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The Newsmagazine for McMaster University Alumni

Spring 2010

McMaster Times

Building Strength Peter George Leaves a Legacy

The Newsmagazine for McMaster University Alumni

Meet McMaster............................... 12 Rachael Kohn ‘79, '85 is a popular radio host in

Australia who uses her training in religious studies to explore themes of contemporary spirituality over the airwaves.

Opening the Gate............................. 14 JD Howell

“It wasn’t just a wonderful time for me to learn and get inspired about research: it was also one of the most fun times of my life." Allison Sekuler enjoyed her days as a graduate student. Now she leads McMaster's innovative School of Graduate Studies, academic home to 3,500 students. See page 14.

The number of graduate students at Mac has grown significantly in the past decade. Now under the leadership of Allison Sekuler, the associate vice-president and dean, the School is creating innovative programs, enhancing the student experience and becoming more global.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR................................................. 4 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE.................................................. 5 ALUMNI ALBUM.............................................................. 22 McMASTER WRITES....................................................... 26 IN MEMORIAM................................................................ 27 ALUMNI GALLERY........................................................... 28 ALUMNI NEWS................................................................ 31 THE LAST WORD.............................................................. 34

Setting the Bar High........................ 16

"It was an extraordinary moment when I found out that I was to be McMaster’s president. My feelings were very close to the surface – a mixture of pride, humility, honour and sheer joy.” Peter George spoke those words to an alumni gathering in 1995. Fifteen years later, his leavetaking is just as emotional.

Part-time students pledge to liberal arts building...... 6 Chair in Financial Planning established....................... 6 Strong support for Ron Joyce Centre.............................6 Kudsias support engineering scholarships.................. 7

Mac goes green................................................................. 8 Brain Bee, anti-fashion and more.................................. 8 Fountain of Youth and more research news............... 10 Sally Palmer and other honourees............................... 11

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Volume 25, Number 2 - Spring 2010

Jason Jones Professor Bob Henderson says McMaster's setting, right next door to an 840-hectare wildlife sanctuary, helps feed the soul along with the mind. See page 34.


Letters to the Editor

Letters Mention of the new McMaster marching band in the Winter 2010 issue brought back fond memories of the band (and cheerleaders) from the late 1950’s (later unofficially dubbed “The McMaster Marching and Chowder Society” by Hamilton Spectator sports writer Stewart Brown '60). It too was under Athletics and performed at McMaster home football games, pep rallies, at an OAC game in Guelph, and in the ’58 Float Parade. Photos appear in the Marmors of ’56, ’58 and ’59. Larry Ridge '59 I obtained a copy of the Mac Times Fall 2009 issue from a friend. I comment on the report about the return of veterans to the campus on page 24. There were many more than 100 veterans who attended Mac under the post WWII Department of Veterans Affairs Program. Your story excluded any reference to the much larger number who enrolled in regular classes, mainly in the fall of ’46. Myself and good friend and classmate The Honourable Lincoln Alexander were among them and are still among the living. Jack Gibbons '49 Brig Gen (ret.) Your last issue featuring sustainability got me thinking how easy it is. My wife Gail and I never really tried consciously to reduce our carbon footprint. That we have done so for years is simply a by-product of our being frugal, and wanting to stay healthy and comfortable and reduce unnecessary yard work. We’ve always washed our clothes in cold or warm water but that was because they came out just as clean while making a noticeable difference on our hot water heating bill. We’ve always hung them out to dry because Gail noticed that they wore out faster when tumbled in a dryer and didn’t smell as fresh or clean. I’ve always enjoyed futzing around a garden, benefited from the healthy exercise it provided and we’ve both liked the privacy and beauty given us by all the different flowering shrubs and trees with different leaf colours and textures that I’ve planted. It’s a lot more fun to eat food from the local farmer’s market because it tastes so good. We have a big car which does not seem very carbon friendly. However, it holds lots of people comfortably and carpooling is a great way to get to know people. Jim Bodkin '64

Publisher Andrea Farquhar

Acting Editor Pat Morden

Assistant Editor Barbara Wright

Art Director JD Howell ’04

Contributors Rebecca Bentham ’02, Andrea Farquhar, Peter George ’96, Karen McQuigge ’90, Pat Morden, Barbara Wright Advertising Sales Sandra Rodwell Office of Public Relations 905-525-9140 ext. 24073 Officers, Alumni Association Rebecca Bentham ’02, president; Elizabeth Webel ’84, first-president; David Adames ’92, executive councillor; Candy Hui '04, Bill McLean ’90, second vice-president; Don Bridgman ‘78, financial advisor; Jennifer Kleven ’90, Maria Topalovic ’08, executive councillor. Representatives to the University Senate Earl Cochrane ’64, Suzanne Craven ’73, Maureen Harmer ’66, Dennis Souder ’70. Representatives to the University Board of Governors Brian Bidulka ’87, Quentin Broad ’86, Lauren Cuddy ’80, David Lazzarato ’79, Howard Shearer ’77.

McMaster Times is published three times a year (Winter, Spring and Fall) by the Office of Public Relations in co-operation with the McMaster Alumni Association. It is sent free of charge to University alumni and friends. Nonalumni subscriptions are available at $15 (Canada and U.S.A.) and $20 (foreign). Please make cheques payable to McMaster University. Ideas and opinions published in the McMaster Times do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, the McMaster Alumni Association or the University. Letters and editorial contributions are welcomed. National and local advertisers are invited. Editorial communications: Assistant Editor, McMaster Times Public Relations Office, DTC 125 McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L9. Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 23662 Fax: 905-521-1504 E-mail: Canada Post Publications Mail 1473638 Postmaster: Send all returns to McMaster University c/o Advancement Services, T-27 Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8

On the Cover Peter George leaves the top job after 15 eventful and achievementfilled years. His legacy will live on. See George’s final message on page 5 and story on page 16. Cover photo: JD Howell ’04. 4

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

The wood in this product comes from well-managed forests, independently certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council.

President’s Message

Time for Reflection Peter George's fond farewell to alumni

“Time and tide wait for no man,” according to the ancient proverb. It’s an expression I’ve used many times throughout my life but its poignancy is hitting home a little harder these days. With less than three months left in my term as McMaster’s president, the days are speeding past and I find myself wishing that the clock would slow down just a bit. So much yet to do, so little time. Being McMaster’s president for the past 15 years has been a joyous journey. I have seen 66,000 students earn their degrees. I’ve had the chance to say thank you to faculty colleagues who have helped to build our University and advance our knowledge in almost every field of study, and to welcome new faculty recruited to our University to continue its tradition of excellence, discovery and innovation in teaching and research. I have had the privilege of working with outstanding staff whose efforts have contributed so much to making McMaster all that it is now and can be in the future. Then there are the board members who volunteer their time and efforts because of their belief in McMaster and the potential it holds. Their commitment is matched by our inspiring donors who support our University because they know it will make a difference to our students and our faculty, and strengthen McMaster’s contributions to our community both in Hamilton and around the world. But some of my greatest and warmest memories are of our alumni. As an ambassador for McMaster I have been able to visit alumni next door, across Canada and in countries near and far. There are two common threads to the stories I hear from alumni on these trips: the importance McMaster played in their success in achieving their own goals and the pride they have in the University and its increased profile and reputation.

The McMaster family is dynamic and inspiring. It needs to be treasured and nurtured to ensure that this special connection lasts a lifetime and is passed along to the many generations to come. My goal when I became president of McMaster was to help create a University that continued to focus on scholarly and research excellence but was more centred on students and provided the best opportunities for them to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. While I wanted to attract resources and help develop opportunities for faculty members to push ahead the frontiers of their research, I also wanted their research to provide a richer learning environment for our students. I wanted to make sure the world knew the great things that were happening at McMaster and to create new partnerships that would open doors we never even knew existed. All of these, and more, are fundamental elements of the new McMaster. My success in achieving these goals will ultimately be judged by others, but I am very proud that together we have accomplished so much over the past 15 years. I am also grateful for the opportunities McMaster has given me over 45 years to forge a career that has created so many indelible sweet memories. It is difficult for me to imagine what it will feel like to wake up on July 1 and not be McMaster’s president, but I know my days will be full. My daughter Lily Rose said a few months ago, “Baba, when I turn five, you will be retired and we can play more.” Most assuredly, I will play more. I believe that the University has made a stellar choice in appointing Patrick Deane as its new president and I wish him every success as he joins the McMaster family. I will help him in any way that I can, as I know you will too. Thank you, our wonderful alumni, for playing such a memorable part in my years as president. From the moment I first slipped on my new presidential robes, a gift of the Alumni Association, in November 1995, to these last few stops in my farewell alumni tour from Brantford to Beijing, from Hong Kong to New York, from Montreal to Vancouver, your advice, spirited interest, and good wishes have been a continuing strength and support to me. My deep gratitude and sincere best wishes to each of you.

Peter George, President, McMaster University

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Campaign News

Part-time students pledge $1 million towards new liberal arts building

Bobby Dumesnil

The McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS) announced a $1-million gift inspired by President Peter George. The announcement was made during the March 23 event to celebrate George’s legacy. The gift will help fund a new liberal arts building, which has been a priority for George. It will provide much needed space for current and new undergraduate, graduate and research programs in Social Sciences and Humanities. In making the announcement, Sam Minniti, executive director of MAPS, spoke of George’s strong ties to the Association, including his pivotal role in fundraising for the student centre, his commitment to lifelong learning, and his deep roots in the liberal arts as an economics graduate, a professor and the former dean of Social Sciences.

Canadians may become a little more financially savvy, thanks to a $1-million gift from Mackenzie Financial Corporation and Power Financial Corporation that will fund the establishment of an innovative endowed chair at the DeGroote School of Business. 6

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

The Mackenzie Financial Chair in EvidenceBased Financial Planning will be a unique research venture that will enhance knowledge in the field and improve consumers’ understanding of basic financial investing and planning principles. “One of the universal realities that has emerged from the current global economic crisis is that the average Canadian does not know enough about the fundamentals of investing, financial markets, economics and business strategy to make informed choices about their personal finances,” says President Peter George. The investment of $500,000 from each company, further leveraged through the University’s contribution of matching funds, amounts to a $2-million investment. “We are delighted to make this gift along with Power Financial Corporation,” says Charles R. Sims, president and chief executive officer of Mackenzie Financial Corporation. “The Mackenzie Financial Chair in Evidence-

Based Financial Planning will become a leader in creating research that can provide advisors and investors a deeper understanding of the need for and benefits of financial planning.” The Chair’s research themes may include developing a better understanding of public and private retirement savings options, mitigating risk, the benefits of a long-term investment strategy, and the role psychology plays in investor decision making.

Burlington expansion generates support

JD Howell

$1-million gift will help improve financial literacy

“Under Dr. George’s leadership, both as a dean and as the president, part-time students have always been a valued part of the University family,” said Minniti. “He has planned for and accommodated the part-time student cohort and has worked to ensure that McMaster is among the best Canadian universities for part-time students.” The Association – which represents approximately 3,000 part-time students each term – also hopes the new building will mean greater accessibility to courses for its members, who must balance career, family and their studies. MAPS has a long history of giving to McMaster University, supporting everything from student bursaries to capital projects such as the McMaster University Student Centre and Mills Memorial Library.

As construction proceeds on the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington, a growing number of individuals, companies and organizations are demonstrating their support and desire to be among the inaugural benefactors in this signifi-

Campaign News

cant expansion project. They include all active members of DeGroote’s Business Advisory Council, formed of community leaders dedicated to helping the business school carry out its mission. “Having 100 per cent participation from this esteemed group is a testament to the significance of this endeavour and our shared commitment to the growth and advancement of the DeGroote School of Business,” says Dean Paul Bates. Among the organizations that have made generous contributions in recent months are Certified Management Accountants of Ontario who pledged $250,000 to the project.

Julia Thompson

From left: Dean Paul Bates, MBA Association President Mark Stewart, CMA Ontario President and CEO Merv Hillier, Accounting & Financial Management Chair Lilian Chan.

Mike Lalich

Gift from renowned “space pioneer” will benefit engineering students Chandra and Wendy Kudsia (centre) are joined by Allison Sekuler, associate vice-president and dean of graduate studies, and David Wilkinson, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, at a gift-signing reception in March. foremost experts in microwave design, particularly for satellite applications. His passion for space science has been recognized by his many awards and citations. Wendy Kudsia is a Humanities alumna. She and Chandra met at McMaster through a social club and eventually married, holding their wedding on campus at Divinity College. Chandra Kudsia currently operates his own company, Mantrix Inc., which provides full-service environmental management and engineering consulting with multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, scientists and technologists. McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Mike Lalich

A reception was held March 3, 2010 to thank McMaster alumni Chandra Kudsia ’66 and Wendy Kudsia ‘66 for their donation of $200,000 to support undergraduate and graduate scholarships in the Faculty of Engineering. The gift will fund the Kudsia Family Scholarship and the Chandra Kudsia Ontario Graduate Scholarship. After earning his M.Eng. in electrical engineering from McMaster, Kudsia went on to become one of the founders of COM DEV International Ltd., a global designer and manufacturer of space hardware, located in Cambridge, Ont. He is regarded as one of the world’s


University News

Greener Mac

Come on back!


McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Come home to Mac virtually with a new online tour. Haven’t been back to campus for a while? Join us for a virtual tour conducted by McMaster students, at You’ll get a peek inside new buildings like the Mary E. Keyes Residence, the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery, the McMaster University Student Centre, and the David Braley Athletic Centre. You can indulge in a little nostalgia by taking a reflective stroll through central campus. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide to come back in person. We’d love to see you. of toxic chemicals in art making. Among the achievements: replacing chemical grease cutters with baby oil, vinegar and baking soda; replacing mineral spirits with biodegradable Estisol; establishing a recycling area; implementing a re-use strategy; and purchasing a chemical-free printer.

Buzz about brain The seventh annual McMaster Brain Bee was held in February, bringing together nearly 100 high school students from the region to compete for the title of “best brain” by answering questions relating to brain and neuroscience research. Topics ranged from intelligence, memory and emotions, to genetics, aging and sleep. McMaster will also host the second annual CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee in May. Students will come from across Canada to compete, and the national winner will go on to an international competition in San Diego. Brain Bees are designed to raise awareness of brain research and encourage students to consider studying neuroscience.

Learning activism How do you learn about social justice? The School of Social Work believes the best way is by doing. Its new course, Social Change, Social Movements and Advocacy, connects students with community organizations and engages them in hands-on advocacy activities. This year, for example, several students helped plan

the on-campus remembrance of the Montreal Massacre, and staffed an information table set up in the Student Centre. “Young people are often frustrated by what they see as problems in the world, but they aren’t really sure how to address them,” says instructor Sandra Preston. “This class gives them the tools for being active citizens, rather than bystanders. They learn that if they can’t change the world, they can at least change their small corner.”


Matt Terry

Ron Schefller

McMaster has formalized its commitment to environmental sustainability by signing the Ontario Universities Statement on Creating a Sustainable Environment in November. The agreement, says Roger Couldrey, vice-president Administration, reaffirms “paths that we’ve been on for some time.” For example, the newly-opened Engineering Technology Building earned coveted gold certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating system. The University recently banned plastic bags, has a diverted-to-recycling rate of 63 per cent, and launched a campaign to encourage staff, faculty and students to use alternate transportation. Couldrey says that when opportunities permit, existing buildings are being retrofitted to make them more environmentally sustainable. On the research front, it was recently announced that McMaster will be home to the National Research Council of Canada Photovoltaic Innovation Network, a group of top scientists and engineers working in the field of advanced solar cell technology at universities and private sector companies across Canada. Says Rafael Kleiman, scientific director of the Network and professor of engineering physics, “This will help Canada compete globally in this rapidly growing sector.” Sustainability is also alive and well in McMaster classrooms. Engineering students, for example, are incorporating environmental sustainability projects into their coursework by studying green roofs, campus bikeways, bike rack placement, LEED renovations, and other practical issues. “The project allows us to apply what we’re learning in the classroom to the real world,” says Brandon Karchewski, who is looking at permeable paving technologies that allow natural drainage of rainwater. “The chance to study sustainability in practice is what initially drew me to this project, but what I’m most excited about is the opportunity to effect real change.” Elsewhere, the School of the Arts invested in a year-long project to reduce waste and the use

The seventh annual RevWear Fashion Show was held on March 6 at Jackson Square Mall. The show featured fashions created by McMaster students from reused and recycled materials, including food packaging and pop cans. Organizers say that RevWear “creates beauty from the abject, using signifiers of consumer culture to deconstruct the machine.”

Research leadership


Rock on campus The Niagara Escarpment is a whole lot closer for McMaster geology and earth sciences students, thanks to a unique collaboration between the University and the City of Hamilton. The city donated escarpment rock from construction sites. Selected rocks were placed in front of the General Sciences Building, creating a garden where classes can learn about escarpment layers, formations and fossils. “The rock garden allows us to make theoretical class work tangible,” says Sean Fletcher, instructional assistant in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences.

Speaking Italiese



McMaster will be a key partner in a $1-million research project funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to improve support for people living with dementia. The project, Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance, will be led by Carrie McAiney, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster, and Sherry Dupuis, a professor at the University of Waterloo. Wayne Lewchuk, professor of labour studies and economics, received a $1-million grant from SSHRC to support his work exploring the growth of jobs that pay low wages, are precarious, and have few benefits and no collective representation. Harriet MacMillan, a renowned professor, pediatrician and child psychiatrist, will lead the Centre for Research Development in Gender Mental Health and Violence across the Lifespan, established with $2 million of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

University News

McMaster’s tradition of research rigour and innovation has been recognized with several major grants in recent months.

Art of water David Ogborn, assistant professor of multimedia, and his team created an interactive video sculpture displayed at Canada Olympic House in Whistler during the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The sculpture looks like a vending machine but instead of candy bars, viewers find videos showing how water is used every day. Pressing the buttons causes the images to fall away, gradually revealing a thundering waterfall (Webster’s, located in Hamilton) as a reminder of the force of water in the environment.

Top of the heap MBA and undergraduate commerce students from the DeGroote School of Business scored among the highest in North America in a recent major field test conducted by the Educational Testing Service, the largest educational assessment organization in the world. For the second time, both undergraduate and MBA students scored in the 95th percentile. “I was ecstatic when I saw the results,” says exam coordinator Nick Bontis, associate professor of strategy. “In addition to our very strong institutional scores, we can be proud of our extremely high individual student achievements.”

Chris Hughes

A new course offered by the Department of Linguistics and Languages introduces students to the culture and language of Italian immigrants in Canada. They learn about Italiese, a unique dialect created by immigrants that adds Italian endings to common English words. “The course takes a new slant on culture,” says Vikki Cecchetto, associate professor and course instructor. “It looks at how an ancestral language has been changed by the immigrant experience.” Similar classes involving GermanCanadian and Spanish-Canadian language and culture are planned for next year.

School of Medicine opens Waterloo campus From left: David Johnston, President, University of Waterloo; Cathy Morris, Regional Assistant Dean, Waterloo Campus, Michael G. Groote School of Medicine; John Kelton, Dean, Michael G. Groote School of Medicine; Ken Seiling, Regional Chair, Waterloo Region; John Milloy, MPP Kitchener- Centre, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Joe Lee, Lead Physician, Centre for Family Medicine; Thom Freddo, Director, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo; and Kinneret Friedman, Medical Student, Waterloo Campus, Michael G. Groote School of Medicine, McMaster University. On April 7 McMaster celebrated the opening of the $23-million Waterloo Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, sited on the Kitchener Health Sciences campus of the University of Waterloo. “We couldn’t have found a better home for our medical students,” said John Kelton, dean of the School. “McMaster has long valued interdisciplinary, community-oriented learning, and this gives us everything we need.” McMaster Times - Spring 2010


University News

To read more about exciting research at McMaster, visit

Too many ultrasounds? More than one-third of pregnant women receive three or more ultrasound tests in the second and third trimesters

Learning from Walkerton Genes help explain why some people get IBS after an infection More than one in three of the people affected by tainted water in Walkerton 10 years ago now suffer from a chronic condition called postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS). A study at McMaster’s Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, led by PhD student Alexandra-Chloe Vilani, found that genetic factors help determine who is at risk for PI-IBS. The research should point the way to better patient care in future.

Not from around here Archaeology in Roman cemetery reveals early “globalization” Archaeologists excavating an ancient Roman cemetery have found DNA evidence that one of the people buried there had East Asian ancestry. Tracy Prowse, assistant professor of anthropology, has been digging at the cemetery of Vagnari, an imperial estate owned by the Roman emperor, near the modern Italian city of Bari. Research revealed that a man, probably a slave or worker on the site, was definitely not born in Italy and likely came from elsewhere in the Roman Empire. Says Prowse, “This research addresses broader issues relating to globalization, human mobility, identity and diversity in Roman Italy.”

Shorter is better Women with early-stage breast cancer may only need a three-week course of treatment An intense three-week course of radiation therapy – called accelerated hypo-fractionated whole-breast irradiation – is just as effective as the standard five-week regimen for women with early-stage breast cancer, says a team of researchers led by oncology professor Dr. Tim Whelan. “Intense treatment is better for the patient and less costly to provide,” says Whelan. 10

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

John You, an assistant professor of medicine and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, says enough is enough. Current guidelines recommend two ultrasounds in an uncomplicated pregnancy but You’s study found that many women are receiving more. “While the benefits of prenatal ultrasound in high-risk pregnancies may be more clear, the value of repeat ultrasounds in low-risk patients is not," he writes.

Not just a bad smell Air pollution contributes to pneumonia in the elderly Dr. Mark Loeb, a professor in the Departments of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has shown that long-term exposure to traffic pollution increases the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia among people 65 and older. “The results of this study highlight the important health impact that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution can have,” Loeb says. “It also emphasizes the need to monitor emissions from vehicles.”

Seeing the beat Sound and sight become one in the mind of a listener

More than a bump on the head Concussions are not taken seriously enough Carol DeMatteo, associate clinical professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science, has found that children who receive a diagnosis of “concussion” spend fewer days in hospital and return to school sooner than children with other diagnoses. Concussion, DeMatteo says, is seen as less serious than “mild brain injury,” but that’s exactly what it is. “Our study suggests that if a child is given a diagnosis of a concussion, the family is less likely to consider it an actual injury to the brain,” she says.

Fountain of youth A dietary supplement helps rats stay active and healthy in old age Researchers at McMaster have developed a cocktail of ingredients that forestalls some aspects of aging in their animal subjects. The researchers, led by David Rollo, associate professor of biology, developed a complex dietary supplement that combines a range of vitamins and other dietary supplements including green tea extract, cod liver oil and ginger root. In old rats fed the supplement there was evidence of increased cellular function, decreased free radicals, and more physical activity. The team also found that the supplement extends longevity, prevents cognitive declines, and protects against radiation.

Fountain of youth, part two Aging stars rejuvenated by collision

Michael Schutz, assistant professor in the School of the Arts, has discovered that the length of the physical gesture used by a percussionist to strike an instrument has no impact on the acoustic effect. But listeners hear a difference, with notes sounding long or short because of the brain’s integration of auditory and visual information. “Sound becomes music only within the mind of the listener,” says Schutz. “Gestures that change the sound within the mind have done more than alter perception. They have effectively changed the music.”

Blue stragglers are stars that appear to regress from “old age,” becoming hotter and brighter at a time when the stars around them are dying. Previously it was thought that blue stragglers siphoned fresh hydrogen from a companion star. Alison Sills, assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has discovered a new explanation for some of these perennially youthful heavenly bodies – collisions that cause two stars to merge and mix their fuel, re-stoking the fires of nuclear fusion.

JD Howell

The Provost’s Honour Roll medal recognizes students with a perfect 12.0 average ■■





At an event held in February, more than 220 first-year McMaster students received President’s Awards in recognition of achieving a 95 per cent average in their final year of secondary school. Sixty students earned medals and were named to the Provost’s Honour Roll for receiving a perfect 12.0 average over 30 units of study at the university level. Peter Jonasson, a laboratory supervisor for the Department of Engineering Physics, oversaw technical operations for broadcast of the biathlon events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and also supported the cross-country ski broadcasts. Jonasson worked with a team of 168 technicians to ensure that all broadcast equipment for the events transmitted images seamlessly to the International Broadcast Centre. “You make friends that last a lifetime doing this,” Jonasson says. Former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Jesse Lumsden '08 competed in the two-man and four-man bobsleigh events at the Winter Olympics. He and Pierre Leuders, one of Canada’s most decorated athletes, came fifth in both the two-man and four-man events. Gastroenterologist and professor of medicine Dr. Richard Hunt received the Henry L. Bockus Medal from the World Gastroenterology Organization. The prestigious international award is given once every four years for distinguished contributions in the field of gastroenterology. Max Wong, professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Humboldt Research Award. The prize is given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to “academics whose fundamental





University News


discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements.” Wong is the Canada Research Chair in Signal Processing. Four people with strong McMaster connections received Orders of Canada in January. Ivan Reitman '69, film director and producer, James Orbinski '89, founding member of Médecins Sans Frontières, and former faculty member Jonathon Lomas, who co-founded the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, were named Officers of the Order. Retired CBC executive Margaret Lyons ’49 was named a Member of the Order in recognition of her work in broadcasting and as a volunteer. Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky '91, professor of pediatrics and medicine and a three-time graduate of McMaster, has become the first holder of the McMaster Children’s Hospital/Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation Chair in Neuromuscular Disorders. Dr. Tarnopolsky’s work focuses on neuromuscular and neurometabolic disorders such as muscular dystrophy, ALS, and mitochondrial diseases. His research has also shown that weight training may be the “fountain of youth” for aging muscles. Dr. Christoph Fusch, professor of pediatrics, has been named the first holder of the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation/ Jack Sinclair Chair in Neonatology. Dr. Fusch’s work focuses on the best ways to promote healthy brain development, function and future health in babies born prematurely. Arthur Sweetman '91, currently director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, has been named the first holder of the Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources, a position funded by an endowment from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. Bill Harris, a professor of physics and astronomy, was recently honoured by the Canadian Astronomical Society with its prestigious Beals Award in recognition of his research achievements. Harris studies giant elliptical galaxies and globular star clusters, expanding understanding of Earth’s formation and the origins of the universe.


Sally Palmer, professor emerita of social work, received the Canadian Association of Social Workers’ Distinguished Service Award for 2010, the highest honour bestowed on a social worker in Canada. Palmer received the award in recognition of her contributions to child welfare issues over a 40-plus year career. Her major work is a book urging the inclusion of birth families in the lives of children placed in out-of-home care. Palmer has been an active member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers for more than 40 years. She founded and chaired the Hamilton Branch’s Social Action Committee, providing leadership for several initiatives including expanding the city’s Affordable Transit Pass and convincing the provincial government to exempt the earnings of post-secondary students from family income when students receive social assistance. “She has been relentless in her commitment to social issues,” says Gillian McCloskey, Associate Executive Director, Ontario Association of Social Workers. “We are all very impressed with the depth of her commitment and the impact she has had on the lives of people who are poor or vulnerable.”

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Talking Religion By Pat Morden

Rachael Kohn, a Toronto native, completed a diploma in social work at Ryerson University, studied sociology and religion at Concordia University and then joined the Religious Studies Department at McMaster for her Masters and PhD. After teaching in universities in Canada, Britain and Australia, she began her broadcasting career on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1992. She has won many awards for her documentaries, including the World Gold Medal from the New York Festivals in 2000 for In God We Trust: Civil and Uncivil Religion in America.


McMaster Times - Spring 2010

How did McMaster shape you as a thinker? The lecturers in Religious Studies were absolutely central to my understanding of religion as a vehicle of philosophical, moral and metaphysical ideas, which are played out in fascinating and varied ways in history and society. Most especially, the important studies of early Christianity and first century Judaism have deeply shaped contemporary Christian theology, and given rise to an influential feminising of contemporary Judaism. These are both profoundly religious and sociological changes in our contemporary religious world, and it is impossible to view one without the other. You started your career as an academic. How did you end up in broadcasting? After five years of teaching Religious Studies and Semitic Studies at the University of Sydney I was approached by the head of religion at the ABC and encouraged to apply for a position. After much encouragement from my husband and a colleague at the university, I gave it a

go, as we say here. It was a situation of being thrown into the deep end, but I loved it at first splash. A public mass medium like radio doesn't seem like the natural place to be talking about religion. Why does it work for you? I always like a challenge! In truth, I was anxious to rescue religion from obscurity, and in particular from the increasingly arcane and textbook approaches that prevail in many university courses. Religion can easily become an artifact, when in fact it is a lively part of our contemporary culture, personal history, society, and even science. I was almost embarrassed to realize that in a short time I’d learned more about religion outside of the university than while teaching it, simply because of the requirement to be exposed on a daily basis to what's actually happening in religion.

Meet McMaster Karen Heath of Kazstudio

Peter Pearce / ABC

Rachael Kohn ‘79, '85 is one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals. Over the past 18 years, her voice has become familiar and well-respected on Australian public radio, where she currently presents two regular programs dealing with aspects of modern spirtuality.

What is religion in your view, and why does it exist? Many people have answered that question differently but my answer is simply that religion is humanity’s quest to find and celebrate the eternal meaning of life in the midst of its earthly vicissitudes. I don’t know whether that summary covers everything, but I believe so long as humanity exists we shall always cherish religion because it offers us a vantage point that is constant but at the same time not rigid. What do you hope your programs do for your listeners? I’m passionate about raising religious literacy in Australia and beyond. The broadcast, webcast and podcasting mean I have a very large audience drawn from around the world, and they are always keen to tell me they learn so much, that their views have changed since listening, and more often than not that they have become more thoughtful about the role of religion in society and in personal life.

You have written about contemporary trends in religion. Will traditional organized religion survive? Ever since humanity lived in communities it has preferred order over disorder, which includes ensuring some consistency in religious beliefs, law and customary practices. Religious life has a strong social dimension and so long as it functions to celebrate birth, maturity, marriage and death, so long as it cares for the sick and educates the young, then religion will be organized to enable those things to happen. What will religion and religious life look like 25 years from now? I think religion is going to be more diverse, more focused on delivering a spiritual experience, more intentionally geared toward interfaith understanding, and, growing out of the latter, perhaps more eclectic in drawing on other faiths.

What do you hope your legacy will be? First, to have elevated religion to a subject that is discussed by intelligent, thoughtful, and socially engaged people in our society. Second, in terms of the media, I think my style of interviewing, which is to be respectfully interested and well-informed about different faiths, will establish a standard, I hope, that will make the Christo-centric or sceptically-minded questioning unacceptable to an audience that has learned to expect more. I also very much hope that the quality of guests I have had over the years will remain the standard, so that any Joe Blow who writes a self-help book about spirituality he has “thunk up” himself will just not make it to the airwaves, at least not on the ABC! To hear Kohn’s broadcasts, search The Spirit of Things on iTunes.

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Opening the Gate Enrolment in McMaster’s graduate studies programs has nearly doubled in a decade. The School of Graduate Studies is working to enhance every aspect of the student experience. “It wasn’t just a wonderful time for me to learn and get inspired about research: it was also one of the most fun times of my life. I made some really good friends, and I’m still in touch with many of them.” That’s Allison Sekuler, talking about her experience as a graduate student in psychology. Today, Sekuler holds the prestigious Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at McMaster. She is also the University’s first associate vice-president and dean of Graduate Studies. Sekuler wants the growing cadre of grad students at Mac to have the same positive experience she had. “When (President) Peter George asked me to take this job, he told me that he wanted me to be a gate-opener, not a gatekeeper,” says Sekuler. “I took that to heart.”

global health, health informatics and international relations are being added, and graduate degrees in gender studies and feminist research are in the works. “We’re looking for places where we have a unique niche,” says Sekuler, “and then putting together programs that meet the needs of students, our Faculties, and the community as a whole.” Despite the rapid growth, there is clear evidence that McMaster is continuing to attract outstanding students from across Canada and around the world. Last year, for example, students at McMaster won eight of 166 new Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, worth up to $50,000 a year for three years. “It sends a signal that size isn’t everything,” Sekuler says. “We really punched above our weight here.” McMaster also offers a variety of popular and

fellows, do not go on to academic appointments. “We need to help them acquire some of the other skills that will make them successful.” He adds that grad programs were once based on a one-on-one relationship between student and supervisor. Now, many are course-based, making it more important to offer institutional support and services. Over the past year, Self’s team has offered a suite of professional development workshops, on topics from networking and business etiquette to intellectual property and patents. In March, some 50 students participated in workshops with an improv group from Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius. Self explains: “It was about becoming more comfortable with who you are and how you communicate, and being able to think on your feet.” Self plans to consult with students to

“Our greatest ambassadors are our students. When they’re having interesting and valuable experiences, they’re going to tell others and want to give back.” The gate is certainly open. McMaster offers 70 master’s level programs and 39 PhD level programs in fields from humanities, social sciences and business, to natural and health sciences and engineering. Since 2000, enrolment in graduate programs has grown by 75 per cent, from approximately 2,000 to 3,500. That’s largely in response to a concerted effort on the part of the provincial government to increase Ontario’s cohort of highly trained knowledge workers. Sekuler says McMaster did well in two recent rounds of funding increases. She credits the University’s stellar reputation for research excellence and innovation in graduate education. The growth has continued, with the number of graduate students increasing by eight per cent in the last three years alone. In addition to more traditional programs, McMaster offers a number of innovative interdisciplinary programs. The neuroscience program introduced three years ago recruited an astonishing 21 graduate students in the first year, and 24 in the second. Offerings in engineering include biomedical engineering, engineering entrepreneurship and innovation, and engineering and public policy. Programs in 14

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

well-regarded professional master’s programs. Andrew Nichols is in the second year of the occupational therapy program. Nichols, a former competitive figure skater, studied human kinetics at the University of Ottawa before coming to Mac. “I wasn’t totally aware of the problem-based learning approach when I arrived,” he says, “but I’m definitely very happy about my choice. As soon as we got here we were put into small groups to work on different case scenarios. It’s a great way to learn because it mimics professional practice.” The program also includes several placements. When he graduates, Nichols wants to practice for a few years and then possibly return to Mac for the recently-launched PhD in rehabilitation science. One of Sekuler’s new ideas for grad studies was the creation of an assistant dean of graduate student life and research position, the first of its kind at a Canadian university. “There’s a growing recognition that graduate students have different needs from undergraduates in career preparation and skills training,” says Peter Self, who holds the new job. Self points out that the vast majority of graduate students, including PhDs and post-doctoral

determine other professional development needs. His team also supports the Graduate Student Association (GSA), working with it to organize joint events. More than 700 students attended a campus-wide grad welcome event last September. The GSA is also committed to creating a positive experience for Mac’s grad students, says Jessica Merolli, President of the Association. Merolli graduated in Canadian studies from U of T, and then came to Mac for her master’s. Her focus is on immigration, citizenship and public policy, and she decided to stay on for her PhD because of the opportunity to work with several exceptional researchers in the field. The GSA provides travel grants so that students can attend and present at conferences, often an important step toward academic appointments. The Association also advocates for graduate students on major academic issues, and provides a variety of social events. “Everyone needs to take a break,” says Merolli. “The quality of your research is better if you step away from it for a couple of hours a week. And interacting with students in different Faculties is

Opening the Gate Meet McMaster JD Howell

Allison Sekuler, associate vice-president and dean of graduate studies (centre), enjoys some spring sunshine with Lia Tsotsos, a third-year PhD student in neuroscience and Stan Govenlock, a fourth-year PhD student in psychology. important because that way you share new ideas.” In addition to pub nights on campus, the GSA offers ski trips and other outdoor experiences. Sekuler is also working to enrich the graduate student experience by fostering internationalization. She wants to create more opportunities for Mac graduate students to study abroad, and find ways to attract international students to the University. Several international degree programs have been developed, including one offered in partnership with the United Nations University. In December 2009 a team from McMaster visited China for a PhD recruitment workshop. Relationships are also developing with the University of the West Indies and the Jordanian government. “Internationalization is an important priority,” she says. “It really enhances the feel of a university when you have people from diverse cultures interacting together. And you

never know where the next DaVinci will come from!” Most government funding and scholarships are restricted to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Sekuler hopes that will change, but in the meantime Mac has introduced the Graduate Studies International Excellence Awards, valued at $10,000 each. Last year 22 awards were handed out to new international students across the campus. Fabio Shecaira, a philosophy student from Brazil, received one of the inaugural awards. “I thought it was a mistake when I first got the e-mail,” he says with a laugh. Already committed to McMaster, Shecaira says the scholarship sealed the deal. He agrees that the presence of international students enriches grad programs. “I learn most from the people who don’t share my assumptions,” he says. “It’s great to engage with people from other backgrounds and have

my deep convictions challenged. It makes me work harder.” So what is it like to be a grad student at Mac today? “We have a really great relationship with one another in my faculty,” says Jessica Merolli. “We’re very supportive of one another. I like the collegial atmosphere.” Adds Andrew Nichols, “When you come here, you feel welcome and you form friendships quickly. I was comfortable right away.” Shecaira agrees. “I was surprised to see how friendly the department was. There’s always an event or a party going on. It’s very easy to make friends.” Self says that a positive atmosphere is important, and not only because it supports graduate students to complete their programs successfully. “Our greatest ambassadors are our students. When they’re having interesting and valuable experiences, they’re going to tell others and want to give back.” McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Setting the Bar High Meet McMaster

Setting the Bar High Peter George leaves McMaster one of the world’s top universities At Alumni Weekend in 1995 there was a new face in the crowd. Peter George was about to become McMaster’s president and it was his first chance to meet with alumni. “It was an extraordinary moment when I found out that I was to be McMaster’s president,” he told the breakfast gathering. “My feelings were very close to the surface – a mixture of pride, humility, honour and sheer joy.” As George prepares to retire after three presidential terms, his feelings have edged close to the surface once again. The capacity crowd at his “Last Lecture” in March had the chance to hear and share his story and to understand just how much he believes in McMaster, in education and in the responsibility everyone has to find a way to make the world a better place. (His speech is available free on iTunes, As president, George has led the University guided by these three principles: set the bar high, don’t settle for anything but excellence, and put students at the centre. Through his leadership McMaster has evolved into a leading national university and an international powerhouse of research. The numbers are impressive.

Then and now... Students Alumni Faculty Campus buildings Endowed chairs Research funding Research centres and institutions Endowment

McMaster in 1995 17,211 83,754 1,001 47 0 $75 million 12 $66 million

McMaster in 2010 27,703 141,305 (in 140 countries) 1,253 56 80 $374 million 80 $417 million (April 2009)

JD Howell

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


But numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. One of the nine new buildings on campus is the McMaster University Student Centre. It is arguably the building that has done the most to change the ebb and flow of campus life and the experience that students have at McMaster. George declared the completion of a new student centre a “moral imperative” during his first public address as president. Since its official opening in 2002, the McMaster University Student Centre has become the heart of campus. From morning to night it is a gathering place for students from all areas of campus. “It’s difficult to imagine life at McMaster without the student centre,” said Vishal Tiwari, president of the McMaster Students Union. “Peter George deserves tremendous credit for making the dream of a student centre a reality. He has led so many initiatives that have put students first and created a strong feeling of community at McMaster.” The Centre for Leadership and Learning, the evolution of libraries into learning commons, the David Braley Athletic Centre, and the Ron Joyce Stadium – these projects have also placed students at the centre of the University and provided the facilities and support they need to reach their full potential. “Having a president who believes in athletics as much as Peter George does is rare,” says Taylor Smith, a fifth-year senior guard for the Marauders Women’s Basketball Team. “When travelling across the country, it is not often you go into a facility and see the president of the university sitting in the stands.”

Jason Jones

“It’s difficult to imagine life at McMaster without the student centre.”

The University Student Centre has become the heart of campus for students.

Rick Zazulak

McMaster's Ron Joyce Stadium officially opened in September 2008 providing a new home to the Marauders and a facility for many community teams and events. The stadium complements the David Braley Athletic Centre and together provide some of the best student athletic facilities in the country. 18

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Setting the Bar High Meet McMaster Dr. John Kelton, vice-president and dean, Faculty of Health Sciences (left) and Roger Trull, vice-president University Advancement (right), join businessman and philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote and Peter George for the presentation in 2003 of the largest cash donation in Canadian history. George has led two historic fundraising campaigns: the Changing Tomorrow Today campaign that raised $128.5 million ($100-million goal) and The Campaign for McMaster University, a $400-million campaign that ends later this year. After 45 years at McMaster, George knows most people at the University. But the faces have changed over time. New faculty members have joined the McMaster family, attracted by opportunities to collaborate with worldleading research colleagues. They have expanded the University’s scope, reputation and potential and helped McMaster become one of the “Top 100 Universities in the World” in the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking of world universities. When asked what is different about McMaster’s approach to research, George is explicit: “It’s our open-mindedness and willingness to collaborate with our colleagues, with other universities, with government and with business and industry.” That philosophy of collaboration has benefitted McMaster, its students, faculty and staff, and the Hamilton community. “Peter will be remembered for his belief in leveraging the University’s expanding reputation to create opportunities for the City of Hamilton,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “The McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) is quickly becoming a magnet for new investment. It is a strong symbol of the city’s economic evolution and development potential.” Partnerships with Mohawk College, the expansion of the medical schools to satellite campuses in Niagara, Waterloo and Burlington, and the soon-to-open Ron Joyce Centre at the DeGroote School of Business in Burlington all have helped McMaster expand its accessibility and reach. That reach has also expanded internationally with educational agreements in countries around the world. McMaster has been established as North America’s only host site for the United Nations University through the International Network on Water, Environment and Health.

“Our alumni in every field no matter where they live all have a common message when I see them. Each invariably says how much McMaster has meant to them. I want each one to know how much they mean to McMaster.”

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Bobby Dumesnil

Peter George's family join with more than 1,000 guests at Hamilton Place for the tribute evening in March 2010.

JD Howell

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Mike Lalich


Bobby Dumesnil

Travelling across the country and around the world to share McMaster’s stories has provided George plenty of opportunities to meet with alumni. He calls them inspirational, pointing to the servicemen who arrived at McMaster after the war; those like Cy Taylor, Mel Hawkrigg and Red Wilson who have taken on the Chancellor’s role; doctors Eric Hoskins, Richard Heinzl, Samantha Nutt and James Orbinski who are leaders in international humanitarianism; and Olympic athletes like Adam Van Koeverden. “Our alumni in every field no matter where they live all have a common message when I see them,” says George. “Each invariably says how much McMaster has meant to them. I want each one to know how much they mean to McMaster.” There are two families in Peter George’s life. There’s the McMaster family and his own family. He and his first wife Gwen saw their children Michael and Jane both graduate from McMaster and marry McMaster graduates. Gwen passed away not long after he became president. The first of six grandchildren is hoping to start her McMaster journey this fall. His second wife, Allison Barrett, has supported him throughout his time as president. Their five-year-old adopted daughter Lily Rose is anxious to spend more time with her father as his retirement officially begins. These two families joined together in March to celebrate George’s legacy. More than 1,000 people gathered in downtown Hamilton to pay tribute to a man who has dedicated his life to McMaster. The gathering was an opportunity to look back at all that has been accomplished under George’s leadership and to look forward to McMaster’s continued development and success and the opportunities it will provide to generations of students to come. During his “Last Lecture,” George shared his vision for the University’s future. “When I look around me at the bright faces of our students, the excellence and dedication of our staff, the passion of our professors and the enthusiasm and accomplishments of our alumni, I see no reason for Mac not to be the best university in the world,” he said. “We have all it takes right here; all we need is hope, and a vision, and the determination and will to make it happen. I have done my best for 45 years to make it so. Now it is up to all who will come after.”

Above: McMaster marching band leader Neil DePass escorts Peter George from the stage at Hamilton Place. Below: George is joined by Ron Foxcroft '01 (honorary degree) and Ed Minich '72, '74 at the tribute reception.

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Alumni Album

1960s Leonard Conolly ’64, an English professor at Trent University, was appointed president of the International Shaw Society. The “ISS” is devoted to the study of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Bruce Stock ’60 has been inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Public Relations Society’s College of Fellows, for his “exemplary professional qualities and his truly meaningful contributions to the practice and body of knowledge in public relations.” Stock’s achievements include receiving the government’s prestigious Amethyst Award for his work as a media relations officer in the Provincial Control Centre during Ontario’s infamous ice storm of January ’98. Now living in Brantford with wife Olivia, Bruce continues to pursue his chosen profession and very much enjoys mentoring younger practitioners. L.R. (Red) Wilson ’62, McMaster’s Chancellor, will be inducted into the Order of the Business Hall of Fame in May 2010.

1970s Piero Cherubini ’79 was appointed Dean, Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship with Mohawk College. Nyron Drepaul ’78 worked for 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry in quality control, product development, production and plant management, before switching to management consulting for the last 16 years. He is presently employed as a consulting manager with the Business Development Bank in Mississauga. He has two children, André and Candace '08. Derek Daskaluk ’77 was appointed vice-president of UltraWood Products, based in Pompano Beach, Fla. He and his wife Marie have two children, Justin, 27, and Katelyn, 23.


McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Waguih ElMaraghy ’72 & ‘75, a professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, University of Windsor, was named a Fellow of Engineers Canada at the nomination of Professional Engineers Ontario. Jock Fleming ’77 was appointed vice-president with Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. in Toronto. Linda Heslegrave ‘77 and Dan McCaughey ‘77 have established STAGE Toronto Theatre. Avid theatre goers for over 30 years, retirement from full-time employment has given them the time to plunge into this new project. Toronto’s newest theatre company, STAGE presents dynamic and challenging plays from the world repertoire. STAGE provides a fresh and audacious approach, providing audiences with stirring, exciting theatre and connecting them to their world in new and provocative ways. The first production of the 2010 season is “Duet for One” by Tom Kempinski. It will open in late May at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. For more information visit Dave McHardy ’75 has been appointed director, extension services for the Yukon Territory’s only post-secondary institution, Yukon College. He oversees the development and delivery of the college’s continuing education and corporate training programs while helping to launch a new University of the Arctic and contributing to one of Canada’s fastest-growing areas of research, arctic studies. Wendy Morgan ’76 is National Coach with the Canadian Curling Association and Program Manager with the National Wheelchair Curling Progam. She was team leader for the five-member Paralympic curling team that won the gold medal at the recent Paralympic Games in Vancouver.

Heather Munroe-Blum ’74, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University, has been appointed director with the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, based in Montreal. The foundation was established in 2001 to promote outstanding research in the humanities and social sciences. Lee Norton ’71 is semi-retired from being principal of TMP Niagara, a mechanical engineering consulting firm dealing with the design of commercial buildings. He is working as a consultant for several firms and has been one of 275 Canadians who have joined “The Climate Project - Canada” in which he has developed his own presentation, “3-Degrees” on the science behind global warming/climate change and the effects on our planet. Norton is offering these presentations free of charge to high schools, colleges, universities as well as businesses in order to further the understanding of our climate and the changes that are happening. Randolph “Randy” Ross ‘73 is coowner with wife Lynda of Hughes Travel in Ridgetown.  Randy has retired as a college instructor and financial analyst and now embarks on a third career, one that involves his favourite hobby, travelling. Keith Skipper ‘70 was recently appointed an independent director with Circumpacific Energy based

Barry Lord '61, who has earned international renown as one of the world’s leading museum planners, was awarded the Distinguised Alumni Award for the Arts for 2009. He is a successful author, editor, entrepreneur and an innovative leader in the field of museum design. For almost 50 years, Lord has been dedicated to the creation of cultural capital across the globe. In 1981, he founded Lord Cultural Resources together with his wife Gail, and has since assisted cultural organizations with envisioning, planning and implementing strategies that embody innovation and excellence.

Patrick Smith ’71 has been appointed by the federal cabinet to help launch the Specific Claims Tribunal to adjudicate First Nations claims that have been unable to get to trial. Alan Torrie ’72 is the new President and Chief Executive Officer with Morneau Sobeco Income Fund. James Wilson ’72 was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Globex.

1980s Thomas Atkins ’84 is the new President and Chief Executive Officer at Rockex Limited in Toronto.

Tom Matthews ’79 & ’85 is the new Headmaster at St. George’s School in Vancouver.


Lindorf Mayers ’80 continued his studies in community politics and law and served as manager, consultant and board member of a C.L.S.C. (centre local de services communautaires, local community service centre) in Montreal.

Steve Authier ’93 was appointed Senior Pastor at Heise Hill Brethren in Christ Church in Gormley, Ont. He steps into this role after a year as Lead Pastor for The Meeting House in Parry Sound, Ont. which followed a successful 30-year career in the business sector.

Nancy Naylor ’84 is the new Assistant Deputy Minister - Postsecondary Education Division with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities. James Orbinski ’89, founding member of Doctors Without Borders, was named to the Order of Ontario in January. Martha Perry ’88 was appointed Principal of St. Clement’s School in Toronto.

Nandini Daljit ’87 was appointed Dean, Health Sciences with Mohawk College.

Neil Skelding ’88 was appointed to the Board of Directors with Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ont. Skelding is President and CEO of RBC Insurance.

Gordon Guyatt ’77, ’82 & ‘83 has been short-listed for a British Medical Journal Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Guyatt’s contributions, including introducing the concept of “evidence-based medicine,” helped revolutionize patient care.

Karolyn Smardz Frost ’80, a parttime professor in York University’s history department, is one of 10 finalists for the TVO Best Lecturer Award.

Janet Holder ’83, President of Enbridge Inc., was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2009. W. Andy Knight ’83 was appointed Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta in July 2009. He is also serving as a governor of the International Development Research Centre and was convenor of the annual World University Services of Canada (WUSC) 2009 National Forum, held in Ottawa. He co-edited a book on political leadership which has been published by Ashgate Press in the UK and is receiving great reviews around the globe.

Kevin Smith ’86, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors with the Ontario Hospital Association. Tony Thoma ’83 was appointed Dean, Engineering Technology with Mohawk College. James Vanderveken ’80 was appointed Dean, Interdisciplinary Studies with Mohawk College. Bob Van de Vrande ’84 & ‘85 was elected Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board in December 2009.

Richard Bagdonas ’91 was appointed Senior Director of Human Resources for First Canada – Greyhound Canada (formerly Laidlaw) in Burlington. James Bendell ’93, a board-certified physician and surgeon in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, leads the Lagrange Women’s Center Doctors’ Services, located in Georgia, Ata. Dr. Bendell has received several awards for his dedication to medical care, including the Dorothy Mann Award in Reproductive Biology as well as the award for Special Excellence in Endoscopic Procedures. He currently serves as the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Lanier Medical Center in Valley, Ala. Tracey (Rayburn) Buck ’96 and her husband Andrew welcomed a new daughter, Esther Ann Elizabeth Buck, on September 12, 2009. After graduating from McMaster, Buck went to law school at The University of Western Ontario and was called to the Bar in 2004. Lawrence Chi ’92 & ’94 was recently appointed Regional Director, Human Resources, Greater China for The Walt Disney Company. Chi, his wife Eagle and son Ethan live in Shanghai. Rochelle Coleman ’94 has established a scholarship in memory of her friend and classmate Jennifer Headley ’95 who died in September 2006. The Jennifer Headley Scholarship honours her keen mind, lively spirit and commitment to all living things. It will be awarded to a graduating student in a political science program.

Alumni Album

in Calgary. Skipper is a specialist with the International Petroleum Business Development department of NorthStar Energy Ltd. in North Sydney, Australia.

Calvin Harley '80 is the recipient of the 2009 McMaster University Distinguished Alumni Award for the Sciences. A dedicated scholar and visionary, Dr. Harley has proven himself a leader in biomedical science. After an illustrioius career as an educator and researcher, Dr. Harley joined the highly successful biotechnology company Geron Corporation, where he provides creative and innovative leadership in the endeavour to find new drugs to treat cancer and other chronic diseases. Rick Court ’75 & ’90 was appointed Dean, Faculty of Business, Media and Communications with Mohawk College. Wesley Hahn ‘91 was named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by The Learning Partnership, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to championing a strong public education system in Canada. Hahn is the principal at R. A. Riddell Elementary School in Hamilton. Craig Henderson ’95 and Jennifer Henderson of Toronto welcomed a daughter, Renée Elizabeth Henderson, on Jan. 24, 2010. Catherine (Coborn) Magill ‘91 is a Halton Apprenticeship Advisory Council honour roll recipient for the advancement, development and commitment to skilled trades in Halton Region as Human Resources Manager. Samantha Nutt ’91 & ‘94, cofounder and CEO of War Child Canada, was recently appointed to the Order of Ontario for her role as McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Alumni Album

a leader in humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations in conflict zones. Last year Dr. Nutt was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Ray Tribe ‘94 has accepted the role of Director of Operations at Lynden International Logistics in Toronto. His responsibilities focus on leading one of Canada’s largest pharmaceutical distribution networks, allowing him to blend his skills in supply chain with his passion for instructing in the fields of leadership development and coaching. Tribe is a member of the Logistics Quarterly Magazine Advisory Board, and sits on the Board of Directors of Supply Chain Canada.  His spare time is spent with his sons, aged six and four, who have both made trips to Mac for Homecoming! Anne-Marie Zajdlik ’88 & ’90 was appointed to the Order of Ontario in January 2010. Dr. Zajdlik is a family physician and one of Canada’s leading AIDS activists who works to alleviate the impact of the worldwide AIDS crisis. Ben Zimmer ‘97 and Amy Leask ’97 are promoting innovation and creative thinking in learners of all ages. As co-founders of Enable Training and Consulting, Inc., the duo is bringing robotics education online and philosophy to the playground.  One branch of the company provides consulting, teaching resources and video-based LabVIEW training to educators and industry professionals (enabletc. com). The other reaches into young minds, leading philosophy workshops for children, youth and adults (

2000s Jennifer Alexander ’04 was honoured by the International Women’s Day committee in Amherst, Nova Scotia for excellence in sport. Nadi Bargouti ’03 was appointed Head of Asset Management with Shuaa Capital in the United Arab Emirates.


McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Sarah Clarke ’97 and Anthony MacCrimmon welcomed a son, Jack, on Feb. 10, 2009. Jack joins older siblings Ben and Emily and will spend his early years in the National Capital Region. Claire Gillies ’98 & ’01 was appointed Vice President, Marketing Campaign Execution for Bell Mobility. Tina Hamel ’02 & '04 and her husband welcomed their first child, Emma Elizabeth Hamel, on Aug. 5, 2009. Zachary Melnick ’05 directed and produced an eight-part documentary on the history of Muskoka, the West Parry Sound District, the City of Greater Sudbury and Manitoulin Island. It premiered on TVO in January. Tanya Rumble ’08 was named a 2010 DiverseCity Fellow. She is participating in a one-year actionoriented fellowship program for 27 rising city-builders who are deeply committed to developing themselves into better leaders and working across sectors on issues that are critical to the future health and wealth of the Toronto region. Rumble is working as a health promoter with the Halton Region Health Department.

Mac alumni help keep the Olympic flame burning Several McMaster alumni were among the proud Canadians who participated in the 106-day Olympic Torch Relay. They include Cyril Leeder ’82, president of the Ottawa Senators, Olympian Adam Van Koeverden ’07, Robert Korver ’01, Jennifer (Lynch) Powles ’90 and honorary alumnus Ron Foxcroft ’01.

Celebrate with McMaster! Rasheeda Ali ’07 received a Youth Acting Up! award from the Ontario Council for International Cooperation. The awards recognize the work of inspirational young people who are acting up for global change. Ali’s project was called “PhotoVoice.” The goal of the project was to allow marginalized people, those typically the subjects of photo essays, to instead have the chance to express their own voices through photography. Tony Varghese ’02 and his wife Abby welcomed their first child, Maia Sophia Varghese, in 2009.

Share your good news – special awards, honours, milestones and moments – with your classmates and other alumni through the pages of McMaster Times. We are always delighted to hear from you (and we especially like getting photos!). Share your news with fellow alumni by sending it to or call us at 905-5259140 ext. 27255 or toll-free at 1-888-217-6003.

Karen McQuigge ’90 Director, Alumni Advancement If you have managed to get this deep into your Spring issue of the McMaster Times, you may have noticed a story or two referencing the fact that our president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Peter George, is nearing retirement. After serving 15 remarkable years in McMaster’s top office, Dr. George has more than earned the many tributes he has received. I can almost guarantee you, however, that they won’t tell the whole story of his impact on McMaster. You’ll see stories about things like McMaster’s appearance on various global rankings of universities. You’ll see reviews of the new buildings, the fundraising success, the research funding and the community partnerships that Dr. George helped build. But I think – and maybe this is just me – that one of the most important and certainly most under-appreciated aspects of Dr. George’s legacy is his impact on our alumni program and our alumni. From his first alumni event as president (for the record, it was in the summer of 1995 at the Brantford Alumni Branch potluck dinner and Dr. George brought a salad) to his last alumni event (likely to be Alumni Weekend 2010 in June when we will not ask him to bring food of any kind), Dr. George has been an enthusiastic participant in our alumni program and has unfailingly supported the McMaster Alumni Association and the importance of alumni, both collectively and individually, in the life of the University. And just in case you’re wondering, yes that previous sentence is 88 words long and more or less grammatically sound. From the birth of the McMaster Alumni Society in 1894, to the first Grads’ Day in 1937, to the appointment of the first alumni director in 1946, alumni programming has grown

significantly over the years, but the expansion and diversification of Mac’s alumni activity during Dr. George’s tenure as president is unprecedented. In the last 10 years alone, our alumni population increased by almost 50 per cent, from 97,630 to 141,307. At the same time, the University’s investment in alumni programming more than doubled. That allowed us to invest significantly in international alumni branches, student programming and activities for young alumni. We increased the number of alumni events by 82 per cent, held first-time events in 13 different cities across Canada and around the world, and launched an online presence that connects Mac to almost 1,000 alumni through Twitter, more than 5,000 via Facebook and more than 63,000 by e-mail. The Alumni Association also created new programs for specific interests ranging from reading (MacReads Book Club) to flag football (Hawkrigg Cup) and from refined manners (Etiquette Dinners) to kids’ stuff (Family Events). So as the McMaster family celebrates the University’s achievements under Dr. George’s 15 years of leadership, we here in the Office of Alumni Advancement and the McMaster Alumni Association salute him for his tremendously positive influence on the McMaster alumni family. On behalf of McMaster grads everywhere, Peter, I extend to you 141,307 “thank yous.”

Hello and Goodbye

Rebecca Bentham ’02 Alumni Association President It has been a pleasure to serve as your president this year. At our Annual General Meeting (which will take place at 2:30 p.m. on June 5 in the McMaster University Student Centre) David Adames ’92 will be confirmed as your new president. David is a great advocate for McMaster as he is for the City of Hamilton as

executive director of Hamilton Tourism. David has been a very hard-working volunteer for McMaster University for a number of years. I have found him to be a highly intelligent, reflective individual with a great love for Hamilton. He is both a visionary and a person with a flair for getting things done. I hope that you will give David your best wishes and ideas as he continues to work on a strategic plan for the Alumni Association. As this is my last article as president of the Alumni Association, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board: Beth Webel, Bill McLean, Don Bridgman, Jennifer Kleven, Candy Hui, Maria Topalovic, Earl Cochrane, Suzanne Craven, Maureen Harmer, Dennis Souder, Brian Bidulka, Quentin Broad, Lauren Cuddy, David Lazzarato and Howard Shearer. I am grateful for their creativity, patience, and many hours of volunteer service to McMaster. Working with them has been a privilege and pleasure. I am also grateful to Karen McQuigge and Anne-Marie Middel for their guidance, assistance, and devotion to the University. As I write, the academic year is winding to a close and students are counting out the last days of classes. They are waiting to see how their exam schedule will unfold and when their summer will begin, and they may be anticipating the end of their formal academic career at McMaster. Many will cross the stage at Hamilton Place in June, sharing it for a brief moment with Peter George, McMaster’s president. I hope that in the excitement of the moment, they will take a moment to acknowledge Dr. George. Like them, he will soon be entering the unfamiliar territory of an existence that doesn’t involve McMaster on a day-to-day basis. On June 30, Dr. George will retire from McMaster after an impressive career that has spanned 45 years. He has devoted his time, energy, passion and talents to the University in ways that can’t nearly be recounted here. He is undeniably proud of the accomplishments of McMaster alumni. We will miss him. Like all of our soon-to-be alumni, we invite Dr. George to stay connected. We hope he will take advantage of his Honorary Membership, letting the McMaster Alumni Association be an ongoing part of his relationship with the University. For now though, we pause to simply say “Thank you and all the very best in retirement – we hope you thoroughly enjoy your commitment to play more.” I would encourage each of you to take a moment and visit the McMaster website, attend an alumni event or look up that long-lost friend. McMaster is the tie that binds us all and it is a wonderful place. Good luck David and thank you. McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Alumni Directions

Many Thanks

McMaster Writes

Cecil Hamilton ’51 has written The Story of Strabane (McMaster Titles Bookstore), a comprehensive history of the agricultural, social, religious and educational development of a small Ontario village (now within the City of Hamilton) between 1830 and 1940. Dietmar Kennepohl ’84 edited Accessible Elements: Teaching Science Online and at a Distance (Athabasca University Press, 2010) with co-editor Lawton Shaw. Kennepohl is Associate Vice President Academic and Professor of Chemistry at Athabasca University. Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffman comments, “From the work and experience of many people across the globe, Accessible Elements has built a remarkably coherent guidebook to distance education in the computer age. It is both eminently practical and visionary.” W. Andy Knight '83, Chair of Political Science at the University of Alberta, co-edited The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Leadership (Ashgate Publishing, 2009). It is described by the publisher as follows: "Discussing the major theories of political leadership with a focus on contemporary challenges that political leaders face worldwide, this research companion provides a comprehensive and up-to-date resource for an international readership. The editors combine empirical and normative approaches to emphasize the centrality of political culture, as well as the limits of culture and the universal demands of innovative adaptation." Bernard M. Levinson wrote Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2008). According to one reviewer, "At present there is no better introduction to intra-biblical exegesis and it is simply indispensable reading for all those interested in this approach." Peter Penner ’70 edited From Kransthal to Kelowna, the David A Schellenberg Story, 1894-1994 (Donna Schellenberg Jakubec, 2009). Peter previously completed two books, Manchester to Calgary South, 1955-2005: Rotary Fellowship in Action, and A Century of Grace, 1905-2005: Grace Presbyterian Church. Leanne Piper ’91 co-authored her first fulllength book, Fingerprints through Time: A History of the Guelph Police (Log Cabin Press, 2009). The book, written with two retired newspaper crime reporters, John P. D'Alton and Bob Rutter, and Sgt. Doug Pflug of the Guelph Police Service, is a comprehensive history of 26

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

one of Ontario's oldest municipal police forces. The Guelph police were pioneers in Canadian law enforcement, boasting the first motorcycle patrol, the first two-way radio system, the first roadside safety inspection program and the first female municipal police chief. The book covers the period 1827 through 2009 and is filled with historical crime stories and a cultural perspective on law enforcement in Canada over the last century and a half. John Ratcliffe ’98 co-edited Cognitive Ecology II (The University of Chicago Press, 2009). The book is described as, “integrating numerous scientific disciplines to analyze the ecology and evolution of animal cognition.” Ratcliffe is a postdoctoral associate at the Centre for Sound Communication, University of Southern Denmark. John Lawrence Reynolds ’74 authored the book, The Skeptical Investor (Penguin Canada, 2010). In the book, Reynolds, “uses real-life examples and his characteristic wry humour to explain how any investor can take advantage of opportunities now to rebuild a stronger portfolio.” This is his 23rd published book and 17th non-fiction book. Among his previous publications are ghost-written works for former Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove (Laying It on the Line - HarperCollins) and Second Cup founder and recovered alcoholic Frank O'Dea ( When All You Have Is Hope - Penguin). Nikki Rosen ’95, wrote In the Eye of Deception (McMaster Titles Bookstore, 2010), her personal story of escaping physical abuse, rape, drug addiction, eating disorders and selfinflicted abuse through faith. She writes: “In the Eye of Deception is a true story of hope and inspiration. The message is clear – no darkness is so black, no valley so deep, God cannot redeem it for His glory.” Nikki is currently working on a novel for young adults and a children’s story. For more information, visit www.

Author, author!

Have you recently published a book? Let your fellow Mac alumni know by sending us the publication information (and a photo of the front cover) Share your news with fellow alumni by sending it to or call us at 905-525-9140 ext. 21314 or toll-free at 1-888-217-6003.

Ivan C. Amery ’61 died in Markham on Dec. 5, 2009. He was a Faculty of Engineering graduate. Frances Marilyn Baker/Frazer ’54 died on Jan. 20, 2010. She obtained a BA from McMaster, an MA from UBC and a PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London. A fine scholar, her edition of Caesar and Cleopatra, though intended for freshmen and sophomores, was praised in The Year’s Work in English Studies. She wrote the chapter on Canadian children’s literature in the New Literary History of Canada and many articles and reviews. She was chair of the English department at the University of Prince Edward Island and acted as the dean of arts for a year. She also taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta, and was a charter member of faculty at Simon Fraser University and the University of Prince Edward Island. Lisa Beame ’83 died July 2, 2009. She was living in County Cork, Ireland. Lois (Dakin) Benham ’46 died at her home in Castalia, Grand Manan Island, N.B. on Nov. 22, 2009. Born in Galt, Ont., she graduated from McMaster with a BA in Arts and Science. She co-authored, with husband Leslie, five published children’s books, including The Heroine of Long Point. She was active in the Galt Camera Club and the Presbyterian Church for many years. She is survived by her husband and daughter Arlene, both of Grand Manan Island.

Penny Bolton-Galbraith ’90 died Nov. 16, 2009 at the age of 42, surrounded by her loving family. “Throughout her illness, Penny was an inspiration to everyone. Joking through treatments, being strong for others and dealing with more than one should ever have to endure, she made new friends, impressed her doctors with her tenacity, strength and courage and reminded us all of the beauty and laughter to be found in each day. She graduated from McMaster with an honours bachelor of arts. A Wallingford Hall alumna, she was active in campus life and forged many friendships which lasted through the years. A world traveller, she touched lives in the U.K, Japan and Australia before settling down with her husband, Gordon, and their daughter, Georgia, in Poplar Hill, Ontario. She pursued her interests in pottery, running, dancing, singing and teaching English as a second language at Fanshawe College. To be closer to family, Penny, Gordon and Georgia moved to Edith, NSW, Australia where Gordon and Georgia continue to reside.” John N. Booth ’34 died on Nov. 11, 2009 in Los Alamitos, California, after a distinguished career as a professional magician and Unitarian minister. Mimi (Hegarty) Carson ’46 died on Dec. 24, 2009 in Caledon, Ont. She was a Faculty of Social Sciences graduate.

Barry Benness ’90 died Oct. 7, 2009. He earned his PhD in McMaster’s Faculty of Science. Blake Bexon ’72 of Ailsa Craig, Ont. died on Nov. 23, 2009. He graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Michael John Conrad ’07 died suddenly on Aug. 5, 2009. Michael was the son of Barbara Ann Conrad and John Adam Conrad, and brother of J. Adam Conrad ’01.

J.J. Guy Durocher ’78 of Winnipeg, Manitoba, died on July 10, 2009.

Hugh Ortwein ’64 died on Aug. 23, 2009. He was a Faculty of Social Sciences graduate.

James Eagles ’69 died Feb. 21, 2010, in Blind River. He is survived by his wife Carol, children Mark, Belinda and Jennifer, and three grandchildren.

Kathleen H. Playle ’80 died Nov. 30, 2009. She graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Emily Myra Gwen (Woolley) Ellingsen ’05 died on Feb. 19, 2010, while completing her residency in psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. “Emily has taught us all lessons on friendship, positivity, understanding, empathy and true love. . . Her industriousness, initiative and endless positivity have made their mark on Victoria’s psychiatry community. She embraced her life’s work with vigour, only to be interrupted – briefly – by her diagnosis with cancer in December 2006. Her studies and involvement with all aspects of her program resumed after a short course of treatment, before her repeat diagnosis with metastatic disease. She retired from her program, finally, after completing her fourth year oral exams in late 2009.” Ralph Jamieson ’42 died in London, Ont. Howard Johnston ’55 died in Milford, Ont. on Jan. 18, 2008. He was a Faculty of Humanities graduate. Jacques Langlais ’72 & '77 died in Montreal in late 2009. He obtained both his MA and his PhD in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Thomas W. Ricker ’64 & ’66 died in Burlington on Sept. 28, 2009. He was a Faculty of Engineering graduate. Keith Smith ‘48 died Nov. 18, 2009. He was predeceased by his wife, Joyce (Walker) Smith ‘49 who passed away in February 2006. Glen Stinson’66 died Dec. 11, 2009. After obtaining his doctorate at McMaster, his career was spent at the University of Alberta, but his work was primarily with TRIUMF in Vancouver, one of the world’s leading subatomic physics laboratories. Before he died he was working on initiating isotope production at TRIUMF’s radioactive beams facility, Isotope Separator and Accelerator (ISAC). He is survived by his wife, Naomi, his three children, Roberta, Maureen, and Craig and two grandchildren Jeremy and Janelle and by Naomi’s children, Stephen, Karen, and Ian. James M. Walls ’39 died Oct. 22, 2009, in Kingston, Ont. at age 94. He is survived by his wife, Trixie, of 64 years, his children Jacqueline, Jamie, and Lucinda, and five grandchildren.

Jack Nunn ’43 died Dec. 8, 2009 in Toronto. Born Feb. 7, 1922 at Southend-on-Sea, England, he graduated with a degree in chemistry. He devoted his career to Imperial Oil. He is survived by his wife Vera (nee Scher) and his children Mark, Robin, and Veronica and four grandchildren. He donated his body to the University of Toronto for research.

McMaster Times - Spring 2010


In Memoriam

Jean E. Allin ’40 died Dec. 23, 2009.

Alumni Gallery

MAA announces newest Alumni Gallery members The Alumni Weekend festivities will kick off with the McMaster Alumni Association Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 3, 2010, during which eight new members will be inducted into the Alumni Gallery. The MAA is proud to present the inductees for 2010:

Myles Druckman ’89 MD, Faculty of Health Sciences Dr. Myles Druckman is Vice President, Medical Services for International SOS. In this role, Druckman leads the development of customized corporate health solutions for multinational organizations which support the health of their personnel wherever they may live or work globally. He is considered a leading pandemic expert and is a board member of “WaterAid,” a leading non-governmental organization concerned with delivering water and sanitation to the most needy regions of the world. Nigel Fisher ’71 MA, Faculty of Social Sciences Nigel Fisher, a former Assistant SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations, and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan, has been President and CEO of UNICEF Canada since November 2005. Fisher worked with UNICEF internationally in 10 developing countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa in various roles, including heading the agency’s operations in several conflict zones. Fisher was awarded Canada’s Meritorious Service Cross for his humanitarian work in Rwanda.

Stanley Kwan ’74 BCom, ’75 MBA, Faculty of Business Stanley Kwan is a partner of one of the largest Chinese accounting practices in Toronto, specializing in tax planning for entrepreneurs and new immigrants. He has written articles for industry-related publications and has been involved with many non-profit organizations. He founded Fu Hui Education Foundation, a registered Canadian charity that provides financial assistance to poor youth in China. Today Fu Hui is sponsoring 3,000 high school and university students with volunteers acting as their mentors in building selfconfidence and learning social responsibility. Eugene Levy ’69 Associate Member, ’05 Honorary Degree Eugene Levy is an actor, television director, producer, musician and writer. He has appeared in more than 40 motion pictures, seven of which have topped the $100 million dollar mark. His box office success in films like Bringing Down the House, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Father of the Bride Part II has helped establish him as one of Hollywood’s most popular comedic character actors. Levy started his career on the popular late night comedy series Second City TV where he won two Emmy Awards for writing.

Duncan Hannay ’85 B.Eng, Faculty of Engineering After 15 years of diverse entrepreneurial pursuits in the technology and building science fields, Duncan Hannay is Managing Director and Head of Online Brokerage for Scotiabank, where he is responsible for the strategic direction, customer relationships and ongoing financial management of Scotiabank’s growing online brokerage franchise, including Scotia iTRADE, ScotiaMcLeod Direct Investing and TradeFreedom. He currently serves as a board member for Scotia Capital Inc. and for Covenant House, Canada’s largest shelter for homeless youth.

Maureen Mancuso ’82 BA, Faculty of Humanities Maureen Mancuso is the Provost and VicePresident (Academic) at the University of Guelph. Mancuso’s research interests include political ethics and political corruption. She has served as a consultant to the Canadian House of Commons on legislative codes of conduct and conflict of interest legislation and has appeared on national and local news broadcasts to discuss matters of political ethics. Her books include A Question of Ethics: Canadians Speak Out (Oxford, 1998).

Allan Jackson ’73 B.Sc. (Hons), ’77 PhD, Faculty of Science Allan Jackson is president of Jackson Fine Wine Consulting and the Niagara Wine Exchange, Canada’s first VQA wine brokerage. He began studying wines as an undergraduate at McMaster and upon graduation, was hired by John Labatt Ltd. to initiate a research and quality control and enhancement program for their wine divisions. It was the beginning of a series of successes and fruitful partnerships, including one with Don Triggs with whom he launched Jackson-Triggs Vintners in 1993. Jackson-Triggs quickly became the largest-selling wine brand in Canada.

Paula Rochon ’80 BA (Hons), Faculty of Social Sciences ’83 MD, Faculty of Health Sciences Dr. Paula Rochon is the Vice President, Research at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and senior scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute. She is a well-known geriatrician and clinical researcher, whose career has focused on improving the use of medications to treat older adults. Rochon is a professor in the departments of medicine and health policy, management and evaluation at the University of Toronto and a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies.

For more information about the awards ceremony, please contact Danielle Roy at 905-525-9140 ext. 27255, 28

McMaster Times - Spring 2010

Thanks Volunteers! Spring in the Alumni Office is always a busy place as we host end-of-year events for students and head into our biggest event of the year – Alumni Weekend. With all of the activity that keeps us busy on a daily basis, we would like to take a moment to recognize the hundreds of volunteers who devote their time, energy and talents to the McMaster Alumni Association and make it the vibrant community it is. The week of April 18 is National Volunteer Week in Canada and is the week we host our annual Volunteer Recognition event on campus. We recognize that not everyone can attend and we want to be sure we say “Thank you!” to all of our wonderful volunteers. We appreciate all you do!

Discover Psychology The second season for this popular open lecture series is set for this fall. Beginning September 10 and running Friday afternoons through December, this year’s topics include: “First Sight -- What Babies See;” “Perception as Probabilistic Inference;” and “My Brain in Space.” Can’t make it to campus? Lectures will be posted to McMaster UTV so you can view when it’s convenient for you! Check for details.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - McMaster ALUMNI GALLERY There are many thousands of living graduates of McMaster. In their ranks are representatives of almost every trade, business or profession. Many of them have made names for themselves because of their accomplishments in their vocations and avocations. Included in this alumni ‘hall of fame’ are graduates whose names are household words. Others are not as well known but their lives are just as absorbing. The Alumni Gallery is a display of photographs and biographies of some of our alumni who lead interesting lives and make outstanding contributions to society. The Association invites nominations and supporting material by September 1, 2010 to be considered for induction into the McMaster University 2011 Alumni Gallery. For more information or a nomination form, please call the Office of Alumni Advancement at 905-525-9140 ext. 27255, 1-888-217-6003, email or visit our website at

Mark the date and come back to Mac for the Homecoming game, concert and celebrations on Saturday, September 25! McMaster Times - Spring 2010


Alumni News

Welcome Back & Send-Off events Help welcome back our newest alumni as they settle back into “Life After Mac” in their hometowns. Look for event details for Welcome Back Patio Parties in Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton or let us know if you’d like to help welcome back new grads in your hometown! Sending a student to Mac in September? Be sure to watch for Student Send-Off events this summer in your town. It’s an opportunity to get the inside scoop and tips on life at McMaster from a student perspective.

Chantall Van Raay

Sneak Peek at Summer & Fall Event Calendar:


Friends who help us bring out student potential. Friends who help us do research that changes lives. Friends who help build our reputation for teaching. Friends who make a difference, generation after generation. These friends are the special people who remember McMaster University through insurance, annuities, trusts or gifts in their estates. For information about how you can join the William McMaster & Susan Moulton McMaster Society, contact the Office of Gift Planning at 905-525-9140, ext. 24918 or

The Last Word

By Bob Henderson

Jason Jones

Learning in paradise Cootes Paradise provides McMaster students with a shady spot on a sunny day. When I started McMaster as an undergraduate in 1975, Hamilton didn’t have a great reputation. For most people, it was all about steel plants belching smoke. I thought I was going to a hellhole, but the program I wanted was at Mac. Thirty-five years later, I’m still here, in part because I fell in love with the natural world that surrounds the campus and the city. McMaster is built in a charmed setting. We’re right next door to Cootes Paradise, an 840-hectare wildlife sanctuary at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. A few years ago I was teaching a class for children and parents, and I mentioned that the skating was good on Cootes that day. One of the fathers looked at me as if I was mad. He said, “You skate at Cootes!” Then

with industrialization -- we’re a little behind in the process of growing slowly out of nature. I buy that theory. I buy it because I teach students in the natural world. They feel emancipated and rejuvenated. They break out of the way we organize ourselves by time and schedule. They see the world and themselves differently. In the first month of my outdoor education classes I take my students on a hike to Tews and Webster’s Falls, among the many waterfalls around Hamilton. (By the way, I’m delighted that Hamilton is now promoting itself as “The City of Waterfalls”!) As we go along, I link the hike to subject matter that we’re dealing with in class. Many students have told

Cootes is a place that feeds the soul. There’s a branch of philosophy that says we have a latent religious impulse to the earth. After all, there aren’t many people who find the sound of a loon annoying! he added, “Can I come with you?” He was a Mac professor, so on the next good day I called him and we went for a skate together. He was amazed. It was like he was reliving his childhood. The really amazing thing is that Cootes is there for anybody at McMaster, any time of the year. Trails for hiking wind through it, and the creek and bay are perfect for canoeing. There’s an amazing array of birds, including cormorants, herons, ospreys, pileated woodpeckers, hawks and some years, bald eagles. You can also see deer, foxes, raccoons, beavers, rabbits, muskrats, minks, flying squirrels and red squirrels. Among the rare plants are sassafras, tulip and Kentucky Coffee trees. In fact, it’s considered one of the richest spots in Canada for plant diversity. More important, it’s a place that feeds the soul. There’s a branch of philosophy that says we have a latent religious impulse to the earth. After all, there aren’t many people who find the sound of a loon annoying! There’s a debate about whether the connection between humans and nature is culturally derived or imprinted in our genes. One theory says that we are still born as Stone Age babies. The evolution of our minds hasn’t kept pace 34

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me it’s a powerful experience for them. They go out of their way to let me know that they have returned to the falls on their own. At other times, I’ve sat with students around a campfire in the woods trading stories. After all, that’s the way that people learned for thousands and thousands of years. We’ve only been learning indoors, sitting in rows, for a relatively short time. I remember a student sending me an e-mail the day after one such outing, saying that thanks to Cootes, she’d slept well that night for the first time in months! On a bright winter day I always tell my students to head down to Cootes at 4 p.m. to watch the sun going down over Dundas. Does it make them better students? I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure it makes them happier people.

Bob Henderson ’79 is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and an experienced wilderness guide. His research interests include Canadian travel literature, eco-philosophy and pedagogical practice for classroom and wilderness travel guiding.

Spring 2010 McMaster Times  
Spring 2010 McMaster Times  

McMaster Times is the newsmagazine of McMaster University Alumni.