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Fall 2019

UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

OUT OF THE SHADOWS U of G brings research rigour to budding cannabis market p.14

Artistic alums

Grads working in gaming, movies. p.20

Doc Hollywood From U of G to TV screenwriter. p.26


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Contents

32 14 FEATURES COVER STORY

14 Cannabis campus

20

6

U of G covers research, teaching for emerging industry

20 From visual arts to virtual reality

COVER ILLUSTRATION: SEAN KANE; PHOTOS: FEDORA MEDIA; JASON JONES/JONESFOTO; MORIYAMA & TESHIMA ARCHITECTS

Alums in creative careers VOICES

SECTIONS

4 Leading edge 4 Letters 5 President’s message 34 Class notes

6 Around the ring

IN EVERY ISSUE

News and views from around campus

10 Discovery U of G research, innovations and ideas

31 Alumni matters 25 New chapters, sights & sounds 26 Alumni spotlights 30 Time capsule 36 Lives that improved life 36 Passages porticomagazine.ca

26 Lawyer turned ‘Doctor’ Writer David Hoselton

28 At the helm U of G grad named Board of Governors chair

38 Last look Seasons of the Conservatory Garden

Events, updates, class connections

Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 3


Letters Fall 2019, Vol. 51, Issue 2 Time capsule

Let’s get social! Stay up-todate on news, events and moments from the University of Guelph through these social media channels: @UofG @UofGuelph University of Guelph University of Guelph   Say hi and tag #UofG in your posts!   #UofG #ImproveLife SPRING 2019

UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

THE YEAR

1975

Coffee on campus has a long history. Well before the days of full, half-caf, decaf or fancy frapps with or without whip, coffee at U of G often meant the Massey Hall Coffee House. Ask anyone who studied or worked here between 1951 and 1998 about the place, and odds are they will have a great story to tell about what they heard, saw, discussed or experienced there. In 1951, a group of students got permission to excavate the basement of Massey Hall to open the coffee house. They dug it out in just three nights, and opened it under the auspices of the Campus Co-operative, selling coffee, muffins and more. Over the years, the coffee shop changed with the times, including sporting a psychedelic vibe in the mid-1970s. The shop closed in 1998.

We believe this shot to be from about 1975. Are we correct? Do you spot yourself or anyone you know? Send a note to porticomagazine@ uoguelph.ca and let us know!

30

| PORTICO Spring 2019

2019_SPRING_PORTICO_ISSUE.indd 30

editor’s note: Massey Hall is indeed one of the most beloved buildings on campus. First opened as a library in 1903, this designated heritage building has a unique combination of architectural styles. Although the coffee shop was closed in 1998 due to ventilation and structural issues, the building remains in use today. Recent renovations

have included stained-glass window restoration and structural repairs. Currently, Massey Hall is undergoing an accessibility retrofit to install an elevator and accessible washrooms. Around 1900, James Mills, the then-president of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), met Walter Massey on a streetcar in Toronto and asked him to consider helping fund new buildings for the ever-growing OAC. Three months later, Massey and Mills had another chance encounter on another streetcar, and Massey announced his family’s decision to provide funds for the library. Three months after the building’s cornerstone was laid on Aug. 14, 1901, Massey died of typhoid fever. The family’s gift is considered the first private donation to OAC and the first sizable amount given unconditionally in the then-Dominion of Canada.

ON CAMPUS

OFF CAMPUS

+ The University Centre officially opens in June and is dubbed the “campus hub.” + Donald Forster becomes the University of Guelph’s third president. + The Umbria sculpture is installed in front of the University Centre. The trio of cast fibreglass and concrete sculptural forms by Walter Redinger now stands in the U of G Arboretum. + U of G scientists announce freezing techniques to store cow embryos.

+ The Vietnam War ends in April 1975 with the fall of Saigon. + The British Conservative Party chooses its first woman leader, Margaret Thatcher. + The IRA attacks the United Kingdom. + NASA launches the first joint United States/Soviet Union space flight. + Betamax videotapes and VHS tapes are introduced by Sony and Matsushita/ JVC, respectively. + One of the very first blockbuster films, Jaws, is released in the summer.

PHOTO: HENRY VIII, STRATFORDFESTIVAL.CA

thank you for the photo of the Massey Hall coffee house in the spring 2019 edition of Portico magazine. It was one of my favourite places at the University of Guelph. People went there for the ambience and a few coffees before their biochem exam. Massey Hall is one of my favourite buildings anywhere. Why did they close the coffee house? Let us renovate and reopen it with no smoking. Many people should respond to your photo. –Tom Maclennan, B.Sc. ’79

PHOTO: U OF G ARCHIVES

LEADING EDGE

2019-04-02 3:19 PM

PUBLISHER

Daniel Atlin, vice-president (external) EDITOR

Lori Bona Hunt ART DIRECTOR

Janice Van Eck COPY EDITOR

Andrew Vowles CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Deirdre Healey, Angela Mulholland, Rob O’Flanagan, Andrew Vowles CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Rob O’Flanagan 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 portico@uoguelph.ca 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 lhunt@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338. MOVED?

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

BUSINESS FOR GOOD New name, renewed focus at Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics p.14 In the public interest

Grads in government. p.20

2019_SPRING_PORTICO_ISSUE.indd 1

Sprinting to a new life One grad’s journey to U of G. p.28

Printed in Canada Publication Agreement #40064673

Discovery

3-D to help treat cancer. p.10

2019-04-02 3:00 PM

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Portico Magazine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., N1G 2W1.

Massey Hall today

Connect with Portico portico@uoguelph.ca  4  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

porticomagazine.ca


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Public universities are investments in our shared future

S

ome 1.4 million full- and part-time students arrived at university campuses across Canada this fall, including almost 30,000 students on our U of G campuses. For those students and our wider society, our collective investment in Canada’s public university system will yield numerous returns – in ways that go well beyond strict dollars and cents. Costs are one thing.Value is another. Universities with their long traditions of scholarship and research continue to offer unique value to students and society. In a rapidly changing world, employers are Through experiential learning – co-ops, looking for employees with core skills including critical thinking, problem solving, internships, volunteering – more than half communication and creativity. It’s those of university students gain experience in adaptable skills that will enable university applying what they learn to the workplace. graduates to think and collaborate across disciplines, to master new technologies, and to anticipate and lead change. Through experiential learning – co-ops, internships, volunteering – more than half of university students gain experience in applying what they learn to the workplace. It’s working: More than 90 per cent of Ontario university grads – and 95 per cent for U of G alumni – find employment within two years of graduation. For all Ontario university grads, including U of G alumni, nearly nine out of 10 find employment in or related to their field of study within two years. And it’s working not just for those graduates but also for the wider economy. Canada’s universities account for about $35 billion in direct expenditures and employ about 250,000 people, according to Universities Canada. U of G’s own economic impact is worth an estimated $1.5 billion to the Canadian economy and generates employment of more than 16,000 FTEs. Universities are engines of innovation – gaining new knowledge and applying that knowledge in numerous ways. In our rapidly changing economy, that’s key to remaining competitive and thriving. From artificial intelligence and quantum computing to vaccine development and clean energy, innovations developed in universities in partnership with businesses and other organizations help to power economic growth. That economic growth also helps ensure community well-being. A thriving community or country is one with the economic resources to provide social services and supports for all, including the less fortunate members of society. Investing today in our public university system yields future returns for our students and, ultimately, ensures value for all of us.

Franco Vaccarino President and Vice-Chancellor porticomagazine.ca


Around the ring    CAMPUS NEWS AND VIEWS

Iconic Honey Bee Research Centre planned The University of Guelph will turn its long-standing research prowess in pollinator health and conservation into North America’s first one-stop shop for honey bee research, education and outreach. U of G is planning a new, $12-million facility aimed at helping understand the stressors affecting honey bees and other pollinators and finding solutions. A recent transformational gift from the Riviere Charitable Foundation will cover a substantial portion of the cost. A fundraising campaign has been launched to further support the initiative and raise an additional $6 million, https://alumni.uoguelph.ca/ honeybee. U of G’s history and reputation for honey bee research goes back more than 120 years. “We are uniquely positioned to help make a difference, and this donation recognizes and celebrates our research strength and our innovativeness to find 6  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

sustainable solutions,” said president Franco Vaccarino. An international design competition for the new centre was launched in January. A design jury selected Moriyama and Teshima Architects for the project, and the design concepts were announced this fall. The new centre will exemplify sustainability, including being built to LEED Gold standards and with elements such as natural ventilation and low-carbon construction. The University is considering locations on campus for the new facility. “Our plan is to integrate the new centre within parts of U of G known for nature, food production and sustainability,” said Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College. The new facility will house the existing Honey Bee Research Centre, which is home to North America’s largest research and teaching apiary.

CAMPUS NEWS

Leadership transition Franco Vaccarino will complete his term as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph effective Aug. 1, 2020. “Serving as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph has been an extraordinary privilege, and I am deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to make a contribution to this University and its future,” Vaccarino says. First appointed to a five-year term in 2014, Vaccarino is U of G’s eighth president. A neuroscientist and internationally recognized expert in mental health and addiction, Vaccarino will continue as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology following an administrative leave beginning in fall 2020. “Franco Vaccarino has been an excellent president, and the University of Guelph has benefited greatly from his leadership during the past five years,” says Shauneen Bruder, chair of the University’s Board of Governors. “His creative, positive and strategic vision for U of G has positioned us to build on our reputation in Canada and beyond as a top-tier comprehensive research university.” Under his leadership, the University has a renewed strategic planning framework to guide planning and decision-making, and has reached new heights in fundraising and research, Bruder says. A presidential search in accordance with Board of Governors policies and procedures has begun.

PHOTO: MORIYAMA & TESHIMA ARCHITECTS

CAMPUS NEWS

Artist’s rendition of the new Honey Bee Research Centre


CAMPUS NEWS

NOTEWORTHY

Cybersecurity, threat intelligence program unique in Canada

Lawrence Hill teaching creative writing to inmates

The University of Guelph has launched a new graduate degree in cybersecurity and threat intelligence to train the next generation on how to stop cyberattacks before they happen. “Attacks are becoming more complicated, digitalization is pervading more of our world and too little attention has been paid to educating cybersecurity professionals,” says Prof. Ali Dehghantanha, who teaches in U of G’s School of Computer Science and is director of the new program. The new master of cybersecurity and threat intelligence will help meet the need for experts in threat intelligence, threat hunting, digital forensics, intrusion prevention, privacy and crypto-analysis. Unique in Canada, it offers a handon approach to cybersecurity training. Students in the program receive laptops with cutting-edge software and work in a state-of-the-art, $2-million isolated lab that will allow them to run real-world attacks. “Our program will be focused on the most challenging and technical aspects of the information security field and deliver graduates with advanced skill sets that are in high demand,” says Dave Whittle, U of G’s associate vice-president and chief information officer.

Inmates in Canadian prisons have stories to tell and want to put them to paper, says acclaimed author and University of Guelph professor of creative writing Lawrence Hill. This fall, Hill will enable the writing of some of those stories at the Grand Valley Institute for Women (GVI) in Kitchener. Multiple award-winning Prof. Lawrence Hill author of The Book of Negroes and The Illegal, Hill is facilitating a U of G course on memoir writing at GVI as part of Walls to Bridges. The national program brings incarcerated (“inside”) and non-incarcerated (“outside”) students together in a variety of university and college courses. Ten inmates and 11 U of G students are enrolled in Hill’s workshop. “Prisoners have told me they want to write and asked if I could help them,” says Hill, adding that he has a deep appreciation for prison writing and is committed to fostering it. “It is at the very heart of some of the most influential literary expression that fundamentally revolutionized the world,” he says, citing Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X as highly influential examples. “I’m just really interested in encouraging prison writing, in helping people who don’t always get that encouragement to express themselves.” Hill’s workshop will provide students the opportunity to get inside autobiographical writing – first-person stories, opinion pieces or personal reflections.

Prof. Ali Dehghantanha porticomagazine.ca

PEOPLE

Robert Gordon, PhD ’96, has been named president of the University of Windsor. Previously, he was provost and vice-president (academic) and vicepresident (research) at Wilfrid Laurier University, and dean of U of G’s Ontario Agricultural College from 2008 to 2015. Shakiba Shayani, BA ’10, has been named president and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. English professor Dionne Brand won the 2019 $20,000 Trillium Book Award for Ontario’s best English-language title for her poetry collection The Blue Clerk. MFA student Caroline Mousseau won the 2019 $30,000 Joseph Plaskett postgraduate award in painting. Integrative biology professor Ryan Norris has been named the Weston Family Senior Scientist for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Indira Naidoo-Harris, a former Ontario cabinet minister and well-known journalist and human rights advocate, has been named U of G’s new AVP (diversity and human rights). Kinga Surma, B.Comm. ’09, Ontario MPP for Etobicoke Centre, has been named associate minister of transportation for the GTA. Bioproducts researchers Profs. Manjusri Misra and Amar Mohanty received the Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 7


NUMBER CRUNCH

CAMPUS NEWS

U of G facilities by the numbers*

U of G offers first Indigenous language course

143 buildings on campus

652,133 square metres of facilities

24 residences

44

%

teaching and research space

50.3 average building age

15

%

built since 2000

*Space Information Management System and Capital Planning System

8  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

NOTEWORTHY

Michel Eric Fournelle (left) announces his donation with president Franco Vaccarino.

Alum donates $1 million for new food lab The University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management (HFTM) recently marked its 50th anniversary by celebrating a $1-million donation to transform the program’s food lab into a state-ofthe-art facility. The gift comes from Michel Eric Fournelle, who graduated from the former hotel and food administration program in 1992. “My experience as a student at the University of Guelph was wonderful and has had a big impact on my life. I wanted to give something back,” says Fournelle. The new Anita Stewart Alumni Food Laboratory – named for Anita Stewart, the University’s food laureate and founder of Food Day Canada – will enable hospitality and nutrition students to learn innovative practices in food preparation, production, safety and food science. Fournelle’s gift kicks off a fundraising campaign – Legacy 50 – to support transformational learning opportunities and facility upgrades. “The gift will have such positive and broad impacts on students’ connection with and understanding of food and its importance to health and society,” says HFTM director Statia Elliot.

The University of Guelph introduced its first Indigenous language course this fall. Students are learning the Ojibwa language, chosen because of its deep connection to the Guelph area and the Great Lakes region, says Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic). The course has garnered interest from campus and the local community. Once widely spoken in North America, Anishinaabemowin was among many Indigenous languages suppressed in Canada beginning in the mid-19th century. Indigenous peoples have been working to preserve their languages; the Ojibwa language is the secondmost commonly spoken Indigenous language in Canada. U of G’s Ojibwa language course is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s calls to action, says Prof. Sandra Parmegiani, acting director of the School of Languages and Literatures. The TRC report called for revitalizing and preserving Indigenous language and culture and for post-secondary institutions to create programs in Aboriginal languages. Prof. Kim Anderson, a Métis scholar in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, says, “Universities in Canada were built in Indigenous homelands, and there are original languages that belong to these lands. “I think it’s important for all Canadian universities, at a minimum, to invest in teaching the languages that belong to the territories they now occupy.”

PHOTO: JOCELYN PHILLIPS

Around the ring


CAMPUS NEWS

NOTEWORTHY

$1.5 million donated to enhance food literacy research

PHOTOS: ISTOCK.COM/IPOPBA; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; MARTIN SCHWALBE

‘One Health’ focus of new institute From heading off the next global pandemic to improving food security in Canada’s North, tackling some of humanity’s most pressing health problems is the purpose of a new research and teaching institute at the University of Guelph. The One Health Institute brings together multidisciplinary researchers from across campus along with external partners to study how human, animal and environmental health interact. “It will help us solve complex problems at the intersection that cannot be solved by one discipline alone,” says Jeff Wichtel, dean of the Ontario Veterinary College. Cate Dewey, U of G’s associate vice-president (academic) and a population medicine professor, adds: “About 70 per cent of new human diseases come from animals. We need to work across disciplines to understand how to handle the next problem.” The goal is to spur collaboration and create synergies among existing centres and initiatives, including the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses. Outcomes will promote academic research and outreach programs and propel U of G to the forefront of One Health scholarship internationally, says Dewey.

porticomagazine.ca

CAMPUS NEWS

Working with partners to protect drinking water University of Guelph researchers are helping ensure safe, sustainable drinking water for Wellington County through groundwater studies funded by almost $11 million from federal and local governments and industry partners. Fractured bedrock aquifers provide drinking water for more than one million people living in some of southern Ontario’s fastest-growing communities, including Guelph. “The sustainability of groundwater as source water for communities ultimately depends on the quality and quantity of local groundwater,” says engineering professor Beth Parker, director of the U of G-based G360 Institute for Groundwater Research. The project is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Nestlé Waters Canada, the Town of Erin and local geophysical company Paterson Grant and Watson. U of G also teamed up with the City of Guelph to become the first university in Ontario to develop a risk management plan to help protect local drinking water sources.

The University of Guelph has received a $1.5-million gift to promote food literacy and help raise a healthier generation less prone to chronic disease. The donation comes from The Helderleigh Foundation, an organization advocating food literacy among Canadian children and families. It will support the Helderleigh Family Food Literacy Research Program within the Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS), a long-term U of G research project involving more than 300 families with preschoolers that aims to reduce disease risk, now and in the future. Started in 2014, the GFHS helps families with young children set realistic goals for healthful diet, exercise, sleep habits, screen time and meal routines. The new gift will allow the research team to focus further on food literacy and include more families, in addition to providing scholarships.

Profs. David Ma and Jess Haines, co-directors of the Guelph Family Health Study. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 9


Discovery   RESEARCH, INNOVATION, IDEAS FINDINGS

Wildfires turning boreal forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources

Many pet owners keen to have vegan pets A surprising number of pet owners, particularly those who are vegan, are interested in feeding their pets a plantbased diet, according to new University of Guelph research. Researchers with U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) along with colleagues in New Zealand surveyed 3,673 dog and cat owners from around the world to learn what they fed their pets and themselves. Six per cent were vegetarian (meaning they ate no meat but ate dairy, eggs or honey), 4 per cent were pescatarian (they ate fish and may eat dairy, eggs or honey), and nearly 6 per cent were vegan (no animal products). “That percentage, 27 per cent, might sound like a small number, but when you think of the actual numbers of pets involved, that’s huge, and much higher than we expected,” says lead author Sarah Dodd, currently a PhD candidate in OVC’s Department of Population 10  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

Medicine. Among the rest of the vegans, nearly 80 per cent were interested in helping their pets to switch to a plant-based diet if it could meet their needs. About 35 per cent of owners whose pets ate conventional diets were interested in switching their animals to a vegan diet. The research appeared in the journal PLoS ONE. Dodd says while her team’s research was not designed to assess whether vegan pet diets are a growing trend, she expects interest in the diets to increase. Previous studies have shown that pet owners tend to offer the same kind of diets to their dogs and cats that they adopt for themselves. “People have been hearing about how vegan diets are linked to lowered risks of cancer and other health benefits in humans. There is also growing concern about the environmental impact of animal agriculture.”

PHOTOS: STICKLER; BG SMITH

FINDINGS

Bigger, hotter wildfires are turning Canada’s vast boreal forest into a significant new source of climatechanging greenhouse gases. The shift, which may have already happened, could force firefighters to change how they battle northern blazes, says Merritt Turetsky, an ecologist at the University of Guelph and co-author of a recent study that appeared in Nature. The boreal forest, a band of green that stretches over six provinces and two territories, has long been a storehouse of carbon. Although fires sweep through as often as every 70 years, much carbon accumulates in soil — up to 75 kilograms of carbon per cubic metre, some of it thousands of years old. But with climate change, fires are becoming more frequent, larger and more intense. Turetsky and researchers from U.S. and Canadian universities wanted to see whether those changes affected stored carbon. “Understanding the fate of this stockpile of boreal carbon is really important in the context of atmosphere greenhouse gases and Earth’s climate,” Turetsky says.


FINDINGS

Meat-eating plant discovered in Ontario Call it the “Little Bog of Horrors.” In what is believed to be a first for North America, biologists at U of G have discovered meateating pitcher plants in Ontario’s Algonquin Park wetlands. The plants consume not just bugs but also young salamanders. Prof. Alex Smith, Department of Integrative Biology, calls the finding an “unexpected and fascinating case of plants eating vertebrates in our backyard.” Pitcher plants growing in wetlands across Canada have long been known to eat insects and

spiders that fall into their bellshaped leaves and decompose in rainwater collected there. But until now, no one had reported this salamander species caught by a pitcher plant in North America. The U of G team found almost one in five plants in a bog pond in Algonquin Park contained the juvenile amphibians, each about as long as a human finger. Several plants contained more than one captured salamander. The findings were published in the journal Ecology. Pitcher plants may have become carnivorous to gain nutrients, especially nitrogen, that are lacking in nutrient-poor bog soil, Smith says. Tongue-in-cheek, he adds that the find may also prompt park officials to rewrite interpretive materials. “I hope and imagine that one day the bog’s interpretive pamphlet for the general public will say, ‘Stay on the boardwalk and watch your children. Here be plants that eat vertebrates.’”

FINDINGS

PHOTO: (RIGHT) SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Facebook: friend or foe for health professionals? What you say on Facebook may affect your professional credibility – especially for those in the health industry. U of G researchers found that posting only one subtle comment expressing workplace frustration was enough for people to view you as a less credible health professional. The first-ever study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. “This finding is significant not only because health professionals use social media in their personal lives but are also encouraged to use it to promote themselves and engage with the public,” says psychology professor Serge Desmarais. He conducted the study with Prof. Jason Coe, Department of Population Medicine, and then-graduate student Cynthia Weijs. “It makes sense for people whose personalities are a large part of their profession to promote themselves through social media, but it may not make as much sense for health professionals and other professionals whose trust and credibility is a large part of their personal capital.” porticomagazine.ca

FINDINGS

Cats getting fatter: Study Are cats getting fatter? Until now, pet owners and veterinarians didn’t know for sure. Now researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) have discovered most cats continue to put on weight as they age, and their average weight is on the rise. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “As humans, we know we need to strive to maintain a healthy weight, but for cats, there has not been a clear definition of what that is. We simply didn’t have the data,” says Prof. Theresa Bernardo, Department of Population Medicine. “Establishing the pattern of cat weights over their lifetimes provides us with important clues about their health.” Lead author Adam Campigotto, along with Bernardo and population medicine professor Zvonimir Poljak, analyzed 54 million weight measurements taken at veterinarians’ offices on 19 million cats. The research team broke down the data to account for gender, neutering status and breed. They found male cats tended to reach higher weight peaks than females, and spayed or neutered cats tended to be heavier than unaltered cats. Among the four most common purebred breeds (Siamese, Persian, Himalayan and Maine Coon), the mean weight peaked between six and 10 years of age. Among common domestic cats, it peaked at eight years. “We do have concerns with obesity in middle age, because we know that can lead to diseases for cats,” says Campigotto, a U of G DVM grad. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 11


Discovery FINDINGS

Tiny radio transmitters provide insect migration clues

Lead researcher Samantha Knight 12  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

NOTEWORTHY

U of G technology helping reduce air pollution A University of Guelph innovation may hold the secret to cleaning up harmful highway smog and industrial pollutants. Engineering professor Bill Van Heyst and his research team worked with the company EnvisionSQ on a series of patented SmogStop barriers that were installed along a stretch of Highway 401 in Toronto. Monitoring the barriers for eight months, the team found a 50-per-cent drop in NOx. The researchers estimate that, over a year, a kilometre of the barrier could remove 16 tonnes of NOx – equivalent to taking 200,000 vehicles off that stretch of road every day. The company now plans to test a noise barrier in the United Kingdom. Ultimately, the technology might be installed anywhere. Now, the U of G researchers are helping EnvisionSQ explore other applications for the air pollution control coating. The technology may be used to reduce volatile organics from air inside or around factories in Canada and abroad, from automakers to cannabis production facilities.

PHOTO: (RIGHT) ENVISIONSQ

Wind and warmth can improve travel time for the billions of insects worldwide that migrate each year, according to a first-ever radio-tracking study by University of Guelph biologists. Researchers equipped monarch butterflies and green darner dragonflies with radio transmitters and tracked them through southern Ontario and several northern states. They wanted to learn how environmental factors affect daytime insect migration, with the goal of informing conservation efforts. “Migration is not an easy period for insects. They are likely pushed to their physiological limits,” says integrative biology professor Ryan Norris, who conducted the study with lead author Samantha Knight. “If we have a way to track and understand what habitats they’re using, that goes a long way to understanding what might be causing declines.” The study, recently published in Biology Letters, found wind and temperature are more important influences than precipitation for bugs during long autumn migration flights. On average, monarchs flew about 12 kilometres per hour and darners about 16 kilometres per hour.


RESEARCH BRIEF

NOTEWORTHY

Why do heart failure patients suffer depression, impaired thinking?

ILLUSTRATION: VECTOR KNIGHT; PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

Developing plants that can produce their own nitrogen There soon may be a more sustainable way to provide crops with the nitrogen boost they need, thanks to the University of Guelph. Researchers are studying ways to help plants produce their own all-important nitrogen. “A plant must have nitrogen to grow, but it can’t produce the essential element on its own,” says Prof. Manish Raizada, Department of Plant Agriculture. “This is why we feed agricultural crops nitrogen fertilizer.” But nitrogen fertilizers are manufactured through the burning of huge amounts of fossil fuel, and about 50 per cent of nitrogen fertilizer used on corn is wasted, either leaching into groundwater or turning into greenhouse gases, he says. Specific microbes in plants can convert nitrogen in the atmosphere into plant food, so Raizada’s team is feeding plants these beneficial microbes. Ultimately, he envisions a time when seeds coated with probiotic microbes and microbial sprays for soil could become commercial products. The researchers are also interested in exploring whether these microbes can make fertilizer on their own.

porticomagazine.ca

FINDINGS

Education helps close gender pay gap Having a PhD on your résumé is key to closing the gender pay gap, according to new University of Guelph research. In a first-ever study, researchers found the higher the level of education upon graduation, the smaller the gender pay gap. The study, published in the journal Higher Education Policy, revealed the average wage for recent PhD grads is the same for men and women. “This is the first time that I’ve seen at any level that there is no discrepancy in earnings between males and females,” says Prof. David Walters, Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He worked on the study with departmental colleague Prof. Stephanie Howells and lead author Anthony Jehn, a former U of G master’s student. The researchers focused on data from three years after graduation, which offers a glimpse into labour market outcomes before the influence of factors such as maternity leave and level of occupational commitment, Walters says. The study found average pay during the first three years after graduation is around $70,000 for men and women with PhDs. However, women master’s graduates earn about $7,500 less than their PhD counterparts. Among university undergraduates, men earn on average about $55,000 and women about $50,500. The wage gap is smallest among liberal arts undergrads.The largest wage gaps exist for undergrads in math, computer science and engineering, also among the highest paying fields.

A new study by University of Guelph researchers explains why heart failure patients often have trouble with thinking and depression. “Neurosurgeons always look in the brain; cardiologists always look in the heart. This new study looked at both,” says Tami Martino, a

Prof. Tami Martino

professor in U of G’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations. Human patients with heart failure often have neurological conditions such as cognitive impairment and depression. Martino suspects the heart-brain connection involved the circadian mechanism molecule, called “clock.” Circadian rhythms in humans and other organisms follow Earth’s 24-hour cycle of light and darkness, signalling when to sleep and when to be awake. Researchers compared normal mice with mice carrying a mutation in their circadian mechanism. They found that the mutation affected the structure of neurons in brain areas important for cognition and mood. The team also found differences in clock regulation of blood vessels. The results were published recently in Nature Scientific Reports. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 13


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LEAD THE FIELD

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DING

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UNIVERSITY AT THE FOREFRONT OF CANNABIS PRODUCTION, HEALTH STUDIES BY ANDREW VOWLES ILLUSTRATION BY SEAN KANE

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hen Steve Newmaster’s parents began complaining of joint pains, the University of Guelph botanist had a ready solution: Why didn’t they try cannabis for relief? Both in their 80s, Carol and Vern weren’t sure at first. It took a bit of coaxing and then some creative time in the couple’s Cambridge, Ont., kitchen to get the ingredient mix right. “I cooked the buds in a crock pot with coconut oil and gave it to them as a topical to rub it on their joints,” says Newmaster.Today his parents can walk for kilometres pain-free, and both have lost weight. “They’re feeling really good. It’s changed their life,” he

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says. “I go to their place, we have dinner and we cook cannabis.” From plant biologists to food scientists to veterinary and human health researchers to psychologists and sociologists, several dozen faculty members have already made the University a leading centre for investigating varied aspects of cannabis, from its breeding and cultivation to its uses and health impacts. And with numerous graduate students working in research labs, and many more students snapping up spots in new cannabis production courses, U of G has become a key source of skilled workers desperately needed by an emerging industry. “There will be a need for specialists just like any other greenhouse industry,” says Rene Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 15


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Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College. Referring to the college’s longtime research and teaching support for agrifood crops in Ontario and Canada, he adds, “It makes perfect sense for us to be doing this, it’s what we’ve always done.” In what has been called the “dawn of the cannabis era,” Canada in 2018 became the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis nationwide (cannabis products have been legal for medical purposes for many years). This fall will bring federal regulations for edible cannabis sales. The Canadian cannabis market – medical, illegal and legal recreational products – was expected to generate up to $7 billion in sales in 2019, including up to $1.79 billion for medicinal uses and some $4 billion from the legal recreational market, according to a 2018 Deloitte report.What was mostly an illicit pursuit has become mainstream big business, with some 150 licensed producers now operating in Canada. The market is there: what those businesses need now are hard science and trained workers. Both recreational and medical cannabis suppliers need to produce a reliable, consistent product that meets exacting quality control standards set by Health Canada. From basic production questions to answering concerns about health impacts, huge gaps exist in our understanding of cultivating and employing the plant, says Prof. Youbin Zheng, School of Environmental Sciences (SES): “Cannabis growers out there need knowledge and technology to efficiently produce high-quality, high-yield plants. Many institutions are trying to jump on the bandwagon without 16  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

“WE ARE ONE OF THE TOP HORTICULTURAL UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD IN CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT PLANT PRODUCTION. WE CAN REALLY HELP THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY.” PROF. YOUBIN ZHENG

$7

BILLION 2019 Canadian cannabis market (projected)

Prof. Steve Newmaster

Prof. Youbin Zheng

Prof. Mike Dixon

first-hand knowledge about plants.” To get that expertise, more of those producers are turning to the University of Guelph. Much of the research centres around SES, where Zheng and Prof. Mike Dixon have long studied plant production in U of G’s Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF). Tweak systems designed for inhospitable growing conditions from Canada’s North to Mars, and you’ve got a platform for meeting the needs of cannabis greenhouse growers, says Zheng: “We are one of the top horticultural universities in the world in controlled environment plant production. We can really help the cannabis industry.” That industry can certainly use the help. Much of what we know about producing cannabis is based on anecdotes and poorly designed experiments, says Zheng. In recent years, U of G researchers have pioneered studies of cannabis production basics, including work on irrigation, propagation, substrates, fertilization and lighting now being employed by licensed growers in Canada, including Canopy, Up Cannabis and VIVO Cannabis. Former grad student Dave Hawley looked at how light affects cannabis bud quality and yield – a pressing concern for producers growing indoors under

artificial lighting. Since completing his PhD in 2018, he has worked on LED (light-emitting diode) systems for the horticultural industry as a senior scientist with Fluence in Austin, Texas. “For all compounds in cannabis, there are ways to up- or downregulate based on light spectra,” says Hawley. Light quality affects production of cannabis phytochemicals, from medicinal cannabinoids (CBD) and flavonoids to psychoactive compounds (THC).Working with VIVO in Napanee, Ont., U of G environmental scientists are now mapping out relationships between such parameters as light quality and production of those medicinal compounds – effectively producing what Dixon calls a “recipe” for making desired chemicals. “Just about every cannabis strain – and there are thousands – responds differently to controlled environment conditions,” he says. “There is so much we don’t know about the chemistry, biology, the pharmaceutical applications and just how to grow it so it generates a consistent profile of medicinal compounds.” Adds SES Prof. Tom Graham, “You can manipulate the plant


PHOTO: ROB O’FLANAGAN

environment and control production of THC and CBD and other phytochemicals with light colour or even where and how you shine the light. If you’re selling the cannabis bud for direct consumption, it matters where in the plant it came from.” A three-time U of G environmental biology grad and a NASA research fellow, he was named this year as the PhytoGro Chair in Medicinal Phyto Substances. Under that five-year, $1-million position supported by PhytoGro Canada, he’s also studying how to thwart fungal and bacterial pathogens, prevent chemical buildup and maintain correct nutrient balances in closed production systems for cannabis and other medicinal plants. Ensuring clean plants free of pathogens is part of the research focus of plant agriculture professor Max Jones. In a secure room, he’s using tissue culture to grow seedlings in artificial liquid or gel media inside ranks of clear plastic containers arrayed on shelves under LED lights. Jones is currently the only U of G faculty member licensed to grow cannabis in tissue culture on campus; other University researchers conduct their experiments on porticomagazine.ca

the premises of licensed growers. “The industry needs a continual supply of healthy, clean, reliable plants,” he says. “You want to ensure you’re not transporting pests and disease.” He’s also working with Avicanna, a pharmaceutical company in Toronto, to help breed plants more efficiently, produce rare cannabinoids and share micropropagation and tissue culture methods with the company’s cultivation site in Colombia. In a project with Canopy, he’s pioneered propagation of plants from flowers instead of vegetative tissue – a

Prof. Tom Graham

Prof. Max Jones

Master’s student Melissa Moher is studying how the duration of light exposure affects cannabis flowering.

method that would also help make propagation more efficient and reliable.Working with seedlings in Jones’s facility, master’s student Melissa Moher is studying how photoperiod, or the duration of light exposure, affects flowering. “Growers can manipulate the amount of light to quicken production and get more production cycles in a year,” she says. Plant genetics research intersects with Newmaster’s botany work in the Department of Integrative Biology. He has long been involved in using DNA barcoding – a genetic method developed at U of G – to identify and authenticate plant ingredients used in companies’ natural health products. He’s now bringing the same scientific rigour to the cannabis industry, whose colloquial strain names (“Boaty McBoatface,”“Girl Scout Cookies”) bear no relation to formal plant taxonomy. Through a new company called Cannabis Barcode Project funded by major licensed producers in Canada, he’s assembling a library of genes and chemical metabolites, or active ingredients, coded for by those genes. That will help standardize production, ensuring consistency for consumers. Newmaster expects his work will also benefit breeders. “Cannabis producers lack a breeding system like corn, soy or wheat. Those breeding systems need to come into cannabis,” he says. In an example of targeting specific traits, U of G researchers this year were the first to uncover how the cannabis plant makes specific pain-relieving molecules. Profs. Tariq Akhtar and Steven Rothstein, both in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, used biochemFall 2019  PORTICO  | 17


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istry and genomics to learn about two flavonoids long known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They’re now working with a Toronto-based company that has licensed a U of G patent to scale up production outside of the cannabis plant. “There’s clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids,” says Akhtar. “These molecules are non-psychoactive, and they target the inflammation at the source, making them ideal painkillers.” Studies of health aspects of cannabis extend across campus. Anti-nausea treatments for cancer patients may result from work by psychology professor Linda Parker. In 2018, she showed how a nausea trigger in the brain is suppressed by cannabidiol. She’s now looking at a precursor compound in cannabis that may be up to 1,000 times more effective than CBD itself. “We think it might be a really useful treatment for nausea in chemotherapy,” says Parker, author of the book Cannabinoids and the Brain. She’s also working on a major four-country project looking at a natural cannabinoid that may protect the brain against nicotine and opiate addiction. Both projects involve Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, who discovered THC, CBD and the brain’s endocannabinoid system; he received an honorary doctorate from U of G in 2018. In the Department of Biomedical Sciences,Prof.Jibran Khokhar looks at connections between cannabis use and mental health problems, particularly among adolescents. Rates of cannabis use in Canada are among the highest in the world; more than onequarter of 11- to 15-year-olds 18  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

“I THINK THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH IS ONE OF THE UNIVERSITIES THAT IS GOING TO DO SOME OF THE BEST RESEARCH IN THE FIELD.” ALUMNA MELANIE PEARSON

Prof. Tariq Akhtar

Prof. Steven Rothstein

Prof. Linda Parker

Prof. Jibran Khokhar

reported using cannabis in 2013, the highest rate among developed countries. Khokhar’s animal studies show that THC alters reward and motivation behaviours, and that adolescent exposure can lead to changes in brain circuitry and behavioural effects in adulthood. Referring to brain circuit changes in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Addiction, he said results of THC exposure “look like changes in the brain of someone with acute psychosis or schizophrenia.” He says often people hail cannabis as a wonder drug that can cure everything; others view it as a danger. “We don’t have much middle ground, which is where I want to be,” says Khokhar, explaining that his work might help inform policy and discussions with patients and families.That’s also a primary motivator for psychology professor and U of G president Franco Vaccarino, whose addiction studies have led him to call for protection of vulnerable populations under Canada’s legislative framework. Looking at Statistics Canada’s National Cannabis Survey – the first national survey to track changes in use patterns and behaviour before and after 2018 – sociology professor Andrew Hathaway is studying the impacts of legalization.That research will help particularly in improving public health and safety, including learning more about effects of cannabis use on driving and

wider health and mental-health concerns. Widening the health lens, clinical studies professor Sam Hocker is studying cannabis for treating bladder cancer in dogs. (Currently no products are licensed in Canada for treating animals; industry groups are lobbying for the use of veterinary medical cannabis.) By learning about the potential anti-cancer properties of cannabidiol, he hopes to help point the way to alternative pet therapies. Hocker also says working with dogs “could ultimately help in designing potential therapeutic options for the more aggressive form of bladder cancer in humans.” What U of G researchers are learning from their diverse studies also finds its way into teaching on campus. In SES, Zheng will teach a new cannabis production course in winter 2020 within the existing environmental science degree program. Cannabis is also highlighted in an existing course in controlled environment systems.The school is now working on a new graduate level course on the topic. Commercial and home growers from professionals to home enthusiasts are the target of a new online course being launched this fall at the University of Guelph. “Cannabis Production” is being offered as part of a new cannabis specialization in U of G’s existing horticulture certificate program. The course is full, with 60 students enrolled this fall. Course designer and instructor Brandon Yep is an SES master’s student who studies ways to improve aquaponics (using fish farming wastes for plant nutrients) for indoor growing of plants, including medicinal cannabis. He will teach growing basics, including


lighting and irrigation systems, growing media, pest and disease management, and post-harvest curing and packaging. A second online course in cannabis regulations and quality assurance will begin in January. The new offerings will be among only a few cannabis production courses available so far at universities and colleges in Canada. As a research and teaching hub, U of G is increasingly viewed as a source of highly qualified grads for Canada’s growing cannabis industry. Melanie Pearson studied environmental science with Zheng for her master’s degree in 2016. She was director of aquaponics with Green Relief in Puslinch, Ont., for three years; she is now pursuing opportunities in aquaponics for cannabis and food security. She says the industry needs people skilled in growing cannabis to exacting specifications for health applications. “I think the University of Guelph is one of the universities that is going to do some of the best research in the field,” she says. Deron Caplan is director of plant science with The Flowr Corp., a licensed medical and recreational producer in Kelowna, B.C. For his PhD in environmental science completed in spring 2018, he worked on improving cannabis cultivation techniques for growers. He says the industry needs experts in breeding and cultivation methods to meet Health Canada requirements and produce higher-quality products than those on the black market.“Developing ways for licensed cannabis growers to improve the quality of their product and keep it clean is a big challenge,” says Caplan. He was head-hunted by the comporticomagazine.ca

“THE INDUSTRY IS STILL RUNNING ON ANECDOTAL INFORMATION. U OF G IS THE ONLY PLACE THAT CAN DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.” PROF. MIKE DIXON pany while still a grad student. “There’s a shortage of qualified people,” he says. When he interviewed at the company, his partner, Stephanie Masina, accompanied him out west. She was hired by Flowr as well. A master’s grad in the Department of Population Medicine specializing in epidemiology, she now works as the company’s R&D manager. She’s planning programs to test Flowr products for use in clinical trials for pain relief, sleep and wound healing; she says the company is also interested in food applications. Working at a new R&D facility being built by the company, she says,“We have so much more to learn about the plant and its human health applications. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.” Back at U of G, plans are under way to connect cannabis research

Prof. Sam Hocker

Prof. Andy Hathaway

and teaching in a proposed bricks-and-mortar centre on campus. The Guelph Centre for Medicinal Plant Research would bring together researchers in cannabis, horticultural production and integrated pest management. Says Dixon:“We cover the waterfront. The research centre will be a venue for licence-holders in Canada to access independent, objective science research to demonstrate what they want. The industry is still running on anecdotal information.The University of Guelph is the only place that can do what needs to be done.” Among the roughly 30 prospective members across campus is Newmaster. He says a dedicated centre would help connect various research interests in cannabis, sparking the kinds of discussions that may lead to new collaborations for projects and products. He says one of the biggest markets for cannabis products today is middle-aged and elderly people with joint pain – the very market that includes his parents back home in Cambridge. That also includes Newmaster, whose interests in ethnobotany around the world helped lead him to this field. It was a long-time colleague from India who introduced him to “golden milk,” a mixture of turmeric, milk, honey and pepper. Adding cannabis makes a great sleep elixir, says Newmaster. The concoction also helps ease his own joint pain, allowing him to keep up his marathon and mountaineering pursuits. While in California, the 52-year-old hiked the Palisade Glacier, a 20-mile trek to reach the summit 12,000 feet up. “The 30-year-olds could hardly keep up with me, and I attribute that to cannabis.” Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 19


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DRAWN TO DRAW U OF G EDUCATION LEADS TO CAREERS IN CARTOONING, CREATIVITY

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ver-present doodles in her notebook margins clued University of Guelph grad Tory Miles into what she really needed to do with her life. “I would say I was a late bloomer,” says Miles, who majored in literature at the University. “I wasn’t really sure about anything, especially about what I wanted to do as I went through university. I would put it down as an exploratory phase for me. “If you looked at my notebooks, the one consistency is the doodles on everything. Finally, I realized that I loved art and I started taking studio art classes. In combination with English

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literature, it was a great education.” During her time at U of G, she read great works of literature and learned about the power of storytelling – about the many ways there are to tell a story and the infinite array of details that go into crafting a good one. But it was the doodling that sent a clear message. “Eventually it just dawned on me: I wanted to be an artist of some kind.” Her artist mother, Leslie, focuses on landscape painting; her father, John, retired as U  of  G assistant vice-president (finance and services). Miles was a cartoonist for the U of G student newspaper. She also learned pagination software at the Ontarion and helped with publication layout. Perhaps most important, she found at

the paper a work environment that clicked. “It was such an incredible energy in there. And whatever that energy was, it’s what I wanted to be a part of.” After U of G, she studied video game design at Humber College. Those skills were transferable to film. Miles now works for Mr. X Visual Effects in Toronto. She was involved in the Oscar-winning Guillermo del Toro film The Shape of Water, using her visual art skills to help transform Toronto into Baltimore while adding digital effects to the film’s extraordinary underwater scenes. Her work in special effects is the contemporary version of matte painting. Instead of painting on glass, she uses the digital tools in a computer program to enhance and alter

PHOTO CREDIT: TK FOR HERIOUS DIPSO

STORIES BY ROB O’FLANAGAN


PHOTO CREDIT: TK FOR HERIOUS DIPSO

Tory Miles specializes in animation and special effects.

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cinematic environments. Matte painting has been part of filmmaking for more than a century. Before digital tools were available, landscapes, buildings or people not present at the filming location were hand-painted on glass. The highly detailed image was then blended precisely with live-action footage to create the illusion of a coherent environment. “They used to call us matte painters, but now we’re becoming environment artists,” Miles says.“We combine an array of digital techniques using very advanced computer programs. You paint with a brush in tandem with that, but it’s a digital brush. Having a background in and understanding of the importance of visual details comes into play at all levels, even if you’re using a computer.” Almost anyone with a visual art talent can learn to make art with the computer, she adds. It just takes time, effort and a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm. The Shape of Water was set in Baltimore but shot in downtown Toronto. Miles conducted extensive research on Baltimore, becoming expert in the intricate visual details of the city. “There were some parts of downtown Toronto that didn’t look U.S. or Baltimore enough,” she says. “So I had to go in and replace things that didn’t belong, using tons of sourced images of Baltimore.” Digital effects were used to create the movie’s underFall 2019  PORTICO  | 21


TRIAL BY FIRE Nick Montgomery’s IMDb profile is packed with credits – for visual and digital effects, graphics, television and film editing, and cinematography. A lot of what he knows, he taught himself, he says, but his U of G education gave him the tools to ask the right questions. Montgomery is a freelancer in the television and film world. He owns Torontobased Merc Media. After moving to Guelph from London, Ont., to attend university, he soon became a fixture in the local filmmaking community. He graduated in 2006 with a BA in psychology. “I stuck around because I loved the city and it had a growing underground of indie filmmakers at the time, which I fell into,” he says. “It was easy to learn through trial by fire on fun film sets with other DIY guerrilla filmmakers.” A kind of defeatist attitude was prevalent in mainstream film culture when he was struggling to decide what he wanted to become. “I was fascinated with film from an early age, always seeking out behind-the-scenes videos and books on my favourite films so I could dissect how they were made,” says Montgomery. “But I was always told that breaking into film involved going to an expensive film school for years, working my way slowly up a long ladder that started with getting coffee for directors, and that it was near impossible to be successful at.” Hanging out in Guelph’s indie film community showed him that a film career was achievable through hard, fun work. “I started out by assisting on low or no-budget film sets and 24-hour film challenges, hanging out at Ed Video to take courses and networking with others. I funded my own short horror movie so I could try my hand at directing, shooting and editing. Editing was the thing I liked the most.” His first feature film editing gig was for the horror flick 2014 The Drownsman. He had a knack for editing scary scenes. The more he worked, the more he learned. U of G taught Montgomery how to seek out information using the resources and people at hand, how to ask the right people the right questions, and where to get the best advice and guidance when he needed it. Those lessons served him well when he took the leap into film and television. “It’s an industry where you have to be very active in your growth and progress, which is what my time at U of G helped to develop.”

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water scenes, for which Miles did the concept art. “There were things like tiny particulate bubbles, how the light shines through it and refracts differently. With things like that, you are kind of doing still images. It’s like painting.” Film production workplaces, she adds, have a newsroom vibe. “It’s really stressful, you have crazy deadlines, you’re in this tight team and you really have to work together. As much as I like academia, I really got inspired by that vibe, and that’s the environment I ended up in.” The animation/special effects work environment is a pressure cooker, she says. Competition between companies is stiff, and the technology is always changing. “It is a constant challenge to find ways to make the shot the fastest, easiest, best-looking way possible. It’s not an easy industry in that way.” Directors, she adds, change their minds frequently, and digital artists must keep up, change directions and get the job done. Being able to handle intense pressure is an integral part of the job. “To young people wanting to get into the industry, I say take every opportunity you can to explore graphics and computers. Try pushing into that world however you can. Universities have really great minds. They have the language and can teach you how to research. But if you can apply all of that to newer mediums and technologies and learn as much as you can, you’ll do much better.”

PHOTOS: (PREVIOUS SPREAD) JASON JONES/JONESFOTO (THIS PAGE) JULIA BUSATO PHOTOGRAPHY

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PHOTO: (BELOW) VALERIE LETTERA-SPLETZER

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he worlds of mathematics and visual art have always inter sected in Kristine Middlemiss’s life. So it’s not surprising that she landed in a career where visual images are created with complex mathematical calculations and advanced technology. “Growing up, I was always into art and drawing, crafts and just building stuff,” says Middlemiss in a telephone conversation from Los Angeles, California, where she works for animation giant DreamWorks. She may not have known at a young age about the nascent fields of augmented reality, virtual reality or motion capture, but she knew she loved art and pop culture. Growing up in Newmarket, Ont., Middlemiss attended an arts-oriented elementary school focused on visual art, drama and music. “But my mom was a math

teacher. So both of those worlds came together in my life.” When the idea of becoming an animator first began to sink in, her dream was to use traditional methods of putting hand-drawn images together with stop-motion filming. “But in high school, there were computer programming courses and I just started taking as many as I could. I got to do a lot of graphics. I thought, ‘This is really cool – I can draw pictures with computers.’ That’s what got me intrigued with it.” By the time she got to the University of Guelph, she was already hooked on computer-generated animation. A 2004 computing and information science grad, Middlemiss has made a name for herself in the animated film world.Today she is a key member of DreamWorks’ advanced creative

CREATING LIFE Like his colleague Tory Miles, animator Peter Dydo created art incessantly throughout his life. And, like Miles, he worked on the Academy Award-winning The Shape of Water. “I’ve been drawing and painting since I can remember,” says Dydo, an animator with Mr. X in Toronto. He has also worked on The Silence, Shazam! and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. He’s been in the business since 2005. “Growing up, I was always encouraged to keep doing art,” he said. “I didn’t pay attention to the harsh realities of ending up a starving artist. Instead, I happily stayed on a path that led me to fine arts and animation.” A lifelong fan of movies, Dydo says his high school art teacher, also a U of G grad, recommended that he enrol in the University’s fine arts program. Dydo studied drawing, painting, sculpture and art history. “I did get a glimpse of what life would be like as a starving artist,” he says. “Fortunately, computer animation became more prominent. It was an exciting, somewhat new field.” He took further training at St. Clair College in southwestern Ontario, where he immersed himself in traditional hand-drawn animation and computer animation. “I had the advantage of having fine arts training from U of G, so I could focus more on the art of animation itself. That fine arts foundation was a boon for my work and helped set me apart from the pack, even to this day.” Successful animation has a magic to it, he says. Manipulating pixels can elicit an emotional response in the viewer. “This type of work allows you to create life where there wasn’t life previously. It basically allows one to play God with low stakes.”

Kristine Middlemiss takes motion animation seriously and has made a name for herself in the industry. porticomagazine.ca

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STORYBOOK CAREER With Sony Pictures Imageworks since 2017, Terry Dankowych is a busy animator. He has made vital contributions to the popular animated features Smallfoot and Angry Birds Movie 2 and is currently part of the animation crew on another feature. Growing up in Newmarket, Ont., he aspired to be a professional athlete and excelled at football. Then he took the thrill factor up a few notches and got into motocross racing, something he was also good at. But no matter what he threw himself into, Dankowych said, drawing was the one constant. Like other U of G grads who went on to become animators, he always had a thing for putting pencil to paper. “Drawing and trying to tell stories through those drawings was something that started pretty early for me,” says Dankowych, who graduated with a BA in 2008. “There is a briefcase stuffed full of those ‘storybooks’ at my parents’ house.” The childhood drawings were accompanied by text. Before he could read or write, he dictated the story to his mother. When paper was in short supply, he would make a drawing on his last remaining sheet of paper, erase it and draw the next one in a sequence. In this way, he may have inadvertently planted the seed of animation in his young mind. His father was a computer programmer, so there was always access to computers at home. At a young age, Dankowych started using one as a drawing tool to make crude animations using simple paint programs. At U of G, he had access to even more powerful computing tools. His animated experiments on them helped him gain the confidence and proficiency needed to get into a visual effects school. “The University helped me see that a career in animation was possible.”

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technology team. She says U of G offered her a combination of superb training in computing and visual arts instruction that expanded her creativity – an ideal fit. “I picked fine arts as my area of emphasis and it was amazing. I got to do printmaking, drawing and art history. It was huge to be able to do both computer programming and fine art at university.” That fertile combination acted as a springboard into additional training in animation once she graduated from U of G. Scroll through the credits and you’ll find Middlemiss listed as the motion capture engineer on the hit animated film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and for her work on Kung Fu Panda, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Trolls and Home, some of the hottest animated films of recent years. After U of G, Middlemiss took evening animation courses at Humber College. She landed a job at an animation company in Toronto and was part of the animation team for Grand Theft Auto V, a hugely successful media product. She has worked at DreamWorks Animation for five years and has received the company’s technical achievement award for innovation. Her field isn’t an easy one to get into, she says. While it’s highly rewarding, the work is challenging, and she needs to stay on top of technological changes.

Studying math and science helps. “It’s really challenging and rewarding to program and be in the profession,” she says. “Especially to the females in high school, I want to say keep with it, find a mentor and don’t be discouraged. Be confident.” Passionate about fostering a tech environment that includes more women, Middlemiss is active in TECHWomen, a Comcast NBC Universal initiative to empower, connect and support women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “It’s an important issue for me because there’s just so few women in technology. It’s hard to be heard and it’s hard for many women to continue in such a maledominated field. “It’s really important to try to get more women into jobs, management and leadership positions, and balance the field 50/50. We have a really long way to go, but we really need that diversity of thought with females.” She says attending U of G taught her to be resourceful – and to search for answers. “I learned that I didn’t have to know the answer to everything, I just had to find the answer,” she says. “I learned that it’s OK to ask somebody, it’s OK to search and to spend time really learning. It’s not like you have to have everything at the ready in your brain. That really helped me in my career.”


New chapters, sights & sounds

The latest books, arts and exhibitions by U of G faculty and alumni Ont., which is a co-winner of the award. She has an BA in drama (’03) and an MFA in creative writing (’10) from U of G.

RICHARD OLIVER AND ANNE MAHEUX

ARTWORK: LEONARDO GONE FISHING BY THOMAS CRAIG OLIVER; JAEL RICHARDSON BY ARDEN WRAY

One With Everything For Thomas Craig Oliver, taking U of G’s studio art program in the late ’70s propelled him into a passionate and dynamic artistic life that spanned more than 30 years. A new book about the Ontario artist, who passed away in 2013, was published this year. One With Everything: The Art of Thomas Craig Oliver was written by the artist’s brother, Richard Oliver, and by well-known art conservator Anne Maheux. Oliver found his creative voice at U of G and acquired the technical skills and inspiration that fuelled his career, according to the authors. CLAUDE CORMIER

Breakwater Park Claude Cormier studied agronomy at U of G before he got the brilliant idea to create playful public spaces for people and animals. The renowned landscape architect, head of Claude Cormier + Associés Inc., was honoured in the 2019 CSLA Excellence Awards for his firm’s Breakwater Park project, which the company describes as a “magically immersive encounter with Lake Ontario.” It won in the medium-scale porticomagazine.ca

LINDA HUTSELL-MANNING

Fearless and Determined Linda HutsellManning attended the University of Guelph in the 1970s as a mature student, with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. But her Canadian literature professors encouraged her to write. She has published 11 children’s books and a novel as well as numerous short stories and poems in Canadian literary magazines. Her latest book is the memoir Fearless and Determined: Two Years Teaching in a One-Room School, due out this fall from Blue Denim Press.

public landscapes category. Among the company’s ongoing projects is The Cats, a cat-themed park in Toronto’s Wellington Street West neighbourhood.

“I get to work with art every day and it’s great,” said Hickey, who is passionate about community engagement and accessibility of arts in Canada.

MAGGIE GROAT

CAROLYN HICKEY

JAEL RICHARDSON

New Monuments for New Cities

Woodstock Art Gallery

Freedom to Read Award

Carolyn Hickey, an MA grad in art history and visual culture, was named the new head of collections at the Woodstock Art Gallery in Woodstock, Ont. She graduated in 2018 and landed the job last spring. Hickey said the training and internships during her U of G program prepared her for her new role.

Author of The Stone Thrower, book columnist and guest host on CBC Radio’s q, Jael Richardson has received the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Freedom to Read Award. The award recognizes passionate support of freedom of speech. Richardson is the founder of the Festival of Literary Diversity in Brampton,

Interdisciplinary artist Maggie Groat’s career continues to flourish. Informed by her Haudenosaunee and Settler ancestry, Groat uses a wide range of media in her works, including sculpture, textiles, site-specific interventions and publications. She has an MFA from U of G. This past summer, Groat led a tour in the New Monuments for New Cities series in Toronto’s The Bentway public space. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 25


From law school to Hollywood

26  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

David Hoselton’s law degree didn’t make him a lawyer. But it definitely made him a better writer. “If you’re asking me why I took four and a half years of my life and flushed it down the toilet, it was because I thought all lawyers were literally like Perry Mason,” says the 1997 bachelor of arts U of G alumnus, speaking of the lead character of a popular courtroom drama he watched when he was a kid. A successful Hollywood writer, Hoselton was interviewed on speaker phone as he drove to Santa Monica from his home in Los Angeles to begin his writing workday. He is part of a 12-member writing team currently working on Season 3 of ABC’s The Good Doctor. Each writer is assigned an episode. He’s crafting episode 5. Hoselton got his big break in Hollywood when the screenplay he wrote with his law school buddy Lorne Cameron called Like Father, Like Son became a 1987 hit movie. He has been writing for movies and television ever since – more than 30 years. “Being raised on TV, I actually thought a lawyer just appeared in court and there’d be a criminal on the stand and you’d force them to confess and save the day, like Perry Mason,” he says. “So, I thought it would be really cool to be a defence lawyer or criminal prosecutor. By the end of the first year of law school at the University of Toronto, I thought, ‘This is probably not going to land for me.’” No quitter, Hoselton finished his law degree so he would

PHOTO: ARWEL JONES

Spotlight


have something to fall back on in case other pursuits fell through. Degree in hand, he leapt into screenwriting. As his Hollywood career took off, he began to see how his legal training applied to writing. “Law is rooted in the analysis of facts and the presentation of two opposing viewpoints and how to support those two viewpoints,” he explained, as he cruised along the Pacific Coast section of his commute, remarking on the early morning surfers. “And that is really the basis of writing dialogue or dramatic conflict.” He also made invaluable personal and professional connections both at U of G and in law school, including perhaps the most important one of his life. He met his wife, Brenda Skelly, at U of G in a criminology class. They have been married for nearly 36 years. “I told her I loved her on the U of G campus.” porticomagazine.ca

David Hoselton (far right) on the set of Houdini and Doyle.

Without really knowing why, Hoselton gravitated into poetry and creative writing courses at U of G, only understanding later their deep impact. “The creative freedom I found at U of G was the freedom that took me all the “THE CREATIVE way down to California.” FREEDOM I He met Cameron and his current boss, Dave Shore, in law FOUND AT U OF G WAS school. “That ended up being THE FREEDOM my way into the movie and THAT TOOK television industry.” ME ALL THE WAY Hoselton’s family moved to DOWN TO Guelph when David started CALIFORNIA.” elementary school. “My educational experience was basically all on College Avenue in Guelph,” he says. “I went to College Avenue Public School, then to Centennial CVI for high school, and then I took quite the big leap by going all the way up College Avenue past Edinburgh Road to the University of Guelph.” He joked that the only thing that qualified him to be a TV

writer was his voracious appetite for TV-watching. He even spent his own money to buy copies of TV Guide when he was young. For his work on The Good Doctor, Hoselton commutes each morning to a Santa Monica office, where writers work together in close quarters. It’s not unlike a typical office environment, but the work itself is very atypical. “Writing is a lot of work, but the upside is it’s really creative,” he says. “You get to tell not only great stories, but you get to work with really great people. The writers are all smart, funny, enlightened people and you’re surrounded by them all the time.” Hoselton has written for, produced or created stories for TV series including Bull, Houdini and Doyle, Chicago P.D. and House. He’s blunt about what it takes to survive in the business. “The thing you come to understand about Hollywood is it’s based on money and very predictable that way. If they can make money off you, they want to be with you, and if they can’t, they don’t.” Writing for a network show or a hit movie is about the best-paying writing gig you can get, he says. But the sense of creative fulfillment that comes from the work may be the most satisfying aspect of it. “Every time I get on a new project, there is always that creative challenge of having to do something new and creative,” he says. “Writing something that challenges you and takes all your talents is what writing is all about.”

Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 27


Spotlight

U of G grad named Board of Governors chair

Whenever Shauneen Bruder sets foot on the University of Guelph campus, it is like coming home to the place where her love of learning first had free rein. It is a seminal place in the life of the U of G alumna, who was appointed chair of the University’s Board of Governors this summer. She is the first woman to hold the position. “U of G is such an important part of my life,” says Bruder, who graduated in 1980 with a BA before completing an MBA at Queen’s University. “To have this gift to come back and re-engage as I have over the last few years with the Board of Governors has just been a joy.” She says she is thrilled to be heading an exceptional U of G governance team and to help navigate her alma mater through changing times. “I am delighted that Shauneen Bruder has agreed to serve as chair of the University’s Board of Governors,” says president Franco Vaccarino. “She brings to the role her impressive experience as a top banking executive and genuine enthusiasm for this University as an alumna.” 28  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

Alumna Shauneen Bruder brings top banking experience to her new role.

PHOTO: ROB O’FLANAGAN

At the helm

He says the new chair is well-known for her commitment to collaborative decision-making, a quality that defines U of G and makes it a leading post-secondary institution. Bruder is executive vice-president of operations for the Royal Bank of Canada. She is a director of CN and Andrew Peller Ltd. and has served as chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian American Business Council. A recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, she has been inducted into the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. “I am so honoured to be the first woman to hold this position and at such a dynamic time in our history,” she says. “We have come a long way since I was a student in the 1970s and a young woman starting my career. But there is more work to be done to ensure that we fully embrace diversity and inclusion. This will continue to be an important focus of this Board of Governors. “The skills and experiences I gained as a student at Guelph well prepared me for the opportunities and challenges I have faced throughout my career. Teamwork, critical thinking skills and applied, collaborative learning through field trips built enduring confidence and capability. “These are what I come back to – my ability to work in a team, to collaborate, to synthesize


information, distill it down and make sense of it.” Recalling her arrival at U of G, she says, “Like so many young people, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I knew I loved to learn. I was very fortunate to have come to Guelph, a university that really encouraged you to try a lot of different things – to engage with integrative learning and the exploration of different topics.” An added and enduring bonus was meeting her husband, Michael Bruder, at U of G when she was 18, she says. Shauneen Bruder grew up in Ancaster, Ont., as the eldest of five children, all of whom attended university. Both of her parents were education professionals. “Our family put great emphasis on learning and challenging yourself to be the best you could be, on improving and growing. That’s how I was raised. The opportunity as a student to really explore some of the big questions, to do research and to acquire a discerning ability and really test facts is just so important.”

porticomagazine.ca

Bruder says one of the University’s strengths is its integrative and collaborative approach to learning. “These are things that I think are huge differentiators that prepare people for a future that is going to demand these kinds of skills. The world needs people who are multidisciplinary, who can think broadly in an integrative way.” She says her Board role will focus on supporting and advancing the University’s mission, nurturing a learning environment and fostering health and wellness throughout the academy. “I think universities are a fantastic place to thoroughly develop the whole person and a discerning, questioning curiosity about the big questions. For me, that intellectual curiosity has made a huge difference in my life.” Referring to the value of openness, curiosity and the desire to learn, she says, “I have been a lifelong learner and have been a student my whole life. In many ways, I feel like I just left as an undergraduate yesterday.”

“UNIVERSITIES ARE A FANTASTIC PLACE TO THOROUGHLY DEVELOP THE WHOLE PERSON AND A DISCERNING, QUESTIONING CURIOSITY ABOUT THE BIG QUESTIONS.”

Have an idea for an alumni spotlight? Send us a note at porticomagazine @uoguelph.ca.

Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 29


Time capsule

ON CAMPUS + Roberta Bondar completes zoology and agriculture studies before going on to become Canada’s first female astronaut. + The new McLaughlin Library opens with a collection capacity of 300,000 volumes. + Canadian musician and teacher Nicholas Goldschmidt is hired to expand the music program, including establishing the University choir. + The proposed School of Hotel and Food Administration receives final approval; the program starts the following year.

THE YEAR

1968

U of G’s South Residence was considered state-of-the-art when it opened in 1968; it remains one of the largest student residence complexes in Canada. The complex is among campus buildings highlighted in “Brutalism at Guelph: Concrete in a new light,” an ongoing exhibit in the McLaughlin Library about U of G’s late-sixties building boom that reshaped the campus. The exhibit highlights the beton brut (“raw concrete”) style of South Residence, Lambton Hall, the library, and the MacKinnon and MacNaughton buildings. The display was assembled from library archival materials by art history and landscape architecture students in an experiential learning course. The students chose this photo taken from inside the newly built South Residence to illustrate the exhibit.

“Brutalism at Guelph” will run through the fall semester. What are your recollections of the late-sixties campus building boom? Share your anecdotes with porticomagazine@uoguelph.ca. 30  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

+ The assassination of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis at age 39 sparks riots in 100 U.S. cities. + Apollo 8 becomes the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon, a year before the first astronauts land there. + Pierre Trudeau rides “Trudeaumania” into power as federal Liberal Party leader and Canadian prime minister. + To mixed reviews, the Beatles release the White Album, now considered one of the best-ever albums.

PHOTO: U OF G ARCHIVES

OFF CAMPUS


Alumni matters    ALUMNI NEWS

COMING EVENTS

Four days in April – 200 special deliveries

Nov. 2 Hockey Day in Gryphonville Men’s varsity hockey reunion on campus

I

magine you’re a student studying for exams in the campus library, and the stress is mounting. Then out of nowhere, someone delivers a gift right to you…just because. Katrina Bell, a staff member in Alumni Affairs and Development (AAD), heard about an initiative elsewhere that gave students treats to help with exam stress, and she wanted to bring the idea to U of G. She and AAD staffer Kaitlyn Edwards pitched “Gryphon Gifts” to Gryphons Care, a staff and faculty group that helps fund community initiatives. They received funding from that group, as well as support from Student Health and Well-Being and Interhall Council. As exams began this past April, Gryphon Gifts was promoted to students through social media channels with the help of campus partners.Volunteers set up shop in the University Centre and began taking requests from students via Instagram. And they delivered – literally! Over four days, the team responded to hundreds of student requests by ordering, picking up and dropping off everything from pizza and coffee to poutine and burgers. The UGAA board was so impressed by this grassroots and heartfelt student wellness initiative that we plan to support Gryphon Gifts during April 2020 exams. To volunteer for Gryphon Gifts, please contact ugaa@uoguelph.ca.You may also make a gift to the University’s Highest Priority or the Mental Health and Well-Being Fund at www.uoguelph.ca/give. Please watch your email around Giving Tuesday (Dec. 3), as we will offer alumni a way to support students during the upcoming exam period.

Nov. 14 School of Engineering Honours and Awards Gala and award ceremony at U of G Jan. 23, 2020 11th Annual Frosty Mug Men’s varsity hockey game at the Sleeman Centre, Guelph *tickets at gryphons.ca

March 4, 2020 Florida Alumni Reunion and Picnic Annual alumni gathering at Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club Port Charlotte, Florida March 7, 2020 Engineering Alumni Association Bonspiel Guelph Curling Club March 21, 2020 OACAA Bonspiel Annual event at the Guelph Curling Club

Feb. 6, 2020 Florida Alumni Excursion Join grads in Venice, Florida

March 21-22, 2020 College Royal Open House Main Campus, U of G

Feb. 15, 2020 She’s Got Game Gryphon women’s fundraising gala at U of G

March 27-28, 2020 OVC Alumni Association Hockey Tournament Gryphon Centre Arena, U of G

Richard Horne, BA, President, UGAA, and proud U of G donor Jason Moreton, BA, Associate Vice-President, Advancement, and proud U of G donor

For full details and a complete listing, please visit alumni.uoguelph.ca/events.

PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

ALUMNI PERKS

The Drake Devonshire

Pressed for Time Paninis

Great Wolf Lodge

Enjoy a mid-week discount at the Drake Devonshire in Prince Edward County, Sunday through Thursday from January to March.

Head to downtown Guelph for breakfast and get special pricing on the “Top of the Muffin” combo when you show your alumni card.

Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara offers a 20-per-cent discount for U of G alumni and family.

For full details on these and other offers, and for information on how to get your alumni card, visit alumni.uoguelph.ca/promotions. porticomagazine.ca

Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 31


Alumni matters

FEATURED EVENT

Sunshine and smiles brightened the U of G campus during this year’s Alumni Weekend that saw more than 30 class and group reunions.

Alumni Weekend 2019 With more than 1,300 alumni in attendance, Alumni Weekend 2019 was one for the record books. Highlights include: • 20-per-cent more attendees • More than 30 class and group reunions, with graduates ranging from 1949 to 2009 • Largest event: President’s Milestone Lunch, with 431 celebrants • Largest reunion: HAFA/HFTM celebrated 50 years with almost 300 attendees at the gala • Reunion year with greatest representation: 1969 • College with greatest representation: OAC Plans are under way for Alumni Weekend 2020. Mark your calendars for June 19-21, 2020. Planning a class reunion? We can help. Contact us at reunions@uoguelph.ca 32  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019


PHOTOS (OPPOSITE PAGE): JOCELYN PHILLIPS; FEDORA MEDIA; JOCELYN PHILLIPS; FEDORA MEDIA; BRANDON MARSH PHOTOGRAPHY; (THIS PAGE) BRANDON MARSH PHOTOGRAPHY

This year’s Alumni Awards of Excellence Gala celebrated four esteemed alumni: Anne and Tony Arrell, Alumni of Honour (centre); Nancy Brown Andison, Alumni Volunteer (second from right); and Angela Liddon, Young Alumni Award (second from left). More than 150 guests attended the gala June 21 at Creelman Hall. The award recipents are flanked by U of G’s Alumni Association president Richard Horne (left) and U of G president Franco Vaccarino (right).

ALUMNI EVENTS

Alumni Awards of Excellence Young Alumni Award Angela Liddon

Alumni of Honour Tony and Anne Arrell

Alumni Volunteer Nancy Brown Andison

As a student, Angela Liddon, BA ’06, struggled with an eating disorder. Adopting a plant-based diet changed her life. She chronicled her nutritional journey on a much-followed blog called Oh She Glows. Based on the blog’s popularity, she was invited by a renowned publisher to write a cookbook, which led to her becoming a bestselling cookbook author and gifted photographer.

Tony and Anne met in the late ’60s while attending U of G. He is a 1967 B.Sc. grad; she earned a bachelor of household science in 1968. Those years planted a seed of devotion to the University that grew and flourished. The Arrells are perhaps most noted for their extraordinary $20-million contribution to establish the Arrell Food Institute. But their volunteerism to U of G goes well beyond that, and they are known for their generosity and commitment to numerous not-for-profit organizations.

“There’s so much I love to do and want to support,” says Nancy Brown Andison, B.Sc. ’79. A member of the U of G Board of Governors since 2014, she has served on many committees, including the group that worked on the president’s strategic renewal plan. She has also been heavily involved in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Farm Radio International, the Ontario 4-H Foundation and various community arts organizations.

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Read the full stories about the award recipients online at porticomagazine.ca. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 33


Alumni matters CLASS NOTES

1940s

David (Dave) Thompson, DVM ’42, reports he is “happy and healthy,” having celebrated his 100th birthday last year. He enjoys reading OVC’s Crest news and keeping updated with other alumni.

1960s

John (Ross) Knechtel, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, is an active member of the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association and an advocate for mental health support in Guelph.

1970s

Rugby player Britt Benn, BA ’14, has qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She was a member of the bronze medal-winning 2016 Canadian Olympic team.

Lawrence Cornett, BA ’70, retired to Prince Edward County after a career in education paralleled with journalism. He is a volunteer with the Regent Theatre, Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Association and the new Probus (pecprobus.org) as photographer.

Lynda Macdonald, BLA ’80, was inducted into the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (Don Wuori, BLA ’78, was also inducted posthumously). Macdonald is the director of community planning for the City of Toronto, Toronto/East York District.

1980s

Leonard (Mike) Wallace, BA ’87, is the new executive director of the London Development Institute in London, Ont.

David Calder, BA ’82, has been named city manager for Cambridge, Ont. Previously, he was chief administrator for the Town of Tillsonburg, Ont. Patrick Dowds, BA ’88, retired following a 30-year teaching career and now plays guitar and sings for a local band called Fire When Ready, which plays gigs all over the GTA.

Anne Marie Taylor, DVM ’81, recently retired and returned home in Nova Scotia, having fun exploring the vibrant local food and wine scene. Travelled this winter in Cambodia and Vietnam, including an unplanned and unexpected overlap with the 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit.

1990s

Tara Holland, B.Sc. ’97, M.Sc. ’05 and PhD ’14, is an environmental science professor at Simon Fraser University who overcame great adversity, including battling breast cancer, to win the 2019 Squamish 50K trail race.

David Giuliano, BA ’82, M.Sc. ’94, is a pastor and author. His latest book is It’s Good to Be Here: Stories We Tell About Cancer. He lives on the north shore of Lake Superior in Marathon, Ont., and was the 39th moderator of the United Church of Canada. www.davidgiuliano.ca 34  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

Tania Davies, B.A.Sc. ’97, has been accepted into the vice-principal pool at the London District Catholic School Board. She lives in London, Ont., with her husband, two children and two dogs. Kelly Thornton, BA ’90, served as the artistic director of Nightwood Theatre in Toronto for 18 years and is now the first woman to serve as artistic director of the 60-year-old Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Darren Long, BA ’98, is vice-president of sales with Guildhall Wealth Management. He and his wife, Megan, like attending alumni events and sharing U of G memories with their three children, the oldest of whom they hope chooses to attend U of G to study science or engineering. Darryl Huard, B.Sc. ’91, has been appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to work with Venezuelan refugees and migrants in northern Brazil.

2000s

Moulika Sharma, B.Eng. ’17, is a project coordinator and health and safety captain for GHD Ltd. in Toronto and a language instructor for newcomers to Canada, and was a national finalist in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, held this past August. “U of G helped me develop skills that I continuously hone and utilize in both personal and professional development. I am proud to say I am a U of G engineering alumna and will forever be a Gryphon.”

PHOTO (BOTTOM RIGHT): SHOOT ME STUDIOS

David Whittington and Cora Whittington, B.Sc. ’72 and B.A.Sc. ’74, respectively, were inducted into the Peterborough Agricultural Wall of Fame in Peterborough, Ont.


reading and language development in school-age children. “I was first introduced to the field by taking a psycholinguistics course during my undergraduate degree at Guelph, and I was so inspired that I soon decided to dedicate my career to this exciting research area. I am very grateful for my experiences at Guelph!” Rebecca Sutherns, PhD ’01, recently published her first book, Nimble: Off Script But Still on Track, a coaching guide for responsive facilitation.

2010s Laura Piersol, B.Sc. ’02, loves wondering and wandering within the Fraser River watershed. Sharing her love for the natural world is her main passion in life; she is an ecological educator and has worked throughout Canada and the U.S., most recently coordinating a community mapping project in Lethbridge, Alta. She has also recently worked for Stanley Park Ecology Society, Metro Vancouver Parks and the BC Sustainable Energy Association. Currently, she is pursuing PhD studies at Simon Fraser University.

Morgan Moore, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’04, has been appointed to the Farm Products Council of Canada by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Climate change scientist Tristan Pearce, MA ’06, PhD ’11, is a new Canada Research Chair and associate professor of cumulative impacts of environmental change at the University of Northern British Columbia. Ken Peroff, BA ’16, has been named an assistant coach of the Guelph Storm hockey team. As a U of G student, he played four seasons with the Gryphon hockey team. Brandon Raco, BA ’15, was selected among this year’s Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media company. A U of G environmental governance grad, he is sustainability manager in Physical Resources on campus.

Chase Tang, B.Comm. ’16, has a lead role in the new Netflix series Jupiter Rising. “I owe all of this to everything I learned in the years I was at the University of Guelph and to all the amazing professors I had,” says Chase Tang, B.Comm. ’16. Tang recently landed a lead role in an upcoming Netflix series, Jupiter Rising. “I want to inspire the current U of G students to understand how amazing a time we live in now. 2019 is fully of endless opportunities and anything and everything you can dream of – GUARANTEED – is possible if you are willing to completely lose yourself in it and the process in going after it.” Tang invites students and alumni to follow him on Instagram, @chasetangofficial. Read more about his story at porticomagazine.ca.

Justin Peter, B.Sc. ’00, is a partner in Worldwide Quest, a Toronto-based experiential and educational travel company (www. worldwidequest. com). He worked for several years as senior naturalist at Ontario’s worldrenowned Algonquin Park, and was the lead howler for Algonquin’s celebrated public wolf howls. He has personally led tours to such places as India, Peru, Namibia, the Galapagos Islands and the shores of Hudson Bay. Jeffrey Malins, B.Sc. ’07, is a psychology professor at Georgia State University, where he studies the brain networks that support porticomagazine.ca

Kafui Hotsonyame, B.Comm. ’15, is an internationally ranked competitive powerlifter. He recently finished seventh overall at the International Powerlifting Federation’s World Men’s Classic Championships in Helsinborg, Sweden. Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 35


Alumni matters LIVES THAT IMPROVED LIFE

Passages ALUMNI 1930s Edith Braithwaite, DHE ’34, Jan. 20, 2018 Frances Fischer, DHE ’39, Jan. 22, 2018

Margaret Beare One of the first criminologists to become immersed in the study of organized crime, Margaret Beare had her academic beginnings at the University of Guelph. She graduated with a BA in sociology and English in 1968 and an MA in sociology in 1971 before going on to Cambridge University and Columbia University. She died in August of endometrial cancer, at the age of 72. Beare authored books and articles on money laundering, international policing policy, gang violence and social justice. Her book Criminal Conspiracies: Organized Crime in Canada was the first scholarly treatment of organized crime in this country. In her book Money Laundering: The Chasing of Dirty and Dangerous Dollars, Beare delved into the international smuggling and laundering of cash from crime. Her research contributed immensely to understanding organized crime around the world. She began her career as a senior research officer in the Office of the Solicitor General, a position she held for more than 10 years, after which she became an internationally recognized academic. Born in Markham, Ont., and raised on a farm near Agincourt, Ont., she travelled the world for her research. A leading authority on organized criminal activity, Beare taught at York University/ Osgoode Hall Law School for more than 20 years, providing mentorship and guidance to many graduate students who were drawn to Osgoode because of her presence. Throughout her career, Beare was noted for her rigorous approach to researching criminal networks and her ability to examine issues from many angles and to spur debate – skills and knowledge that she passed on to her students. 36  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

1940s Miriam Mitchell, DHE ’40, Jan. 14, 2019 Mabel Smith, DHE ’40, Dec. 31, 2018 Ruth Bowers, DHE ’41, Jan. 11, 2018 Jacob (Jack) Pos, Dip. ’47, BSA ’50, M.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, Jan. 11, 2018 Edward (Eddie) Andries, DVM ’48, April 18, 2018 Betty Appleford, DHE ’48, April 7, 2019 Francis (Grant) Moffat, BSA ’48, April 25, 2019 Beverley (Bev) Biggar, DHE ’49, Jan. 12, 2019 William (Bill) Campbell, BSA ’49, April 17, 2019 Kenneth (Ken) Fisk, DVM ’49, March 9, 2019 Charles (Calvin) Kirby, BSA ’49, Feb. 10, 2018 Anne McDougall, DHE ’49, May 6, 2019 Gordon (Gord) Spencer, DVM ’49, March 14, 2019 Joseph Phillipp (Gilbert) Verville, DVM ’49, May 18, 2019 Clifford (Cliff) Young, DVM ’49, April 23, 2019 1950s Kenneth (Ken) Murray, BSA ’50, March 2, 2019 Lorne Murray, DVM ’50, March 24, 2018 Alan Armstrong, Dip. ’51, July 20, 2019 Alexander (Alex) Henry, BSA ’51, March 7, 2019 Thomas (Fred) Kingsmill, BSA ’51, May 12, 2019 Carson Knox, Dip. ’51, May 3, 2019 Donald (Don) Stewart, BSA ’51, April 12, 2019 Richard (Dick) Heard, BSA ’52, June 13, 2019 James (Jim) Lagerquist, BSA ’52, April 25, 2019 John (Monty) Dugan, DVM ’54, March 12, 2019 David (Dave) McAllister, Dip. ’54, April 23, 2018 Lloyd Ross, BSA ’54, July 6, 2019 Howard Sims, Dip. ’54, July 31, 2018 Dorothy Campbell, B.H.Sc. ’55, April 18, 2019 Eldon (Stan) Liebau, BSA ’55, March 18, 2019 Gerald (Jerry) Brown, Dip. ’56, Aug. 11, 2019 Barbara (Barb) Graham, B.H.Sc. ’56, April 25, 2019

William (Bill) McBride, BSA ’56, M.Sc. (Agr.) ’64, April 3, 2019 Robert Smith, Dip. ’56, Feb. 6, 2019 Charles (Charlie) Tomecek, Dip. ’56, April 25, 2019 Peter Lindley, BSA ’57, June 11, 2019 Charlie (Gord) Miner, BSA ’57, Aug. 7, 2019 George Cardwell, Dip. ’58, Sept. 13, 2017 David (Dave) Secord, DVM ’58, July 10, 2018 Gysbert (Bert) Van Reekum, BSA ’58, Dip. (Hort.) ’67, March 28, 2018 Lawrence (Larry) Bryant, DVM ’59, June 28, 2019 George Irving, DVM ’59, Dec. 14, 2018 Jean Lawless, B.H.Sc. ’59, April 13, 2019 Margaret McKellar, Dip. ’59, March 31, 2019 Robert (Bob) Mercer, BSA ’59, June 5, 2019 David Stock, BSA ’59, March 29, 2019 1960s Theodoris (Ted) Poelma, DVM ’60, June 16, 2019 Hans von Amsberg, BSA ’60, M.Sc. (Agr.) ’62, April 8, 2019 William (Ken) Wright, BSA ’60, July 12, 2019 Donald (Don) Chunn, M.Sc. (Agr). ’61, March 2, 2019 Robert (Bob) Culbert, BSA ’61, May 10, 2019 Alan Scott, BSA ’61, M.Sc. ’77, April 3, 2019 Victor (Ted) Valli, DVM ’62, M.Sc. ’66, PhD ’70, Aug. 9, 2019 Charles (Frank) Marks, M.Sc. (Agr.) ’63, Feb. 25, 2019 Wayne Mitchell, Dip. ’63, Jan. 1, 2017 Nigel Palmer, DVM ’63, M.Sc. ’65, April 19, 2019 Donald (Don) Endicott, Dip. ’64, March 4, 2019 Harry (Doug) McCausland, DVM ’64, Jan. 2, 2018 Donald (Don) Shiell, Dip. ’64, Oct. 24, 2018 Murray Esler, DVM ’65, March 15, 2019 Sharon Kopinak, DVM ’66, July 6, 2019 Norman McCollum, Dip. ’66, July 9, 2019 John Smith, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’66, March 1, 2019 Lorne Townes, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, Jan. 27, 2019 Fred Mogelin, B.A. ’69, June 17, 2019 Gwendolyn Ritcey, M.Sc. ’69, Dec. 19, 2018 Glen Standeaven, Dip. ’69, May 12, 2018 1970s Margaret (Peggy) McNeill Bond, B.H.Sc. ’70, May 27, 2019 Margaret Milne, B.H.Sc. ’70, M.Sc. ’71, March 21, 2019


1980s Barbara Haverson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’83, March 12, 2019 Herbert (Bert) Steele, BA ’83, April 4, 2018 Brian Hackett, Dip. ’84, April 5, 2019 Silvia Ruegger, B.A.Sc. ’85, BA ’87, Aug. 23, 2019 Douglass (Paul) Jeffrey, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’86, Feb. 12, 2019 John McCleary, B.Sc. ’88, DVM ’95, March 22, 2019 James Wallace, BA ’88, April 26, 2019

1990s Allison Jones, B.A.Sc. ’94, Aug. 4, 2018 Peter Man-Son-Hing, B.Sc. ’94, July 13, 2019 2000s Dominic Gregorio, BA ’02, March 3, 2019 Kelly Atyeo, B.A.Sc. ’09, March 5, 2019 Ashlee (Grace) McGuirk, DVM ’12, July 5, 2019 Tyler McLean, B.A.Sc. ’15, Oct. 1, 2017 Jennifer Pitcher, B.Sc. ’19, Nov. 17, 2018

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

PHOTO: ROB O’FLANAGAN

Patricia (Pat) Ronald, M.Sc. ’70, March 31, 2019 Michael (Mike) Weber, DVM ’71, Dip. ’79, July 6, 2019 Christopher (Ted) Clarke, DVM ’72, April 27, 2019 Raymond Gibbs, BA ’72, July 9, 2018 Margaret Lou (Margaret) Shaver, B.A.Sc. ’72, July 8, 2019 Douglas Carruthers, Dip. ’73, March 27, 2019 Wayne Hatch, BA ’73, Jan. 29, 2019 William (Bill) Cowie, B.Sc. ’74, July 22, 2019 Barbara Porter Hinds, BA ’74, Dec. 9, 2017 Catherine (Ann) Naese, BA ’75, Dec. 2, 2018 Jacqueline Scott, B.Sc. ’75, April 12, 2019 Berend (Ben) Van Ommen, Dip. (Hort.) ’75, Nov. 6, 2018 Beverly Booth, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’76, March 8, 2019 Donald (Don) Wuori, BLA ’78, Sept. 18, 2018 Karen Goetz, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’79, Dec. 3, 2018 Carman (Carl) Johnston, B.Comm. ’79, July 2, 2019 Susan Laushway, BA ’79, March 13, 2019

porticomagazine.ca

Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 37


Last look

Summer/ winter, 2019 THE SEASONAL FACES OF U OF G’S CONSERVATORY GARDEN

Over the years, the iconic Conservatory Garden has evolved and expanded to become a marquee green space on the University of Guelph campus. New trees, shrubs, flowers and ground cover make the garden a place of great beauty and peace within the bustling campus. A haven for pollinators and a splendid place to read or picnic, the garden continues to grow in beauty and variety. The goal, says John Reinhart, U of G grounds manager, is to

38  |  PORTICO  Fall 2019

make it a true four-season garden: beautiful and inviting year-round. He says the space is ideally located for visibility, situated next to the University Centre where up to 2.2 million people pass by each year. “It’s a labour of love,” Reinhart says, crediting the vision and passion of head gardener Nick Colley-Lussier. “We want to keep up to the highest standards. Most plants are chosen for different beauty effects throughout the garden. Areas that

need to be planted a bit thicker will be, so that we can have a higher level of show garden all of the time. Filling in those spaces means less weeding and lower maintenance.” The D.M. Rutherford Family Conservatory, the glass and steel greenhouse built in 1930, occupies centre stage in the garden. From it radiate 12 garden plots, each with a rich assortment of plants. Expect an even more surprising and awe-inspiring array as the garden grows.

PHOTOS: ROB O’FLANAGAN

As the garden shows


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Fall 2019  PORTICO  | 39


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Portico Magazine - Fall 2019  

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