May 18, 2007
Degrees and awards will be presented at Spring Convocation, June 4–6.
Honorary Doctor of Laws
Lieutenant General the Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, (retired), Senator, had a distinguished career in the Canadian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant General and becoming assistant deputy minister (Human Resources) in the Department of National Defence in 1998. In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR). His book about that experience – Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda – won him the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004.
Since his retirement from the military, Senator Dallaire has worked to bring an understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder to the general public. He has also been a visiting lecturer at several Canadian and American universities, and has written extensively on conflict resolution, humanitarian assistance and human rights. As a Fellow of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he pursued research on conflict resolution and the use of child soldiers.
Dallaire was appointed to the Senate in March 2005, and sits as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He is currently working on a book on the subject of child soldiers.
Honorary Doctor of Laws
Through her entrepreneurial spirit, community service and philanthropy, Irene Dubé has set an inspiring example for business and charitable leadership in the Saskatoon community.
Born in Wynyard, she married Les Dubé in 1954. They made their first private sector investment in 1961, land on 8th Street. By 1969, they opened a small business office to manage what is now the very successful Concorde Group of Companies.
While managing the family business interests, Irene also served the University of Saskatchewan on its Board of Governors from 1987 to 1989. Her philanthropic efforts in Saskatoon have contributed to a new wing at St. Paul’s Hospital, provided finances for several other unmet needs in the area of surgery, urology and renal care, the establishment of a Breast Health Centre at Saskatoon City Hospital and the Les and Irene Dubé Community Service-Learning Program at St. Thomas More College, an experimental style of learning that combines classroom education with volunteer service in the Saskatoon community.
Irene’s community service has also involved taking in young unwed mothers whose parents would not allow them to live at home, and providing them with a home environment until their babies are born.
Honorary Doctor of Laws
Leading by example through his strength of character and generous spirit, Les Dubé is a community role model whose philanthropy, community service and social investment have enriched the lives of many.
With his wife Irene, Les has seen their Concorde Group of Companies grow into a large company with diversified business interests across western Canada - motels, apartments, warehouses, strip malls, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable distribution across the western provinces.
Les’ philanthropic efforts in Saskatoon have contributed to a new wing at St. Paul’s Hospital, funding the only lithotripter (for pulverizing kidney stones) in Saskatchewan, the Surgical Special Care Units and the Urology Centre of Health at St. Paul’s, the establishment of a Breast Health Centre at Saskatoon City Hospital and the Les and Irene Dubé Community Service-Learning Program at St. Thomas More College.
He has held a number of leadership positions with charities and non-profit organizations in Saskatchewan and served on the inaugural board of the Saskatoon Economic Development Authority, now SREDA. Les also chaired the St. Paul’s Hospital Board of Management and was a founding member of the Saskatoon Health Authority.
Dr. Calvin R. Stiller
Honorary Doctor of Science
Dr. Calvin Stiller is a renowned physician, scientist and entrepreneur who was raised in Naicam, Saskatchewan and obtained his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1965, and his F.R.C.P. (C) in 1970. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and Chair of Genome Canada and the Ontario Innovation Trust.
In 1972, Stiller launched London, Ontario's organ transplant program, becoming a leading clinical investigator in transplantation. This program was, and still is, at the cutting edge of the transplantation field. From 1984 to 1996, he served as the unit’s chief. During this period, he was also principal investigator of the Canadian multi-centre study that established the importance of Cyclosporine in transplantation and led to its worldwide use as first-line therapy for transplant rejection.
Professionally, Dr. Stiller has served as President of the Canadian Society of Nephrology and on numerous professional and government committees. As a businessman and entrepreneur, he was aware that Canada was deficient in the mechanisms and resources to exploit fundamental biological discoveries in the marketplace. To that end, he co-founded four venture capital funds, and sits on the boards of numerous public foundations and companies.
Honorary Doctor of Letters
Lorna Crozier was born in 1948 in Swift Current, earning a BA in English and Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1969 and her Saskatchewan Teacher’s Certificate in 1970. As a child growing up in a prairie community where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, she “never once thought of being a writer.”
After university, Crozier taught high school English and published her first poem in Grain magazine. Her first poetry collection, called Inside in the Sky, was published in 1976, with 13 more books of poetry to follow.
Throughout her career, Crozier has been known for her teaching and mentoring of other poets. She has been writer-in-residence at a number of institutions and today, teaches and is chair of the writing department at the University of Victoria.
Together with her husband and fellow poet Patrick Lane, she edited the 1994 collection Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets. In 2004, they co-edited Breathing Fire 2, introducing over 30 new writers to Canadians.
Crozier’s passion extends to various social causes; she has given benefit readings for organizations like the SPCA, the BC Land Conservancy, and PEERS, a group committed to helping prostitutes get off the street.
Honorary Doctor of Laws
Harold (Hal) Wyatt, a native of Moose Jaw, has enjoyed a long and influential career in Canadian business. A career banker, he retired from the Royal Bank of Canada in 1986 as vice-chairman and director. Numerous other companies have benefited from his involvement on their boards – Monsanto Canada Inc., Liquid Carbonic Inc., Talisman Energy Inc. and National Mutual Royal Bank ( Australia). While chair of the U of S Board of Governors, he was the University's representative on the Collaborative Committee of the Canadian Light Source Project.
Wyatt is highly regarded as an involved and effective business leader in philanthropic work. In Calgary, he currently serves as chairman emeritus of the Mount Royal College Foundation. He was founding chairman of the Calgary International Organ Festival, chairman of The Stan Waters Memorial Foundation, director of Cantos Music Foundation and he is a former director of the Esther Honens International Piano Competition.
A Member of the Order of Canada, Wyatt was also awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal and the medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation 1992. He was also the first recipient of the University of Calgary’s International Businessman’s Award and Canadian Unity Council’s Outstanding Canadian Award.
Jeremy Lee completed a PhD in pharmacology at Cambridge University and his thesis – “The Binding of Antibiotics to DNA" –marked the start of a life-long interest in the structure and function of nucleic acids.
Lee’s initial research was analysis of monoclonal antibodies that bind to proteins, DNA or RNA, but it was the discovery of an unusual DNA structure in 1992, called M-DNA, that has dominated his research since. M-DNA has a metal ion in the middle of the DNA helix that causes the DNA to become a conductor of electrons rather than an insulator. It may be the smallest wire imaginable.
Potential applications include M-DNA-based diagnostic tools that would quickly yield information on genetic disease and bacterial infection. Lee is the chief scientific officer of Adnavance Technologies Inc., a company founded in 2002 to exploit this possibility.
Lee is proud of the fact that he has never taken a biochemistry course in his life, but has taught the subject for 25 years to undergraduates and medical and graduate students. His love of teaching is matched only by his hatred of PowerPoint, and he can frequently be seen walking around campus covered in chalk dust.
President’s Service Award
The numbers tell the story – in 2000, the Native Access Program to Nursing (NAPN) at the University of Saskatchewan supported 58 Aboriginal students. This year, that number doubled, to 117. People say it would not have happened without Val Arnault-Pelletier.
Arnault-Pelletier, a Cree woman who is a member of Beardy’s Okemasis First Nation, has served for 10 years as lead student advisor in the NAPN. Her work managing the program and expanding the vision of increased numbers of Aboriginal people in health care careers and has earned Arnault-Pelletier the University’s President’s Service Award.
A graduate of Loon Lake High School and the Saskatoon Business College, Arnault-Pelletier came to the University in 1994. Among her achievements in NAPN is the development of valuable relationships between the University and the community.
Arnault-Pelletier is described as both tenacious and creative in finding funding for the program, and her work has earned both her and the University of Saskatchewan a national and international profile. Always looking to the future, Arnault-Pelletier is working on funding proposals, updating the NAPN website to maximize its recruiting potential, and expanding the program’s database with an eye to providing better quality student services.
Biology Professor Vipen Sawhney may be a perfect example of the teacher-scholar envisaged in the University of Saskatchewan’s mission statement – over the past 30 plus years, he has earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher, dispatched administrative tasks with ease, and maintained a first rate research program.
Sawhney’s lectures, which combine overheads, videos, stories, humorous anecdotes and colourful PowerPoint presentations capture the imagination of his students and make biology come alive. Each of his lectures is a model of organization and clarity but his trademark is his dedication to, and enthusiasm for, biology, particularly plants.
Equally important is Sawhney’s compassion for his students. He truly cares for them and wants them to achieve, not only in his biology classes, but also in life. A former graduate student wrote: “He always took a personal interest in his students, ensuring newcomers to the city/country were welcomed and comfortable. A central gathering table was a focal part of the laboratory. This provided a relaxed atmosphere and encouraged the interchange between people of different cultural and religious backgrounds, thus providing more than just a scientific education”.
As another student put it, “Dr. Sawhney turned me on to learning and really thinking.”
Distinguished Researcher Award
Gregg P. Adams, professor of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and winner of the Distinguished Researcher Award, has made a significant impact in the field of reproductive biology through his novel research program, leadership and dedication.
A hallmark of Adams’ leadership is never asking others to do anything he would not do himself. His teammates often find him teaching in the field, taking unpopular shifts in large-scale projects and developing new approaches to facilitate research and clinical work. As the leader of the University’s bid for a biomedical imaging and therapy beamline at the Canadian Light Source, he has opened the door for biological science researchers from across campus to experience this new technology.
Adams earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the U of S in 1982 after completing classes in biology in 1978. He earned a master’s degree in 1987 and a PhD in 1991 from the University of Wisconsin. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 journal papers over his 25-year career, and has show great devotion to mentorship. The list of graduate students he has supervised numbers 25.
Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement
Lisa Vargo, an associate professor of English, is an individual whose involvement in literacy and volunteerism has contributed greatly to the University's outreach and engagement mission.
Since arriving at the U of S in 1990, Vargo has made an exceptional contribution to literacy in the province. At READ Saskatoon, she has served as a tutor for the past 17 years and her time on the board of that organization included two terms as president. She was involved with the Word Whiz Fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Literacy Foundation and served on the board of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network.
In 1999, Vargo received the Saskatchewan Literacy Award of Merit for her volunteerism and in 2004, was awarded the Canada Post Literacy Award as an educator.
Vargo has been described as "energetic, inspirational and indefatigable in her dedication to literacy." Others have said that "she brings a deep understanding of the complexities of literacy and of human justice to the way she works with learners." She has demonstrated a sustained commitment to use her expertise in ways that engage individuals and groups beyond the borders of the campus and she has enhanced the University's reputation in exceptional ways.
Full citations can be viewed at awards.usask.ca