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U n i v e r s i t y

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A l b e r t a

A l u m n i

M a g a z i n e

Plus... Lose Your Heart in San Francisco PM40112326

An All-in-the-Family Pharmacy An Out-of-Africa Experience

IW Was as T There h e her

Hard Har dP Passage assage

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A Mennonite Family’s Long L Journey from Russia to Canada


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N u m b e r



features 15

Water, Water Everywhere... Oasis or mirage — the issue of H2O here and abroad

36 On the cover: A water drop captured in time. Photo: Slawomir Jastrzebski/iStockphoto.


Out of Africa Erin McCloskey’s Namibian wildlife encounter

Switzer Family Dynasty An all-in-the-family pharmacy in Edson, Alberta


Paris of the Pacific A grad will make you lose your heart in San Francisco

departments 3

Your Letters

42 Evergreen

Our readers write to us


Alumni association participation

Bear Country

43 Alumni Events

Goings-on around the U of A

11 Landmarks


Accolades, honours and other milestones

32 Quaecumque Vera 41 Trails

54 Class Notes 58 In Memoriam Bidding farewell to friends

Grads making their mark in the world

H E R E ’ S

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Office of Alumni Affairs, University of Alberta 6th Floor, General Services Building Edmonton AB T6G 2H1

University pages to be proud of Keeping classmates up to date

Whatsoever things are true

ISSN: 0824-8125 Copyright 2005 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40112326

Our alma mater branches out



60 Tuck Shop Taking a page out of the past



. . .

Comments, suggestions, letters to the editor, story ideas – New Trail welcomes them all. Write to us at New Trail, 6th Floor, General Services Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6H 2H1. Our reader response line is also ready to take your call. Leave us a message at (780) 492-1702, or e-mail: Your privacy is your right and our responsibility. If you would like to remove your name from future mailings from the University of Alberta, please contact us at (780) 492-3224 or 1-800-661-2593.




On the Move? To keep receiving New Trail wherever you go call (780) 492-3471 (1-866-492-7516 toll-free in North America) or e-mail your address change to

Global warming is very much in the news these days. The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unequivocally stated that human activity— particularly the burning of fossil fuels — is directly related to climate warming around the world. Scholars at the University of Alberta have been warning of this trend for some time now, particularly the U of A’s David Schindler whose work in the water sciences field has been recognized around the world. Water issues, of course, are some of the most significant consequences of the global warming trend. From the loss of mountain glaciers and the melting of the polar ice caps to rising sea levels and extreme drought situations — all of these circumstances are predicted to come to pass because of rising global temperatures. That’s why we’ve focused this issue of New Trail on water and some of the extremely accomplished and well-regarded professors at the University who have been (and continue to) working on waterrelated science. It’s a big story, befitting the enormity of the issue and the passion of those involved in research that, in one way or another, directly affects us all. But if you want to take a break from some of the more weighty issues of the day, what better place to do it than in San Francisco. A U of A grad who’s made that city his home takes us on a tour of the ‘Paris of the Pacific,’ and I defy anyone not to at least dream of booking a flight there immediately after reading his story and gazing at the wonderful photographs that accompany it. And if you don’t want to leave your heart in San Francisco, we also have our usual assortment of smaller features, profiles, as well as innovations and discoveries coming out of the U of A that shouldn’t surprise me anymore but, nonetheless, never cease to amaze me. We hope you enjoy this spring issue and I would like to be the first to wish you a great summer as we count down the months remaining to our 100th anniversary Homecoming in 2008. Hope to see you there. Susan Peirce, ’70 BA Executive Director, Alumni Association SPRING 2007

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Executive Director Susan Peirce, ’70 BA Associate Director/ Manager, Alumni Education Programs Rick Pilger Associate Director/ Manager, Alumni Branches Gina Wheatcroft, ’94 BEd Administrative Coordinator Jacquie Reinprecht Assistant, Alumni Branches Andrea Dunnigan, ’03 BCom Coordinator, Alumni Chapters John Perrino, ’93 BA(RecAdmin) Assistant, Stewardship Darcy Hoover-Correa, ’99 BA Senior Communications Manager Kim Green Communications Associate Shelagh Kubish, ’85 BA Assistant to the Director Diane Tougas Assistant, Alumni Education Angela Tom, ’03 BA Coordinator, Graphic Communications Lisa Hall, ’89 BA Coordinator, Alumni Recognition Jodeen Litwin, ’90 BSc Assistant, Stewardship Projects Ashley Hunka, ’05 BA Coordinator, Research & Marketing Tracy Salmon, ’91 BA, ’96 MSc Assistant, Alumni Services/Reception Ann Miles Coordinator, Alumni Special Events Colleen Elliott, ’94 BEd Coordinator, Students & Young Alumni Chloe Chalmers, ’00 BA How to contact the Office of Alumni Affairs

Write to us at: 6th Floor, General Services Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1 Call us toll-free in Canada and the U.S.A. at 1-800-661-2593 or in Edmonton at 492-3224 Fax: (780) 492-1568 E-mail your comments, questions, address updates, and class notes to Join the Alumni Association’s online community at

To advertise in New Trail contact Bonnie Lopushinsky at (780) 417-3464 or New Trail, the University of Alberta Alumni Association magazine, is published quarterly (circulation: 125,000). The views and opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the University or the Alumni Association. All material Copyright©. New Trail cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.

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Director Susan Peirce, ’70 BA Supervising Editor Rick Pilger Editor Kim Green Associate Editor Shelagh Kubish, ’85 BA Contributing Editor Jodeen Litwin, ’90 BSc Art Director Lisa Hall, ’89 BA




Executive Committee President Heike Juergens, ’72 BA, ’79 MEd, ’87 PhD Past-President Dick Wilson, ’74 BA, ’75 LLB Vice-Presidents Paul Denis, ’70 BA Kevin Riemer, ’89 BA, ’92 MBA Kurian Tharakan, ’86 BCom Senate Representatives Jim Hole, ’79 BSc(Ag) Jennifer Rees, ’80 BSc(PT) Board of Governors Representatives Doug Irwin, ’73 BPE Ruth Kelly, ’78 BA Centenary Chair Jim Hole, ’79 BSc(Ag) Faculty Representatives Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics Tammy Oberik, ’82 BSc(HEc) Arts Judy Zender, ’67 BA Augustana Kevin Riemer, ’89 BA, ’92 MBA Business Kurian Tharakan, ’86 BCom Campus Saint-Jean Paul Denis, ’70 BA Dentistry Tom Mather, ’69 DDS Education Stephen Leppard, ’86 BEd, ’92 MEd, ’03 EdD Engineering Jim Funk, ’78 BCom, ’86 BSc(Eng) Graduate Studies vacant Law Kerry Day, ’80 LLB Medicine Larry Jewell, ’63 BA, ’68 MD Native Studies vacant Nursing Carol Duggan, ’59 Dip(Nu) Pharmacy Margaret Petrin, ’73 BSc(Pharm) Physical Education and Recreation Gerry Glassford, ’64 MA Public Health vacant Rehabilitation Medicine Grant Fedoruk, ’99 BSc(PT) Science Mark Polet, ’77 BSc Member at Large C.H. William Cheung, ’86 LLB Academic Representative vacant Ex Officio Executive Director Susan Peirce, ’70 BA Graduate Students’ Association Christine Delling Students’ Union Samantha Power U of A Vice-President (External Relations) Sandra Conn Honorary President Indira Samarasekera


Imagining Tuscany A Photography Workshop in Cortona, Italy

May 28 – June 5, 2007 Join us for a remarkable learning experience that combines wonderful photographic opportunities with good food, fun and fellowship. Imagining Tuscany, an eightday photography workshop, provides an opportunity for alumni and their family and friends to discover the beauty of central Italy as part of an exceptional learning experience. It is designed to appeal to the digital photographer — particularly those just beginning to explore the capabilities of their digital cameras — but photographers of all types and skill levels are welcome. The workshop features classroom sessions and daily photo walks around and about Cortona and is led by acclaimed international photographer Jim Vecchi.

• Emphasis on digital photography. • Instruction in the classroom and on location. • Excursions to nearby towns and the Tuscan countryside. • Eight nights’ accommodation, including breakfasts, at a historic, three-star hotel. • Six dinners, at a variety of restaurants in Cortona. • A farewell lunch. $2,995 per person, based on double occupancy, not including transportation ($180 Single Supplement Fee) Bring a guest! We offer a special rate for companions not participating in the workshop activities. $2,220 — Includes accommodation, meals, and major excursion to Pienza/Montepulciano

For more information visit our website at Or call 780-492-1835 (toll free 1-800-661-2593)





A Giving Grad

improving the health of people

The “Continent in Conflict”

in Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi,

article (Winter ’06/’07) was

Mozambique and Tanzania. A

interesting, but I was quite sur-

visit to will show

prised that the Canadian Net-

New Trail readers the accom-

work for International Surgery

plishments of fellow U of A

(CNIS) was not included.

alumnus, Ronald Lett.

Ronald Lett, ’74 BSc(Med),

Mary Ellen Gillan, ’73 BA,

’76 MD, ’84 MSc, is the presi-

’76 MA

dent of CNIS, a non-profit

Vancouver, B.C.

organization that promotes the

‘That’s Me’ We received a call correcting our identification of the Wauneitas on the Tuck Shop page (Autumn ’05). “That person on the extreme left,” said Evangeline ‘Van’ Scraba, “that’s me. And the person sixth from the left is Mary Henderson.” Evangeline Scraba (Munns),

A Proud Grad

’56 BSc

care in developing countries.

In the article “Big Mac” (Winter

King City, ON

The CNIS vision is to empower

’06/’07), I was disappointed

health-care providers in devel-

that when my name — Shirley

Happy Memories

trar, was my uncle. I remember

oping countries to create an

Thomas — appeared on page 34

I always enjoy several articles in

visiting him as a little girl in

environment where all people

it did not have my degrees after

New Trail and at my age (89)

their home—one of the first

receive adequate surgical care.

it. My maiden name was Bonnell.

check out the In Memoriam for

brick residences on campus.

The CNIS board members

I am happy to be a U of A grad

news of 1940s grads.

delivery of essential surgical

After graduation I also

are from across Canada and it

so that’s why I’m telling you

In the Autumn (’06) issue I

worked in the Registrar’s Office

has a nationwide membership

this. The article is very good.

found an interesting letter by my

under Esther Miller. The regis-

of physicians, surgeons, and

Shirley Thomas, ’53 Dip(Nu),

relative, Cecil L. Race, ’63 BA,

trar at the time (1945–46) was

other concerned citizens who

’54 BSc(Nu)

’79 MEd. His grandfather, Cecil

G. B. Taylor. This year I attend-

share a commitment to

Mission, B.C.

E. Race, the U of A’s first regis-

ed Esther’s 100th birthday party. In 1946 I travelled to Montreal, and at McGill

And The Winner Is ...


We Won, Too

Last issue (Winter ’06/’07) we ran a

New Trail

Tuck Shop page contest called

is proud to

“Doors of Perception” where we

won a

From the many responses we received, there were three respondents who came up with the correct

plan to identify the


that we

six doors from various buildings on the U of A campus.


Ian Bain, ’41 BSc. The Metabolome Project

David Wishart’s grand


asked readers to correctly identify

University met my husband,

writing 28

biochemical fingerprin ts of

n the southern edge of the 1,400 such compounds main campus, the will have been University’s characterized, quantified health sciences complex throbs with a feverish energy: into databases accessible and archived a swarm of stuthrough the dents and staff come Internet. In addition, and go, patients pure samples of and their visitors each metabolite will spill out on to the be preserved by sidewalks; emergency storing them in freezers vehicles scurry at a temperato and fro; construction ture of -80º C. the skyline as creations cranes scar The motivating force of concrete, behind the steel and glass rise Human Metabolome up to replace the Project is a U of A tired structures of scientist whose relentless brick and wood that curiosity isn’t once claimed the confined by traditional ground. disciplinary From the steps of boundaries. As an Athabasca Hall, undergraduate at basking lazily in the U of A, David the record-breaking Wishart, ’83 BSc, heat of an early July majored in physics. day, the impasAfter earning two sioned war on disease graduate degrees seems far away. at Yale — in molecular But inside this building, biophysics and biochemistry— the University’s he first home on campus returned to the U and now part of of A as a postdoctorthe computing science al fellow with the complex, is the Protein Engineering nerve centre of a Network of Centres project that could of Excellence. conceivably have When he was ready a greater impact for a continuing on the practice of medicine faculty position, than anything despite lucrative else ever done on offers from numerous the University of suitors at Alberta campus. other institutions, Or almost anywhere he decided else, for that matter. to stay in his hometown The initiative is called and accepted an appointthe Human Metabolome Project ment in the University’s and the idea behind it is extremely Faculty of Pharmacy simple: to make it possible to identify and Pharmaceutical the fingerprints of disease. biochemical Sciences, where he Analogous to curthe marks left by rently holds the loops and whorls of skin would be the Bristol Myers Squibb signature traces of metabolites — those Chair in Peptide small molecules that result from the Metabolism. He biochemical modification of chemical accepted his compounds in living organisms and cells University — identified using nuclear magnetic academic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. To staff position a this end the Human Metabolome Project dozen years has undertaken the identification, ago — not a quantification, cataloguing and storage long time by of all metabolites that can potentially some measbe found in human tissues and biofluids ures, but (blood, urine, tears, etc.) at concentrations ample time greater than one micromolar (a millionth for Wishart, part of a litre). who now has To date more than 800 metabolites have been identified, joint appointments and it is expected that by the end of in the Departments 2006 a total of of Computing Sciences and Biological

new trail

I was also interested to read about Ellen Schoeck’s new book about the U of A [I Was There]. My own memoirs, in which I write several pages about the U of A, came off the press in


answers: 1) Athabasca Hall; 2) Corbett


January — a paperback just

Hall; 3) Convocation Hall or Old Arts

from the Council for

under 300 pages long. I have

Building; 4) Tory Building; 5) Rutherford

Support and Advancement of

ordered 50 copies, mostly for

House; 6) St. Joseph’s College.

Education. Supervising

my family of 20-odd Bains and

Editor Rick Pilger won the

friends. I have happy memories.

bronze CASE award in the

Claudia A. Bain (Barker), ’42 BA

feature magazine article cat-

Burnaby, B.C.

The names of the three correct respondents were thrown into a hat and one name was picked. . . congratulations Karen Barton, ’05 BA, you are now a proud (we hope) owner of Ellen Schoeck’s recent book about life on the U of A campus called I Was There:

egory for institutions with enrollment over 15,000 for

A Century of Alumni Stories About the

his piece on U of A

University of Alberta, 1906 – 2006. Thanks to all who entered and we’ll

researcher David Wishart

do it again with something different in

called “The Metabolome

the near future.



Project” (Autumn ’06).

We would like to hear your comments about the magazine. Send us your letters via postal mail or e-mail to the address on the previous page. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.


new trail


bear country


ll the talk about her being so young is getting a little old for Jennifer Gelinas, ’06 PhD. When she received her PhD in neuroscience at the November 2006 convocation and won a Governor General’s gold medal, which recognizes doctoral graduates with the highest marks, she also received a lot of media attention. Adding to the interest in her work and high grades was an interest in Gelinas herself. She’s not making a big deal of it, but the media jumped on the facts: admitted to the U of A at age 15, accepted into the medical program at age 17, finished her PhD in just three years. “All this media attention, I take it as it is,” she says. “I’d prefer for the age to be left out of the equation.” Even without being young (she turned 23 shortly before convocation), the attention is not surprising given Gelinas’ academic accomplishments to date. After two years in the Faculty of Science (and a 9.0 GPA) she decided to study medicine. Two years into that she turned her attention to her PhD, and now that she has her doctorate, she is back in medical school at the U of A. She just finished a clinical rotation in Alberta’s Drayton Valley and says that, yes, she gets the “odd comment” from people that she looks awfully young, but “it’s never anything pronounced. I can fly under the radar.” And away from the buzz and in the lab is where she wants to be. “I was always interested in research even before I studied medicine, and research is getting to be a bigger part of medicine.” For her doctorate, Gelinas focused on memory and how the brain functions, and she sees great potential


new trail


in this area for clinical applications. “We don’t know yet how we remember, we don’t know what goes on at the cellular level, what happens to neurons when a memory is formed.” We understand how the heart works and are able to help people with heart problems, she says, but with a disease such as Alzheimer’s that affects the memory, “there’s not much anyone can do. We can’t look into it because we don’t understand the process.” Gelinas hopes to work in clinical research some day and further understand the processes of the body so she can help others — the best reason to study medicine. She has a few years to go in what she calls “a long haul,” but she’s up for the challenge. To explain her own success, she says, “What it comes down to is I have a good idea of what I want. I am good with setting goals and getting there. If you enjoy it, you are inspired to put in extra effort.” She’ll also tell you that her extracurricular hobbies help. “I don’t think I would do as well in my work without extra things. There is only so much intellectual work you can fit in. After taking a break, I can start fresh the next day.” Taking a break for Gelinas typically means Ukrainian dancing. She started taking different kinds of dance when she was three years old. “Dance has always been part of my life, and I

would miss it if I stopped.” Still, when high school got busy — Gelinas took the International Baccalaureate program at Old Scona in Edmonton — she gave up all but the Ukrainian dance. At the same time, she played piano, and recently received her Royal Conservatory Grade 10. “It was good times when that was finished!,” she says. “I knew there was no way I’d have time to continue with piano.” She also has a passion for travel, and set a goal with a friend from high school to “squeeze in a trip every two years or so.” No doubt the young doctor will achieve that goal and her many others. “Sometimes it’s easy to believe I’m focused and doing a good job, sometimes it’s not,” she says. “But you can never go wrong if you do what you enjoy.”

Rick MacWilliam/ Edmonton Journal


A Deeper Understanding T

Cour tesy of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

he Joides Resolution is making Swiss cheese out of the oceans’ floors. Since 1985 the 143-metre-long ship — originally built in Halifax in 1978 as an oil exploration vessel — has been operating all over the world, punching over 1,800 holes in the bottom of the sea from the balmy South Pacific to the breezy Arctic and Antarctic oceans. The vessel is named for HMS Resolution, the sailing vessel commanded by explorer, navigator and cartographer Captain James Cook over 200 years ago that explored the Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic region — and recorded the first circumnavigation and mapping of Newfoundland. As with its namesake, this current version of the Resolution also takes to the sea in the name of scientific exploration. But now those discoveries lie deep beneath the oceans as the Joides part of its name stands for ‘Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling.’ Recently the ship was parked in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where it lowered a drill head to the seafloor five kilometres below and then proceeded to drill down as much as 280 metres more for the sediment core samples it brought back to the surface. And when those samples made it back to shore, Jens Herrle, University of Alberta micropaleontology professor, was eagerly waiting to get his hands on them. Herrle — and the multinational co-authors of an article published in the journal Science (Dec. 22, ’06) — found in the ocean floor sediment pristine samples of marine microfossils known as foraminifera, or forams for short. These tiny fossilized creatures, usually less than one millimetre in size, are very useful to scientists as they can be used to date rock samples and reconstruct ancient ocean patterns and climate events. The oil industry also uses them to locate potential oil deposits. What Herrle found in the 23- to 34-million-yearold fossils was that the planet’s climate and glaciation

history is related to slight variations in the earth’s orbital patterns as well as worldwide carbon cycles — the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere, the terrestrial biosphere, the oceans, and the sediments (including fossil fuels). “The data we collected allowed for unprecedented insights into the complex byplay between the sun’s interaction with the earth, the global carbon cycle and glacial movement,” says Herrle. “This research is not only concerned with the climate many millions of years ago. Researching and understanding ‘extreme’ climate events from the geological past allows us to better tune climate models to understand present as well as future events.” Water covers more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface and the oceans contain the largest active pool of carbon near the surface of the earth, but in the depths of the ocean the carbon doesn’t rapidly exchange with the atmosphere so core samples taken from the seafloor provide an excellent record of geological timelines and ancient, planet-wide climate patterns. In the early half of the 20th century, Serbian physicist Milutin Milankovitch first proposed that cyclical variations in the earth-sun geometry can alter the earth’s climate and these changes can be discovered in the earth’s geological archives, “which is what we’ve done,” says Herrle. The research is part of ongoing work being conducted by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international research initiative that explores the history and structure of the earth as recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks. “IODP is an extremely important scientific program internationally, and for Canada,” Herrle says. “Although at present Canada’s contribution is among the smallest of all the countries involved, we’re hoping to become more significant contributors in the future so that more Canadian researchers and students can gain access to state-of-the-art platforms for deep-earth sampling.”

Jens Herrle, a foram sample, and the Joides Resolution at sea. To find out more about the ship visit SPRING 2007

new trail


bear country

Gone, But Not Forgotten


fter all the voices that have been heard, it’s the silent tribute that perhaps says the most. On January 24, 2007, the residents of St. Joseph’s College hung their hockey jerseys out the College’s north-facing windows in memory of Dean Mortensen, a student who played on the St. Joseph’s Rangers intramural hockey team and who disappeared 15 years ago. In January 1992 Mortensen, who was in his first year of Science studies at the U of A, went with some buddies to a popular pub in Lister Hall. Shortly after midnight, the group started heading back to St. Joseph’s College. The details are unclear, but for some reason Dean and his friends parted ways near the Butterdome. Dean has not been seen or heard from since. “It’s tricky to vanish,” says Father Timothy Scott, president of St. Joseph’s College. “Especially in the dead of winter, it’s pretty hard to make yourself disappear, if that’s what this was. So you suspect foul play.” The next morning, Mortensen’s good friend Stephen Beland, ’99 BSc (Env&Cons) — they’d grown up together in Grande Cache, Alberta, and were

Report Card 6

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defense partners on several hockey teams — knocked on Dean’s door on his way to an early class they shared. “I didn’t hear him but thought maybe he had slept in,” Beland says. “Then he missed his second and third class too, so when I got back to the College around 1 p.m. I forced his door open because I was worried.” When Beland noticed that Dean’s bed had not been slept in, he “flipped out,” he says. “It was just not like him to not be home.” In fact, Beland says, Dean was a quiet guy who really didn’t go anywhere else in Edmonton off campus. When Beland told the other residents that he was worried, “they all listened. When I said it was strange that Dean wasn’t back, they all started searching. They all cared. Every single one of them helped look. It’s a tight family.” They kept looking for Dean over the next several days. To draw attention to their search, the residents of St. Joe’s hung their Rangers hockey jerseys out their windows. Eventually, though the searches and police investigation didn’t lead to Dean, hanging the jerseys became a tradition of remembrance. Current residents might have

ne of the hottest stars of Canadian television dropped by campus January 8 to share a bit of U of A energy with his television audience. Rick Mercer, host of CBC’s The Mercer Report, has visited several universities across Canada, and this time was our turn. Mercer spent a couple of hours at a Pandas volleyball practice learning how to serve, spike and block shots. Though he joked that he wasn’t tall enough to play with the Bears bas-


Students Dennis O’Dwyer (left) and Adam Jordens hang hockey jerseys out the windows of St. Joseph’s College in tribute to former resident Dean Mortensen (left).

been only toddlers when Dean was a student at the U of A, but all St. Joe’s residents embrace the yearly opportunity to remember a Ranger. “The sense is that we are remembering Dean, and we use this event to celebrate the strength of our community,” says Robert Routledge, ’03 BEd, director of residence at St. Joseph’s College. “We recognize how challenging it would be to suddenly and unexpectedly lose a member of that community, and we show respect for the group of Rangers that had to go through this.” Residents attended the noon mass at the College, wearing blue lapel ribbons as another sign of remembrance. Each year the Dean Mortensen Scholarship is awarded to a student who is active in intramurals, has leadership skills, and contributes to a safer campus. —Shelagh Kubish, ’85 BA

ketball team, the women volleyball players towered over him — in particular Tiffany Dodds who stands well over two metres tall. Explaining his choice to join the Pandas at practice, Mercer joked that he was impressed with all the U of A had to explore, but “the women’s volleyball team had me written all over it, because I’m a naturally gifted athlete, don’t you know.” After trading spikes and jokes with the volleyball players, Mercer visited the

Testing One, Two, Three, Four


h... the carefree days of firstyear university. Living away from home, free to hang out in SUB with new friends, checking out the bars and other extracurricular activities on campus. Wait a minute — what about the intellectual part of going to university? Nostalgia makes the memories better, but could you do first-year studies in 2007? We asked several instructors of introductory courses at the U of A to share some questions from their first term finals. See how you would do. . . answers below.

1) Psychology 104: Basic Psychological Principles (Connie Varnhagen)

1. It’s Ben’s birthday and his buddies have taken him out to celebrate turning 18. Ben’s slurred speech is the result of the effects of alcohol on the: a. medulla oblangata b. cerebellum c. limbic system d. cerebral cortex 2) Biology 107: Introduction to Cell Biology (Mike Harrington)

3) Philosophy 101: Values and Society (David Kahane)

1. Which of the following legal reforms would make Canada more just, according to Robert Nozick’s libertarian definition of justice: a. Institute a heavy progressive income tax to give more money to the poor. b. Provide subsidies to small businesses. c. Teach libertarianism in public schools. d. Legalize marijuana, prostitution, and polygamy. e. All of the above. 2. According to Immanuel Kant, you have discovered a “perfect” duty if universalizing your maxim a. leads to a world that everyone would want to live in. b. leads to the greatest good for the greatest number. c. can be done without conceptual contradiction. d. can be done without contradicting your interests. e. undermines the conditions for willing successfully.

1. Approximately how many genes do you have? a. 1,000 b. 3,200 c. 10,000 d. 32,000 e. 100,000

4) Political Science 101: Introduction to Politics (Tom Butko)

2. The toxin Latrunculin binds to Actin monomers and prevents them from forming polymers. Which of these processes would be the MOST vulnerable to Latrunculin? a. receptor mediated endocytosis b. cotransport c. pinocytosis d. phagocytosis e. flagellar movement

2. Which two philosophers are usually considered to be the founders of “political science”?

1. Which political philosopher is commonly regarded as the “father” of contemporary conservatism?

Answers: 1) b; 2) d & d; 3) d & c; 4) 1, Thomas Hobbes, 2, Plato & Aristotle Z oltan Kenwell

Nanofab laboratory and the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility. His show about his trip to campus and to the Edmonton Garrison aired on CBC on January 17. The University’s Public Affairs office prepared a video of Mercer’s visit. Access it on the ExpressNews website at media/ Rick Mercer getting down with the Pandas. SPRING 2007

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The trick to keeping warm is wearing the proper clothing, as this student demonstrates during the 8th annual AntiFreeze competition.

he U of A chapter of Delta Upsilon gathered a team in Quad on a frigid January 9 to compete in the snowman competition that was part of AntiFreeze, a week-long welcome-back festival put on by the Students’ Union. Using a lot of creativity and just a few props, the Delta Upsilon team — they called themselves Ski Unit — sculpted a frozen vignette of a snowmobile with a snowman rider approaching a ramp. Rounding out the vista was a series of Calvin and Hobbes–inspired snowmen. Top marks for execution and artistic merit made this sculpture the winner of the snowman competition, one

of several events held during AntiFreeze. The team Insurgency Emergency was the overall winner. This year’s AntiFreeze was the eighth annual winter competition put on by the Students’ Union. “AntiFreeze is an amazing week that showcases the diversity of our campus community and lets people start the new term with new friends and great memories,” said Students’ Union Vice President (Student Life) Omer Yusuf. Teams competed in one of two levels of competition, depending on how many challenges they wanted to take part in. Events included a photo hunt, a sled race and Apprent-Ice, an event calling on the teams to fundraise for the Campus Food Bank. That event raised $4,891.95.

Lotus Landing he University has officially moved downtown —downtown Vancouver, that is. On December 20, 2006, the University officially opened its new development office at 990, 1040 West Georgia Street. There are over 5,500 alumni living in the lower mainland of British Columbia and obviously the new home to the U of A’s Global Development and Principal Gifts unit will be an important presence for those alumni, but also for the over 6,000 more U of A alumni currently residing in that province. During her speech to the crowd gathered to talk, sip wine, and take in the new digs, U of A President Indira Samarasekera said, “Vancouver is the gateway to the AsiaPacific and the consular core of all Asia-Pacific nations, and we saw an opportunity to connect with these consulates and continue to be internationally outward-looking. “We expect to be the ‘go to’ place when, for example, the U.S., Europe, India, or China want cutting-edge knowledge on energy. Our new office in Vancouver will facilitate goals such as these. We understand the need to enhance our relationships, such as those in Vancouver, with other communities and nations to create learning opportunities for students and research collaborations that address global as well as local challenges and initiatives.” Pointing out the stategic significance of the Asia-Pacific connection to Alberta and to the future of our province,

Lyle Stafford


Joyce McNair, ’48 BSc(HEc), and President Indira Samarasekera are all smiles at the opening of the U of A’s new Vancouver development office.

Samarasekera said the U of A needs to be even better connected to that region and build upon our existing strong relations with China, Japan and the rest of the region. “Alberta is on the world stage,” she said, “and this office is, to me, a physical manifestation of our collective Dare to Discover vision.” Samarasekera also pointed out that the University has set itself the goal of becoming one of the top 20 public universities by 2020. She then went on to joke that the University’s board of governors had asked her if she couldn’t perhaps alter that mission to make the U of A one of the top 10 by 2010. “Show me the money,” she said, “and I’ll do it.” The U of A Global Development and Principal Gifts: http://www.uofaweb.ualber SPRING 2007

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e’ve reorganized and expanded the U of A’s online community (OLC). Now it’s easier than ever to search for old classmates, share photos, exchange business and travel information, and organize reunions. Over 15,000 alumni are part of the OLC, which started at the U of A in 2001. The new profile-driven format— where every member has a profile and can share interests, post photos, and send private or group messages— should appeal to even more users. “Now, people will be connecting with people when they sign on,” says Debbie Yee, ’92 BA, coordinator of electronic communication services in the office of alumni affairs. “It’s structured more like other popular online social networking groups like facebook or myspace, only this one is specifically for University of Alberta people.” Privacy features allow users to release only as much information as they want


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to, and only registered members of the online community can sign in. Deborah Nakamura (Tang), ’84 BCom, of Calgary, joined the online community to stay informed. “I want to know about alumni events and keep up with news about the University,” she says. “I also enjoy reading about the accomplishments of other alumni.” Grads can use the OLC to sign up for permanent e-mail forwarding, share employment information, request or offer mentoring advice, search for classmates by name, faculty, or year, send messages to individuals or groups, and create a photo album. Form a group (for example, 1999 Science grads) and use it to share information and plan get-togethers with old friends. One of the best uses of an online community is catching up with old friends. Nakamura says she was hoping to use the OLC for just this purpose, and

Deborah Nakamura found what she was looking for in the revamped OLC.

“it’s worked out great so far.” Through the OLC she reconnected with a friend she’d lost touch with for over 20 years. Explore your improved online community at

Win a 30GB iPod Video! New or existing members, update your profile with a picture and 50 or more words in the “about me” section, and be entered to win a 30 GB iPod or a variety of fabulous prizes including the new iPod Shuffle. Contest runs until the end of April 2007.


Construction Giant, City Titan ohn Poole, ’37 BSc(Eng), ’87 LLD (Honorary), was instrumental in shaping the Edmonton of today. In January he passed away at the age of 90. During the years Poole was with us he was, said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, “one of the absolute finest individuals this city has ever known. You would not have a more marvelous, phenomenal human being that’s ever lived in the city of Edmonton.” Poole began his career working for his father, Ernest, on a gravel-crushing project near Camrose, Alberta. Poole and his brother George later purchased the Edmonton-based Poole Construction from their father in 1948. They then went about quietly building it into one of Canada’s leading construction companies before selling it to their employees in 1977. As PCL Construction, it now ranks as the largest Canadian company in its industry, active across the country as well as in the United States and the Bahamas. For the next 30 years of his life, Edmonton itself would become his life’s work. Poole and his wife, Barbara, gave tirelessly of not only their time but also their money. Perhaps best known for their recent donation of $5 million toward the building of the new Art Gallery of Alberta, the couple also donated millions to such institutions as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Opera, and the Citadel Theatre as well as numerous less high-profile causes such as the Edmonton Women’s Shelter, the Bent Arrow Aboriginal Healing Society, the Family Literacy Society, and the Youth Emergency Shelter. They were also instrumental in establishing the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards and in the building of the Winspear Centre. Among the benefactors of the Pooles’ generosity was the University of Alberta and in particular the Faculty of Engineering. Their contribution to that Faculty led to one of the few structures in the city to bear the family name, the John and Barbara Poole Family Atrium at the U of A’s Engineering, Teaching and Learning Complex. Poole once said, “I believe you should try to help your community if you’re fortunate enough to have that opportunity. I think you should leave something behind.” That he certainly did, and a city and a province that owe him a debt of gratitude that no words can express will sorely miss his presence.

Richard Siemens/ U of A Creative Ser vices


 Three associate vice-presidents of external relations began work on campus in January. Debra Pozega Osburn, a former principal in a public relations firm in Michigan, will lead strategic initiatives, including the reputation-building and communications involving new U of A initiatives. Deb Hammacher, previously director of media relations at Michigan State University, will lead efforts to manage and coordinate awareness and reputation-building. John Carfagno, most recently director of outreach marketing and communication at Pennsylvania State University, will lead the redesign of the University’s website and other technology-related initiatives.  In late November the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced that four University of Alberta projects will received funding under the CFI’s New Initiatives Fund: David Evans, ’78 BSc, ’82 PhD, from the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, was awarded close to $10 million for the Alberta Institute for Viral Immunology. Just over $5 million was given to Philip Halloran, from the same department, for the Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre. Thomas Stachel from the Science faculty will receive $5 million for the Canadian Centre for Isotopic Microanalysis, and Frank Hegmann from Science will receive $1.2 million towards an Ultrafast Nanotools Laboratory.  Western Economic Diversification has contributed $15 million toward construction of TEC Centre Edmonton in the University of Alberta’s Enterprise Square. The funding was announced in December for the Technology, Entrepreneur and Company Centre that will take up residence in the former Bay Building.  In December the federal government awarded the University of Alberta $6.7 million to renew three research positions, and to fund five new Canada Research Chairs. Murray Gray and Zhenghe Xu were awarded chairs in chemical and materials engineering. Brenda Parlee was named Canada Research Chair in rural economy, Simoette Sipione in biochemistry, and Lori West in pediatrics. Funding renewals of $500,000 have also been approved for Subir Bhattacharjee, CRC in colloids and complex fluids; Tim Caulfield, ’87 BSc, ’90 LLB, CRC in health law and policy, and Thomas Stachel, CRC in diamonds. The university now holds 103 Canada Research Chairs valued at close to $103 million.

 Third-year medical student Travis

Murdoch was named a Rhodes Scholar in November. He will begin studies at Oxford University later in 2007, where he will work toward a Master’s of Science. Murdoch is the U of A’s 24th Rhodes Scholar and its third in four years.  Carl Amrhein was reappointed in

December for a second term as the University’s provost and vice-president academic. Amrhein came to the U of A in 2003 and in the past few years has overseen the integration of Augustana Campus into the U of A, the creation of the School of Public Health, the transformation of Native Studies to a full faculty, and the development and approval of the University’s academic plan, Dare to Discover. He begins a four-month administrative leave in May.  Dru Marshall, ’89 PhD, ’82 MSc,

vice-dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, has been appointed to a five-year term as deputy provost of the University, effective June 2007. A scholar in the area of childhood obesity and children’s fitness, Marshall has an extensive career in coaching at the university, provincial and national levels and a distinguished academic career with the U of A.  Lorne Babiuk has been appointed as

the new vice-president research, effective July 2007. He will replace Gary Kachanoski, who has held the position since 2001 and will return to his academic position with the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics. Currently CEO and director of the U of Saskatchewan–based Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, Babiuk holds the Canada Research Chair in Vaccinology and Biotechnology. He led the development of the world’s first genetically engineered vaccine for animals and has recently expanded the research to human health.

In Memoriam Paul Gorham, professor emeritus, Botany, in November 2006 Wilm-Artur Meilen, professor emeritus, Drama, in September 2006 Chester Bumbarger, professor emeritus, Educational Administration, in May 2006 Bruce Stovel, professor emeritus, English and Film Studies, in January 2007 Ronald Casey, associate clinical professor, Ophthalmology, January 2007


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amilla Gibb, writer in residence at the University of Alberta in Fall 2006, wrote her first novel on the sly while doing post-doctoral work in anthropology at the University of Toronto. An accomplished academic, Gibb had a secret desire to be a writer. “It became less secret,” she says, “when the book came out.” That first book, Mouthing the Words, was published in 1999 by Pedlar Press in Toronto, and was later translated and published in 18 countries overall. Two other novels followed—The Petty Details of So-andso’s Life and Sweetness in the Belly. Such rapid success is a little unusual for a writer, but the tentative attempts at creative writing are shared by many people. As writer in residence at the U of A from September to December 2006, Gibb supported such aspiring writers from the community. “My job is to encourage,” says Gibb. “If you

Top Ten Pieces of Advice for Future Writers in Residence

10. Practice clairvoyance by staring at ringing telephone. This will assist you at the office in deciding whether to answer (if it’s a promising writer grateful to simply be in the presence of your talent, generosity and good looks) or to not answer (if it’s a rude wannabe who only wants to know the amount of your last advance and to get an introduction to your agent). 9. Memorize names, numbers, locations and office hours of all other Writers in Residence across the city so you know where to quickly refer rude wannabes should clairvoyance fail you.

8. Prepare to have your faith in writing and reading reaffirmed on a daily basis — it will happen. 12

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have something to say and are trying to say it, I can only applaud that and encourage it.” Catherine Bush, a Toronto-based writer, is writer in residence at the University of Alberta from January to May 2007. Bush’s nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications including the Globe and Mail and The New York Bush (top), Gillespie and Gibb Times Magazine, and she has had three novels sen as a Best Book of the Year by the published: Minus Time (1993) is curGlobe and Mail. It has just been rently being adapted for film; The released in a revised paperback edition Rules of Engagement (2000) was choand optioned for film. sen as a New York Times Notable Bush and writers in residence to Book and a Best Book of the Year by follow might appreciate the words of the L.A. Times and the Globe and wisdom passed on by the 2005 – 06 Mail and has been optioned for film; U of A writer in residence, Curtis and Claire’s Head (2004) was shortGillespie, ’85 BA — see below. listed for the Trillium Award and cho-

7. Be kind and considerate to the office

4. Learn to enjoy the work shared with you.

staff — they will always be there for you when you need them, and you will need them.

These pieces matter to the people who wrote them, often a great deal more than the work of “professional” writers.

6. Be ready to use the phrase (or variations of it), “I suggest you learn the difference between a comma and a period first — you can worry later whether Tom Cruise or Clive Owen should play you in the movie version of your memoir.”

3. Be realistic about how much of your own work you’ll get done. Be conservative, set low expectations, plan on writing almost nothing… and then cut that number in half.

5. Drop the words Writer in Residence at social 2. Poets must take full and immediate advanfunctions if conversation embarrassingly begins to flag. According to the immutable laws of nature, the question that will follow (“Oh… and what precisely does a writer in residence do?”) will allow you to stammer, fudge, make unwitty witticisms, and generally appear so inarticulate that you will be absolved from having to talk to anyone for the rest of the evening.

tage of having a benefit plan, instead of continuing to be on the lookout for a dentist and a pharmacist to be friends with. Get those teeth fixed, and load up on Prozac! Let the good times roll!

1. Smile the first day, the last day, and every day in between — because you’re lucky to have found such a great home for a year. —Curtis Gillespie

Kevin Kelly

Resident Advice

Miriam Berkley

bear country

Pole-sitting Makes a Comeback


nternational Polar Year (IPY) 2007–08, a two-year program of science, research, and education focused on the Arctic and Antarctic regions, kicked off on March 1 with events around the world. Over 65 countries and tens of thousands of researchers will come together under the umbrella of the IPY in a period of focused study to look at the poles, the challenges facing them, and their influence on the rest of the earth. David Hik, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the U of A, is the executive director of the IPY Canadian secretariat. He has been working out of the secretariat office in the Biological Sciences Building for over three years to coordinate hundreds of research projects and events. “The IPY provides an opportunity to bring research communities together to help inform what is important,” Hik says. “It’s a chance for the whole globe to look at change in the polar regions.”

The previous three international polar years — the first in 1882–83, the second in 1932–33, and the third in 1957–58 — generated increased understanding of the poles, but there is still so much to learn. A large area of study is climate change and its impact on life in the polar regions — for example, on glacier dynamics and plants and animals. This year the human dimension will be included, and researchers will look at the impact of economic and environmental change on human health and on traditional cultures. Researchers at the U of A are involved in 25 projects across the full breadth of academic disciplines, says Hik. “The legacy of the IPY will be ongoing public interest in the poles, more information in schools, and sustained observing networks that we can use for future research,” Hik says. “We need to integrate the northern half of our country, and this is one area where Canada can lead. For the people in Iqaluit, every year is a polar year.”

Surgical Improvement Will Help Cancer Patients


urvivors of tongue cancer often suffer a serious setback to their recovery when they lose the ability to swallow. Surgical removal of the diseased part of the tongue followed by radiation or chemotherapy leaves patients with a weak and non-pliable tongue, so they can’t eat and must be tube-fed. Now doctors at the University of Alberta have improved on a technique to transplant tissue from a patient’s forearm to his or her tongue. Hadi Seikaly, director of otolaryngology surgery at the U of A Hospital, and Jeff Harris, ’95 MD, ’93 BSc(Med), U of A assistant professor of surgery, developed the modification, which involves including fat and connective tissue along with the tissue and skin of the forearm and connecting it to healthy blood vessels in the neck. The ‘beavertail’ of fat that comes with the skin is connected to the base of the tongue to add bulk and is rolled upon itself, much like a jellyroll. The recon-

U of A doctors Hadi Seikaly (left) and Dan O'Connell are helping survivors of tongue cancer to swallow.

structed tongue acts as a buttress, which squeezes the food into the esophagus. A study of patients who had the procedure concluded that the technique preserves a patient’s ability to swallow. The study was conducted jointly by researchers at the Misericordia Hospital and in the U of A faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, and Rehabilitation Medicine. Dan O’Connell, ’04 MD, lead author on the study and a surgical

resident in the U of A’s Division of Otolarynology — head and neck surgery — presented the findings at the international meeting of the annual American Head and Neck Society in Chicago earlier this year, where the study won the title of Best Resident Clinical Research Award. The beavertail modification meant that 95 percent of the 20 patients who completed the study (there were 36 originally) were able to swallow successfully after one year of tongue reconstruction. Only one patient still had problems with swallowing. “Other centres in Canada treat patients using radiotherapy and chemotherapy alone, and it was thought that the results were as good or better than what any surgery could do,” O’Connell said. “But we found that by adding that jellyroll of tissue, you give the tongue ability to compensate for its lack of mobility.” SPRING 2007

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by Kim Green

Water, Water, Everywhere... Alberta development, drought, and ongoing climate change could transform an oasis of prosperity into a future mirage


here is no such thing as new water. The Earth is a closed system and the water that quenched the thirst of dinosaurs is the same recycled water we’re drinking today. In fact, it’s been estimated that eight people before you have consumed every glass of water you drink so the same molecules of H2O that passed over the lips of Napoleon, Columbus, Joan of Arc or Shakespeare could be snaking their way through an underground labyrinth of pipes to a faucet in your home or office. Canada has always pictured itself as a country blessed with an abundance of fresh water. And, to some extent, that’s true as our per-capita water supply places us among the top six water-rich countries in the world. Perhaps that’s why we’re so profligate with its use, ranking second only to Americans in our consumption of the precious resource. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canadians use about 1,600 cubic metres of water per person per year, more than would run out of a tap if it were left running for three months straight. Our water consumption is 65 percent over the OECD average and twice as much as the average person from France, three times the average German, four times the average Swede, and over eight times the average Dane.

Aqueducts to supply water to cities were first devised in the Middle East millennia ago. In the 7th century BC the Assyrians built a limestone aqueduct 10 metres high that carried water 300 metres over a valley to their capital city of Nineveh. Over 2,000 years ago Rome built its first of 11 aqueducts, the Aqua Appia. Eventually Rome would build over 420 kilometres of these engineering marvels, most of them running underground to keep them free from disease and resistant to attack. But before the aqueducts, Rome got much of its water from the Tiber River (as well as local springs and shallow wells) that eventually became polluted by the city’s burgeoning population to the point where other water had to be brought in. The Tiber is an aquatic resource without which Rome would never have become, well, Rome. Likewise there would be no New York without the Hudson, London without the Thames, Edmonton without the North Saskatchewan, or Calgary without the Bow. Traditionally cities have sprung up where there was access to fresh water for drinking, sanitation, agriculture and, often, transportation. But the fact is that most of the planet’s water is in the ocean, leaving only about three percent theoretically available for human consumption with two percent of that locked in polar ice caps or lying deep underground. As New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter wrote in a 2006 article, “If a SPRING 2007

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large bucket were to represent all the seawater on the planet, and a coffee cup the amount of fresh water frozen in glaciers, only a teaspoon would remain for us to drink.” And that teaspoon is increasingly under threat from pollution and global warming. All the major rivers in Alberta begin their life in the Rocky Mountains where they are fed by glacial melt. So you can imagine what the future will hold for the Bow, Athabasca, and Saskatchewan rivers if the glaciers that feed them disappear, as they are increasingly showing signs of doing. The glaciers that nourish all three rivers have retreated by 25 percent over the last century and are now 1.5 kilometres or more upslope from where they were in the early 20th century. Recent research findings — funded by the National Science Council and NASA and conducted by a team of scientists from McGill University, the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Science Foundation — stated that summers at the North Pole could be ice-free by as early as 2040. There was also the 2005 phenomenon (not reported until 2006) of the gigantic ice shelf that snapped free of its Ellesmere Island home (about 800 kilometres south of the North Pole), drifting west for 50 kilometres before getting trapped in sea ice. The snappage of the approximately 60-millionsquare-metre-sized ice shelf (slightly larger than the island of Manhattan) was so powerful earthquake monitors 250 kilometres away picked it up. It’s possible spring thaw and prevailing winds could push the ice island deep into the Beaufort Sea where it could pose a hazard to shipping. A massive new four-part report — the first section is 1,600 pages long — prepared by over 600 scientists and reviewed by another 600 experts for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that global warming has arrived and is only going to get worse. Commenting on the report, Jerry Mahlman, U.S. climate scientist and former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, 16

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“Global warming is here and it’s happening now, it’s very obvious. When you look at the temperature of the Earth, it’s pretty much a no-brainer.” Although global warming is only one of the factors in this latest Ellesmere Island ice shelf loss, the fact remains that the Island has lost 90 percent of its ice shelves in the 20th century, effectively meaning that the map of the region will have to be redrawn to reflect the new physical landscape. For over a quarter century the winter sea ice in the far north has been receding by about 1.5 percent a decade. During the last two years that rate of decline has increased by as much as 15 percent. This poses a serious threat to polar bears that need the ice to hunt seals on. Retreating ice also means more heat arriving in the Arctic in the form of warmer ocean water, which in turn absorbs still more sunlight further accelerating ice melt in the region and beyond, including the melting of the mountain glaciers that feed our rivers. Alberta, like much of B.C. and Saskatchewan, lies in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains and the southern portions of these provinces comprise the driest large area of southern Canada. And although in recent years precipitation in Alberta has been sufficient to sustain growth, there’s no reason to believe that this circumstance will continue. Research conducted at the U of A by David Schindler and William Donahue, ’87 BSc, ’90 BSc (SpecCert), ’00 PhD, found that the region’s climate has been unusually stable and moist in the 20th century and that the drought that occurred in what is commonly known as the Dirty ’30s was mild in comparison to earlier centuries where several droughts per century were common, often lasting as long as several decades. That’s the bad news. The good news? Well, there are many people working to try to make a difference, to alert us to the current state of water affairs as well as the dangers ahead and the ways in which it may be possible to chart a new course for a more sustainable future. These are their stories.

David Schindler ... Thinking Globally of A Biological Sciences pro-


fessor David Schindler has experienced something of a

personal loss that is probably at least in part attributable to global warming. While living in Manitoba he kept and raced over 100 sled dogs, and still had around 70 when he came to Alberta. But he’s now down to only 18 — including a couple that are rather long in the tooth. He and his wife take the dogs out for runs but no longer race them because the race circuit that used to provide enough prize money to at least break even on the animals’ food costs has all but disappeared.

“There’s often just not enough snow,” he says. “You can’t be transporting your dogs and sleds to a race site only to find out there’s no snow to race on. So as a result there’s fewer races and less prize money while costs have increased.” Schindler is something of a campus and, indeed, world superstar in his field. The awards that have come his way over the years (after getting his PhD from Oxford where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar) include the Volvo International Environment Prize (1998), the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (2001) — that came with $1 million in research funding and is considered the highest honour for Canadian researchers — the Killam Prize (2003), Officer of the Order of Canada (2004), and being named a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada (1983) and London (2001) as well as winning the $150,000 Stockholm Water Prize (1991), which is the water sciences equivalent to the Nobel Prize. The Stockholm prize was awarded primarily for his research at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, where he worked for 22 years co-coordinating the Experimental Lakes Project (ELA) in

Richard Siemens/ U of A Creative Ser vices

David Schindler

northern Ontario that demonstrated how acid rain, phosphates, flooding from hydroelectric dams, and climatic warming all combined in a lethal cocktail that certainly altered and could also destroy life in freshwater lakes. The research conducted by the ELA was instrumental in getting legislation passed in North America that banned phosphate-based detergents and helped curb sulphur-spewing industrial developments. But that was just one battle in an ongoing environmental war taking place around the world. In Alberta that pits big oil, urban sprawl, massive increases in agricultural intensity, and the spread of livestock “factories” against the limited water supply we all depend on for our survival. “It amazes me,” says Schindler, “that there are people who still think that the glaciers that are at the headwaters of all

the major rivers in this province don’t provide any discernable flow quotient to the rivers. It’s clear that about 15 percent of the water in the rivers is coming from these glaciers, and they’ve all experienced significant decline in recent history, some of them retreating up the mountainsides by almost two kilometres during the last century. “We also think that the 20th century has been normal in the province in terms of our precipitation patterns. But nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s been unusually moist and stable compared to previous centuries and we could be facing a drought in the future that will make the one we experienced in the so-called Dirty ’30s look pale by comparison. I think sometime, probably in the next quarter century, we are going to find ourselves in a several-year drought and then we’re going to know what water scarcity is all about.”

Schindler’s clearly not one to mince words, and his strong opinions have often placed him at loggerheads with government officials and university administrators. “I’ve got over 100 awards to my credit,” he says, “and probably just as many reprimands.” That’s not surprising for a scientist who almost a decade ago said: “Freshwater supplies will be the first global resource to reach crisis proportions under climate warming. In Canada, the direct and indirect effects of climate warming will be increased acidification, decreased fish production, more difficulty in navigation, increased exposure of aquatic organisms to UV radiation, biodiversity losses, water shortages for agriculture, and increased concentrations of toxic wastes. There will also be amplified pressure to divert Canadian water to populous areas of the U.S.A. Water will precipitate a global crisis.” Here in the province where the expat American from Minnesota has made his home, taking on citizenship in 1992 — “I kind of consider myself an ecological refugee” — he says his major concern right now is “water quality and quantity in the western Prairies. Every time I think about it I get a knot in my stomach. I keep warning people here in Canada not to take for granted the relatively pristine lakes and streams, the wildlife in the forest, and the fresh air because they sure don’t have any more of it where I come from. “With water in particular, we have to get people back in touch with where it comes from. There are a lot of people who believe that water comes from taps. Period. Just like steaks come from Safeway; people are really alienated from the countryside where water is produced and cleaned. This is true for many aspects of nature and it is tragic. Taking this down to the municipal level, much of the Edmonton area was once a wetland that has since been filled in. For example, Groat Road used to be Groat Creek. These streams were fish bearing and used to run into the North Saskatchewan River but have since been turned into cement. SPRING 2007

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Water Facts

The Saskatchewan Glacier in Banff National Park is where the eastward flowing North Saskatchewan River

The human brain is 75

begins its life. Before

percent water. Human

arriving in Edmonton the

blood is 83 percent water

river’s water quality is

and bones are 25 percent

rated as 98 out of 100 or


excellent. Downstream of the city the rating drops

Although it has 40 times the population, China has less water than Canada.

to 74 or fair. The Edmonton wastewater treatment plant treats

Alberta holds only 2.2

enough wastewater to fill

percent of Canada’s fresh

100 Olympic-sized swim-


ming pools each day.

“Of all the environmental problems we face today, fresh water is probably the most important. Our lakes and streams are Mother Nature’s sewers and the water tends to reflect everything we do. There exists here a myth of abundance with regard to fresh water. We are told that Canada has more fresh water than any other country. In fact, there is a lack of fresh water available to the most populated parts of Canada and most fresh water is in the north or flowing towards the north. Alberta, in particular, has a water deficit: evaporation is greater than precipitation.” Everything we do to our water, Schindler points out, is played out on a backdrop of climate warming that he pegs at approximately two degrees in the past 20 years. Several climate models have demonstrated that the coming years could see an increase of up to nine degrees in summer temperatures. Along with increased heat comes increased loss of soil moisture. Some predictions point to a 30 to 50 percent decline in prairie soil moisture, which could spell disaster for agriculture. Schindler mentions a 60-page online document he’s halfway through reading called Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: 18

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How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to “Manufacture Uncertainty” on Climate Change. Prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the report states that between 1998 and 2005 ExxonMobil “has funneled nearly $16 million to a network of 43 advocacy groups that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.” “What they also do,” Schindler says, “is fund legitimate science at major universities so they can say, ‘see, we’re not biased.’ They also have shell sites on the Internet that purport to tell the truth about global warming but are just propaganda for big oil. There’s no competent scientist working in the field today who disputes the legitimacy of the facts behind global warming. “Compare two very different Alberta landscapes,” he continues, “both receiving 400 millimetres of rain per year. Between Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan are areas that are, in large part, a wetland landscape. Move to the area surrounding the Old Man Dam in southern Alberta and you’ll find the landscape is extremely dry and the grasses don’t grow beyond July due to lack of moisture. The difference in temperature between these two vastly

different climates is an average of 5 to 7 degrees annually. This is a good indication of the enormous effect that a continually rising temperature might have on our landscapes.” Schindler also points to the change in land use around Alberta with housing developments putting increased pressure on the land, and lakes in the area that once had a few cottages around them now ringed with large homes. He mentions a particularly nasty phenomenon at Pigeon Lake, about an hour outside Edmonton. When told that they would not only have to pay to have their septic tanks pumped out, but would also have to pay to have that waste treated at a sewage treatment plant, some residents simply cut holes in their tanks and allowed the raw sewage to flow onto the land and into the lake. “That’s simply ludicrous,” Schindler says. “We all have to take personal stewardship of the environment.” There’s also the matter of logging, oil and gas extraction, agriculture and roadbuilding all diverting water and leading to the drying up of the wetlands around the province. “The problem with this,” he says, “is that the wetlands are part of

the kidneys of the landscape, removing pathogens, absorbing nutrients, and holding water back on the landscape to prevent sudden floods. “We fill in wetlands, de-nude riverbanks, spread manure, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides on the landscape. Intensive livestock operations contribute major pathogens, as well as antibiotics and hormones that go into our surface and ground water. If we did any planning, we would leave the wetlands, use low tillage and less fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. We would leave at least 30-metre buffer strips along river and stream banks and keep livestock well away from them.” He also points to the obvious things — low-flush toilets, water-conserving shower heads, appropriate vegetation for the climate it’s grown in, maybe even a dual water system where we only treat the water we need for drinking. Around the U of A campus he also notices a lot of waste and says, “we really shouldn’t be growing and watering Kentucky Blue Grass when there’s more appropriate ground cover for our locale. And do we really need that many lawn mowers running around in the summer when everyone knows they pollute more than cars? “I suspect that a University-wide environmental assessment done by someone who knows what he or she is doing could save us a lot in the long run,” he says. “I don’t doubt the University is doing a lot, but I have a hunch they could do a lot more. If universities aren’t going to take leadership roles, I don’t know who is going to do it in today’s society.” And it’s the people going to university right now and those who’ve only recently graduated that he calls on to carry the banner of environmental responsibility that he’s been holding aloft for so long. “If I have one final message,” he says, “it’s that what I’m saying and have been saying for most of my career is of particular importance for people under 35. I’m not going to be around to see the full effects of this ignorance around water. But you are.”

Steve Hrudey ... Acting Locally teve Hrudey, ’70 BSc, has been


involved with drinking water safety and other environmental

contamination issues for a long time. He currently carries the long-winded title of U of A professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean in the U of A’s new (2006) School of Public Health, Canada’s first faculty devoted to this issue. In addition, he’s an honorary professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

He has recently been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada (2006) and became the first non-lawyer to be appointed by cabinet as chair of the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board (2005), a quasi-judicial tribunal reporting to the minister of environment. Previously he has served in several prominent roles concerning water, including the first leader of the protecting public health program of the Canadian Water Network and chair of the NATO priority panel on environmental security in Brussels, Belgium. And he’s won his share of other awards and accolades — including an honorary degree in environmental health sciences and technology from the University of London for his career publications that include over 200 scientific and technical articles relating to environmental risk assessment, safe drinking water, and waste management. He’s also published five books, his most recent being the 2004 tome (around 500 pages) he co-authored with his wife, Elizabeth, titled Safe Drinking Water: Lessons from Recent Outbreaks in Affluent Nations. So you’d think when it comes to water contamination issues, nothing would faze him. Think again.

“I was frankly shocked at what I encountered when I became involved in the Walkerton Inquiry,” says Hrudey. “Ontario is sort of the big brother in Confederation and the most developed place in Canada, yet a common attitude was to horrendously undervalue water. “If you want to have safe drinking water you have to treat it. That costs money and somebody has to pay for that. I think that reluctance to face up to the cost of clean water certainly underlay what occurred in Walkerton. “Ontario has invested an awful lot and passed new regulations since the tragedy, but the mindset amongst many people still is ‘water should be free; it’s a human right.’ Well, there are lots of things that are human rights, but if you want to deliver something that requires technology, somebody has to pay for it.” He’s talking, of course, about the tainted water scandal in Walkerton, Ontario, where in May 2000 E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, a pathogenic strain of the common E. coli found in huge numbers in the gut of all warm-blooded animals, contaminated the town’s water supply, killed seven people and sickened more than 2,000. Hrudey served on the research advisory panel to the Walkerton Inquiry led by commissioner Justice Dennis O’Connor set up to look into what happened and how it could be prevented from happening in the future. The media focus was on two brothers — Stan and Frank Koebel — who ran the town’s water system but who had no formal training as water treatment operators. They allowed one of the town’s wells to operate after rainwater mixed with cow manure tainted the water supply with the pathogenic E. coli bacteria, and then falsified data to cover up their failure to do tests that would have revealed the contamination. “One of the things after Walkerton that’s distressing is that I hear from people who should know better, ‘Oh, that was just a couple of drunks.’ Just kind of dismissing it like there wasn’t a bigger problem to be dealt with. SPRING 2007

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Anyone who’s even perused the final Inquiry report will find that there’s no way Justice O’Connor pins what happened strictly on the Koebel brothers. Sure, they did lots of bad things and competent people in their shoes could have prevented it, but the circumstances in Ontario that allowed disaster to happen were the bigger problem. “When you talk to people who were on the ground in Ontario when it happened,” Hrudey continues, “they’ll tell you that it was just bad luck for Walkerton. It wasn’t like they were a unique situation. Very few places in these smaller communities in Ontario were paying enough attention to drinking water at that time. They’re paying a lot more attention now because of all the new regulations. But are they doing a better job? That’s not quite as certain.” Could what happened in Walkerton happen here in Edmonton? Well, it sort of already has. In the winter of 1981–82, Banff was hit by an outbreak of giardiasis, more commonly known as beaver-fever. The following winter was Edmonton’s turn and by the time it was over there were 895 lab-confirmed cases of giardiasis in Edmonton, which made it the second largest reported outbreak of waterborne giardiasis in the developed world. “And that’s only the confirmed cases,” Hrudey says. “You take into account people who got sick but didn’t get tested by a lab and the number jumps to around 9,000 people who probably got sick from drinking Edmonton tap water. “Edmonton has an interesting water history and that’s largely how I got into the drinking water business. I was born and raised here and got used to the fact that every spring the water smelled liked gasoline. It was pretty putrid stuff, but it was just a rite of spring — the snow melted and the water tasted rotten.” It wasn’t until Hrudey got involved with the University and water quality issues — first in Civil Engineering in the environmental engineering program — that he found out why the water in spring had tasted so bad for all those years. 20

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‘‘Currently, there are still millions of people dying around the world every year for lack of safe drinking water and adequate chlorination would probably prevent most of those deaths.’’

“We were getting our water from the Rossdale water treatment plant in the city centre and its intake was affected by numerous storm sewer outfalls upstream,” says Hrudey. “So every spring when the winter crud on the streets melted it all went into the river, and that’s the source water you had to start with when treating it to make drinking water.” In February 1985 another problem arose — people woke up to a newspaper headline blazing the news of “Carcinogens Found in Edmonton’s Drinking Water” during a runoff episode. Laurence Decore, ’61 BA, ’64 LLB, ’99 LLD (Honorary), Edmonton’s mayor at the time, was convinced that action on the city’s water was imperative. So Hrudey was brought on board by the city’s new manager of water plants, Allan Davies, and the Edmonton Board of Health and Alberta Environment, to head up an independent inquiry into Edmonton’s water. “Frankly,” Hrudey says, “our water

system had not been very well managed at that time. “Yes, we had multi-million dollar water treatment plants that a lot of places in Canada still really haven’t invested in. But they had been allowed to be run very poorly and given the challenges that we faced — water quality in the North Saskatchewan can go from excellent to crummy overnight — the treatment plants just weren’t up to handling the task. “Now with Epcor managing the water we probably have one of the best water facilities in North America, if not the world. I attribute that to ultimately learning from our mistakes. But that’s not the case everywhere. Some places seem to be pretty slow in learning from their mistakes. “In Alberta, the water treatment systems are probably some of the best in Canada. Most of the major cities have good water treatment facilities and there’s a high level of training and expertise. Where you worry is in the really small locations, towns of a few hundred people. But I think the biggest problem in Canada concerning water is that we take it for granted. “Canadians hear that we have 20 or 25 percent — depending on who you listen to — of the world’s fresh water supply, so we think it’s basically free and that we don’t have to worry about it because we have so much. But when it comes to safe drinking water that view is a terrible mistake to make because — no matter how pure the source may look — water as it’s found in the environment isn’t safe to drink. The cause of waterborne disease is pathogens found in the fecal waste of warm-blooded animals. Tell me a place on this planet where there’s never been a warm-blooded animal. Even if you’re up on a glacier you don’t know who’s been walking above you. And if people haven’t, birds have.” To make it as certain as possible that water is potable and pathogen-free requires that a multi-barrier system be maintained between the possible contamination and what people drink. The barriers start with protecting the

Steve Hrudey

source water before moving on to utilizing all the necessary treatment technologies to purify the water, and then consistently monitoring the process to make sure things are working as they’re designed to. Here in Edmonton the treatment process begins by running the water through a coagulation-sedimentationfiltration system followed by chlorina-

tion and UV treatment. What you don’t want to do is put all your eggs in one basket... like they have in Vancouver. “We recently saw three million people in Vancouver on a boil water advisory for a couple of weeks because they haven’t invested in proper water treatment,” Hrudey says. “Vancouver relies on what are called ‘protected’ catchments and they only chlorinate or

ozonate the water distributed from reservoirs collecting from these ‘protected’ watersheds. But that didn’t protect them from the post-storm turbidity problem they had in November [2006]. I was out there then and you couldn’t see clearly through a glass of water. “If you do a survey on water rates you’ll find that we pay more for our water than a lot of other places do, but we’re getting something for it. Other places, like Vancouver, said they weren’t going to invest in a water treatment plant (one is finally under construction) and they’d take their chances with the weather, and it finally caught up with them. So the water rates in Vancouver are likely lower than they are in Edmonton. But do you want to be on a boil water advisory? “In 1995, Victoria also had an outbreak of toxoplasmosis caused by the protozoan pathogen Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that poses a risk to newborn babies. It was the kind of thing where chlorination alone wasn’t enough to protect the public and I don’t know that anything has improved since that outbreak. In this case, chlorination is only one component of the required multiple barrier system.” Chlorination is primarily effective for bacteria and viruses. It can also be effective with some protozoan pathogens, but for Cryptosporidium, which has become a common pathogen — the cause of the 2001 North Battleford, Saskatchewan, outbreak that infected more than 7,000 people — chlorination is not sufficient. In North Battleford, the city’s drinking water intake was about three kilometres downstream from its sewage outfall and when the treatment process was allowed to deteriorate and chlorination was all that remained, they had an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis because that barrier was not adequate for Cryptosporidium. Epcor recently installed an ultraviolet light (UV) treatment system in part because there was an incident here in Edmonton in 1997 where Cryptosporidium got into the treated water. “Normally you rely on filtration to remove fine particles because pathogens SPRING 2007

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In 1997, the Canadian

The footprint of a country includes all

Water and Wastewater

the cropland, grazing land, forest, and

Association estimated

fishing grounds required to produce the

that more than $80 bil-

food, fibre, and timber it consumes, to

lion would be needed to

absorb the wastes emitted in generating

modernize Canada’s

the energy it uses, and to provide space

over the past 20 years

water treatment plants by

for its infrastructure.

there have been more

2012. By 2004,

than 100 waterborne out-

Canadian governments at

breaks of gastrointestinal

all levels had spent less

disease caused by the

than $3 billion of that.

Facts In North America alone

1. United Arab Emirates 2. United States 3. Finland 4. Canada 5. Kuwait

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Australia Estonia Sweden New Zealand Norway

The WWF also says, however, that Canada’s massive bio-capacity means

Nations with the biggest per capita

that we have a positive ecological

“ecological footprints,” according to

balance and put very little stress on

the World Wildlife Fund, are:

our freshwater systems.

presence of protozoans in drinking water. Only the United States and Luxembourg produce higher per capita emission levels of greenhouse gases than Canada. Canadians pump out 48 percent more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the OECD average.

are also fine particles,” says Hrudey. “But it’s difficult when the source water quality is changing the way it does in the river to maintain the performance up to the 99.99 plus percent rate that’s needed to adequately remove the fine particles, so you need an additional disinfection step. That’s why UV was adopted in addition to chlorination, so we’re now thoroughly protected against Cryptosporidium and other pathogens.” And despite no hard evidence that chlorination by-products can be harmful to human health — and plenty of examples of how not chlorinating can lead to outbreaks of waterborne diseases — some communities are still reluctant to use this effective microbial barrier. In his most recent book, Hrudey points to the English village of Bramham where chlorine use was minimized following residents’ complaints about the taste of their water and, as a 22

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result, 3,000 people became infected with gastroenteritis. Closer to home, residents of Erickson, B.C., resisted chlorine treatment of their water by blockading the road to their water supply for 55 days in 1999, despite having experienced outbreaks of giardiasis in 1985 and 1990. “The fact is,” says Hrudey, “that chlorine is designed to kill bacteria so you can say it’s a toxic chemical — bacteria are living things and they’re being killed by chlorine. We know that chlorine was used in World War I to kill people — it’s a toxic gas. So, yes, it’s not something to fool with. But we’ve got 150 years of experience and millions of lives saved because we’ve been able to chlorinate water to prevent diseases. Currently, there are still millions of people dying around the world every year for lack of safe drinking water and adequate chlorination would probably prevent most of those deaths.

“Does that mean there are no problems with chlorine? Well, no. Chlorine in water can taste like medicine. I can understand why a lot of people prefer bottled water to tap water where the chlorine dosing is not managed very consistently so that fluctuating chlorine levels make it noticeable. But I don’t think Edmonton water tastes bad and I would not waste my money buying bottled water in Edmonton because of taste.” Like most public health issues, drinking water safety involves social factors as much as technical details. Whether it’s public perspectives on risk that are tied to aesthetic factors or the human nature aspects governing operator performance in water treatment plants, assuring we have safe drinking water requires consideration of many interdisciplinary factors. To take this into account the University of Alberta has created the new School of

Public Health that uses an innovative, multi-faceted approach to help advance public health research, education and practice. The School covers all the core areas of public health from biostatistics, epidemiology and environment health to health policy and the socio-behavioural determinants of health with programs ranging from Global Health to Health Promotion. But no matter how much education someone has, for drinking water safety what matters most is who’s running the water treatment system and are they adequately trained to do the job of providing safe drinking water to large numbers of people who rely on them for their safety and, sometimes, their lives. To operate a water plant you currently need a high school education and some specific training related to the level of your responsibility as an operator. Is that adequate? “Frankly,” says Hrudey, “the most important thing is a person’s personality and sense of responsibility. It’s not a case of how much technical knowledge you cram into that person’s head, what matters most is whether or not that person cares about people’s health and understands that they are responsible for protecting the public from waterborne disease. You can train someone with a reasonable background to call for help when they’re in over their head — and there’s help to be found — so the best protection against having inadequate people doing the job is to train operators to know when they’re in over their heads, when to call for help, and to assure that help is available when they call. “What you can’t do is to have people in charge of these systems who can’t appreciate what they don’t know and don’t know what really matters. That’s what happened in Walkerton. The Koebel brothers didn’t set out to kill their neighbours. They lived in the town and kept drinking the water they were in charge of treating. They just had no clue that it was possible for them to foul up so badly that some of their neighbours would die.”

Mike Belosevic ... Toxin Testing s you can see from his photo,


Biological Sciences professor Miodrag (Mike) Belosevic

has a vested interest in keeping Alberta’s water pure. He’s an avid (some say rabid) fly-fisherman and part of his decision to make his home here was the fish.

When Belosevic, who’s originally from Montenegro, wanted to emigrate to Canada 36 years ago, he first chose Montreal because he spoke French. He didn’t arrive in Alberta until 1988 after getting two degrees from the University of Manitoba, a PhD from McGill, and doing post-doctoral work in Washington, D.C. “Three things brought me here,” he says. “One: this is an outstanding university and many people do not realize how good the U of A is in terms of the kinds of students we graduate and also the support network available at the University is phenomenal. I’ve been very, very happy here. Two: my wife is a prairie girl originally from Manitoba and she wanted to come back to this region, back to the prairies. Three: some of the best trout fishing streams in the world are in Alberta — that was

absolutely part of the process in making the decision to come to the U of A.” But the catch of the day in Belosevic’s nine-to-five existence is a less exotic species of water-living coldblooded animal — Carassius auratus, more commonly known as a goldfish. He is using the common ornamental carp to try to better understand exactly what chemical pollutants are in our water bodies and what long-term effects these chemical pollutants have on the physiological systems of humans and animals. “There’s a paucity of studies that have looked at long-term, chronic exposure to low levels of these chemicals,” he says. “We really don’t know at the present time what the long-term effect of these kind of exposures will be in terms of human health. Do these chemical pollutants accumulate in our bodies and if they do so will they, down the road, cause specific effects? “Also, there are many chemicals that are similar in nature that are found in water bodies. Each chemical occurs at very low levels individually, but nobody knows whether together or synergistically they could induce the same biological effect.” The chemicals he’s talking about run the gamut from pharmaceuticals consumed by human beings — such as anti-seizure medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and endocrine disruptive SPRING 2007

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new trail


Michael Holly / U of A Creative Ser vices

substances such as birth control pills — to poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, which are commonly found in petroleum fuels, coal products and tar, and have been known to cause cancer at high concentrations. There are also the chemical fertilizers spread on the land, and the growth hormones and other substances ingested by agricultural animals. “A lot of this stuff has been around for a long time,” says Belosevic. “And all of it ends up in the environment after either being excreted by humans or animals or simply spilled on the land. Traces of these substances and some of these materials are present in water.” To try to find out what the longterm effects of having these various substances in our bodies is where the goldfish come in. “The latest study was funded by the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Water Research,” Belosevic says. “We used goldfish because they’re a very hardy fish that survive over a range of temperatures. What we did is we exposed the fish to water that hadn’t been treated to remove all the traces of the chemicals I mentioned. Using this fish model system we were asking the questions as to whether or not the gene expression of the goldfish changes, if molecular changes occur, if there are any physiological processes that are changing in these fish over time? We’re using the goldfish like the canary in the coal mine. “We’re now writing the papers for publication showing that some of these chemicals, even though they occur at very, very low concentrations, do affect the physiological status of fish. To what extent these physiological parameters can be transferred to human beings is debatable, but nevertheless we do know that there are biological effects that these chemicals will induce in our fish species. “Obviously a lot more research needs to be done in this area. But we know that a variety of chemicals are present in our water — including pesticides, household cleaning products, battery acids, pharmaceuticals, and ant poison. All of these chemicals occur in such low quantities that Alberta Environment suggested in a recent report

Mike Belosevic

that they may not pose a significant threat to human health. However, a group of compounds that cause similar biological effects, such as anti-inflammatory drugs — that we know are present in reusable water — may exceed the compound guideline levels and, in fact, cause biological effects.” The next step for Belosevic is to recreate the entire experiment in a more controlled laboratory environment — the previous experiment was done in a water treatment plant with the goldfish kept in large plastic tanks. Using the same chemical compounds found in the so-called reusable water in the wastewater treatment plant, he’s going to tweak the amounts present in the water

to see whether increases or decreases in any one of these chemicals cause further physiological effects. “This is all done on a long-term, chronic basis,” he says. “One experiment is usually about half a year long. It takes a long time to do these kind of studies.” So we know these nasty substances are in our water and we’re starting to understand that perhaps it’s not a good idea that we continue to ingest them — although the jury’s still out on what the effects of long-term exposure to very minute traces of these elements are to human physiology. Can we get them out of the water supply? The answer is, yes, we can get most of that stuff out, or certainly reduce the concentration

Water Facts Cryptosporidium: A protozoan pathogen that causes

E. coli: It’s the main

whose primary host is the

species of bacteria living in

cat. It’s fairly benign except

the lower intestines of mam-

for those with a weakened

mals. A human will excrete

immune system or new-

between 100 billion and 10


trillion individual E. coli bacteria a day.

Giardia: A protozoan parasite found in such animals

Toxoplasmosis: A parasitic

as beavers, cows, deer and

usually short-lived but can

disease that is estimated to

dogs that infects the human

be severe for immuno-com-

be carried by between 30

gastrointestinal tract causing

promised individuals and

and 60 percent of the

severe diarrhea and abdomi-


human population and

nal cramps.

a diarrheal illness that is

levels to the point where they’re negligible. But, of course, that comes at a cost. “Here we pay minimal amounts for water compared to some places, such as Europe,” says Belosevic. “We haven’t developed a culture of water conservation the way they have in Europe. You’d be hard pressed to go a European hotel and not find a water-conserving showerhead or a low-flow toilet.” Belosevic did some work in Holland where he demonstrated that the use of advanced oxidation methodology, using ozone/hydrogen peroxide, was effective in reducing pesticides in drinking water by as much as 98 percent. Ultraviolet radiation can also be employed in Canada to destroy some of these chemi-

cals that are found in the water. Both of these systems can also be used to kill waterborne parasites. They work by damaging or penetrating the tough outer shells, the cyst walls, of the parasites and damaging the DNA, thereby preventing the reproduction of the parasites. Belosevic was also instrumental in developing an inexpensive, laser-based technique for assessing the presence of protozoan parasites in drinking water, and a technique that uses nucleic acid stains, or tests, to determine whether or not the water treatment process has been successful in removing all of the potentially harmful pathogens. He could have patented these techniques and possibly made a lot of

money, but it would have taken much longer to get them to market if he had. “I didn’t patent this because I believe that these tests are of such incredible urgency for the protection of public health,” says Belosevic. “I wanted these assays on the market as soon as possible. And I am happy to announce that, in fact, many water utilities in North America and around the world are using them as we speak to protect people from waterborne protozoan infections.” Another technique for removing chemicals from water is a high-level filtration system, filtration on the nanotechnology level. This technique can effectively filter out a majority of the chemicals, but not all of them. But, once again, if you put all these systems in place you’re dealing with added cost to the overall treatment process. “For much of Holland,” Belosevic says, “the drinking water comes from the Rhine River and, as you know, the Rhine goes through most of Europe and there’s lots of industrial and agricultural stuff in there, such as pesticides, and as a consequence they had to deal with the chemical issue. And so they did. In most of Europe they either use filtration or the method we developed in Holland. Either method works reasonably well, but it does add cost to making clean drinking water and, of course, everything gets passed on to the consumer eventually. “Most of the wastewater treatment plants that I’m aware of in North America are not designed at the present time to remove some of these chemicals from wastewater as well as drinking water,” says Belosevic. “Both the American Environmental Protection Agency and Canadian water treatment regulators do not require removal of these chemicals at the present time simply because the concentrations in water bodies are below national guidelines. But I think it would be prudent to do enough of a research data set to show whether or not the effects of these chemicals are a serious threat to human health.” And if someone is going to generate such a data set, it’s probably going to be Belosevic and his team of graduate SPRING 2007

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and undergraduate students who are always keen to work with the winner of the 2006 U of A University Cup — awarded for excellence in teaching, research and community service — the 2004 Killam Award for excellence in mentoring, the ASTech Foundation award for outstanding achievement in applied technology and innovation (2003), the Wardle Medal for outstanding contributions to parasitology in Canada (2002), and the U of A Killam Annual Professorship (2001). While presenting him with the prestigious University Cup, U of A president Indira Samarasekera said, “Dr. Belosevic embodies the best of teaching and research at the University of Alberta. He cares deeply about both his work and his students, and it shows in the level of excellence he has achieved in his many years as part of our University.” In fact, if you’re ever in his office you’ll notice one wall is festooned with photos of the smiling graduate students (including a Maori prince) who have come under Belosevic’s tutelage during his 20 years of teaching at the U of A, all of whom — except one whom he lost track of when he went to Harvard — he has kept tabs on. “I’m proud to say that 98 percent of my graduate students have positions in the biology or environmental engineering fields,” he says. And while you’re in his office you’ll also notice Belosevic’s many pictures on the wall of him fishing, and on his computer under the file-heading of “MikePlay.” So the final question is, if the water we’re drinking is definitely affecting the physiology of goldfish living in it, does Belosevic eat the trout he catches in the province? “No,” he laughs. “I always practise catch and release. Not because I’m worried about eating them, but because sport fish such as trout have a very hard time surviving the Alberta winter. Many of the streams freeze right to the bottom, and I primarily fish the streams rather than lakes. The fish have to find places where there are natural springs in order to survive. So why would I put something like that in a frying pan?” 26

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Cynthia Paszkowski... Frog and Toads n the inside of the door of


Biological Sciences professor Cynthia Paszkowski’s

office is a wanted poster. It’s asking anyone sighting the northern leopard frog that used to be ubiquitous in the southern third of Alberta (and still is in some other provinces, such as Ontario and Manitoba) to please report its whereabouts.

Paszkowski, who’s published extensively in prestigious journals on such subjects as toads, frogs, fish, loons and grebes — as well as other aquatic animals — says, “we’ve had a couple amphibian species that recently — by recently I mean in the last 15 to 20 years — have all but disappeared. The northern leopard frog is probably the most well-known. They had a big crash across much of the country in the ’70s when many populations went down the tubes. In other places they seemed to have recovered. But in Alberta they took the dive and they’ve never recovered and are now considered threatened. “No one really knows why they disappeared. It’s been suggested that it’s drought; it’s been suggested that it’s UV radiation; it’s been suggested that it’s fish introductions because the leopard frog is an aquatic hibernator and the thought is that the trout that have been introduced for the sport fisheries are preying on the frogs while they’re hibernating and helplessly lying on the bottom of lakes or ponds.” Paszkowski points out that another species that has also disappeared from southern and central Alberta in a very mysterious manner is the Canadian toad. This disappearing act occurred more recently. The toads that used to be found all the way from around Brooks in southern Alberta to Wood Buffalo National Park in the north have simply vanished without anyone having any conclusive evidence as to why. They’re just gone.

“Habitat destruction is the number one cause for amphibian disappearance worldwide,” says Paszkowski. “We not only need to preserve the breeding ponds and the wetlands themselves, but the surrounding upland environment is also important. It’s quite clear from these species that we have in Alberta, since they spend a lot of the year in the forest, that the surrounding areas around the ponds and marshes are very important. It used to be thought that if you protected the pond, you protected the frog. But for many species you have to have several kilometres of potential buffer zone around the wetlands to maintain the population because the frogs often go on land for part of their lives to feed and hibernate — they have to have a place to spend the winter.” It’s not only the quantity of the water and the space around it that’s so crucial for amphibians’ survival, but the quality of the water is also vital. “Amphibians,” says Paszkowski, “have that permeable skin where water and gases are exchanged across the skin — in fact they do quite a bit of their respiration through their skin and not through their lungs — so they can absorb all kinds of nasty stuff through the skin. That’s why they’re so very vulnerable to chemicals.” These creatures also live at the intersection of two environments — land and water — and that’s one of the reasons they are considered an indicator species for the health of the environment in general. Their populations have been shrinking for a number of years and what is perhaps most alarming is that even in undisturbed wilderness habitats they are also experiencing significant rates of decline. The most recent Global Amphibian Assessment of the world’s 5,918 known amphibian species by almost 600 scientists from 60 countries has found that 32 percent of the “world’s amphibian species are threatened, representing 1,896 species. By comparison, just 12 percent of all bird species and 23 percent of all mammal species are threatened.” The Assessment states that “as many as 165 amphibian species may already

be extinct. At least 34 amphibian species are known to be extinct, while at least another 130 species have not been found in recent years and are possibly extinct. At least 43 percent of all species are declining in population and fewer than one percent of species show population increases.” In its summary of key findings the Assessment concludes that clearly habitat loss is the greatest threat to amphibians while pointing out that a newly recognized fungal disease is seriously affecting an increasing number of species. But it also says that the most disturbing thing is that “many species are declining for unknown reasons, complicating efforts to design and implement effective conservation strategies.” It’s also been recently shown that a lot of amphibians are especially sensitive to Roundup, a herbicide produced by the Monsanto corporation that has been in widespread use across North America since the early ’70s. “It turns out,” says Paszkowski, “that the amphibians are not actually susceptible to the pesticide in Roundup, they’re sensitive to the chemicals that are mixed with the pesticide for spraying, the delivery chemicals. “Another thing is the runoff from fertilizers,” she continues, citing the comparison of the ponds in Alberta’s Elk Island National Park to those in the surrounding agricultural landscape. “The ones in the surrounding area have three to five times the nutrients than the ones in the park environment. The upside to this is the tadpoles are all herbivores that eat the algae and

Cynthia Paszkowski

fertilizers boost algae production. But you can get to the level where the nitrogen in particular can be toxic.” An additional hazard for the amphibians is the increasingly dry conditions over the past decade. Wetlands are either drying up by themselves or drying up enough to present an attractive target for both farmers and developers. “What happens with drought in this area in particular,” Paszkowski says, “is that if it’s dry long enough it can get to the point where the wetland can be ploughed and converted to agricultural use. Of course, now in many areas across Alberta urbanization is becoming a bigger factor, but historically the shallow wetlands were lost to agriculture. “One of the practices that is commonly done around here is called ‘ditching.’ That means that you take a small wetland and make a ditch and drain it into another wetland and eventually into a creek or somewhere where you can dump the water. It doesn’t take high tech to do that and a

lot of wetlands in this area have been lost to that technique. “In the parkland area, such as the Beaverhills district around Edmonton, it’s been estimated that around 75 percent of the wetlands have either been lost or degraded because of human activities, primarily because a lot of people will exploit drought situations. It’s even easier to ditch and drain a wetland when there’s not much water in it in the first place. You can drive around here and see water standing in some fields that were probably once real basins but have now been converted. Because we are so dry there’s a lot of areas that have very ephemeral flows and only have water in them for a short period in the year and these areas are often abused or destroyed because they aren’t perceived as an important part of a wetland complex. But they could be very important for a lot of animals.” The loss of wetland habitat is particularly worrisome for the boreal chorus frog. This small frog that grows to SPRING 2007

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about 30 millimetres long is a terrestrial hibernator that can withstand some degree of tissue freezing. It spends winter under the litter on the forest floor and emerges in the spring to lay its eggs, often in very shallow ponds. The problem is that the boreal chorus frog only lives for a year and it takes six weeks for its tadpoles to develop and emerge from the ponds. “Last year,” says Paszkowski, “there were a number of ponds that dried up before the frogs had a chance to metamorphose. These were ponds that in previous years had held enough water for the frogs to develop. They only have one chance to breed because they’ll be dead by the end of the summer. But if they lay their eggs in a pond that dries up the young will not have enough chance to become terrestrial before they just shrivel up and die. “We have three main species left in central Alberta — the wood frog, the western toad and the little boreal chorus frog. Toads live to maybe about 12 years of age so they have many chances to breed and if a pond dries up one year they’re okay; they can over-weather fairly droughty periods. The wood frogs are somewhere intermediate, they live four or five years so they have multiple kicks at the can in terms of their attempts to breed. But the boreal chorus frogs only live one year and they may not be too fussy about where they breed, but their whole lifetime reproductive effort can be dried up and that’s it for them: they leave no genetic memory of their existence.” All of the amphibian species left in Alberta overwinter on land. During breeding season they can also travel fairly far distances to get to a wetland. A wood frog or a toad might go as much as a kilometre or more from its breeding site over the course of a year and radio transmitters have shown they can actually travel around half a kilometre in a couple of days, which for a small animal is a long distance. But eventually if we lose the wetlands in the area then the breeding grounds are going to be too far apart for a little animal to travel to from the surrounding 28

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Water Facts Since 1975 the University of Alberta has reduced its energy consumption by over 35 percent, which represents an annual savings of over $10 million. Water con-

At least one billion peo-

the same stream as another.”

ple must walk three hours

The Chinese character for

or more to obtain safe

“political order” is based on

drinking water. It’s estimated

the symbol for “water” — not

that if present consumption

because water is equated

patterns continue, two out

with order but because those

of every three persons on

with control over water also

earth will live in water-

have control over humans.

stressed conditions by the year 2025.

Animals raised for food produce 130 times more

The word “rivals” has it

excrement than the entire

sumption has also

roots in conflicts over water.

human population — approxi-

decreased over the last

It comes from the Latin

mately 40,000 kilos per

decade despite increases in

rivalis, for “one taking from


facilities and personnel. The Alberta Energy and Utility Board has a projected goal of almost tripling oil sands production over the next decade from 1.1 million barrels daily to three million. With current technology it takes between two to four barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil.

feeding areas and we stand to lose an entire population of amphibians. “It’s thought they also have a very narrow window in which to lay their eggs so they can’t go gallivanting around the landscape to find another place to breed if their pond is no longer there,” says Paszkowski. “In addition, you can have problems with genetic isolation, and then you can have problems with inbreeding concerns.” The small ponds inhabited by amphibians are warm with lots of light and nutrients. This means high rates of photosynthesis by algae, converting light energy into biomass. Tadpoles tap into this aquatic production by eating algae (and frogs can do the same by eating aquatic invertebrates). When tadpoles move into the forest later as

frogs, they are exporting (in their bodies) aquatic conversion of solar energy into chemical energy. They pass this energy on to their predators or to the soil ecosystem when they die. “Amphibians are also fairly faithful to their original habitat,” Paszkowski says. “For instance, the wood frogs often return to the pond where they were born — they imprint on it. But if that pond doesn’t exist anymore ... well, no one really knows what they do.” Neither does anyone know what the snakes, birds, squirrels, skunks and minks that feed on them are going to find to replace that part of their diet if the frogs and toads are no longer around. Nor do we know the impact on the insect population if these creatures are no longer around to eat them.

..Friday, September 28..

Faculty Receptions I Individual Class functions Various faculty open houses & special events ..Saturday, September 29..

Faculty Open Houses, Special Events


Campus Tours


E.L. Empey Lecture

Reunion Dinner This event is the marquee event of Reunion — a celebration of your alma mater and a chance to reunite with classmates! ..Sunday, September 30..

President’s Breakfast (for those who graduated in 1957 or earlier).

..Class Organizers!..

Over 120 people have already volunteered to help organize their class reunion! Is your class one of them? For a listing of classes which have Class Organizers or for those which are planning independent functions, see our website at Information brochures will be available in May or check out our website for event updates. Contact Colleen Elliott at (780) 492-0866 (toll-free 1-800-661-2593) or for more information.

September 28 – 30

Reunion 2007

Are you interested in re-connecting with your friends from your time on campus? Come join the festivities!

The Friendly Giant Remembering “Papa Bear” by Supporting a Golden Bear hen Les Willox, ’43 MD, climbed into the boxing ring, opponents knew they were facing a formidable opponent. When he lined up at scrimmage on the football field, the opposition knew they had to be ready for that burst of kinetic energy about to come their way. When he walked into the operating room, colleagues knew they could rely on him for his steady and skilled surgeon’s hands. And when he championed a cause, people committed to the same endeavour knew they could depend on him to do his part... and much more. Willox was a giant of a man —195 centimetres tall and weighing in at over 136 kilos — who was affectionately called “Papa Bear” by his grandchildren. Born and raised in Calgary, he arrived in Edmonton in the late 1930s to study medicine. The avid sportsman boxed and played lineman for the Golden Bears football team. They were halcyon days — a time when he was studying hard while also testing his athletics skills on the field and in the ring. He lived all the U of A had to offer and was named the University’s athlete of the year in 1942, as well as winning the intercollegiate heavyweight boxing title in the late ’30s and early ’40s. In 1944, duty called. He joined the Canadian Army and was shipped off to England with the rank of captain. (His father, Bud, had served in the First World War.) While immersed in the war


Dave Willox with some of his father’s trophies and a copy of 1941’s Evergreen and Gold yearbook.


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effort, he continued to box, earning the Royal Canadian Army heavyweight championship crown in February of 1945. During those waning days of the war, he also assumed responsibilities for running a hospital in Europe and was among the Canadian soldiers who liberated Holland from Nazi occupation. Shortly after he returned to Canada, Willox took a call from Walter C. Mackenzie, the charismatic chief of surgery who was building the foundations of a solid department at the U of A Hospital (and who was also a founding director and shareholder of the Edmonton Eskimos). “Come and practise here in Edmonton,” Mackenzie suggested to Willox, “but first go and fulfill your postgraduate education.” Willox completed his medical internship in Washington, DC, and returned to Edmonton in 1951 where he and his wife, Eve, settled in to raise five children: Maureen, ’76 BSc, Dave, ’78 BSc(MedSci), ’80 MD, Bruce, Margot, and Lorraine.

It was good timing. Exciting things were happening. Shortly after his return, Willox was among a handful of dynamic young surgeons to welcome John Callaghan to the U of A Faculty of Medicine. In 1956, Willox was by Callaghan’s side when the leading cardiac surgeon made history by performing Canada’s first openheart surgery to repair a 10-year-old girl’s atrial septal defect. On the cusp of surgical innovation, Callaghan’s successes relied heavily on the Lillihei-DeWall heart-lung pump, a recent invention by two American surgeons. But it wasn’t always reliable. During one surgery, the pump failed, forcing Callaghan to play mechanic while Willox finished the surgery. Willox’s skills in the operating theatre were well known by both his colleagues and patients. But his contributions to the community were known by all Edmontonians. Willox parlayed his love for boxing into opportunities for kids, first in the 1950s by helping to create a boxing club affiliated with Jasper Place High School. Later, he would help those kids stay

How the Willox Gift Works

Lex Willox during his playing days with the Golden Bears and as a Canadian Army Captain.

on track academically, ensuring that some eventually attended university. Willox often served as a boxing judge and, for a time, he served as the chair of the Edmonton Boxing and Wrestling Commission. (Dave remembers the time when Muhammad Ali dropped by the house to chat with his father just before Ali’s third bout with Joe Frazier in October 1975, famously tagged the “Thrilla in Manila.”) Willox was also always there for kids in financial need, and in 1992, he, along with Gordon Russell, opened the Crystal Kids Youth Centre on 118th Avenue, a place that provided hot breakfasts and recreational facilities for underprivileged kids — many of Aboriginal descent. When he retired, says his wife, Eve, he gardened, painted, and took extension courses in the liberal arts, in subjects he knew he had missed during his medical training. Before passing away in May 1999, he asked that no funeral be held. His ashes were spread in the Rockies, a place he loved, and he asked his friends to designate their donations to the Crystal Kids Youth Centre. Today, Dave Willox and his wife, Laurene, ’79 BSc(MedSci), ’81 MD, have given the University publicly traded securities to create The Papa Bear and Dr. Dave Willox Golden Bears Football Scholarship to honour the memory of “Papa Bear.” The award will be given annually, explains Dave, a longtime

supporter of the adopt-an-athlete program. It will be presented to a member of the Golden Bears football team with superior academic standing entering, transferring, or continuing in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. Recipients will be selected on the basis of excellence in football, contributions made to sport on and off the field, demonstrated leadership and/or potential to develop as a significant contributor to the Golden Bears program, and academic achievement. Consideration and preference may be given to a team member enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, a team member who is a lineman, and one who demonstrates financial need. It’s a fitting tribute to his father, says Dave, also a big supporter of local sports in Peace River, Alberta, where he and Laurene have raised three daughters — Robin, 22, Tanna, 20, and Jennifer, 16. When they first arrived in Peace Country, Dave started a basketball program and a rowing club, and coached football at the local high school. He was also a key player in ensuring a 745square-metre chalet for the ski hill was built, and he continues to contribute locally and, now, to his alma mater. “Football and the U of A meant a great deal to both me and my father,” explains Dave, who also spent several years as a Bears lineman during his days at the U of A. — Michael Robb, ’89 BA

David and Laurene Willox chose to fund their endowment by making a gift of publicly traded securities. One of the significant benefits of making this type of gift is the elimination of any tax payable on the capital gain for this type of donation. Other benefits to donating marketable securities include: • Donors receive a charitable receipt for the fair market value of the securities that can be used to further reduce tax payable. • Any receipt amount not claimed in the year of the donation may be carried forward to be used during the next five years. • Securities are easy to transfer, in either certificate or electronic format, from the donor to the University. • Donors can direct the net proceeds of the donation to fund their preferred University activity (unrestricted use, student awards, research, capital projects, etc.). The simplest way to make gifts of publicly traded securities to the University of Alberta is to have the shares electronically transferred from your account to the University’s account. Staff in the Gift Planning Office can help facilitate the process and will be able to provide all necessary information. The receipted amount will be calculated based upon the average of the high and low stock prices on the date delivery of the stock is confirmed by the University’s custodial agents. The University will immediately sell the stocks and then direct the net proceeds to fund the activity chosen. Donors who are considering a gift of securities should consult with their financial advisors to determine the best course of action. For more information on making a gift of publicly traded securities, or any other type of legacy or estate gift, please contact the University of Alberta Gift Planning Office.


Name:_______________________________ Address:______________________________ ____________________________________ Telephone:____________________________ e-mail:_______________________________ Please contact us at: Development Office, Gift Planning 6th Floor, General Services Building Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1 Telephone: (780) 492-0332 Toll Free: 1 (888) 799-9899 e-mail: SPRING 2007

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quaecumque vera

Leave it to Beaver P

seudacris maculata, Rana sylvatica and Bufo boreas have the busy beaver to thank for helping them survive and thrive in Alberta. They are, respectively, the boreal chorus frog, wood frog, and western toad, and they’ve all been given a habitat hand-up by beaver ponds that provide warm, nutrient-rich, still water for breeding and tadpole maturation. In a study published in Biological Conservation by Cam Stevens, ’05 PhD, and U of A professors Cynthia Paszkowski (read more on Paszkowski, pg. 36) and Lee Foote, it was shown that streams that had beaver dams harboured nearly six times the number of wood frogs, 29 times more western toads and 24 times more boreal chorus frogs, than nearby free-flowing streams. “We recorded over 5,000 male frogs and toads on streams that had beaver dams, but we didn’t record any on the free-flowing unobstructed streams,” says Stevens, lead author of the study and currently a consultant in the Edmonton office of Golder Associates, an international ground engineering and environmental services firm. “That there was such a large effect was surprising for sure.”

Cam Stevens contemplates a western toad — a species rated as “sensitive” (just below “may be at risk”) under the Alberta Species at Risk Program.

Stevens called the beaver a “surrogate species” for conservation planning. Beavers and their ponds are easy to monitor and, more importantly, they provide excellent habitat for frog and toad breeding by creating small ponds and wetlands that used to occur throughout Alberta but are vanishing due to warmer weather and human encroachment.

What!? A

s a teen my ears would ring for days after going to a rock concert while my friends had no such problems. These days if I forget to bring earplugs to an Edmonton Oilers hockey game I make sure to put my fingers in my ears after the Oilers score to avoid the fan noise and that really loud horn that accompanies each home-team goal. An over-reaction or just common sense? Well, recent research by U of A Rehabilitation Medicine professor Bill Hodgetts has flipped the coin decidedly on the common-sense side. In a report — co-authored with U of A Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry professor Richard Liu, ’94 MD, ’92 BSc(Med) — published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal the pair note that “excessive exposure to loud sounds is the leading cause of preventable hearing loss.” Although this is not groundbreaking news, most of the studies on this peril have been conducted in


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“The beaver,” says Stevens, “is able to create these ponds that would otherwise not be available.” The findings by Stevens and his coauthors have piqued media curiosity as far away as Britain, perhaps in part because many amphibian species are under threat around the world. But the study’s findings suggest that if more

regards to workplace environments and, as Hodgetts says, “far less attention has been paid to auditory damage caused by noise outside of work.” That’s why Hodgetts had Liu wear a noise dosimeter near his ear in Rexall Place for games three, four and six during last year’s Oilers bid for the Stanley Cup in the final round against the Carolina Hurricanes. What they found was that “each person in the arena not wearing hearing protection received about 3,100 percent of their daily allowable noise dose. Given that most fans do not wear hearing protection during hockey games, thousands are at risk for hearing damage.” An average level of 85 decibels over an eight-hour period is generally considered the maximum safe daily dose of noise. Experiencing that level of noise for more than eight hours poses a hearing damage risk. For each three-decibel level increase the safe level is halved so that at 88 decibels

developers, foresters and energy companies incorporated beaver dams into their environmental plans it could go a long way to help maintain the frog and toad population. “By promoting beaver habitat,” Stevens says, “they’re essentially contributing to the conservation of amphibians.” But he admits it’s going to take some convincing before beavers get to the top of the agenda in environmental planning when they’re often seen as a costly problem, especially when their dams cause flooding on roads and private property. “Much to the annoyance of road maintenance personnel,” says Stevens, “beavers often build dams in culverts and occupy streams near roads.” To prevent that from occurring the study suggests that habitats away from potential conflict zones could be enhanced so that beavers would be more likely to construct dams in those nonproblem areas. That would mean making sure there are plenty of trees and other vegetation left intact along the banks of rivers and streams in areas where beaver habitation would be beneficial — to both beavers and amphibians. “I enjoy listening to the spring chorus of amphibians and want future generations of kids to hear frogs and toads as I have,” Stevens says.

Squirreling It Away I

t’s taken U of A professor Stan Boutin, ’77 BSc, over 20 years to figure out how they do it. Sure, he had a hunch. But could he prove that the red squirrels living around the Yukon’s Kluane National Park could actually predict when their primary food source was going to be bountiful enough to provide them the means to feed an extra litter of little critters? In a nutshell, yes. As the U of A biology professor and his fellow researchers state in a recent article published in the journal Science, “we provide evidence that two species of seed predators do not follow a resource-tracking strategy but instead adjust reproductive investment according to future rather than past seed crops.” How the squirrels have figured out when the spruce trees are going to produce a massive amount of cones — a process

it’s four hours, and at 91 it’s only two hours. During game three of the playoffs the maximum allowable daily noise dose was reached in less than six minutes, and the average level for all the games was over 100 decibels, spiking up to around 120 when Edmonton scored — a noise equivalent to a jet plane taking off. In the CMAJ article the pair state that “the risk of hearing loss for those who attend hockey games frequently — season ticket holders, workers in the arena, hockey players themselves — warrants serious consideration. Even the cheapest foam earplugs will attenuate sounds by about 25 to 30 decibels. At the levels experienced during these hockey games, such earplugs would drop the average sound exposure to below 80 decibels, where no hearing damage is likely to occur. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s easier to communicate in a noisy place when wearing earplugs than without.” — Kim Green

called ‘masting’ — meant to overwhelm its seed-eating predators is not certain. But what is clear is that the red squirrels seem to know when it’s coming and prepare accordingly by breeding like, well, squirrels. The researchers involved in the study speculate that the squirrels could be using visual or hormonal clues they tune into from eating the trees buds that will later turn into cones. But the bottom line is that they seem to have an inside trader’s advantage over the trees and make an investment, says Boutin, “when they have barely enough to get by but just before the market turns favourable. The result is that their investment — their babies — pays big dividends in the upcoming favourable market, which in this case is lots of seed.”

Bill Hodgetts with, he says, “a bunch of noise measuring equipment. However, it is not what Dr. Liu had to wear in the study.” SPRING 2007

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ag looks up at me and Chad Nordstrom, ’00 BSc, the bulging eyes in his 700-kilo frame showing recognition for Nordstrom who’s called him over for a visit. He stares at us for a moment before letting out a belch that blows my hair back. His breath reeks of fish. But then what would you expect from a creature that eats anywhere from 12 to 30 kilos of squid and herring a day, a diet that can push his spring weight to almost 900 kilos? Tag is a 13-year-old Steller sea lion enjoying a comfortable life at the Vancouver Aquarium. His participation in ongoing research is assisting investigators who are trying to understand why the Steller sea lion population has experienced such a precipitous decline, particularly in the U.S. where the Alaskan population used to number over 100,000 but is now down to only

about 40,000. Since 1980 the worldwide sea lion population has declined by more than 80 percent leaving a current total wild population of around 85,000. The captive sea lion project began at the Vancouver Aquarium in 1993. Nordstrom joined the team in 2001 as a research assistant after delaying his graduation from the U of A for a year so he could get one more opportunity to experience the “fantastic program for biology students” at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in remote Barkley Sound.

The research he’s engaged in now is focused on energetics — trying to understand how much energy the Steller sea lions need to perform different tasks. “How much food does a sea lion need to survive in the wild and how much energy does it take to do specific tasks,” says Nordstrom — “we just don’t know and that’s what we’re trying to figure out.” This is particularly important in light of the collapse of the herring stock, which was the staple of the sea lion diet. A typical 10-year-old male in the wild might consume between 20 and 32 kilos of the high-energy-content herring a day. But when forced to dine on squid and the more bony pollock its daily requirements can climb to 48 kilos per day. To find out just how much energy a sea lion requires the Vancouver Aquarium has enlisted the aid of 12 Steller sea lions that go by such names as Izzy, Eden, Yasha, Tasu and Nuka. “We give them a controlled diet,” Nordstrom says, “so we know exactly what they’ve taken in and we know what comes out.” Chad posing with Nuka in the press cage — used to keep the sea lions stationary while tests are conducted.


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It may look like Tasu is about to go the way of Robespierre during the French Revolution, but Chad and Gwyneth Shephard are just getting the latest measurement on the Stellar sea lion, one of the many assisting researchers at the Vancouver Aquarium.

To ascertain the latter figure involves collecting the lions’ scat, but they also do blood work, blubber biopsies and metabolic work, for which they have metabolic chambers in which they can measure the air an individual sea lion breathes in and the carbon dioxide it exhales. They also employ, says Nordstrom “the world’s only sea lion tread mill”— it’s actually called a “swim flume” and is sort of an enclosed lap pool where the lions swim against a current while their oxygen consumption is measured. The sea lion study is part of the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium comprising researchers from UBC, the University of Washington, University

of Alaska, and Oregon State. The sea lion subjects are between the ages of three and 13. “I worked to take care of the three-year-olds from when they were pups,” Nordstrom says. “It was the hardest work I’ve ever done, feeding them formula food— a fish milkshake — and then weaning them onto their solid fish diet.” But right now he wouldn’t give it up for anything “because no two days are ever the same and it’s great fun working with the sea lions. They’re very bright and very crafty. You’ll notice all our doors around here leading out of the pools are fitted with double latches because they figured out how to open them with a single latch.”

Not only are they crafty, they’re also hard on their toys. Nordstrom opens the lid on a box to reveal a collection of deflated and broken play items and then points to an orange ball floating in one of the pools. “That ball,” he says, “was originally designed for an elephant.” As for Tag, he seems quite content to drift about in his separate pool that he shares with a few harbour seals. “This is one of the few places,” says Nordstrom, “where anyone can get in close contact with a live male Steller sea lion. That’s a credit not only to our trainers, but also to Tag’s personality.” Now if only he could do something about that breath. — Kim Green SPRING 2007

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n a hot day last November I stood in the dry grass of the Namibian savannah staring through my binoculars at three cheetahs stopped in the shade of an acacia tree. It was an image I’ll never forget. I was about 160 km northwest of Windhoek with seven other people — not a wildlife biologist among us — for a two-week research expedition helping two scientists studying cheetahs, leopards, and brown hyenas. Seeing firsthand the diversity of African wildlife and landscape was the realization of a dream. I had gone to Namibia with the organization I work for, Biosphere Expeditions. The expeditions Biosphere offers are a win-win scenario for both researchers and lay people interested in wilderness adventures. Conservation biologists are dedicated to conducting much-needed research on endangered species, but are typically short on funding and workers. At the same time there are people who relish the chance to help with the research while getting a hands-on wildlife experience. I’m one of those people. My U of A degree in environmental science, with a major in conservation biology, gave me a background that fueled my interest in raising public awareness about conservation issues. It led to a career as an editor and writer and got me more heavily involved with environmental issues. Over the years I’ve worked on wilderness and wildlife protection campaigns, lobbied the government, and stayed “active.” This is all valuable behind-the-scenes work, but I also wanted to get my hands dirty, to study the wildlife and wild spaces that I loved in a more tangible way. Volunteering with conservation organizations provided the experience I craved. And then in 2006, Biosphere


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Expeditions approached me with the opportunity to launch and head a North American office for their organization. My first expedition with the organization was to Namibia where I started each day at dawn by jumping into a Land Rover with other members of the team and heading off onto the field. We learned how to search for tracks, identify animal species, take telemetry readings, and set strategically located box traps throughout an 18,000-hectare study site. The scientists we worked with had been researching the area for a few months and had captured two leopards, a coalition of three male cheetahs, and a young male hyena. (With the help of a veterinarian, the animals were sedated and measurements and DNA samples taken.) All the animals were also fitted with radio collars, except the hyena, which was too young. Once an animal is fitted with a collar, the scientists can track its location and map its territorial range. We didn’t expect to see one of these highly elusive and camouflaged animals in the flesh unless it was in a box trap. But one afternoon my group was conducting a wildlife count with Harald, one of the scientists. Harald stopped the Land Rover to check for one of the leopard’s radio signals that had been

picked up that morning by the telemetry crew. We also picked it up. Checking other frequencies, we picked up the signal of a second leopard. Cheetahs and leopards have such a vast range that the signals from our radio-collared individuals were not often detectable, so it was exciting to hear the two cats within close proximity. As Harald changed to the next frequency he said the odds of us picking up the cheetahs as well were next to nil. But the next frequency produced a loud and strong signal, as did the next and the next. The cheetah signals were coming in so strong that the cats had to be just over the adjacent hill. We raced over rocks and gullies, tussocks and brambles in a high-speed allterrain chase. We were, after all, chasing the fastest land mammal on earth, which can reach a speed of up to 110 km/h. We followed the beeps emitted

Photos cour tesy Biosphere Expeditions

Erin McCloskey, ’98 BSc(Env&Cons), gets an experience that can only come out of Africa

Erin McCloskey uses the telemetry antenna to listen for signals from animals that have been fitted with radio collars. After picking up the signal from a cheetah, her crew followed the sound to an unforgettable scene.

by the radio until Harald lurched the Land Rover to a halt, jumped out with his binoculars, and pointed at the cheetahs resting under the acacia tree. Observing these stunning creatures exceeded my expectations as I felt a rush of exhilaration and gratitude. It was one of those moments — along with the times when I’ve been on my hands and knees in the sand helping a loggerhead sea turtle hatchling make it to the water, or been on a research boat watching the blow of a gray whale — that I’ve thought that if one day my life flashes in front of my eyes, these would be pretty good images. Working with a diverse group of people on a common goal and really feeling you’re making a difference is an amazing and memorable experience. It’s also a joy to reflect upon the things that we have done, not just what we have seen. And in our trips to beautiful lands it’s empowering to know that we gave, and not just took.

Erin McCloskey is the North American Operations Manager for Biosphere Expeditions, an organization dedicated to sustainable tourism and community development, providing jobs, alternatives to wildlife exploitation, increased public awareness, and long-term conservation support. The organization currently runs nine research projects throughout the year. The geographic locations are Namibia, Peru, Brazil, Azores, Altai, Honduras, Oman, Sri Lanka, and Slovakia. Ongoing research includes studying species such as the snow leopard, Arabian leopard, European wolf, chamois and Asian elephant; biodiversity sur veys in the Amazon or on cetaceans and sea tur tles in the Atlantic; and analyzing human impact on coral reefs or wildlife conflict with rural communities. Check for more information on Biosphere Expeditions.

Terms of Indira President Indira Samarasekera once self-deprecatingly remarked that her daughter answered the question, “Where does your mother work?” with the reply, “My mother — she doesn’t work, she just talks.” Of course, talking is its own work and in this issue and issues to follow we will be highlighting excerpts from some of the speaking engagements where Samarasekera has worked her talk.

Harvey Mudd College President’s Inauguration — Claremont, CA, February 2007 “I suggest that we need a shift in perspective. We are often called upon to produce ‘cutting edge’ research. When we hear the words ‘cutting edge,’ images of the latest advances in information technology or medical treatment usually come to mind. And yet many of the problems endemic in our world today that prevent the majority of the world’s population from rising out of pover ty and into prosperity and good health — problems such as poor sanitation, inadequate access to water, low agricultural returns, or crumbling infrastructure — could be solved with technology that is already available.” “If technology already exists that could address significant global problems, then why hasn’t it done so? The answer to this question is very complex, but par t of the problem lies in the fact that technology that works within the context of one geography and one culture cannot be transplanted to another without much care and attention being paid to the geographical and cultural needs of the recipient.” “Science, math, and engineering education that keeps its focus on the actual problems and challenges we face is the kind of education needed to change the world for the better.”

Keynote Address: National Science Foundation — Arlington, VA, September 2006 “Universities, not only in the U.S. and Canada, but around the world, are awakening to the fact that we need to educate our scientists and engineers— as well as our doctors, lawyers, educators— all our graduates— to be citizens of the world. It’s a rude awakening because it’s what we always thought we were doing. But what we are facing as we advance into the 21st century is a new world, a new economy, a new definition of international and of global that is forcing us to redefine what is required to be an engaged, successfully contributing citizen of the world.”

The Globe and Mail, University Report — October 2006 “Canada needs to work hard at encouraging greater differentiation among its universities, allowing some tall poppies to grow.”

Extraordinary Minds Keynote Address — Toronto, October 2006 “We are a nation that is still pushing and exploring its geographic frontiers. We need to adopt the same enthusiasm for the risk and courage it takes to explore and expand intellectual frontiers.”


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Switzer Family Dynasty Three generations of pharmacists (and counting) make a living — and a life — in Edson


Harold and John Switzer pose with the portrait of H. A. Switzer and Co. pharmacy founder Harvey Switzer.


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here’s a large photograph of Harvey Switzer that hangs high on the east wall of Switzer’s Drugs on 50th Street in Edson, Alberta. Visible from anywhere in the store, the portrait shows a handsome man, one who would eventually serve as the town’s mayor as well as bequeath a family business to his children — and to his children’s children. On this day, behind the dispensing counter, Harvey’s grandson, Harold, ’88 BSc(Pharm), chats quietly with a customer, making small talk about the weekend’s hockey games. (Harold’s a big supporter of minor hockey in the town.) And so it has been and you can imagine it always remaining — the patriarch’s photo looming large over successive generations of Switzers who have made, and will continue to make, a living in this pharmacy and a life in this community. For over 95 years it’s been this way, beginning in 1912 when Harvey, a 1910 graduate of the University of Toronto’s pharmacy school, purchased the drugstore from the local physician who packed up and followed the Grand Trunk Railway as it pushed farther west. When Harvey Switzer opened H.A. Switzer and Co. on January 20, 1912, Edson was a frontier town much like any other: rough, lacking urban amenities, and far from the major cities. However, Edson had its share of men and women who saw endless possibilities and opportunity. Harvey Switzer — equal parts pharmacist and entrepreneur — was one of them. Realizing that a pharmacy would be tough to keep going on its own — even though the Grande Prairie Trail brought a constant influx of people through the town — Harvey and his partners undertook several other ventures and businesses over the years. Although the pharmacy remained the cornerstone of his family’s livelihood, the young man made sure the store also housed the local telephone exchange. He also added an ice cream and soda fountain, helping to cement the store as one of the centres of the town’s social life.

Harry even went so far as to create a library within H.A. Switzer and Co. “He knew the value of books,” says Hazel Switzer, the wife of John, ’53 BSc(Pharm), the 11th born child into the patriarch’s clan. John, who has always been a keen student of local history, likes to reiterate what Liberal MP Frank Oliver said September 17, 1913, when he laid the cornerstone in the Edson School: “Although education may not be everything, it leads to everything.” And living by those words, John has also recently established a travel bursary for University of Alberta pharmacy students. In 1913, as H. A. Switzer and Co. was getting established as an enduring town legacy, Harvey married Edith Lawrence, who worked in the post office and was the daughter of Gilbert Lawrence, Edson’s first mayor. It wouldn’t be long before Harvey followed his father-in-law into civic politics, getting himself elected to council in 1914, claiming what no other candidate could — that he had added one more citizen to the population of Edson. Their daughter Bessie had been born that year. That first child was followed by Lawrence, 1916, Helen, 1917, Marie, 1918, Richard, 1919, William, 1920, Gilbert, 1921, Jean, 1923, Flora-Belle, 1924, Nancy, 1925, John, 1927, Daniel, 1928, Jim, 1931, and , finally, Joseph, 1935… in case you’ve lost count, that’s 14 in all. Edith died an untimely death, of a stroke in 1944. Harvey married Mabel Bezanson a year later. Life settled down to a familiar routine — or as routine as it could get with three teenagers and a 10-year-old in the house. And then on one cold Saturday morning in January 1952, a devastating fire tore through Edson’s main street, destroying the family pharmacy. Undaunted, Harvey made sure that H.A. Switzer and Co. was back in business by Monday at a temporary location. Not surprisingly, there were at least a few of the 14 children who were inspired to follow in their ambitious father’s footsteps. William, who graduated in 1947 with a diploma in pharmacy, was the first to take over the management of the Edson store, a position he would hold until 1955 before moving to Hinton, Alberta, to start up another Switzer’s pharmacy. He also followed in his father’s footsteps by being elected to three terms as Hinton’s mayor. He later won a provincial Liberal by-election serving for two years before running (and winning) the Liberal seat again, but died after two years in office. Along the way he also made a lasting contribution to the social and intellectual fabric of the town (William A. Switzer Provincial Park is named after him). When William decamped to Hinton, his brother John took over the Edson store. Dan, ’60 BSc(Pharm), who had worked as a coal miner and oilfield worker before he studied pharmacy at the U of A, joined his brother in 1960, until his death in 1985. Meantime, all of John and Hazel’s seven children — Connie, ’74 MD, Keith, Bruce, ’66 BPE, ’70 MSc, ’89 PhD, Valerie, ’77 BPE, ’81 Dip(Nu),

Two of Harvey’s children — Lawrence and Helen — pose in front of the pharmacy sometime before World War II.

Harold, ’88 BSc(Pharm), Edith, and Philip, ’92 BPE, ’94 BEd — worked in the drug store with their grandfather, father and uncle, carrying on a enduring tradition of family involvement with the pharmacy. Connie studied pharmacy for two years but switched to medicine, eventually specializing in gastroenterology and establishing her practice in Edmonton. She’s still a practising gastroenterologist as well as a clinical professor at the U of A. “There was never any pressure in the family to be pharmacists,” says John, who recalls working in the store for his father, spelling him off so he could have lunch and, later in the day, closing up. Back then, he explains, making pharmaceutical compounds took hours and sometimes included as many as 27 ingredients. SPRING 2007

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The John F. and Hazel F. Switzer and Family of Edson Clinical Rotation Travel Award Every year $500 is awarded to an undergraduate student with satisfactor y academic standing entering his or her final year in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The award is given to support student expenses (travel and accommodation) incurred during the student’s clinical rotation, provided it’s within the province. A preference is given to a student completing his or her rotation in a more remote site within the province and who demonstrates financial need. The award is endowed by John and Hazel Switzer of Edson and is awarded by nomination from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. John and Harold — “Our pharmacy has been very successful.”

After Harold — John and Hazel’s fifth child — graduated from the U of A’s pharmacy school in 1988, he returned immediately to work with his father in the Edson store. And, like his grandfather, he married a local woman, Cheryl Bodnar. The couple had four sons, all of whom, of course, helped out around the store. In spite of Edson’s economic ups and downs, says John, “Our pharmacy has been very successful.” Although, when his father ran the store, John remembers that the family supplemented their income with a substantial garden and livestock they kept on a quarter section of land the family held west of the town. Over the years, though, being the lone pharmacist in town could be tough, remembers John, who retired in 2000. The requirement to have a pharmacist on duty at all times sometimes meant that John had to miss important family and social occasions. That’s no longer an issue. But if you think John’s giving it all up for a life of sitting on the porch watching life pass by, think again. Today, free of his full-time work responsibilities, the 80-year-old still comes in to work


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occasionally to assist his son, and he plays old-timers’ hockey in the 75-and-older category. Like his father before him, John also strongly believes in education and encouraged all of his children to pursue university studies. Keith became a computer programmer at the U of A, Valerie earned physical education and nursing degrees, Edith attended the U of A and eventually went to work as a nurse, Philip earned a physical education degree and a Bachelor of Education, and Bruce went to work for the CNR. And, of course, Harold also got his degree from the U of A. “Harold’s done an excellent job,” says John about his son’s work after taking over the store in Edson, while also pointing out that their pharmacy isn’t the only game in town anymore. There’s lots of competition now, including a big box store with a pharmacy. “But,” adds Hazel, “if you take care of your customers, you’ll be okay.” — Michael Robb, ’89 BA Harold Switzer, class of ’88, and John, class of ’53, above the post-fire rebuilt pharmacy (with John and staff in the entrance).

R E F L E C T I O N S It’s not a big story as stories go, but the University’s recent opening of a Vancouver development office is just one more indication of how U of A president Indira Samarasekera plans to deliver on her promise to make this University one of the top 20 public universities in the world by 2020. “Vancouver is the gateway to the Asia-Pacific and the consular core of all Asia-Pacific nations,” president Samarasekera said during the official opening of the Vancouver office. “We see here an opportunity to connect with these consulates and continue to be internationally outward-looking.” Stephen Shapiro, associate vice-president (global development and principal gifts), was also at the new development office opening and said, “Alberta is on the world stage and this office is, to me, a physical manifestation of the president’s Dare to Discover vision. Because AsiaPacific is so strategic to Alberta, to the future of our province, we need to be better connected, to build upon our already very strong connections with China, Japan and Hong Kong.” Also mentioned at the opening was the fact that the U of A has over 5,500 alumni living in the lower mainland of British Columbia as well as over 6,000 more U of A alumni currently residing in that province. Obviously this new downtown Vancouver presence will also be important for those alumni. Over 30 years ago when I got my first degree from the U of A the campus was a much more homogenous place than it is now. Its international presence has grown substantially since that time and you see that reflected in the increasingly multinational nature of the over 35,000 students enrolled at the University to take advantage of our physical resources, that include one of the best teaching staffs anywhere in the country, if not the world. Our international students, in turn, contribute their unique cultural and academic perspectives to enrich the international experience of Canadian university students. It’s an exciting time as we move ahead and embrace the world as never before and reach out to, as Samarasekera said in her ‘Dare to Discover’ document, “enhance relationships with other nations to create learning opportunities for students as well as research collaborations that address global challenges and initiatives and that will foster mutual understanding, global peace, and prosperity.” Heike Juergens, ’72 BA, ’75 MEd, ’87 PhD Alumni Association President










"Fire Coast" Mezzotint, Chine Colle, 8.75" x 11.75", 2005

The inferno has melted this whirligig Three University of Alberta professors have created an artist-book inspired in part by Dante’s Inferno. The limited-edition book — called Dark Fire — contains 10 prints by Sean Caulfield, ’92 BFA, ’96 MFA, professor of art and design, accompanied by 10 poems written by Jonathan Hart, professor of English. Susan Colberg, ’83 BFA, ’91 MVA, associate professor of art and design, designed the book. “It is our intention that Dark Fire will be a celebration of poetic language and imagery for its own sake,” says Caulfield, “as well as a project that will further the artist-book as an important part of contemporary culture.”

Time a clothesline bent and twisted Flames falling, fire in a bucket The dark cosmos of our blood Like a cold winter morning Before sun, holes like diamonds Cut in the metal, sheered spirit Turns our ears to the music Of the spheres, nothing quite


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evergreen Virtual Cortona


in 1999. Two programs are offered and are always popu-

f you would like to attend

lar: Bella Toscana, an 11-day

a program at the U of A’s

exploration of the food and

Alumni School in Cortona,

history of the region, and

Love and the Mixed Chorus

met his wife, Cathy (MacIver), ’72 BEd, when they were U of A students in the

en Kully, ’06 BSc(Eng),


Chorus. Twenty-nine years

may be inclined to

later, he conducted their

Italy, or even


believe that singing is in his

daughter Laura in the alto

if you would

Tuscany, an

genes. That’s because when

section for the 1998 through

just like to


he and the 150 members of

2005 concert seasons.



the University of Alberta

and look at

phy work-

Mixed Chorus perform their

fun environment that brings



63rd annual concert this

together people with a shared

March 31, it will have been

passion. If not romance,

photos of a

The web-

Mixed Chorus is a friendly,


site for the

28 years since his parents

friendships are made that

place, check


performed in the same cho-

have lasted through the years.

out the new


rus — where they met.

The Mixed Chorus Alumni



As one of the oldest stu-

about the


dent groups at the U of A,

year after year through their

show their love of the Chorus

School at

from past participants,

the Mixed Chorus has a

attendance at the Spring


details about the program

proud history of bringing

Concert. And every year, for

events, and galleries of

together people with a love

the finale, Alumni come up

Cortona, a collaboration

beautiful photographs of the

of singing. Sometimes, love of

on stage to join the current

between the U of A’s Faculty

location. In addition, there

another kind blooms.

members in the singing of the

of Arts and the Alumni

are many links to informa-

Association, has given hun-

tion about travelling to Italy

dreds of alumni the experi-

and preparing for a trip.

Maureen, ’80 BSc, meeting in

engaged to his girlfriend,

ence of studying for a short

The site will continue to

1976, Mixed Chorus Music

Grace, over the holidays.

time in the Cortona School,

grow as more information

Director Bob de Frece, ’75

She’s an alto, and they’re get-

which was officially opened

and images are added.

BEd, ’71 Dip(Ed), ’69 BSc,

ting married in October.

The Alumni School in

In addition to Robert Kully, ’78 BEd, ’76 BSc, and

U of A Cheer Song. And Ken? He just got

Maybe in 20 years or so, there will be another Kully in

Alumni Memorial Service The University of Alberta Alumni Association is holding a special memorial service to remember and honour those alumni who passed away in 2006. Please join us for this interfaith service: Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:00 – 3:00 pm Convocation Hall, Old Arts Bldg.

the U of A Mixed Chorus. —Nikki Van Dusen, ’96 BA *** The University of Alberta presents its 63rd annual spring concert Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m. at the Winspear Centre. Tickets are $18 (students/seniors $12) plus applicable service charges, available at Tix on the Square and at the U of A

If you would like to receive a formal invitation to this celebration, please contact our office by April 2nd. Phone (780) 492-0866 or toll-free 1-800-661-2593. 42

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Students’ Union information desks in HUB, SUB, CAB and Engineering.

Alumni Events

Among those who attended an alumni dinner in Hong Kong recently were (at left) Rosanna Chau, ’78 BCom, and Larry Wang, professor emeritus of biological sciences; (below, left) Wenran Jiang, acting director of the China Institute, and Sek Yuen, ’73 BSc(Pharm); and Monica Barclay, assistant director, China Institute, and Bernie Mah, ’75 BCom.

For more information about alumni events, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs by phone at 780- 492-3224 or (toll-free in North America) 1-800-661-2593 or by e-mail at You can also check the alumni events website at

March 26–30, 2007 Edmonton, AB Income Tax Filing Business Atrium, School of Business 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Cost: free (income must be under $25,000/year) For more information, call Chloe at 492-7726 or e-mail March 31, 2007 Mixed Chorus Alumni Association Dinner & AGM Winspear Centre Dinner 5:00 p.m., AGM 6:30 p.m., Mixed Chorus Spring Concert 8:00 p.m. Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs April 1, 2007 Lethbridge, AB Alumni Reception & AGM Ramada Lethbridge, 2375 Mayor Magrath Drive S. Guest Speaker: Ellen Schoeck, “A Century of Lives at the U of A” Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs April 21, 2007 Bonnyville, AB Alumni Brunch and Tour of Centennial Centre Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs

April 21, 2007 Washington, DC All-Canadian Alumni Event Smokey Glen Farm Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs April 22, 2007 Vancouver, B.C. Annual Alumni Brunch & AGM Royal Vancouver Yacht Club Guest Speaker: Ellen Schoeck, “A Century of Lives at the U of A” Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs May 5, 2007 Victoria, B.C. Annual Alumni Brunch Marriott Inner Harbour Guest Speaker: Pauline Rafferty of the Royal BC Museum on upcoming TITANIC Exhibit Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs May 17, 2007 Toronto, ON Alumni Reception St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs May 24, 2007 Jasper, AB Dental Alumni Association Reunion Reception Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge 6:30–7:30 p.m. Contact: Office of Alumni Affairs

Note to all alumni: We cannot send event invitations without current addresses. If you know of any alumni who do not receive U of A event notices, please encourage them to update their address with the Office of Alumni Affairs. The Office can be reached toll-free in North America at 1-800-661-2593 (direct line 780-492-3224). For address updates e-mail For all other Alumni Association matters e-mail

Class Reunions The following classes are planning reunions. More information on these events is available from the person listed or from Colleen Elliott at 780-492-0866 or e-mail

’57 Nursing (class of September) October 15–18, 2007 Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Contact: Betty-Lou Kindleman (Craig) at 780-973-6457 or ’57 Pharmacy June 1–2, 2007 Edmonton Contact: Jack Lymer at 780633-7938 or or Clyde MacDonald at 780436-0784 or ’62 Diploma (Nursing) September 7–9, 2007 Parksville, B.C. Contact: Lynne Bowen ’67 Medicine September 14–16, 2007 Halifax, Nova Scotia Contact: Jean Gray

’67 Nursing (class of September) October 12–14, 2007 Edmonton Contact: Sharon Yuen at 780-634-5354 or ’77 Medicine September 14–16, 2007 Kelowna, B.C. Contact: Linda Hawker at 250-868-2523 or at '87 Medicine August 24–25, 2007 Edmonton Contacts: Leah Gramlich at 780-455-2044 or, LouisFrancescutti at 780-492-6546 or, or Cathy Flood at ’97 Medicine April 13–15, 2007 Banff, Alberta Contact: Susan Nahirniak at 780-955-7060 or


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Alumni Education  Retirement Workshops

Are you ready to make retirement the best years of your life? Two of Edmonton’s leading professional retirement planners will discuss retirement from two perspectives: lifestyle and financial.

 Young Alumni

Plan for the future and invest your money wisely!

Get valuable investment advice from industry experts. Learn which type of investment is best for you.

$75 per workshop or $100 for both

March 7 • $20 per person

Five Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Retired

Tax Help for Rookies

Retirement planner Rein Selles will provide both working tools and background information to help you move your retirement plan toward the lifestyle you would like to lead. March 21 How Much Is Enough?

Financial expert Jim Yih will walk you through the financial aspects of retirement, helping you to live the life you want to lead in retirement. March 28  Everyday Computing Basics...... Take advantage of a learning experience designed for our senior alumni. Learn the basics of computer use, get online to get in touch with friends and family, master word processing, and learn about digital cameras and how to edit digital photos. Pick and choose which courses suit you best. Call for course details or visit May 30, 31, June 6, 7, 13, 14 • $40 per course

Calling all recent graduates! Bring in your T4s and tuition receipts an our team of trained volunteers will help you file your income tax. March 28 • Free!

 Walter Johns Alumni Circle

Come back to campus to join other alumni for a regular sampling of the vibrant intellectual and cultural life of the University. The Walter Johns Alumni Circle features lectures and presentations by top faculty members and an opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow alumni. Sessions take place from 10 a.m. to noon. March 22, April 19 • $5 per session

Navigating the Career Path Join the Alumni Association and Career and Placement Services (CaPS) in our workshops geared toward careers and career transitions. Career Transitions

Feeling stuck and questioning where you are at in your career? Learn strategies for moving forward. April 17 & 19 • $70 per person

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Come discover what EI is, how to increase yours, and how you can use it to enhance your career success. April 24 • $35 per person

Effective Strategies and Tools for Finding Work

Learn strategies for tapping the 'hidden' job market, and how to develop resumes Take the above and other tools targeted to the 3 workshops for type of work you are seeking. only April 26 • $35 per person


What is YOUR Emotional Intelligence?

An opportunity to assess your Emotional Intelligence as measured by the BarOn EQ-i test. May 8 • $175 per person (includes the cost to take the ex am and have it reviewed before the workshop)

Summer of Discovery 2007 Participate in a number of different tours designed to inform and entertain. June 21 – Explore Alberta’s Ukrainian heritage with historian Radomir Bilash.

Our trip includes a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, the community of Mundare, and the Basilian Fathers Museum. $45 per person (includes transpor tation, lunch and admission fees) July 19 – Join tree enthusiast Dr. Paul Woodard on a walking tour to view the wonderful variety of campus trees. You’ll never look at trees the same way again! $5 per person

Call 492-1835 or toll-free 1-800-661-2593 or visit

Incite-able Boys

n 1999, when Ted Kouri, ’97 BCom, and Jared Smith, ’98 BCom, founded an outsourced marketing company called Incite Solutions, they were working out of Smith’s Edmonton basement and selling themselves as “hired guns” to help businesses improve their branding. On their original sales brochure they portrayed themselves as cowboys and managed to get their first job with a law firm... on one condition. “The managing partner said he liked our drive,” laughs Smith, “but would only hire us if we promised to never show anyone that awful brochure again.” Seven years later, the two 31-yearolds are the co-heads of a company that employs 14 people full-time, including seven U of A grads. Their innovative approach to direct marketing has seen their client base expand to over 75 companies, including work with corporate leaders such as Fountain Tire and Voxcom. “Our secret to success,” says Smith, “is that we offer companies that may not be able to support an in-house marketing department access to a team of dedicated professionals who handle all aspects of planning, branding, communications, and ongoing marketing management.” “Traditional mass advertising is dying,” adds Kouri. “There are so many messages out there people become immune to them. Our focus at Incite is on targeted relationship marketing that involves media relations, press releases, community involvement, and web-based direct marketing.” This means that rather than throwing up a billboard, they’ll do such things as hold an event and invite the organization’s client base for more personal interaction. That’s all part of their focus on building intimate customer relationships as an effective alternative to conventional marketing strategies that tend to broadcast a general message via over-used and tuned-out mediums. Kouri and Smith put this plan in action in their dealings with the Daytona Group, a residential home construction and land development company. Daytona’s marketing associate was overwhelmed with work and the company as a whole suffered from inconsistent messaging and strategy


execution. Incite Solutions worked with Daytona to improve communication and marketing cooperation across all divisions to such an extent that the company dominated the industry’s 2006 SAM (Sales and Marketing) Awards with eight awards, including Builder of the Year and Best Magazine Ad for a piece designed by Incite Solutions. Kouri and Smith first met at the U of A through their participation in AIESEC, a student-run organization that yearly sends over 4,000 students and recent graduates on global work internships (they both continue to have a relationship with AIESEC). Kouri spent eight months working in Latvia and Smith went to China where he helped foreign chapters become more aggressive with their internship programs. The pair also had the opportunity to work together on AIESEC’s Executive Board — Smith as VP marketing and Kouri as the local committee president. Jointly they had the responsibility of selling the global internship program to companies and, without a marketing budget, they were forced to be creative in their methods. They came to realize that the easiest way to make a sale was to establish personal relationships and exploit networks, and soon the two decided that this strategy could be extended to businesses. Marketing AIESEC also allowed them to establish contacts in the corporate community that would enable them to kick start their own business. “We set a goal to meet with 100 businesses each over the course of our executive term,” says Smith. “A lot of those companies eventually became Incite’s initial champions and supporters.” Future plans for Incite are to build its team to 25 people and strengthen its client base in Calgary and Vancouver. “We’re well on our way to becoming a leader in relationship marketing in Western Canada,” says Smith. “And without our experience getting involved in campus life at the University, I don’t think we ever could have come so far so quickly.” — Amanda Perry Photos: Ted Kouri (top) and Jared Smith. SPRING 2007

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bookmarks When the Spirits Dance Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden, ’72 MA A freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver, Brissenden wrote this children’s book with Larry Loyie about his youth in northern Alberta during the Second World War, when his father goes overseas with the Canadian army. Beautiful photographs of Loyie’s family and of the Slave Lake area complement the recollections of a confusing time. (Theytus Books, A Journey of Service: Fifty Years of Lionism Edited by Joseph P. Yurkiw, ’67 BEd, ’72 BA An amateur historian and long-time member of Lions International, Yurkiw outlines the first 50 years of the South Edmonton Lions Club. Lions Clubs are service clubs whose objective is the betterment of the community. A Journey of Service tells of the South Edmonton Lion Club’s accomplishments and the influence the Club had on the community near and far. (South Edmonton Lions Club) Nurturing Respect: Giving Children an Understanding of Their Elders Gerald Larue, ’43 BA, ’47 BDiv, and Rachel Seymour Drawing on the experiences of volunteers at the Andrus Gerontology Center at the U of Southern California and their visits to school classrooms, this book shows how the elderly and the young can learn from each other. It contains transcribed dialogue between school children and senior citizens as they discuss the transitions that come with age. (Papier-Mache Press) The Rebel Cook Linda Kupecek, ’69 BFA Billed as a survival guide for the hopelessly inept and fearlessly hospitable, The Rebel Cook is a call to arms for those who are terrified of hosting a dinner party but can’t help themselves. A few easy recipes are included, but this is not a cookbook so much as a cheat sheet for the culinary clueless. (Altitude Publishing,


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Kingdom, Phylum Adam Dickinson, ’05 PhD The poems in this collection push the boundaries of thought and language as they investigate the human compulsion to order things. Dickinson, a professor of poetry and poetics at Brock University, shows how poetry both participates in and unsettles the provisional orders that develop between word and world. (Brick Books, Deep Alberta: Fossil Facts and Dinosaur Digs John Acorn, ’80 BSc, ’88 MSc Deep Alberta features 80 of the most noteworthy fossils, fossil locations, and fossil hunters from the province. Edmontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex are included, along with some lesser-known finds, such as the world’s oldest pike, the discovery of a venomous mammal, and the fossils found in such unlikely places as Edmonton and Calgary. (UA Press, Hard Passage: A Mennonite Family’s Long Journey from Russia to Canada Arthur Kroeger, ’55 BA, ’04 LLD (Honorary) Hard Passage is Kroeger’s account of his family’s journey, over three generations, from a bustling Mennonite village in Russian Ukraine to the windswept landscape of Alberta. The story of the Kroeger family’s struggles illuminates the Canadian immigrant experience with poignant detail. (UA Press, Types of Canadian Women K. I. Press, ’95 BA Inspired by a 1903 biographical dictionary of society women, this book takes off where its predecessor left off, imagining the untold details of the women’s experiences. Using the occupations and preoccupations that shaped the original collection, Press illuminates her portraits with fantastical and symbolic elements to create a series of narratives that slip almost imperceptibly from reality into imagination and back again. (Gaspereau Books,

The Carbon Buster’s Home Energy Handbook Godo Stoyke, ’86 BSc, ’91 MSc An environmental educator and professional energy efficiency consultant, Stoyke is president of Carbon Busters Inc., an energy and environmental consultancy. In this book he provides a detailed accounting of a typical family’s carbon emissions, analyzes energy costs, and evaluates which measures yield the highest returns for the environment and the pocketbook. (New Society Publishers, Cathy’s Book Sean Stewart, ’86 BA, and Jordan Weisman Cathy’s Book looks like a journal covered with sketches, but it is more than a book. Filled with details inviting the reader to solve the mystery involving Cathy, a high-school girl in San Francisco, and her ex-boyfriend, the book comes with a packet of evidence (including newspaper clippings, photographs, a lipstick-stained napkin), phone numbers to call for messages, and addresses of websites and chat rooms to visit. A video promoting the book is running on, and Cathy has a page on (Running Press, Termination in Psychotherapy Anthony S. Joyce, ’77 BA, ’91 PhD; William E. Piper; John S. Ogrodniczuk, ’97 PhD; and Robert H. Klein A successful termination phase is a critical component of psychotherapy. The authors of this book synthesize and evaluate the clinical, theoretical, and empirical literature on termination and then offer their own Termination Phase Model to help psychotherapists understand and address the full range of patient and therapist responses that must be considered as therapy winds down. (American Psychological Association,

Singing a Different Tune don’t follow the thinking that there is one path you have to stay on,” says Joel Kroeker, ’01 MA. “I like diversity.” No kidding. Kroeker is a highly regarded pop/rock/folk musician whose first major label album, Melodrama (True North Records, 2004), is still getting rave reviews, being called “a poised, pop-folk gem...[with] wonderful melodies and vivid images” in an Edmonton Journal review. He’s played with big names in Canadian music including Randy Bachman, Bruce Cockburn, Colin Linden, and Sarah Harmer. He’s travelled the world playing for audiences who appreciate his original songs and cover tunes and what he calls the distinctive “high, winsome sound” of Canadian music, and recently released a new album called Closer to the Flame. And while he’s known for a distinctive style of guitar picking and a clear, mellow singing voice that’s a perfect vehicle for his soul-stirring lyrics, it wasn’t always obvious that this was the path he’d follow. Sure there were the early musical influences. His family is fairly musical, and while they lived in different places in the U.S. and Canada before settling in Winnipeg, young Joel sang in choirs. His first musical training was playing the trumpet, but his childhood asthma cut that short. When he was in high school he picked up the guitar—“a late bloomer,” he calls himself—and started with electric guitar, then classical, then jazz before settling eventually on acoustic. Still, the foundation was being established. Trumpet playing, he says, “got me into listening and trying to

emulate music.” And listening, says Joel, is where it’s at. “You connect on an aesthetic level and the rest will come.” With a good listening ear Joel got busy learning from the masters. “My roots are in the great lyricists like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell. That’s the vinyl I used to listen to.” He developed his hybrid guitar picking style to provide the versatility he needs to support his songs. And the singing, he says, he just learned from doing. Listen to him now, and it’s hard to believe that he never considered himself a singer and started singing only to overcome social phobia. “Singing is the most intimate thing I could thing of. It was absolutely terrifying but I learned to sing by doing it.” He’s only recently received any vocal training, primarily to give him the stamina to sing three shows a night in smoky bars. He also took a side trip to academia. A bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba taught him to compose classical music, and he pursued a master’s in ethnomusicology with a minor in pop music from the U of A “because I was interested in the subject, not because I was trying to prepare to play.” But the academic work certainly had an influence. Critics point to his university studies to explain the depth and range in his music, unusual in such a young artist. And with all he’s learned, Kroeker is open to new possibilities.

“The folk/pop/rock came as a culmination, as the most immediate way of expressing myself. That could change in the future.” For now, the folk/pop/rock “seems to be going well,” he says in understatement. Melodrama garnered a lot of attention for him. The album has recently been released in Italy, Belgium, Holland, and Australia, and he’ll be touring to support it. While on the road he will continue pursuing another craft—writing. “I’ve always been into writing of all kinds,” he says. “I worked my whole life for that. It’s not easy.” He’s had stories published in various magazines, is looking for a publisher for a children’s picture book he recently finished, and is working on a young adult novel. He’s starting to compile a collection of his road stories and hopes to also publish them. And now he is getting into visual art too. “I wanted to do the artwork for the new album so I spent six months doing that and was totally enraptured with it. I’m doing painting now and claymation.” With his varied interests, this musician some critics say is on the cusp of breaking into the big time might surprise us by taking another turn somewhere down the road. —Shelagh Kubish, ’85 BA

Websites: SPRING 2007

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Photo by Robin Kuniski


he has been building a portfolio of investments for nearly 15 years, owns a beautiful home in Calgary, recently returned from a Florida vacation, and shared investment strategies on The Oprah Winfrey Show. What makes all this unusual is that Lesley Scorgie, ’05 BCom, is just 23 years old. Not many people in their 20s have amassed investments inching toward the million dollar mark, but Scorgie has been saving since she bought her first Canada Savings Bond at 10 (that’s rule #1 in her list of financial tips: start now!). Through her teen years she continued setting aside bits of money from part-time jobs (rule #4: it doesn’t matter what you have, it’s what you do with it that counts) and bought her first mutual funds when she was 14. At the same time, she read books on finance, educating herself about mutual funds and stocks. In time both her knowledge and her money grew. Now she’s sharing the secrets of her success through a new book, Rich by Thirty. The book contains worksheets, action plans, and lots of tips to help young people in particular take control of their finances. And she follows her own advice. “I don’t ever buy things that aren’t on sale,” she says. “I shop at garage sales, farmer’s markets, My house is full of used goods. It’s a beautiful home and what’s in it probably cost less than one-quarter what it would be new.” For now Scorgie hasn’t touched her investment funds but lives a simple life, which she does not find difficult. “With a frugal mindset and different approach, shopping becomes a sport and is fun. I look for deals. I decided to add character to my home and get everything cheap. You feel awesome at the end of the day, that you don’t have a $4,000 VISA bill for furniture. It feels good.”

For Scorgie, being rich has more to do with life balance than bank balance. She has learned that wealthy people share three characteristics. “They spend their money wisely, they think ahead, and they give back to the community. Having those three components makes them rich, whether it’s $100,000 they have or millions.” Her motivation for wealth is not to have a fancy car or designer clothes. Instead, she says, “I’m driven to have the freedom to do what I want to do. It’s all about having that freedom to choose and make a path for my dreams.” Free from student loan or credit card debt, free from payments on a new car or a drive to earn a big wage, Scorgie recently left a well-paying job in the financial field and started working as director of marketing at the YWCA in Calgary, a nonprofit association she has volunteered at for a number of years. It’s a part-time job, which gives her time to support her other interest: writing and speaking about finances

and sharing her knowledge. Certainly writing a book is no way to get rich, as Scorgie points out, but she loves teaching and talking about the information she’s acquired. A few years ago Scorgie started to share her tips. Articles on the website are divided into such subjects as debt, frugal living, investing, taxes, and others. “I worked like crazy to get that information together,” Scorgie says. “It was my goal to make it interesting.” She takes the same approach in her book. “The book is a quick read, it’s fun, interactive. I think it will impact young people more than straight line by line text.” Her own close friends are her “biggest fans,” and she wants to help other young people secure their financial futures. The concern for helping others was instilled by her parents — not financial wizards, but caring people who encouraged their children’s learning “and always taught us to be considerate of others and concerned with our society at large.” As for reaching that milestone of having assets worth a million dollars? “It doesn’t matter when it happens,” Scorgie says, “but walking the talk will get me there.” —Shelagh Kubish, ’85 BA

Scorgie’s stor y, advice and tips are in her book Rich by Thirty, published by Key Por ter Books in Toronto. Though she targets her lessons to young people — her peers, whom she says were not being taught information in a way they could grasp it — the fundamentals don’t change. “No matter what age you are, no matter your position in life, the tips are transferable,” Scorgie says. “The fundamentals remain the same.”


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Paris of the Pacific

Canadian expat Leo Chan, ’90 BSc, ’92 BCom, has found his hear t in San Francisco


hen I moved to San Francisco from Vancouver seven years ago I had reservations about living in the U.S. The usual media-driven misgivings about crime, guns and the lack of a social welfare network floated in my head as I finally crossed the border. However, I’ve come to see that most of my fears were unfounded. Living in the U.S. is surprisingly similar to living in Canada, with a few differences — no CBC TV! But, best of all, I’ve fallen completely in love with the city I now call home. Although some troubling issues do exist, such as the skyrocketing housing costs in the San Francisco Bay area and the ever-present threat of the “big quake,” I would be hard-pressed to consider a move anywhere else. It’s still impossible for me to pass over the Golden Gate Bridge without trying to


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look in all directions at once — much to the dismay of my car’s passengers. When I sat down to think of my favourite places in San Francisco I came up with a list of 20 within a minute. But then I realized that there were another 30 or so that I couldn’t fail to mention. So I allowed myself to play tourist again and rediscover the absolute best of the city I’ve come to call home.

Sites: View From a hill The Golden Gate Bridge still tops my list of places to see in San Francisco. Yes, you will have to fight with other tourists to get that perfect shot and, yes, thousands across the globe will have similar pictures — smiling and shivering with the bridge behind them while pleading with the photographer to hurry up so they can get back

inside their warm car. But nothing compares to being so close to such a recognizable icon. My favourite spot is actually not on the bridge itself but up the Marin Headlands, which are the hills you see behind the bridge in photographs taken facing north. Many people miss the location because to reach it you have to take the last turn-off before getting onto the bridge heading back into the city and most people are concentrating hard on not hitting each other at that spot. But the detour up the road is well worth it since you will have a breathtaking view of the bridge and the Bay. Another favourite spot is Alcatraz Island. Who wants to see a jail you ask? Trust me — you do. “The Rock” is an amazing place to visit — not only for its odd location near the entrance to the San Francisco Bay, but also to bask in

The Palace of Fine Arts (left) is still under repair from the 1989 earthquake — the largest quake to occur in the San Francisco Bay area since 1906 — but it’s still an oasis of tranquility in the city. To the right is the Embarcadero under the Bay Bridge.

the spectral presence of the many famous convicts who were imprisoned there. I confess to having forced guests to visit Alcatraz just so that I have an excuse to go. But I still find it fascinating to walk past the Birdman’s cell and Al Capone’s bunk. Most visitors feel a strange sympathy for these men who spent years watching vibrant San Francisco grow while they wasted away in jail. One thing you do not want to do here is scrimp — pay for the self-guided tour (portable cassette-style player) which will give you a lot of background on the inmates and the jail itself. Another must-see is the Palace of Fine Arts. Situated in the Presidio district, this was the location of the 1915 PanamaPacific International Exposition, which let the world know that San Francisco survived the 1906 earthquake and fires. This collection of Romanesque columns with a domed centrepiece is absolutely beautiful. The damage to the dome from the last earthquake is still being repaired but the site is remarkably tranquil, despite the bustle of wedding photographers. You’ll also find couples strolling hand in hand along the bank of the small pond and painters perched in front of their easels. Where the Palace of Fine Arts is a bit of a misnomer, since there are actually no

art galleries, the Legion of Honor is a similarly odd name for one of the best art museums in the city. In addition to being a beautiful monument to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the various wars America has fought, the Legion also holds a fantastic permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and artifacts along with visiting exhibitions. The location of the Legion at Land’s End, the western edge of the city that borders the Pacific, is also spectacular. Many people bypass the museum altogether and head to the end of the gravelled parking lot to hit the trails that take them out to the bluffs that overlook the water. Often overshadowed by the more centrally located San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asian Art Museum, the Legion maintains a tranquil nature and has been a refuge from the city for many people at many times.

Do: (Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay For a wonderful walk or bike ride follow the San Francisco Bay from under the Bay Bridge on the Embarcadero through Fisherman’s Wharf and the Marina to Fort Point below the Golden Gate Bridge. The scenery along the Bay

is breathtaking and the detours are very enjoyable. This is quite a long course so it’s best to break it up into stretches, such as the downtown stretch (Bay Bridge to the Ferry Building), Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Mason, and the Marina Green to Fort Point. Stopping on the way at the Ferry Terminal from the Bay Bridge is a must. The Terminal was one of the few remaining structures left standing after the destructive 1906 quake and has been beautifully restored. Gourmet food shops and restaurants occupy the lower level while the upper levels house offices with million-dollar views of the Bay. Sampling high-end caviar and olive oils is a favourite pastime and shopping for a picnic is very enjoyable at the farmers’ market outside the terminal on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Fisherman’s Wharf’s most famous area is Pier 39, which has a carnivallike atmosphere and many attractions for children and adults alike, such as the bungee-trampoline, theatres and all the seafood you could ever want to eat. The people-watching is the most entertaining activity here since every visitor to the city ends up at Pier 39 at one point or another. SPRING 2007

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The Ferry Terminal Farmers Market (left). The Terminal was one of the few remaining structures left standing after the 1906 earthquake and fires and has been beautifully restored. To the right is a Northbeach outdoor café.

Coming down the hill above Fort Mason you will find some of the best views of the Bay and Alcatraz as you pass the Marina Green and Crissy Field — two areas that have been preserved as great green spaces in the city. Picnicking families, kite flyers, Frisbee throwers, and touch football games fill the space with activity. A path along the water will take you into the Presidio area with its old army barracks and supply shops that now house a few retailers, including a highend spa. Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge is located at the tip of the Presidio. As a station originally built to guard the harbour from Confederate attacks during the American Civil War and later from foreign invaders, this fort has been amazingly preserved by the National Park Service. The quarters and artifacts from the Civil War era reveal the cold and harsh conditions of those stationed there. For those with more energy to spare, shopping is a must in this city. 52

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Although I am grateful for the laid-back atmosphere of the Bay Area where I can feel at home in jeans and sneakers almost anywhere, it’s still fun to drop in at Gucci, Hermes and Tiffany’s to see what money can buy. Head to Union Square and the surrounding streets if you’re looking for the major name brands. The gigantic Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales are a few of the big retailers within blocks of each other downtown. But to check out the funkier boutiques and seek out harder-to-find items, venture out to Union, Chestnut and Fillmore Streets in the Pacific Heights/ Marina districts. You’ll find lesserknown designers and items that you probably can’t find in Canada. Hayes Street (in the Hayes Valley area of the city) is another area that is experiencing a retail revival with Europeandesigned fashion and housewares. Although a little bit out of the way, it’s worth the trip.

Eats: A Lot More Than Just Rice-A-Roni After a day of shopping, there are any number of restaurants that are great places to rest your feet and tally the damage. Eating is a well practised pastime in San Francisco and the ethnic diversity in this city is a boon to gourmands who can choose national dishes, from Tandoori and Schnitzel to Perogies and Pad Thai. It may be a cliché, but the most difficult task is to choose from the many options. Here’s a small sampling of the bill of fare. Being from Alberta, I grew up loving Ukrainian and Polish cuisine. So if I’m looking for a little bit of home cooking I head to the Old Krakow Polish Restaurant and Art Café where the atmosphere and delicious offerings stack up against any place in Edmonton. The friendly staff (most with authentic Polish accents) offer steaming platters of cabbage rolls, goulash, and perogies. The menu is so hearty that perogies are

Finding your way around Golden Gate Bridge photo-op, Marin Headlands: Head south on Highway 101 from Marin (towards SF). Turn right (west) on McCullough Rd., up the hill towards Batter y Spencer. The road will have some turn-outs that have great views of the Bridge. Batter y Spencer also has good vantage points. Palace of Fine Arts: 3301 Lyon St. (Cross St. is Bay St.) San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: 151 3rd St. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: 200 Larkin St. The Ferry Terminal: 1 Ferr y Building at the end of Market St. downtown.

Gucci: 200 Stockton St. Hermes: 125 Grant Ave.

Crissy Field: on the north side of Mason St. past Divisidero St. all the way towards the Golden Bay Bridge.

Tiffany’s: 350 Post St. Macy’s: 170 O’Farrell St. Bloomingdale’s: 845 Market St.

Legion of Honor: 10034th Ave. (the Legion is located in Lincoln Park at 34th Ave. & Clement St.)

Old Krakow Polish Restaurant: 385 West Por tal Ave.

The Marina Green: on the nor th side of Marina Blvd., between Webster and Scott St. Alcatraz: Hornblower Cruises is the ferr y ser vice that provides transpor t to Alcatraz. Plan ahead and book before your arrival in SF if possible because seats are limited and fill up fast. The ferr y leaves from Pier 33 on the Embarcadero at the end of Bay St.

listed under “light fare.” Rotating collections from local Eastern European artists decorate the walls of this homey, welcoming place. Asian food is definitely a mainstay in San Francisco where Asians make up a large portion of the population. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian are the most prevalent, although there are a rising number of lesser-known restaurants that serve Indonesian, Burmese and Laotian food. And you cannot come to San Francisco without sampling the dim sum. Of course, you can go to the well-known China Empress to satisfy your craving, but my friends and I prefer to avoid the long lines there and head for City View Restaurant instead. This is a dim sum–only restaurant that is well-known for its sophisticated servings, quiet atmosphere, and its ironic name (the restaurant has a view of a small side street). When thinking of Vietnamese, most think of pho (noodle soup) and the ever-present imperial rolls. But a unique

City View Restaurant: 662 Commercial St. Lotus Garden Vietnamese Restaurant: 3216 Mission St. Florio Restaurant: 1915 Fillmore St. Fresca: 2114 Fillmore St. Fort Mason: 99 Marina Blvd. Pier 39: on the Embarcadero at the end of Nor th Point St.

Union Square: bordered by Gear y, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets.

Tango Gelato: 2015 Fillmore St.

Neiman Marcus: 150 Stockton St.

Stella's Pastry Cafe: 446 Columbus Ave.

restaurant exists here that serves a more refined French-influenced menu — Lotus Garden. The restaurant is located in the Mission District, which is not where you want to stumble around alone in the wee hours, but the dishes served are well worth the venture. The Flaming Beef (a mixture of beef, tomatoes, and prawns cooked at your table and served with rice paper), Shaken Beef, and the garlic noodles are not to be missed, along with the Vietnamese potstickers. Florio on Fillmore Street is a local favourite for traditional down-home French cooking like steak frites. For something unusual and delicious, try Fresca, also on Fillmore. This small restaurant serves fantastic Peruvian fare — the Lomo Saltado (a flavourful steak dish with rice and french fries) is not to be missed. When you’re ready for dessert, North Beach’s Stella’s Bakery and Tango Gelato on Fillmore Street are two of my favourites. Stella’s is a small but famous

bakery that serves the best of Italian cakes and pastries, and the cannoli is beyond description. This is also a preferred Sunday afternoon hangout since it is in the heart of “Little Italy” and just up the street from City Lights Bookstore, which was made famous by the “Beat Generation.” Tango Gelato has the best gelato outside of Italy, in my limited experience — the smooth creamy treat will make you weak in your knees, which explains why there’s a line even in the dead of the chilly San Francisco winter. So there you have some of my favourite spots in the city. If you visit, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it as I have — especially if you come in lateSeptember to mid-October when the fog has lifted and the temperature is warm and the whole city seems to take to the streets to soak up the California sun. Leo Chan grew up in Calgary before moving to Edmonton in 1986. He became a chartered accountant and now works in corporate finance in San Francisco. SPRING 2007

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’44 Robert A. Macbeth, MD, ’42 BA, ’88 DSc (Honorary), of Toronto, is writing the history of the first 50 years of the Department of Surgery at the U of A. He writes that the project is nearing completion.


’50 James G. MacArthur, BSc(Ag), and his wife, Lillian, still live on their farm near Botha, Alberta. James retired after 50 years of active farming in 1998 and now rents out the farm. “My hobbies are tree farming, growing fruit, and gardening.”

’52 A. Wayne Amundsen, DDS, ’50 BSc, practised dentistry for close to 40 years in Alberta and B.C., and one year in Germany. Now retired, he lives in Summerland, B.C. Richard MacDonald, MD, was named the first recipient of the Tenrei Ohta Award at the World Federation of Right to Die Societies 16th world conference, held in Toronto in September 2006. Richard was honoured for his work with the Caring Friends Programme in the U.S. and for presentations in numerous countries about the concept of the right of self-deliverance when faced with terminal illness. He was cited as being a major influence benefiting the international dying with dignity movement. President of the World Federation from 2000–2002 and medical director of the Hemlock Society, U.S.A., from 1993–2004, he is now senior medical advisor for the Final Exit Network, U.S.A. He lives in Chico, California.

Leslie G. Chatten, ’47 BSc(Pharm), ’42 Dip(Pharm), ’49 MSc, professor emeritus of the U of A’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, retired from academia in 1983 and is now living in Surrey, B.C. “I have always been very thankful for having had the opportunity for such an interesting and challenging career,” he writes. After getting his degree in pharmacy, Leslie took a master’s degree in science at the U of A and later a PhD at Ohio State U before beginning a

’53 Alan Thompson, BSc(Pharm), retired in 1989 and moved to Duncan on Vancouver Island to “have fun in the sun (usually!)” He notes that he is busy hiking, gardening, curling—something he never had time for when he lived in Alberta —and enjoying his grandchildren. “My wife, Rose Marie, paints, writes travel articles and short stories, sings in a local choral group, and keeps me out of trouble!”

’57 Edwin Mattheis, BSc(Eng), received his interdisciplinary bachelor of arts from UBC in November 2006.

’59 Kenneth G. Hanna, BCom, of West Vancouver, B.C., was recently appointed a Commissioner of the British Columbia Securities Commission. Kenneth, who received his LLB from UBC in 1962, is also a director of the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.


’61 Rod A. Morgan, MD, was presented with the statesmanship award in 2006 from the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology at a ceremony in Las Vegas in November. For more than 20 years Rod has been a member of the board as a commis-

She might not have known all the excitement her future would hold when she first arrived on the U of A campus, but Joy Russell, ’49 BSc, already had some interesting experiences. She got a teaching certificate from Camrose Normal School and had served in the Canadian Navy. At the U of A she studied chemistry but also was involved with the ballet and curling clubs and the Mixed Chorus. After graduating, Joy taught in London, England, for two years before returning to Alberta to teach in Barrhead. She was then invited to Ethiopia in the mid-1950s and spent six years helping to modernize the country’s educational infrastructure under Emperor


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long career as a professor in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the U of A. “During my years of research and teaching I published 83 research papers on methods of analysis for drugs and pharmaceuticals and two textbooks on the theory of analytical techniques. “Also, I had the very pleasant opportunity to meet many, many wonderful young people. Since retirement I have travelled extensively and continue to play golf in several different parts of the world.”

sioner representing the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. He is a clinical professor in the ophthalmology department at the U of A and a practising ophthalmological surgeon. Lawrence Mysak, BSc, ’60 BA(Cert), was awarded the Prix MarieVictorin in November 2006 for his contributions to natural sciences (oceanography and climate in particular). Lawrence is the Canada Steamship Lines Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill U. The Prix Marie-Victorin is one of five of the “science” prix du Quebec awarded to distinguished Quebecers. In addition, in April 2006 Lawrence, who obtained an MSc in 1963 from the U of Adelaide in Australia, and both an MSc (1964) and PhD (1967) from Harvard, received one of the top honours of the European Geosciences Union when he was awarded the Alfred Wegener Medal and an honorary membership in the EGU for his contributions to oceanography, atmospheric and cryospheric sciences.

Haile Selassie’s rule while teaching at a school on the grounds of the Royal Palace. In 1958, she moved to Hong Kong where she taught sciences for 12 years at a government secondary school for European students and became involved with the executive of the Canadian Club, the Hong Kong University Women’s Club and the Ladies Recreation Club. When she turned 55, the then-mandatory retirement age, Joy moved to Vancouver. She now lives in Victoria, where she maintains her connection to the U of A by attending events of the Victoria Alumni Branch, which she served as an executive member from 1980 to ’82.

’65 Charles O. Goulet, BA, ’54 Dip(Ed), ’59 BEd, retired from teaching in 1985 and has been writing novels based on the history of Canada. To date he has published seven books: The Isle of Demons, The Godmother, Little Snowbird, Alberta: The First Man, The Venturers, The Traders, and most recently, The Raiders. The last three are of a series, The Marin Family Chronicles, the story of the Marin family who first came to Canada (then New France) in 1670. Charles lives at Jones Beach on Alberta’s Lake Isle where he continues to write and enjoy the wildlife of the area. More information on his books is at ’66 Dolores M. Hansen, BA, ’69 LLB, has been appointed for a three-year term as a judge of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization in Geneva. ’68 Richard George Shuhany, BA, is the chair of the Lung Association—Alberta/NWT, chair of the Italian-Romanian Seniors Housing Association, and president and CEO of First Surveillance Inc.


’70 Steve Hrudey, BSc(Eng), a professor in the U of A’s School of Public Health and internationally recognized authority on the safety of drinking water, was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in the fall of 2006. Ovid K. Wong, BEd, ’71 Dip(Ed), recently published his 100 th book. Using Data Analysis to Improve Student Learning (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006) “is a reflection of my years of teaching and school administration.” Ovid, who retired from public kindergarten to grade 12 education, is now the dean of adult education with Triton Community College in Illinois.

Rober t Bray

Ellen Schoeck, ’77 MA, ’72 BA, celebrated the release late in 2006 of her book I Was There: A Century of Alumni Stories about the University of Alberta, which recently received the Grand Gold Award for the 2007 Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VIII. “I Was There is the first history of the University in 37 years,” says Ellen, “and the only history to tell our story through the eyes of alumni. I’m thrilled for U of A graduates that I Was There has won the Grand Gold. The stories from alumni are by turns compelling and funny — and they take our history down off the shelf and make it live all over again.”

’71 Darrold Quartly, ’71 BEd, ’78 MEd, retired in 1997 after 32 years with the Edmonton Public School Board where he was a teacher, consultant, and administrator. “I still live on our acreage near Spruce Grove with my wife, Carla. Since retirement I have worked as a travel agent and as a tour director. I work periodically for Alberta Education at the Learner Assessment Branch. I am chair of the Stony Plain Public Library Board and a member of the Stony Plain and District Pioneer Museum.” ’72 Colin Presizniuk, BCom, ’73 MBA, was recently appointed general member of the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunal for the Edmonton region. Hazel M. Salmon, MEd, ’71 Dip(Ed), of Kingston, Jamaica, received her PhD from the U of the West Indies. Daryl Yeo, BCom, of Mississauga, ON, retired in June 2006 after 34 years in the financial services industry, the past 25 with Royal Bank of

Canada. “I am enjoying my new life spending time on personal interests but look to continue to dabble in the financial world to keep busy.”

’73 Colin Davey, PhD, of Brighton, Australia, retired as head of the physical education department at Deakin U. Colin had also spent 15 years at the U of Melbourne before his appointment to Deakin U. “I was the first Australian to graduate with a PhD in sports psychology and the third from the U of A. I became vice-president of the Asian South Pacific Association of Sports Psychology and was chairman of the first ASPASP international congress held in Melbourne.” Barbara Munro-De Leeuw, BEd, is back in Ottawa after spending the past year on sabbatical with her husband in Malaysia. She says the opportunity to teach high school English in an international school on the tropical island of Penang was a “dream come true” and has given her new energy for her teaching back home with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.

A Tribute to Albertans who have made a difference The Alberta Order of Excellence recognizes Albertans who have made an outstanding provincial, national, or international impact and whose contributions will stand the test of time. In 2006, five University of Alberta alumni became Members of the Order. Richard F. Haskayne, ’56 BCom, ’96 LLD (Honorary); Harry Hole, ’44 BSc(Eng), ’05 LLD (Honorary); Samual Sereth Lieberman, ’47 BA, ’48 LLB, ’90 LLD (Honorary); Ray Rajotte, ’71 BSc(Eng), ’73 MSc, ’ 75 PhD; and Matthew Warren Spence, ’59 MD, ’06 LLD (Honorary), received the highest honour the Province of Alberta can bestow on a citizen.

Saluting Alumni Excellence Large or small — University of Alberta alumni make outstanding contributions to their professions, their community, and to society at large. The University of Alberta Alumni Association’s Saluting Alumni Certificate celebrates these diverse accomplishments of alumni from all walks of life. Here are some recent recipients.

Margaret-Ann Armour, ’70 PhD, of Edmonton, was recently appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. Margaret-Ann, the associate dean of science (diversity) at the U of A, is a founding member of Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST), where she served as vice-chair and convenor for more than 20 years. Mark Gierl, ’91 BA, ’93 MEd, of Edmonton, received the U of A Martha Cook Piper Research Prize in recognition of his outstanding promise as a researcher so early in his career. Mark is a Canada Research Chair in Educational Measurement and the Director of the Centre for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation at the University. Timothy Caulfield, ’87 BSc, ’90 LLB, of Edmonton, was recently elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences for his contributions to the promotion of health sciences. Tim is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and the research director of the U of A Health Law Institute. He serves as a professor in the U of A Departments of Health Sciences and Law. Stan Boutin, ’77 BSc, of Edmonton, was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Division of Life Sciences. Stan, a world leader on the ecology of Canada’s northern forests, recently released a study showing how red squirrels in Kluane, Yukon, responded to changes in climate. He is a professor in the biological sciences department at the U of A.

Bente Roed, ’72 BA, ’76 MA, was named a recipient of the 2006 Christopher Knapper Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to teaching, learning, and educational development in Canada in June 2006. Bente serves as a teaching award facilitator in the Office of the Registrar at the U of A. Sheila Weatherill, ’66 Dip(Nu), ’89 BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, was recently appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canada’s health care sector. Sheila is the president and CEO of Capital Health, one of Canada’s largest integrated, academic health systems. Lewis Kay, ’83 BSc, of Toronto, was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Division of Life Sciences. Lewis is a professor of medical genetics, biochemistry, and chemistry at the U of Toronto. Linda Collier, ’65 BEd, ’79 Dip (Ed), ’92 MEd, was recognized for her enthusiastic community spirit as well as her dedication to — and support of — the Edmonton and District Historical Society, where she played an instrumental role helping with the Edmonton and Athabaska District Historic Festival. Eva-Marie Kröller, ’78 PhD, was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Eva-Marie is a professor and associate head (undergraduate) in the Department of English at UBC, where she specializes in comparative Canadian and European literature with an emphasis on travel writing, literary history, and cultural semiotics.

Help us celebrate the many achievements of our alumni. If you would like to nominate a U of A graduate for a Saluting Alumni Certificate, visit us at recognition or contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 780-492-3224 or e-mail SPRING 2007

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Noreen Golfman, ’74 BA, a professor of English and associate dean of graduate studies at Memorial U in Newfoundland, began a two-year appointment as president of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences in November. The Federation represents the largest single segment of Canada’s research and post-secondary education community. “The humanities and social sciences, in both research and teaching, are the key instrument of our critical and creative thought about ourselves and our societies,” says Noreen. As president of the Federation, she says she would like to “steer a conversation about the social impact of our research and teaching and its overall benefit for Canada as a whole.” Golfman received her PhD in English literature from the U of Western Ontario.

’74 Robert R. Adamson, BEd, of Winnipeg, MB, received his Master’s of Education in 1999 from U of Manitoba. He has been the science department head and a teacher in the life sciences at Fort Richmond Collegiate. Robert is currently moving to the new position of Life Science Partnership Program Director in the Pembina Trails School Division, which incorporates previous program work including director for education for a sustainable future–environment Project, a global classroom initiative, and director for the Agricultural Biotechnology Enrichment Program (ABE) for Pembina Trails School Division. Robert is also chair of Green Street, a national environmental learning and sustainable education program ( and is on the

Clarke, BA (RecAdmin), continues to coach people going through career transition. She also does training and speaking on communication, career management issues, and networking. Last year she published Networking: How to Creatively Tap Your People Resources. Her new book, Work in Progress: Work Search and Job Retention, provides articles on how to look for work, how to get a job, and how to keep it once you’ve landed it. Colleen would like to connect with fellow U of A grads living in the Toronto area. Check her out on or for personal career advice.


’75 Colleen

board of directors for the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication ( Of his work with ABE, he says one highlight is “the ABE exchange program with Australia, which has 10 students from Manitoba engage in a two-week biotechnology program in Adelaide, Australia, followed by a return program by the Australia students.” Ralph F. Watzke, BA, ’75 LLB, of Edmonton, writes that he married Jenny Tacoycoy, originally of Magsingal, Philippines, and they have a child, Jeffrey Shawn Watzke. Ralph specializes in legal research for various firms. Jean Ference, MD, ’73 BSc(MedSci), was recently appointed chair of the Alberta Mental Health Board.

’76 Christine L. Kulyk, BEd, ’77 BA, is back on the prairies after living in Ontario for 20 years. “I am enjoying life in the beautiful prairie city of Saskatoon, where I’m continuing my career as a freelance writer and editor.” Christine recently coauthored and edited an educational resource entitled “Saskatoon’s Stone: A Guided Tour of the Geology and History of Stone Architecture in Saskatoon,” in honour of the city’s centennial year. Dorothy Ungstad, Dip(Ed), ’73 BEd, of Ponoka, AB, keeps busy working part-time coordinating the

Central Alberta Student Health Initiative, serving on the David Thompson Health Board, and being involved with Ponoka and District Retired Teachers’ Association.

’77 Patricia M. Trudeau, Dip(Ed), recently celebrated the publication of her second novel, Select-a-Part (Moose Enterprise Book Publishing). A sequel to Bodies on Belmont Drive (2003), Select-a-Part again features amateur sleuth Agnes Carroll, whose nosiness involves her in a multiplecrime scene during her travels between St. Albert and Calgary.

Did you know that over 350 University of Alberta alumni live in the lone star state? Residents of Texas can apply Alberta and Texas have a for scholarships available lot in common and we look exclusively to them to study forward to your application. in the U of A’s world class MBA program with the natural resources and energy specialization.

Contact our MBA Office toll-free 1-866-492-7676 or e-mail

What trail are you following? Please enclose all old address labels.  Revise my address to the one below.  I/We receive multiple copies— send one copy only to the address below. Name ________________________________________ Phone ________________________ Street ________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________ Prov./State __________ Postal code ___________ Fax ______________________ E-mail ______________________________________________ Class Note ____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Mail to: Alumni Affairs/6th Floor General Services Building/ University of Alberta/Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1 The personal information requested on this form is collected under the authority of Section 33(c) of the Alber ta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of alumni and development programs at the University of Alber ta. Questions concerning the collection, or disposal of this information should be directed to: Coordinator, Alumni Special Events, 6th Floor General Ser vices Bldg. University of Alber ta Edmonton AB T6G 2H1, ph: 780-492-0866.

Carol Wheeler, ’82 BEd, ’99 MEd, died February 3, 2006, from complications of breast cancer. In recognition of the important role Carol played in so many lives — as a friend, fellow student, or special education teacher — her friends and family are establishing an endowment fund that will provide, in perpetuity, an annual $500 award in her name at the U of A. The Carol Wheeler Education Award will be given to a student with satisfactory academic standing entering


’81 Larry Antonuk, PhD, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, received the Dean’s Award for Innovation from the U of Michigan medical school. The award recognizes Larry’s conception and development (in collaboration with Robert Street of Xerox, Palo Alto Research Center) of the flat panel X-ray imager, now widely used in many fields. Larry joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at the U of Michigan in 1987, rising to the rank of professor in 2001. He founded the flat-panel imaging group at Michigan in 1987 and devotes the majority of his research efforts to his research in X-ray imaging technologies focusing on radiotherapy, radiography, fluoroscopy, and mammography. Colin A. Ross, MD, is an internationally recognized clinician, researcher, and lecturer on psychological trauma-related disorders. The author of more than 150 books, papers, and articles, he is currently working on a book about the CIA and military mind control. Colin has also consulted on several TV, movie, and video productions, and he has produced an educational video for mental health professionals. Colin, who completed his specialty training in psychiatry at the U of Manitoba, is the founder and president of the Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma in Dallas, Texas. The Institute provides treatment for trauma-related disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field, in November 2006 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Dissociation.

the fourth year of an undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Education. The recipient will have an ongoing commitment to working with persons with disabilities in either paid or volunteer positions such as coaching, tutoring, mentoring, and so on. If you wish to donate to this fund, please send whatever sum you can payable to the University of Alberta directly to the Student Awards Office (on your cheque’s memo line indicate Carol Wheeler Education Award).

Award donations are recognized with a thank you letter and a tax receipt. For further information, contact the Student Awards Office by mail at 1-80 Students’ Union Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2J7; telephone 780-492-3221; or e-mail You can also contact Michele Shea in the Faculty of Education at 780-492-3680 or Jerry Rose, ’86 MA, ’91 PhD, at 780-418-0695 or e-mail

’82 Marijke (Myka) Mercredi

’85 Jennifer Morgan,

(Lubberts), BSc(Nu), of Leduc, has been working with the Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network for almost a year, and is “thoroughly enjoying it.” Myka had worked for 23 years with First Nations Health. Her children are now on their own, and Myka says she spends her spare time horseback riding.

BSc(HomeEc) is manager of merchandise testing and evaluation for JCPenney, based in Dallas, Texas. Jennifer got her master’s degree and PhD at Leeds University and then worked for a time in England. She took her expertise in wool chemistry to her job as technical manager for the Wool Bureau based in New York and then worked for LL Bean and Columbia Sportswear. With JCPenney she manages the testing and evaluates the performance of all types of merchandise sold by JCPenney, ranging from apparel to

’83 Garth Kirkham, BSc, of Vancouver, is the 2006 recipient of the Barlow Memorial Medal from the Canadian Institute of Mining for his outstanding economic geology paper focusing on the 3D computer technology in mineral exploration and development. The paper was entitled An integrated 3D GIS model of the Yellowknife Camp: A tool for efficient development. Garth is the principal of Kirkham Geosystems Ltd., which specializes in 3D computer modelling and resource/reserve estimations at the preliminary assessment, pre-feasibility and feasibility study stages of mining projects. Garth has extensive project experience in Canadian mines as well as in China, Africa, Eastern Europe, the U.S. and Mexico. Garth is on the board of Romios Gold Corp and a member of the advisory board for North American Tungsten, and is the 2007 chair of the Geologic Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division.

’84 Barry Kaiser, BCom, was appointed investment counselor, private investment management, with HSBC Investments (Canada) in Edmonton. John McClure, BCom, joined the firm of Felesky Flynn LLP in Edmonton. He received his LLB from the U of Toronto and has been a sessional instructor at the U of A’s Faculty of Law.

furniture to cosmetics. Her job includes managing the three JCPenney labs in Texas, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

’86 Dennis Steiger, BSc(Eng), ’89 MEng, of Calgary, was appointed vice-president, engineering, at Shaw Communications Inc.

’89 Rob Earle, Cert(Arts), ’88 BA, married Robin Tiller, ’88 BSc(Spch&Aud), in 2003. They have two children — two-year-old Benjamin and baby Julia. They live in Calgary where Rob works for Fluor, and Robin is employed at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Centenary Homecoming 2008 September 18–21 Come One, Come All

Come to celebrate 100 years of excellence at the University of Alberta Mark your calendar now and make a date with history

all alumni welcome


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In Memoriam The Alumni Association notes with sorrow the passing of the following graduates:

’30 Dora Kneen, BCom, of West Allis, WI, in November 2006 ’32 Betsy Agnes Scott, BA, ’35 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2006 ’36 Ralph Lembit Erdman, BSc(Ag), ’38 MSc, of Lethbridge, AB, in November 2006 ’37 John Edward Poole, BSc(Eng), ’87 LLB (Honorary), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’38 Betty Eggen, Dip(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in November 2006 ’39 Cecil Zenas Monaghan, BSc(Eng), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2006 ’40 Stanley James Warshawski, BSc, ’43 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’44 Veletta Myrtle Black, BSc(HEc), of Calgary, AB, in November 2006 ’45 Lola Berner (Dower), BA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2006 Robert Roy Buckley, BSc(Eng), of Saskatoon, SK, in November 2006 Ed Patching, BSc(Ag), of Calgary, AB, in January 2007 ’46 Hilda M. Clarkston (Remington), Dip(Nu), of Smithers, BC, in December 2006 ’47 Artie Kupchenko (Artym), Dip(Nu), ’65 BSc(Nu), ’70 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2006 ’48 David Taylor Ellis, BSc, ’48 (Dip)Ed, ’48 BEd, of Markham, ON, in November 2006 Patricia Ardelle Hogan, Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in May 2006 Leonard James D. Garrett, BEd, ’70 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’49 Raymond Nathan Bower, BSc(Eng), of Winnipeg, MB, in October 2006 Gan Yat Chang, DDS, of Vancouver, BC, in September 2006 Dorothy May Husband, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2006 Angus Gordon MacDonald, BA, ’52 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’50 Alexander David Bull, BSc(Eng), of Willowdale, ON, in June 2006 Bruce Edgar Langridge, BA, ’51 LLB, of St. Albert, AB, in January 2007 ’51 Elsie Virginia Engman, Dip(Ed), ’65 BEd, of Calgary, AB, in October 2006 Jack Plumley, BSc(Ag), of Cochrane, AB, in October 2006 58

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’52 Keith Aldridge, BA, of Calgary, AB, in January 2007 Jack Neal, BSc(Eng), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 Kenneth Robert Paproski, BSc, ’56 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 Donald George Marion, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’54 Elaine Bjornson (Klipper), BSc(HEc), ’83 BEd, of Kelowna, BC, in October 2006 David W. J. Reid, BSc, ’56 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2006 Evelyn Hage, BPE, of Vancouver, BC, in November 2006 I. Fay Dafoe (Cline), Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2006 ’55 George Naoum, BSc(Eng), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2006 Margaret Anne Boggs (Gould), Dip(Ed), ’86 BEd, of Vermilion, AB, in December 2006

Randolph Hugh McKinnon, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in June 2006 ’56 Herbert Earl Joudrie, BA, of Fenelon Falls, ON, in November 2006 G. Calvin Johnston, BSc(Eng), of Calgary, AB, in December 2006 Marjory Grace Sandeman, Dip(Ed), of Cowley, AB, in December 2006 ’57 G. Clare Findlay, BSc(Ag), of Sedgewick, AB, in March 2006 Ronald Stewart Hayes, BCom, of Calgary, AB, in July 2006 Robert Edward Ayling, BSc, of Abbotsford, BC, in August 2006 ’59 Robert Clifford McDonald, BSc(Eng), of Calgary, AB, in July 2006 Allan John Welsh, BCom, of Beaver, PA, in December 2006 ’60 Ronald Ridley Brandt, BSc, of Brooks, AB, in December 2006 Jean Etienne Putters, BSc(Eng), of Sherwood Park, AB, in December 2006

C. Patrick MacArthur, BSc(Eng), ’81 MBA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2006 ’61 Stephen Reginald Hrynewich, BEd, of Nanton, AB, in May 2006 Laurence Maxwell Ready, PhD, of Nipawin, SK, in August 2006 Spencer William Montgomery, BSc, ’63 BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’63 Elsworth Eugene Fox, BEd, ’68 MEd, ’69 PhD, of Millet, AB, in January 2007 Branny Mark Schepanovich, BA, ’67 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’64 David Matheson Rodger, BCom, of Vancouver, BC, in November 2006 Dixon Arthur R.Thompson, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in November 2006 ’65 John Frederick Utendale, BPE, of Bellingham, WA, in August 2006

Those Were the Days As our centenary approaches, we take a look at alumni past who stand out in our 100-year tradition of excellence. rained at the University of Alberta as a lawyer, Ted Corday (formerly Cohen), ’30 LLB, might have been familiar with the theatrics of the courtroom, but he soon followed a call to a different kind of drama. Starting in the 1930s, Corday worked as a Broadway producer as well as producing radio and television shows. But he is best known for creating the popular daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, still a fan favourite after more than 40 years on television. Born in Winnipeg in 1903, Corday settled with his family in Hay Lakes, Alberta, and came to the U of A in 1926. On campus he was involved in the Law Club, CKUA Orchestra, and the Dramatic Society. After working on a University dramatic production with Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, his interest shifted firmly to theatre. Working alongside Sterling Haynes, he became an important figure in the Alberta theatre scene through the 1930s. Corday, Haynes and E.A. Corbett, ’63 LLD (Honorary), former director of the U of A’s extension department, started the Banff School of Fine Arts in 1933.


Corday moved to the U.S. in 1934. The Edmonton Journal continued to report periodically on the Alberta boy and his work producing such daytime television dramas as The Guiding Light and As The World Turns. In 1965 he and his wife, Betty Corday (Shea), who had also produced radio dramas, created their big hit, Days of Our Lives. It launched in November, with the opening voiceover “Like sands through the hourglass ... so are the days of our lives” and a plot involving shoplifting, mistaken identity, and wedding plans. Over the years the program, set in the fictional mid-western U.S. town of Salem, came to be known for excellence in writing and storytelling and some wild plot twists. It has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards, “Soap Opera Digest” Awards, and People’s Choice Awards. Ted Corday died in July 1966, less than a year after the show launched. His widow took over as executive producer of the show and stayed in that role until she retired in 1985. Today, their son, Ken Corday, is executive producer.

On the occasion of the taping of the 9,000th show, Ken Corday said that the show’s beloved lead characters, Tom and Alice Horton, were “much the same as my parents.” They were, said the younger Corday, World War Two people, “special people from a special time,” whose main belief that “family is our most important legacy” got them through the war. In that war Ted Corday served with the War Photography Unit overseas and in movie film production for the U.S. Army Signals Unit. Ted’s brother Eliot Corday, ’40 MD, ’91 LLD (Honorary), was a doctor at Cedars-Sinai and a professor of medicine at UCLA. He died in 1999 and is survived by his wife, Marian Corday (Lipkind), ’39 BSc, ’40 MSc. — Shelagh Kubish, ’85 BA

’66 Rolf Arne Yri, DDS, of Delta, BC, in August 2005 ’67 Donald Kosman, BEd, ’72 Dip(Ed), of St. Albert, AB, in January 2007 Lawrence Grant Ambury, BEd, ’76 Dip(Ed), of Stettler, AB, in March 2006 ’69 Richard Kehling, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2006 Raymond Albert Lusty, BEd, ’73 BLS, of Medicine Hat, AB, in November 2006 Lola Clara Carlson (Hansen), BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in July 2006 ’70 Phyllis Carol R. Miller, BEd, of North Vancouver, BC, in June 2006 ’71 Anders Vitas Hermansen, BA, of Calgary, AB, in October 2006 Robert Greig Lyon, BEd, ’75 Dip(Ed), ’83 Dip(Ed), of Camrose, AB, in November 2006 ’72 Jerry Roy Hendrickson, BSc, of Red Deer, AB, in October 2006 James Salyzyn, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2006 ’73 Audrey Elaine Gunther, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in October 2006 ’74 David Anthony J. Galeski, Dip(Ed), ’75 BSc, of Naramata, BC, in July 2006 Donald Olson, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in November 2006 ’78 Ronald James O’Reilly, BSc, of Sherwood Park, AB, in June 2006 ’80 Ronald Jack Casey, BSc, ’84 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2007 ’81 Britta Hiltrud Hildebrandt, BEd, of Bothwell, ON, in November 2006 ’83 Mark Anthony Van Mechelen, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2006 ’87 Orla Mary Noyes, BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2006 ’90 Carolyne Ann Musterer, BEd, of Dapp, AB, in June 2006 ’98 Suzanne Denise Pomeroy, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2006 ’99 Tanya Marie Kilkenny (Sundlie), BCom, of Sherwood Park, AB, in June 2006 Robert Daniel Berry, MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2006 ’02 Thomas Joseph Brodribb, BSc(Eng), of Canmore, AB, in July 2006 *** Alumni interested in submitting remembrances about U of A graduates can send a text file to Tributes are posted on the ‘Memory Lane’ webpage at alumni/memorylane


’92 Carole McGowan, BA, has spent the last five years on Vancouver Island working for antiviolence agencies there. Annual camping trips to Tofino and “moon dancing in the effervescence on Long Beach” are great, but she says she still is sometimes homesick for the Edmonton Folk Festival, trips to Jasper and “the best Fringe in the world.” Vern Thiessen, MFA, has been appointed playwright in residence at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. Vern’s plays have been seen across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Among them, Einstein’s Gift, which premiered at the Citadel during the 2002/03 season, had a very successful run off-Broadway and has been translated into several languages. Shakespeare’s Will is slated to play the Stratford Festival in Canada next summer and was recently optioned for a Broadway production. Vern has received numerous awards in recognition of his playwriting, including the Governor-General literary award. He was also honoured in Theatre 100, a listing of the top 100 theatre professionals to make a significant contribution to Alberta theatre in the last century.

’94 Brent Allan, BEd, of Kyneton, Australia, is working on his master’s degree in social health at the U of Melbourne. He is vice-president of the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (Australia) and manager of community services for a local government area. “I am now a dual citizen (Canadian/Australian)

and an outspoken advocate for an arts education as foundational in the development of those who can successfully deploy creative problem-solving skills across multiple disciplines.” Shelley Stagg Peterson, PhD, ’90 MEd, ’83 BEd, of Toronto, is an associate professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ U of Toronto.

’95 Tony Alm, BSc(Pharm), recently returned to Edmonton after several years in Lethbridge and says, “It is like a wonderful breath of fresh air.” Tony is associate/owner of another Shoppers Drug Mart and “absolutely loving it.”

’99 Olivia Kachman, BEd, who worked as an English as a Second Language teacher in Japan for two years and taught English literature in England for three years before returning to Canada, has retrained as a photographer. “I remain a teacher in the sense I teach people about the world they live in through the medium of photography,” she says. After completing an internship with the Edmonton Journal, Olivia was awarded the Canadian Student Portfolio of the Year prize in 2005 by the Western Canadian News Photographers Association. She now works at the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune.


’96 Brian Maksymetz, BSc(Eng), of Calgary, writes that after nine years he has made the switch from municipal to industrial water treatment. He sends a “Hi” to his civil engineering friends in the ’95–’96 grad classes.

’01 Sebastien Anderson, LLB, has joined the partnership of Victory Square Law Office in Vancouver. Sebastien will continue to practise labour and employment law in B.C. and Alberta.

Tammy Morrison (Woloncewich), BSc(OT), and Sean Morrison, ’93 BEd, of Athabasca, AB, are thrilled to announce the arrival of their twin boys Keil and Ewan, born in March 2006. “We are enjoying Athabasca and thankful to have grandparents nearby!”

Edmonton, started a master’s degree in art history — “currently on hold” — and has returned to work as a registered nurse in the Critical Care Unit at the Grey Nuns Hospital. “I have moved and am planning a vacation soon to B.C. Enjoying life!”

’97 Jeff Weidman, LLB, and

Sandy Rennie, PhD, ’85 MSc, ’76 BSc(PT), ’72 Dip(RehabMed), was appointed program director of the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie U, effective January 1, 2007.

Kathy Pybus, ’93 BCom, ’96 LLB, were both admitted into the partnership at Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer, LLP, in Calgary.

’98 Warren Kitzmann, BSc(Pharm), and Kelly Kitzmann (Dunn), ’97 BSc(HEc), are pleased to announce the birth of their second child, Oliver, a little brother for Duncan.

Remember when tuition was under $1000? No? Then check out for events and services for young alumni.

’02 Diane Pedersen, BA, of

’03 Rodney Chudyk, BCom, and Fancy C. Poitras, ’05 BA, have moved to Burnaby, B.C. Rod has taken a technical writing position with Klein Systems Group while Fancy prepares to apply to Simon Fraser U’s Master of Public Policy Program. ’04 Edward Acquah, BEd, writes “Hi, folks. I miss you all. Can you send me your current e-mail addresses? Mine is edwarda@ Follow the link to my book, Out of Africa. ’05 Adam Letourneau, LLB, and Shaun Eden, ’05 LLB, ’00 BA, opened Letourneau Eden LLP ( in Lethbridge, AB, in July 2006. Adam and his wife, Carmen, are expecting their fourth child, a boy, in February. SPRING 2007

new trail


tuck shop

Going My Way? Written on the slide casing surrounding this picture is the date, 1943, and the names “Winspear” and “Lemieux.” That’s all. Is one of these lovely ladies one of those Winspears — a relative of Francis Winspear who in 1930 opened an Edmonton accounting office which grew into international stature and made him wealthy enough to donate $2 million to the U of A School of Business in 1992? The same Winspear who helped to found the Edmonton Symphony Society and Edmonton Opera and whose name now graces the Winspear Centre and whose Winspear Foundation donated millions to worthwhile community causes? Could the Lemieux be related to Mario? What we do know is that the Alaska Highway was built as a U.S. response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the 60

new trail


fear of a Japanese invasion through Alaska. A joint CanadianAmerican undertaking, it took only eight months and 12 days to cut through 2,450 kilometres of northern terrain. Officially opened at the Yukon’s Soldier’s Summit on November 20, 1942, it wasn’t usable by general vehicles until 1943. And while the highway actually begins in Dawson Creek, B.C., Edmonton served as the major supply and staging centre for its construction. If you know who the two women in the photo are, please let us know. Send your mail to New Trail, 6th Floor, General Services Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2H1. Or you can send an e-mail to

Profile for University of Alberta Alumni

New Trail Spring 2007  

University of Alberta Alumni Magazine

New Trail Spring 2007  

University of Alberta Alumni Magazine