UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS
One World, One Health U of G leads in tackling global health issues p.14
Roberta Bondar looks back and ahead. p.22
Making a difference
Grad advocates for Afghan refugees. p.28
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28 14 22
FEATURES COVER STORY
14 All Our Relations One Health at U of G
22 Roberta Bondar
26 CLOCKWISE FROM LOWER LEFT: CANADIAN ARMED FORCES; ROB O’FLANAGAN; AMANDA SCOTT, KAITLIN GALLANT; NASA
04 04 05 33
Leading edge Letters President’s message Class notes
IN EVERY ISSUE
Astronaut grad gained ‘right stuff’ at U of G
26 In the Navy SECTIONS
06 Around the ring News and views from around campus
10 Discovery U of G research, innovations and ideas
31 Alumni matters 26 Alumni spotlights 30 New chapters, sights & sounds 33 Passages 38 Time capsule
Events, updates and class connections
Alum retraces Franklin’s footsteps
28 Refugee Activist Improving life in Afghanistan
37 Lives That Improved Life 102-year-old grad was genetics pioneer
39 Last Look Family roots in conservatory garden
Summer 2022 PORTICO | 3
Letters Summer 2022, Vol. 54, Issue 1 LEADING EDGE
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
The article about Alumni Stadium [Portico Summer, 2021] brought back many happy memories of my time at the University of Guelph. I wanted to point out for your readers, though, that there was another football team on campus in 1981. A group of women students from U of G got together that winter to compete in a “powderpuff” tournament to raise money for the Arthritis Society. There was nothing “powderpuffy” about it, though; it was full-contact tackle football on a frozen field! Fortunately, I don’t recall any injuries, just a lot of fun for a great cause! – Deirdre McLean, B.Sc. (HK) ’84
University of Guelph Say hi and tag #UofG in your posts! #UofG #ImproveLife
Follow Alumni Affairs and Development:
@uofgalumni #ForeverAGryphon #UofGAlumni
Editor’s note: A newspaper caption published with this photo in January 1981 said 17 U of G students competed in the University of Toronto Women’s Powderpuff Football Tournament that raised $2,000 for the Canadian Arthritis Society. McLean is the fourth player from the left in the second row.
Editor’s note: Patricia Wilson in Fredericton, N.B., wrote to Portico about the passing of her husband, Kerry Wilson, on April 16, 2021.
Kerry completed two degrees Connect with Portico firstname.lastname@example.org 4
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at the University of Guelph. In 1964, he was the VERY LAST graduate (last name Wilson) to receive his degree from the University of Toronto, as was done at that time. The following year, the degrees were issued under the name of the University of Guelph. He earned a BSA in fisheries and wildlife management (1964) and an M.Sc. from the Department of Zoology in 1968. Kerry worked with Dr. Keith Ronald on his master’s thesis on parasites of sea lamprey in the Great Lakes. In fall 1965, the University built a seal tank. [Ed. This facility housed seals studied by zoologists including Ronald, later dean of the College of Biological Science.] Kerry was sent to pick up three baby seals from the Magdalen Islands. He escorted the seals by helicopter to the Halifax airport, where he was assigned to a spot on the runway to wait until his commercial airplane boarded. The seals were put into the hold of the plane and Kerry laughs when he tells how curious the passengers were about the strange sounds they could hear in the plane during the flight. An attendant brought him a note asking whether the attendants and pilots would be able to see the seals when they landed. Kerry eventually worked for 29 years with the New Brunswick Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and retired as executive director, licensing and inspection, in 2002.
– Patricia Wilson
Daniel Atlin, vice-president (external) EDITOR
Lori Bona Hunt ART DIRECTION
Amanda Scott GRAPHIC DESIGN
Kaitlin Gallant, Devon Wagenaar COPY EDITOR
Andrew Vowles CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Kristyn Anthony, Angela Mulholland, Andrew Vowles CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Rob O’Flanagan, Laurel Jarvis 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
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New Beginnings at U of G
y the time you read this, the 2021-22 academic year will have come to an end. Students, staff and faculty will have written final exams, graded those exams and completed an abundance of end-of-term work. And yet, new beginnings are abuzz at U of G. Dr. Mary Anne Chambers began her appointment as the University’s tenth chancellor just a few months ago. Dr. Chambers has been a lifelong advocate of the transformative value of accessible higher education, including through her past role as Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities. She has been a champion of U of G for decades, including having served as a member of the Board of Governors. Dr. Chambers’s diverse experiences and approachability ensure she will excel as chancellor at this unique point in U of G’s journey as an institution. We are also moving forward with the Strategic Framework Refresh initiative. After hearing creative ideas and thoughtful perspectives from our first set of community consultations in 2021, it was clear that there is appetite for a bold, visionary plan that provides clear direction through actionable tasks and accountability measures for this next chapter in our community’s story. We have begun a second round of focused consultations with students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners, and I look forward to engaging with you on a first draft of the plan. You can read more about new beginnings throughout this issue, including One Health, alumna Dr. Roberta Bondar and Arrell Scholar Nasrin Husseini. On a personal note, I was humbled to be formally installed as president and vicechancellor at the end of March. Although I was appointed to the position last August and served in an interim role before that, the installation gave me pause to think about the priorities I will advance during my term. Together, we will build on U of G’s “genius” toward a better University and a better world. Finally, this month marks the return of in-person convocation ceremonies at the University. For the first time in more than two years, U of G graduates, including many from the classes of 2020 and 2021, will cross the convocation stage. This moment marks many a new beginning: our newest alumni will take all they have learned at U of G to pave new paths, start bold initiatives and Improve Life meaningfully for themselves and the world around them. I wish you each a wonderful summer and hopeful, new beginnings—wherever or whenever you should need them. Warmly, Charlotte A.B. Yates President and Vice-Chancellor
PHOTO: BRANDON MARSH
Together, we will build on U of G’s ‘genius’ toward a better University and a better world
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Around the ring
CAMPUS NEWS AND VIEWS
Dr. Mary Anne Chambers Named Chancellor
U of G Signs National Charter to Combat Racism, Promote Inclusion
Dr. Mary Anne Chambers, a former Ontario cabinet minister, longtime champion of the University of Guelph, and lifelong education and community advocate, has been named as the University’s next chancellor. She is the tenth chancellor since the University’s creation in 1964. “Mary Anne Chambers embodies our University’s purpose and promise to ‘Improve Life,’” said U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates. “She has worked tirelessly to make higher education
accessible and inclusive for everyone and to improve circumstances for children, youth and families, especially in racialized communities in Canada and around the world.” Chambers was a senior vice-president at Scotiabank. She was elected to the Ontario legislature as a Liberal in 2003 and appointed minister of training, colleges and universities and then minister of children and youth services. She was a member of U of G’s Board of Governors from 2010 to 2016. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Chambers was named to the Order of Ontario and has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals. “This University has so much to contribute to the achievement of the ambitions of the people of this province, our country and beyond, given its areas of specialty and its long-standing commitment to sustainability in its broadest sense. I am truly honoured to be chosen to serve the University of Guelph as its chancellor,” Chambers said.
The University of Guelph is part of a historic national movement to combat anti-Black racism and promote Black inclusion on university and college campuses. Forty post-secondary institutions signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education. The Charter is a national action plan for fighting structural racism and inspiring positive change in Canada’s postsecondary sector. “The charter is about taking action and responsibility,” says Prof. Lawrence Hill, a professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies and former co-chair of U of G’s President’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism. “Racial injustice continues, affecting members of our Black campus community. Ensuring fulsome, transformative inclusion and change across this University will require action and co-operation from the entire U of G and greater Guelph region.”
With more ticks and tick bites occurring in Canada year after year, better diagnosis of Lyme disease is the goal of renewed funding from the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseases for the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab at U of G. The lab has received a three-year, $1.2-million grant from the foundation to continue studying the bacterial pathogen and the disease it causes. The foundation’s initial investment of 6
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$1.4 million in 2017 helped to establish the lab in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB). Beyond studying diagnostics, members of the lab aim to help improve disease treatment and prognosis for people infected with Lyme disease. “Our end goal is to improve patient outcomes,” said lab director Dr. Melanie Wills. The team is pursuing various projects, including learning about
individuals’ responses to drug treatment and why the disease goes undiagnosed in some infected people. Wills is also obtaining tissues from people bitten by ticks to build a biobank used to identify biomarkers for Lyme disease. Along with MCB professor Dr. Cezar Khursigara, she is also investigating the formation of bacterial clumps called biofilms that help the pathogen evade detection and treatment.
PHOTO: MARY ANN CHAMBERS
Magnotta Commits Further $1M for Lyme Disease Studies
U of G’s Economic Impact Worth $8.6 Billion
Yates Installed as U of G President Dr. Charlotte Yates was installed as the University of Guelph’s ninth president and vicechancellor in March. She becomes U of G’s first woman president. Her installation took place during a small, in-person ceremony on campus that was livestreamed to a global audience. Among attendees were dignitaries including numerous First Nations and Métis leaders and government officials, former U of G chancellors and presidents, prominent U of G supporters and current higher education leaders. During her installation address, Yates said she aims to build on U of G’s reputation for teaching excellence, its tradition of interdisciplinary research for solving critical global problems, and
PHOTO: LAUREL JARVIS
U of G Places in Global Academic Ranking For the third year in a row, the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) placed fifth worldwide and first in Canada in the 2022 World University Rankings by Subject. U of G tied for 20th place worldwide in agriculture
its contributions to culture and communities. “It is about taking our ‘genius’ and using it to make the world a better place,” she said. Yates said U of G will pursue global excellence by recruiting top students, faculty and staff “with different experiences, different backgrounds and different perspectives. We must elevate and advance those voices that are under-represented today.” She also promised to “reconnect the social fibres that have been frayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic” and build on U of G’s civic-minded values and sense of community. She pledged to ensure fiscal stability, invest in research and scholarship, and engage with alumni, donors and other supporters.
and forestry. The University was also ranked in hospitality and leisure management, placing 2nd in Canada and within the top 100 in the world. This is the first time this program was included in the ranking. The annual World University Rankings by the Quacquarelli Symonds international education network lists the world’s top universities in 51 academic subjects and includes some 1,300 universities from 80 locations around the world. The QS ranking methodology focuses on academic reputation,
employer reputation, citations per paper, and h-index, which measures both productivity and impact of researchers. U of G was ranked in nine subjects, up from seven last year. Other U of G subjects included in the ranking were anatomy and physiology, environmental sciences, biological sciences, economics and econometrics, chemistry, and computer science and information systems.
The University of Guelph’s investments in teaching and research, people and organizations generate $8.6 billion for the Canadian economy, according to the latest U of G economic impact report. The University contributes more than $2-billion worth of GDP to the local economy annually, including sustaining more than 13,400 jobs and generating $686 million in labour income. Students alone contribute $444 million in living expenses and dedicate 1.5 million volunteer hours each year to the City of Guelph and Wellington County. “This report explains how the University’s teaching, research and communitybuilding endeavours contribute to stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive economies,” said president Dr. Charlotte Yates.
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Around the ring CAMPUS NEWS
Father and Son Team Up as Gryphon Football Coaches
U of G Earns UN Plaudits for Sustainable Impacts
$8.6-Million OVC Campaign Aims to Improve Companion Animal Care
The University of Guelph placed 16th worldwide for sustainable impacts on society, according to a new global ranking. The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings assessed the progress of more than 1,500 universities from 100 countries and territories toward meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 goals—which include providing inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality, and building sustainable cities and communities—were adopted by the UN in 2016 to provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way. U of G earned high marks for development goals including poverty and hunger alleviation and clean water and sanitation.
With more Canadian pet owners seeking advanced treatment options for companion animals, a new multimillion-dollar project will support critical care and specialty veterinary services at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). OVC Pet Trust launched the $8.36-million infrastructure project to accommodate complex case referrals amid a current shortage of veterinary professionals and an increase in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Improving the space to allow for leading-edge approaches to veterinary care and education in the intensive care unit of OVC’s Health Sciences Centre is the goal, to be supported with a $4.2-million bequest from the late Catherine Bergeron, a long-time OVC Pet Trust supporter. The unit will be named the Catherine Bergeron Centre for Urgent and Critical Care.
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U of G Research, Business School Among Canada’s Best For the seventh year running, the University of Guelph ranked second among Canadian comprehensive universities in an annual national survey of top research institutions. U of G claimed second spot out of 50 comprehensive universities – those with a full range of graduate programs and professional schools without a medical school – in the 2021 Research Infosource Inc. ranking of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities. Rankings are based on measures including sponsored research, numbers of publications
in leading journals and research impact. In a separate ranking, the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics placed among the world’s top sustainability-focused business schools. The sustainable business magazine Corporate Knights ranked the Lang MBA program 5th in the world and 2nd in Canada for its focus on sustainability. It marked the first time that the program ranks among the top five programs in the world and the third year running that it has made the global top 10.
PHOTO: U OF G NEWS STORY
Coach Sheahan and Coach Sheahan have reunited on the staff of the Guelph Gryphons football team. Head coach Ryan Sheahan has been joined on the squad by his father, Pat Sheahan, who was appointed this year as the Gryphons offensive line coach and an offensive assistant. Father and son were last fellow coaches in 2014 with the Queen’s Gaels at Queen’s University, where Pat spent 19 seasons as head coach. “It’s a great feeling,” Ryan says. “I looked at it through two different lenses and the most important one is that I think we brought on one of the best coaches to join our staff and our team.” Both father and son also coached the University of Calgary Dinos more recently; Pat replaced Ryan as offensive coordinator in Calgary after Ryan became U of G’s head coach.
New degree, continuing education programs at U of G Reflecting societal shifts and requirements, U of G is launching new degree and continuing education programs this year:
Dr. Uwafiokun Idemudia has been appointed dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. Dr. Melanie Spence-Ariemma has been named the new vice-provost and chief academic officer at the University of Guelph-Humber and Dr. George Bragues has been appointed associate vice-provost (academic). Dr. Melissa Perreault, Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Asim Biswas, School of Environmental Sciences, were named to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, PhD ’99, was appointed as president of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
• A new Black Canadian studies minor in the College of Arts, being launched this fall, grew out of U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates’s Anti-Racism Action Plan. The program was created in collaboration with the Guelph Black Students Association and will offer community-engaged and experiential learning with the Guelph Black Heritage Society. •A lso launching in the fall is Sexualities, Genders and Social Change, a multidisciplinary degree program within U of G’s BA program. The degree will explore scholarship of human identity, embodiment and self-expression and interconnections with social, political and cultural systems. •W ith COVID-19 highlighting the need for skilled personal support workers for long-term care facilities, a new continuing education course launched this year is intended to enable Ontario PSWs to upgrade skills quickly and easily. The “micro-credential” program offered by U of G’s Open Learning and Educational Support department will address critical workforce shortages and improve quality of longterm care by mitigating employee burnout and improving resiliency and retention.
Stephen Tanner, BA ’82, was recognized as the longestserving chief of police in Canada, with 20 years as chief of the Halton Regional Police Service and 40 years as a police officer. Lorie Gold, B.Sc. ’79, DVM ’83, is the new president of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario. Food science professor Dr. Alejandro Marangoni was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest honours. University Professor Emeritus Dr. Barry Smit, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contribution to the understanding of climate change. New Members of the Order of Canada announced in 2021 included Betsy McGregor, DVM ’87, named for her contributions to women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and her dedication to developing future leaders. Also named was Ken Knox, B.Sc. ’72, for his contributions to Ontario agriculture including promotion of extension and education programs for rural youth. Nina Lee Aquino, BA ’00, was named artistic director of English theatre at the National Arts Centre. Tyler Schulz, B.Sc. ’99, was named as Ontario’s Commissioner of the Environment.
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RESEARCH, INNOVATION, IDEAS
FINDINGS Dr. Ally Menzies studies climate change in Canada’s North.
Indigenous Voices Needed in Climate Change Discussions Climate change profoundly affects Indigenous peoples in Canada and abroad, but their concerns continue to go unheard, according to a new University of Guelph study led by First Nations communities in Ontario. The study urges decision makers to include Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in discussions about climate change impacts, said Dr. Ally Menzies, a post-doc in the School of Environmental Sciences (SES). “There are only so many generations that knowledge is passed down,” Menzies said. “When an Elder dies, a chunk of culture and knowledge dies with them. We’re running out of time to have that knowledge and culture passed down to current generations.” The study was published in FACETS, the journal of the Royal Society of Canada’s Academy of Science. Co-authors include Dr. Jesse Popp and Dr. Sue Chiblow, both Anishinaabe professors in SES, along with U of G students and researchers. The report pinpoints climate change impacts on the environment and on traditional culture and ways of life and calls for further research on those impacts combining Indigenous
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knowledge and Western science. The paper highlights how climate change is increasingly throwing off seasonal timing of life cycles of animals and plants that are key to Indigenous culture and traditional practices. Those practices are also being affected by changes in water quality, biodiversity, and spread of disease and parasites. Climate change is making it more difficult for Indigenous people to predict the landscape and ecosystems, said Menzies. “Their knowledge no longer matches what’s happening around them.” Earlier studies have often focused on climate change impacts in the North, said Menzies. This new report was based on a 2019 workshop with 12 Anishinaabek communities around the Great Lakes involving almost 40 Elders, youth and environmental experts. Besides calling for more integration of Indigenous knowledge and Western science, the group recommended long-term monitoring of plants and animals and more holistic, ecosystem-level approaches to assessing climate change effects.
Veterinary students at the University of Guelph are now using a virtual reality (VR) simulation tool to help learn about dog and cow anatomy. The technology – believed to be the first use of VR for teaching anatomy at a Canadian veterinary college – allows students to move around virtually inside an animal’s body. Using handheld controls, they can manipulate the VR model to examine material from any direction, magnify or reduce body parts, and zero in on organs and tissues in three dimensions. Clicking a button allows users to strip away overlying bone to focus on internal organs and systems. “Anatomy comes to life,” says Dr. Pavneesh Madan, a professor in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Biomedical Sciences. “The tool is like magic, like something I’ve never experienced before.”
PHOTOS: U OF G NEWS STORY
Learning Anatomy Through Virtual Reality
PHOTOS: (LEFT) U OF G NEWS STORY; (RIGHT) ENVATO ELEMENTS BY TWENTY20PHOTOS
U of G Research May Lead to New Parkinson’s Disease Treatments A new discovery by University of Guelph researchers may ultimately help in devising new therapies and improving quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease. The researchers hope their findings will lead to drugs that halt the progression of this neurodegenerative disease, says Morgan Stykel, a PhD candidate and first author of a paper published in the journal Cell Reports. Parkinson’s disease is the world’s fastest-growing neurodegenerative disease and Canada has some of the world’s highest rates, according to Parkinson Canada. Its exact cause is unknown. Current therapies only treat symptoms rather than halting the disease, says Dr. Scott Ryan, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology who led the study. Parkinson’s disease can be triggered by the misfolding of a protein called alpha-synuclein that accumulates in one part of the brain. The disease causes loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, a chemical messenger that helps control motor function. The misfolded protein eventually spreads to other parts of the brain, impairing areas responsible for other functions such as mood and cognition. The U of G team found that the affected synuclein inactivates a second protein that normally targets misfolded proteins for degradation. The researchers showed that reactivating the latter protein enables cells to clear the misfolded proteins and prevent disease spread.
Sustainable Practices Good for Businesses During Economic Crises Companies prioritizing sustainability are better positioned to survive during times of crisis and experience economic growth, new research from the University of Guelph has found. Researchers looked at sustainability performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and before and after the 200708 financial collapse. They found companies that invested in environmental, social and corporate governance during the global pandemic had more positive economic outcomes, whereas the opposite
occurred during the 2007-08 financial crisis. Now, sustainability provides a kind of “insurance” to protect against economic downturns, researchers found. “If you think that environmental damage isn’t going to impact economic growth, you’re mistaken,” said co-author Dr. Kathleen Rodenburg, professor in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. She co-authored the study with Dr. Jing Lu, Dr. Lianne Foti and Dr. Ann Pegoraro, all faculty members in the Lang School. Companies are now recognizing that sustainability helps with long-term performance, Rodenburg said, leading to improved investor confidence and business reputation, among other advantages.
DNA Barcoding Technology Gets $24 Million in Federal Funding Can we avert planetary mass extinction? Can we establish a global system to survey life on our planet? Helping to answer these and other large-scale questions about life on Earth is the goal of BIOSCAN, a University of Guelph-led global biodiversity project that was awarded $24 million in federal funding this year. Led by Dr. Paul Hebert, a professor in the College of Biological Science and director of U of G’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, a worldwide, interdisciplinary research team will use the award to advance this ambitious eight-year project begun in 2019. BIOSCAN will inventory multicellular species, probe their interactions and dynamics, and enable researchers to help protect natural resources, ecosystems and human health. Summer 2022 PORTICO | 11
ImprovLab Opens for Performance, Research
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Curbing Greenhouse Light Leaks Aim of Project Greenhouse growers need plenty of light to nurture crop plants and flowers, but the nighttime glow from increasing numbers of glasshouses in Ontario has municipalities looking to crack down on light pollution. Now, a University of Guelph engineer is leading a pioneering drone project intended to help curb light leaks from commercial greenhouses, ensuring optimum plant yields for the province’s ever-growing vegetable and flower production. Dr. William Lubitz, a professor in the School of Engineering, and graduate student Benjamin Snow are using drone technology to measure light emanating from Ontario greenhouses. “It’s common to measure light inside a greenhouse and its effects on crops. There’s much less information on light that comes out of greenhouses,” says Lubitz. “We’re trying to fill that gap in Ontario.” The project will help provide data that is lacking even as municipalities, notably Kingsville
and Leamington, Ont., have enacted bylaws to limit light pollution from growers. “Measuring light is actually very difficult in the field,” says Lubitz. Light contains varying spectra and people perceive light differently depending on its amount, colour, intensity and other factors. Drone technology can help measure light emanating from greenhouses. The team will collect photos and data from light intensity sensors mounted on a drone hovering above the greenhouses. By opening and closing light abatement curtains on the greenhouse ceilings and varying the lighting, they will study amounts and kinds of illumination. The team hopes their data will help growers find an optimum balance while complying with light pollution bylaws. This work is part of a larger project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, with support from the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers.
PHOTO (LEFT): DIAMOND SCHMITT ARCHITECTS; (RIGHT) ENVATO ELEMENTS BY SYDNEY
This summer brings the opening of the ImprovLab on campus as the new home for improvised performances and research through U of G’s International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI). The one-of-a-kind facility will enable researchers at U of G and collaborators in Canada and abroad to conduct practice-based studies of improvisational performance and audience reception and to hold community workshops for improv research. Directed by Dr. Ajay Heble, School of English and Theatre Studies, the institute looks at performance as a model of social practice in numerous fields. “Improvisation feeds into every aspect of life,” said Sam Boer, administrative and communication specialist with IICSI and a performing musician. “Every day during COVID, we’ve had to wake up and improvise aspects of our lives.” Part of wider renovations to the MacKinnon Building, the ImprovLab will feature a flexible, 140-seat research performance space for varied uses including music, theatre and multimedia. Live performances in the new space are planned in late summer for the annual Improvisation Festival, a 24-hour online event involving international artists.
Average Person Not Practising Mindfulness Properly
Revealing True Self in Interviews Beneficial
While mindfulness has become a popular way to reduce stress and maintain wellbeing, a new study involving a University of Guelph researcher has found people practise it incorrectly. Dr. Jamie Gruman, a professor in U of G’s Lang School of Business, says many people confuse the practice with passive acceptance of a problem. Published in Clinical Psychology Review, the study looked at popular conceptions of mindfulness. Rooted in Buddhist religious practice, mindfulness became more popular after clinical research began reaffirming its potential for reducing stress and improving well-being.
However, when the researchers compared popular interpretations of mindfulness to evaluate how people understand and apply the concept in their daily lives, they found that many confuse acceptance with passivity or avoidance. “Our results suggest that laypeople may understand what awareness is, but the next step of acceptance may not be well understood, limiting potential for engaging with problems,” says Dr. Ellen Choi, lead author on the paper and organizational behaviour professor at Ryerson University. Based on these findings, Gruman says, what’s needed is a “contextualized mindfulness framework” that the average person can follow and understand.
Pets Ingesting More Cannabis Since Legalization in Canada The legalization of cannabis has led to more toxicosis in pets, according to University of Guelph research published in PLOS ONE. Researchers surveyed more than 200 North American veterinarians, mostly Canadian, who self-reported over three months in 2021. Dogs were the animal most often ingesting cannabis. Cats, iguanas, ferrets, horses and cockatoos were all reported to have experienced cannabis toxicosis, based on clinical signs, history of cannabis exposure and urine tests. Most pet owners did not know where their animals encountered it, according to the data, although some vets reported porticomagazine.ca
exposure from discarded joints, human feces, cannabis-infused butter or oil, and compost. Edibles were the most common cause of toxicosis, with animals ingesting cannabis while unattended. Although most of the animals had a complete recovery, suggesting no long-term effects, some deaths were reported, said lead researcher Dr. Jibran Khokhar, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the Ontario Veterinary College. Increased toxicosis may reflect not increasing human use of cannabis but more reporting to veterinarians when animals are exposed, he said.
While job candidates often view interviews as opportunities to sell themselves, a new University of Guelph study has found many applicants opt for being completely genuine rather than going over the top. Psychology professor Dr. Deborah Powell and PhD student Brooke Charbonneau in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences led three studies that are among the first to investigate what psychologists call “self-verification behaviour” in job interviews. Those who practise self-verification during interviews offer unembellished information aligned with their own views of themselves. This study, which appeared in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment and was featured by Psychology Today, found that participants hoped that being completely honest would make them stand out from other applicants.
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ONE HEALTH U OF G AT FOREFRONT OF NEW GLOBAL APPROACH
I was eight years old, and I wanted to be a monkey.” When that plan fell through, Travis Steffens decided to do the next best thing. He studied primates for his B.Sc., followed by grad studies in anthropology. During his first trip to Madagascar, he wanted to learn more about the impacts of habitat loss on endangered lemurs, those ring-tailed creatures perhaps best known to many viewers through the animated film series named after the African island nation. Steffens quickly realized that focusing on the animals and their environs left out a key third element: people. Today his research at the University of Guelph—and a nonprofit he founded in 2015 called Planet Madagascar— aims to understand the wider health interactions among humans, animals and environment to help conserve all three components. That trifecta is a classic One Health problem – although Steffens wasn’t calling it that initially: “I saw myself as a primate conservation ecologist.” No, no, said a colleague, you’re a One Health researcher. It was the 14 | PORTICO Summer 2022
colleague who pointed him to a pertinent faculty opening in social sciences at U of G. Now a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Steffens finds himself among numerous experts from across campus who bring a holistic One Health approach to teaching, research and outreach in a variety of fields. As pathobiology professor Dr. Scott Weese, chief of infection control in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Health Sciences Centre, says, “One Health is the intersection between human and animal and environmental health. The approach shows how we are all interrelated.” And it’s vital for addressing what OVC dean Dr. Jeff Wichtel calls “complex, wicked problems” that defy straightforward solutions involving human or animal medicine alone. Think of the COVID-19 pandemic, believed to have been sparked after a coronavirus long harboured in wild animals leapt to people. Think of antimicrobial resistance that develops after “super-bugs” eluding
livestock antibiotics enter farm fields and streams. Think of the potential in an increasingly crowded world— one marked by urban expansion, increased travel and mobility, habitat destruction, encroachment of farming on natural spaces—for various diseases from Ebola to avian influenza to jump to humans. “These are problems that can only be solved if we bring people from many disciplines together,” says Wichtel. We still need doctors and veterinarians and ecologists, he allows. But we also need “natural scientists, social scientists, people from all backgrounds including animal and human health who can think across systems. It’s a systems-thinking approach.” Tackling those complex problems and equipping grads with pertinent skills are the goals of a campus-wide initiative that now links all seven U of G colleges in One Health research and teaching in what is arguably the most comprehensive such undertaking for a Canadian institution. The University has
ILLUSTRATION: AMANDA SCOTT, KAITLIN GALLANT
STORY BY ANDREW VOWLES
put together undergraduate and graduate programs—including a first-in-Canada bachelor’s program being launched this year—as well as diverse research projects, a cross-campus institute
New Bachelor of One Health program first ever for Canada comprising some 150 researchers and scholars, and dedicated One Health faculty positions in several colleges. “The University of Guelph, I believe, is the only institution in Canada that has taken One Health as a strategic direction for the entire campus,” says Wichtel, adding that a similar interdisciplinary impetus drives U of G’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, established in 2006 and now directed by Weese. porticomagazine.ca
Adds Dr. Charlotte Yates, U of G president and vice-chancellor, “Our One Health Institute and One Health degree are the first of their kind in North America. By leveraging the very best parts of what may appear to be very different fields, we’ve been able to think across boundaries and develop more creative and innovative ideas. Today One Health is successfully developing graduates with the unique skills needed to address complex health issues affecting the world.” This fall, U of G will launch its new Bachelor of One Health (BOH) program intended to train students in topics ranging from transmission of zoonotic disease (infections that jump between animals and humans), antimicrobial resistance and rural community health to agricultural sustainability, food security and species at risk. “This is the first four-year undergraduate degree devoted to One Health in Canada,” says Dr. Brian Husband, associate dean, academic, in the College of Biological Science (CBS). Available with or without
co-op options or as a minor, the new collaboration involves some 125 faculty members in 23 departments across CBS, OVC, the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS). Earlier this year, U of G received about 300 applications for nearly 40 spots in the inaugural class; ultimately, about 75 students will be admitted each year. That interest partly reflects events of the past two years, Husband says. “The pandemic and COVID-19 have been like a poster child for the value of One Health. The public is learning that to manage something as global as this takes more than understanding diagnosis and treatment of disease.” Wider societal factors affect the spread and impact of infections, he says. He points to Lyme disease as another example, one that involves researchers in his college within the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab. Climate change has enabled ticks to move northward into Canada, where they infect humans as well as wild Summer 2021 PORTICO | 15
animal vectors with the disease-causing bacteria. One Health also touches his own research studies of apple production that involves not just orchard management but also wider ecosystem impacts involving pollinators, native biodiversity and landowners. Husband says there’s growing demand among employers ranging from medicine and public health to agriculture and ecosystem management for broad-minded grads who “speak the language of human, animal and environmental health and understand the connections and applications in various areas. We know there’s a need for these kinds of thinkers.” Similar sentiments underlie existing U of G graduate programs based in the veterinary college, where researchers have long focused on ecosystem health and zoonotic diseases. “We’re already predisposed to look at every problem through a systems approach,” says Wichtel. “This is in our DNA.” In 2021, OVC introduced a combined degree program accepting up to five students a year to earn both a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) and a master of public health. In each year of the program, students complete One Health modules that stress not just health and disease but also
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such topics as complexity, systems thinking and equity (the modules are also part of the curriculum for conventional DVM studies). Beyond graduation, veterinarians are increasingly tapped for leadership in wider health and well-being, says Dr. Jane Parmley, combined DVM/ MPH graduate program coordinator, whose own career path illustrates the trend. Following DVM studies at the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD from U of G, she spent 12 years working with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative on topics including antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and surveillance for West Nile virus and avian influenza. Today, a large animal veterinarian might equally need to understand not just traditional livestock medicine but also AMR and climate change impacts of agriculture. “We’re training veterinarians not just to treat disease but also to improve the health and well-being of wild and domestic animals and learn how the health and well-being of animals fits into broader issues of today,” says Parmley. Teaching in that program also involves Dr. Katie Clow, a professor in population medicine who studies ticks and Lyme disease as part of the
Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network (other U of G members of that national body are Weese and pathobiology professor Dr. Claire Jardine). “A lot of my work is in tick-borne or vector-borne disease,” says Clow. Noting the human-animalenvironment intersection inherent in that research, she adds, “It’s a fascinating, messy ecological problem associated with climate change and land use change and impacts on the ecosystem, wildlife populations, habitat.” Clow is also the graduate program coordinator for U of G’s Collaborative Specialization in One Health, which she describes as a minor in the discipline available to grad students in other programs from across campus. Launched in 2020, the specialization took in 14 students this year; Clow hopes for a steady-state intake of up to 25 students a year. Currently students are looking at everything from wastewater surveillance for food-borne diseases, to AMR, to lemur conservation, to disease surveillance data governance. Those students include Grace Nichol, a PhD candidate in population medicine and co-president of the One Health Student Committee on campus. Along with Clow, she studies ticks that carry various pathogens affecting humans and animals. “The problems we face are not confined to one discipline,” says Nichol, who studied biomedical science and mathematical science for her undergrad at U of G. “If we look at only one pillar, we don’t get a full picture. By taking a One Health approach, we get a better understanding.” By the time he completed his undergrad in international development (ID) in 2016, David Borish had already done documentary film work ranging from tiger conservation in Malaysia to food security in Kenya. When Inuit in the Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut regions of Labrador
PHOTO: (LEFT) ENVATO ELEMENTS BY SYDNEY
PHOTOS: (RIGHT) DAVID BORISH
shared an opportunity to document the community impacts of a 2013 caribou hunting ban, he made the film project the basis of his doctorate in public health and ID. Factors contributing to caribou population declines are complex and not well understood, and the hunting ban has yet to be lifted. Being released later this year, his film, called HERD, looks at the interconnections between caribou and Inuit health and well-being. “It’s important to recognize that there are health connections that might not be obvious when it comes to conservation issues,” says Borish, who finished his PhD in 2021 and is now investigating polar bears as a post-doc with the Torngat Secretariat and other comanagement groups in the eastern Arctic. Recalling his U of G studies, he says, “The University of Guelph is a great place for One Health because it brings together so many disciplines and experts. There’s the veterinary college and animal health, but also the social sciences are helpful in understanding the social and health dimensions of environmental change. One Health is a natural thing for Guelph to navigate to.” Indeed, some 150 faculty members belong to U of G’s One Health Institute (OHI), launched in 2019 as a collective of researchers whose work involves some aspect of the One Health approach. All seven colleges are represented in the institute, whose research, teaching and outreach activities are intended to cement U of G’s leading global position in One Health scholarship. Besides serving as an information hub for numerous One Health projects, the group runs a seminar series and an annual symposium (partnered with the Guelph Institute of Development Studies) and provides funding awards for student research projects. One project this summer run by Dr. Andreas Heyland, Department of Integrative Biology, will employ porticomagazine.ca
a student to model algal blooms in lakes and use U of G-developed DNA barcoding to learn about the diversity of pertinent microbes. Wastewater discharge and farm runoff can promote these blooms, which threaten animal and human health, says Heyland, who has also worked with researchers in OAC’s School of Environmental Sciences: “The One Health Institute is a vehicle to bring these kinds of expertise together.” Experiential learning is critical for students who will ultimately become One Health practitioners beyond graduation, says Dr. Cate Dewey, the University’s associate vice-president (academic) and director of the institute. Her One Health credentials include years’ worth of research and outreach with smallholder pig farmers in Kenya that, among other things, improved livelihoods for women, provided schooling for orphaned children, and enlisted farmers, butchers and nutritionists to improve food safety from farms to markets. Among her
benchmarks for One Health teaching, research and outreach at U of G: solid career prospects for grads. “A key measure of success will be that anyone who wants One Health graduates to build capacity in government organizations, private industry or nongovernmental organizations will know that Guelph is the place to get those people,” says Dewey. That’s already happening. Among external groups that have approached U of G to discuss One Health is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Dr. Andrea Ellis, DVM ’89, M.Sc. ’93, is the senior veterinary science adviser in the CFIA’s Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer who has worked on health issues including food-borne diseases, SARS, H1N1, avian influenza and sheep Q fever. As a student, Ellis learned about ecosystem health—considered the forerunner of today’s One Health— from U of G emeritus professor and epidemiologist Dr. David WaltnerToews. This year, she contacted Dewey to talk about joint One Health interests ranging from possible micro-credential programs to co-op placements for
One Health training offers solid career prospects for grads.
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students. Referring to U of G strengths including cultural studies, animal health and environmental sciences, she says, “There’s always been a very strong research and teaching background in these areas that all come together when we think about One Health.” Among many other U of G grads working in One Health is Dr. Dominique Charron, DVM ’90, PhD ’01, who serves as vicepresident, programs and partnerships, with the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa. In 2021, she was appointed as rapporteur to a new international One Health expert panel providing advice on emerging health crises and on reducing the risk of zoonotic pandemics. On campus, three colleges— OVC, CSAHS and CBS— have recently designated One Health faculty positions. Dr. Heather Murphy, a 2010 PhD graduate in environmental engineering, joined OVC’s Department of Pathobiology in 2020 as a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in One Health. Earlier she worked with UNICEF as a water, sanitation and hygiene specialist abroad, and studied water-borne diseases with the PHAC. At U of G, Murphy continues to investigate water-borne diseases, including running a project on use of UV light devices for treating private wells to prevent gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases in children. The team includes epidemiologists, pediatricians, microbiologists and statisticians. Describing the One Health connections among them, she says, “The pathogens are zoonotic, 18 | PORTICO Summer 2022
which means they come from a human or animal host, move through the environment into water and reinfect humans or animals.” In another project, she’s looking at impacts of rotational grazing of beef cattle on environmental, animal and human health. Moving from engineering studies into the veterinary college may have been an unlikely career arc, Murphy allows. “OVC picked me for my track record in international development research and looking at broad problems. I like to look at problems in a holistic manner.” Eyeing ecosystem health issues through an Indigenous lens is the goal of Dr. Diana Lewis, who early this year took up a dedicated One Health faculty position in the College of
Social and Applied Human Sciences. A member of the Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaw First Nation in Nova Scotia, she worked earlier on health impacts of pulp mill emissions and effluent on an Indigenous community in that province. That work revealed gaps in research methodology that provided a less than complete picture of environmental health risks and effects on Indigenous people. Now in U of G’s Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, she plans to replicate that community health study with four other Indigenous communities. Lewis also belongs to a collaborative project (A Shared Future) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
PHOTO: TRAVIS STEFFENS
U of G colleges have designated One Health faculty positions.
PHOTO: TRAVIS STEFFENS
“One thing this pandemic has shown us is that how we interact with animals and the environment can impact our health.”
that brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners across Canada to consider how renewable energy can contribute to healing and reconciliation. “One Health is focused on how to address really complex environmental health issues,” she says. “That’s very much aligned with how the Indigenous peoples and their world views think about human health and the health of all our relations, both animate and inanimate. It is all connected.” A third One Health expert will be installed this year in the College of Biological Science, following a recruitment process this past spring. Based in the Department of Integrative Biology, the candidate will teach in the new BOH undergraduate program and porticomagazine.ca
contribute to University-wide graduate and research programs in One Health. As well, U of G plans to recruit three Canada Research Chairs as a “cluster” hire in One Health. Approved this past spring, the chairs will be Tier 2 CRCs based in three colleges: epidemiology and spatial disease modelling in OVC; antimicrobial resistance in CBS; and mathematics and statistics for One Health in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. “This investment from the CRC program further strengthens U of G’s status as a One Health leader,” says Dr. Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research). “University of Guelph researchers and scholars are involved in cutting-edge initiatives at the intersection of human, animal and environmental health. This new CRC support will enable us to continue putting research into action and improving life.” From faculty positions to research projects to teaching programs, U of G’s One Health impetus reflects a growing understanding of the importance of this interdisciplinary approach in addressing complex health problems. That understanding is also growing in circles beyond campus, says
OVC’s Scott Weese, who brings a One Health perspective to his membership on both the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance and Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table. Speaking of the latter, he says, “I’m there as the One Health guy. My being on the science table is an indication that there’s more understanding of One Health than there might have been 10 years ago.” That idea resonates for U of G grad Andrea Ellis at the CFIA, especially as the world emerges from COVID-19. “One thing this pandemic has shown us is that how we interact with animals and the environment can impact our health,” she says. Referring to animal reservoirs for infectious diseases, she says, “A problem in one part of the world is a problem in all parts of the world. The solution doesn’t lie just in vaccinating the public. We have to look at the root causes, how did we get here, what happened to enable this pathogen to infect us?” Answering such questions now occupies Travis Steffens in his studies of lemurs in Madagascar, home to about 25 million people. Over the past 70 years, about half of the island’s forest has been lost to encroaching agriculture, squeezing lemurs into smaller and smaller habitat. On top of that, the primates are further endangered by various zoonotic diseases that jump from people. Through Planet Madagascar, launched in 2015, he now works with local communities to both improve people’s lives and conserve the animals and their habitat. “To conserve lemurs, we need to focus on how people live in communities,” says Steffens, who has enlisted experts in various fields from public health and epidemiology to restoration ecology and economics. “The anthropologist in me recognizes that there’s a massive amount of cultural issues. It’s not a simple problem.” Summer 2022 PORTICO | 19
U of G research and scholarship in One Health span all seven colleges across campus. Here’s a sampling: Security for vulnerable pets, people Bridging social sciences and veterinary practice is an example of how the One Health approach straddles varied disciplines. That’s Dr. Lauren Van Patter’s goal as the recently appointed Kim and Stu Lang Professor in Community and Shelter Medicine within the Ontario Veterinary College’s (OVC) Department of Clinical Studies. Trained as a geographer, she studies ways to ensure health and well-being of pets and their owners living in economically vulnerable situations, including low income and insecure housing. “A One Health frame helps explain how human well-being is intimately interconnected with animal health,” says Van Patter. She’s working along with other members of OVC’s Kim and Stu Lang Community Healthcare Partnership Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative to ensure veterinary care for underserved populations. A 2018 study in the United States found that one out of four households with pets faced a barrier to veterinary services, mainly financial. “Any avenue that brings people to the table from different experiences and expertise will help in tackling these large, complex problems,” says Van Patter. “That may be the most valuable element of One Health.”
The social side of vaccine hesitancy “If science is supposed to be a positive force for human, animal and environmental betterment, it is imperative that the public sees science this way, too.” That’s how philosophy professor Dr. Maya Goldenberg concluded a talk this year about vaccine hesitancy as part of the One Health Institute’s seminar series involving researchers from across campus. A member of the OHI, Goldenberg studies vaccine hesitancy, a topic that has made her a frequent expert media commentator during the COVID-19 pandemic. In her 2021 book, Vaccine Hesitancy: Public Trust, Expertise and the War on Science, she argued that reluctance about vaccination reflects public mistrust rather than public misunderstanding of science. “It’s not a science problem, or a knowledge deficit problem, but more of a social problem,” says Goldenberg, who aims to promote more productive health care outreach and communication efforts.
COVID-19 wastewater testing connects cross-campus researchers Testing wastewater for the COVID-19-causing virus has occupied food science professor Dr. Lawrence Goodridge and U of G collaborators in engineering, pathobiology and environmental sciences for much of the pandemic. This past spring, the team learned that the province planned to extend funding to enable 13 Ontario universities to continue wastewater surveillance until March 2023. At U of G, that testing continues both on campus and in Guelph and other communities. What’s the One Health link? Follow the connections, says Goodridge, who is the Leung Family Professor in Food Safety and director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety. “We know for sure that COVID can infect domestic and wild animals, and we know that humans who are infected can transfer the virus to animals and vice versa. That’s two of the three links.” Add in likely environmental reservoirs like wastewater, and you’ve got the One Health trifecta. Along with pathobiology professor Dr. Scott Weese and a microbiologist at Western University, Goodridge received OHI funding for a studentship this year to look at the potential for COVID-19 to spread from humans to animals.
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Big data for healthier livestock, consumers
Partnership aims to help grain farmers
Healthier livestock means healthier food. It also means a healthier environment if veterinarians are prescribing fewer antibiotics, thus lessening the risk of antimicrobial resistance. That’s an example of the One Health connection to a “big data” project being led by U of G informatics experts as part of the Global Burden of Animal Diseases program. This international program based at the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris and led by the University of Liverpool aims to gauge the impact of animal disease and health problems in livestock and aquaculture. It’s a “big data” problem involving data collection and analysis as well as sharing of that information to enable researchers and policy makers to make better decisions, says Dr. Deborah Stacey, School of Computer Science (above). She and Dr. Theresa Bernardo, an informatics expert in the Department of Population Medicine (below), co-lead the program’s informatics theme. They’re heading efforts to provide an analytics platform to share disease cost estimates with animal and human health decision-makers. As well, their group is developing guidelines, standard practices and procedures for data governance for GBADs, which may serve as a model for the OIE as well as its One Health partners: the United Nations Environment Program, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization.
Fusarium head blight is a fungus that causes millions of dollars’ worth of losses every year for grain farmers in Ontario. Farmers apply fungicides to control the problem, but that strategy risks promoting the development of fungicide-resistant pathogens that can then threaten human health. In the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Dr. Jennifer GeddesMcAlister is seeking new biocontrol agents to better combat fungal disease in the field. For that, she works with researchers in her department as well as crop science experts. Intriguingly, the team also includes Dr. Ryan Prosser, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences looking at soft-shelled mollusks that produce a chemical that may inhibit the fungal pathogen. The group met through joint membership in U of G’s One Health Institute. “The One Health Institute is a perfect bridge between our distinct research programs,” says Geddes-McAlister.
Healthy seafood— and healthy seas Shellfish food safety and health starts with harvesting practices in the ocean and runs through processing and retail to the consumer. Dr. Simon Somogyi is a professor in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, where he holds the Arrell Chair in the Business of Food. He has looked at health and safety aspects of Canadian exports of crab, lobster and scallops to the lucrative Chinese market. Ensuring food safety involves human health, of course, as well as the health of marine creatures. Addressing the environmental leg of the One Health tripod, he says the industry may consider the benefits of farmed scallops. “Farmed scallops could be more environmentally sustainable than sea-dredged,” he says, pointing to the potential for reducing seafloor degradation associated with dredging practices. porticomagazine.ca
Improving family well-being, including four-footed members “Relations with dogs can enhance human well-being,” says Dr. Andrea Breen. Exploring the benefits and challenges of the human-dog relationship—for both people and dogs—is her goal as co-director of the FIDO (Families Interacting with Dogs) research group. A faculty member in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, Breen is interested in expanding notions of the family to include non-human animals. Part of her inspiration comes from her experiences learning about the roles of animals within Indigenous knowledge systems. A self-described “white settler,” she is a co-editor of the 2019 book Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing Through Indigenous Relationships. “Indigenous peoples have been doing what we think of as One Health since time immemorial,” says Breen.
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View of Earth from space fuels nature photography career for U of G alum
EYE IN THE SKY
rbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery 30 years ago, Dr. Roberta Bondar heard the voices of her six crewmates, mechanical sounds from equipment, taped music. But as she peered through a window while photographing the planet as a member of NASA’s Earth Observation Team, it was what she couldn’t hear that struck her: no chuckling of running water, no windsighing through tree branches, no birdsong. “When I was looking at the Earth in space, I didn’t see any people,” says Bondar, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, whose eight-day mission in 1992 made her Canada’s first woman astronaut. “I didn’t hear any natural sounds. It left me with a sense of foreboding. I’m getting a ringside seat as if the natural world had disappeared. I didn’t like that.” On the upside, the same vantage point fostered conviction and hope about the future of the planet – traits that would ultimately lead her to a successful post-NASA career as an acclaimed nature photographer and champion of environmental activism. Besides affording many “emotional 22 | PORTICO Summer 2022
moments” while the shuttle orbited the planet 129 times, the view of Earth suspended against the endless blackness of space brought home her U of G studies of ecology and ecosystems from decades earlier. “The idea to be able to look at Earth as a planet was one of the big values of the flight,” says Bondar, who marked the thirtieth anniversary of her Discovery mission in late January. “I got a more holistic and compassionate view of Earth as a planet and what we need to maintain our existence as a life form.” Back on firm ground, she initially devoted herself to extending her research done aboard STS-42. As the first neurologist in space, Bondar conducted experiments in the shuttle’s International Microgravity Laboratory. For more than a decade after the flight, she headed an international research team studying connections between astronauts recovering from the microgravity of space and neurological illnesses here on Earth such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. She had hoped to follow up on that work with a return mission to space, but that didn’t happen. Later, Bondar even considered
PHOTO: DON DIXON
STORY BY ANDREW VOWLES
PHOTO: COPYRIGHT NASA
returning to medical practice, going so far as to undertake hospital rounds. All the time, that tug of emotional gravity she’d felt aboard the shuttle had been exerting its influence. She returned to school once more, this time for training as a professional nature photographer. Today Bondar’s varied experience and expertise finds expression in her fine art photography and in her role as the public face and name of a foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the natural world. It’s been decades and several academic degrees since her undergrad days. But in several ways, her active work with the Roberta Bondar Foundation draws upon experiences and ideas that she encountered beginning in 1964 as a member of the first undergrad cohort on the campus of the newly established U of G. “The University of Guelph was the firm foothold,” says Bondar. Raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., she enrolled at the University to pursue interests in entomology sparked by her summer work experience at a forestry insect lab. Aiming to become a science and physical education teacher, she pursued a slate of science courses alongside extracurricular basketball and archery. She planned to obtain her
“I got a more holistic and compassionate view of Earth as a planet and what we need to maintain our existence as a life form.”
agriculture degree and then complete a one-year physical education program at McMaster. But in her third year here, two key things happened to alter those plans. In that year, McMaster cancelled its PE program. Perhaps more important, Bondar contracted mumps and wound up locked in a campus infirmary. The affliction caused temporary neurological damage to her right shoulder that would end her campus athletics. She recalls a nurse’s words: “You might as well resign your year because you’re not going to pass.” One day from her isolation window, she spotted her marine biology professor passing in front of Creelman Hall. “I think I put a sign up that said: Help.” Whatever she did, she managed to attract Dr. Susan Corey’s attention. The then biology professor found work for Bondar in her lab, where she made up her missed coursework and ultimately added a zoology major to her program. As well, she pursued communications courses through the new arts college, partly so that she could explain her science studies to her family. Years later, that mixed curriculum— and subsequent graduate studies at Western University and the University of Toronto, followed by completion of a medical degree at McMaster University—made her an ideal candidate for the space shuttle program and the Discovery flight. Her interest in space had been sparked in childhood, all the way back to her first Brownie Hawkeye camera and the cardboard “space helmets” that arrived one day in the mail for her and her sister, Barbara. Later, as a grad student back home in the summer of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, she stood with her dad in the backyard, gazing up at the moon, and said, “That’s really what I’d like to do.” Through the 1970s, that prospect appeared unlikely. Then in 1982, partly on the strength of the Canadarm, the Canadian astronaut program began, and
Bondar applied to join the inaugural cohort. Lacking engineering and extensive flight experience (although she had gained a pilot’s licence), she might not have seemed the most promising candidate. But it turned out that NASA liked her mixed background, going all the way back to her U of G studies ranging from plants to embryology. In late 1983, she was among the first six Canadian astronauts chosen. “I knew my stuff. That’s why I became the ‘right stuff,’” says Bondar, who ended up running dozens of microgravity experiments aboard Discovery. “Other contenders had other skill sets, but they weren’t necessarily what NASA needed.” That comprehensive grounding resonates with Dr. Charlotte Yates, whose official installation earlier this year as U of G president and vicechancellor included video greetings on behalf of alumni from Bondar. “As a scientist who studied biology, zoology and agriculture before becoming a medical doctor, Dr. Bondar now uses the power of her photography to advance
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attention in terms of the diversity of the country is that we have different types of biological systems. We have places that some people will never get to, and I feel that it is important for me, after my space flight, to talk to people about the very valuable piece of real estate that Canada has.” The same desire to share her vision now drives the work of the Roberta Bondar Foundation, based in Toronto. Established in 2009, the foundation aims to promote environmental conservation, respect and curiosity through science and art. Explaining the impetus for its creation, she says, “I firmly believe if you love something, you want to protect it. I see the natural world in peril because of what we do. I feel the role of my foundation, and my views since my space flight, is really to present the beauty of the world as it exists in the moment. We need to take some responsibility in trying to lessen the impact that we have as a life form on these wonderful natural systems.” For Bondar, it’s an ethical responsibility that finds expression in living more economically, including repurposing material and belongings like, say, used camera equipment. Staff at an observatory in Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park, for instance, are using donated equipment marked with her name. “I can’t remember the last time I sold a camera. I don’t like dumping things,” she says. “I think our survival depends on how we treat each other and how we treat the world around us. It’s the ethical nature of human beings that will dictate the survival not just of human beings but the survival of the natural world.” Today the foundation’s programs include everything from travelling biodiversity exhibitions taken to galleries, schools and museums, to a nature photography challenge for students run in partnership with EcoSchools Canada, to a national innovation and creativity award launched early this year as part of the Discovery flight anniversary. Under a relatively new endeavour called Space for Birds, Bondar aims to draw attention to human impacts—notably hunting and habitat loss—on endangered species of migratory birds. She’s chosen seven threatened species whose migration paths between breeding
“Our survival depends on how we treat the world around us.”
PHOTO: COPYRIGHT NASA
Among numerous awards and distinctions, Roberta Bondar is a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and an inductee of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Forum’s Hall of Fame. Formerly chancellor of Trent University, she has received honorary doctorates from almost 30 Canadian and American universities, including U of G in 1990. She is a specially elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an honorary Fellow and honorary vice-president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
environmental advocacy,” says Yates. “She is the perfect example of an interdisciplinary thinker, nurtured and supported at this very institution, who went on to impact the world with her work.” As an award-winning nature photographer, Bondar has taken her cameras across much of Canada and the United States as well as Kenya. In the field, she mixes ground-level, close-up work with photographing from aircraft, sometimes half-hanging out an open helicopter doorway to get the shot. Her photos are held in various private and public collections in Canada, the United States and Europe, and have appeared in several bestselling books, including Passionate Vision, published in 2008 and containing shots from all 41 Canadian national parks. “I love the body of work she did in our national parks,” says Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, whose own large-scale depictions of humanity’s environmental impacts include the earlier well-subscribed exhibitions “Anthropocene” and “Manufactured Landscapes.” Both photographers have spoken and exhibited together at various events; recent samples of their work will be paired this year in Canada’s Senate building under a project led by Senator and art historian Patricia Bovey. Burtynsky says he and his colleague are part of a “sea change” involving various contemporary artists—writers, photographers, painters, filmmakers—whose works are increasingly drawing attention to environmental issues and concerns. In Bondar’s case, he says, her former vantage point from the space shuttle lends her extra conviction. “I think her seeing the Earth from space, that moment when a lot of astronauts come to see the Earth in powerful ways—you don’t see boundaries, countries, you see the nature, the green, the brown. She speaks about and makes photographs of that landscape under threat. It’s important for us to have respect and reverence and to understand its important role in our own survival.” Several of Bondar’s works were part of a 2017 exhibition called “Light in the Land: The Nature of Canada” held at the Art Gallery of Guelph. Interviewed during that event, she said, “Something that I’m trying to bring to people’s
PHOTO (RIGHT): COPYRIGHT ROBERTA BONDAR INSET PHOTO ABOVE: THE ROBERTA BONDAR FOUNDATION
Nature photographer Roberta Bondar documents migratory bird species.
and wintering grounds collectively span much of the globe. The black-tailed godwit, for instance, wings between the Netherlands and sub-Saharan Africa, a journey of about 3,000 km, one way. Other species cover up to 15,000 km in a flight, as with the curlew sandpiper that travels from the Siberian Arctic to sub-Saharan Africa and the red knot whose journey takes it from the Canadian Arctic to southern South America. For each species, the foundation has developed online “story maps” detailing life cycles as well as hazards posed by human habitat encroachment and ideas for site visitors to help preserve the birds. The story maps feature Bondar’s ground- and aircraft-based photos along with NASA images of Earth—a range of vantage points reflected in the project’s formal name: AMASS, or Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space. Earlier this year, Bondar spent a week at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf coast of Texas. There, she photographed whooping cranes in their wintering grounds for the project— they fly 4,000 kilometres northward each year to breeding grounds at the border of Alberta and the Northwest Territories—and spoke at the Whooping Crane Festival held in Port Aransas in late February. With her were members of the foundation, including board chair Dr. Bonnie Patterson, who served as president of Trent University during Bondar’s six-year tenure as chancellor. In her board role, Patterson might equally be speaking to visitors to the foundation booth at a trade show or slinging camera equipment on an African savannah field trip or across the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies. “There’s never been a time when I have been in the field when I haven’t learned something,” says Patterson, adding that her colleague brings to her work a mix of focus, creativity, determination and patience. Humility and humanity are also important ingredients: “She can take photos and put them together porticomagazine.ca
for a United Nations Environment Program conference in Egypt and inspire people there about what has to happen. Then she can take those photographs to a small community, and she will be the same, helping people learn, inspiring them.” “I’m not sure I’ve ever met a greater humanitarian,” says Bovey, the first art historian to be appointed to Canada’s Senate in 2016. Referring to Bondar, she says, “Her warmth just exudes.” Bovey, formerly the director of the Buhler Gallery at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, recalls the photographer’s visit there during an exhibition of her work in 2014. Among the visitors were a woman and her young son, both recent Spanishspeaking immigrants to Canada. “The boy came in with a children’s book about space in Spanish. Roberta sat down on the gallery floor with him. They went through the book page by page, and she gave English words for his favourite images,” says Bovey. “Here is one of Canada’s astronauts sitting on the floor in a gallery in a hospital in St. Boniface, Manitoba, taking time to talk to this little boy.” Bondar says for any audience, it’s important to encourage people to take small steps. It’s like learning the alphabet, one letter at a time. In your neighbourhood, environmental consciousness might show up when kids start picking up litter or teach their parents to do the same. “It’s not just about taking photos but about teaching people to look at the world around them,” she says. “We know we have to do things in a manageable way. We want to get people to move along the continuum. We have to give them a place to start, we have to give them an emotional reason to do it.” Summer 2022 PORTICO | 25
U of G alumna Lisa Tubb sailed around North America aboard HMCS Harry DeWolf.
From Arctic to Caribbean, first-ever Navy voyage offers ‘adventure’ for grad
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management and operation desk. But she hopes to get out on the water again soon. “I like to think the best is yet to come.” What she calls her inaugural “adventure” started in early August when she travelled to Iqualuit in Nunavut. There she met the vessel with its crew of about 80 people. “We were introducing a new class of arctic and offshore patrol ship to Canada’s Northern regions,” said Tubb, whose job was to publicize the voyage with Canadians through social media, video and photos. She had been on the ship for just over a week when she was charged with helping a CBC television crew headed by Peter Mansbridge to film a documentary of the Arctic. Tubb also led production of the Navy’s own documentary about the voyage called Into the North. As part of Operation NANOOK, Canada’s signature Arctic exercise
that included Canadian and American Coast Guard vessels, the ship visited Indigenous communities, including Pond Inlet and Cambridge Bay. Tubb helped run ship tours for community members. “We’re there to serve Canadians, to conduct presence patrols in the Arctic, and to fortify our close
“It was a oncein-a-lifetime deployment,” said Tubb, who hopes to return to the water soon.
PHOTO: CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
From retracing the footsteps of the Franklin expedition in Canada’s Arctic to taking part in cocaine drug busts in the Caribbean, Lisa Tubb had her share of memorable moments during her first-ever deployment with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in fall 2021. It was a voyage of firsts for Tubb, who grew up in landlocked Mitchell, Ont., before studying history at the equally landlocked U of G beginning in 2012. Last year, besides marking her firsttime crossing of the Arctic Circle en route to sailing through the Northwest Passage during the maiden voyage of the HMCS Harry DeWolf, she notched her inaugural circumnavigation of North America. This was the second RCN ship to sail around the continent. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime deployment,” said Tubb. Now 27 and beginning her fourth year with the Navy as a public affairs officer, she is back in Ottawa on the issues
PHOTO: CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
partnerships with federal, territorial and local communities.” Each of the new class of ships is affiliated with various Inuit communities. For HMCS Harry DeWolf, that was the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut. One moment during the ship’s passage through the Arctic archipelago resonated with her U of G history studies. Referring to Sir John Franklin’s mid1800s attempt to find the Northwest Passage, she said, “We traced Franklin’s footsteps.” She and others visited barren, wind-swept Beechey Island, where three members of the Franklin expedition were buried. Recalling the bleak surroundings and a hike over difficult terrain, she said, “You start to appreciate what those men went through. You can’t help feeling helpless for their situation, after struggling up that mountain, feeling the brittle rocks crack beneath your feet—their wintering place could not sustain them.” After negotiating the Arctic, the ship continued down the western flank of North America to the Caribbean. There, the crew worked again with U.S. Coast Guard partners on Operation CARIBBE to counter illicit drug trafficking. The team apprehended two small vessels transporting a total of more than 2,500 kilograms of contraband cocaine. Observing the activity from the deck of the patrol vessel, Tubb kept busy recording everything she could to tell the story later—and even donned gloves to help remove the narcotics from the boats. “As the public affairs officer, I’m there on the bridge, taking notes, using my GoPro camera, hearing the voices of my friends crackling over the radio—and in the second event, seeing it unravel quite close by. I was up there with the guys the entire time. porticomagazine.ca
The Royal Canadian Navy vessel traversed Canada’s Arctic archipelago in 2021.
“My operations officer had to tell me to take care of myself, to go to bed. I didn’t want to miss a minute.” Once through the Panama Canal, the ship headed up the Eastern Seaboard and docked in Halifax in early December. “I joined the military because I wanted a challenge,” said Tubb, whose basic training as well as Frenchlanguage lessons and public affairs training occurred between 2018 and 2020. “The idea of service was already in the background.” Her dad is the fire station chief back in Mitchell. Several relatives in her grandparents’ generation served during the Second World War; one great-uncle was in the Navy during the Korean War. “Giving back to the community was something that really called me.” Attending U of G sharpened her focus. “The whole idea to join the Forces started at Guelph,” said Tubb. One summer she worked with history professor Dr. Catharine Wilson on her Rural Diary Archive project, which helped develop Tubb’s interest in personal accounts of history and led her to explore Canadian military stories especially. Her U of G days also helped her learn about herself. “I found out more about who I was as a person, my interests and values,” said Tubb. “Stories of the military and
heroes motivated me to push myself. I wanted to continue my study and storytelling of Canadian heroes.” She ended up pursuing a personal project to investigate all the names inscribed on the cenotaph in her hometown, and she published a Historical Guelph article about her research on HMCS Guelph, a Second World War vessel. On campus, she served as an orientation volunteer, worked for Hospitality Services and played on the University quidditch team that competed in nationals in Victoria. “Whenever I see Johnston Hall, Johnston Green and the Portico, I always picture it with quidditch in the background.” After graduating in 2016, she completed a master’s degree at the University of Waterloo, studying the lives of workers at a wartime munitions factory in Ajax, Ont. For last year’s deployment, she took along a Guelph Gryphons flag that found good use after one American naval officer flashed his own varsity colours. “I couldn’t let that go unanswered, I had to show the Gryphon off,” Tubb laughed. “Our coxswain had said we could consider bringing something from home. The first thing I thought of was my U of G flag. It’s come with me to Victoria, to basic training—it’s my good luck charm.”
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Research Assistant, Refugee Activist Working to Improve Life in Afghanistan Named Among BBC’s Top 100 Women for Efforts
hen the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in fall 2021, Nasrin Husseini watched in despair as change and progress in her native country unraveled, especially for girls and women. “I was in shock, I was distressed,” she says. Husseini, a University of Guelph grad, knows first-hand how it feels to live amid threats from the Taliban and to be barred from getting an education. She fled Afghanistan in 2010 when it became unsafe for her to continue working as a veterinarian. Husseini eventually made her way to U of G, earning an M.Sc. in immunology in 2020. She was among the first graduate students to receive the $50,000 Arrell Food
28 | PORTICO Summer 2022
Institute scholarship. Now a research assistant in U of G’s Department of Pathobiology, she is helping transform Canada’s beef industry. But the resurgence of the Taliban has turned her attention to her homeland, where she fears for the future of women, girls and minorities in Afghanistan. She wants to make a difference. “Right now, because of the crisis that has happened in Afghanistan, I didn’t think for a second—I just started helping and working for Afghan refugees,” she says. Husseini volunteers with Canadian Hazara Humanitarian Services, a non-profit organization. She helped the group approach Danby Products Ltd. in Guelph and get the company’s support to settle Hazara refugees in the city.
PHOTO: ROB O’FLANAGAN
Nasrin Husseini helps settle refugees fleeing Afghanistan.
Earlier in Afghanistan, she advocated for the rights of women, girls and minorities, and taught English and computer skills to women. As an Afghan veterinarian, she helped farmers raise healthier animals to increase productivity and reduce treatment costs. She says Taliban threats led her at times to cease teaching or to remove her business sign from the door. Her courageous efforts were recognized recently when she was named to the prestigious BBC 100 Women list for 2021. The BBC 100 Women includes climate activists and grassroots leaders, international CEOs and “mega-stars” playing their part to “reinvent our society, our culture and our world after the global pandemic has forced so many of us to reassess the way we live.” Husseini was among 50 exceptional Afghan women on this year’s list, which highlighted the struggles of Afghan women and girls under renewed Taliban rule. “I admire those Afghan women who are working from inside Afghanistan,” she says. “For me to be considered on the same list with them is a great honour. They are putting their lives in danger, and I am just working from outside the country.” Husseini was the first woman to graduate from Kabul University’s veterinary medicine program, finishing at the top of her class in 2011. She says after the collapse of the Taliban rule in 2001, girls and women experienced some improvements in their quality of life—albeit slowly and limited—such as being allowed to go to school and work.“It wasn’t easy. We had to work very hard, but it felt so good,” she says. “I got into veterinary school in Afghanistan when it was a huge deal for a girl to be a veterinarian.” Eventually, discrimination forced Husseini to leave Afghanistan—for the second time. As a child, she had moved with her family to Iran to escape the ongoing war. Only when the family returned to Afghanistan could she attend post-secondary education. Husseini is Hazara, which is one of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic minorities, accounting for up to 20 per cent of the country’s 30 million inhabitants. Husseini says the Taliban has a long history of violence and oppression toward the Hazara. Since its return to power in 2021, conditions for the group and for women and girls in general have rapidly worsened, she says. Many people in the country have fled or gone into hiding. In late March, the Taliban closed girls’ high schools after having reopened them almost seven months earlier. Husseini said she feels “so blessed, so happy” to be working at U of G and living in nearby Kitchener. “Finally, I am in a safe place that I can call home.
I love my work. I love working with animals,” she says. “But now my main concern is for the women and girls of my country and for the Hazara. Everyone is so upset, so afraid. Many are now in hiding. They are really in danger.” Husseini sees an opportunity for the Canadian government to assist Afghan refugees currently living in Iran—many of them academics with graduate degrees—to come to Canada, as well as minorities that fled Afghanistan and are now in a second country. She plans to continue her advocacy. “With this BBC recognition, I think the weight is heavier on my shoulders, and I have to do more. People are counting on me.”
Nasrin Husseini received an Arrell Food Institute award at U of G. Have an idea for an alumni spotlight? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Summer 2022 PORTICO | 29
New chapters, sights & sounds
The latest books, art and exhibitions by U of G faculty and alumni in 1970 he became the first Canadian to secure an athletics scholarship to Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Later at U of G, he was ranked No. 1 in Canada for the 1,000 metres.
The Comedian vs Cancer Daniel Stolfi, BA ’05, details his cancer treatment in this moving and comedic memoir. Diagnosed at age 25, he created an award-winning, one-person stage play called Cancer Can’t Dance Like This. He performed the play for 10 years across North America, raising more than $100,000 for charities. A portion of proceeds from his book sales will benefit Young Adult Cancer Canada.
DR. ALISON SEELY
The Hex Chromosome
Two students in the School of Fine Art and Music have been chosen as 2021 recipients of major awards. Emmanuel Osahor has won the $30,000 Joseph Plaskett Postgraduate Award in Painting and Ella Gonzales received the $10,000 second-prize Nancy Petry Award. Both were enrolled in U of G’s master of fine art in studio art program.
MICHAEL BARCLAY HEJSA CHRISTENSEN
Stealing John Hancock Hejsa Christensen, BA ’98, will release this debut thriller later in 2022. She writes in partnership with her mother, Alie Christensen, as H&A Christensen. Based in Ontario, the mother-daughter duo are staff writers for several film production companies. DAVID GIULIANO
The Undertaking of Billy Buffone An award-winning memoirist and writer of non-fiction, David Giuliano, BA ’82, M.Sc. ’93, has published his first novel, The Undertaking of Billy Buffone. Set in an isolated community in northern Ontario, the novel examines lives intertwined in the search for redemption amid the uncovering of longburied truths. 30 | PORTICO Summer 2022
Hearts on Fire: Six Years That Changed Canadian Music 2000-2005 Michael Barclay, BA ’93, explores a seminal period in Canadian music with stories of more than 40 diverse artists as a follow-up to his earlier volume, Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance, 1985-1995. JUDITH NASBY
The Making of a Museum This volume published in 2021 by Judith Nasby, the founding director and curator of the Macdonald
Stewart Art Centre, relates the story of the gallery from its beginnings in U of G hallways to its current status as the Art Gallery of Guelph. Nasby discusses the development of the museum’s collection, including Inuit drawings, Indigenous beadwork, historical European etchings and works by Canadian silversmiths. JERRY BOUMA
The Villanova Track Story: Touching Greatness, Together Forever How a small private university in the eastern United States became a world middledistance track and field power is related in this book by Jerry Bouma, M.Sc. (Agr.) ’77. A former Canadian junior champion,
Dr. Alison Seely, M.Sc. ’91, DVM ’95, published her second novel, The Hex Chromosome, in 2021. Her first novel, One Bone at a Time: Tales of an Adventurous Animal Chiropractor, was published in 2019. DEEPA RAJAGOPALAN, an MFA candidate in creative writing, has won the 2021 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award for her short story Peacocks of Instagram. Her submission was selected from more than 130 entries by a jury of PEN Canada members. The New Voices award supports new Canadian writers of short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism and poetry, and provides $3,000 and mentorship from a Canadian author. KAREN CARUANA (née Steinbeck), BA ’89, is a translator working from French and German into English. She is currently translating Wounded Land: Cree and Ojibwe Talk About Their Land, a history of Indigenous people in northern Ontario.
Alumni matters ALUMNI NEWS
CELEBRATING ALUMNI WITH IMPACT
• Dwight Greer, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’72, Alumni Volunteer Award
about U of G alumni who are making a difference— advocating for conservation, bringing best practices into the classroom, guiding youth through volunteerism, improving their professions through research, and advancing gender diversity in politics....and these are just a few examples. Watch for these and other alumni stories throughout the year in the Cannon eNewsletter and on our website. If you have a personal story, or if you know of another grad with a great story to share, please reach out to us at ugaa@ uoguelph.ca. Also, consider nominating a notable alum for the next Awards of Excellence—nominations will open later this year. As we celebrate alumni impact and look forward to resuming some regular programming this year, we will continue to offer convenient and accessible virtual programming options. The UGAA is committed to supporting valuable opportunities and experiences for alumni, as well as giving back to students in ways that make a real difference to their university experience. We hope you’ll join us.
• Charles Hamilton, B.Sc. ’14, Young Alumni Award
he Alumni Awards of Excellence are back, and it feels good to have a reason to celebrate. The response to the call for nominations was tremendous—it vividly illustrated the U of G alumni make a undeniable impact our difference, from advocating for alumni have within their professions and conservation, to bringing best practices into the their communities and classroom, to guiding in the world. We offer youth through our congratulations to volunteerism this year’s recipients of the Alumni Awards of Excellence: • Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) McGregor, C.M., DVM ’87, Alumni of Honour
You can look forward to hearing their inspiring stories during Alumni and Reunion Week and at the awards gala this fall. While we can choose only one winner in each award category, our group of nominees should also be commended. The submissions revealed compelling stories
Christina Crowley-Arklie, B.Comm. ’09, President, UGAA, and proud donor to U of G Jason Moreton, BA ’00, Associate Vice-President, Alumni Advancement, and proud donor to U of G
Great Wolf Lodge
CAA Getting ready to travel this year? Join or upgrade to a corporate membership with exclusive benefits for alumni. Use code University of Guelph Alumni upon booking.
Softmoc Enjoy 10% off regular and sale merchandise. Your online discount code at www.softmoc.com is 555000032185. Some exceptions apply.
Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara is offering a 20% discount for U of G alumni and family. Enjoy an 84-degree colossal indoor waterpark, daily Wolf Walk and Story Time, and much more. Offer code UOGA. (You may be asked to show your U of G alumni card.)
Visit alumni.uoguelph.ca/benefits for more exclusive offers. porticomagazine.ca
Summer 2022 PORTICO | 31
Alumni matters ALUMNI EVENT
Frosty Mug Alumni Event
U of G grads Russell Voutour, B.Comp. ’03, Chad Nuttall, BA ’05, Ryan Lockie, BA ’00, and Matt Fisher, B.Comp. ’04, celebrate at the 2022 Frosty Mug.
After nearly two years, alumni were excited to come together in person for the annual Frosty Mug event. More than 70 alumni gathered in the alumni suite to
Jade Sachdeva, BA ’16, and Natasha Spaling show their Gryphon pride at the 2022 Frosty Mug.
cheer on the Guelph Gryphons men’s hockey team as they faced the Laurier Golden Hawks. Despite a loss for Guelph, spirits were high as guests enjoyed the chance to be together again.
OAC Alumni Association Bonspiel This annual—and favourite—event for OAC alumni resumed on March 26 after a two-year pause. The all-day curling event had a full turnout of OAC teams of all grad years! Sixteen teams came together at the Guelph Curling Club to play a friendly tournament. B.Sc. (Agr.) ’21 grads Kendra Cornelissen, Jenna Rutherford, Chelsea Steenbergen and Samantha Kennedy join in for their first OAC Alumni Association Bonspiel.
A team takes a break during the 2022 OAC Alumni Association Bonspiel. Teammates are Clarence Haverson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’81, Daisy Moore, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’82, Shirley Reinders and Henry Reinders, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’81.
Virtual Alumni Trivia Night
On Feb. 16, 200 alumni of all ages tuned in to play a virtual round of trivia. Hosted by Gaby Tabak, the evening brought together alumni to compete in friendly rounds of trivia questions. This event remains a favourite as teams compete for the title of trivia champion.
for up-to-date event listings.
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alumni. uoguelph.ca/ events
U of G Athletes Compete at Beijing, Tokyo Olympics Current U of G athletes and alumni participated in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Tokyo Summer Games (held in 2021). At the Beijing Winter Games, Cody Sorensen, B.Comm. ’08, competed in the four-man bobsleigh competition, placing ninth overall. Mirela Rahneva, B.Comm. ’11, placed fifth in a career best in women’s skeleton. Former U of G student Mikkel Aagaard was a “practice player” for the Danish men’s hockey team. Dustin McCrank, BA ’11, officiated as a linesman for the men’s Olympic hockey tournament. For the Tokyo Summer Games, sailor Sarah Douglas Mirela Rahneva, women’s skeleton finished sixth in her Olympic debut for the best women’s individual performance in the sport’s history in Canada. Cross-country runner Andrea Seccafien, BA ’13, competed in the women’s 5,000- and 10,000-metre runs, and Genevieve Lalonde, B.Sc. ’14, MA ’17, beat the Canadian 3,000-metre steeplechase record twice. Canada’s eight-person artistic swimming team included U of G psychology student Emily Armstrong. Britt Benn, BA ’14, was a member of the Canadian women’s sevens rugby team, and Joanna Brown, B.Comm. ’15, competed in women’s triathlon.
Murray Brooksbank, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, M.Sc. ’72, co-authored Preserving Our Past: The Ormston Heritage House, a Window into Waterloo Township’s History, with Kenneth McLaughlin, history professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo. The volume details the creation of the Haldimand Tract and the arrival of English, Scottish and Mennonite settlers as viewed through a stone house – declared a heritage property in 2015 – that was built for Brooksbank’s ancestors in the 1840s.
PHOTO: BOBSLEIGH CANADA SKELETON
ALUMNI 1940s Rachel (Jeanne) Hamel, DHE ’41, Sept. 27, 2021 Mary (Rosalind) Morris, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’42, March 26, 2022 Mildred (Joyce) Headlam, DHE ’48, Sept. 27, 2021 Elizabeth (Betty) Arcangeli, DHE ’48, Nov. 8, 2021 Evan McGugan, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’48, May 12, 2021 Donald (Don) Rutherford, Dip. ’48; B.Sc. (Agr.) ’51, Nov. 14, 2021 James (Jim) Hunter, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’49, Dec. 21, 2021 Glenn (Al) Anderson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’49, Nov. 11, 2021 Cecil (Corb) Stewart, DVM ’49, May 28, 2021 1950s Frederick (Fred) Bennett, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’50, May 7, 2021 Frederick (Bon) Jasperson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’50, June 27, 2021 Alan (Al) Beswick, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’50, June 28, 2021 Frances (Ann) Goddard, DHE ’51, May 5, 2021
Shirley Branton, DHE ’51, May 21, 2021 Emmalee Hopkins, DHE ’51, May 3, 2021 Frances Peister, DHE ’52, July 21, 2021 Stewart (Stew) Stainton, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, July 22, 2021 Kenneth (Ken) Thomson, Dip. ’52, March 21, 2022 Walter Bilanski, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, Sept. 3, 2021 John (Jack) Sargent, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, Oct. 30, 2021 Matthew (Matt) Valk, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’52, Nov. 20, 2021 Allison Milburn, B.H.Sc. ’53, May 7, 2021 Barbara Mason, B.H.Sc. ’53, May 27, 2020 George Wilkinson, Dip. ’54, Sept. 7, 2021 Joseph (Stallard) Waterhouse, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’54, Oct. 7, 2021 John Wait, DVM ’54, Feb. 8, 2022 John (Blair) Dawson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’54; M.Sc. (Agr.) ’58, Nov. 2, 2021 Irma Luyken, B.H.Sc. ’55, Dec. 18, 2021 James (Jim) Duffin, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’55, June 19, 2021 Lawrence (Larry) Crump, Dip. ’55, Jan. 18, 2022 John McLachlan, Dip. ’55, March 24, 2022 Ronald (Ron) Horning, DVM ’55, May 25, 2021
Mary Manuel, B.H.Sc. ’56, Jan. 1, 2022 Stuart (Stu) Saunders, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’56, Sept. 30, 2021 Robert (Bob) Woolham, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’56, Dec. 27, 2021 Mary Hockin, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’56, July 27, 2021 Charles (Charlie) Baldwin, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’56; M.Sc. (Agr.) ’57, Aug. 28, 2021 Harold Zavitz, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’57, Jan. 4, 2022 Kenneth Osborne, Dip. ’57, Dec. 24, 2021 Burns (Keith) Drury, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’57; M.Sc. (Agr.),’62, Dec. 3, 2021 Sandra Timleck, DHE ’58, April 1, 2021 Lawrence (Larry) Sherk, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’58, Sept. 4, 2021 Patricia (Pat) Hamilton, B.H.Sc. ’59, Nov. 7, 2021 Margot Johnson, B.H.Sc. ’59, Oct. 26, 2021 Donald (Don) Morrison, Dip. ’59, Sept. 24, 2021 William (Bill) Adsett, Dip. ’59, Oct. 5, 2021 George Wathke, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’59; DVM ’64, Jan. 20, 2022 1960s Dorothy Collin, B.H.Sc. ’60, May 9, 2021 John Scott, Dip. ’60, April 12, 2021
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Marcie Jacklin, B.Sc. ’78, received the 2021 Hodgkiss Outdoorsperson of the Year Award for organizing local bird counts and calling for preservation of natural areas around Fort Erie, Ont. Named for the founding president of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the award recognizes a Canadian who has demonstrated an enduring commitment to conservation. Jacklin has spent decades in environmental advocacy and citizen science with organizations in the Niagara Region and beyond, including leading the boards of the Niagara Falls Nature Club, Peninsular Field Naturalists, Buffalo Ornithological Society and Ontario Field Ornithologists.
1970s David Barker, B.Sc. ’74, studied earth science at U of G. In 2021, he retired as professor of biblical studies at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, Ont. After graduating from U of G, he entered church
ministry and was ordained in 1984. He served as interim president, academic dean and vice-president at Heritage, and pastored churches in London, Kitchener and Bracebridge over the past 40 years.
Robert (Bob) Allen, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’60, June 19, 2021 George Gracey, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’60, Oct. 26, 2021 Stanley (Scott) Hatfield, Dip. ’60, May 31, 2021 Robert (Bob) Marsh, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’61, July 27, 2021 Evelyn (Gwenn) French, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’61, July 23, 2021 Peel Holroyd, Dip. ’61, Dec. 21, 2021 R. Dobbyn, Dip. ’61, Feb. 19, 2021 Samuel (Sam) Squire, Dip. ’61; B.Sc. (Agr.) ’65, Nov. 5, 2021 Shirley Jones, B.H.Sc. ’62, Dec. 21, 2021
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Guy Gilron, B.Sc. ’84, M.Sc. ’88, received the Coal Association of Canada 2020-21 Award of Distinction. Working with the coal sector, especially in Western Canada, he has helped the association and its members apply environmental science in development of policy, regulation and water science communication. Dr. Scott Reid, DVM ’87, received the 2022 Golden Life Membership Award from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. The award honours a veterinarian who has served the profession for at least 30 years and has made extraordinary contributions to animal welfare and veterinary medicine. During his 35-year career, Reid has practised in Dunnville, Ont.
Jerry Highton, Dip. ’62, Dec. 4, 2021 Lambert (Bert) Huys, Dip. ’62, April 5, 2021 Heather Stewart, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’63, Dec. 2, 2021 Carole Reeve-Newson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’63, May 10, 2021 Joerg (George) Leiss, ODH ’63, Nov. 12, 2021 James (Ken) Torrance, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’63, Dec. 10, 2021 Daniel (Dan) Lietaer, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’63, Oct. 13, 2021 Roger Lamont, Dip. ’63, April 7, 2021 Raemond (Rae) German, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’63; M.Sc. ’66, Sept. 21, 2021
1990s Colleen Fitzpatrick, B.Comm. ’91, is executive director of the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna, B.C. She was named in 2021 as a Top 40 Over 40 honouree for community collaborations ranging from the local food bank to Festivals Kelowna. Earlier, she earned recognition for community involvement and volunteerism in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., where she was director of convocation and associate director of community relations at the University of Waterloo. Colleen completed a postgraduate diploma program in public relations at the University of Victoria. Liz Duval, B.Sc. ’95, was inducted into the North American Indigenous Athletics Hall of Fame, a U.S.-based organization that recognizes outstanding
Joan Winfield, B.H.Sc. ’64, June 8, 2021 James (Robert) Morris, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’64; M.Sc. ’66, June 20, 2021 Peter (Wade) Johnson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’64; M.Sc. ’66, March 25, 2021 Theodore (Ted) Shelegy, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’64; M.Sc. ’84, May 13, 2021 Thomas (Tom) Huff, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’65, Jan. 7, 2022 Bruce Main, Dip. ’65, Oct. 28, 2021 Richard Frank, M.Sc. (Agr.) ’65; PhD ’68, July 10, 2021 Kenneth (Ken) Thompson, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’66, Feb. 22, 2022
leadership and achievement in individual and team athletics. Duval, who is Métis and who grew up in Penetanguishene, Ont., was captain of the U of G women’s hockey team, which was inducted into the Gryphons Hall of Fame in 2016. She later played in the Central Ontario Women’s Hockey League and the National Women’s Hockey League before retiring in 2001. Alison Howard, BA ’95, was named executive director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. She has spent more than two decades in the non-profit sector, including working with the Conference Board of Canada. Rhett Hawkins, B.Comm. ’96, MBA (Agr.) ’02, became president of Kahntact, a full-service marketing services company in agriculture and food across North America. Earlier, he held senior roles at Farm Journal Media, the largest ag-focused publisher in the United States. Pam Charlton, B.Sc. (Env. Sci.) ’97, was named general manager of Holstein Ontario. She has worked in the dairy industry for 22 years, running Elm Bend
Farms in Brant County as a family farm. Charlton has delivered programs and education through the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Holstein Canada and Brant 4-H. Ninh Tran, B.Sc. ’99, M.Sc. ’00, was named medical officer of health for Oxford and Elgin counties. Previously, he was associate medical officer of health for Hamilton Public Health Services. Tran studied medicine at Queen’s University after completing graduate degrees in nutritional sciences at U of G and studied health research methodology at McMaster University.
2000s Bonnie (Speed) Douglas, B. Eng. ’02, is a project coordinator for the Canadian Association for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology, a nonprofit advocacy coalition for diversity and inclusion in the
William (Bill) Regan, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’66; M.Sc. ‘69, March 2, 2022 Laurie Branch, ODH ’67, March 27, 2021 John Graveson, Dip. ’67, Feb. 27, 2022 Robert (Bob) Johnson, DVM ’67, Oct. 9, 2021 Kenneth (Ken) Goudy, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, July 9, 2021 Robert (Bob) Lougheed, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, Oct. 19, 2021 Gail Rickard, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’68, Aug. 29, 2021 Stephen Crinklaw, Dip. ’68, Feb. 22, 2021 John Magwood, BA ’69, March 9, 2022 Wolfgang Lixfeld, DVM ’69, July 18, 2021
Dr. Cliff Redford, DVM ’98, volunteered in Poland this past spring at refugee shelters near the Ukrainian border, where he and his daughter, Emily, worked with organizations tending pets of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Dr. Cliff” owns Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Markham, Ont. A long-time animal rescue volunteer in several countries, he credited his U of G studies for his adaptability and resilience. “Going to vet school and graduating with a DVM grants you a very specific set of skills that allow you to analyze problems and find solutions.”
science, engineering, trades and technology workforce. Recently, Douglas was project manager for the We Are Trades project, an initiative that seeks to help employers create safe and inclusive workplaces for tradeswomen. Dr. Lisa Waddell, B.Sc. ’02, MSc. ’04, PhD ’16, is senior epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Guelph. As a knowledge synthesis and translation methods specialist, she focuses on policy-relevant public health questions in food
Douglas (Doug) Windsor, B.Sc. ’69; M.Sc. ’70, Aug. 13, 2021 Ellice Oliver, BA ’69; MA ’71, Feb. 10, 2022 William (Bill) Sargant, BA ’69; M.Sc. ’74, Aug. 18, 2021 1970s Anita (Virginia) Campbell, M.Sc. ’70, March 3, 2022 Ronald (Ron) Mutrie, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’70, Dec. 22, 2021 Murray Nash, Dip. ’70; B.Sc. (Agr.) ’75, Aug. 15, 2021 Frederick (Fred) Curry, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’71, June 4, 2021
safety and infectious diseases including COVID-19. Dr. Kelly Barratt, DVM ’05, was named as the 2021 Bovine Practitioner of the Year by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. She is a partner at Heartland Animal Hospital and Veterinary Services in Listowel, Drayton and Mount Forest, Ont., where she is a specialist in dairy herd health. She is the first woman and youngest honouree to receive the award, which recognizes a practising veterinarian for significant contributions to bovine medicine.
Annemarie Bevelander, BA ’72, Dec. 17, 2021 Mary McDuffe, BA ’72, April 7, 2021 Kathleen (Kathy) Shaw, BA ’72, Aug. 15, 2021 Barbara (Barb) Klages, B.A.Sc. ’72, Feb. 8, 2022 James (Jamie) Cunning, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’72, Oct. 5, 2021 James (Jim) Walton, B.Sc. (Eng.) ’72, Oct. 19, 2021 Leslie (Les) Keczan, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’72, Nov. 11, 2021 Jean Corbin, Dip. ’72, Sept. 21, 2021 Bruce Miner, Dip. ’72, Oct. 9, 2021 Douglas (Doug) Smith, BA ’73; MA ’75, March 4, 2022
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Alumni matters Greg Young, B.Sc. ’05, won silver at the World Bench Press Championships, held in Kazakhstan, in May 2022 with a lift of 545.6 pounds. He is an RCMP officer in Tofino, B.C. Pavla Kazda, MBA ’09, has been appointed dean, business and management, automotive business, at Georgian College. Earlier, she served in management and leadership roles in the food service industry and with the Government of Ontario.
2010s Andrew Eldebs, B.Eng. ’15, studied environmental engineering and has founded a soil exchange management company called Fillmaps (www.fillmaps.com). Through soil testing, drone surveying, loading and transport, the company helps landowners to divert clean soils from landfills, freeing up space in landfills.
Jason Kelly, MBA ’16, has received the 2022 Certified Hospitality Technology Professional of the Year award for the highest score on the CHTP certification exam. Currently studying for his doctorate in hotel and tourism management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he studied hospitality and tourism management at U of G and has worked for more than 20 years in the field in Canada. Jaime Vieira, B.A.Sc. ’16, is the minor league hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. She is the first woman coach hired by the Major League Baseball team. Previously, she was a research and development intern in baseball operations with the Jays. Vieira played and coached softball at the University of Guelph-Humber.
Equestrian show jumping brings together grads Dr. Tim Worden, B.Sc. ’10, M.Sc. ’12, PhD ’16, (below) and Sean Jobin, BA ’19, (above) as partners in sport science. A Grand Prix show jumping rider representing Canada, Jobin competes internationally, including competing in the Canadian Championships and the Venice Equestrian Tour. This year, he is signed to the Major League Show Jumping Tour as a member of the Northern Lights team. Worden studied biomedical science and biomechanics at U of G and is a board member of the Equine High Performance Sports Group and the Sport Horse Research Foundation. Based in Toronto, he has consulted for Equestrian Canada and has spoken and written on sport medicine and performance.
Francine Pauvif, BA ’19, and Aleksandra Spasevski, B.Sc. (Env. Sci.) ’19, are co-founders of the Canadian Youth Biodiversity Network.
The organization is a chapter of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network and connects youth across Canada in biodiversity education and awareness as
Brian Holmes, BA ’74, Sept. 5, 2021 Ronald (Ron) Bender, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’74, Oct. 22, 2021 Laszlo DeRoth, M.Sc. ’75; PhD ’77, Nov. 22, 2021 Anita Gurnick, B.A.Sc. ’76, Oct. 24, 2021 Uche Oji, M.Sc. ’76; PhD ’79, Aug. 11, 2021 Leigh Marshall, M.Sc. ’77, Dec. 1, 2020 Grant Galloway, B.Sc. ’79; M.Sc. ’88, Aug. 8, 2021 1980s Patricia (Pat) Munholland, B.Sc. ’81, Oct. 24, 2021
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David (Dave) Hunsberger, DVM ’81, Aug. 11, 2021 Lilah Moore, B.Sc. ’81; M.Sc. ’84, Aug. 31, 2021 Nicholas (Nick) Taylor, B.Sc. ’82, March 1, 2022 James Cruise, Hon DLaw ’82, Nov. 27, 2021 Roger Little, BA ’82, Feb. 17, 2021 Henry Thoonen, B.Sc. ’83, Feb. 6, 2021 Michael (Mike) Mantel, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’83, Nov. 12, 2021 Bradley (Brad) Hossack, B.Sc. ’83, July 30, 2021 Jeffrey (Jeff) Chalmers, B.Comm. ’86, Dec. 18, 2021
well as liaison with all levels of government. Connect with us by email at email@example.com.
Timothy (Tim) Davidson, Dip. ’87, Feb. 20, 2022 Susan Callan, BA ’88, March 12, 2022 Christopher Newton, Hon DLaw ’89, Dec. 20, 2021 1990s Julie Evelyn-Frost, B.A.Sc. ’90, Feb. 18, 2022 Eveleen Armour, BA ’91, Aug. 31, 2021 Martha Henry C.C., Hon DLaw ’91, Oct. 21, 2021 Jeanette Grant, BA ’91; MA ’93, Aug. 15, 2021 Millicent Wormald, MA ’92, Feb. 9, 2022 Ainsley Moore, M.Sc. ’93, June 25, 2021
LIVES THAT IMPROVED LIFE
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF ROSALIND MORRIS, AGRONOMY PAPERS, ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN LIBRARIES
Mary Rosalind Morris Leaving the family farm near Forest, Ont., in 1938, Mary Rosalind Morris enrolled in horticultural studies at the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) with plans to become a tree fruit breeder. After completing her BSA in 1942, she continued grad studies in plant breeding at Cornell University. There, she got her first look at chromosomes under the microscope, an experience that changed her career plans. Morris completed her PhD in genetics studies in 1946, becoming one of the first two women to receive a doctorate from Cornell’s plant breeding department. She accepted a faculty position at the University of NebraskaLincoln (UNL), becoming the first woman faculty member hired by the agronomy department, where she spent a 43-year-long career. Early in her studies, she looked at the effects of radiation on crops including
Rosalind Morris in the UNL wheat greenhouse in the 1970s.
AS A CYTOGENETICIST WITH UNL’S WHEAT TEAM, MORRIS DEVELOPED AND TESTED CHROMOSOME LINES IN BREAD WHEAT VARIETIES.
corn genes. Keen to improve her technical skills, she completed a fellowship at the California Institute of Technology in 1949-50. She also spent several months in
Albert Andrews, BA ’93, June 30, 2021 Koren Murray, B.A.Sc. ’94, April 2, 2021 Linda Taylor, DVM ’94, Oct. 30, 2021 Robert (Rob) Sexton, B.Comm. ’96; MA ’12, Nov. 17, 2021 Cindy Graham, B.Sc. ’97, Feb. 24, 2021 Dorothee Osmond, B.Sc. ’97; DVM ’02, Aug. 8, 2021 Jennifer Cutler, B.Sc. ’98, May 13, 2021 2000s Iris Mitten, BA ’01, Jan. 21, 2021 Kevin Finney, BA Hon. ’02, March 20, 2022 Melanie Freeman, MA ’02; PhD ’09, Nov. 12, 2021
1956-57 on a Guggenheim scholarship in Sweden and England. As a cytogeneticist with UNL’s wheat team, Morris developed and tested chromosome lines in bread wheat varieties. “This involved meticulous microscope observations by Rosalind and her assistants,” read her obituary. “Many of these lines were shared with wheat scientist in different countries.
Tiffany Redwood, B.Comm. ’06, Sept. 30, 2021 Jeffrey (Jeff) Beaton, MLA ’09, Sept. 29, 2021 Frank Hasenfratz, Hon. D.Sc. ’10, Jan. 9, 2022 Olabanji Akinola, MA ’11; PhD ’17, Jan. 10, 2022 Matthew (Matt) Kowalchuk, BA (Gen.) ’12, Sept. 17, 2021 Cornelia Oberlander, Hon DLaw ’15, May 22, 2021 Shelbi Link, B.A.Sc. ’16, Oct. 24, 2021 Kaitlin Williams, B.Sc. ’18, Jan. 19, 2022 Nelia Scheeres, B.Sc. ’19, Aug. 16, 2021
“Rosalind was a trailblazer for women in agronomy when it was unusual to see women in such roles.” Morris died March 26, 2022, just over a month before her 102nd birthday. Born May 8, 1920, in Wales, she moved to Canada with her family in 1925. The move came after her father, a teacher, had contracted flu following the First World War; a doctor had advised him to find an outdoor occupation. By 1930, the family was living on a fruit farm in Lambton County. In 1997, she established the W. Penri Morris Memorial Scholarship at U of G, named for her brother, who was killed during the Second World War. A longtime member of the Nebraska Academy of Scientists, Rosalind Morris belonged to the local branch of the American Association of University Women and to the St. David’s Society of Nebraska. Her cytogenetics work continues to provide a resource for researchers studying functional genomics.
Nathan Adams, BA ’20, Nov. 6, 2021 Katherine (Katie) McElweenie, B.Sc. ’21, May 10, 2021 Garry Glowacki, BA Gen. ’21, Jan. 27, 2021 Manuel Gomez, D.Sc. ’21, June 8, 2021
To honour alumni who have passed away, the University of Guelph Alumni Association makes an annual donation to the Alumni Legacy Scholarship.
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Caring for injured Gryphon athletes on campus brought Helen Clark and Fred Dunbar together in the early 1970s. A nurse, Helen worked in the student health centre. Fred joined the University in 1969 as the Gryphons athletic trainer. Helen and Fred were married June 21, 1975. Pictured here with their wedding party before the Portico on Johnston Green, the couple are believed to have been the first to hold their wedding reception at the Arboretum Centre, opened in 1974. In 1976, Fred became head of the Toronto Argonauts training staff. He was integral in bringing the CFL team to U of G for its training camps, still ongoing. He died Nov. 18, 2021. On June 12, 2022, an athletic therapy room in the Gryphons football pavilion was named to honour his legacy. Fred was inducted into the Gryphon Hall of Fame as a builder in 1987.
Share your own campus special occasion photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. 38 | PORTICO Summer 2022
+ William Winegard ended his tenure as U of G president, begun in 1967. + Macdonald Stewart Hall was built to house what is now the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management. + U of G’s Arkell Poultry Research Centre opened. + The roughly 50-voice U of G touring choir visited Europe with concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium and England.
+ Sony released its Betamax video cassette recording (VCR) system. + The blockbuster film Jaws was released in June. + Ex-Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. + NASA launched the Viking I planetary probe toward Mars. + Saturday Night Live premiered with comedian George Carlin as the inaugural host. + The beaver became an official symbol of Canada.
PHOTO: LEAH DUNBAR
Donald M. Rutherford, OAC '51
Grant Speed, Dip. '73
Bonnie Douglas, B.Eng. '02
Family roots in campus conservatory garden
PHOTO: DOUG SCHAEFER
U OF G PROVIDED GROUNDING FOR THREE GENERATIONS OF GRADS
All four seasons are captured in the named gardens that are part of the D.M. Rutherford Family Conservatory and Gardens marking the U of G entrance. The gardens and restored 1930s-era greenhouse were dedicated in 1999 during the 125th anniversary of the Ontario Agricultural College. A year earlier, Donald M. Rutherford, OAC ’51, made a leadership gift of $256,000 toward the $1-million project. The surrounding six gardens are named for donors, including an Autumn Garden named for
Rutherford’s Class of ’51. The class marked its 70th anniversary in 2021 by raising $51,000 for student awards intended to foster leadership. Rutherford died in fall 2021 at age 93. On hand for the dedication ceremony in 1999 were Rutherford’s family members, including his granddaughter Bonnie (Speed) Douglas, then studying biological engineering at U of G. “He was proud of me for going to Guelph,” says Douglas, B.Eng.
’02, whose studies here extended the family connection. A generation earlier, her parents met on campus as students. Her father, Grant Speed, completed agricultural diploma studies in 1973; her mom, Jean Curtis, studied science at U of G in 1971 before enrolling in teacher’s college. Referring to the conservatory and surrounding gardens, Douglas says, “The project was important to Donald and the family because it allowed three generations of alumni to connect and strengthen their Guelph roots.”
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