while boosting its economy, which is where the whale sanctuary comes in. Besides being the first in North America, it will be the first educational whale sanctuary anywhere. “There’ll be live feeds to schools and universities throughout the world,” he says, “and it will be set in a community that wants to be global while staying rural. That’s the kind of thing we’re trying to do here, and it all stems back to that mix of experiences I’ve had: running national parks, but also running living history. It goes back to Acadia, and that liberal arts broader way of thinking. All those things are linked together.”

Acadia Reminiscence “I would often hitchhike home to New Brunswick, but also out to do field work. I’d go off by myself, with a tent and my compass and so on, and my collecting bag and hammer. And I’d be out on a roadside, then walking through pastures to get to some field site so I could go collecting. I’d be out there in the bush by myself for two days collecting. In the modern world, in terms of workplace health and safety, this would not fly. But this was the 1980s, a very different world.” – Greg Edgecombe “I loved bird-banding on Bon Portage Island and banded the entire time I was there. Later on, I wound up getting a master’s banding licence and for years banded birds in Gros Morne National Park – I banded over 10,000 birds at their banding station. And that comes back to the hands-on experience at Bon Portage. There was lots of biology background, and the professors guided us, but we learned by doing.” – Stephen Flemming



By Fred Sgambati (’83)

Business leader Cathy Simpson promotes female empowerment and private sector growth in Atlantic Canada




fter nearly 30 years as a leader in the telecom and IT sector, two questions continue to inform Cathy Simpson’s (’90) work and excite her passion: how can she help others realize the power of technology to grow jobs and enhance the economy in Atlantic Canada? What can she do to get more young women interested in the tech sector? The questions are not mutually exclusive. Although one speaks directly to her mandate as CEO of the not-for-profit TechImpact and the other to her side hustle, Up+Go, both govern where she is personally and professionally at this point in her life and career and occupy much of her time and attention. TechImpact is a private sector-led organization focused on growing the technology industry in Atlantic Canada. Founded in 2009, its membership is comprised of the CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs of the larger technology companies and the largest IT consumers of technology in the region. For the past five years, Simpson has also been the Board Chair of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF), an independent non-profit corporation that specializes in venture capital and research investments in NB. Up+GO is a social enterprise that she launched in 2015. As her career path as

Photo: Fred Sgambati

Tech Impact


Cathy Simpson (’90) with her daughter Sophie Leonard (’20)

an executive trended upward – from product manager at NBTel to VP Marketing and VP People and Culture at T4G Ltd. (Technology for Growth) before joining TechImpact – Simpson noticed fewer and fewer women at the table. She wondered why there weren’t more senior women in the tech sector and realized that the problem lay in how young girls interpret their roles in traditionally maledominated industries.

Photo: Fred Sgambati

“I can do that!” As a result, she developed a program for high school girls, introducing them to female mentors from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) sector. She brought in CEOs, developers, doctors, data scientists, business analysts and project managers. The young women engaged in the discussions soon realized a curious and empowering thing that changed their perspective about tech opportunities: “I can do that!” Simpson has invested a lot of time and intellectual capital into Up+Go’s launch and success. “I’ve focused my career on how to use technology for good and looked at it from a user perspective. Technology is very much about people; how they interact and use technology to make their jobs and lives better. “As I grew my career, I discovered that there were not enough senior women in the tech sector and I wanted to give back: the question was, how do I get more girls and leaders interested in STEM, entrepreneurship and innovation? “A lot of the work I do with these girls,” Simpson adds, “goes back to Marketing 101, with four points on the curriculum curve: awareness; education; inspiration; and action.” The goal is to keep young women in the game when they don’t even know there’s a game at all. Tech talks and public events ensure that topics are front and centre. Simpson also hustles to get funding from federal, provincial and private sector resources to develop programs, matching young women with mentors, visiting businesses and acquainting them with technology. “We do it in a way that makes them see the possibilities,” Simpson says. “That’s what the next 10 years are all about: grow the industry, mentor girls, and keep women engaged and thriving.”

A bigger small town Born in Corner Brook, NL, Simpson grew up in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia. Her brother Ian (’86) and sister Christie (’90) are Acadia grads and she says the University has played a huge role in her personal and professional evolution. “Coming from a small town, Wolfville felt like a bigger small town,” she says. “The campus is very beautiful, with the Acadia sign out front and University Hall behind it. You just can’t beat it – it’s a remarkable place.” Mentors such as professors Dr. Scott Follows and Dr. Richard Sparkman “showed us in a really cool and interesting way that (communications and marketing) could be exciting and the different pathways we could take. Without them, I wouldn’t have known that there were product managers or communication specialists jobs out there.” Simpson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and later began working at NBTel. The rest, as they say, is history. Even now, the tradition continues. Simpson’s daughter Sophie Leonard (’20) is a Community Development grad who joined Up+Go in January and has been accepted into the Venture for Canada Fellowship program that started in May. Sophie says that her professors made all the difference as well. She felt initially overwhelmed coming to Acadia, but people and professors in the Community Development program were welcoming and genuine. “Professors invited me to their homes to have dinner and make apple cider,” she says. “The program is extremely hands-on and I could text my professors if I had a question. I told other kids about that and they’re like, ‘That’s insane!’” Her Acadia experience, like her Mom’s, was amazing and the connective tissue from one generation to another is strong. Cathy’s and Sophie’s experiences were foundational, multidisciplinary and collaborative, provoking a deep passion to do good work and make a difference at a fundamental, community level. “The first two-thirds of my career was very focused on growing and developing private sector organizations,” Simpson says. “The last third will be about what I can do to contribute to an industry that has been so good to me and to help others realize the power of technology to grow jobs and help our economy in Atlantic Canada.”



Serving Those Who Serve Research into the mental health of first responders is a necessary step to improve the well-being of those who serve on the front lines. Paramedicine pioneer Dr. Ron Stewart and former volunteer firefighter Robin Campbell are leading the way

By Rachel Cooper (’89)


e know too well the toll that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can take on the welfare of first responders, their families and their communities. Today, solid research is being done to alleviate this, and young researchers such as Robin Campbell (’08, ’13) are contributing to that work. Campbell, who joined the Wolfville Fire Department as an Acadia undergraduate in Recreation Management and served as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years, is now a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University. Her thesis, called “Sound the Siren,” is on the mental health needs of volunteer firefighters and other first responders in Nova Scotia – a research journey she is sharing on her soundthesiren. ca website. Campbell is also an associate researcher with Firewell (, a health and wellness online community for Canadian firefighters. “Training as a firefighter took me down a path I didn’t expect,” Campbell says. “As I experienced different things myself as a firefighter and saw what other firefighters were dealing with regarding their health and wellness, I became interested in what is happening to firefighters, especially those who volunteer.” Yet, until 1993, Nova Scotia had no coordinated emergency health service or 911 phone system in place. In fact, about 50 per cent of the ambulances were provided by morticians. Something needed to change – and in 1993, it did.

First paramedic program The person behind that change was Dr. Ron Stewart (’63, ’65, DSc ’88). During the 1970s and 1980s, Stewart was the first medical director of a paramedic program in the United



Ronald Stewart (’63, ’65, DSc ’88, with friend) promoting service dogs for mental health in first responders States, in Los Angeles. He and his team trained more than 1,800 paramedics for the streets of LA. He had a close relationship with the students, about 90 per cent of whom were from fire departments, and saw that many of them had serious psychological problems, reflected in high divorce rates, illness, and even suicidal ideation and attempts. By the 1980s, 80 per cent of the calls to the fire department were medical calls, yet most firefighters were unprepared for dealing with life and death situations and decisions. “Even more than that, some 40 per cent of those working in emergency services were Vietnam veterans, and those folks were scarred,” he says. “I knew something was going on, but it was pre-PTSD. We didn’t have a diagnosis.”

Photos courtesy of Dr. Ron Stewart and Robin Campbell.


Robin Campbell (’08, ’13)

He hired two psychologists and eventually convinced the LA fire service that it was in its best interest to study the students going through the curriculum and to provide counselling. Throughout the rest of Stewart’s career, the mental health of first responders has been high on his list of priorities. After 20 years of researching and developing the delivery of effective emergency-health services in other jurisdictions, Stewart returned home to Nova Scotia. In 1993, he ran in the provincial election in his home riding in Cape Breton. “The only way I could see the changes needed in Nova Scotia was through government,” he says. “I had no experience whatsoever in politics, but I saw the problems with the quality of health care.” Stewart served as Minister of Health from 1993 to 1996 and accomplished what he set out to do: the provincial government taking control of ground ambulance operations and consolidating them into the Emergency Health Services. “When we designed the Nova Scotia EHS system, significant attention had to be paid by the provider to the mental health of the paramedic workers,” he says.

The CUSO experience Back in 1959, when Stewart arrived at Acadia, he was the first in his family to graduate from high school and the only member of his graduating class to attend university.

“I chose Acadia specifically because, when I visited there, it had a sense of community,” he says. He did a BA in languages and music then switched to biology and completed a BSc two years later. He also won a scholarship from CUSO, the Canadian University Service Overseas, that took him to the Arctic and a project related to hemoglobin levels in Inuit children. “That was the first realization that I felt I could do something for a community,” he says. Even before that, another CUSO scholarship took him to Algeria in 1965, shortly after it had won independence from France. The poverty he witnessed opened his eyes, and working in the aftermath of a bomb that killed about 1,000 people, and the uncertainty of a country still at war, made him want to pursue a career in critical care and emergency medicine. He applied to Dalhousie Medical School the following year. “Acadia was where everything started because of those scholarships,” he says. Over the years, Stewart has won awards too numerous to catalogue here. They include the Order of Canada, the Order of Nova Scotia, and Hero of Emergency Medicine by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Now he is working with Acadia’s Department of Psychology on a major project on the mental health of first responders, using the community of Cape Breton Island medics as a study group. “I’m having a wonderful, wonderful life,” he says, “and part of it is due to my continual association with Acadia. I have a great ally in Acadia.”

Coming full circle For Campbell, her ties to Acadia remain unbroken. As she pursues her PhD, she works as a lecturer in Acadia’s Department of Community Development. “It’s almost like a full circle – being a student and now a faculty member,” she says. “Acadia, the department or the University as a whole, had that philosophy around being part of the community and giving back. If I hadn’t gone to Acadia, I would never have joined the fire department and I would never have been on the path that I’m on.”



Arts Degree to RCMP Officer Steve Larkin’s circuitous path to law enforcement a creative journey that began at Acadia

By Jim Prime (’69)


orget that tired old cliché about the Canadian boy who dreams of becoming a Mountie and then achieves his goal by following the same tried-and-true, step-by-step path. Consider this new cliché instead. First he goes to Acadia. After a few work-related interruptions he graduates with a BA in English, heavily armed with courses in children’s literature and creative writing. He then works almost two decades as a financial advisor. Finally, at the age of 38, he’s ready. He applies to the RCMP, but is told his eyesight isn’t good enough. He has laser surgery to correct it. He writes the aptitude tests, scores 4.5 out of 5 and is accepted into the RCMP, undergoes six months of rigorous training, graduates with flying colours, earns a spot on the iconic RCMP Musical Ride team, is assigned to escort the Queen during her trip to Parliament Hill, protects world leaders at the G7 Summit in Montreal in 2018, and is currently a highly qualified training officer within Canada’s national police force. Okay, so Steve Larkin’s (’93) path to becoming a member of the RCMP may not be well-trodden, but the point is, he arrived eventually. And, in fairness, he was a member of the campus police at Acadia.

Good advice

Photo courtesy of Stephen Larkin

A native of Bear River, N.S., Larkin is a former army cadet who rose to become a platoon commander with the West Nova Scotia regiment. After finishing high school, he was unsure what to do next. Enter Rev. Dr. Roger Prentice (’69, ’08), who was then the


Cpl. Stephen Larkin (’93) ACADIA BULLETIN SPRING 2020


Steve Larkin may not be using his English degree in the conventional manner, but there’s no shortage of drama or creativity in the work he does.

Baptist minister at Steve’s church in Annapolis Royal. “One day Roger told me he was going to Acadia to become chaplain at the Manning Memorial Chapel,” Larkin says. “He suggested I apply to Acadia.” Larkin followed Prentice’s advice and was accepted. After a brief flirtation with political science, he switched to English because his roommate was an English major. He walked into a creative writing course and found himself surrounded by art students and drama majors. He thought of his father’s army career and his own desire to be a police officer and briefly wondered how he fit in with this group. “But I loved it, I absolutely loved it,” he says. “It was brilliant. I especially enjoyed professor Hilary Thompson’s courses in children’s literature. They were fantastic.”

Challenging situations Larkin has had various postings, from British Columbia to New Brunswick, and encountered many unusual and challenging situations. On June 4, 2004, three RCMP officers were tragically ambushed and killed in Moncton. Larkin, who was stationed in nearby Blackville, was at CFB Gagetown when it happened, ironically training members on the use of much-needed carbines. “New Brunswick had just gotten their allotment,” he says. “Nobody was trained to use them yet and we were engaged in putting on the first-ever user course for that weapon. When we heard, we ended up throwing all that gear into trucks and driving to Moncton. We made it in an hour and ten minutes, but by then he had stopped shooting and was hiding. We spent the next 30 hours in a manhunt.” Larkin applied subsequently to Regina Depot for an instructor’s job and got it. The RCMP had initiated an

enhanced training regimen for members and Larkin was and is in the forefront of that training. After four years at Depot, he was offered a transfer to Ottawa. As “use of force” training coordinator in the national capital region, his duties are varied. “My main area of expertise is IARD training (Immediate Action Rapid Deployment), which deals with active threats. In the U.S. they call it ‘active shooter,’ but it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with a gun. It can be, for instance, somebody driving over people with a van on Yonge Street in Toronto. That’s my main job now.

“My suite of instructor credentials is all related to use of force,” he says. “Over the years, I’ve added to it. I’m a firearms instructor: I can teach pistol, shotgun and .308 rifle use to new members and regular members during their annual requalification. I’m a public place safety instructor, which is self-defense ground fighting, arresting, handcuffing, CEW Taser instruction, and carbine instruction. I’m also a basic trauma instructor, what you’d call combat first aid. The most rewarding thing is having a member come to us and say that they successfully used our training to help them in a tough situation.”

Steve Larkin may not be using his English degree in the conventional manner, but there’s no shortage of drama or creativity in the work he does. And since some stories demand a moral, consider this. He’s living proof of what some of us already know: a BA in English from Acadia University is a mighty and versatile tool.



Photo: courtesy of Barbara Putnam

Lessons Learned Barbara Putnam (’95)

Acadia community offered well-rounded experience that now governs military’s Director of Chaplain Services



By Jim Prime (’69)


arbara Putnam graduated from Acadia Divinity College (ADC) and Acadia University in 1995 with a Master of Divinity, having previously obtained a BSc in data analysis from UNB. She returned to the Wolfville campus in 2018 to receive the ADC Distinguished Alumni Award. The story of what happened in between, and how she came to be named one of Esprit de Corp magazine’s Top 20 Women in Defense in 2019, is interesting. After graduation from Acadia, the Saint John, NB native became an ordained minister in 1996 and pastored churches in her home province and Nova Scotia. In 2000, her career path took a turn as she left civilian life and enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a captain. “I entered the military just after the 1998 Swissair disaster and just prior to 9/11,” she says. “There were few Baptists in the Chaplain Service then and even fewer women. The early years of my career were spent in army field units, on mission in Afghanistan, and second language training.” She was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2003 with a National Command Element, Brigade Headquarters staff and soldiers from the 3 RCR Battalion Group to form rotation zero of Operation ATHENA, Canada’s first contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Col. (Rev.) Putnam then moved quickly through the ranks, graduating from the Canadian Forces College Joint Command and Staff Programme in 2011, being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2012 and full Colonel in 2016. Col. Putnam and her husband Bradford Putnam (’95) live in Ottawa, where she currently serves as Director of Chaplain Services in the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service, and as the Strategic Spiritual Advisor to Operation HONOUR, the CAF‘s mission to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Canadian military.

Photo: courtesy of Barbara Putnam

SPECIAL SECTION THOSE WHO SERVE “ The academic foundation that I received while an Acadia student prepared me extremely well for becoming a military chaplain...”

Acadia an excellent precursor

skills, leadership and advice throughout the spectrum of operations of the CAF.”

Although she didn’t know during her time at Acadia that her ministry would one day centre on the military, Col. Putnam believes that the Valley school prepared her fully for the daunting challenges ahead, including the deployment to Kabul. “The academic foundation that I received while an Acadia student prepared me extremely well for becoming a military chaplain,” she says. “The professors all had ministry experience and shared best practices with the students, which enriched and broadened the classroom experience.” Col. Putnam says that the closeknit atmosphere of the campus and town added an important dimension to her time there. “The entire Acadia community contributed to a well-rounded academic and social experience. It was an excellent precursor to becoming a member of the military family – and it was also the place where I met my spouse of nearly 25 years. “Acadia prepared me for one of the most rewarding aspects of my career so far – developing and updating training programs for chaplains, preparing them to work in a multi-faith environment, and giving them skills in counselling, ethics, resilience and leadership. “As chaplains, we provide first-line support to our soldiers, sailors and aviators, helping them to access all the resources they need to have a long and meaningful career in their chosen field while staying spiritually fit and resilient. Regardless of where I am called to serve, my underlying focus will always be on equipping, training and educating chaplains, who in turn will offer their

Spiritual wellness Col. Putnam was the first woman to reach the rank of colonel in the history of the Chaplaincy. She hopes to use her influence to keep that momentum going. “My desire is to ensure that the Chaplaincy is fully engaged in spiritual wellness and resilience activities with a healthy cadre of chaplains committed to diversity, inclusion and belonging,” she says. “As a senior chaplain, my role has become increasingly strategic, yet my calling will always be the spiritual and religious support of our military members and their families whom we are called to serve.” ADC President Rev. Dr. Harry Gardiner (’77) has known Col. Putnam and notes that “Barb is a highly organized leader who thinks strategically and is a very articulate communicator. As a woman of deep faith, she has served her country well in Canada and when deployed to Afghanistan and other places during uncertain and volatile conditions. She has ministered through listening and coming alongside her comrades as a Chaplain in everyday life and during deep losses. We were very pleased at Acadia Divinity College to award her with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award and I am very proud of her as a friend and colleague in ministry. It is no surprise that she has risen in rank as a Military Chaplain, a recognition and commendation of her service and person.”



Taylor Maclellan Cochr ane L A W Y E R S

Making Service A Matter of Practice Since 1835

Tel: (902) 678-6156 |



Unique Skills Trauma specialist Dr. Trevor Jain says service made him stronger, more reflective

By Jim Prime (’69)


n the wee hours of Sept. 3, 1998, Dr. Trevor Jain (’93) was awakened by a phone call that would change his life forever. At 10:36 the previous evening, Swissair flight 111, en route from New York’s JFK International Airport to Geneva, had crashed into the waters near Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people on board. Jain, an army reservist who was then in his final year at Dalhousie Medical School, has vivid memories of what followed. “At 3:30 in the morning I got a call from the duty officer from Brigade Headquarters. He said, ‘You’ve got to get up and turn on the news. There has been a plane crash.’ I hung up on him because I knew him and thought he was playing a joke on me. He called back and told me to report to Hangar B at CFB Shearwater. He said that the RCMP were on their way to my apartment to pick me up and to get my uniform on.’” When Jain arrived at the hangar, he was appointed pathology operations officer and told by Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer, John Butt, to get a morgue up and running. He immediately went to work. “The army teaches you how to be organized so I gathered the people – carpenters, electricians and others – around me and sketched out a diagram remembering what I needed for supplies to do autopsies from when I was a pathology assistant while at Acadia. I said, ‘This is what we’re going to do and they did it.’”

Indispensible Nothing can prepare you for an event like the Swissair disaster, but Jain possessed a unique set of skills that made him indispensable to Joint Task Force Atlantic. By the time he graduated from Acadia in 1993 with a BSc in biology, Jain already had the kind of resume that demanded respect. As part of the pre-med program, he was expected to volunteer at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville. While his colleagues took jobs at gift shops and other stress-free assignments, Jain opted for front line medical experience. “I



volunteered, believe it or not, in the pathology lab because of the microbiology component. I participated in autopsies, was trained in doing them, and was even paid to do them on a part-time basis. “That was why they contacted me. I had worked in a morgue and had 12 years of infantry training,” he says. “I had my pilot’s license so I was already an aviator, a pathology morgue manager, and an army officer (captain) when the plane went down. I was qualified to do this.” Jain has also served in Bosnia, Iraq and other world trouble spots. “Of the five deployments that I’ve done, the morgue was the worst by far,” he says, and the horrific event has left a mark. At random times, he still smells JP8 jet fuel and doesn’t like flying over water. “Sometimes when I shake someone’s hand, I find myself mentally dictating descriptions as if doing an autopsy. The experience made me stronger, but more reflective. I appreciate people more now.”

Praise for Acadia Jain, who in 1999 was awarded the meritorious Service Medal of Canada by the Governor-General for the key role he played in the aftermath of Swissair 111, has nothing but praise for Acadia. “Acadia was a phenomenal educational institution for me - in all aspects: not only academics, but in my life. I wasn’t a top student, but my biology professor, Dr. Hilda Taylor, recognized something in me, some untapped potential, and supported and encouraged me. That wouldn’t have happened anywhere else. “The first year-and-a-half, I wasn’t doing as well as I could have. I’m sure there were professors who said that I wasn’t trying very hard. That’s when she took a vested interest in me, became my advocate and had my back. We clicked. She got me. When I struggled with a variety of things she was always there. She took a carrot-and-stick approach to get me on track, and only at Acadia would that happen. If I had


He has received many accolades throughout his career, but perhaps the most noteworthy is the Order of Military Merit (officer level), awarded in November 2018.

Dr. Trevor Jain (’93).

gone (elsewhere) I would have graduated with a C-minus.” Jain’s father, Dr. Nirmal Jain, was a long-time Acadia employee and librarian in the Vaughan Memorial Library and his mother, June, an Annapolis Valley educator, is an Acadia graduate (‘78, ’93). They stoked his love of learning and led him to develop a keen interest in disaster medicine. After completing three years of additional emergency medical training at Queen’s University, he taught disaster medicine in Europe and Atlantic Canada and helped to initiate a BSc in paramedicine for the Atlantic region. He is currently the Medical Director for paramedicine programs at Holland College on Prince Edward Island. He is an attending emergency physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown and Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie. Jain is currently completing his PhD in disaster medicine and continues to serve in the army as the 36th Canadian Brigade Group Surgeon and Deputy Commanding Officer of the PEI Regiment. He has received many accolades throughout his career, but perhaps the most noteworthy is the Order of Military Merit (officer level), awarded in November 2018. It’s the second highest military honour presented by the Governor-General to recognize outstanding military service, and of the 26,000 people enlisted in the Canadian military at that time, Jain was one of only five to receive the clasp. To make it even more poignant, he was nominated for the honour by members of his own brigade. Jain lives on Prince Edward Island with his wife and two daughters.



Honouring Constable Heidi Stevenson (’93) By Fred Sgambati (’83)


n April, the Acadia community was deeply saddened by the tragic death of alumna Constable Heidi (Burkholder) Stevenson (’93), a 23-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who was killed in the line of duty. Originally from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Heidi earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology at Acadia. She forged many lifelong friendships at Acadia and discovered during her time in Wolfville an interest in rugby, a sport she would later coach as part of her commitment to inspire young girls and give back to her community. While at Acadia, Heidi also worked part-time with Campus Safety and Security, and that’s where her interest in policing began. Classmate Traci (Oldford) Crouse (’93, ’96) met Heidi while serving on the Safety and Security team. Speaking on behalf of a group of Heidi’s long-time friends, including Kelly Sullivan (’93, ’95), Rosina (Gale) Thompson (’91, ’94), Marlene (Sweeney) MacMurtry (’94, ’04), Sarah KeavenyVos (’92), Juliette Hunter (’94), and TD “Eddie” Edison (’93), Traci says, “our friendships began at Acadia, at a time in our lives when we were growing and changing. And when you do things right, which Heidi did, those friendships carry you through the rest of your life. Decades later, those same friendships are effortless, regardless of geography and the passage of time.” There was no doubt that when Heidi graduated from Acadia she would become an RCMP officer. Over the next 23 years as an active member, she represented the RCMP as part of the Musical Ride, worked at headquarters as a Drug Recognition expert, and engaged in general duty, community policing, communications and training. She turned colleagues into friends and was a role model for many in the communities she served. A wonderful wife to Dean and mother of two children, Connor and Ava, she gave her life in the service and protection of others. Deepest condolences on behalf of Acadia’s alumni community are extended to her husband, children, extended family and friends in the wake of this tragedy.



Heidi’s wonderful influence on her family, those close to her and members of the community who came to know and love her is immeasurable. She is a shining example of what is brightest and best at Acadia, and we salute her incredible commitment to service and selfless sacrifice. To honour her sacrifice and commemorate her remarkable personal and professional achievements, Acadia University has established the Constable Heidi Stevenson Memorial Award: Constable Heidi Stevenson Memorial Award . Established in 2020 in honour of Constable Heidi Stevenson (‘93), who gave her life in the line of duty on April 19, 2020. To be awarded annually to a student entering the final year of a degree program who has served at least one year as a member of Safety and Security and who is intending to pursue a career in law enforcement. To be awarded on the recommendation of the Director of Safety and Security. Value: up to $1,000.

“It is impossible to calculate the tremendous positive impact Heidi Stevenson had on her family, friends and the many community members with whom she connected during her 23-year career with the RCMP,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter Ricketts. “Her passion for police work began at Acadia while she was a member of our Safety and Security team and it inspired in her a love for policing and respect for law and order that was evident throughout her brilliant career. The Acadia family is devastated by her sudden loss and I believe it is entirely appropriate and fitting to honour her memory and commemorate her sacrifice with the creation of this Memorial Award.” If you would like to honour Heidi’s memory and make a donation in her name, please visit: HeidiStevenson.


Photo: Peter Oleskevich

Acadia alumna Mrugakshee Palwe (’18) with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Sheldon L. Fountain Learning Commons at Acadia.

Prime Minister Surprises 45 New Canadians

By Sherri Turner


elcome home,” are two words often heard by people participating in citizenship ceremonies across Canada each year. But for 45 new Canadian citizens from 13 countries attending a ceremony at Acadia University, the messenger was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. His attendance at the Wolfville event on March 3, 2020, was a guarded secret, feigned as a technical glitch in a standard video message from Parliament Hill. When he walked to the podium, the room erupted in applause. “It is incredible for me to join you on such a special day,” Trudeau said. “Being Canadian is a concept far too rich to be confined by geography or defined by faith or ethnicity. People of all backgrounds built this country and we are all the better for it.” Trudeau encouraged each new citizen to celebrate the journey that led them to choose Canada and to mark the day as the start of new chapter in their lives as Canadians. “From where I’m standing, the future looks very bright because people like you have chosen Canada. Welcome home,” he said.

Alumna becomes a Canadian at “home” One new Canadian in the room already felt at home. Mrugakshee Palwe (’18) from Pune, India came to Canada when she was 18 to study computer science at Acadia. Today, Palwe is the co-founder of Atlantic Blockchain Company in Halifax. She was thrilled to be back on campus. “Acadia is where I started my journey and this is where I get to become a Canadian citizen,” she said, explaining that in 2010 her entire family was considering moving to the country. When that fell through, she decided to take the leap herself by attending university in Canada. “For me, the most meaningful part was standing with people

from all over the world to take the oath and sing the national anthem together,” Palwe said. “Living here and being part of the university community has taught me so much about the values of acceptance and diversity — no matter where we came from or what language we speak, Canada accepted us with open arms. I’m excited to start this new chapter as a citizen and to be part of shaping the story of this great country.”

A special ceremony Acadia University hosted the March 3 ceremony in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The day began with a welcome by Elder Lorraine Whitman before proceeding to a roundtable discussion. In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD) in March – which is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women – the roundtable discussions were led by women leaders from Acadia and its alumni community. “Acadia is delighted to take part in this special occasion and to recognize this important milestone for the newest members of our Canadian family,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia University. “I can relate to how some of you are feeling today.” Ricketts took part in a similar citizenship ceremony in 1983 when he swore an oath to become a Canadian citizen. The ceremony he participated in was held in Halifax and presided by Acadia alumna, Judge Joan Fraser (’54), who was present at the Wolfville event. “This is an important ceremony that we are honoured to host on our campus as we celebrate the diversity and inclusion of our great country, our campus and our community,” he said.





Photo: Fred Sgambati

Professor Emeritus Dr. Roy Bishop endorses Campaign for Acadia with generous gift By Fred Sgambati (’83)

SOFT-SPOKEN AND AS BRILLIANT as the stars that have captivated his imagination since childhood, Acadia alumnus and former faculty member Dr. Roy Bishop (CAS ’59, BSCH ’61) has always embraced academic and educational pursuits with meticulous scholarship and persistent inquiry. He shared this commitment to understanding the physics of things during four terms as head of the Physics Department at Acadia before being named Professor Emeritus and Honorary Research Associate on his retirement. Dr. Bishop has had an illustrious career in the physics and astronomy world. His academic honours and accolades are extensive. In 1997 he was honoured by the International Astronomical Union when asteroid #6901 was named Roybishop. He has been recognized by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) as Honorary President and Observer’s Handbook Editor Emeritus, was named a Fellow of the RASC in 2013, and in 2012 was inducted into the Discovery Centre Science Hall of Fame in Nova Scotia. Perhaps equally important has been his abiding commitment to student success at Acadia, and this is certainly evident in his generous philanthropy. On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of Acadia’s administration gathered in the Wu Welcome Centre at Alumni Hall to celebrate Dr. Bishop and his tremendous gift to enhance the endowment established by his mother, the Florence Jodrey Bishop Scholarship fund for Business and Physics. In making this gift, Dr. Bishop honoured his mother 24


by adding a third scholarship in English, since this was her degree. The endowment fund now stands at over $300,000 thanks to Dr. Bishop’s contribution. A legacy for students Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) lauded Dr. Bishop for supporting Campaign for Acadia, the most ambitious fundraiser in the University’s history, and thanked him “for creating a legacy to benefit students for generations to come.”

“We are here this afternoon because of an Acadia student who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree 85 years ago. Sixty years later, she made provision in her will for two scholarships at Acadia, one in Business and one in Physics, departments from which her two sons had graduated, and in which they subsequently taught.” – Professor Emeritus Dr. Roy Bishop She also cited Dr. Bishop’s strong filial connections to the University. His paternal grandfather, George Lovett Watson Bishop, graduated from Acadia in 1899 with a Bachelor of Arts. His maternal grandmother, Lena Isabel (Coldwell) Jodrey, graduated with a Business Certificate in 1909 and 54 years later her husband, Roy A. Jodrey, received an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from Acadia.

Photo: Fred Sgambati

Dr. Bishop’s mother, Florence Mae Jodrey, graduated in 1934 with a BA. Florence’s four children – Roy, George, Marianne and Joan – all attended and graduated from Acadia over a 10-year period, 1959 to 1969.

she made provision in her will for two scholarships at Acadia, one in Business and one in Physics, departments from which her two sons had graduated, and in which they subsequently taught.

Also in attendance were representatives of the fourth and fifth generations of the Bishop family. Roy’s and Gertrude’s son Grant and wife Sherry are Acadia graduates from the 1980s and the Bishops’ granddaughter, Kyra Florence Cuthbertson, is a current student in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

“Rising tuition costs may discourage some from making one of the most important investments of their lives – their education. To counter inflation, to thank Acadia University for its influence on my life, and to further honour the memory of Florence Mae Jodrey, I have increased the scholarship endowment of her Business and Physics scholarships from $20,000 to $100,000 each, and I established a third scholarship with a similar endowment, the Florence Jodrey Bishop Scholarship in English.”

Handrigan invited two of this year’s recipients of the Florence Jodrey Bishop Scholarships to say a few words as well. Tanden Cook (Physics) and Alexander (AJ) Allain (Business) both expressed their gratitude for the scholarship support.

Dr. Bishop concluded his remarks with a few words about his own experience at Acadia. “I spent five years as a student at Acadia, first in the engineering program, after which I returned for a science honours degree. Those Acadia years had a profound, positive impact on my life. The impact was due primarily to professors, several from whom I took classes, and a few I came to know informally.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Roy Bishop (CAS ’59, BSCH ’61) with this year’s recipients of the Florence Jodrey Bishop Scholarships: Hannah Fisk (English), Tanden Cook (Physics) and Alexander (AJ) Allain (Business). Photo: Fred Sgambati

An investment in education Dr. Bishop spoke fondly of his mother, saying, “we are here this afternoon because of an Acadia student who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree 85 years ago. Sixty years later,

“That was 60 years ago, so hardly anyone in this room today knew those professors. For a brief moment I wish to mention a few of them, to bring their names out of the mists of the past, Acadia professors who introduced me to so much intellectual beauty when I was between 17 and 21 years of age: In the Arts faculty: Keith Thomas, English; Walter Kurth, German; and Friedl Gmeiner, Music. In the Science faculty: Bernard Cain (’33) and Edgar DeWolfe (’24), Engineering; Doug Snow (’43) and Jacob Cukierman, Mathematics; Bill Noble and Ray Magarvey (’49), Physics; and, more recently, Merritt Gibson (’51) and Sherman Bleakney (’49), in Biology. It is professors like those who make a university worthy of the name. They helped to establish Acadia’s excellent reputation.”

The PETNA Foundation sponsors refugee student Acadia University was pleased to welcome Yese Mambe Ruhembuza to Wolfville and to the Acadia family when he arrived last fall from a refugee camp in Malawi, where his family remains. Originally from the Congo, Yese benefitted from a generous commitment by The PETNA Foundation, founded by Nicholas and Janice Braithwaite of California. Yese is studying business and enjoys being part of the university and local community, including membership in several clubs, volunteering at the Wong International Centre, and attending athletics events. Yese Mambe Ruhembuza with Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia University’s Vice-President, Advancement.





Alumna Dr. Elizabeth Cannon supports Campaign for Acadia DR. ELIZABETH CANNON (’82, ’10) is a passionate advocate for the importance of higher education in driving discovery and innovation, finding solutions for the world’s greatest challenges, and fostering the talents of young women and men who will become our future leaders.

Elizabeth Cannon Swimming Awards. These awards are granted, on the recommendation of the Director of Athletics and the coach of the varsity swim team, to female studentathletes who are members of the varsity swim team in recognition of academic and athletic excellence, and financial need.

A proud alumna who earned two degrees at Acadia, Dr. Cannon’s commitment to the University has never wavered no matter where her enviable career has taken her – most notably her tenure as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary (2010–2018).

Dr. Ricketts thanked Dr. Cannon for her commitment and said, “On behalf of all members of the Acadia community, we are extremely grateful for this very kind and generous gift. We are also exceedingly proud of all you’ve accomplished and know you’ll continue to have tremendous influence in science and engineering. Your support for our WISE program and female student-athlete swimmers is a shining example for all of us to model, and I know that these awards will have major impact now and for years to come.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, Acadia University welcomed Dr. Cannon back to campus. She met with President Dr. Peter Ricketts, chatted with Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) students and faculty, and announced in the new McCain Commons a generous gift of $265,000 in support of Campaign for Acadia. A donor since 1989, Dr. Cannon’s latest gift will have a tremendous impact on Acadia, its students, faculty and staff for generations by establishing: Elizabeth Cannon WISE Awards. These awards are granted, on the recommendation of the Dean of Science or designate, to female students majoring in science in recognition of academic excellence, financial need, and involvement in Acadia’s WISE program. 26

By Fred Sgambati (’83)


Dr. Cannon’s resume is both extensive and impressive, and she is indeed a titan in the post-secondary milieu. She is President Emerita and a professor of geomatics engineering at University of Calgary, and served as President and ViceChancellor from July 2010 to December 2018. An expert in geomatics engineering, Dr. Cannon’s research has been on the frontier of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) since 1984 in both academia and industry, and she has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide.

She has a long history of working effectively with industry and the surrounding community, has served on numerous public- and private-sector boards, with national advisory groups and community committees, including positions as: past-president of the U.S.-based Institute of Navigation; board member and interim chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation; and board member of the Royal Society of Canada, the Alberta Ingenuity Fund, and the TELUS SPARK World of Science. She is currently Chair of the Canadian Knowledge Research Network board of directors, member of the board of directors of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), and is ViceChair of the U15 Group of Canadian Universities.


Dr. Cannon is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the U.S. Institute of Navigation, and was inducted as a foreign associate into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2011. Throughout her career, Dr. Cannon has championed women in nontraditional areas and worked to ensure that women receive opportunities to excel, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She is the recipient of many honours and awards, including the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, the world’s most prestigious satellite navigation prize; NSERC’s E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, one of Canada’s premier science and engineering prizes; the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers’ Young Engineer Achievement Award; and, in 2013, the Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada. In 1998, she was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40; in 2006, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network; and in 2009 was recognized with the ASTech Outstanding Contribution to Alberta Science and Technology Community award. Dr. Cannon holds a BSc in mathematics and CAS from Acadia University and a BSc, MSc and PhD in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa, Acadia University and Université de Montreal, and was the Acadia Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2014. Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, Dr. Cannon was an active athlete who competed as a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) swimmer during her undergraduate studies. She is married to geomatics engineering professor Gérard Lachapelle and has two children.

$ 75,000,000 CAMPAIGN GOAL













Sustaining beautiful Bon Portage Island When a remote island offers an absolutely beautiful environment that changes your life, pledging money to help sustain it seems natural. Volunteering on Bon Portage Island (left to right): Brian Merry (’97), Mike O’Brien (’75, ’82), and Andy Blackadar (’97).

By Rachel Cooper (’89) Photos courtesy of Andy Blackadar

FOR DR. ANDY BLACKADAR (’97), the influence of Bon Portage Island changed not only where he chose to live – Liverpool, Nova Scotia – but also his career as a physician. “If it weren’t for Bon Portage, I might have ended up in a big city practice somewhere, specializing and living in an urban environment,” he says. “Instead, I chose rural family medicine with lots of access to nature.” Bon Portage, shown on most charts as Outer Island, is off the tip of southwestern Nova Scotia near Shag Harbour. Gifted to Acadia University and protected by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, the island draws biologists from across North America and Europe and is home to Acadia’s field biology research station. “For Acadia students, the ability to access the island is amazing,” Blackadar says. “It’s an incredible asset, especially when you think about the number of students who have done Honours or Master’s work there. It’s an under-recognized gem.” Blackadar’s first visit to the island was in 1996, his third year in biology at Acadia, when a friend signed them both up as a lark to help with the island’s fall organization and to shut down its systems for winter. “I was fortunate to have a solid scholarship when I went to Acadia and always felt it was something that needed to be returned,” he says. “So if I had to pick something that most changed my life at that age, it would be that island and its people. It was so grounding to be in that natural environment, to work with your hands and to sing songs until two in the morning. And the fellowship of the group is tight – it’s like a family.”

Since that first visit, Blackadar has returned to Bon Portage nearly every year. “I flew back from Thunder Bay when I was a resident to go for that weekend,” he says. “We’ve gone in the summer with our kids. It’s a wonderful place, and it’s amazing to see, year after year, a different group of young biologists doing research. You hear about what they’re studying and watch them grow as researchers and individuals. Sometimes they let you hold a bird in your hands, which is super-neat. That’s the real story of the island.” He also points to the work of Danielle Quinn (BSc ’10, MSc ’13), a young PhD student in biology at Memorial University. She is president and an instructor with the Terranaut Club, which provides science and nature exploration for girls. “They do trips to Bon Portage to do field work,” Blackadar says, “and many kids are from families that might not otherwise be able to access this kind of programming. Girls are having amazing experiences and are being encouraged to explore their future in science. It’s another perfect fit for Bon Portage.” Keeping Bon Portage running takes a lot of work and relies on a dedicated team of volunteers. Blackadar has pledged funds over six years to support the island, but he acknowledges that many alumni may not be in a position to make a major contribution to Acadia. “If you can make a minor contribution, it’s still important,” he says. “Think back to the experiences you had at Acadia, how they helped shape who you are, and own the responsibility to ensure that another generation can have the same. We are only as big as our community.”

To donate to the work at Bon Portage, please visit: or mail a cheque to the Office of Advancement, 15 University Avenue, Wolfville, NS, B4P 2R6. 28



JEFF AUCOIN (’96) Jeff Aucoin lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, but grew up in Reserve Mines, Cape Breton. Jeff graduated from Acadia in 1996 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He was a varsity athlete while at Acadia as a member of the Axemen soccer team and was team captain in 1995. Jeff is a passionate supporter of Acadia Athletics, especially the soccer Axemen. After Acadia, he obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 1997 and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2004, both from Dalhousie University. Jeff has been a lawyer at McInnes Cooper since being called to the bar in 2005 and has developed a practice in commercial leasing disputes, construction disputes, insurance defense, and product liability matters. Jeff became a partner at McInnes Cooper in 2014. He is ranked by Benchmark Canada in the areas of commercial law, product liability and construction law, and has been recognized as a Benchmark Litigation Star. Jeff is married to Susan (MacKay) Aucoin (’96) and they are working hard to have their three children – Abbey, Marin and Ryan – follow in the Acadia tradition. Jeff is active within the local soccer community as a coach, fan and parent.

CAROL D’AMELIO (’72) Carol D’Amelio graduated from Acadia University in 1972. She is a former teacher and City and Regional Councillor (1995 to 2001). After more than six years in Saudi Arabia, she and her family moved to Burlington in 1988 and she has been active in the community ever since. Carol was the Halton District School Board’s appointee to the Burlington Public Library Board in 1994 after leading a petition to build a library branch in northeast Burlington. She is a member of the Burlington Museum’s Foundation Board, the Halton Poverty Reduction Round Table, co-founder of CAPP for Kids, and is on a sub-committee of the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame. Carol was co-chair of the Tansley United Church Board and now serves on the Transition Board for the amalgamation of Tansley United with St. Stephen United. Carol is married to Frank D’Amelio (’72). They have three grown sons and three grandchildren.

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Alumni Association Names Distinguished and Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipients Pandemic forces cancellation of Alumni Dinner; Association will honour 2020 awardees at next year’s event

By Fred Sgambati (’83)


n the challenging situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping the health and safety of Acadia’s students, employees, alumni and stakeholders in the centre of the frame, the Office of Advancement and the Acadia Alumni Association announced in March the cancellation of this year’s Annual Alumni Dinner and Awards ceremony, slated for May 14 in Halifax. Distinguished Alumni Award and Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients Dr. Catharine Farrow (’89) and Mr. Paul McFarland (’10) will be formally honoured at the 2021 Alumni Dinner and Awards event.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient Dr. Catharine Farrow (‘89), PhD PGeo ICD.D Dr. Catharine Farrow is a Professional Geoscientist (APGO) and accredited Corporate Director (ICD) with more than 25 years of mining industry experience. She currently serves as a Director of Franco-Nevada Corporation and Centamin plc, is Chair of the Board of Exiro Minerals Corp., and is the inaugural Member of the Advisory Board of Behr Technologies Inc., an Industrial IoT (Internet of Things)



technology company. Catharine obtained her BSc (Hons) from Mount Allison University, her MSc from Acadia University and her PhD from Carleton University. For more, please visit: “This award is a tremendous honour,” Catharine says. “It is overwhelming to think of all the Acadia graduates for more than 180 years, some of whom have made an incredible impact on the world. To be recognized with this award with that knowledge is absolutely amazing.”

Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipient Paul McFarland (‘10) Paul McFarland was hired in May 2019 as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. He graduated from Acadia with a BBA in 2010 and worked previously as an accountant and teacher. The Richmond Hill native also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers, building on an impressive resume that included three seasons as head coach of the Kingston

Nominations open The Acadia University Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the truly outstanding achievements of a graduate of Acadia University whose endeavours have distinguished them in their chosen profession or community. Nomination deadline is October 31. The Associated Alumni Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes Acadia alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years whose endeavours in professional research, athletics, the arts, the community or other areas worthy of recognition bring honour to the University. Nomination deadline is July 31. The Acadia Alumni Association also sponsors a number of other awards, including the Acadia Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. It recognizes a continued record of excellence in teaching students and future alumni of Acadia University with a focus on the faculty member’s professional and teaching accomplishments. Nomination deadline is November 30.

For more information on Alumni Association Awards, please visit: https://www2.acadiau. ca/alumni-friends/alumni/awards.html

Photo: Light And Lens Photography

Frontenacs (2014-17) and two seasons as an assistant with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). For more, please visit: alumni/awards.html. “I’m extremely humbled to receive this award,” Paul says. “It’s not something you ever expect to be honoured with, but I think it is, for me, a testament to my experience at Acadia through the coaching of (head hockey coach) Darren Burns (’95) and his staff. As well as my teammates and classmates, he has really done a great job shaping me into the person that I am today and I’m grateful for all the time that I spent, and continue to spend, at Acadia.”

Life Officers for the Graduating Class of 2020: (back left) Taylor Wilson – President; (back right) Danielle Madore – Treasurer; (front left) Zoe Croke – Secretary; and (front right) Katie Woods – Vice-President.

Congratulations  to the Class of 2020!

The graduation of Acadia’s Class of 2020 is, in the words of University President Dr. Peter Ricketts, “a remarkable feat of determination, resilience and ingenuity. Faculty, staff and students worked together to ensure that all students were able to complete their academic studies for the winter term, and that our graduating students were not delayed in receiving their degrees and certificates.” With outstanding support from Technology Services and Open Acadia, faculty and staff were able to continue to operate remotely in support of our students as they worked to complete their term. The University plans to hold Convocation in the fall and it is hoped that many will be able to return to campus for that occasion. Acadia is also exploring opportunities to celebrate the Class of 2020 in certain locations across Canada and internationally. Dr. Ricketts said, “we marked their actual graduation in May with a number of video and written messages and mementos along with their parchments, but these will not replace the actual Convocation ceremonies that we will hold later in the year so that they can physically celebrate their achievements with their classmates. The Class of 2020 will be unique in many ways, and this may serve to give them an even stronger bond and commitment to keep in touch and celebrate future anniversaries in ways they couldn’t at their time of graduation. In so many ways, this class epitomizes Acadia’s motto – in pulvere vinces – through hard work, we succeed.”



Dedicated Staff, Talented Student-Athletes Acadia Athletics celebrates incredible year with championship seasons and MVPs galore

By Eric Cederberg (’94)


cadia Athletics is proud to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of its studentathletes for the 2019-2020 season. Led by a dedicated coaching staff and talented studentathletes, Acadia Athletics celebrated seven of 11 varsity programs competing in an AUS championship final. “We had an exceptional season, with two teams winning their respective championships and Acadia Athletics having the highest ranking in an AUS allsport power ranking based on our accomplishments in all varsity sports,” said Kevin Dickie, Executive Director of Athletics and Community Events. The Axemen football team dominated the AUS regular season, going 8-0 and being one of only two U SPORTS teams that were undefeated this season. The Axemen capped it off by handing the Bishop’s Gaiters a 31-1 loss in the AUS Championship and celebrating their second AUS title in three years. Meanwhile, in the pool, the men’s swim team led the AUS, boasting three of four meet wins and snapping Dalhousie’s 21 consecutive AUS




Hunter Guenard (facing page); Monique Coffey (left); Logan Flodell (below).

Fifty-nine individual accolades Beyond team competition, Acadia studentathletes and coaches were honoured with an astounding 59 awards for individual accolades in athletics, coaching and community service. Acadia’s student-athletes and staff were

recognized with 47 AUS awards and all-star titles, including four coaches of the year, three most valuable players, four AUS community service awards, six other major awards, and 30 all-stars. First-year athletes Sydney Zakutney (volleyball), Dean Sangster (swimming) and Sarah Palfy (rugby) were named AUS rookies of the year. Monique Coffey got the nod as the AUS women’s rugby MVP after scoring five tries in the regular season for 25 points and managing two tries in Acadia’s 52-20 playoff win over the UPEI Panthers in the AUS semi-finals. Coffey was also named a U SPORTS All-Canadian. Football quarterback Hunter Guenard was honoured as the AUS Most Valuable Player. Guenard’s passing precision was the Axemen’s not-so-secret weapon and he led the conference in all passing statistics. The hockey Axemen finished the season second in the AUS standings, with the help of second-year goaltender and AUS MVP Logan Flodell. Flodell led the AUS with a 0.918 save percentage and was instrumental during a


Photos: Peter Oleskevich

championship streak by winning its first AUS title since 1981. “The performance of both the men’s and women’s teams was due to many factors, including successful recruitment, an emphasis on great work ethic and a developed culture of a winning mindset. It was a nice mix of both veterans and rookies all striving to become a championship team. Besides our AUS results, we had a vast improvement in the number of qualifiers who attended the U SPORTS championships in Victoria (10 swimmers),” said swimming head coach Gary McDonald, who was named AUS coach of the year. In national competition, six of Acadia’s 11 teams attended a U SPORTS championship this past season, including hosting football’s Uteck Bowl semi-final. Axewomen soccer also hosted and ousted the top-ranked York Lions in quarterfinal action. The Axewomen’s fourth-place finish marked the highest national result since 1991.


Photo: courtesy Acadia Athletics

Liam Maaskant (’19, centre) with Executive Director, Athletics Kevin Dickie (left) and University President Dr. Peter Ricketts.

season that saw the Axemen thrive despite a shortened bench due to injuries. Named as a U SPORTS second team All-Canadian, Flodell was credited by head coach Darren Burns (’95) for leading the team to the AUS championship series versus UNB. “Logan had an outstanding season and is very deserving of the AUS MVP award. We think the sky is the limit for his future success.”

National awards Nationally, the Axemen and Axewomen were represented by 10 U SPORTS All-Canadians and AllRookie team members. Acadia hockey Axeman Liam Maaskant was honoured as the U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Dr. Randy Gregg Award winner, presented at the 2020 Cavendish U Cup U SPORTS Men’s Hockey All-Canadian Awards Banquet hosted by Acadia University. The Dr. Randy Gregg Award is presented annually by U SPORTS to an ice hockey player who has exhibited outstanding achievement in men’s hockey, academics and community involvement. “A three-year President of our Athlete Council and our greatest advocate in the area of mental health awareness, Liam is presently our student ambassador for the new Acadia 4U student-athlete support program. Beyond that, his involvement in our community might be as significant as any studentathlete has contributed in the history of Acadia Athletics,” Dickie said. This past March’s University Cup was the fourth consecutive national championship hosted by Acadia Athletics, making Acadia University one of only three universities to do so.



122 Academic All-Canadians Acadia’s nominees for the U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian Awards were recognized at a fall reception. Soccer’s Alexandra Scovil and basketball’s Forest Mahoney were acknowledged as Acadia’s nominees. In addition to conference and national recognition, Acadia Athletics recognized three individuals as our Athletes of the Year. Two females were co-winners of the Jean Marsh Outstanding Female Athletes of the Year: volleyball’s Lucy Glen-Carter and basketball’s Haley McDonald. Flodell was named The Athenaeum Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year. Last but certainly not least, Acadia Athletics shattered the previous record of 116 U SPORTS Academic AllCanadians with an astounding 122 this year, accounting for nearly half of Acadia’s student-athletes. Acadia Athletics was one of only 12 U SPORTS member schools with over 100 Academic All-Canadians. “While it is important that we celebrate our best academic achievements, we are even more impressed with our graduation rate and overall sessional GPA. Every Acadia student-athlete has put a great effort into this incredible achievement,” Dickie said. “The season concluded so suddenly,” he added, “with the suspension of the University Cup, and during the uncertainty and difficulty of this spring for so many people across the world, I’ve thought so often about our alumni because they are sincerely the foundation of what makes Acadia Athletics so special. By the same token, we have an amazing group of present Axewomen and Axemen and I can’t wait to watch them play the sports they love again in 2020-21.”

Photo: Fred Sgambati

Photo: courtesy Acadia Athletics

Faculty, staff and alumni support add momentum to COVID-19 Student Relief Fund effort Dr. Peter Ricketts By Fred Sgambati (‘83)


hen Acadia’s faculty, staff, alumni and friends say that the University’s students are a top priority, they don’t fool around. They put their money where their mouth is. Quickly, and without hesitation. Take, for instance, Acadia’s recently announced COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. Set up in recognition of the financial difficulties facing Acadia’s students and their families as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Fund will provide bursary support in variable amounts to second, third and fourthyear students facing ongoing and/or summer employment disruption or other financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Relief will be provided based on the number of applications received and funds available for distribution. Announced on April 9, 2020 by University President Dr. Peter Ricketts, support for Acadia’s students came in almost immediately. The first gift arrived less than five minutes after an e-mail appeal was sent to Acadia’s faculty and staff, and six more within 15 minutes. Since then, the Fund has grown to $170,000 thanks to numerous contributions from Acadia’s employees, alumni and friends, and continues to attract muchneeded support. The largest single contribution to date, announced in midMay, was a very generous donation of $50,000 from the Acadia Alumni Association. Alumni Association President Donalda MacBeath (’75) said, “we’re delighted to support Acadia’s students and ensure that the unique learning opportunities that represent the University’s academic and social experiences will continue to be available to them. We look forward to welcoming them to our alumni family upon graduation, and are committed to their success in attaining that goal by allocating resources to this Fund now and in the future, depending on need.” “The response has been heart-warming,” Ricketts says, “and represents in a very tangible and direct way the Acadia community’s commitment to the financial health and welfare of our students. I would personally like to thank all those who have donated to this point, and I encourage others to do so to ensure that our students can continue to enjoy the transformative educational experience we offer here at

Acadia. We are stronger together, and Acadia will continue to flourish if we value the importance of compassion and human relationships as exemplified by this important initiative.” Members of Acadia’s on-campus family and alumni around the world have recognized the need and stepped up. Mathematics professor Dr. Richard Karsten didn’t hesitate to get involved, saying, “After receiving the President’s message, one of my first responses was, ‘How do I donate?’” It’s a sentiment shared far and wide, including among many members of the University’s alumni community, and endorsed particularly by MacBeath. “Coming from a family of five, it was a challenge for my siblings and I to attend university. With summer jobs, student loans, bursary and scholarship support from Acadia, and parttime work during the school year, I graduated with a BAH in 1975. I remember the constant worry about having the finances to finish the term, the year, my degree. And that was without the unprecedented pandemic, which has up-ended our world as we know it and put our economy on life support. “I can only imagine the mental and physical impact this situation is having on current and future students trying to plan a course forward in these challenging times. I can’t begin to fathom how parents are dealing with the angst, frustration and strain the pandemic has brought so when I saw that Acadia had established a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund, there was absolutely no question that I would contribute. These are challenging times and I truly believe that every bit helps.” She also says, “as an alumni community, we have supported Acadia, its students and staff in times of need. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for the University and its students that were incomprehensible four months ago. In these challenging times I encourage our alumni community, if possible, to make a donation to the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. A little help can go a long way.” Applications for COVID-19 Relief bursaries will be accepted up to June 15, 2020. To donate to the Fund, please visit:



EVENTS Young Alumni Mixer: Toronto A group of enthusiastic young Acadia alumni came together at Soho House in Toronto on Nov. 28, 2019 for a Young Alumni Networking Mixer. Over 20 graduates from 2008 to 2019 gathered to enjoy food, drink and lively conversation, along with updates from host Nancy McCain (’82), Chair of Campaign for Acadia, Dr. Rod Morrison, Vice-President, Advancement, and Oonagh Proudfoot (’93, ’06), Manager, Alumni Affairs (Acting). Many thanks to Nancy for her generosity in hosting the event. Photo: Oonagh Proudfoot

Holiday Social: Ottawa Approximately 50 Acadia alumni and friends gathered at The Royal Society of Canada, Walter House on Dec. 4, 2019 for the annual Ottawa Holiday Social. Guests enjoyed a delightful evening that featured wine, hors d’oeuvres and plenty of Acadia spirit to usher in the holiday season! Pictured are: (left to right) Paul (’65) and Nadja (’66) Corkum, and Linda and John Noble (both Class of 1966). Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Meet and Greet: Halifax

The mood was festive on Dec. 5 at the Lord William Pub in Montréal when approximately 40 Acadia alumni and friends gathered for a Holiday Dinner – Pub Style! Hosted by the Acadia Alumni Association, the event offered a great opportunity to share some food, fun and fond Acadia memories. Special guests included legendary football coach Sonny Wolfe and honorary alumnus and former member of Acadia’s Board of Governors Peter Webster. Madyson St. Pierre (’19), Erin Lamb (’17) and Matthew Carmichael (’19) are shown here enjoying the evening.

A capacity crowd of approximately 100 Acadia alumni and friends gathered at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Dec. 10, 2019 for a Holiday Meet and Greet hosted by the Acadia Alumni Association. Guests enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres while Ryan Conrod (’06), Alumni Association President and MC for the evening, welcomed special guests. During the evening, Brent Aitken, RBC Regional Vice-President, Central and Western Nova Scotia, announced a $100,000 gift from the RBC Foundation to the Campaign for Acadia to enhance on-campus support services through the innovative Q-Life Resilience Experience. Campaign Chair Nancy McCain (’82, centre) and professor Dr. Jonathan Fowles were on hand to accept RBC’s generous donation.

Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Photo: Natalie Weekes

Festive fun: Montreal Pub Style Dinner!




Alumni Gathering: The Bahamas A small but enthusiastic crowd of Acadia alumni and friends gathered on Feb. 12, 2020 at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, The Bahamas for a casual get-together. The evening was hosted by Manager, Alumni Affairs (Acting) Oonagh Proudfoot (’93, ’06), who reported that the energy in the room was celebratory and infectious. Pictured are: Giselle Deane (’15), Cazna Hinds (’19), Terria Moxey (’15), Kevin Turnquest II (’15), Greer Deane (’17), and Ana Martin (’19). Photo: Oonagh Proudfoot

Captivating Speaker: Toronto Business Breakfast Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach and Acadia alumnus Paul McFarland (’10) was the guest speaker at the Annual Toronto Acadia Alumni Business Breakfast Feb. 28, 2020 at the Albany Club in Toronto. McFarland addressed a diverse group in a casual, direct way, sharing stories about what he has learned throughout his career as a hockey coach at the major junior and professional levels. McFarland (right) is pictured here with University President Dr. Peter Ricketts. Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Stellar Event: Tully Tea 2020 It was a party when 35 alumni, students and special guests came together on Feb. 29, 2020 in the lounge at Whitman House to celebrate the 106th Annual Tully Tea. Manager, Alumni Affairs (Acting) Oonagh Proudfoot (’93, ’06) brought greetings and Executive Director, Philanthropy, Nancy Handrigan (’92) provided news on development and student support initiatives and an update on the Campaign for Acadia. She also introduced Acadia’s Dean of Arts, Dr. Laura Robinson (’88), who gave a very entertaining talk on her Acadia experience. Laura noted that her older sister, Alva, was also at this year’s event. Alva lived in Tully and is Life Secretary for the Class of 1977. Alumni representing classes from the 1940s to present day attended the 2020 Tea. Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Fun times: Florida Luncheon It’s always a pleasure to visit our many alumni and friends in Florida. March 4, 2020 was no exception when Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison and Manager, Alumni Affairs (Acting) Oonagh Proudfoot (’93, ’06) joined alumni at the Rosedale Golf and Country Club in Lakewood Ranch. An energized group of 30 people came together on a sunny afternoon to hear the latest news from Acadia, including an update on the Campaign for Acadia from Dr. Morrison. Ms. Proudfoot gave a presentation on heart health and happiness and highlighted Acadia’s recent athletic accomplishments.




1950s JOHN VACHAL (‘51) is retired in Bellevue, WA from De Havilland, Canadair and Boeing. He can be contacted at .

Executive Director to the President IAN MURRAY (’88) visited alumna MILDRED IRVINE, Classes of 1940, ’41, and ’50, at her home in Fergus Hall at the Parkland in Truro on January 28, 2020 as family and friends gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday. Ian was pleased to bring greetings and best wishes from campus. Mildred and her late husband THOMAS, Classes of 1949 and ’50, have been very supportive of Acadia’s students, and we wish her well. (Photos courtesy of Raissa Tetanish)

Stand Up and Cheer, Acadia! Happy 100th birthday to alumnus and lifelong supporter of Acadia University, HAROLD MITTON (‘44), who received the President’s Certificate of Lifetime Achievement in December 2019 from Dr. Peter Ricketts (pictured).



THOMAS (TOM) DENTON (’55) has been made a Member of the Order of Canada. Previously, he received the Order of Manitoba, an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Manitoba, and was made a Fellow of its founding institution, St. John’s College. The recognition is because of his work in sponsoring and resettling refugees in Canada.

service shapes our society... and whose compassion unites our communities.” Senator Oliver said he was surprised, but deeply honoured to receive the telephone call from Rideau Hall in Ottawa announcing his induction.


THE HON. DR. DONALD H. OLIVER (’60, CM, QC) was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest honours, “for his untiring efforts as a Senator, educator and civic-minded community member who promotes inclusion and diversity in Canada.” The Order honours people “whose

Acadia alumna ANN MOSHER MACVICAR (’61) was named in February as one of the Top 100 women’s basketball players of the century. In celebration of the centennial anniversary of U SPORTS women’s basketball, the Top 100 – chosen by a committee of U SPORTS women’s basketball coaches and partners – was unveiled, marking the 100th anniversary of the first Canadian university women’s contest between the Queen’s Gaels and McGill Martlets on Feb. 6, 1920. Mosher is a member of Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame and a Women in Sport honoree. Her citation to the Sports Hall of Fame says that she “certainly must rank as one of the University’s finest ever multi-sport female athletes, being an outstanding varsity

performer in field hockey, volleyball, and basketball. In fact, when the opportunities for playing time were available, she was equally as skillful in such sports as softball, soccer, swimming, and track and field.” Stand Up and Cheer!

CAROL WOOD ORAM (‘63) was kind enough to share this lovely reminiscence with us: “Reading the article ‘Dance cards and penny parades’ in the spring 2019 edition of the Bulletin, as well as making me feel very nostalgic, also reminded me of an Acadia treasure in our family. My aunt, Ivy Layton, graduated in 1927, a first in the family. Here is a picture of her much-loved ring from that year.”

PETER CHANG (’63) and DARIUS GREGOIRE (’66), in Montreal 2019, ‘relive’ the

rocking Peter Gunn Show of the early 1960s Winter Carnival festivities with RON DENTON (’62) on alto sax, RAY ENGLISH (’63) on electric rhythm guitar, Gregoire on electric bass/ guitar/vocal and Chang on drums.

Stand Up and Cheer! Former Acadia professor DR. BRENDA ROBERTSON (’75, ’83) was presented with the 2019 Recreation Nova Scotia Honorary Life Membership Award last fall. According to Recreation Nova Scotia, this award recognizes an individual, paid or volunteer, who has made outstanding, significant and consistent contributions to recreation in Nova Scotia for more than 20 years. Robertson taught in the Recreation Management department at Acadia for 29 years and is the first woman to receive this award. #AcadiaProud


From Arnie MacAskill of Lacombe, AB: “A future Acadia grad, Tommy Carriere 2042, grandson of ARNIE MACASKILL (’75, ’76), great-grandson of ALEX MACASKILL (’49) and great-nephew of JOHN MACASKILL (’79). East Coast bound!”

“Many thanks to Colleen Swail and her hospitality team at Acadia. Together with other long-time friends from Saint John, NB, we (ANNE LEGASSICK MACEACHERON, ’79 from Fredericton, NB, and BRENDA PERRIN, ’78, Sharbot Lake, ON) had a wonderful visit to Wolfville and great accommodations at Roy Jodrey residence last June. We enjoyed fabulous weather, vineyards, the Cape Split hike and local restaurants. Gardens in Wolfville were in their glory and we are definitely planning our next visits. We even danced on the steps of U Hall. Stand Up and Cheer!”



CLASS NOTES 1980s who received the Best Hardware Store award at the 2019 Outstanding Retailer Awards in November.

DR. VIANNE TIMMONS (’80) was named Memorial University’s 13th President and Vice-Chancellor in December 2019. She took office on April 1, 2020 and is Memorial’s first female president.

This is fun! Cousins KIM MEECHAN (’80) and JILL EATON (’91) enjoyed a vacation in Hawaii with family and friends. There was no shortage of sun, surf and pineapples!

Congratulations to JEFF REDDEN (’81), dealer/owner of Windsor Home Hardware,



of growth in industry and government-related research and development activities at the University. Have a wonderful retirement, Peggy, and thanks for your many years of service to Acadia! development activities at the University. Have a wonderful retirement, Peggy, and thanks for your many years of service to Acadia!

editor and instructor in Nova Scotia, has received a business award from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce. At the November 2019 awards dinner, her business was named Outstanding Micro Business of the Year. “Micro” in this context means no more than five employees. “I’m thinking of writing a book called How I Achieved Overnight Success in 30 Short Years,” she told us with a laugh. Rachel was the recipient of the Governor-General’s medal when she graduated with a degree in English and Language in 1989.

After 10 years of outstanding service as Executive Director, Alumni Affairs, IAN MURRAY (’88) was recently appointed to a new position as Executive Director, Office of the President. In this capacity, Ian will work closely with President Peter Ricketts on Communications, Government Relations, and Strategic Initiatives. We extend warm congratulations to Ian on his new role, and heartfelt thanks for his exceptional contribution to Acadia and to the Acadia alumni family since 2010. We wish him all the best in his new position.


PAM MOOD (’82), Mayor of Yarmouth, was elected President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities in November 2019.

PEGGY CRAWFORD (’83) retired from Acadia University on March 31, 2020. Peggy had a lengthy association with Acadia, initially as a student and later as an employee with several units on the campus (1987-1997). In 2008, Peggy returned to Acadia to join the Division of Research and Graduate Studies, where she managed the Research Grants and Programs portfolio for nine years before being seconded in 2017 to work with the Office of Industry and Community Engagement (ICE) as Manager of Industry Partnerships. In this role, Peggy helped usher in a new and exciting period

RACHEL COOPER (’89), who works as a freelance writer,

NATHAN BEELER (’92), a music educator, conductor and performer in Nova Scotia, has published a new book. Everything Matters: 50 Essays on Music Education is an insightful look at the music education profession. Filled with teaching tips, humour and wisdom, the book, available on Amazon, is written for all current music educators and for those in university and college just entering the profession. Each essay is relatively short, but the content is deep and thoughtful. The essays explore the important aspects of the music educator’s life, from mentorship and musicmaking to mindfulness and gratitude. In 2010, Nathan was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, honouring educators from across Canada.

How about this from SHARON GRIFFIN (’93) in Ottawa, ON? “So, I have some fun news! As some of you know, I have a side gig, aside from being a lawyer. I am also a comedy writer for the hilarious, and horrible, card game ‘Cards Against Humanity.’ Yup. It is true, and it is the most fun thing I have ever been paid for! Plus, as one of a team of writers I have “plausible deniability” in the event that any of the cards horrify you! So, the new Canadian Edition 2.0 that I helped create is almost hot off the presses and shipping soon! I cannot wait to see which cards that I wrote are included! I do not get anything from the sale of the game, but I am proud of my horrid, oh-so-wrong, yet hilarious, writing. And it is so much fun to play! Like, laugh until your face hurts fun. And we all need to laugh more. Enjoy and let me know what you think!” Canadian Opera Company (COC) General Director Alexander Neef announced in February that CHRISTIE DARVILLE (’94), the company’s current Executive Director, Philanthropy and Audiences, will act as the COC’s Deputy General

Director until the close of the 2020/2021 season. Darville’s new title will be held in conjunction with her current role for the remainder of Neef’s tenure with the company. Darville oversees the COC’s Philanthropy and Audiences Department and not only manages all fundraising, but also directs the company’s earned revenue through ticket and subscription sales. A well-established leader in Canada’s not-for-profit sector, Darville has been with the COC for more than 10 years. During that time, she has brought contributed revenue to record levels and spearheaded a number of significant projects, including the creation of the company’s annual Centre Stage Gala, a signature fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio training program for young artists. Previously, Darville served as Associate Director of Development, Faculty of Arts and Science, with the University of Toronto. In her work with the university, she led the development and implementation of current and deferred major gift fundraising programs, overseeing all major gift activity, annual giving and research portfolios, as well as focused, unit-based development.

Last summer, four Acadia alumni found themselves working together for Parks Canada at Sable Island National Park Reserve: ALANNAH PHILLIPS (’97), Park Manager; DAN KEHLER (’97), Park Ecologist; KEN WILE (’95), Asset Management; and COLLEEN BOOTH (’19), Field Assistant.

2000s ERIN HAYSOM (’01) is a co-founder and manages community relations at The Church Brewing Co. in Wolfville. Erin was born and raised in Whites Lake, N.S., where most of her family still resides. After high school, Erin studied psychology at Acadia and graduated in 2001. After graduation, Erin moved to Calgary and worked in finance while studying Business Management at the University of Calgary. After 17 years in Calgary, Erin and her family finally had the opportunity to move back home to Nova Scotia and be closer to family. They chose Wolfville, which holds many fond memories for Erin – stemming back to her Acadia days and more recently the annual family vacations to the Valley where she would visit the beautiful vineyards.

Craig and AMY (McCORMACK) MACKILLOP (‘03, ‘05) of Port Hastings, Cape Breton, welcomed an adorable daughter, Winry Victoria, in October 2019. Amy teaches in St. Peter’s; Craig is an engineer in Mulgrave. They were married in Baddeck, N.S. in 2016, sharing their special day with many of their Acadia friends and family.




In October 2019, RCMP Corporal MICHELLE MOSHER (’06) of Grande Prairie, Alberta was recognized by the International Chiefs of Police “40 Under 40”. The 40 Under 40 awardees represent the top rising leaders from around the globe, exemplifying leadership, dedication and service to their communities and the law enforcement profession. Cpl. Mosher is in charge of the Caribou Child and Youth Centre, an advocacy centre for children who have experienced sexual or physical abuse, a role that involves assisting with child abuse investigations for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other agencies. She has completed more than 250 interviews with youth victims, demonstrating exceptional skill and empathy to encourage them to share their experiences in order to hold offenders responsible.

TESSA CHENG (’07) and NICK BEDELL (’07) are very happy to announce that their daughter, Felicity Cheng Bedell, was born on April 6, 2019. Congratulations!



STEVE HEALY (’08) and his wife, Samantha, are thrilled to welcome Louisa Jane Healy to the world. She was born on Sept. 10, 2019 and this future Acadia alumna continues to amaze her parents more and more with each passing day.

Congratulations go out to JONATHAN HOWATT (’13) and CHRISTINE MANNING (’13), who were happily married at the Old Orchard Inn on October 12, 2019 surrounded by family, friends and, most importantly, their dog Tulip.


Acadia alumna PALOMA ANDERSON (‘18) was named in February as one of the Top 100 women’s basketball players of the century. In celebration of the centennial anniversary of U SPORTS women’s basketball, the Top 100 – chosen by a committee of U SPORTS women’s basketball coaches and partners – was unveiled, marking the 100th anniversary of the first Canadian university women’s contest between the Queen’s Gaels and McGill Martlets on Feb. 6, 1920. Congratulations, Paloma!

MICHAELA HALEY (’19) has a wonderful new job in Ottawa and is really excited to share the news! Here’s the scoop: “I am the True Sport Communications Coordinator with the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport (CCES). I often reference back to my time at Acadia for having such an impact on my life. In terms of this career choice, I have to recognize the importance of the Ethics in Sport class taught by ANN DODGE (’91). It really opened my eyes to some of the good and bad in sport. Moreover, it acknowledged the power of good sport and the importance an individual can have in a community. I am also heavily engaged in the community through coaching rugby – another great value instilled by the kinesiology department. In my spare time, I started a podcast, ‘What Are You Doing?’, and have stayed connected to Acadia by reaching out and interviewing alumni. Hope you’re having a great day and Wolfville is as beautiful as ever!”


JACKIE MORRIS (’19) has spent six months in Vietnam studying Fisheries Resource Management as part of the International Youth Internship Program at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Pandemic forces cancellation of Summer Reunion, Alumni Golf Tournament In the challenging situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Acadia University is committed to keeping the health and safety of our students, employees, alumni and stakeholders in the centre of the frame. In responding to unprecedented circumstances, we are following the lead of the Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Government of Canada. As one element of our broader institutional response and with the wellbeing of our community in mind, the Office of Advancement and the Acadia Alumni Association must announce the CANCELLATION of the following events:

July 22-24

CANCELLED: Summer Reunion

July 24

CANCELLED: Alumni Golf Tournament We encourage you, however, to Save the Date for Homecoming, scheduled for October 15-18, 2020. It promises to be one of the best ever, so mark your calendar and we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

DIANNE (TAYLOR) PALOVCIK (’68) is pleased to announce the publication of In Trouble, historical fiction inspired by a tragic period in Canadian history. In 1961, society played no favourites with unwed mothers. Teenage Sarah Gardner’s parents held fast to society’s expectation of them and hid her in a home for unwed mothers. Trapped inside Rose Hill Home, Sarah has a phony name, no past and is belittled for her shameful behaviour. She’s expected to give her baby up for adoption, return home and forget anything happened. Death, a stalker, then a newspaper story drive Sarah to a desperate act. Can Sarah stop her baby from being stolen? What kind of future will she have? Halifax, Wolfville and Amherst are settings for numerous scenes in this fictional story. In Trouble is available in softcover from, Amazon. com and PageMaster Publishing bookstore. E-books are available from Kobo, Kindle and the Apple store (iBook). A softcover version is available in the US from Barnes and Noble and in Europe from Follow DiannePalovcikAuthor on Facebook.

ANNETTE MARTIN (’82) is a retired school counsellor from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. She was born and raised in New Perlican, Newfoundland, where her new novel, The Alder Bed, is set. An English major in college and someone in love with books and writing since childhood, Martin has a deep and abiding affection for history and a particular fondness for Newfoundland and its people. The Alder Bed is an intricate, multigenerational family saga filled with secrets and regrets. It focuses on the women of three generations, the man who dominated their lives, and demonstrates the fortitude of women living harsh lives with men either literally absent or emotionally bankrupt. For more, please visit:

ANDREW SMITH (‘06) has recently published his first book, No Way But to Fight: George Foreman and the Business of Boxing. It’s a biography of the former heavyweight boxing champion, preacher and celebrity pitchman who fought his way out of urban poverty and through the venal world of prizefighting to make it in America. Andrew also notes that it’s a top-ranked “New Book in Sport” on .

For additional event updates, please monitor our alumni channels on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. ACADIA BULLETIN SPRING 2020


ACADIA REMEMBERS We are saddened to report the following deaths in the Acadia community Dorothy E. Killam (’35) Liverpool, NS

Alan W. Baker (’54) Wolfville, NS

Peter W. Cornu (’65) New Minas, NS

Valerie J. Wilson (’83) Lower Sackville, NS

Hugh M. Creaser (’38) Westmount, QC

Norma Long (’54) Winnipeg, MB

Patrick A. Sheppard (’65) Toronto, ON

Robert G. Lightbourn (’86) Middleton, NS

Millicent Rice (’43) Halifax, NS

Wallace B. MacKeigan (’54) Sydney Mines, NS

Mervyn C. Parker (’66, ’67) Melancthon, ON

Kathleen M. Gorman (’86, ’90) Bridgewater, NS

Alice Auld (’45) Halifax, NS

Thomas R. Gardner (’54, ’55) Sydney Mines, NS

Donald A. MacDonald (’67) Bedford, NS

Shelley L. Smith (’88) Moncton, NB

Audrey G. Cowan (’45) Halifax, NS

Isabelle Julia Mills (’55) Napean, ON

Thomas E. Bird (’69, ’70, ’73) Bridgewater, NS

Donna Corning (’91) Gloucester, ON

Philip G. Haley (’45) Toronto, ON

Ralph G. Scott (’57) Halifax, NS

Malcolm R. Burrill (’70) Bridgewater, NS

Heidi Stevenson (’93) Halifax, NS

Elizabeth L. Woodside (’46) Fredericton, NB

Carole R. Dickson (’57) Miramichi, NB

George E. Coburn (’70) Etobicoke, ON

Suzanne M. Barnes (’94) Charlottetown, PE

Graeme Boswall (’47) Ogden, QC

Thurston J. Kaulbach (’59, ’65) Ottawa, ON

Linda Warner (’71) Howie Center, NS

Lillian A. Bursey (’94) St .John’s, NL

Barbara M. Robbins (’47) Yarmouth, NS

Lewis P. Dickson (’59) Miramichi, NB

Michael R. Shute (’72) St. John’s, NL

Jean Beliveau (’98 HON) Longueuil, QC

Earl L. Wonnacott (’47) Charlottetown, PE

Alvin N. Starratt (’59) London, ON

Anthony W. Sarausky (’73, ’75) Twin Mountain, NH

Maureen A. Murphy (’00) New Glasgow, NS

Mildred I. MacDonald (’47) Merigomish, NS

Beverley-Dawn Richardson (’60) Kentville, NS

Richard T. Allen (’73) Wolfville, NS

Charles A. Swan (HOR) North York, ON

Jean H. Windeler (’47) Simcoe, ON

Michael S. Tzagarakis (’62, ’63) Halifax, NS

Gordon Proudfoot (’74) Halifax, NS

Eleanor Meech-Robinson (HOR) Wellington, ON

George Walker (’48, ’54, ’55, ’67) Mahone Bay, NS

J. M. May (’63) Bath, ON

Robert Ohsberg (’74) Lower Sackville, NS

Hugh Davidson, (ASSO) Wolfville, NS

Duncan W. McGeachy (’48) Fredericton, NB

Charles T. Thomas (’63) Winchester, VA

Robert K. Mahar (’74) Halifax, NS

Robert M. McCarthy (ASSO) Grand Pre, NS

Wilfred L. Giffin (’48) Halifax, NS

Conrad Sarty (’63) River John, NS

Robert L. Bryden (’74) Gloucester, ON

Gerald T. Rimmington (ASSO) Leicester

Shirlee J. Robinson (’49) Wilmot, NS

Glenwood H. Penney (’64) Bridgewater, NS

Arthur R. Mumford (’77, ’79, ’84) Curry’s Corner, NS

Joseph R. Stevens Port Williams, NS

Sherman Bleakney (’49, ’51) Wolfville, NS

Edward Donelan (’64) Dartmouth, NS

Jeffrey Norman (’79, ’81) Barrington, NS

Peter J. Austin-Smith Wolfville, NS

Christine MacDonald (’50) St. John’s, NL

Nola E. Jeffrey (’64, ’65, ’66) Digby, NS

Mary A. Nowaczek (’79) Halifax, NS

Laura S. Smith Chester, NS

Colin B. Fairn (’50) North York, ON

Luke L. Batdorf (’64) St. Peters, NS

Bruce Phinney, (’81) Halifax, NS

Mary L. Killam Yarmouth, NS

Alexina C. Proctor (’50) Parrsboro, NS

Greg Ramsay (’64) Kanata, ON

Paul Ferguson (’81) Valley, NS

Noëlle Fuller Bowmanville, ON

Pat Nowlan (’52) Vancouver, BC

Sharon M. Urquhart (’65) Wahnapitae, ON

Michael Hazard (‘81) Providence, RI

Roan L. Messenger Baccaro, NS

Gordon R. Hansford (’51, ’52, ’53) Kentville, NS

Ann Wheatley-Hicks (’65) Sudbury, ON

Florence M. Hersey (’82) Coldbrook, NS

Douglas C. Cook Nictaux, NS

Gordon K. Dimock (’53) Victoria, BC


We produce this list to the best of our ability with the information provided. If there is a discrepancy or error, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 902.585.1459.


In each edition of the Bulletin, we reserve space on our final pages for a fond look back at the way we were. Do you know the person in this photo? If so, send me an e-mail at First person to identify her will win an Acadia sweatshirt (valued at $70). Please include your name, address and phone number in your response. We will reveal the answer, the winner and have another image for you in the fall edition. Look forward to hearing from you. Have fun!

FINAL FRAME WINNER In our last edition, Marilyn Campbell (’79, ’81, ’90) was the first to identify the photo of Ron James (’79, ’15 HON). Manager, Alumni Affairs (Acting) Oonagh Proudfoot (’93, ’06, right) is pictured presenting Marilyn’s prize to her in the Wu Welcome Centre at Alumni Hall. Congratulations, Marilyn!

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