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Fall 2017


The community canvas The complexity and controversy of public art. p.14

Canada 150

What does the anniversary mean? p.19

Call of the wild

Protecting animals, preserving the planet. p.21

“The littlest thing tripped me up in more ways than one.”

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19 Canada 150 Celebration or ‘non-occasion’? U of G experts weigh in



4 Letters 4 Loose cannon 5 President’s message 33 Class notes

6 Around the ring

24 Alumni spotlight 36 Passages 37 Time capsule

OVER STORY C 14 ‘Open access’ art Christian Giroux, FASTWÜRMS and Ajay Heble on the importance and challenges of creating public art



News and views from around campus

10 Discovery U of G research, innovations and ideas

21 The guardians Grads Scarlett Magda and Laura Graham are improving animal health and welfare around the world

38 Last look A University first: New chancellor is U of G grad

26 Around the world Global influence, improving life

31 Alumni matters Events, updates and class connections COVER PHOTO U of G’s iconic Gryphon is by FASTWÜRMS, the artistic duo of SOFAM professors Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse.


Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 3

Letters Fall 2017, Vol. 49, Issue 2 LOOSE CANNON At the University of Guelph, we’re renewing our approach to how we tell our story – how we describe ourselves and the transformative things we do. It’s part of our evolution as a university that intends to Improve Life. Our updated approach builds on the success of “Changing Lives, Improving Life.” It sharpens our focus and simplifies our message. Check out our new look at the University’s homepage: www. View video profiles of recent

In the spring 2017 issue, the Clean energy future article about Gary Pundsack says 2,000 watts is enough energy to power 30 homes. Looking at my hydro bill, I see that it is enough to power only about two to three homes, depending on whether or not ‎the home is heated by electricity. Reading your magazine with interest. Thanks. – Mike Lepage, senior consultant/ principal, Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc.

Daniel Atlin, vice-president (external) Chuck Cunningham, assistant vice-president (communications and public affairs)

Time capsule

Peter Tremaine’s nuclear energy research aims to power our growing population while curbing carbon emissions. p.16

Mental wellness

How two personal stories are creating change. p.22

Hands-on science Mary Jane Conboy’s job is to make science fun for everyone. p.14

2017_PORTICO_SpringISSUE.indd 1


Lori Bona Hunt

Head check

Harrison Brown takes concussion testing to the sidelines. p.27

2017-03-20 10:50 AM

Time capsule


1980 The University of Guelph’s campus pub, originally called The Keg, was established in 1974 and later became The Brass Taps. Operating from the second floor of the University Centre for 42 years, the pub holds many fond memories for alumni, from indulging in a Design-a-Wich (design-your-own sandwich) and delicious poutine and nachos supreme, to watching the first-ever Toronto Blue Jays game in 1977. Today, The Brass Taps serves pub fare, including gourmet burgers, curries and classic lattice fries. It also has 26 draught taps and 17 television screens to enjoy. We think this photo was taken around 1980 but the exact year is unknown — can you provide a date? Or can you identify any of the people? Send us a note and let us know!



+ The College of Physical Science (now the College of Physical and Engineering Science) celebrates its 10th anniversary.

+ Millions of viewers tune in to the TV soap opera Dallas to learn who shot lead character J.R. Ewing.

+ The Macdonald Stewart Community Art Centre (now the Art Gallery of Guelph) opens with an exhibition featuring pieces from U of G’s Canadian art collection. + Singer Gordon Lightfoot entertains at Homecoming.

+ Six Iranian-held U.S. hostages escape with help from Canadians. + John Lennon is shot and killed by a crazed fan. + The Pac-Man video game is released.

+ The first day of FM broadcasting occurs for U of G’s new radio station CFRU-FM.

Do you have a memory to share from your time at U of G? Email a high-resolution photo to and it could appear in Time Capsule.

alumni doing incredible things with their U of G education. Upcoming changes to the Portico and other U of G publications will help us show our best face to the world. Stay tuned!





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Fall 2016 PORTICO |


2016-11-07 9:56 AM

In your fall 2016 issue, you asked whether anyone could identify people in a 1980 photo of The Keg. The blond guy wearing a T-shirt and glasses, seated to the right facing the camera, is Craig Bennett. Seated opposite him is Pete Jamieson. Both were graduate students in the Department of Microbiology along with me. I love your magazine and go through it page by page, and was pleased to find this memory. –Mark A. Cochran, M.Sc. ’80


Janice Van Eck THE YEAR


Students participate in a chemistry lab in what was then known as the College of Physical Science. Four years later, it was renamed the College of Physical and Engineering Science, which still stands today. Can you identify any of the people in this photo? Send us a note and let us know!

Do you have a memory to share from your time at U of G? Email a high-resolution photo to and it could appear in Time Capsule.


PORTICO_Summer2016_Issue.indd 37

4  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017 


+ Students vote for the redevelopment of athletic facilities on campus, including a double rink, 25-metre pool, a bubble for tennis courts, and new squash and racquetball courts.

+ The first Internet domain name is registered.

+ The University Centre marks its 10-year anniversary. + Microcomputers are available for purchase at discount prices to staff, faculty and students, including Radio Shack’s “Tandy 1000” for $1,499 and “IBM AT Enhanced” for $8,318. Printers are available for $460.


Andrew Vowles

+ The wreck of RMS Titanic is found off the coast of Newfoundland. + The first cellphone call is made in Canada between Toronto mayor Art Eggleton and Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau. + Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox, hits movie screens and is the highestgrossing film of the year.

Summer 2016 PORTICO |


Deirdre Healey, Rob O’Flanagan, Andrew Vowles

+ Author Margaret Atwood receives an honorary degree.


2016-07-07 11:43 AM

In the summer 2016 issue, you featured a time capsule of students in an undergraduate chemistry lab dated 1985. In fact, it was early in the winter semester of 1978. I am in the picture on the far left. It was a Friday 8 a.m. lab in Fundamental Chemistry II. I was in my second semester. The photographer wanted us to pour liquids into test tubes above our heads for the photo (his concept of how chemists work). Our lab demonstrator was horrified by the safety issues. She is in the photo, second from right, showing us how to safely pour chemicals. I recently retired as a secondary school science and biology teacher and science department head at Thornhill Secondary School. –Ian Thomson, B.Sc. ’82, M.Sc. ’86


Rob O’Flanagan, Amanda Scott Portico is published by Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Guelph. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the University. FEEDBACK

Send letters and story ideas to or by mail to Communications and Public Affairs, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., N1G 2W1. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. ADVERTISING

Send advertising inquiries to Lori Bona Hunt at or 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338. MOVED?

Send address changes to or 519-824-4120, Ext. 56550, or by mail to Records c/o Alumni Affairs & Development, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., N1G 2W1. ISSN 1714-8731

Printed in Canada Publication Agreement #40064673 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Portico Magazine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., N1G 2W1.

Connect with Portico @porticomag 



‘Fuel of excellence’ required to Improve Life


ny researcher or scholar knows that bright ideas are a dime a dozen, especially on a campus full of bright people such as this one. For ideas that actually make an impact in the world, you need both the spark of innovation and the fuel of excellence. Ask Bonnie Mallard, a pathobiology professor in the Ontario Veterinary College and one of the principals in U of G’s Food From Thought project meant to feed a growing world in sustainable ways. This year she won a Governor General’s Award for Innovation for developing a tool called High Immune Response technology that improves dairy cattle health while ensuring food safety and quality. Her moment to shine at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall this past spring was well-deserved recognition of an advance that will transform our quality of life in Canada and abroad. Before that moment, of course, came years’ worth of work involving numerous campus and external researchers. Bonnie herself has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and spoken about her work hundreds of times at scientific meetings. Her example highlights a truism about research and innovation. While we tend to focus on the end result, it’s


the process that matters more than the final product or service. At some point, Bonnie had a bright idea. But that spark also needed the fuel of excellence. That fuel is a blend including several key ingredients, as follows: Discipline. Research calls for dedication, rigour, consistency and attention to methodology. Perseverance. The “aha” moment normally arrives only after a lot of slogging and hard work. Focus. Researchers need to maintain a laser focus on excellence. Luck. Research involves serendipity. Researchers need to stay open to chance and be willing to follow detours. Failure. We often regard failure as a bad thing. But accepting failure means you’re more willing to try things, to take risks and to find the road to ultimate success. Viewed this way, excellence becomes the process – a way of life, a way of thinking and doing. It’s the necessary fuel that, along with the spark of innovation, drives our researchers to Improve Life.

A truism about research and innovation is that while we tend to focus on the end result, it’s the process that matters more than the final product or service.

Franco Vaccarino President and Vice-Chancellor Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 5

Around the ring    CAMPUS NEWS AND VIEWS

$20M gift supports agri-food research, scholarship It is a long and complicated path from evading Taliban threats in Afghanistan to transforming Canada’s beef industry, but that’s the route being traced by a former refugee now at the University of Guelph. Master’s student Nasrin Husseini is one of five inaugural Arrell Food Institute Scholars, and receives $50,000 a year. The prestigious awards are among many new agri-food initiatives made possible through a $20-million donation – the single largest-ever gift in U of G history – from the Arrell Family Foundation. The foundation was created in 1999 by U of G alumni Tony Arrell, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, and Anne (Taylor) Arrell, B.H.Sc. ’68. The goal is to transform the global food economy through wider use of technology in agri-food and to further strengthen U of G and Canada as agri-food leaders. The gift, announced in the spring, created the Arrell Food Institute. It brings together cutting-edge

Nasrin Husseini, a former Afghan refugee, is an Arrell Food Institute Scholar.


Total investment in agri-food at U of G in the past year

Tony and Anne Arrell’s family foundation’s $20-million donation is the single largest-ever gift in U of G’s history. 6  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

research, agricultural expertise, big data, environmental science, business and civil society. It will fund new research chairs and scholarships – including those held by the inaugural Arrell Scholars, who come from Sri Lanka, Russia, Afghanistan and Canada – international food innovation awards and a prestigious annual conference. “The Arrell Food Institute will influence research, policy, practice and behaviour. It’s a bold initiative, and its impacts extend nationally and globally,” says Tony Arrell, chair and CEO of Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. in Toronto. U of G will provide matching funds of $20 million, for a total commitment of $40 million. “This landmark gift will allow our University to address the defining challenge of our time: food security, safety and sustainability,” says president Franco Vaccarino. The Arrell Food Institute will build on U of G’s strong connections with government, international partners, industry and communities, and help attract world-leading researchers, graduate students and experts, Vaccarino says. Husseini is one example. As a child, she moved with her family to Iran to escape the ongoing war in Afghanistan. As a refugee, she was barred by the Iranian government from attending university. Only when the family returned to Afghanistan

could she attend post-secondary education. “I got into veterinary school in Afghanistan when it was a huge deal for a girl to be a veterinarian. Every day, people would tell me to switch to another field, a field more proper for women, but I was not the type to give up.” Husseini became the first woman to graduate from the veterinary medicine program after the Taliban period, finishing top of her class in 2010. She also taught English and computer skills to women, although occasional Taliban threats led her at times to cease teaching or to remove her business sign from the door. After studies at Green River College in Washington State, she moved to Toronto for work. She visited U of G to see a friend, and grew interested in High Immune Response (HIR) technology developed by pathobiology professor Bonnie Mallard. Husseini plans to adapt the HIR technology for use in Canadian beef feedlots to combat economically important ailments such as bovine respiratory disease. “I really appreciate the Arrell Food Institute for this scholarship,” Husseini says. “They not only are helping a student through her master’s program, but they are also supporting a refugee girl to reach to her goals and find her dreams.” –LORI BONA HUNT






Vimy Ridge oak trees planted

Three professors – Carla Rice, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition; Andrew MacDougall, Department of Integrative Biology; and Nigel Raine, School of Environmental Sciences – were named to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The college recognizes academics for exceptional achievements within 15 years of completing their doctoral degrees.

U of G joins wellness charter The University of Guelph is helping lead a Canadian university movement to promote health and well-being on campuses. U of G is one of 10 universities in Canada to formally adopt the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health-Promoting Universities and Colleges. The charter calls on post-secondary institutions to develop action plans that ensure health and well-being in campus culture, policies and practices. CAMPUS NEWS

University wins legacy award The University of Guelph has won a national award for its original 1965 campus master plan. The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects named U of G as the winner of its 2017 Legacy Project Award. It recognizes landscape architecture projects that were forward-thinking for their time and had a lasting impact on Canada’s landscape. The University’s original master plan emphasized social spaces while respecting history and nature. It has been revised over the years to accommodate growth and changes.

Two oak saplings planted at the University of Guelph have roots in a Great War conflict considered by many to mark a coming of age for Canada. The trees are descended from a handful of acorns pocketed by a Canadian soldier after the Battle of Vimy Ridge in spring 1917. They were planted this year near War Memorial Hall – built in 1924 to commemorate students who enlisted and died in the First World War – and near the John McCrae Trail in U of G’s Arboretum named for the Guelph-born author of In Flanders Fields, written in 1915. The trees connect U of G and other planting sites across the country with the three-day battle that saw Canadians capture a strategically important vantage point in northern France at a cost of nearly 11,000 Canadian casualties, including some 3,600 deaths. The conflict marked the first time that all four Canadian divisions overseas fought together under a single command. Lt. Col. Leslie Miller gathered the acorns in the days following the battle. He mailed them home to the family farm in Scarborough, Ont. After the war, Miller planted them on his own allotted spread, which he christened as Vimy Oaks Farm.




Mary Wells begins a five-year term Nov. 1 as dean of the newly renamed College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Wells is associate dean of outreach and a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. She chairs the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering, and is a sought-after expert and international speaker.

Samantha Brennan will become dean of the College of Arts for a five-year term beginning Jan. 1. Brennan is a professor of women’s studies and feminist research at Western University. She served as chair of Western’s Department of Philosophy for eight years and was a founding member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. She is a prolific blogger and advocate for public humanities.

History professor Catharine Wilson is now a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, recognizing her work in preserving and sharing stories through the Rural Diaries Archive project. Dionne Brand, a professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies, was named a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian literature and poetry, and for promoting awareness of gender studies and intercultural relations. Brianna Guild, B.Sc. ’17, was named the national co-op student of the year. She is only the second U of G student to win the award. Ric Knowles, professor emeritus in the School of English and Theatre Studies, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research. Jan Sargeant, director of Guelph’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, was named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 7


Lyme disease research gets personal It took 20 years for Melanie Wills, B.Sc. ’09, PhD ’16, to get a diagnosis. By then, Lyme disease had stolen much of her childhood and had followed her to university. Enduring chronic pain, severe fatigue and gastrointestinal issues, thyroid and vision problems, and memory loss became a way of life. There were months in bed, prolonged absences from school, misdiagnoses and unhelpful treatments – year after year. But Wills persevered and even excelled. She came to U of G as a President’s Scholar, made a major research breakthrough as an undergraduate, received the W.C. Winegard Medal at graduation and moved straight into a doctoral program. All the while, her sickness continued. Halfway through her PhD – examining the signalling pathways among cells that can go awry and lead to cancer – Wills had a 8  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

personal breakthrough. A doctor whom she had waited more than two years to see made the diagnosis all the others had missed. As a research associate in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, she viewed her Lyme disease as the beginning of a new project. “I was intrigued, so I began looking into the literature and fell down the rabbit hole,” she says. “The number of people suffering from it, the controversy in the medical field, the lack of confidence in testing, the potential of the organism to withstand antibiotics and remain in the body for such a long period of time – it all started coming out.” Wills added the epidemiology of Lyme disease to her research roster, co-founding the Canadian Lyme Science Alliance. Now, backed by a new $1.4-milion grant from the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne

Melanie Wills, B.Sc. ’09, PhD ’16, heads the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab at U of G.

LYME DISEASE Caused by the bacterium Borrelia, which is transmitted through bites of infected ticks. Infected individuals initially experience flulike symptoms. Left untreated, the disease can affect the skin and internal organs as well as the musculoskeletal system, and impair eyesight and hearing.

Diseases, she is working to help improve diagnostic testing and treatment. She heads the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab, named for Gabe Magnotta, co-founder of Magnotta Winery, who died in 2009 after a seven-year battle with Lyme disease. Rossana Magnotta created the foundation in 2012 in memory of her late husband, who was known as a trailblazer in the Canadian wine industry. Wills hopes to identify biomarkers and prognostic indicators for Lyme disease, and uncover evidencebased testing and treatment options. She will work with other Lyme researchers and centres, develop a national network of scientists, clinicians and patients, and involve students in research. Wills learned about Lyme disease for the first time in an undergrad microbiology class. Viewing a slide image of a rash, she thought it resembled the one she developed on her leg when she was 10. “I grew up in Lindsay, on the Kawartha Lakes, in a subdivision bordered by a field. There were deer, mice – all the reservoir species – so certainly the factors were there,” she said. After that day in class, Wills had asked a doctor for a test, but the result came back negative. She spent the next 10 years thinking Lyme disease was not a possibility. She now knows that false negatives are common. “Current tests are not reliable, particularly in the early stages of the disease,” she says. “They also cannot distinguish active infection from past exposure, so they can’t be used to evaluate treatment success.” She hopes her research will lead to tests that diagnose the disease sooner, when the outcome is most favourable, and to improved understanding. –LORI BONA HUNT


Around the ring




Grad student tops in Canada A U of G graduate student took home both top prizes from Canada’s ThreeMinute Thesis competition. Shanthanu Krishnakumar won first place and the People’s Choice Award

New OVC grad gets perfect score on licensing exam

U of G alum Roberta Bondar shares space flight-inspired vision of Earth


– the first contestant to win both honours. The competition, now in its fifth year, requires students to explain their work and its relevance within three minutes. Krishnakumar, a plant agriculture master’s student, discussed lengthening the shelf life of nectarines using hexanal, a natural plant-derived compound. The competition is sponsored by the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies.


When Rose Rumney went online to check her score for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE), the number 800 was listed beside her name. Her first thought was: 800 out of what? It was 800 out of 800 — the highest score possible. Rumney is only the fourth student to achieve perfect marks among 54,000 candidates who have taken the NAVLE in the past 16 years. The exam is required for graduates of accredited veterinary schools to become licensed in North America and internationally. The average score is around 513. Veterinary medicine is in her family. Rumney’s distant cousin,

Rose Rumney is only the fourth student to receive a perfect mark. Jean Rumney, DVM ’39, was one of the first women to graduate from the Ontario Veterinary College. Rumney’s parents, both U of G grads and veterinarians, run a mixed-animal practice from their 100-acre farm near Midland, Ont. Rumney, who graduated in June, hopes to work in a general mixedanimal clinic.


Gryphons Read connects students, community A new University of Guelph initiative headed by renowned author and U of G professor Lawrence Hill brings together first-year students and community members to read and discuss a single book. Gryphons Read engages students as participants as well as trainers and facilitators of small-group discussions. The common reading project involves the College of Arts, the Office of the Provost and the McLaughlin Library. U of G’s Student Life runs and evaluates the program. The inaugural project began in September with The Best Kind of People, a novel by U of G graduate

Zoe Whittall, MFA ’09. She visited campus to meet with students and give public talks and readings. “I can’t think of a better novel to kick off the first Gryphons Read 2017,” says Hill, who joined the School of English and Theatre Studies in 2016. The Best Kind of People examines the lives of people caught up in a domestic crisis not of their own making. A national bestseller, the novel was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was Indigo’s number one book of 2016. Whittall has written numerous books and received various honours, and has been a television writer and story editor.

Travelling five times faster than a speeding bullet and 300 kilometres above Earth’s surface, Roberta Bondar, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, witnessed immense beauty from the window of the space shuttle Discovery. That experience changed forever the way Canada’s first female astronaut saw and understood our planet. Bondar vowed after her space flight to capture and share Earth’s terrestrial magnificence in pictures, and to work to sustain its biodiversity and natural beauty. She created the Roberta Bondar Foundation in 2009, and donated a large number of her photographs to it. The foundation’s travelling exhibition and learning experience visits several communities each year. It is at the Art Gallery of Guelph until Dec. 17. “Something that I’m trying to bring to people’s attention in terms of the diversity of the country is that we have different types of biological systems,” Bondar says. “We have places that some people will never get to, and I feel that it is important for me, after my space flight, to talk to people about the very valuable piece of real estate that Canada has.” Bondar completed an eight-day mission on Discovery in January 1992.

Melt Water, 1999, taken at Ward Hunt Island ice shelf, Nunavut. Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 9



Prof discovers ways to help heart failure patients Shortness of breath is the No. 1 complaint of people suffering from heart failure. Now a University of Guelph researcher has discovered its surprising cause – and an effective treatment. “We have known for decades that heart patients suffer from shortness of breath, but we never really knew why,” says Jeremy Simpson, a professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. “It was generally believed that fluid buildup in the lungs made it hard for heart patients to breathe, and assumed it was a side effect of heart disease that couldn’t be directly treated.” Simpson linked shortness of breath in heart failure to a hormonal imbalance in the brain. “We may not think of the brain as being the reason why heart failure patients have trouble breathing when they walk up the stairs, especially when the heart is the sick organ,” he says. “But our organs talk to each other and the brain talks 10  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

to our diaphragm.” It is already known that people with heart failure have increased levels of the hormones norepinephrine and angiotensin. The imbalance causes high blood pressure and heart failure. Simpson and his research team discovered these two hormones indirectly affect the diaphragm. “Essentially these hormones get into the brain and send signals that push the diaphragm into unrelenting overdrive,” says Simpson. “By suppressing these hormones, we can prevent the diaphragm from becoming weak.” He says beta blockers and angiotensin receptor blockers that can pass through the blood-brain barrier improved both heart and diaphragm function. The findings, published in Science Translational Medicine, may improve quality of life not just for heart patients but also for people with other diseases involving shortness of breath, he says.

Jobs aplenty for agrifood grads: report There are currently four jobs for every graduate of U of G’s Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), according to a new report. Based on a survey of Ontario employers, the report provides a snapshot of hiring trends and demands. Employers are predicting even more jobs during the next five years. As a national and international leader in agriculture and food, U of G provides a majority of the graduates for this sector in Ontario, says OAC dean Rene Van Acker. “It’s great news for students entering and coming out of the programs because of the tremendous demand for their skills and the many opportunities for them.”


U of G opens high-tech food labs Two new state-of-the art laboratories at the University of Guelph allow researchers to explore consumers’ relationship with food using technology. Eye-tracking cameras and monitors capture consumer decisionmaking, consumption habits and reactions to food advertising. Created to resemble an actual grocery store, the Longo’s Food Retail Lab gauges buyer behaviour patterns. Computer equipment in the neighbouring Schneider’s Research Lab allows researchers to evaluate participants’ reactions to advertising. Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc. and Schneider Foods provided funding for the labs.



Can avocados help treat cancer? FINDINGS

Fear may drive species to extinction


Fear alone may be enough to cause vulnerable species to go extinct. University of Guelph integrative biology professor Ryan Norris has discovered that fruit flies spend less time eating, mate less often and produce fewer offspring when exposed to a predator. Even the predator’s smell alone can cause population decline. The smaller the prey population is, the greater the risk of extinction. “This finding has implications for species already endangered and living in smaller populations because it shows they are more vulnerable to predator fear,” Norris says. “It seems once a population reaches a certain size, fear alone may lead to its extinction.” Working with McGill University professor Kyle Elliott, Norris found small populations of fruit flies exposed to the scent of a praying mantis were seven times more likely to go extinct. The researchers suspect that flies feel safety in numbers, as their vigilance increases when numbers decline. The finding may help explain a long-standing biological conundrum in population size and extinction, known as the Allee effect. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


Do avocados pack a cancer-fighting punch? University of Guelph food science professor Prof. Paul Paul Spagnuolo hopes to find out, backed by a Spagnuolo will $200,000 grant from the Ontario Institute for study an Cancer Research. avocado-derived Spagnuolo is studying an avocado-derived leukemia drug. leukemia drug he developed. The anti-AML (acute myeloid leukemia) drug doesn’t kill healthy cells but targets cancer cells in a unique way, he says. “We found that it killed leukemia cells and leukemia stem cells, which are the root of the disease. Our goal is to develop the drug to where it becomes a treatment option for people.” Few treatment options exist for children or elderly patients with leukemia. Spagnuolo will collaborate with cancer researchers at the University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the University of Ottawa and McMaster University. They hope to secure funding to conduct clinical trials.



There is a cost to Is eating ‘bee-ing’ too smart ‘ethically’ only for the wealthy? It doesn’t pay to be smart, at least for bumblebees. That is the finding of a new study by Prof. Nigel Raine, School of Environmental Sciences. He discovered that fast-learning bumblebees die sooner than their slower-learning co-workers. As well, “smart” bees did not collect food any faster and completed no more foraging bouts each day. Researchers used radio frequency identification tagging technology to monitor bees’ foraging activity and the quality of nectar or pollen they brought to the nest. The researchers suggest the energy demands of intelligence eat up limited resources, leaving smart bees with less energy for foraging than slower-learning counterparts. Published in Scientific Reports, the study highlights the potential cost of cleverness and could have implications for other species than bees, Raine says. He adds the findings may help in conserving habitat and pollinators for commercial crops.

“Ethically” produced food is not equally accessible to all, according to a new study by researchers Kelly Hodgins, MA ’15, and Prof. Evan Fraser of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. Social barriers prevent lowerincome households from obtaining local, organic, sustainable or other ethically responsible food, according to the study in the journal Agriculture and Human Values. For lower-income consumers, stores may be difficult to reach without a car, farmers markets may be open only on weekends, and store owners may cater to more well-to-do consumers.

What’s in your sausage? There is a 1 in 5 chance that your favourite sausage contains meat other than that listed on the label. A first-ever Canadian study headed by U of G professor Robert Hanner found

that 20 per cent of sausages contain unlabelled meats. Most mislabelling occurred with sausage meat that contained another type of meat not on the label. Some sausages labelled as beef contained pork, while chicken contained turkey. One pork sausage sample contained horsemeat. Researchers examined 100 sausage samples from grocery stores across Canada. The study, published in the journal Food Control, was commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Hodgins has developed a tool kit to help businesses make their spaces more inclusive. See: Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 11


12  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017


Early squirrel gets the real estate When it comes to survival in the squirrel world, first out of the nest is best. “We found being born earlier than the other litters in your neighbourhood was a key factor in survival,” says post-doctoral researcher David Fisher, who worked on the study with integrative biology professor Andrew McAdam. “This is because if you are born before your neighbours, you can leave your nest first and find a vacant spot to store your food for the winter.” The study, published in the international journal Evolution, is one of the first to show multilevel natural selection, which occurs when traits of a group such as a herd or flock influence the success of individuals, Fisher says. Young squirrels usually travel no farther than 100 metres from home. Their chance of survival beyond the next four months or so is only 25 per cent, largely dependent on whether they find a vacant territory. “Young squirrels can’t oust adult squirrels from their territories, so early-born litters have an advantage because they are able to begin searching for vacant or new territories first.” This study shows that an early birthdate – a heritable trait – helps red squirrels living in densely populated neighbourhoods. However, Fisher says he hasn’t yet seen an overall trend toward earlier births. “When we expect to see evolution, but no evolution occurs, this is called evolutionary stasis.”


Prof hopes to develop diagnostic test for colon cancer Prof. Emma Allen-Vercoe aims to develop a new test for diagnosing colorectal cancer with $439,000 worth of funding from the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). Her team in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology will study the effects of Fusobacterium nucleatum, a microbe shown to be associated with colorectal cancer. “By focusing on aspects of the bacterium that may be directly involved with causing colorectal cancer, we can develop tests that look for these aspects rather than just for the microbe itself,” she says. “This is important because not all strains of F. nucleatum appear to be associated with colorectal cancer, and some strains may be benign.” On average, 26 Canadians die from colorectal cancer each day, and 26,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with this cancer in 2017, according to the CCS. Allen-Vercoe will use RNA sequencing to understand how cells communicate during infection. “We hope that in addition to developing a diagnostic test, developing an understanding of host-pathogen interactions will lead to new therapies or even preventive measures.”



Fish hold clues to treating human heart disease

Dog picked up a tick? Report it online A new online reporting system, Pet Tick Tracker, created by biomedical sciences professor Scott Weese, allows pet owners and veterinarians to


It’s long been known that fish can change the size of their heart depending on water temperature. Now a University of Guelph professor has discovered the protein that makes this happen – a finding that may help treat or prevent heart damage in humans. “Fish put on collagen in the winter and take it off in the summer,” says integrative biology professor Todd Gillis, whose research was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. “They do this so they can keep swimming over a broad range of temperatures.” Fish hearts and human hearts share similar structure. Under stress, such as a heart attack, the body accumulates tissue around the heart, which can hinder its function. “If we can find out how fish are able to naturally add and remove this tissue, we can develop strategic treatment for humans that establishes a more controlled way for the

heart to repair itself after a heart attack,” Gillis says. His research team examined cells that regulate collagen in hearts of rainbow trout. The researchers found that exposing cells to the protein TGF-Beta1, known to help regulate connective tissue, caused those cells to enlarge. “The theory is that when the fish’s heart gets stressed under the colder temperatures, it has to work harder, which causes the release of the TGF-Beta1 protein,” says Gillis. The researchers hope to learn how fish remove collagen from the heart in warmer months. “The ultimate goal is applying what we learn in trout hearts to human disease.”



Geospatial analysis tool puts U of G on the map

Water storage causing illness in Canada’s North

Why did those advertising flyers end up in your mailbox? And how can your car know where you are even when you don’t? Ask a geographer – and not just any geographer but an expert in geomatics, which involves the collection and analysis of spatial data. By combining that kind of information with raw computing power, U of G geography professor John Lindsay has developed a oneof-a-kind software package called Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools for processing geospatial data. Geomatics uses high-tech tools, including geographic information systems and remote sensing, to provide a much more intimate look at Earth’s features and our built environment. It helps in soil and vegetation mapping, flood forecasting and modelling sediment transport, among numerous environmental issues. Now, geospatial data links to numerous everyday applications from health care (how to stop the spread of an epidemic?) to real estate (where to locate a new coffee shop or retail outlet?). Given nothing more than your


postal code, retailers can use GIS to target their flyers to your address. GIS working with the satellite navigation smarts in your car can work out your best route to avoid traffic or pinpoint the closest Italian restaurant. Lindsay started the Whitebox project after arriving at Guelph in 2008, and says it has put U of G on the map among users worldwide. Over the past four years, the software has been downloaded about 25,000 times, particularly in Canada and the United States, Europe, India, Brazil and Australia. Whitebox is used by universities, research centres and government agencies worldwide, including the United Nations and Canadian Geological Survey. An open-source edition was released this year.

Unsanitary water storage containers may cause higher than average rates of gastrointestinal illness in Canada’s North, according to new University of Guelph research. Researcher Carlee Wright and population medicine professor Sherilee Harper took samples from drinking water stored in 104 containers at 76 homes in the Inuit community of Rigolet in Labrador, with a population of about 300. Most of the water came from one of several treated dispensing units installed by the province in areas with high-risk water systems. Those units use reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light for purification. More than one in four of the home samples had illness-causing bacteria in their water, the result of improperly cleaned containers and bottles. Contamination rates increased 13-fold when smaller containers were used to scoop out water for drinking. Such contamination may help explain higher reported rates of vomiting, diarrhea and other illnesses than in other parts of Canada.

enter information about ticks found on dogs, cats, horses and other domestic animals. Users may share such details as location, numbers and tick type, as well as photos. Knowing where ticks are spreading or emerging helps determine preventive measures for animals and humans, Weese says. The data will also guide future research, and is shared with provincial health officials. Since its launch in May, the Tick Tracker has garnered about 2,000 reports — roughly 90 per cent from Ontario.

Pet Tick Tracker is online at: tinyurl. com/mlvq2h8

Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 13

Art in th

14  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017


he public eye


Lambent (2015, stainless steel, LEDs, computer), by Christian Giroux and Daniel Young for Mississauga’s Square One shopping mall.

waste of taxpayer dollars.” That was one charge levelled in a newspaper article after the unveiling of a Toronto installation project by the art duo of Christian Giroux and Daniel Young. Other voices chimed in about Nyctophilia, asking why funding hadn’t been used instead to fix basic infrastructure, and complaining about neighbourhood disruption during and since the @porticomag

installation of what some locals called the “pole farm.” Hardly an auspicious reception – but not an altogether unexpected one, says Giroux, a professor in U of G’s School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM). Public art often sparks a love-it-or-hate-it reaction, says Giroux, who has learned to take the long view of installations – his own and those of other creators. Public art often draws vociferous responses, but then what form of art doesn’t? From Toronto’s Nyctophilia to the University’s Gryphon statue, U of G experts say assessing any work of public art is a matter of balancing sometimes-competing interests and tastes – not to mention changing values and viewpoints on historical figures, including Sir John A. Macdonald and General Robert E. Lee, whose sculpted Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 15

likenesses dot our cityscapes. By definition, says Giroux, public art often invites controversy. Unlike gallery or museum works for which viewers need to go out of their way, public art is, well, public. Often constructed on an architectural scale and situated in prominent locations, a public artwork may be seen routinely by hundreds or thousands of passersby, all critics on the fly. For the 2014 Nyctophilia in west Toronto’s Mount Dennis neighbourhood – one of half a dozen installations so far for the art duo – Giroux and Young erected 10 concrete utility poles bearing three dozen cobra-head streetlights on a stretch of sidewalk fronting the entrance to a retail strip. Their quotidian and familiar industrial forms create an “almost surreal forest,” says Giroux, especially at night. “Thanks to a suite of randomized lighting programs, the work appears differently from evening to evening, altering the quality of space on a street corner in this working-class neighbourhood.” He says initial reaction ranged from hostility to puzzlement to outright excitement. A story published earlier this year in Canadian Art magazine said opinions are still mixed, but more people are coming around to the piece. Referring not only to Nyctophilia but also to numerous

Nyctophilia (2014, concrete poles, lamps, LEDs, computer) by Christian Giroux and Daniel Young in Toronto’s Mount Dennis neighbourhood.

Christian Giroux says early critics often grow to love public art installations. 16  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

works animating our urban landscapes, Giroux says, “The work finds its way increasingly into the public imagination.” River Tiber, a Toronto indie musician, included the Mount Dennis installation in the music video for a track on his album Indigo released in 2016. Last year, the local business association held a Christmas market on the site; that group has also adopted the artwork in its branding materials. Some say the work has also provided a bit of a boost to a once-thriving manufacturing hub that has struggled with closure or relocation of numerous industries. “When something alien enters the environment, it may appear hostile to local sensibilities,” says Giroux. “Over time they often grow to love it.” Just look at the resistance – including charges of “elitist” and “alien” – sparked in Toronto when Henry Moore’s The Archer was unveiled at City Hall in 1966. This year, a suggestion to move the piece from Nathan Phillips Square has kindled controversy in some quar-

ters. Referring to Moore works, Giroux says, “They are now muchloved civic citizens. They have an identity. Now the public is willing to go to bat for them.” He’s already bracing himself for the reception of a new work called Three Points Where Two Lines Meet that he and Young will install in Toronto. Recalling the initial response to Nyctophilia, Giroux says, “I anticipate a similar arc of response.” That new work was supposed to be installed a few years ago. But when it comes to public art, the creator’s imagination is not the only limit. Besides fickle public reception, the design and installation of a work can bump up against bureaucracy, budgets and competing interests such as infrastructure needs. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, says Giroux, who was turned on to public and contemporary art by sculptor Mowry Baden, a former professor at the University of Victoria. “It forces you to make clear decisions and constructs. There are compromis-


es, but that’s one of the interesting things. Having constraints can free you in many ways.” Not all works meet with resistance, he says. Look at Chicago’s Cloud Gate, unveiled in the city’s AT&T Plaza in 2006. Dubbed “The Bean” by locals, the work has been embraced as a symbol that shows up on souvenirs and that attracts tourists. “As a sculptor, I’m interested in place-making, how a sculpture is integrated within a space.” Closer to home, he says the same reception has greeted the Gryphon sculpture, installed at Stone Road and Gordon Street in 2014. Not only has the five-metre-tall bronze become a gateway to the campus and the city as well as a photo op for students and visitors, but the Gryphon also embodies the artists’ spirit, says Giroux. “I can recognize them in it.” “They” are another artistic duo called FASTWÜRMS, consisting of SOFAM professors Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse. They designed the Gryphon along with MFA graduates Nicole Vogelzang and Dustin @porticomag

Wilson. Kozzi and Skuse say they weren’t surprised at how quickly the work gained traction with viewers. If anything, they designed the Gryphon expecting that it would invite interaction. Skuse says they tweaked features such as the angles of the creature’s wings and ears – and even individual scales on its body – to provide handholds for people clambering on the statue. What surprised Skuse was the nearly immediate virtual presence that the piece engendered on social media. On the morning of the Gryphon’s unveiling, students walking past the site had their mobile phones out as a crane manoeuvred the bronze into place. “It was on Twitter within 15 minutes,” he says. Indeed, the piece even has its own Twitter account, as with several other public artworks in Guelph (see sidebar). Adds Kuzzi: “The Gryphon comes from historical imagination but there’s also the history it begins to create.” From photos to tweets, she says, social

The work finds its way increasingly into the public imagination.

media “becomes part of the history of the work.” Beyond potential photo ops, Kozzi and Skuse built their statue on layers of memory and mythology that might help explain its resonance on a university campus. The duo drew upon John Tenniel’s illustrations of the gryphon character in the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the pen name for the English mathematician and logician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Elements of that book and his other writings were inspired by mathematics. Skuse says the campus Gryphon evokes interdisciplinary ideas and connections – even between seemingly unrelated things – that are embodied on a university campus. The eagle-lion chimera of classical mythology was regarded as a guardian of treasure; hence the U of G sculpture’s proprietary grasp of a book, representing truth and knowledge. That campus gateway is a threshold for students, not unlike the rabbit hole for Alice. Says Skuse: “It represents that idea of acquiring knowledge with mystery and involvement and adventure. Entering university is a big jump.” Whether or not students and visitors snapping selfies think of the layers of time embodied in the creature, he says the Gryphon symbolizes not just the University but also the idea of the “university” – what he calls “a place where knowledge is not governed by simplistic rules of habit or unexamined political rules. That spirit of public inquiry is built into the sculpture.” Little surprise, then, that FASTWÜRMS encourages public interaction with their work – and with this piece in particular, in various forms. The Gryphon image has already been reproduced on coffee mugs and has been replicated as a Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 17

On the U of G campus, the Gryphon statue is only one well-known example of a public artwork that invites interaction. The Begging Bear was installed in front of the Art Gallery of Guelph (then called the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre) in 1999. Formally called the Canadiana/Begging Bear, the bronze statue is routinely dressed and adorned, a use welcomed by sculptor Carl Skelton. Similarly, Old Jeremiah in Branion Plaza has long been used as a painted message board for everything from pub announcements to birthday greetings – and even the occasional marriage proposal. The cannon was hardly intended as an artwork when it was cast in George III’s day. But its use today makes it more sculptural icon than fieldpiece. That’s why instructor Mike Ridley included it – along with the Gryphon and the Begging Bear – in his “stationary crew.” In The #StationaryCrew Project course, students discuss the meaning and significance of public art works, including their historical and cultural aspects, their contribution to a sense of place, and what their modern-day uses say about the icons and about us. Each of the artworks even has an anonymously authored Twitter account. One entry posted last December “by” the Gryphon read: “Need luck for your exam? Rub my beak. I promise it works.”

Guelph’s Begging Bear is often adorned with clothes and messages from the public.

18  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

Public events such as “The Share” show how musical improvisation can be a model for social change.

I’m interested in bringing innovation and especially creative practices to places where they’re not expected.

souvenir pewter paperweight. A new miniature version designed this year draws yet another cross-disciplinary connection, this time to U of G’s food and agricultural strengths. Responding to a request from Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research), SOFAM design engineer John Phillips led a project to replicate the Gryphon in the school’s digital haptic lab using bio-composite materials. Turned out on a 3-D printer, the item is a prototype for potential replicas that might be mass-produced for use as gifts or promotional items. “We like public engagement,” says Skuse. Whether you hold it in your hand or rub the bronze nose of the original for purported luck, a public art piece such as the Gryphon offers a physical and tactile experience. What’s more solid than a public monument sculpted from bronze or stone? But public art also includes more ephemeral pursuits such as music and dance, says Prof. Ajay Heble, School of English and Theatre Studies, and founder of the Guelph Jazz Festival. (He ran the event for more than 20 years before stepping down as artistic director in 2016.) “We often think of public art as a permanent thing, a sculpture. It’s interesting to think of performance as public art, especially improvisational music. It’s ephemeral. Things happen and then they’re gone.” Heble, who heads U of G’s Inter-

national Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI), says musical collaboration animates public space and offers tools for community-building and resilience. “Public art has been a large part of what we’re doing with the jazz festival and with IICSI,” he says. “I’m interested in bringing innovation and especially creative practices to places where they’re not expected.” This past summer, IICSI held a week-long camp on the Gaspé coast called Musical Improvisation at Land’s End. The event encouraged participants to work with professional improvisers, developing listening and collaboration skills that Heble says are needed for adapting to and anticipating change. He says those kinds of skills might also ultimately be used in the Gaspésie community itself to stem a youth exodus. Here in Guelph, he has connected improvisers with the Kidsability Centre for Child Development for the past 10 years. “Creativity and innovation are vital tools for building resilient communities and adaptation to change,” says Heble, whose team received the 2016 Impact Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. “We learn from parents that kids have new levels of self-esteem and leadership. They communicate differently and listen more effectively.”






or U of G political science professor David MacDonald, this year’s Canada Day and sesquicentennial celebrations went largely unremarked. On a research leave in New Zealand this year, he spent July 1 at a conference. “We didn’t actually do very much,” he says. “It was me with a bunch of New Zealand foreign ministry people.” Something more than distance and circumstance explained MacDonald’s ambivalence about marking Canada 150 – and from his research on Indigenous issues, he knows he’s not alone. Speaking over the phone from New Zealand this past summer, he says, “A lot of my Facebook friends were planning ‘non-celebrations’ and highlighting genocide and Indigenous resurgence. With these strongly conflicting interpretations, it’s not clear what that anniversary represents.” Has Canada 150 been a celebration of a nation – or a “celebration of colonialism,” as a group of Indigenous artists called the event in a national news story earlier this year? U of G scholars say the occasion has offered a bit of both. You didn’t have to go halfway around the world to feel conflicted. Even in Ottawa, history professor Matthew Hayday felt the push-pull. He had hoped to visit Parliament @porticomag

Hill on Canada Day, but crowds and lineups – and attendant security – meant he had to be content with watching official events aired on a big screen a block away. By then, there had already been a reminder that not everyone saw the occasion in the same celebratory spirit. The official program included an Indigenous presence, from a performance by Buffy Sainte-Marie to ceremonial dancing around the Centennial Flame. But just before Canada Day, activists set up a demonstration teepee on the Parliament Hill lawn to draw attention to Indigenous issues. Hayday figures that their presence set the tone for remarks by officials including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who visited the teepee before July 1. “I had a sense that there was a

U of G professor Kim Anderson hopes for improved relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Matthew Hayday Department of History

ramping-up of language around Indigenous issues in what was said by dignitaries,” he says. “Justin Trudeau used ‘Turtle Island’ in how he spoke about Canada, and there was a lot more explicit language about mistakes and ongoing challenges” involving Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Hayday studies how national celebrations and commemorations have helped shape Canada’s sense of itself. In 2016, he co-edited the book Celebrating Canada: Holidays, National Days and the Crafting of Identities; a companion volume will be published this year. In an article earlier this year in the Ottawa Citizen, he pointed out that controversy over commemoration is nothing new. “Dissent about celebrating Canada goes back to the early years of Confederation,” he wrote. Commemorative events have changed from the “British-centric” flag-waving of the 1950s to today’s promotion of a bilingual and multicultural country that highlights Indigenous cultures and languages. Hayday ended his essay with a suggestion that dissent signals a healthy democracy, and that there’s hope for reconciliation Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 19

20  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

INDIGENOUS WORKS ON DISPLAY Sparking discussion about Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations is the purpose of a new exhibit opened this fall at the Art Gallery of Guelph. Called “150 Acts: Art, Activism, Impact,” the show is funded by nearly $200,000 from the Canadian Heritage Department, and will run until March 2018. The exhibit features sculpture, paintings, drawings, textiles, installations and multimedia works by Indigenous artists drawn from the gallery’s collection and from contemporary artists. “Creative expression has a unique capacity to change perception by expanding our insight into other experiences,” says gallery director Shauna McCabe. Pointing out that a number of galleries and museums have featured Indigenous works this year, McCabe says cultural institutions have “a responsibility to carefully examine our relationship to Indigenous communities and histories at this moment, and to provide a platform that is shaped by the perspectives, voices and aesthetics of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.”

David MacDonald Department of Political Science

Referring to reports of youth suicides in Northern communities and questions about the mandate and progress of Canada’s inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women, she says, “Those latest headlines show just how far we haven’t come.” Despite setbacks and what she calls “reconciliation fatigue” stemming from perceived lack of progress on numerous reports, commissions and recommendations, Anderson says she’s optimistic about the possibility of improved relations and prospects for Indigenous people in Canada. “Generally the Canadian population is more educated and more committed to making change. We’re in a better place than we were 20 years ago.” She’s part of a new project within her college to further incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into teaching and research. Beyond that, her own studies will include looking at “Indigenizing” the U of G campus. Anderson says universities have a role in advocating for reconciliation and in studying pertinent issues

from land and resource sharing to preservation of stories, history and language. She’s heartened by recent developments at U of G, including hiring of tenure-track Indigenous faculty members (including her own position), support for Indigenous learners and appointment of a special adviser to the provost on Aboriginal initiatives. That post is held by Cara Wehkamp, manager of the Office of Intercultural Affairs within Student Life. Anderson helped plan a two-day symposium on campus this fall called “Canada 150: Reflect and Envision” on Indigenous issues, food security and border security. Speaking in early September, organizer Michelle Fach, director of Open Learning and Educational Support at U of G, says the gathering of experts from on and off campus was intended to discuss Canada’s global role in the 21st century. “Those seemed to be topics that were top of mind,” she says. “They will have an impact on Canada and how we exercise any sort of global influence.”


between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. For MacDonald, that kind of hope lies in broadening discussions to take in different viewpoints and accommodate various narratives. “We have to stop compartmentalizing Indigenous issues and saying these issues are separate from the story of Canada,” says MacDonald, who received a U of G Research Leadership Chair Award to study Indigenous-settler relations in Canada and New Zealand. He took part in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is writing a book about Canadian reconciliation issues. “It’s all interconnected. We can’t celebrate the prosperity of settler Canadians and not acknowledge what has been taken from Indigenous Peoples.” He points to New Zealand as a model for relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, including the development of biculturalism based on Indigenous-settler power-sharing. “I think a lot of Canadian history has been about trying to create a country that’s coherent and has its own identity,” he says. “Hopefully we will get there. We might be mature enough now to start considering these questions more seriously.” U of G professor Kim Anderson says she doesn’t begrudge Canada 150 celebrations. At the same time, she says, “Indigenous Peoples say there’s nothing to celebrate in terms of what Canada has meant for Indigenous nations.” Anderson, who is Cree-Métis, completed a PhD in history at U of G; she joined the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition in early 2017. She’s now co-editing a book to be published in 2018 called Keetsahnak: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters. “It feels like adding insult to have to keep being reminded about celebratory stuff.”

Michael Massie, let me whip you up a cup of tea, 2007, anhydrite, bone, sterling silver, copper, mahogany, ebony and sinew, 37.5 x 54 x 31.8 cm.



(above) Veterinarian Scarlett Magda applies honey to an elephant’s wound. @porticomag


t wasn’t what Scarlett Magda expected when she begged her University of Guelph adviser, Kerry Lissemore, to allow her to spend one of her fourth-year veterinary college rotations with a non-profit organization in Uganda. The Ontario Veterinary College student stepped off the plane to find that all of the organization members were on Christmas vacation. She was alone and solely respon-

sible for training local veterinary assistants to care for hundreds of goats in a program to provide goat milk and income to families who had lost husbands and fathers to AIDS. By day, she travelled along rural roads in a 4x4 truck, visiting the families. At night, she Skyped with her supervisor in Canada before falling asleep on a mattress on the office floor. “I would call my supervisor kind of freaking out,” says Magda with a soft laugh. “I was doing castrations and other

medical procedures for the first time. It definitely made me step up my game and forced me to apply the skills I had learned.” Looking back, the U of G alumna realizes this daunting experience gave her the autonomy and confidence she needed to help her get to where she is today, as a respected smallanimal veterinarian and the founder and president of Veterinarians International (VI). Based in Manhattan, the volunteer-driven organization aims to improve the lives of Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 21

people in developing countries through the concept of “one health.” Along with a team of 12 veterinarians and 17 volunteers stationed around the world, Magda works with existing organizations to better the health of animals in ways that help humans and the environment. “By improving the health of animals, we are improving the health of humans,” says the 35-year-old. “People are infected with diseases transferred from animals more than any other source. We need to have healthy animals in order to have healthy people.” Established in 2014, Veterinarians International runs programs in Kenya, Chile, Guatemala and Thailand. “We send trained vets to these areas with a focus on educating the local vets and animal health workers so that when we leave they are still able to look after the situation.” In Marsabit County, Kenya, the organization is doing work similar to what Magda did during her vet student stint in Uganda. VI members are working with an existing program that provides goats to women whose husbands have been lost to AIDS or conflict, enabling these women to feed and support their families. VI teaches local animal health-care workers how to care for the goats, and also trains those workers to teach the families how to tend and breed the animals.

Education is also the focus of two programs in Valdivia, Chile, and Chuchumatan, Guatemala, where VI members work with local groups to prevent the transmission of tapeworms and rabies, respectively, from dogs to humans. Pet owners learn proper pet hygiene and care including use of a dog leash. Vaccinations and sterilization programs are also part of the project to help prevent the dogs from contracting diseases. In Surin, Thailand, the organization works to improve the health and welfare of elephants used in the tourism industry. VI members are specifically working with some 200 elephants living in a government-funded reserve. “Elephants used for tourism or other work were making their way to Bangkok where they would beg for food and sleep in alleys,” says Magda. “The government decided they couldn’t have elephants in the city so it created a space for them to live with their owners.” VI funds Thai veterinarians to teach owners how to properly care for the animals. Owners learn how to introduce the elephants to the forest and enable them to socialize with other elephants – experiences that are foreign to these animals that have spent most of their lives tied to chains no longer than a couple of metres. As part of this initiative, the organization recently set up


Adjunct professor Laura Graham is looking for ways to salvage some good from the deaths of endangered species in Africa.

two mobile vet clinics to provide medical care for the elephants. The official launch of these clinics this past May attracted the attention of world-renowned veterinarians, elephant trainers and animal welfare experts. The first-ever positive reinforcement training workshop followed the launch. “I didn’t realize all these people would gather together from around the world for this launch and for the workshop. It was a revolutionary moment for elephants and how humans treat them.”

For Magda, the event validated her belief that improving the health and welfare of animals is a vital part of healing the planet as a whole. “I know how fragile and traumatized our planet is. It’s a huge concern of mine. Knowing I can help on some level to improve the planet is what keeps me going.”


hinos, elephants, lions and giraffes are killed daily in South Africa by poachers for illegal trade. Horns, bones and tails are re-

moved from these endangered animals, and the carcasses are left to rot or be devoured by scavengers. It’s a big business worth about US $10 billion a year, and rhino horn is the hottest commodity. Poachers will risk their lives to get their hands on it. If caught by reserve rangers, poachers could be shot on sight. It’s a full-on war and in the midst of it all is Laura Graham, a University of Guelph adjunct professor and alumna with a passion for animal welfare and conservation. “I’ve always been driven to help animals. It feeds my soul,” she says. @porticomag

That’s what drove Graham to spend this past summer living on a game reserve in Pongola, South Africa. She knows all too well the grim situation faced by endangered animals and wants to try to salvage something good from their deaths. She plans to determine whether reproductive organs can be retrieved from the carcasses. She hopes to freeze and store sperm and eggs to ensure a diverse gene pool for future propagation of the species. “It’s a unique scenario in that these animals aren’t dying from old age like they do in zoos,” says Graham. “These are strong healthy animals killed in their prime of life. This makes them ideal for gamete retrieval. We need to maintain genetic diversity of all endangered species if they are going to be able to adapt to our changing world.” Her plan is filled with obstacles – a perfect fit for an animal biosciences professor used to exploring uncharted territory. Over her 25-year career, she has developed globally recognized techniques to preserve the lives of endangered animals. One of her biggest achievements so far is the development of tests that use urine and feces to detect hormones for stress, pregnancy and ovulation in captive species, particularly zoo animals. Zookeepers can use these non-invasive tests to monitor animal welfare and improve breeding programs. Graham was drawn to developing this tool decades ago as a U of G undergraduate working at the African Lion Safari

“ I’VE ALWAYS BEEN DRIVEN TO HELP ANIMALS. IT FEEDS MY SOUL.” in Hamilton, Ont. “I heard about how a tiger had given birth and all the cubs were killed by the other tigers she was housed with,” she says. “When tigers give birth in the wild, the mother goes off on her own because she knows the other tigers will kill her cubs. It’s instinctual for tigers to kill small things. However, in this case the zookeepers didn’t know the tiger was pregnant so they didn’t remove her from the others.” Back then, determining whether a zoo animal was pregnant required a blood sample, which is not only difficult to obtain but also stressful on the animal, says Graham. “I knew there had to be a better way.” She studied hormone patterns of wild species, including tigers, and developed simple pregnancy tests using feces. Since then, Graham has expanded this idea to test not just reproductive hormones but also stress hormones in animals’ urine and feces. She has used these tests in breeding and animal welfare projects involving endangered species both in captivity and in the wild, from Arctic polar bears to Vancouver Island marmots to African elephants. “My work started with zoo animals but now it is translating to wild populations.” In fact, at the South African game reserve this past summer, Graham collected elephant feces and conducted

hormone tests to learn how elements such as drought conditions, population density and vehicular traffic affect the animals’ stress levels. “Park owners care about this because the less stressed the animal, the better it will display for the people driving through on safari.” She also recently developed a simple, economical and effective way for conservationists to store and freeze sperm from animals using technology no bigger than a backpack that may be used in zoos and in the field. Although Graham is eager to add her gamete retrieval project to her list of groundbreaking accomplishments, she can’t just yet. While the reserve rangers agreed to help her and were able to find animals in time to retrieve viable gametes, her instructions “got lost in translation,” says Graham. “Instead of the testicles, they brought back the skin that surrounds the testicles and there wasn’t much I could do with that.” Despite the setback, Graham hopes this partnership will work. If it does, she says, similar projects might be set up in other parts of the world to help preserve endangered animals. “I need to do all I can to help ensure the survival of these endangered species because it is my species that is causing their extinction.” Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 23


Grad turns life lessons into consulting business, advocacy efforts


Drew Cumpson books it on the back roads of Loyalist Township in his power wheelchair, an Invacare TDX SP model loaded with features. He steers, brakes and guns it with subtle movements of his head and neck. His T-shirt reads “Eat. Sleep. Travel” – the slogan of his former school at the University of Guelph. Cumpson’s dog, Sawyer, takes the lead as Cumpson motors down the blacktop, alongside hayfields north of Amherstview, in the rolling landscape upcountry from Lake Ontario’s northeastern shore. The young man’s personal support workers have trouble keeping up. One lags well behind, preserving her energy, while another quicksteps alongside. The chair goes just fast enough to give Sawyer a workout and Cumpson a breeze. A graduate of the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, Cumpson, 26, is a determined, stubborn and resilient person who is on a mission to live life to the fullest. As a quadriplegic, he wants to help others with disabilities do the same. His life over the last six years, he says, has been one

24  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

big learning curve – a difficult process of learning to live well after suddenly losing the use of his arms and legs. He has lots of experiential learning to share. Earlier this year, Cumpson launched his website, the centrepiece of his H & D (Hospitality and Disability) Consulting business. He advises restaurants, hotels and airlines on improving accessibility, while coaching people with disabilities in everything from travel planning to obtaining post-secondary education to maintaining a healthy attitude. He also advocates for better health services for people with disabilities, and for changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program so it provides more support for those wanting to get off the program, earn a living or start a business. “Yes, my life has changed,” he says, sitting in the open-space living room of the rural home built specially for him by his family, close to the medical services he needs in nearby Kingston. “I cannot do all the same things that I used to do, but I try to do as many of those things as possible, in order to continue living a life that is comparable to what I would be doing if I did not have my accident. I have to go forward in life, no matter what. I am not giving up.” A few days before the 2011 swimming accident that altered his life, Cumpson was looking out over


His dog, Sawyer, in the lead, Drew Cumpson motors down the back roads near his home, with personal support worker Matt Crosgrove alongside.

Peru’s Andes Mountains from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, among the seven wonders of the world. He vowed then to visit the remaining six. It was one of his last experiences on foot. Unaccustomed to world travel as a person with a disability, he nevertheless visited Mexico’s Chichen Itza in early 2016, another of the world’s wonders. He did it because he promised himself he would. He encountered many obstacles and inaccessible places. It inspired him to work to make travel easier for those with a disability. “I’ve always been someone who, once something is in my mind, I am going to focus on completing that task, no matter what.” In May 2011, Cumpson was part of a University of Guelph humanitarian trip to Peru, helping to improve the lives of local people living in poverty. On the last day of the volunteer trip, he was swimming in the Pacific Ocean. One especially powerful wave drove him headfirst into the rocky ocean floor. The impact fractured the fourth cervical vertebra in his spine. “I don’t really recall the first two or three weeks after the accident,” he says. Paralyzed from the armpits down, he spent 16 months in intensive care at Kingston General Hospital. There were many complications. He was transferred to the former St. Mary’s of the Lake facility for complex continuing care, where he spent three years. Now, Cumpson lives at home in a decidedly non-clinical setting. He requires round-the-clock care. Medical specialists monitor his health. He needs a ventilator to breathe and a pacemaker to ensure his heart rate remains above 60 beats per minute. It was at St. Mary’s that he decided to resume his studies at U of G. He had been away for five semesters. The option of transferring to Queen’s University in Kingston was suggested, but he said no. He would stick with what he called U of G’s “best in the nation” hospitality program. “I wanted to show that even though you have a disability, you can still do everything from an educational perspective,” says Cumpson, whose tattoo of a leaping Moby Dick on his left bicep is a symbol of his own story of strength and survival. After starting back at the University in January 2013, he learned that his mother was diagnosed with cancer. She fought a strong battle, he says, but died on July 17 that year. Cumpson persevered. He took all the distance education classes he could. Skype allowed him to @porticomag

attend further courses remotely. Other students took notes for him. Faculty and staff did whatever was necessary to make it happen. “They were just amazing,” Cumpson says. Mike von Massow, now a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, was teaching in the College of Business and Economics when Cumpson made his return to his studies. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it,” says von Massow. “His commitment to finishing the program – and the support he got from other students – was admirable. It really was amazing. It was inspirational when he came across the stage to graduate.” Cumpson’s body is confined, but his mind is unconstrained. It darts and dashes, keeping him awake at night. “My brain never shuts off,” he says. “It does not shut off at all.” He is bombarded by thoughts about his future, his consulting business, the challenges he faces and how best to overcome them. There is a connecting thread of optimism running through it all. “I’ve honestly never seen him have a negative day,” says Madison Simmons, a best friend. “He’s always positive. He’s just so driven. When he sets his mind to something, he has to see it through.” Before his accident, Cumpson had no idea of the challenges facing people with disabilities. “As someone who went from being able-bodied to disabled in an instant, I realized very quickly how inaccessible it is, and how many barriers there are in this world for people living with disabilities of any kind.” Yet Cumpson doesn’t think of himself as disabled. “In terms of my disability, I look at it more as not really a disability, but something along the lines of just having different abilities now than what I had before. My abilities in life have changed, but I still have these other abilities to push forever and work through in life.” —ROB O’FLANAGAN

H&D Consulting Cumpson’s consulting practice offers practical guidance for people with disabilities on: • the dos and don’ts of world travel • the pursuit of higher education • the art of selfadvocacy • sex and relationships

Cumpson’s optimism, and his smile, shines through.

Have an idea for an alumni spotlight? Send us a note at porticomagazine

Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 25

During a dengue epidemic in Fiji, Tyler Sharp worked with local residents, including this man and his children.


Disease detective Respecting the ‘enemy’ key to fighting Zika, grad says

Tyler Sharp is an international disease detective with a profound respect for the viruses he investigates. He also harbours a fairly virulent loathing for them. The curious, meticulous scientist is intrigued by the tiny, potentially deadly organisms – by their elegance, simplicity and potency. But he is driven to combat and eliminate them, to prevent the harm they wreak on individuals and communities.  While an undergraduate at the University of Guelph, Sharp picked up a fascination for viruses that went viral. The American epidemiologist was first exposed to the science of virology here in the early 2000s. Ever since, he has been compelled to learn as much as possible about the pathogenic mechanisms of the organisms.  “You’ve got to respect your enemy,” says Sharp, 35, who leads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zika outbreak response in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. He is stationed at CDC’s dengue branch in San Juan. The outbreak began in late 2015 and officially ended this June.  As the team leader in Puerto Rico, Sharp was in charge of detecting human Zika cases throughout the island. As viral hot spots emerged, he dispersed vector control teams to eliminate 26  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017


1 Zika virus is primarily spread through infected mosquitoes or sex.

2 The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites.

3 Zika is linked to birth defects.

4 Pregnant women should not travel to areas at risk of Zika.

5 Returning travellers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites and sex.

mosquitoes, and deployed community educators to raise awareness of the virus and how to prevent its spread. Those efforts reduced transmission rates. “Viruses are very simple, but obviously they can have such catastrophic consequences,” he says during a telephone conversation.  Sharp completed his undergraduate degree in molecular biology and genetics at U of G, and a doctorate in molecular virology and microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  But he also possesses skills acquired during post-graduate training in CDC’s epidemic intelligence service that place him at the tip of the spear of outbreak responses around the world. Zika typically involves fairly mild, flu-like symptoms, and treatment is similar to that used for influenza. But the virus is especially worrisome because of its links to birth defects. Infected pregnant women can give birth to babies with microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain.  “I’ve got a lot of respect for Zika, but I also have a very strong loathing for it,” Sharp says. “When you see first-hand the effects of this virus on newborn kids, it’s something that you don’t forget.”  Sharp’s scientific and career trajectory took a dramatic turn as an undergraduate at U of G. Still a teenager, and looking for adventure, he moved to Guelph in 2000 from his hometown of Bowling Green, Ohio.  Inspired by the 1997 futuristic film Gattaca, which is all about the genetic engineering of human beings, Sharp enrolled at the University determined to become a geneticist. But he had his scientific mind altered and his professional path reoriented after “literally two lectures” in Peter Krell’s microbiology class in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.  “His class really inspired me to go the virology route,” Sharp says. “He was an early mentor of mine.”  Sharp calls his time at Guelph formative.  “The four years at U of G really did shape the rest of my life, both personally and professionally. I am so indebted to Guelph for providing the education that it did, especially on the scientific front. I feel very lucky to have gone there.” –ROB O’FLANAGAN



Sharada Srinivasan studies the allure of agriculture for youth worldwide.


Staying on the farm Many have studied the outmigration of young people from farming, and the seeming low prestige the agriculture sector has for the younger generation around the world. Sharada Srinivasan, a professor in U of G’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, is eager to study the flipside of the issue. She launched a $285,000, four-year, four-country study on young farmers this year that is exploring why many young people are staying in agriculture or are eager to start a farm.

Canada, China, India and Indonesia are the subject countries. Srinivasan says they share patterns when it comes to the pathways to and from farming that young people take. Understanding why the younger generation wants to be on the land rather than leave it could help governments and schools formulate better approaches to promoting agriculture as a viable career option. Srinivasan says she read much of the research on why young people leave the countryside. But at the same time, she met many who wanted a life in farming. It is time to start talking about those who are in farming, rather than always talking about those who are leaving it, she says.


Rebuilding lives after disaster Prof. Manish Raizada says when a natural disaster strikes, rural people need to rebuild their lives, and grow food, as quickly as possible. Returning to some semblance of normalcy depends upon it. Raizada, along with his research associate Tejendra Chapagain, has created emergency sustainable agriculture kits, or eSAKs. The kits are specially designed to aid in the disaster recovery of farm families in developing countries. Those families are often neglected during emergency relief measures that primarily focus on urban centres. A package that can be widely and cheaply distributed, each kit is packed with disaster recovery essentials, including low-cost tools, @porticomag

Manish Raizada’s eSAKs are a lifeline for farmers after natural disasters.

temporary shelter and first-aid supplies, as well as seeds and fertilizer for rapidly maturing grains, legumes and vegetables. Following the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Raizada and his U of G team worked with external partners to distribute components of the eSAKs, which can be assembled for about $40. After the earthquake, a non-emergency SAK was made available. An estimated 40,000 SAK components will have been purchased by Nepalese households by early 2018, benefiting more than 100,000 people.


A first for Ghana The West African nation of Ghana has its firstever female chief of staff, and she is a University of Guelph graduate. Frema Osei-Opare was named to the position in early 2017 by newly elected President Nana Akufo-Addo. As chief of staff, OseiOpare coordinates the supporting staff of the presidency and serves as the primary aide to the president. A labour and human resources expert, she was a two-term member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, and served from 2005 to 2008 as deputy minister in the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment while in the government of former president John Agyekum Kufuor. Osei-Opare received her M.Sc. from U of G’s Department of Food Science in 1976. She entered graduate studies at the University after completing a bachelor of science degree in home science at the University of Ghana. Upon returning to her homeland, she became a lecturer and department head of home science at the University of Ghana. She also served as director of ActionAid Ghana, an organization that supports the basic needs and rights of the poor.

Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 27


A helping hand Student’s low-cost prosthetic device changing lives

Jerry Ennett is putting artificial hands on those who cannot afford them – and having an international impact. The low-cost prosthetic hand he produced on a 3-D printer made him a winner in the 2016 World Vision Social Innovation Challenge. The hand project took him on a medical humanitarian mission to India this fall. “The first time I heard about prosthetics was when a friend on my hockey team was diagnosed with leg cancer,” says Ennett, a fifth-year biomedical engineering co-op student.

Jerry Ennett’s 3-D-printed devices won the World Vision Social Innovation Challenge.

“It was found as a result of a fracture he received on the ice. He ended up having to get an above-knee amputation.” Ennett began crafting prosthetic hands on a 3-D printer about three years ago, using open-source designs that he adapted for different wearers. He started a 3-D printing company, Taurus 3D, with a summer business grant from his hometown of Stratford, Ont. While taking printing jobs that paid the bills, he explored altruistic uses of 3-D technology, landing on the idea of prosthetic devices that can be easily and cheaply made. He has enhanced his skills during co-op placements at 3D4MD, a 3-D-printable medical supplies company in Toronto, and biomedical engineering firm Starfish Medical in Victoria, B.C. Ennett’s affordable prosthetic hand, which uses tension cables to activate the fingers, earned him an invitation to a rehabilitation centre in southern India this year to train workers in 3-D tech. The Canadian charity Handi-Care International helped sponsor the effort. Using his process, a prosthetic hand can be made from durable plastic or nylon for about $25 worth of materials, he says. The hand takes about a day to print and two hours to assemble. “With 3-D printing, once the design is done, it basically comes down to the cost of the plastic,” he says. This fall, Ennett will visit Amar Seva Sangam, an organization run by the disabled for the disabled, located near the village of Ayikudy in southern India. It provides home care, special education and rehabilitation services for hundreds of children. The centre sees as many as 20 amputees each month, but can do little for them. It does not have the financial resources or technological capacity to provide patients with prosthetic devices, and the costs of obtaining those devices through conventional channels are prohibitive. Ennett offers a sustainable solution to the problem, providing needed training for clinicians to make prosthetics in-house. “I like using cutting-edge tech to help people,” he says. “That’s one of the coolest combinations.” PHOTOS: JERRY ENNETT


28  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

New chapters

A selection of books published recently by U of G faculty and alumni Alison Pick

Strangers With the Same Dream Alison Pick, a Canadian Jewish Book Award winner and Man Booker Prize nominee, has a much-anticipated new novel. Strangers With the Same Dream is set in a fledgling kibbutz in 1921 Palestine. A small group of young Jewish pioneers are determined to bring a utopian ideal to life on a plot of land that, 25 years later, becomes part of the state of Israel. Described as a story told with sensitivity, intelligence and beauty, the novel delves into the dark side of utopian longing, and has been hailed by critics as stunning and riveting. Born in Toronto and raised in Kitchener, Pick received her BA in psychology from the University of Guelph in 1999. She completed a master’s degree in philosophy at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Her previous novel, the bestselling Far to Go, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. It was published around the world. Her memoir, Between Gods, also won the Canadian Jewish Book Award.

Stephen Henighan Mr. Singh Among the Fugitives

Prof. Stephen Henighan, a prolific writer and translator, had his second novel in six months published earlier this year. Mr. Singh Among the Fugitives (Linda Leith Publishing) came out in the spring. The Path of the Jaguar (Thistledown Press) was published in late 2016. Henighan has said in interviews that he began his @porticomag

latest novel as a short story, written in response to several Ontario publishers that praised his Path of the Jaguar manuscript but declined to publish it due to its satirical perspective on the literary establishment and multiculturalism. Mr. Singh Among the Fugitives follows the ambitions of R.U. Singh, who is driven by a desire to live the life of an English country squire. He settles into a comfortable life as a small-town Ontario lawyer, but is accepted only at the whim of the establishment. Henighan has a doctorate in Spanish American literature from the University of Oxford. Since 1999, he has taught Hispanic studies in the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Guelph.

Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s handwritten journals and major collections are a prized part of U of G’s McLaughlin Library archives. The fabled author of Anne of Green Gables, and many other books that follow heroine Anne Shirley, revealed a great deal about herself in the journals. University professors emeritae Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston began delving into the 10 journals more than three decades ago, and published abridged versions of them starting in 1985. Those books proved popular,

leading to the publication of unabridged volumes of the journals more recently by Oxford University Press. L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals include reproductions of Montgomery’s own photographs, as well as newspaper clippings, postcards and portraits of the author. Since June 2016, three volumes covering Montgomery’s years in Ontario have come out, including two this year.

Andrew Waldron

Exploring the Capital: An Architectural Guide to the Ottawa-Gatineau Region The Ottawa-Gatineau region is a place to walk through Canadian history. Andrew Waldron gives visitors to the nation’s capital a choice of a dozen historical walking tours in Exploring the Capital: An Architectural Guide to the Ottawa-Gatineau Region (Figure 1 Publishing). With photographs by Peter Coffman, the book maps out routes for 400 historically or architecturally significant landmarks and neighbourhoods in and around Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, New Edinburgh, Old Ottawa South and Rideau Canal. Waldron has a bachelor’s degree in art history from U of G and a master’s in Canadian architectural history from Carleton University.

Jessica Riley

A Man of Letters Unsolicited scripts sent to theatre companies can pile up. That wasn’t the case for the late Urjo Kareda, artistic director of Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre from 1982 to 2001, who was legendary for giving thorough

notes to those scriptwriters. In the process, Kareda has had a major influence on Englishlanguage theatre in Canada. His correspondence with the individual playwrights who submitted those hundreds of scripts is the subject of a new book by Jessica Riley, who has a PhD in literary studies/ theatre studies in English from U of G. She graduated in 2015. A Man of Letters: The Selected Dramaturgical Correspondence of Urjo Kareda (Playwrights Canada Press) explores the values and preoccupations that drove Kareda to help playwrights. His frank and detailed letters, most of them rejections, helped shape the writing process for many playwrights.

Melanie Mah

The Sweetest One Melanie Mah, a graduate of U of G’s MFA in creative writing, won the 2017 Trillium Book Award for Fiction for her The Sweetest One. The debut novel, published by Cormorant Books, was based on her MFA thesis while at U of G. The Sweetest One is the story of 17-year-old Chrysler Wong, and the paralyzing fear that grips her and her Chinese Canadian family living in smalltown Alberta. Mah was born in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., and now lives in Toronto. The novel is based in part on Mah’s own life. The youngest child in a large family, she experienced the tragic loss of a sibling. That instilled the fear of a similar fate in her. Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 29


T h e U n i vers it y o f Gu elph Alum ni Association is p leased to recogniz e fo ur dis t in g u is h ed alu m ni for their insp ir ing achiev em ents an d co mmitm ent to excellence.

Judy Maddren B.A.Sc. ’72 Alumna of Honour

Mitchell Moffit, B.Sc.’10, and Gregory Brown, B.Sc.’11, AsapSCIENCE Alumni Medal of Achievement

W. Brian Little ADA ’67, B.Sc.(Agr.)’72, M.Sc.’78 Alumni Volunteer Award


Hear from our winners — watch their videos at umni .uoguel ph . ca/ aw ards of ex cel l en ce

Alumni matters    COMING EVENTS Oct. 1 CBS HK-5K This 5 km walk or run supports the human anatomy program at U of G. ALUMNI NEWS

We asked, thousands of you answered!


urvey says… Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our recent alumni survey, intended to help us learn how engaged you are in the life of the University, and to find out more about what you need from your alma mater. Once we’ve analyzed the results, we can shape our programs and target communications to suit you. It didn’t surprise us to learn that we received almost 9,000 survey responses – or that our response rate was well above the average for Canadian universities. U of G grads are highly engaged! The highest response came from alumni 25-35 years old,

but there was a good sample size across all age groups. Almost 80 per cent of respondents were from Ontario, with 22 per cent from the Guelph area. Our early look at the responses shows that alumni have a high level of connection with U of G. We are encouraged by the responses and look forward to digging much deeper into the data and interpretations. Your feedback will help show us where we should focus our attention and where we need to improve. We will report back soon with full details on the survey results. We look forward to sharing ideas and plans on how to turn the data into programs and services that will benefit all U of G alumni.

Brandon Gorman, B.Comm. ’06 President UGAA

Jason Moreton, BA ’00 Associate Vice-President Alumni Advancement

Oct. 5 Washington, D.C., Alumni Multi-School Reception Reconnect with alumni from the University of Guelph and other Canadian universities in Washington, D.C. Oct. 27 CBS Student and Alumni Ottawa Social Enjoy this night of networking with CBS alumni and students visiting Ottawa. Nov. 16 School of Engineering Alumni Honours and Awards Recognizing alumni for outstanding work and leadership in engineering.

For details and a full event list, see www.alumni.



Ontario Science Centre

Looking for some family fun? Enjoy an admission discount for Imax films at the Ontario Science Centre. @porticomag


Present your alumni card at Kelsey’s on Woodlawn Road in Guelph to enjoy great food and a 10-per-cent discount. promotions

Hockey Hall of Fame

You can do it all... at The Hall. Grads receive savings on entry and the souvenir shop at the Hockey Hall of Fame. promotions Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 31

Alumni matters


During Alumni Weekend, the Class of OAC ’57A celebrated by returning to the cannon, which it painted as a group 60 years ago. The class says it started the tradition of painting the cannon at night. This time around, class members took aim at some U of G administrators.

From left, B.Sc. ’77 grads Cheryl KingVan Vlack, Sherry Jones and Lloyd Clayton share a laugh with Judy Clayton outside Alumni House. 32  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

Almost 1,000 grads returned to campus to celebrate Alumni Weekend June 9-10. More than 40 events attracted recent alumni as well as grads from U of G’s founding colleges. Among the most popular were the President’s Milestone Lunch, the beer garden and the Honey Bee Research Centre tour. The weekend featured 22 class reunions, including five celebrating 50 years since graduation. Mark your calendars for next year and plan to celebrate on campus June 22-23.

Are you interested in organizing a reunion in 2018? We can help. Please contact us at


Alumni weekend



Celebration of Excellence


Each year, the University of Guelph Alumni Association honours distinguished alumni for outstanding achievements. This year’s gala held in the new Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre attracted almost 200 alumni. Award winners were Judy Maddren, Alumna of Honour; W. Brian Little, Alumni Volunteer Award; and Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, Alumni Medal of Achievement. Nominations will open soon for 2018. Visit awardsofexcellence for details.

At 92, Herbert (Herb) Norry, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, M.Sc. ’66, says he is the oldest member of his Kiwanis Club, his exercise group and his hunt club, but is not the oldest resident at the Richmond Woods by Sifton, a seniors residence in London, Ont., where he has lived since 2014. Peter Johnson, Dipl. ’59 and B.Sc. ’65, moved to London, Ont., from Vancouver Island to be closer to family. He is setting up new beehives to help London’s pollinator population and support efforts to improve urban agriculture.



Johan (Bill) Van Loo, Dipl. ’67, retired from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs extension service and from Cornell University as the regional senior economic specialist. Currently enjoying retired life along Florida’s sunshine coast.

(l-r): Mitchell Moffit, B.Sc. ’10; Gregory Brown, B.Sc. ’11; president Franco Vaccarino; Judy Maddren, B.A.Sc. ’72; and W. Brian Little, ADA ’67, B.Sc.(Agr.) ’72, M.Sc. ’78.

Alumni Night at the Jays Alumni Night at the Blue Jays game July 6 attracted almost 450 grads to a downtown reception before cheering on the Jays as they defeated the Houston Astros 7-4.

Peter Peachey, B.Sc. ’67, left the hospitality and retirement industries for a career in condominium management/business. He has worked for Percel Inc. for the last seven years, managing seven condominium corporations.


John Scott, B.Sc. ’70, received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General for his work with Lyme disease patients and his research on ticks and Lyme disease across Canada.

China. He is now enjoying life in a small town and thinking about other ESL/travel opportunities. Antonietta (Toni) Dona, BA ’78, retired from teaching full-time but still supply teaches due to the shortage of Frenchspeaking teachers. Michael Kral, BA ’79, has taught at the universities of Manitoba, Windsor, Yale and Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and did community-based research in Nunavut for 20 years. Now teaching at Wayne State, he is looking to connect with other U of G grads. Steven Oliver, B.Sc. ’79, and his wife, Barbara, attended the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the Vimy Memorial in France in April. They also toured London, Amsterdam, the Normandy coast and Paris. Their son, Peter, graduated from U of G in 2016; daughter Laura is an analyst at ArcelorMittal Steel in Hamilton, Ont.


Ted Kennedy, B.Sc. ’80, president of CEO Challenges and senior director of Life Time Fitness, competed at the World Duathlon Championships in Penticton, B.C., in August. Last November at the qualifying race in New Orleans, Kennedy, who won his age division, was cheered on by 12 U of G alumni, many of whom lived together in Mills Hall in the late 1970s. They included Chris Lough, B.Sc. ’79, a triathlete who once competed for Canada at the World Championships. Also making the trip were Bruce Mason, B.Sc. ’79; Audrey Mason, B.Comm. ’79;

John Henderson, B.Sc. ’74, was inducted into the North American Maple Syrup Hall of Fame in Croghan, New York. He regulated maple syrup production with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and was a consultant to the International Maple Syrup Institute. Susan Lovelady, BA ’74, is a registered social worker in private practice and loves her work. Michael Zigler, B.Sc. ’75 and DVM ’79, completed an M.Sc. in international animal health at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Daughter Melissa is a third-year veterinary student in Edinburgh. John Vermeer, B.Sc. ’76, retired as a college professor and taught English in


Elisse Scott Kennedy, B.Comm. ’78, with her husband, Ted, after he competed in the World Duathlon Championships in B.C. Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 33

Alumni matters Elisse Kennedy, B.Comm. ’78; Ted Hamill, B.Sc. ’79; Peter Adams, B.Sc. ’79; Dave Downey, B.Sc. ’81; Jeff Thistlethwaite, BA ’78; Don Adam, BA ’78; Brad Lyons, B.Sc. ’79; and Margot Weir, BA ’80. David Sax, MA ’83, retired as executive director of Catholic Family Services of Regina after 21 years and moved to Nanaimo, B.C., in May to be closer to family. Jeptha Ball, B.Sc. (Eng.) ’84, retired as a flood safety engineer with the Province of British Columbia. He is enjoying backcountry hiking and whitewater canoeing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. Paul Fitzpatrick, BA ’86, recently celebrated his fifth year in business as an independent real estate broker in the Wellington and Waterloo regions. Mark Fetterly and Andrea Barker, both B.Sc. ’81. Andrea recently retired after 27 years as a citizenship and immigration officer with the federal government. Mark is a biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. They enjoy remaining in contact with other U of G grads.

B.Sc. ’80 alumni having lunch with retired agricultural economics professor T.K. (Sandy) Warley and his wife, Anita: (front row) Anita Warley, Sandy Warley, Jane Rajantie, Marian Boyd, Phil Boyd; (back row) Mary Lynn McPherson, Brenda Trask (kneeling), Bob Wilbur, Linda Wilbur, Dave Summers, Jane Sadler Richards, Doug Richards, Ian Campbell, Larry Skinner and Nancy Skinner. Caroline Valeriote, B.A.Sc. ’88, is co-owner of PV Tax Service in Guelph and Waterloo Region along with her husband, Patrick, and daughter Anita.

Kristine Chalmers-Gibbs, B.Comm. ’95, is celebrating 15 years with Moxie’s Grill and Bar, and credits the company for helping her grow and change professional paths.

Richard Besworth, BA ’88, and Denise (Seghal) Besworth, B.Sc. ’87, live in Georgetown, Ont. Richard teaches secondary school math in the Peel District School Board, and Denise is a secondary guidance head for the Halton District School Board. Their sons, Jake and Cole, are U of G students in engineering and psychology, respectively. Daughter Haley graduated from Western University but took classes at U of G.

Margaret Hutchinson, PhD ’96, visited Guelph in June after 21 years. She is the principal investigator for a Kenyan team in a project involving India, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago. Also involved are Hutchinson’s U of G plant agriculture professors Al Sullivan, Jayasankar Subramanian and Gopi Paliyath. She plans to encourage her grandchildren to attend U of G.


Timothy Borho, B.Sc. ’90, is the commercial agronomist and silage specialist for Dow Seeds and spent seven years as the territory sales representative for Dow AgroSciences.


Ed Barre, PhD ’92, is a human nutrition professor at Cape Breton University and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Research in May.

Sam Coats

Sales Representative

Mobile: (519) 994-0823 Office: (226) 780-0502 ext 120 Email:

Christopher Parkinson, B.Sc. ’92, brought his son to U of G to visit the MacNaughton Building Observatory, and was proud to learn that the first-aid team he helped organize in 1990 is still active. P. Kumar Mallikarjunan, PhD ’93, was appointed head of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

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Sandra (Schultz) Venneri, B.Sc. ’02, runs Nutrition Bites, an education-based business ( The company was a finalist for the 2017 Mompreneur Startup Award.

Kristine (Tina) Sartori, B.A.Sc. ’00, was named executive director of the Montessori Academy of London, Ont. She joined the school as a teacher 16 years ago and has worked in admissions and development. Andrea Winter, B.Sc. (Eng.), ’01, was named a member of the Professional Engineers Ontario Order of Honour. She mentors new engineers at Dillon Consulting Ltd. Nilay Lad, B.Comm. ’04, has worked with financial institutions for more than 14 years, and is the founder and CEO of Christine Tersteege, BA ’05, completed a master’s degree in homeland security at Penn State University. Krista Snader, M.Sc. ’06, is moving to Nairobi, Kenya, with her family to work on water, sanitation and conservation projects with the Mennonite Central Committee.

Reilly Scott, BA ’09, is a musician in Kenora, Ont. She recently released her second single and a music video, and has launched a kickstarter campaign to raise funds to release an album. Information at scientifique – Institut Armand-Frappier in Laval, Que. Hayley Summers, B.Comm. ’13, spent two months travelling and started a new job at the JW Marriott Rosseau at Lake Rosseau, Ont. Anita Acai, B.Sc. ’14, completed a master’s degree at McMaster University and has started a PhD in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, and the Department of Surgery.

Adriana Delanghe, B.Sc. ’14, M.Sc. ’15, and Peter Delanghe, B.Sc. ’10, were married in April 2017. Andreia Arrude, PhD ’16, is an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, at Ohio State University. Jessica Wojcik, B.Sc. ’16, was married in March 2016, one month before finishing her degree. She bought her first house in Listowel, Ont., in April.

Alana Evers, BLA ’07, works for the City of Mississauga, is a volunteer ambassador at Sheena’s Place in Toronto and planned her class’s 10-year reunion activities. Christine (Christi) Garneau, BA ’09, became university secretary at McMaster University this past summer (http:// Michelle Clarabut, MA ’12, completed a PhD in the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway, University of London.


Kelly Greig, B.Sc. ’12 and M.Sc. ’15, and Peter Kraska, M.Sc. ’15, were married in September. Kelly celebrated her fifth anniversary with a crop protection chemical company, a job she secured immediately after finishing her undergraduate degree. David Lawless, B.Sc. ’12, has travelled around Canada to learn about the diversity of the energy sector as a fellow of Your Energy Future, a national policy and leadership development program. He will help develop national energy strategies. Salim Timo Islam, PhD ’13, is a professor at the Institut national de la recherche @porticomag

Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 35

Alumni matters Passages 1930s Joseph Galway, Dipl. ’37, July 30, 2016 Mary Walters, DHE ’38, Aug. 21, 2016 1940s Margaret Brocklebank, DHE ’40, April 2, 2016 Stuart Magwood, DVM ’43, M.Sc. ’67, June 13, 2017 John Ketcheson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’44, May 2, 2017 John Bramall, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’47, Feb. 24, 2017 Ross Mack, Dipl. ’47, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’50, Oct. 15, 2016 Russell McKay, Dipl. ’47, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’50, March 29, 2016 Mary Louise Procter, DHE ’47, Jan. 19, 2017 Garnet Ralph, Dipl. ’47, Feb. 3, 2016 Barbara Troup, DHE ’47, Dec. 24, 2015 Wilma (Billie) Cassidy, DHE ’48, March 27, 2017 Robert (Bob) Moote, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’48, May 29, 2017 Harry Barrett, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’49, Jan. 26, 2017 Barbara Rogers, DHE ’49, Feb. 5, 2017 1950s Thomas (Jack) Chambers, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’50, Nov. 20, 2016 Douglas Maplesden, DVM ’50, M.Sc. (Agr.) (Eng.) ’59, July 24, 2017 John (Dick) Northwood, Dipl. ’50, June 16, 2015 Carman Hawkins, DVM ’51, Nov. 19, 2016 Peter Oliver, DVM ’51, July 14, 2017 Edward Watson, Dipl. ’51, March 21, 2017 Kenneth Ainslie, DVM ’52, July 1, 2017 Ellen Burke, DHE ’52, Aug. 8, 2017 Douglas Emmons, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, May 29, 2017 John Parliament, DVM ’52, July 8, 2017 Mary Beaton, B.H.Sc. ’53, Aug. 5, 2017 Ronald Leckie, Dipl. ’53, April 8, 2015 Lykle (Ike) DeVries, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’54, March 6, 2017 Keith Harrison, DVM ’54, Feb. 15, 2017 Lynn Helwig, DVM ’54, July 24, 2017 Donald MacDonald, DVM ’54, Jan. 9, 2017 William (Bill) Steele, DVM ’54, May 24, 2017 William (Bill) Thompson, DVM ’54, June 16, 2017 Louis Villa, DVM ’54, Nov. 15, 2016 Donald Wilkinson, Dipl. ’54, May 30, 2016 Don Sewell, Dipl. ’55, April 4, 2017 James Fraser, Dipl. ’56, Jan. 27, 2017 Morley Rutherford, DVM ’56, Feb. 2, 2017 Reginald Alev, DVM ’57, Sept. 13, 2015 Ewart Brundrett, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’57, June 20, 2016 Vernon Hutson, Dipl. ’57, Feb. 25, 2013 Neal Stoskopf, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’57, M.Sc. (Agr.) (Eng.) ’58, July 12, 2016 John (Dick) Goodwin, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’58, Oct. 2, 2016 36  |  PORTICO  Fall 2017

Barry Carswell, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’59, March 11, 2017 Paul Harrison, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’59, M.Sc. ’65, Dec. 17, 2016 Arlene Murray, B.H.Sc. ’59, Aug. 2, 2017 Bruce Naylor, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’59, July 11, 2017 Joseph Van Der Paelt, Dipl. ’59, March 17, 2017 1960s Gordon Charter, Dipl. ’60, Aug. 10, 2016 Donald Fletcher, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’60, April 27, 2017 Gerhard (John) Ross, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’60, March 29, 2017 Maurice Dekindt, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’62, Jan. 12, 2017 E. Keith Leitch, DVM ’62, Dec. 17, 2016 Bruce Duncan, Dipl. ’63, Sept. 15, 2016 John Kenny, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’64, May 28, 2017 Walter Skaskow, DVM ’64, Feb. 21, 2017 Paul Strong, DVM ’64, May 29, 2017 Stanley Weisberg, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’64, Nov. 8, 2016 James Dalrymple, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’66, M.Sc. ’68, June 10, 2017 Ian MacNaughton, B.Sc. ’66, May 20, 2014 Patricia Armstrong, Dipl. ’67, Feb. 2, 2017 Douglas Brown, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, Feb. 7, 2017 Gordon Deacon, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, March 15, 2016 Charles Landon, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, Jan. 18, 2017 John Sneep, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, June 10, 2017 William Stewart, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, Oct. 27, 2016 Mary Davis, BA ’68, Sept. 25, 2016 Linda Hamill, BA ’68, Dec. 4, 2016 Dwight McBride, BA ’68, May 23, 2015 Wayne Robinson, DVM ’68, June 30, 2017 Lawrence (Lawrie) Rydholm, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, July 24, 2015 Frank Vitellaro, BA ’68, Feb. 19, 2015 Carl Croy, DVM ’69, March 23, 2017 Brent Hoff, DVM ’69, June 29, 2017 David Manuel, DVM ’69, March 5, 2017 1970s Gordon Greer, B.Sc. ’70, M.Sc. ‘72, May 18, 2017 Howard (Ron) Eldridge, B.Sc. ’71, June 1, 2017 Dirk van Leeuwen, BA ’71, Jan. 14, 2017 Winston Boyne, B.Sc. ’72, July 6, 2015 John Dorsey, B.Sc. (Agr.), ’72, July 31, 2016 Joseph (Joe) Macartney, B.Sc. ’72, April 18, 2017 Donald McFarlane, Dipl. ’72, Sept. 23, 2015 Roger Vachon, B.Sc. ’72, April 18, 2016 John Rae, B.Sc. ’73, Jan. 10, 2017 Helen (Felicity) Redgrave, BA ’73, Feb. 6, 2017 Allan Jackson, Dipl. ’74, Jan. 3, 2017 Katherine (Kathy) Pezzack, BA ’74, May 12, 2016 Robert Rowntree, BA ’74, Dec. 21, 2016

David Houghton, B.Comm. ’75, Sept. 16, 2016 John (Douglas) Mahon, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’75, Jan. 19, 2017 Alexander (Sandy) Bell, BLA ’76, July 16, 2017 Geordie (George) Chester, B.Sc. ’76, March 19, 2017 Robert MacGregor, M.Sc. ’76, Dec. 27, 2016 William Reeve, B.Sc. ’76, Sept. 11, 2016 David Risk, B.Comm. ’76, Feb. 8, 2017 Bruce Robinson, DVM ’76, Aug. 5, 2017 Cheryl (Cherie) Bowering, Dipl. ’77, Jan. 8, 2017 Ian Brackenridge, B.Sc. ’77, June 2, 2017 Helen (Kathryn) Richards, B.Sc. ’77, Jan. 8, 2017 Eveline Kellman, BA ’79, April 21, 2017 1980s Lambert Beaubien, Dipl. ’81, July 15, 2016 Lisa Maki, BLA ’84, Feb. 1, 2017 Norman Harnack, DVM ’85, Feb. 2, 2017 Orval (Butch) Morningstar, B.Sc. ’85, Feb. 17, 2015 Richard Nusink, B.Sc. (Eng.) ’85, March 10, 2017 Susan Tennant, BA ’85, July 10, 2017 William (Jeff) White, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’85, DVM ’90, July 21, 2017 Vaughn Becker, DVM ’88, June 6, 2017 Dorothy Frank, BA ’89, March 18, 2017 Paul Vanderwyst, Dipl. ’89, April 24, 2016 1990s Michael Morris, BA ’92, Jan. 17, 2017 Leslie Dalton, DVM ’98, Jan. 18, 2017 2000s Trevor Shore, B.Sc. ’01, Feb. 22, 2017 Ryan Nederend, B.Sc. ’13, March 24, 2017 Lauren Bouchard, B.A.Sc. ’17, Oct. 10, 2016 FACULTY, STAFF & STUDENTS Bayne Beitz, staff, June 3, 2017 Andrew Bishop, student, May 4, 2017 Ken Carey, staff, Feb. 28, 2017 Helen Coates, staff, Feb. 6, 2017 Vincent Cosgrove, staff, Aug. 31, 2017 Amina Kapadia, student, Feb. 4, 2017 Sarah Marsh, staff, Aug. 23, 2017 Jim McGivney, staff, Aug. 19, 2017 Eric Nielsen, student, March 3, 2017 Keith Ronald, founding dean, July 6, 2017 Gary Toporowski, staff, May 9, 2017 Alana Weichel, student, May 3, 2017 Laurel Woodcock, professor, Jan. 7, 2017

To honour alumni who have passed away, the University of Guelph Alumni Association makes an annual donation to the Alumni Legacy Scholarship.

Time capsule




With its limestone clock tower and the spacious green out front, Johnston Hall has been a consistent symbol of the University of Guelph since its opening in 1932 – at least on the outside. But inside, its corridors, rooms and spaces have changed and been rearranged over the years. Constructed after the original Johnston Hall was demolished in 1928, the building has always doubled as a student residence. We believe this photo was taken in a common area on the third floor of the central portion of the building (note the spiral staircase). The plaid carpeting hints at the 1970s, but we are not sure.

Can you date the photo? Do you see yourself in the shot? Recognize anyone? Bonus points if you can recall what this gathering was about or if you can name the mystery bearded speaker. Send a note to and let us know! @porticomag



+ The University approves plans to develop the U of G Arboretum.

+ Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invokes the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act.

+ An exhibit of sculptures and drawings by the renowned French artist Auguste Rodin comes to campus.

+ The Beatles call it quits.

+ An observatory opens atop the then-Physical Sciences building for teaching, research and stargazing.

+ Four unarmed Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War are shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard.

+ The Dairy Cattle Research Centre opens in Elora. + U of G gets its own radio station, Radio Gryphon. + Campus discusses whether educational TV has a place in the classroom.

+ Canada amends its Criminal Code to outlaw hate propaganda.

+ Thousands of Canadian lakes are declared “dead” due to acid rain. + The world watches as NASA works to return the crew of the disabled Apollo 13 spacecraft to Earth.

Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 37


“A University of Guelph graduate can do anything.” That was a key lesson from what Martha Billes calls her transformational education at the University of Guelph. She shared that message with new graduates during summer 2017 convocation ceremonies – her first as U of G’s chancellor. She is the first U of G graduate to serve as chancellor. Billes, the controlling shareholder of Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., is a 1963 graduate of the Macdonald Institute, one of U of G’s founding colleges.

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The Canadian business icon and well-known philanthropist was installed as chancellor in June. During the ceremony, she reflected on U of G’s role in her life, recalling her days as a “Mac girl” and acknowledging former classmates among her audience. “It was at Mac that our world broadened,” she says. Her professors fostered a desire to learn, she says, “but more importantly, they were always pulling us forward and inspiring us to look way, way ahead.”


Last look

Create a legacy so our students can make a difference. Make a bequest today. For more information on bequest giving, please visit or contact

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Fall 2017  PORTICO  | 39

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Portico Magazine, Fall 2017  

The University of Guelph's magazine for alumni and friends.