Spring 2015 McMaster Times

Page 1

Alive with possibilities / Surviving the superbugs / Then and now


McMaster Optimal Aging Portal debunking myths, detecting exaggerations and demystifying false promises



Keep away from open flame



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VOL. 30, NO. 1 - SPRING 2015


Features Seeing through snake oil


Alive with possibilities Surviving the superbugs Then & Now


6 6 8 9

Halton McMaster Family Health Centre


New water technology research Universal flu vaccine on the horizon Studying the bright side to being blue


10 26 30 34



10 McMaster Times is published two times a year (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. Non-alumni 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.

Publisher Andrea Farquhar

Editorial Assistant Andrew Baulcomb ’08

Editor Gord Arbeau

Advertising Sales Office of Public Relations 905-525-9140, ext. 24073

Art Director JD Howell ’04


Alive with possibilities / Surviving the superbugs / Then and now

On the cover

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal helps seniors and their caregivers sort

SEE NG THROUGH SNAKE OIL The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal – debunking myths, detecting exaggerations and demystifying false promises



through the overwhelming amount of information (and misinformation) now

Keep away from open flame

Editorial Communications 905-525-9140, ext. 23662 mactimes@mcmaster.ca



Contributors Erica Balch, Andrew Baulcomb ‘08, Patrick Deane ‘11 (honorary), Michelle Donovan, Karen McQuigge ‘90, Allyson Rowley. Officers, Alumni Association


Sandra Stephenson ‘78, president; Mark Stewart ‘06 & ‘10, past-president; Don Bridgman ‘78, vice-president; Mario Frankovich ‘77, financial advisor; Elaine Kunda ‘95, member-at-large; Krishna Nadella ‘02, member-at-large; Jennifer Mitton ‘99, member-at-large; Norm Schleehahn ‘01, member-at-large; Chedo Sobot ‘85, member-at-large; Stephanie McLarty ‘03, member-atlarge; Tanya Walker ’02, member-at-large.

Cert no. SW-COC-2113

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

Representatives to the University Senate

Representatives to the University Board of Governors

Ian Cowan ‘71 & ‘76; Suzanne Craven ’73;

Quentin Broad ’86, ‘88; David Feather ‘85 & ‘89; Brad

Dennis Souder ’70; Peter Tice ‘72.

Merkel ’85; David Lazzarato ’79; Mark Stewart ’06.





14 22 24 32

McMaster University: Bringing better health, technologies and innovation to the world E

Patrick Deane ‘11 (honorary) President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University




JD Howell

xtraordinary opportunities don’t come along every day. But Canadian universities have been given a tremendous chance to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Canada First Research Excellence Fund at the end of last year, he delivered a clear message that the federal government was committing $1.5 billion to universities over the next ten years to promote excellence in science, technology and innovation and to advance the economic prospects and well-being of Canadians. And that’s exactly what is required. McMaster is ready to compete for these funds. We are one of only four Canadian universities ranked in the top 100 in the world. We have research expertise, a distinct approach to collaboration and partnerships, and the proven ability to create tangible economic benefits for Canada. The challenge we are poised to tackle is superbugs, those infectious diseases that with alarming frequency are resisting the antibiotics and treatments upon which our entire medical system relies. The threat of antimicrobial resistance is apocalyptic, according to international experts. (See story on page 14) Many countries, including the United States and Britain, are shifting resources and making infectious diseases a priority. For more than two decades McMaster has been building an extraordinary team of experts, creating unparalleled scientific facilities and establishing a world-class reputation for discoveries to help prevent, detect and treat infectious diseases. We are in a unique position to lead the world in this critical field. McMaster’s research strengths are broad and deep. Over the next five years we will increase significantly McMaster’s already outstanding level of research activity. The results will bring better health, technologies and innovation to the world and for alumni, an even stronger reason to be proud of their university.

University News New fund for post-doctoral astronomy research

Ribbon cut to open Halton McMaster Family Health Centre


With a flourish of ribbon cutting and applause last fall, officials opened the new 40,000 square foot Halton McMaster Family Health Centre on Lakeshore Road in Burlington. The primary care clinic and education centre for future physicians and other allied health professionals, run by the Department of Family Medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, is sited on Lakeshore Road, on the southwest corner of Joseph Brant Hospital. “The new centre is bright, open and welcoming, just as we’ve found the community in Burlington and Halton and with our academic partner Joseph Brant Hospital,” said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences. “This will be a fine centre of excellence for learning and health care.” The centre will have six full-time family physicians, along with eight family medicine residents. As the teaching headquarters for family medicine across Halton, there will be eight additional residents placed in community practices throughout the region who will use the centre for education sessions. McMaster students from other programs, including nursing, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, medicine and social work, will have learning based at the centre.

New compendium provides snapshot of Mac’s global activities Outreach projects in Haiti. Investigating breast cancer biomarkers among women of African ancestry. Exploring internationalization through visual art. These are just a few of the hundreds of international projects highlighted in the 2014 McMaster International Compendium, now available online. Intended to provide a snapshot of McMaster’s global activities, “Expanding our Reach: Working Together to Internationalize Higher Education” showcases the breadth and depth of McMaster’s international activities spanning across all Faculties and engaging faculty, staff and students at all levels. NEWSLINE What has happened since the last issue...


A breakthrough discovery by McMaster scientist Mick Bhatia was named one of the Canadian Cancer Society’s top 10 research stories of 2014. Bhatia and his team found that human stem cells made from adult donor cells “remember” the cell types they originally came from.



William Harris, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, recently gifted $400,000 to create the William & Caroline Herschel Fund at McMaster. Named after William Herschel (17381822) and Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) — a brother and sister pair who were prominent and highly influential pioneers in astronomy — the fund will support graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships in astronomy. “It’s been a great experience over my career to see astronomy and astrophysics at McMaster grow into a superb part of the faculty, and I want to do what I can to see that it continues forward strongly,” said Harris.

McMaster to partner with ‘best in the field’ to develop water technologies The University has signed a major agreement with Chinese and Canadian partners to support research innovation and accelerate the commercialization of new water treatment and quality monitoring technologies. The agreement will see the creation of the McMaster-Jiangsu International Technology Development and Translation Centre, which will undertake research and development, technology transfer, and commercialization of water treatment and water contamination detection technologies. The centre will have campuses located in both Hamilton and Jiangsu Province, China, and will build on existing partnerships with leading Chinese academic and research institutions, as well as Ontario-based and Chinese industrial partners.


McMaster students paid $5 to hurl a pie at football players and Athletics & Recreation staffers. The event was part of McMaster’s Think Pink campaign, which is run annually as part of the CIS Shoot/Dig for the Cure initiative in partnership with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Through the first two days, organizers raised roughly $1,000.

World’s smelliest plant blooms at McMaster

Red Wilson invests $2.5 million in the study of Canadian history Former McMaster chancellor Red Wilson ’62, ‘95 (honorary), seen here with wife Brenda, gave $2.5 million to the University as a catalyst for revitalizing the study and promotion of Canadian history, an area where Wilson has established himself as a champion. The gift from the Wilson Foundation, supports the renewal of the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, ultimately allowing more Canadians to learn new stories about their past, said Wilson. His philanthropy has included major contributions to the liberal arts at McMaster and to the study of history in Canada.

New $1 million research chair will prioritize health care for seniors Improving health care for seniors is the focus of a new research chair at McMaster sponsored by the Schlegel family of Kitchener. The Schlegel Chair in Clinical Epidemiology and Aging at McMaster University is being created through a partnership of Ron Schlegel and his family with the University. The new position is an essential part of McMaster’s growing research focus on aging, said president Patrick Deane. “This is a critically important area of research for Canadians, particularly since by 2036 it is anticipated that more than a quarter of the population will be seniors,” said Deane. The first holder of the new chair is Andrew Costa — an assistant professor of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and associate member of the Department of Medicine at McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Marauders advance to third Vanier Cup in four years It was a classic finish, but a true heartbreaker in Montreal. A blocked 31-yard Tyler Crapigna field goal with 51.7 seconds left was the difference as the University of Montreal Carabins eked out a 20-19 victory over McMaster in a thrilling 50th Vanier Cup at Percival Molson Stadium. McMaster led the national championship game up until the final four minutes, but the hometown Carabins hung in and Louis-Phillipe Simoneau kicked a 13-yard field goal that would be the winning point.


hitchBOT, Canada’s favourite hitchhiking robot, travelled to Germany for a 10-day trip around the country. The robot was co-created by assistant professor David Harris Smith, and last summer hitchhiked across Canada from east to west.

MARCH 2015

The Connect to Careers Job Fair took place March 10 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. Students and alumni attended the event, which welcomed more than 100 organizations hiring for co-op, summer, part time and full time employment opportunities.




Earlier this year, the world’s smelliest flower bloomed at McMaster’s Biology Greenhouse. The Amorphophallus Titanum — better known as the corpse plant — is usually only expected to be in bloom for up to three days. The McMaster bloom was the third known flowering of the plant in Canada, and it may not bloom again for another 10 years. The rare plant reached a height of five feet, six inches, and a diameter of three and a half feet. It grew out of a 50-pound corm planted late last year. The corpse plant gets its name from the pungent, rotting flesh-like odour it emits to attract pollinators like carrion beetles and flesh flies.



Four members of McMaster community named to Order of Canada Recipients of the country’s highest civilian award are being honoured for their outstanding contributions at the local or regional level or in a special field of activity. John Kelton is dean and vice-president of health sciences for McMaster and dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, as well as a professor of medicine. He is being recognized for his research into blood cell disorders and for his contributions to making Hamilton a hub for health science research. Alba DiCenso ’74 & ’81 is a professor emerita of McMaster’s School of Nursing and the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is being honoured for her research in evidence-based nursing and for her contributions to the development of nurse practitioners. Two McMaster alumni also were named to the Order. Peter Calamai ‘65 is being recognized for his work promoting literacy. Michael Phillips ‘74 earned his medical degree from McMaster, and enters the Order for his contributions to mental health initiatives in China, where he lives part of the year.

Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship awarded to two McMaster stalwarts Former chancellor Mel Hawkrigg ’52 & ’97 (honorary) and kinesiology professor Kathleen Martin Ginis both received the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship under the banner of McMaster University. The award is presented annually to individuals who have made exceptional, long-term contributions to the wellbeing of their communities. “McMaster has long played an integral role in the greater Hamilton community, and vice versa,” said president Patrick Deane. “Deepening those connections and building on our history of engagement with the community remains a top priority for the University, and I’m delighted to see Mel Hawkrigg and Kathleen Martin Ginis recognized for their dedicated service and strong community spirit.” Hawkrigg is chairman of Hamilton-based auto parts manufacturer Orlick Industries Ltd., a dedicated volunteer and a passionate member of the



McMaster community. Martin Ginis serves as director of the McMaster Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE) and is founder/ director of Spinal Cord Injury Action Canada.

See the world through the eyes of McMaster’s Renaissance Award winners Miles away from a lecture hall and disconnected from technology and time, three students recently completed research projects supported by McMaster’s innovative Renaissance Award. Biology students Beth Nagai and Andrew Case and Anthony D’Ambrosio of the Arts & Science Program are among the first students to take advantage of the $25,000 award — supported by alumni Drs. Jolie Ringash ’90 & ’93 and Glen Bandiera ’93. The award allows students to take time away from their fields of study to pursue knowledge in other areas and broaden their perspectives. Nagai traveled across the world to study eastern religion and philosophy, while Case and D’Ambrosio trekked across Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail.

How’s my driving? Mac PhD earns major auto research award Kinga Eliasz ’12 finished second in the 2014 AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition. She was recognized for her work to help develop an in-car recording system that uses GPS-technology to capture driving patterns and HD cameras to capture actual behaviour behind the wheel. Eliasz, a PhD candidate in kinesiology, said this is the first study in the world that objectively quantifies driving behaviour in a comprehensive way to understand the older driver — a rapidly growing demographic. Her research team develops evidence-based methods to keep older drivers safe behind the wheel for as long as possible.

Brockhouse Prize awarded to McMaster chemist Chemistry professor John Valliant is part of a dynamic team receiving the Brockhouse Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. The team set out to find a convenient, safe and affordable way for hospitals to produce a key medical isotope locally, as opposed to at large nuclear reactors. The award’s namesake, Nobel Prize winner Bertram Brockhouse, was a McMaster professor and researcher for more than 20 years.

Henry Giroux wins a pair of awards from Chapman University The faculty and staff of the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University in California honoured McMaster professor Henry Giroux with two awards — the Changing the World Award, which recognizes individuals who contribute in remarkable ways to the improvement of our world through education; and the Paulo Freire Democratic Project Social Justice Award, given to those who are devoted to the development of progressive/critical and ethical/democratic practices within both formal and informal educational settings. Giroux is the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest.

RESEARCH NEWS Controlling shake, rattle and roll In the 60 years that have gone by since Big Joe Turner first recorded “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” Canada has experienced some 200,000 earthquakes — most of which we did not even feel. Structural engineers Tracy Becker and Lydell Wiebe not only want to ensure the safety of building occupants in the event of a significant earthquake, they want to develop structures that can be used after an earthquake. Their complementary research expertise to advance new structural systems for earthquake resistance has garnered more than $300,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

‘Universal flu vaccine’ may be closer than we think The fact that this year’s flu shot is not a good match against this year’s influenza strain is well known, and has happened before. But now researchers at McMaster and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, say that a universal flu vaccine may be on the horizon, thanks to the recent discovery of a new class of antibodies that are capable of neutralizing a wide range of influenza A viruses. “Unlike seasonal vaccines, which must be given annually, this type of vaccine would only be given once, and would have the ability to protect against all strains of flu, even when the virus mutates,” said Matthew Miller, an assistant professor in McMaster’s Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at the Michael G.

Some heparin-allergic patients could have urgent heart surgery sooner

DeGroote School of Medicine. “This would prevent the occurrence of flu pandemics and poor vaccine efficiency in the case of mismatches, which actually occurred this year.”

Could there be a bright side to being blue?

Ottawa funds flood research A new research network led by McMaster’s Paulin Coulibaly will receive significant support from the Government of Canada to help develop flood-forecasting systems. McMaster will receive $5 million over five years to support the FloodNet network, which will develop advanced warning systems to help protect Canadians from the often devastating effects of floods. Currently, no advanced flood alert system is available in Canada. David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement at McMaster.

Stoking the fires of ‘the body’s furnace’ could help reduce obesity Researchers from McMaster have identified an important hormone that is elevated in obese people and contributes to obesity and diabetes by inhibiting brown fat activity. Brown adipose tissue — widely known as “brown fat” — is located around the collarbone and acts as the body’s furnace to burn calories. It also keeps the body warm. Obese people have less of it, and its activity is decreased with age.

Until now, researchers haven’t understood why. There are two types of serotonin. Most people are familiar with the first type in the brain or central nervous system, which affects mood and appetite. But this makes up only five per cent of the body’s serotonin. The lesser-known peripheral serotonin circulates in the blood and makes up the other 95 per cent of the body’s serotonin. McMaster researchers have discovered that this kind of serotonin reduces brown fat activity or “dials down” the body’s metabolic furnace. The study, published in Nature Medicine, is the first to show that blocking the production of peripheral serotonin makes the brown fat more active. The research was conducted by co-authors Waliul Khan, associate professor of pathology and molecular medicine and Gregory Steinberg, professor of medicine, with lead author and post-doctoral fellow, Justin Cran.

McMaster to play key role in new Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine Stem cell researcher Dr. Mick Bhatia ’92 will lead one of three teams in tackling the province’s highest-priority diseases, with funding from the new Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM), the Ontario government announced this week. McMaster was also named one of the OIRM’s key institutional partners, which include the University of Ottawa, University of Toronto and Western University and its affiliated research hospitals. The Government of Ontario has given $3.1 million to the Ontario Stem Cell Initiative (OSCI) and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) to form the OIRM, a research, development and commercialization institute dedicated to the translation of stem cell research into curative therapies for major degenerative diseases.

McMaster researchers awarded Movember Discovery Grants McMaster researchers working on depression and hormone-therapy resistance in prostate cancer patients were awarded Movember Discovery Grants. The funding comes from donations collected by men growing mustaches during the annual fundraising drive throughout November. Gurmit Singh, a professor of pathology and molecular medicine, and Khalid Al-Nedawi, an assistant professor of medicine, were among 26 Canadian researchers awarded grants by Prostate Cancer Canada that are funded by the Movember Foundation. Each researcher will receive up to $200,000 over a two-year term. The Foundation’s funding allows both junior investigators at the beginning of their research careers and more established investigators to explore new areas in prostate cancer research.




A group of researchers studying the roots of depression has developed a test that leads them closer to the idea that depression may actually be an adaptation meant to help people cope with complex problems such as chronic illnesses or marriage breakups. The researchers at McMaster and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health were able to show a meaningful connection between answers to a 20-question test and analytical rumination – a type of distraction-resistant thinking that is characteristic of clinical and sub-clinical depression alike. “Depression has long been seen as nothing but a problem,” said Paul Andrews ’78 & ’88, an assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster. “We are asking whether it may actually be a natural adaptation that the brain uses to tackle certain problems. We are seeing more evidence that depression can be a necessary and beneficial adaptation to dealing with major, complex issues that defy easy understanding.”

University researchers have found new evidence that suggests patients with a history of adverse reaction to the blood thinner heparin may be ready for urgent heart surgery sooner, with a combination of appropriate blood screenings and therapeutic plasma exchange. The study was published in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology. The lead author is Dr. Theodore Warkentin, a professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Hematology and Thromboembolism and the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Playing for keeps with Glen Grunwald By Andrew Baulcomb ‘08



len Grunwald knows how to compete with the best of the best. McMaster’s new director of Athletics & Recreation won a NCAA basketball championship with the legendary Indiana Hoosiers in 1981, and worked as a corporate lawyer after earning a law degree from Northwestern University. He later returned to the game he loves, serving as general manager of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, and he’s also a former president of the Toronto Board of Trade. A recent transplant to Hamilton, he’s ready to elevate the Marauders and McMaster to new heights.

You were born and raised in Franklin Park, Illinois. How important were athletics? We would go out, either in the summer or after school, and just play football, baseball or basketball until the streetlights came on. It was a very strong community. Not particularly wealthy, more working-class, but we had a great school system that had excellent sports programs. High school sports were a very big part of the community when I was growing up. All of the games would sell out for every sport, and there was a lot of support. How difficult was it to come back from a devastating knee injury and win a NCAA championship with Indiana in 1981? I injured my knee just before arriving at university. It was sort of the dark ages of orthopedic surgery, at least in terms of ACL repair. I played my first two years at Indiana with a brace, which was relatively unstable. In 1979, I decided to finally go the reconstructive surgery route, which was a big process at the time. They put my leg in a full cast for two months. It was really tough to come back from that, but I put in the work and was able to play again and win a national title in my final year of eligibility. Why did you decide to pursue law at Northwestern University after finishing your undergraduate and MBA degrees at Indiana? At Indiana, I had a business law course that was taught by one of the best professors I ever had, Tom Bowers. He taught the material in a very entertaining and interesting manner, and I did fairly well in the class and really enjoyed it. I was originally going to become an accountant, but after taking that course I decided to get into the legal world.



In 1990, you rekindled your love affair with basketball serving as vice-president of the Denver Nuggets. How did that happen? One of the clients at my law firm, Peter Bynoe, wound up purchasing the Denver Nuggets and I assisted with that process. After the deal closed, Peter asked me to work for him in Denver, act as his right-hand man and help run the team. From there, I joined the Toronto Raptors in 1994 to help guide the team’s expansion efforts and worked as the Raptors’ general manager from 1997 to 2004. I also held several executive positions with the New York Knicks, including general manager. What was it about McMaster and Hamilton that first caught your attention? I was always impressed with the people I came across who were working at McMaster, and I always had an interest in university sports administration. Hamilton has a great vibe going right now, and seems to be in a bit of a renaissance. When I meet people in the community, not only are they very nice to me but they’re also excited about the future of Hamilton. It’s great to be here at this particular time, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the University and Hamilton grow together. You’ve been in your new role since August 2014. How has it gone? Everyone on campus, from president Patrick Deane right down to the staff I come across in the David Braley Athletic Centre, has been extremely welcoming and kind. The Department of Athletics & Recreation is full of good programs run by good people, and it’s a well-run organization from top to bottom. It’s been a very smooth transition for my family and me. What challenges come with nurturing and developing student-athletes? A lot of the time, student-athletes have to make great sacrifices to combine their academic and athletic endeavours. When I was working in professional sports, we were fo-

cused on making our athletes the best in the world. Here, we’re trying to make the total student-athlete experience as good as possible — whether that experience involves varsity athletics, intramural competition or students who simply want to use the athletic facilities on campus. Our focus is much broader. Community engagement is a top university priority. How do you see Athletics & Recreation fitting into that mission? We want to see McMaster remain a big part of the Hamilton community, and we want to have the Marauders viewed as one of Hamilton’s teams. The University has received great support from the community over the years, and we want to encourage that continued engagement — both as spectators and donors. In turn, we’re trying to give something back through our summer camps and programs like McMaster Athletes Care, where student-athletes go out and help local youth who are at a disadvantage or otherwise in need of some guidance. World-class resources such as the David Braley Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre are also open to the community, for those who need to treat a sports injury or simply learn more about fitness and healthcare. What advice do you have for student athletes? We have an orientation session for our student-athletes when they first arrive here, to try and help them balance what are, at times, competing interests. But my advice to them would be to relax and enjoy the university experience, because it’s short-lived and goes by so quickly. Sometimes practices and travel can be a grind, but they should try to understand that it’s a unique time in their lives when they can participate in competitive sports with friends, support the University and make the community proud.

JD Howell


“My advice to student athletes is to relax and enjoy the experience, because it goes by so quickly.” Glen Grunwald, McMaster’s new director of Athletics & Recreation, in the David Braley Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre. The 4,700-square-foot facility boasts an in-ground salt-water hydrotherapy pool, an expansive exercise room with premiere cardio, resistance and functional exercise equipment and eight private treatment rooms. Grunwald, a former NBA executive and successful lawyer, assumed his new role in August 2014.



If you love theatre, you will want to attend our 56th McMaster Stratford Shakespearean Seminar Series. It is an immersive theatre experience that includes: premium theatre tickets, engaging lectures with scholars, group dining experiences, discussions with Festival actors, staff and more. For more information, visit the Stratford Seminars webpage at alumni.mcmaster.ca under “Learn and Explore” or call us at: 1-888-217-6003.

A Chance for Greatness... McMaster University 1957-1987: A Chance for Greatness. Volume Three will be released on McMaster’s Founder’s Day, Thursday, April 23. Join us for the celebration, hear how the stories of these 30 years of McMaster’s history came to be compiled in this volume, and bring home a copy of your own. Thursday, April 23 Great Hall, Alumni Memorial Hall 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Light Refreshments RSVP at macrsvp@mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 x. 27578

Later this month, we will be asking all alumni to share their opinions and experiences throughout their relationship with McMaster and its Alumni Association through our second alumni engagement survey. We encourage you to participate and let us know what you think. The Alumni Association will build its next strategic plan around your feedback, so be sure to respond when you receive the survey and let us know how we can best keep you connected to McMaster!



Forget Dr. Oz. The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal is the real deal – if you’re looking for reliable, evidence-based health information for an aging population.


“There’s so much misleading information around and frankly a lot of people selling snake oil. You really want to know you’re doing the right thing for yourself,” says Suzanne Labarge. Part of her $10-million gift to McMaster in 2012 provided seed funding to launch the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, a trusted source of medical information now available to anyone with an internet connection.




“With the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, we’re constantly picking and choosing the best of the best to create consumer-friendly summaries of the evidence,” says Dr. Anthony Levinson of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We’re thinking of the ‘prosumer’ – someone who takes an active role in his or her own health.” Levinson led the development of the website, which launched in October 2014.


Photo courtesy of Faculty of Health Sciences

Photo courtesy of Faculty of Health Sciences


Tina Falbo checks the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal for questions she has about health and wellness, both for herself and her elderly parents. “For the average citizen, it’s a wonderful place to start,” she says. The website provides free, searchable, evidence-based information on optimal aging for seniors – and anyone else interested in living long and living well.

THE WEBSITE mcmasteroptimalaging.org



In 2014, more than 6 million Canadians were aged 65 or older, representing 15.6% of the population. By 2030, seniors will number more than 9.5M and make up 23% of Canadians.


By 2036, the average life expectancy at birth for women will rise to 86.2 years from the current 84.2. For men, the average life expectancy will increase to 82.9 years from the current 80.

Source: seniors.gc.ca

mcmasteroptimalaging.org I

t all started with dinner on Friday nights. “When we both lived in Ottawa in the 1980s, my mother and I would get together over a meal at the end of every week,” recalls Suzanne Labarge ’67. A renowned author and historian, Margaret Wade Labarge, CM was also a passionate advocate for the elderly, serving as chair of the Board of Governors of St. Vincent’s Hospital and chair of the Ottawa Council on Aging. “It became part of my life for almost 10 years, understanding the issues around aging,” says Labarge of their weekly get-togethers. Her mother had taken over many of her father’s volunteer commitments when he had passed away. “It runs in the family,” says Labarge, whose father, Raymond Labarge ’36, was a member of McMaster’s Board of Governors. Appointed McMaster’s chancellor in 2013, Suzanne Labarge served in executive positions with the federal government and the Royal Bank until her retirement in 2004. “My parents believed that you are part of the community and you give back. And if you’ve been lucky, you give back more.” And that she has done, in spades. In 2007, Labarge donated $2 million to establish a research chair in optimal aging, named in tribute to her parents. Then in 2012, she gave a further $10-million to her alma mater to launch the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. A key part of that multi-pronged initiative is the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal – a free website service for citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers alike. Launched in October 2014, its URL is mcmasteroptimalaging.org.



Anthony Levinson ’97, ’06 leads the website’s design, development and administration. “There are many online resources that deal with health and aging, but what sets the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal apart is our emphasis on providing the best evidence – and on telling you why it’s the best.”

“Here at McMaster, we have three worldrenowned databases of health evidence, each meant for different audiences – public health professionals, clinicians and policymakers.” The Portal team rates web resources, gathers evidence summaries and curates blog posts, helping you sort through the overwhelming amount of information available online. “We hope we can become the sensible go-to place. Don’t just type your question into Google. Go to the Portal,” says Levinson, director of the Division of e-Learning Innovation in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the John R. Evans Chair in Health Sciences Educational Research and Instructional Development. Three databases form the scientific backbone to the new website. “It was serendipity,” says Levinson. “Here at McMaster, we have three

world-renowned databases of health evidence, each meant for different audiences – public health professionals, clinicians and policymakers.” The Portal taps into that deep pool of knowledge and makes it accessible and understandable to the general public. Along with Levinson, the leadership team for the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal includes Maureen Dobbins ’89, Brian Haynes ’73, ’76, John Lavis and Parminder Raina (see the sidebar “Meet the expert leaders”).

“The Portal empowers patients to take care of their own health” After the successful launch this fall, the next phase will focus on promoting the Portal to partner organizations, as well as undertaking further evaluation. “We want it to be useful and impactful,” says Levinson, who encourages members of the community to participate in the evaluation process. Tina Falbo ’80 was one of the citizens who took part in the six-month testing process that led up to the October launch. She reviewed the blogs: Were they easy to understand and clearly communicated? Were

the topics useful and was there enough supporting evidence? “I was quite impressed. The information is very high-quality.” Falbo notes the Portal is relevant not only for seniors, but also for caregivers and anyone interested in healthy aging. “They have gathered the best of the best,” says Falbo, a retired teacher who helps care for her elderly parents. She’s also one of the volunteers in a Healthy Aging course offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences. “We challenge the students’ assumptions and extend their thinking about older people,” says Falbo, who often recommends students check out the Portal for themselves. Family physician Doug Oliver ’98, ’01, ‘03 is also quick to debunk a few myths. The usual thinking is that the elderly aren’t computer literate – so how can a website help them? Not so fast. “My older patients are happy to use technology and are more computer literate than we give them credit for.” The Portal empowers patients to take care of their own health, says Oliver. “From a family physician’s point of view, the more knowledge the patient has, the better his or her health will be.” Thanks to Suzanne Labarge’s extraordinary generosity, the website’s initial seven years have been kick-started. She envisions the Portal as a unique resource for McMaster to continue building its reputation as an optimal aging powerhouse – and to continue generating research


Meet the expert leaders The leadership team of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, from left to right: Anthony J. Levinson, MD, MSc, FRCPC Physician; Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences; Director, Division of e-Learning Innovation and machealth; John R. Evans Chair in Health Sciences Educational Research and Instructional Development. John Lavis, MD, PhD Physician; Professor, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Director of the McMaster Health Forum. Maureen Dobbins, BScN, PhD Professor, School of Nursing; Scientific Director, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, McMaster University. Parminder Raina, BSc, PhD Professor, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Raymond and Margaret Labarge Chair in Research and Knowledge Application for Optimal Aging; Canada Research Chair in GeroScience. Brian Haynes, MD, PhD, FRCPC Physician; Professor, Clinical Epidemiology and Medicine; Director of McMasterPLUS™; and Health Information Research Unit, McMaster University.



“The Portal team helps you sort through the overwhelming amount of information available online.” collaborations along with sustainable funding, free of commercial sponsorship. There’s also a “donate” button on each page for anyone who’d like to contribute. “It’s amazing what the team has done in two years. We’ve come so far in so short a time,” says Labarge, who notes McMaster’s stellar reputation in the health sciences, as well as its thriving culture of interdisciplinary collaboration.” “That’s the advantage at McMaster – we have top-notch, world-class people here. We’re going to make it work.”


To learn more, visit mcmasteroptimalaging.org or email info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org

Would you trust your health to Dr. Google ? PRESCRIPTION Here’s what the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal offers instead… Evidence Summaries: Articles with plain-language summaries of systematic reviews of research evidence, written for citizens.

Web Resource Ratings: These tell you whether free health resources on the internet are based on scientific research.

Blog Posts: Commentaries on what the scientific research actually means – and why good science matters. L. Ruth Simmons ’82 volunteers for Healthy Aging 1BB3, a course offered in the Department of Health, Aging and Society. “The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal will certainly be a great source of information,” says Simmons, who uses her computer every day to stay in touch with her far-flung children and grandchildren.



Across the generations:

Going forward with optimism B

orn and raised in Toronto, Orra Rose Henan (Cert’51, BA’53) grew up in the Great Depression. She worked for an insurance company from a young age, but felt called to work in the church. So, she arrived at McMaster in 1950 at the age of 32 to study theology with the Women’s Leadership Training School, led by Dr. Lois Tupper (DDiv’74), the first female professor appointed to a tenure-track position at a Canadian university. “I felt privileged to be part of this group,” Orra wrote in her memoirs. Clearly, the feeling was mutual. The inscription to her class photo reads: “Orra’s sense of humour and friendly manner have won her many friends at Mac.” Thanks to the encouragement of Dr. Tupper, Orra stayed at McMaster and completed her BA. This set her on her way. She worked for many years as a church administrator, and later became a special education teacher until her retirement in 1984. A lifelong learner who loved to travel, Orra was dedicated to promoting literacy, equal rights and social justice. Although she later attended several other institutions of higher learning, it was McMaster that held a special place in Orra’s heart. In her memoirs, she summed up her philosophy of life: “For the future, I trust our families will build on the past and go forward with optimism.” Her generous bequest creates a bursary that will offer a helping hand for students to go forward and follow their own passion for learning and discovery.

Orra Rose Henan (1918-2014) graduated from McMaster in 1953 at the age of 35. A lifelong learner, she continued her studies at several other universities – but she chose McMaster as the beneficiary of her estate. A bursary named in her memory will support students in the Faculty of Humanities.

To learn more about leaving a gift in your will, please contact: God hath inspired within McMaster hearts a friendship true, Which every loyal student will maintain his whole life through. “The Alma Mater” – The Marmor, 1953

Kelly Trickett Project Team Leader University Advancement McMaster University Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 21990 Email: tricket@mcmaster.ca

discoveryourmac adventure.ca

Connect to great services and benefits The McMaster Alumni Association is proud to offer a range of services, benefits and special offers to our alumni. Our affinity programs and partners are carefully selected based on reputation, customer service, and the significant savings or exclusive opportunities available to our grads. Take some time to explore our home and auto insurance, health, dental, life and critical illness insurance, credit card, career services, travel partners and special offers. When you take advantage of the benefits available from our affinity partners, revenue is generated enabling the Alumni Association to enhance the experiences of today’s and tomorrow’s students, at no additional cost to you. Our affinity partnerships have allowed us to make contributions such as a $600,000 gift to the McMaster University Student Centre, a $500,000 donation to the David Braley Athletic Centre, ongoing funding of student bursaries and support of many student-run clubs and initiatives. If you’re already participating in our affinity programs, thank you. If not, wouldn’t you rather your insurance or credit card choice make a difference? We invite you to learn more about the services and benefits available to our alumni by visiting our website.



Photo courtesy of LIVELab



McMaster’s new LIVELab is a research facility and concert venue where scientists and artists can make beautiful music together.

“LIVELab can capture true emotional responses of audiences, enabling performers to measure the impact of their work.”

Laurel Trainor, founding director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind




By Allyson Rowley

ast September, New York-based jazz singer Laila Biali traveled to Hamilton for a rather unusual gig. The Laila Biali Trio performed at the gala opening of LIVELab, a one-of-a-kind concert venue and research facility located in McMaster’s Psychology Building. Biali’s drummer was hooked up to motion capture technology, while her own hand movements at the piano were recorded on video. As the music played, performers and audience alike watched the fascinating images superimposed on the huge video wall onstage. “It was like another character playing with us. It led to some fresh material, creatively speaking,” says Biali, a Juno-nominated vocalist and pianist who has recorded with Sting and opened for Diana Krall. “It was a lot of fun.” LIVELab – LIVE is an acronym for “Large Interactive Virtual Environment” – is a 100-seat theatre wired to create almost any acoustic environment you can think of, from a subway station to a world-class concert hall. Nearly a decade in the making, the $8-million venue contains the high-tech tools that allows researchers to explore questions such as how music affects an audience member’s brain waves, how rhythm might help an autistic child or a Parkinson’s patient, and how to develop hearing aids that work better in noisy places. “The research applications are almost limitless,” says Laurel Trainor, founding director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind and a professor in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. Dozens of microphones and speakers are embedded in LIVELab’s walls and ceiling. Multi-person EEG technology measures brain activity in musicians as they perform. The seats are designed to monitor audience members for their brain activity, heart rate, breathing rate – even their

Paulina Rzeczkowska

Edith Maybin

The motion capture image from Laila Biali’s drummer seems to dance with the video image of her hands. Adding the visual element to their performance “brought new meaning to the music,” says Biali. On the previous page: The Afiari Quartet is hooked up to EEG technology monitoring their brainwaves, along with those of an audience member, displayed in real time on the video wall.

Name one

McMaster’s Psychology Building. The windows are abstract representations of musical notes from the songs Imagine and Across the Universe.

Photo courtesy of LIVELab

of LIVELab’s seats and support leading-edge neuroscience, while leaving your mark for generations to come. Your donation can commemorate family, friends or business – or it can celebrate a special occasion. To learn more, email giving@mcmaster.ca or call 905-525-9140, ext. 24224.

quiet, isolated from the outside and low in reverberation,” he says. “Then, we artificially add in whatever echoes and reverberation we need to make it sound like any space we want.” Researchers and students from all six Faculties will use the facility for a wide range of academic study, such as diagnosing and treating cognitive impairment, testing how best to teach a class, and exploring hearing loss and tinnitus. LIVELab will also collaborate with academic and industry partners around the world. But it’s at the intersection of art and science where LIVELab is truly unique. “This facility is a tremendous resource for the arts community,” says Laurel Trainor. “It’s one more way that McMaster can add value and build partnerships with creative professionals and entrepreneurs.” The venue also includes a dance studio, named in memory of Catherine Ann Carmichael ’87 and a gallery sponsored by the family of Connie W. Simpson. Mac alumnus Wally Pieczonka ’57, ’60, ’98 (honorary) is one of LIVELab’s major supporters, and a seat-naming campaign is underway (see inset). Trainor encourages members of the community to become involved: join a tour, become a participant in one of the research projects, or attend a concert. To date, artists who have performed in the unique space have included Rita Chiarelli, Coco Ma, Stephen Sitarski, the Afiari Quartet, the Cecilia Quartet and the Laila Biali Trio. “LIVELab can capture true emotional responses of audiences, enabling performers to measure the impact of their work,” says Trainor. “There isn’t another performance or recording facility in the world that can provide artists with this kind of empirical feedback.” Laila Biali agrees. “We now have a special resource that can provide tangible evidence of the importance of the arts to human development.” Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Find out more at livelab.mcmaster.ca or email livelab@mcmaster.ca




perspiration rate. Motion capture technology analyzes how musicians, dancers and audience members coordinate their movements. “Now we can ask big questions, like how do musicians coordinate to play together and how do their brains accomplish this? And how does the energy from audiences affect performers? We can really start to understand how these complex dynamics take place,” says Trainor. So, how are the acoustics created? Dan Bosnyak ’94, ’03, LIVELab’s technical director, explains. “We’ve gone to great lengths to make the facility extremely




McMaster’s thriving culture of cross-disciplinary collaboration has created a fertile environment for uncovering solutions to the looming health crisis of the 21st century: drug-resistant superbugs By Allyson Rowley



deadly new strain of bacteria infiltrates a hospital, sneaking past the usual containment procedures. The silent killer spreads to other cities, then around the world. Scientists race against time to find a drug that will stop the bug. Nothing is working. This isn’t the plot to the latest Hollywood blockbuster. It’s what experts say can happen – and is happening – right now in the real world. Infections by drug-resistant microbes are one of the biggest health problems the world faces today, says a report just released by a blueribbon panel from the U.K. Unless action is taken, the report predicts that by 2050, global deaths from antimicrobial drug resistance will reach 10 million a year – that’s more than the current toll from all cancers. The report also predicts the cost for the oncoming superbug invasion could total up to 100 trillion in U.S. dollars. Bacteria and other pathogens have always evolved to resist the drugs that 20th-century medicine developed to combat them. However, for the past 70 years we’ve over-used and misused these drugs –

Your Antibiotic Will Not Cure Your Cold… Antibiotics fight infections caused by bacteria, whereas a vaccine will fight a virus. Viral infections that should NOT be treated with antibiotics include: colds, flu, most coughs and bronchitis, sore throats (except those resulting from strep throat) and some ear infections. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | www.cdc.gov

How YOU can help tackle antibiotic resistance: • Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a certified health professional • Complete the full treatment course, even if you feel better • Never share antibiotics with others, or use leftover prescriptions Source: World Health Organization | www.who.int



antibiotics in particular – without finding enough new ones. Add to that the use of antimicrobials in livestock and crops. And of course, drug-resistant microbes can now travel between countries as easily as we can board a plane. “It’s an issue that threatens the very foundation of modern medicine,” says Gerry Wright, scientific director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Studies of Antibiotics. Antibiotics began to be discovered about 100 years ago, during a time when a quarter of all deaths were due to infections. A small cut or an insect bite could be fatal. Three out of 10 people with pneumonia would die from it. Infants often didn’t make it past their first year, and five women out of 1,000 would die in childbirth. Today, we have caesarean births, hip replacements, chemotherapy, heart transplants, and much, much more. “All these require control over infection,” says Wright. “When we lose that, we lose modern medicine as we’ve come to know it. The stakes are high.” So it’s not surprising that governments are examining this looming threat already claiming 700,000 lives a year due to an increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. In 2013, the G-8 science ministers issued a statement that antimicrobial drug resistance is one of the major health security challenges of the 21st century. Recently, the Canadian government set forth a federal framework for action from the Ministry of Health. And Barack Obama has just announced plans to double the U.S. government’s investment in its efforts to combat drug-resistant infections. The blue-ribbon panel established in 2014 by the British government published its second report this February. As infectious diseases diminished over the latter half of the 20th century, “so did society’s focus on efforts to combat them. Unfortunately, time has shown that this was misjudged.” Among its recommendations, the report points to the crucial need for investment in the “financial and human capital” needed to tackle drug resistance. Launched in 2007 with a $10-million gift from philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote, the Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) is unique in Canada and one of only a handful in the world. It spans three faculties and eight departments, and it houses three

state-of-the-art research facilities, including the Centre for Microbial Chemical Biology, McMaster’s very own drug discovery company. “At the IIDR, we can do everything from drug discovery to clinical work to population analysis to genomics to fundamental microbiology,” says Gerry Wright. “We’re collaborating with researchers across multiple disciplines to bring better health, technology and innovation to the world. This is the way we’re going to

Today, we have caesarean births, hip replacements, chemotherapy, heart transplants, and much, much more. “All these require control over infection,” says Gerry Wright. “When we lose that, we lose modern medicine as we’ve come to know it. The stakes are high.”

McMaster University’s many strengths in infectious disease research include: Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research. Launched in 2007, the IIDR is an interdisciplinary powerhouse, spanning three faculties and eight departments. Centre for Microbial Chemical Biology. Canada’s only academic centre dedicated to drug discovery in infectious diseases. Biointerfaces Institute. A $20-million facility for researchers to develop materials such as hospital doorknobs that repel bacteria and bandages that heal wounds. Population Health Research Institute. Canada’s premiere global health research institute and a world leader in large clinical trials and population studies. Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute. Dedicated to understanding the impact of digestive health and nutrition on disease across the life span.


solve big problems like antibiotic resistance.” “We work with engineers. We bring clinicians and scientists together,” says Wright. “We have more than 30 incredible researchers from multiple fields, who have dedicated more than two decades to this work.” In recent months, Wright’s lab has made international headlines. First was the discovery of a new way to zero in on naturally occurring antibiotics in soil bacteria. Then, the team pinpointed a fungusderived molecule capable of disarming NDM-1, one of the most dangerous antibiotic-resistant genes. McMaster researchers collaborate with partners in government, industry and academia – developing new point-of-care diagnostics, accelerating the discovery of lead compounds for new drugs and more effective drug combinations, and creating new surfaces to minimize the transmission of infection. “It’s not a local issue, and it’s not a Canadian issue,” says Wright. “It’s a global issue we all have to grapple with and find solutions for.”

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration on Campus

McMaster Ancient DNA Centre. Made international headlines recently for mapping the genome of the Black Death and tracing the bacterium behind a 19th-century cholera epidemic. Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization. Develops molecular imaging probes, chemical compounds that provide a non-invasive way to diagnose disease at its earliest stage.

Survival of the Fittest Bacteria can reproduce every half hour. They mutate, they develop resistance to the drugs they are exposed to – and they reproduce. The more we use (and misuse) antibiotics, the more drug-resistant bacteria will multiply and thrive. Non-resistant bacteria exist

Bacteria multiply by the billions A few of these bacteria will mutate

Some mutations make the bacterium drug-resistant

Drug-resistant bacteria multiply and thrive

In the presence of drugs, only drug-resistant bacteria survive

Mutation in DNA




Alumni Album 1960s


Ken Hillmer ‘62 was honoured by being named minister emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria for his service to the church and the Baptist Denomination. The citation was presented on the date of his 80th birthday.

Nigel Fisher ’71 and Adam Spence ’04 were among seven Canadians profiled by the Toronto Star for “thinking big” in 2014. Fisher is a former UN regional humanitarian co-coordinator for the Syria crisis. He was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal by the UN Association in Canada earlier this year. Spence is the founder of SVX (Social Venture Connection) and associate director of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. SVX helps investors support enterprises that are not only financially but also environmentally and socially sound.

Colin Glassco ’67 established his own foundation, The Colin B Glassco Charitable Foundation for Children (commonly known as The Glassco Foundation), and he’s been travelling every year to Zambia since 1998. The Foundation has drilled more than 500 water wells and built seven schools, seven clinics, a suspension bridge and an orphanage, among other endeavours over the years. The Foundation also supports a breakfast program in the Northwest Territories and a palliative care facility for children in British Columbia. Glassco received The Alberta Order of Excellence for his ongoing efforts, and travelled to Edmonton last fall for the induction ceremony and most recently was invited to become a member of the McMaster University Alumni Gallery. Wayne Fraser ’68 and his wife, Eleanor Johnston, attended the American Literature Association conference in Washington, DC, in 2014. Wayne was part of a Hemingway Society panel discussion on Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with the American government. The title of his paper was, “I believe in the Cuban people’s cause: Hemingway’s Politics in Yuri Paporov’s Hemingway en Cuba.”



Konrad Eisenbichler ’73 & ’74 received the Medal of Merit (Medaglia al merito) from the President of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. Struck to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Region, the medal recognizes expatriates for the extraordinary success they met in their adopted countries and thus, in the words inscribed on its verso, “for having honoured [their] land of origin.” The ceremony, held in the Council Chamber of the FVG government in Trieste, recognized 32 such emigrants. Stanley Kutcher ’74, ’75 & ’79 was recently inducted into the Order of Nova Scotia. After completing two degrees at McMaster, he became interested instead in pursuing psychiatry. Kutcher completed his MD at the McMaster University Medical School in 1979, became a resident in psychiatry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and did postdoctoral research involving brain metabolism in Scotland. He assisted with the development of an adolescent psychiatric care unit in Toronto that built the first

White House honours alumnus Rajendra Singh Rajendra Singh ’79 was named one of 10 Champions of Change: Solar Development by the White House. Government officials in Washington described Singh as a “visionary leader” in the field of photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. In order to help transform global electricity infrastructure, he is providing leadership to use PV as the source of local direct current electricity in the United States, as well as emerging economies around the world. He is also actively involved with various civic groups to bring legislation and regulations in South Carolina that will lead to the growth of solargenerated electricity, and regularly mentors students at all levels in his area of expertise. Singh currently serves as the D. Houser Banks Professor in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. “We are grateful for the education Dr. Singh received at McMaster University,” wrote James Clements, president of Clemson University, in a letter addressed to McMaster provost David Wilkinson.

transitional program during the 1980s. That very same program was later integrated into schools and community organizations to increase the quality of care for young people. Carrie MacMillan ’77 has retired as professor emerita, Mount Allison University. MacMillan taught for 37 years in the Department of English Literatures, served several terms as department head and a term as dean of the Faculty of Arts. On her retirement, the English Department established the Dr. Carrie MacMillan Prize in Canadian Literature, to be awarded annually.


Sean Donnelly ’81 was appointed president of steelmaker ArcelorMittal Dofasco. He’s one of seven McMaster graduates with executive jobs at the Hamilton-based company. “It’s wonderful for us that so many of our graduates have done so well,” Donnelly told The Hamilton

Spectator. “It’s great to see how well they have done.” He’s a graduate from the Faculty of Engineering, with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering.

Michelle Muldoon ’87 was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Women in Film and Television Vancouver. As well, Muldoon sits on the programming committee of the Vancouver International Women In Film Festival. Last fall, she optioned her first feature screenplay to EFC Film in Los

Angeles, a dark comedy titled Dead Fest. Adrian Zenwirt ’88 recently started a new job as director, Compliance, Executive Office Functions, at Scotiabank. In October, he also became a director of Child Development Institute — an accredited children’s mental health agency based in Toronto. Zenwirt earned an MBA from McMaster.

Ottawa. Santerre is renowned for applying his engineering background to medicine, and was inspired to go into this field by the world’s first artificial heart transplant.

1990s Paul Santerre ’90, who completed his PhD in chemical engineering at McMaster, received Canada’s richest prize for innovation for reducing blood clots in medical devices. He received the $100,000 award at the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Gala in

Bob Cates ’94 is a Canadian juggling champion, comedian and physical variety artist who has been delighting audiences for 20 years. He keeps the crowd laughing with fast-paced comedy

By Allyson Rowley Mark Costin ’81 is one of the drivers behind the driverless car. An automotive functional safety engineer with Google, Mark is part of a team of very smart people working on one of our future modes of transportation — a fully autonomous vehicle that requires no human intervention. “Safety is paramount,” said Costin, who graduated from McMaster with a master’s in Chemical Engineering in 1981, and then completed his PhD in 1984 from Case Western Reserve University. He had originally planned on a career as a professor, but decided to get some industry experience first. He went to work at General Motors as a research engineer and never looked back. Much of his career at GM was devoted to the safety of mechatronic devices — such as the Electronic Throttle Control, a rather important part of your car that controls the acceleration rate when you press the pedal. For his industry leadership, Mark was elevated to Fellow in the Society of Automotive Engineers, their highest honour. Google recruited him in 2012, no doubt because of his 28 years of experience with safety-critical automotive systems. “Google is a really exciting and fun place to work,” he says. “It was easy to join the team.”

Paula Miceli ’94 is completing her training as a psychologist in Toronto. She recently published a clinical guide, Principles of Psychological Treatment: Bruxism & Temporomandibular Disorders, to accompany her recently launched a program to support TMD sufferers. She was born and raised in Hamilton, and proudly joined McMaster in the role of Hall Director at Wallingford Hall from 1996-1998.

Manoj Rao ’97 recently launched a web series called The Startup on the hugely popular comedy website Funny Or Die. The show is about an East-Indian Canadian who moves his family and leaves his steady job at a hundred-year-old Canadian telephone company to go work for the hottest entertainment startup in Los Angeles, Pump’d Entertainment. The Startup is currently streaming online. Joshua Tepper ’98, in his role as president and CEO of Health Quality Ontario, is helping to push for more accountable and responsive medical care across the province. “I see myself as a family doctor, but one who is really committed to changing the system in which I provide care,”




Driving toward the future

routines involving advanced juggling, wild unicycling and balancing skills and an insane 22-plate spinning finale that has to be seen to be believed. Cates was nominated for “Best Variety Act” at the 2014 Canadian Comedy Awards. He was also twice nominated “Best One Man Show” at the Canadian Comedy Awards and Entertainer of the Year four times at the Canadian Event Industry Awards. He also graced the cover of the Times back in 1995.

Tepper told the Toronto Star in a lengthy profile published in December.


Phillip James Smith ’07 & ’09 and his wife, Nassrin Smith, welcomed the birth of their first child Edward Abraham Gordon on Dec. 3, 2014. Proud family include step-great-grandfather Edward Zapotichny ’51, grandmother Della Smith ’12, uncle Matthew Smith ’11 & ’16 and auntie Heather Smith. Hillary Peach ’08 continued her academic studies at Guelph University School of Veterinary Medicine where she graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine last June. In January 2014, Hillary and Benjamin Garden’10 & ’12 became engaged and are currently planning their 2016 wedding.


Jacquelynn A. Morley (McRonald) ’06 got married on Sept. 20, 2014 to her longtime sweetheart, Justin Morley. The happy couple was married in their home country of Bermuda.

Jason Pottinger ’08 & ’10 and Elizabeth Morningstar ’09 became engaged in May 2014. Elizabeth and Jason met at McMaster in 2009, when Jason helped coach the McMaster Women’s Flag Football League. Jason recently finished his MBA and currently plays for the CFL’s Ottawa RedBLACKS. Morningstar completed her Master of Arts in History as well as a Master’s degree in Museum Studies, and currently works for Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival. The wedding will be in 2016.

Michael Kpessa ’09 was named executive director of the National Service Scheme in Ghana. With interests in governance, institutional design, social policy and public administration, Kpessa — who is a member of the Policy Team at the Presidency — is expected to implement presidential directives aimed at restoring the values of the National Service Scheme and its key objectives. Lauren Chin-You ’11 was promoted to consultant at APEX Public Relations following more than two years of work on accounts such as Nike, Husqvarna, Walmart Canada and Visit Orlando. Her passion and pride in her work recently helped her attain an IABC Silver Leaf Award of Excellence (Social Media Programs) for the launch of social media channels for Husqvarna Canada.

It’s ALIVE! Frankenstein resurrected from Library archives

By Erica Balch

By Erica Balch

1971. The Pentagon Papers have just been released, All in the Family makes its television debut, Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady” tops the charts and Frankenstein comes to McMaster. Co-written by famed Canadian actor and McMaster alumnus Dave Thomas ’72 & ’09 (honorary) and his brother, award-winning musician Ian Thomas, who composed the score, Frankenstein made its theatrical debut at McMaster’s Robinson Theater in March of 1971. In addition to Dave and Ian Thomas, the production involved a who’s who of Canadian comic talent including Eugene Levy ’69 & ’05 (honorary) and Martin Short ’72 & ’01 (honorary). Ian Thomas recently donated his



archives to the McMaster Library, which included the script and score of Frankenstein. “Marty Short, Eugene and I had been sort of a recurring trio on stage at Mac since we started the McMaster Shakespearean Players,” Dave Thomas told the McMaster Daily News last fall. “We did these and other plays together and had a lot of fun. Marty was busy when Frankenstein started rehearsals and Eugene and I wanted him to play a part. When we finally got him to agree, the show was already cast, so we wrote in a scene where he was the Pizza Boy delivering pizza to the lab where Dr. Frankenstein was working on the monster with his hunchback assistant Igor [played by Eugene Levy]. Of course, as the Pizza Boy, Marty stole the scene.” Read the full interview at dailynews.mcmaster.ca.

Former Mac roommates reunite in Bermuda

Stefania Fiedler (Jablonski) ’11 married fellow Mac grad Andrzej Fiedler ’07 & ’09. The ceremony took place at the couple’s Polish Church, St. Stanislaus Kostka in Hamilton, and it was beautiful! Andrzej has been with Pratt & Whitney Canada for close to five years, and was recently promoted from the Engine Operability Group to the Advanced Engineering Group, which focuses on designing future engine concepts. As for Stefania, she has been working at Hatch Mott MacDonald for almost four years, where she have been focussed on many transit infrastructure projects in Canada, both big and small.


Friends for 40 years after first meeting at McMaster in 1971, a group of alumni reunited in Bermuda in May 2014 — the first time four former roommates of Bates Room 503 had all been together since 1974. Maureen Eddy ’75, her husband Russell and Maureen’s mother Myrtle Edness generously hosted the group, which included Cathie Miller ’74, Patty Phillips ’75 and Sue Wilkes Saunders ’75. Two other Bermudians and McMaster alumni, Allan Trew ’75 and Anthony Aguiar ’75, were also part of the reunion as the group spent a glorious five days in the sun reminiscing and catching up.

Leo Johnson ’11 earned the World Citizenship Award from the Hamilton Mundialization Committee. Johnson, an alumnus of Social Sciences, arrived in Canada in 2006 from war-torn Liberia. In 2007, he co-founded Empowerment Squared, a nonprofit organization aimed at cultivating stable environments rooted in peace, independence and self-sufficiency. Yorsa Musa ’14 received the Lincoln M. Alexander Award for young leaders who have shown tremendous passion for ending racial discrimination and promoting positive social change. Musa is the co-founder of Nu Omega Zeta, the first ever blackinterest sorority in Canada; coedited The Voice, an Afro-Canadian publication on campus; and played a vital role in developing McMaster’s African and African Diaspora Studies program. The award ceremony took place at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

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In Memoriam


Faculty & Staff Jack Diamond died Aug. 19, 2014 at the age of 86. Diamond was well known for his infectious enthusiasm as an instructor, but renowned for his research in developmental neurobiology and the neurobiology of aging. He received his medical training and a PhD in physiology at University College, London with post-doctoral studies at Harvard University before joining McMaster in 1970. He was a professor and the first chair of the Department of Neuroscience, now part of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and was instrumental in attracting an international team of researchers to the new medical school. He leaves his wife, Dusica Maysinger, children, Alison and Gareth, and stepchildren, Matthew, Michael and Laura. John Evans died Feb. 13, 2015. A Rhodes Scholar who received his medical training in cardiology at the University of Toronto, Evans was 35 years old in 1965 when then McMaster president Harry Thode chose him to found the University’s medical school. The success of the program, dubbed the “McMaster Approach,” is illustrated in its use in hundreds of medical and other health professional schools worldwide. Evans became president of the University of Toronto in 1972. His lengthy career spanned many innovations and disciplines. He returned to McMaster on a regular basis to assist with events ranging from speaking to high school students about careers in science to chairing prestigious medical panel discussions and talking with medical students. Manufacturer Alcan Inc. endowed the John R. Evans Chair in Health Sciences Educational Research and Instructional Development at McMaster in honour of Evans’ time as its chair.



Gerd Westermann died Nov. 5, 2014. Westermann was born in Berlin, Germany in 1927. After the Second World War, he found himself working in mines before going on to university, first to Braunschweig and later Tübingen. After completing his PhD research in 1953, he relocated to Canada and became a faculty member at McMaster in the late 1950s. A renowned paleontologist, Westermann had variations of his surname used on seven different creatures. He hunted fossils on nearly every continent in the world, and charted Earth’s history through studying fossilized, shelled creatures that lived more than 200 million years ago. Westermann is survived by sons, Robert and Gerold, daughter Carola, and wife, Jean Mills Westermann.

1930s Gretel Aeberli (Haeberlin) ’32 died Jan. 21, 2015 at the age of 104, preceded by her husband Ernst Aeberli and her brothers Paul and Hans. While attending McMaster, and later in life, she spent her summers working at Taylor-Statten Camps where she had been a camper in the 1920s. Then she began her career as a languages teacher, first at St. Mildred’s and later at Havergal College. After the war she worked for a while in a displaced persons’ camp in Austria and after her marriage she lived mostly in Europe with her family. When her husband retired, they returned to Toronto. Her sons Karl and Peter, daughters-inlaw Birgitt and Jill as well as her grandchildren will remember her fondly. Norma Bidwell ’38 & ‘07 (honorary) died Nov. 20, 2014. Born July 9, 1915, in Caron, Saskatchewan, Bidwell began attending McMaster during the height of the Great Depression. She went

on to become one of the most celebrated and well-known food writers in Canada, thanks to a remarkable career at The Hamilton Spectator that spanned more than five decades. According to newspaper staff, readers still ask for the famous Sept-Îles fruitcake recipe the Spectator ran back in 1967. Bidwell won numerous awards for her investigative reporting, and travelled to Spain, Denmark, Italy and England hunting down new food stories. In 2012, she was named one of 125 People of Impact when McMaster celebrated its 125th anniversary. For more than 63 years she was the beloved wife of Frederick Bidwell, who predeceased her in 1997. She is dearly missed by family, friends and former colleagues.

1940s William Robert “Bob” Waugh ’40 died Jan. 15, 2015. Beloved husband of the late Audrey Bernice Graydon Waugh. Loving father of Peter and Stephen (Christine), cherished grandfather of Daniel (Carmela and their children Enrica and Nico), David (Emily) and Peter, all of California and Jesse, England, dear brother of Elizabeth Mayfield (Bill), Toronto. Many nieces, nephews and friends will miss him. Predeceased by brothers, John and Ross, and sister, Margaret Bailey. Waugh was lieutenant commander RCNVR during the Second World War. He retired from General Motors after 51 years of service. After retiring, Waugh continued with the Financial Executive Institute of Canada, with Canadian Institute for the Blind and also gave his time generously to many charitable organizations. He was also a longtime volunteer with the President’s Club and a class volunteer. Philip Connell ’46 died Sept. 28, 2014. After graduating from McMaster in 1946 with a degree in political economy, Connell con-

tinued his education by joining public accounting firm Clarkson Gordon (Ernst & Young) receiving his chartered accountant designation in 1950. From there, he held top financial and general management positions in five large corporations. Appointed comptroller at Westinghouse Canada in 1957, controller of Domtar in 1967, vice-president finance of George Weston Limited in 1968, and senior vice-president Finance of the Oshawa Group in 1976. At McMaster, he co-developed and taught an accounting course for the DeGroote School of Business, was a member of the Business Advisory Council, served on the Alumni Fund Committee. He was inducted into McMaster’s Alumni Gallery in 2004. Ernest Kay ’47 & ’49 died Dec. 26, 2014. Kay was born in Hamilton in 1924, the only son of Ernest W. and Odney Kay. He attended school in Hamilton, and later studied at McMaster. He completed a MA degree involving studies of the Dundas Marsh. He taught for one year at Acadia University, then did graduate work at the Medical School of the University of Rochester. He also spent two years at the Medical Faculty of the University of Glasgow. In 1966, he earned a position as a professor of biochemistry at the University of Toronto, from where he retired in 1990. John “Jack” Macnamara ’47, ’49 & ’51 died April 29, 2013 in Sault Ste. Marie at the age of 88. Born and raised in Hamilton, Macnamara moved to the Soo in 1951 to begin work in the chemistry lab at Algoma Steel and retired in 1990 having achieved the position of Chairman of the Board and CEO. His wife, MaryJane, four sons, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren survive him. He was inducted into the McMaster Alumni Gallery in 1982.

John Walter Borthwick ’48 died Dec. 16, 2014 at the age of 90. Born and raised in Hamilton, Borthwick was an educator for more than 36 years with the Hamilton Board of Education, a volunteer in Burlington with many groups (particularly the Burlington Historical Society) and an inspiration to his entire family due to his boundless curiosity, sound advice and remarkable sense of humour. His beloved wife of 64 years, Ruth (Mitchell), and entire extended family miss him dearly. Charles Russell Tilt ’49 died Nov. 24, 2014 at his home in Richmond Hill. A well-known and dedicated volunteer in Richmond Hill and in the province of Ontario, he will be missed by all those who knew him and worked with him. A gentle but determined soul who worked for the greater good of the environment, Russell was pre-deceased by his loving wife, Doris, his brothers, John and George, and his sisters, Margaret and Sherrie. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Susan Purdy, and his grandchildren, Charlotte (David), Timothy (Christa) and his great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Marion and Hudson, as well as many nieces and nephews. Bob Wanless ’49, ’50 & ’53 died Dec. 9, 2013 in Kingston, Ont. Born in northwestern Ontario and growing up in Alberta, Wanless joined the RCAF in 1941. In England he was seconded to the RAF, where as a Flight Sergeant he was responsible for the radar equipment on a flight of Lancaster bombers in 625 Squadron. He returned to Canada from active service in December 1945 and took advantage of the government training allowances. Wanless arrived at McMaster in January 1946, and was one of 150 veterans who were enrolled in the Special Session, which continued through the summer of 1946. He worked with Dr. Harry Thode, and received his B.Sc. Honour Physics in 1949, his M.Sc. in 1950 and his Ph.D. in 1953. He spent his career as a geochronologist with the Geological Survey of Canada. He married fellow RCAF veteran

and Mac alumna Jacquie Kenyon ’47 in 1948, and they enjoyed 50 years together before her passing.

1950s Peter Johns ’52 died Jan. 17, 2015 in Montevideo, Uruguay. After graduating from McMaster, Peter returned to Montevideo to work in a family-owned department store. In 1961 he went to work in his wife’s family-owned wholesale business until 1981, when he managed their 2,500acre cattle ranch until his passing away. He leaves his wife, Penny, his daughter ,Sandra, and her husband, Nicolas, and two grandchildren. Robert Cameron Reynolds ’56 died Sept. 28, 2011. Reynolds retired in 1985 as senior product metallurgist, coated products, following 38 years at Stelco. He was an avid collector of Ho Gauge model train engines, and while his sons were growing, built a cottage on Colpoy’s Bay that he enjoyed with friends and family for many summers. In his retirement, Reynolds and his wife Mary kept warm during winter at their Florida home, and enjoyed many trips throughout Canada and abroad. During the years of 19891990, Robert and Mary lived in Cilegon, West Java, Indonesia, where UEC, USX Engineers and Consultants Inc. employed him as manager of metallurgical and quality control CRMI project. Reynolds is survived by his beloved wife, Mary F. Dawson, and his family — Robert (Diana), David (Carole), John (Susan) and grandchildren. Agda Cohen (Artna) ’57 & ’61 died in Nov. 22, 2014. Born in Tartu, Estonia in 1930, her family fled Estonia at the height of the Second World War and settled in Sweden. In 1947, the family immigrated to Canada, where Agda eventually studied at McMaster. Cohen became one of the first women in Canada to complete a nuclear physics PhD, and worked at National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC as well as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She isburied in Columbia Cemetery in Maryland. She is survived

by her husband Dr. Leslie Cohen and her son, Dr. David Erik Cohen of Virginia and Maryland, respectively.

1960s Norm Johnson ’60 died June 17, 2014. Johnson taught high school biology and chemistry in the Hamilton school system and was head of the science department for many years. He was also charter president of the Ancaster Chapter Rotary Club. He had a second career as a photographer and a third as a bookkeeper. His parents Maude and Arnold Johnson and his brother Roy predecease him. Norm is survived by his wife, Marta O’Reilly, son Dave Johnson, and partner Lana Spracklin of Oregon, daughter Darilyn McFadden of Alberta, granddaughters Beverly Johnson of California and, Kyla McFadden, of Alberta and great granddaughter, Brooklynn Johnson. James Wallis Teeter ’60 & ’62 died Aug. 4, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. Teeter was born in Hamilton on March 14, 1937. He spent his career teaching geology at The University of Akron. He was pre-deceased by his wife of 54 years, Gladys, on June 30, 2014. Jim is survived by his daughters, Laurie (Terry), Kathy (Bruce), and Judy (Peter) and six grandchildren. Bruce Litteljohn ’64 died Sept. 21, 2014. A talented trombone player with a passion for jazz, he created and was leader of The Rhythm Kings big band at Hamilton’s Westdale Secondary School in 1954, and later led the McMaster Jazz Septet at the University. He was a master at Upper Canada College, an award winning professional photographer, a wildlife enthusiast and naturalist. He retired to Bracebridge, Ont. His scholarship extended to coauthoring and contributing to 14 books and numerous journals, including National Geographic and the The Globe and Mail. Dagmar Fatemi (Bestek) ’66 & ’69 died May 30, 2014 in North Vancouver, B.C. After graduating from McMaster in 1969 with a

master’s degree in German, she moved to Iran with her husband, George, and lectured at Pars College in Tehran. The couple remained in Iran for a decade, returning to Ontario at the onset of the Iranian revolution in 1979 and later settling in western Canada where she continued to teach languages and volunteer. Her loving husband, son Kevin, daughter Roya, three grandchildren and a host of relatives, friends and colleagues dearly misses Fatemi.

1970s Leo “Lee” Aurini ’70 died Feb. 12, 2015 at the Carpenter Hospice. The Aurini family is mourning the loss of a man with a wonderful sense of humour and an infectious smile at the age of 77 years. Lee obtained a history degree from McMaster and MScEd from Niagara University, Lewiston, NY. He continued his association with McMaster through his service as president of the Alumni Association for three terms, and as a member of the University Senate for two years. He had a long career in education from his first teaching post at Southmount Secondary School, his activities with the Hamilton Board of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Education through to his retirement as principal of Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School. Shirley Crozier ’75 died Aug. 18, 2014. Often referred to by patients as “Dr. Shirley,” Crozier was one of the very first nurse practitioners in the province, and is regarded as a pioneer in the field. She later served as an assistant clinical professor in the family medicine department at McMaster. A natural athlete, she was also an active volunteer with the Dundas museum and St. Paul’s United Church in Dundas. She worked with her husband, Clare, in creating an award-winning garden in the backyard. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her brother David, of Ancaster, daughters, Jennifer and Catharine, son, Matthew, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson. Her first husband, Paul Hirst, predeceased her.






Columbia International College department head for business Wendy Porritt Hendry ’96 (left) shared tips and stories with Ingie Metwally ’15, a senior community advisor in McKay Hall. Both women have served in McMaster’s residence system while undergraduate students.

‘Then & Now’ profiles two students from different eras, and highlights how their experiences differed. For this issue, meet Wendy Porritt Hendry ’96, department head for business at Columbia International College in Hamilton and former marketing manager with East Side Mario’s and Boston Pizza; and Ingie Metwally ’15, a longtime community advisor at the University and soonto-be graduand. Both women have held various roles in McMaster’s on-campus student residences.

By Andrew Baulcomb ’08



“Well this certainly brings back a lot of memories.” endy Porritt Hendry ’96 is making a long, deliberate sweep around Ingie Metwally ’15’s dorm room in McKay Hall — running her fingers along the wooden furniture, smiling at posters and photographs tacked to the white brick wall, peering through the window and watching students run to and from class along Stearn Drive. It’s been two nearly decades since Hendry last lived and worked in McMaster’s residence system, but she still remembers all the little details. – The sights and the sounds, the strange mixture of apprehension and excitement that comes with moving away from home for the very first time. “I remember being so nervous, parking near Moulton Hall with my parents and wondering who my roommate would be,” says Hendry, a native of Niagara Falls, Ont. who earned a pair of degrees in economics and commerce from the McMaster in 1996. “The moment we got out of the car, I remember being surrounded by all of these people who wanted to know who I was and where I was going so that they could help my parents get all my stuff into my room. Everyone was so welcoming and so nice. Once I met my roommate I felt right at ease. We would become fast friends within the week.” For Metwally, the move to McMaster was a lot more nerve-racking than a trip down the Queen Elizabeth Way. Born in Canada, she lived in Kuwait between the ages of 10 and 17 and graduated from the American


Housing and Conference Services. Metwally has also served in a number of capacities in McMaster’s residence system — first as a CA in Bates Residence, and later a senior CA in Moulton and McKay Halls. As part of her day-to-day duties (in addition to attending class and maintaining a social life), she works tirelessly to maintain a strong student presence in the greater Hamilton community, while offering support and guidance to hundreds of firstyear students in her charge. Throughout the past two years, she has also represented McMaster at the Residence Life Conference (RLC) — an Ontario-wide conference for student leaders in residence — and served on the Committee on Student Affairs as a residence undergraduate student. The committee meets several times each year to recommend to McMaster’s Senate policies and receive submissions on non-academic aspects of student life. The added workload is always worth her time, she says. It’s all about making students feel comfortable and plugged-in to what’s happening, both on and off campus. “I think that having CAs at McMaster is so valuable,” says Metwally. “Students want to feel connected, and CAs are often the facilitators of these connections. More than that, though, CAs can provide support when students need it. University can be a tough time, and having a good support network is key. Although many students may have great support networks on their own, some just don’t. Having CAs in McMaster residences ensures that everyone has at least one person they can rely on. Even if only one student truly needs help and support, the position has become valuable and 100 per cent worthwhile.” She’s currently applying to several different jobs and researching graduate school, but says she’s not quite ready to leave her adopted home. With so many great memories from the heart of campus, it’s going to be difficult to move on when the time finally comes. “Ideally, I would like to be here for another year or so, preferably working if I can,” says Metwally. “I love the McMaster community and our beautiful campus, and would be overjoyed if I could extend my time here … if only for a little while longer.”




International School of Kuwait, before moving back across the Atlantic to begin university. Remarkably, her first day on campus was also the first time she saw McMaster. “To be 100 per cent honest, I was terrified,” says Metwally, who will graduate in this year with a degree in communications and economics. “I spent the first week going out to most of the Welcome Week events, encouraged by my reps, community advisors (CAs) and roommates. I developed friendships, had some cool experiences, and slowly, my worry disappeared. Within a few months of living in Bates, I even started referring to it as ‘home’ when heading back from my real home. My mom still gets upset about that.” As both women settled into life at McMaster, the allure of an extended stay on campus proved too strong to resist. As the end of the academic year approached, Hendry and Metwally applied to work in McMaster’s bustling student residence system — the former as a floor rep in Moulton Hall, and the latter as a CA in Bates Residence. By 1994, just three years after reluctantly moving into her very first dorm room, Hendry was named president of Moulton Hall. She later served as vice-president of the Inter-Residence Council while living in Bates Hall. She also spent a year as president of the Student Alumni Association, played a number of intramural sports, volunteered with the Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT) and played a key role in updating the Inter-Residence Council’s constitution. Like many students of the mid-1990s, she also enjoyed an evening at the Downstairs John from time to time. “I like being in the know,” says Hendry. “So it made sense for me to get involved in residence life. Working with other student leaders not only helped me grow as a person, but also helped in classes. You never felt alone because there was always someone you recognized from residence council. I have met some of my best friends through residence life, and it made my experience at McMaster that much richer.” That connection to McMaster’s residence system extends to this day. Hendry’s brother, Mike Porritt, is the University’s current director of

Alumni Directions It’s All About The Way We Were KAREN MCQUIGGE ‘90, Director, Alumni Advancement



was about six years old when the movie The Way We Were was in theatres. It starred Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand and I didn’t see it because I was, well, six. Then when I got older, if you didn’t accidentally find it on one of the 14 channels on television, you had to go to a video store and rent it on cassette, but by then I was renting John Hughes movies, so I missed The Way We Were entirely. But I still know the song. Sing it with me … “Memmmmmmmmm-ries … Like the corners of my miiiiiind. Misty, water-colour memmmmmm-ries … of the way … we were.” That Marvin Hamlisch was a genius. The way Marvin wrote the song and the way Barbra sang it, you can tell they both knew the power of memories. When you’ve built your career working with McMaster alumni, you get that as well. Memories keep alumni connected to the University, its people and places long after graduation and even if those alumni end up half a world away. There is, however, another side to memories. They are often – para-

doxically – forward-looking as well. Current students and young alumni can find inspiration and windows to the future in the memories of Mac grads. Through those memories, they learn that the Mac men and women who went before them share their experiences, hopes and fears. There is a powerful inspirational aspect to sharing memories across generations and among alumni peers. That’s why we created the Mac Memories project. We want to help you, your fellow alumni and Mac’s current and future students tap into the power of your McMaster memories. You can submit stories through our project website – macmemories.mcmaster.ca – or by using the hashtag #macmemories in your social media. The site will display the memories you share and help develop a new layer of the University’s social history. It’s a way to tell the McMaster community why the University is important to you. It’s a way to tell Mac’s story and your story. It’s a way to take those misty memories from the corners of your mind and put them into the world where they can teach, amuse, amaze and inspire the Mac family. I hope you join us in recording and sharing more Mac memories. We would be honoured if you did.

You’re Invited to Our Second Alumni Engagement Survey SANDRA STEPHENSON ‘78, President, Alumni Association


f you’re reading this when the McMaster Times first arrives, it could be the 144th anniversary of the beginning of Canada’s first national census. There’s an occasion that is not very likely to be part of your calendar app. In 1871, 2,789 enumerators visited 206 census districts and collected information for 3,485,761 individuals using a total of 211 questions. The 2015 McMaster Alumni Engagement Survey will be considerably less involved. We have the advantage of this whole internet thing that was invented about five national censuses ago and our target audience is more in the range of our 170,000 Mac alumni. The scheduled launch of the survey is mid April and it will be open until early May to give you and your fellow Mac grads time to include your perspectives and experiences. I promise that the number of questions will be nowhere near 211 and all the information is anonymous and will be used only in aggregate. In fact, we’re going to use the data you provide on your experiences, attitudes and preferences to inform



the development of the new McMaster Alumni Association three-year plan (2016-2019). We ran this survey once before in 2009. It was an impressively informative project for those of us who help shape the programming of your Alumni Association. The response rate then was terrific (7.1% – which is a homerun in surveying) and we learned a great deal, but in the last six years, much has changed. We have 30,000 new alumni. The Association has gone from offering 157 events in 2009 to well over 200 this year. We’ve added entirely new programs like MAC10, MACServe and way more online opportunities. It’s a good time for our second McMaster Alumni Engagement Survey and I hope you will be part of it. Our job at the McMaster Alumni Association is to build and provide the kinds of opportunities and programs that inspire you to engage with McMaster and with your fellow alumni in the ways that make the most sense to you. This survey will help us do that job even better, so please count yourself in this April. Watch your e-mail or visit alumni.mcmaster.ca for more information and help us shape the direction of your Alumni Association.





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Revisit and Reminisce... Alumni Reunion Day SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 2015

Calling all Classmates! Anniversaries of the Classes of 1940, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1960 and 1965 will be celebrated this day. Alumni Reunion Day is a chance to reconnect with classmates and McMaster’s campus. The day features the President’s Reunion Luncheon, class gatherings, campus tours and an afternoon lecture by Peter Calamai ’65, distinguished print journalist recently appointed to the Order of Canada.



Brochures with full Alumni Reunion Day details will arrive by mail in April, or contact the Alumni Office for details.


McMaster Homecoming! SEPTEMBER 25-27, 2015

McMaster Marauders vs. York Lions Enjoy pre-game fun & food with fans, friends and family!

For event details visit:

alumni.mcmaster.ca, contact: alumni@mcmaster.ca, 1.888.217.6003 or 905.525.9140 ext. 23900

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