May 27, 2011
Edward (Ted) Hughes was born and raised in Saskatoon. He practised law for 10 years prior to his appointment as a district court judge and subsequent promotion to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench and appointment as Queen’s Counsel.
Hughes has worked as conflict of interest commissioner for the Yukon and Northwest Territories, deputy attorney general for British Columbia and as chief federal treaty negotiator, and the chair of innumerable commissions of inquiry throughout the western provinces and in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. His work as Chief Adjudicator of Indian Residential Schools settlement claims ranked at the very top of all of the public service work throughout his long and distinguished career.
The U of S is privileged to recognize him for his leadership in the field of law and for his outstanding civic service in the support of health care.
Sandra Bassendowski is an extraordinary teacher and scholar, and is recognized as a Master Teacher. Her exceptional teaching is visible as she develops and delivers motivating classes, conference and keynote presentations. U of S students and colleagues identify Bassendowski’s pedagogy as the characteristic way she wholeheartedly engages in the art and science of teaching, and stimulates learning with her unique ability to interest, engage, excite and encourage students to learn and achieve high educational standards.
Bassendowski inspires and advocates for students to explore and develop ideas, to enter their papers into academic competitions, to publish their research and to share ideas in professional forums. She is recognized internationally for her innovative pedagogy and has been invited to share her research about teaching and learning all around the world. The list of accolades and accomplishments that colleagues shared to support her nomination for this Master Teacher Award demonstrates her consistent commitment to promote excellence in teaching and learning at the university.
N. Murray Edwards has become one of Canada’s leading business figures and a transformative philanthropist. Edwards—with a wide range of business interests including oil and natural gas, energy services, mining, aerospace and NHL hockey—was a founding member of FirstEnergy Capital Corp and has provided energy policy advice to Prime Ministers Chretien and Martin.
As a student, he was a leader in the U of S College of Commerce. The college was renamed the Edwards School of Business in 2007 and shares with Edwards a strategic focus on business and entrepreneurship programming—vital areas in the competitive world of business schools. His generosity of spirit, described as being of the “practical kind”, has benefited society through numerous contributions to Canadian education, health, social, artistic and cultural issues.
Len Findlay, professor, Department of English, U of S, is a cultural and intellectual historian, editor, translator, critic of literature and the visual arts, and a student of the university as an institution, of the humanities as an evolving formation, and of Canadian educational policy, making him one of the most distinctive and influential voices in humanities scholarship, both in Canada and abroad.
He has published over 100 essays in top international journals, and has delivered 141 lectures, papers and keynote addresses across North America and Europe.
He has supervised numerous graduate students, brought in research grant money, and through his work directing the Humanities Research Unit has organized a series of stimulating conferences. Many researchers have found their own voices through Findlay’s mentorship, advocacy and tireless help. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Cathie Fornssler’s dedication to governance at the University of Saskatchewan, and her professionalism and willingness to go beyond the day-to-day requirements of her job make her a very worthy recipient of a President’s Service Award.
Fornssler, now in the Office of the University Secretary, joined the U of S in 1971. She has gone out of her way to assist students in pursuing their interests while satisfying the degree requirements of various programs. As one nominator said, people always left her office feeling better than when they went in.
Those who have first-hand knowledge of Fornssler’s commitment to the institution and its community, her unassuming manner and her dedication to her work supporting the achievements of others agree she is a model citizen of the U of S and a worthy recipient of the President’s Service Award.
Helen Hughes’ lifelong commitment to social welfare and devotion to consumer rights, the arts, education and volunteering with her church has improved the communities in which she has lived. Mrs. Hughes was a pioneer in initiating several innovative social programs, and her contributions to the City of Saskatoon are significant and long-lasting.
She was president of Saskatoon YWCA, helped establish Saskatoon’s Big Sister Association and was a founder of Crisis Intervention Services. As originator and subsequent chair of the Community Liaison Committee, she worked with Métis, First Nations and non-native people to address the problems of housing, health, recreation, employment, justice, education and cross‑cultural understanding in an urban city. Hughes is a Member of the Order of Canada for her work with Aboriginal communities.
Soledade Pedras’ scientific research has focused on fundamental questions related to the chemistry and biochemistry of plant‑pathogen interactions. Pioneering work has been carried out to establish both the role and application of natural defenses produced by plants under stress. Many pivotal discoveries have stemmed from this research.
In a landmark achievement, Pedras’ group was first to establish new precursors of important plant defenses. Because this knowledge is essential for an effective transfer of plant defense pathways, these discoveries can contribute to the “design” of ecologically sustainable crops.
Pedras, professor, U of S Department of Chemistry, is also passionate about educating future scientists. Her research program provides excellent training for graduate and undergraduate students, as it involves a wide range of chemical, biochemical and biological techniques that have applications in academic, industrial and business settings.
The Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes a faculty member’s contribution to scholarship through the creation, expansion and critique of knowledge. John Gordon, director of the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture and a professor in the Department of Medicine, U of S, is the 2011 recipient.
Gordon is an expert in the field of immune regulation and airway disease. He is internationally recognized as a major force in immunology who has conducted groundbreaking work on inflammatory diseases such as asthma.
During the course of his career, Gordon has attracted research funding from federal and provincial funding agencies as well as the non-profit sector to carry out his work. He has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and has been invited to speak at conferences all over the world. He has served on numerous boards and review panels including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, and the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He is also a tremendous mentor who has trained over 60 undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and young faculty.
Susan Whiting, professor, U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, is an outstanding faculty member, award winning mentor and exemplary contributor to her community. She is ever so deserving of the university’s award for distinction in outreach and engagement.
Whiting provides leadership in knowledge creation within Saskatchewan industry and local communities and these efforts enhance the reputation of the university. She has served on national and international boards and working groups for nutritional sciences, bone and mineral research, and dietary intakes. Her collaborative approach with scholars and organizations has attracted attention in other parts of the world.
Whiting’s strengths with the university’s teaching and research missions and her personal commitment to community bring honour to the University of Saskatchewan, have long-lasting impact, and make her a distinguished recipient of this award.
Mladen Vranic has changed the landscape of diabetes research, not only in Canada but internationally. His hypothesis concerning factors that determine beneficial or deleterious effects of exercise in diabetes is now universally accepted, as is his critical concept of how muscle, liver and pancreatic cells adapt to hyperglycemia. He has trained and mentored innumerable renowned scientists and academic leaders, and has himself a history of outstanding scientific achievements.
Vranic’s tremendous contributions have been recognized with his induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Vranic epitomizes the scientists working at the leading edge of his field, and what is generally considered to be of critical importance in medical science today, a scientist who conducts fundamental science at the forefront, but who understands and is able to transfer these insights to the clinic and to the industry.