(Illustrator: Sébastien Thibault)

Alum Notes

Alum Notes: Winter 2024

Story by McGill News

February 2024


Charles Vincent, MSc(Agr&Env)’80, PhD’83, a long-serving adjunct professor in McGill’s Department of Natural Resource Sciences, was inducted into the Quebec Agricultural Hall of Fame. His research has been instrumental in the development and commercialization of biopesticide products.

Prosanta Chakrabarty, BSc(Agr)’00, is a professor of evolutionary biology and curator of fishes at Louisiana State University. His recent book Explaining Life Through Evolution (MIT Press) attempts to explain the origin story of life on this planet in a concise and accessible way, examining how we arrived at the tremendous diversity of organisms that we see around us today. He is a TED senior fellow and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Dana Ben David, BSc(Arch)’15, is the co-founder and creative director of Healthybud, a pet wellness brand whose products for dogs eschew additives and artificial preservatives while exceeding the nutritional guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Healthybud took first prize at the 2021 McGill Dobson Cup competition in the health and science enterprise track and its products are available in more than 600 pet stores across North America.


James Archibald, BA’67, a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Modern Cultures at the University of Turin, has been elected to a three-year term as chair of the International Standards Organization’s committee on terminology workflow and language coding. He also sits on the advisory board for the Canadian Language Industry Association and on the board of directors for Plain Language Association International.

Jane Jenson, BA’67, an emeritus professor of political science at Université de Montréal, was awarded the 2023 Prix Léon-Gérin. Part of the Prix du Québec, the award recognizes recipients for remarkable career contributions to the humanities and social sciences. Her research has spanned a broad range of topics related to policy analysis, including social movements, relations between Quebec and the rest of Canada, citizenship, diversity, feminist studies, family policy, childcare and care for the elderly.

Renée Joy Karp, BA’74, DipEd’75, PhD’82, recently published her first novel Fathers’ Children. Loosely based on some of her father’s experiences during the Second World War, the book examines the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and explores the complex relationships between fathers and their children through the friendship of two men who raise two very different children. She has taught English literature for nearly 40 years at Vanier College. Fathers’ Children is available on Amazon and Indigo and through other major book distributors.

Julian Sher, BA’75, was a finalist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s (QWF) 2023 Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction for his book The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln (Knopf Canada). The book explored the unexpected ways in which Canadians were involved in many aspects of the American Civil War.

Elise Moser, BA’84, CertHRMgmt’00, received the 2023 Judy Mappin Community Award for her contributions to English-language literature in Quebec. She has served on several boards and literary committees, including the boards of PEN Canada, the English-Language Arts Network (ELAN), and the QWF, of which she was the president from 2009 to 2012. She has published 30 short stories, numerous book reviews, a literary novel for adults, a YA novel, a non-fiction book for children, and has edited or co-edited several anthologies.

Duncan Ivison, BA’86, will become the next president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester on August 1, 2024. A professor of political philosophy, he had recently served as deputy vice-chancellor (research) at the University of Sydney, and before that, as the dean of its Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Edeet Ravel, MA’86, PhD’92, won the QWF’s Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature for her book A Boy Is Not a Ghost (Groundwood Books). Based on a true story, the book, set during the Second World War, follows a 12-year-old boy who is torn from his home in Eastern Europe and imprisoned in a Siberian gulag. A Boy Is Not a Ghost was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature (English).

Chris Forbes, BA’89, MA’93, became Canada’s deputy minister of finance last September. Over the course of his long career in public service, he has served in many senior roles, including deputy minister of environment and climate change (2023) and deputy minister of agriculture and agri-food (2017-2023).

Julie Barlow, BA’91, and Jean-Benoît Nadeau, BA’92, recently published Going Solo: Everything You Need to Start Your Business and Succeed as Your Own Boss (Sutherland House Books). The book is written for all types of self-employed workers and is largely based on the lessons that the authors themselves have learned from almost four decades of experience as self-employed writers. Going Solo offers practical advice on how to write contracts, create invoice templates, handle your banking, navigate your online presence, and succeed in negotiations.

Adriana Kugler, BA’91, was confirmed last September by the U.S. Senate as a member of the board of governors for the Federal Reserve System. U.S. president Joe Biden had nominated her for the position last May. Prior to her appointment to the board, she served as the U.S. executive director at the World Bank Group. She is on leave from Georgetown University where she is a professor of public policy and economics. She was the chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2011 to 2013.

Sara Angel, BA’92, was named a member of the Order of Canada last December “for her significant contributions to Canadian art history.” She is the founder and executive director of the Art Canada Institute, an online art museum, digital library, and interactive Canadian art encyclopedia that focuses on the lives and work of Canadian visual artists. Over the course of her career, she has been a senior editor for the London-based art publisher Phaidon Press, an editorial director at Bruce Mau Design, and the editor-in-chief of Chatelaine.

Ned Blackhawk, BA’92, won the 2023 National Book Award for Non-fiction, one of the top book prizes in the U.S., for The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History (Yale University Press). The book interweaves five centuries of Native and non‑Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century, to illustrate why understanding Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. He is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University and serves as the faculty coordinator for the Yale Group for the Study of Native America.

Jennifer A. Irwin, BA’93, was a finalist for the QWF’s Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature for her book Captain Skidmark Dances with Destiny (Charlesbridge). The book follows 13-year-old Will, who hates hockey and loves dancing, as he navigates school, bullies, and his father’s expectations.

Robert Colman, BA’96, recently released his fourth collection of poems, Ghost Work (Palimpsest Press), a suite of poems that explores a son’s gradual loss of his father from dementia.

Valerie Gideon, MA’96, PhD’00, took on the role of deputy minister of Crown-Indigenous relations and northern affairs for the federal government in November. She continues to be president of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, a position she has held since 2022. She had been the associate deputy minister of Indigenous services. She is a member of the Mi’kmaq First Nation of Gesgapegiag.

Romy Bowers, MA’97, is the new director of the International Monetary Fund’s Office of Risk Management. She had been the president and CEO of Canada’s Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Before joining the CMHC in 2015 as its chief risk officer, she was managing director and head of U.S. operational risk management at the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Financial Group.

Michelle Syba, BA’99, was a finalist for the QWF’s Concordia University First Book Prize for End Times (Freehand Books), her debut collection of stories. The book addresses evangelical culture, ideological polarization, and the messiness and mysteries of humanity.

Frédéric Bérard, MA’01, was a finalist for the 2023 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction (French) for Jʼaccuse les tortionnaires dʼOmar Khadr (Guy Saint-Jean Editeur). He is a partner at the Montreal law firm Gattuso Bouchard Mazzone and the co-director of the Observatoire national en matière de droits linguistiques at the Université de Montréal.

David CC Bourgeois, MA’02 (for Full Fadom Five), Sean Michaels, BA’04 (for Do You Remember Being Born?), Vanessa Sasson, BA’95, MA’99, PhD’04 (for The Gathering), and Caroline Vu, BA’81 (for Catinat Boulevard), were all finalists for the QWF’s 2023 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.

Sean Mills, MA’02, Eric Fillion, BEd’02, and Désirée Rochat, PhD’21, are the co-editors of Jazz, Race, and History in the Life of Lou Hooper (McGill-Queen’s University Press), a book about the life and career of Ontario-born jazz pianist Lou Hooper, who performed in the U.S. with the likes of Ma Rainey and Paul Robeson before moving to Montreal where he was deeply involved in the city’s jazz community and an early teacher of Oscar Peterson .

Eldon Yellowhorn, PhD’02, was a recipient of the 2023 British Columbia Reconciliation Award which recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect, and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of British Columbia. He helped establish the Department of Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and continues to teach in the department as a professor. His research explores the potential of machine learning to revitalize Blackfoot and ensure that his generation is not the last to speak it. He served as president of the Canadian Archaeological Association from 2010 to 2012 and was the first Indigenous person to hold that position.

Alyssa Ages, BA’03, is a freelance writer (her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Wired and Men’s Journal), a strongman competitor, an endurance athlete and a rock climber. She recently published Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncover the True Meaning of Strength (Avery). Part personal narrative, part research mission, the book explores the science and psychology behind pushing our physical limits, with insights from psychologists, researchers, and coaches, as well as powerlifters and strongman competitors.

Dominique Fortier, PhD’03 (for Nʼayons pas peur du ciel), Luba Markovskaia, BA’10, MA’13, PhD’17 (for Père fictif), and Madeleine Stratford, MA’03 (for soufrelangue), were all finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation (English to French).

Hannah Hahn, BA’06, became the new executive director of the Lois & Richard England Family Foundation last July. Previously, she spent nearly a decade at The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. In both roles, she stewarded millions of dollars of local grant investments to support education, human services, and children and families. The England Family Foundation, which is primarily involved in Washington, D.C., focuses on education and youth development, food justice, workforce development, economic opportunity, gun violence prevention, reproductive health, and voting rights, among other issues.

Peter A. Halprin, BA’06, has joined Haynes and Boone, LLP, as a partner in New York City. A member of the firm’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group, his work deals with claims concerning such issues as business interruption, cybersecurity and wrongful death suits. His global client base spans industries such as entertainment, financial services, government, healthcare, hospitality, professional services, private equity, and real estate.

Karin Lang, BA’06, was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in France in recognition of the work she has done to strengthen the cooperation between France and Ontario in the field of education. She is the team lead in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Child Care Implementation Branch.

Danilo Santucci, BA’08, has joined the law firm Nutter as a partner in its Boston office. His practice is focused on advising high net worth individuals and families on their estate and tax planning needs, both domestic and international.

Jonathan Hausman, BA’89, is now the chief strategy officer for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). He had been the OTTP’s executive managing director of global investment strategy. In his new role, he will oversee sustainable investing activities and continue to lead the global investment strategy department. He is the chair of the Canadian Council for the Americas and a senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Rachel Weisblatt, BA’09, has been promoted to partner at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., a national law firm in the U.S. In her practice, she helps health care clients ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and guides them through a wide variety of transactional matters. She works with clients throughout the health care and life sciences industries, including health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, and pharmaceutical companies.

Naben Ruthnum, MA’11, recently published The Grimmer (ECW Press), his first foray into the young adult genre. In the book, high school student Vish is pulled into the world of the occult, where witches live in television sets, undead creatures can burn with a touch, and magic is mathematical.

Daniel Sorger, BA’13, has joined the law firm Hurwitz Sagarin Slossberg & Knuff LLC as an associate in the litigation practice. He represents clients in civil litigation in state and federal courts, before state agencies, and in mediation and arbitration settings. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, major utilities, and municipalities.

Daniel Lombroso, BA’15, is a staff filmmaker at The New Yorker. Nina & Irena is his latest film, a short documentary about his grandmother Nina Gottlieb, a Holocaust survivor, and the story of her sister’s disappearance. Nina & Irena won Best Short Film at Mountainfilm in Telluride and was named to the DocNYC Short List. His previous film, White Noise, was named one of the top documentaries of the year by Vox and The Boston Globe.

Vladimir Ivantsov, PhD’18, joined Oberlin’s College of Arts and Sciences last fall as an assistant professor of Russian, East European & Eurasian studies. His research delves into Dostoevsky, 20th-century Russian culture, existentialist literature, and rock music. He teaches courses on Russian culture and art.

Kasia Van Schaik, PhD’23, is a lecturer in McGill’s Department of English and a postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University. Her debut story collection We Have Never Lived on Earth (University of Alberta Press) explores themes of ecological crisis and womanhood and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.


Denis Brault, DipEd’77, MEd’80, CertSecLang’81, taught Latin and ancient Greek for 46 years. His new novel, Journey into Antiquity, follows a retired classics professor and his grandson as they embark on a “virtual journey” into the world of Greek and Roman mythology and history, encountering gods, heroes, and historical characters from Greco-Roman antiquity.

Gary J. Kirchner, BSc’77, DipEd’78, MA’87 recently published The Music of the Gridiron. He is a former McGill football player (1974-1978) and a former member of the McGill football coaching staff (1979-2007). The Music of the Gridiron is the third book in his “In the Shadow of the Goalposts” series. Following a college football team, the books focus on an opera-loving coach dealing with recent tragedy and an undersized walk-on player intent on proving himself. 

Matt Nichol, BEd’98, joined the Ottawa Senators as the hockey team’s new director of player health and performance last fall. He has a long history of coaching, mentoring, and training professional and elite amateur athletes from the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, and other sports. From 2002-09, he served as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in 2004, he was the strength and conditioning coach of the Canadian team which won gold at the World Cup of Hockey.

Ariella Racco, BEd’17, has been a teacher in Toronto and Barcelona. She is working on a teacher collaboration platform that she hopes will assist teachers with lesson planning, curriculum mapping and other planning-related tasks. For more information, visit colab.education.

Emily Karolidis, BSc (Kinesiology)’18, a PhD student studying footwear biomechanics at the University of Oregon’s Bowerman Sports Science Center, was a finalist for the 2023 Nike Award for Athletic Footwear Research. Her dissertation work seeks to identify soccer cleat traction properties that reduce the risk of torsional injury in female athletes.

Michael Rotondo, Graduate Certificate Educational Leadership (Level 1)’21, Graduate Certificate Educational Leadership (Level 2)’23, recently published Plutonium Red, his second book of poetry, which, among other things, explores the complexities of fatherhood and the impact of concussions. The book is available on Amazon. To find out more, visit michaelrotondo.ca.


Philippe Bieler, BEng’55, recently published his memoir Fortune Favours a Bieler (McGill-Queen’s University Press). The book begins with his escape from war-torn Europe in 1941 and follows his experiences in industry, banking, farming, and politics.

John M. Beck, BEng’63, was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest civilian honour. As the founder and chair of Aecon Group, he has played a major role in the construction of some of Canada’s best-known landmarks, including the CN Tower, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Vancouver Skytrain and Trudeau International Airport.

Eric J. Perreault, BEng’89, MEng’92, became Northwestern University’s vice president for research last September. He previously served as Northwestern’s chair of biomedical engineering and as associate dean for research administration and oversight at the McCormick School of Engineering. He is a professor of biomedical engineering at McCormick and a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Richard Markoff, BEng’91, is the co-author of The Digital Supply Chain Challenge (IMD International). The second edition of the book was recently published and it includes new material on AI, an evaluation of why the promised fourth industrial revolution hasn’t happened yet, and new cases studies on Tesla, Heineken, L’Oreal and Zalando.

Katherine Benfante, BEng’06, recently published Scattered (Silversmith Press), a time travel novel involving Elie Rutherford, the daughter of future Nobel laureate Ernest Rutherford, who is thwarted from pursuing her own passion for physics in an era when women are confined to female-only college classes. The book also introduces readers to William Hertz, a McGill graduate student immersing himself in the world of astrophysics 100 years later.

Philip Caplan, BEng’12, joined Middlebury College last fall as an assistant professor of computer science. His research focuses on developing meshing tools to support fast and accurate computational fluid dynamics simulations.


Zehava Cohn, MIS’17, is a children’s book author and the head librarian at Hebrew Academy in Montreal. Her new book Connor Kissed Me (Lee & Low Books), intended for children between the ages of four and eight, focuses on consent, offering young readers a concrete example of what it looks like to stand up for their bodily autonomy.


Ian M. Solloway, BA’70, BCL’73, recently joined the Montreal family law firm of Spunt & Carin as senior counsel. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. He is also a past-chair of the English-Speaking Section of the Bar of Montreal, having served eight consecutive terms (2009-2017). He is now its chair emeritus.

Sally A. Gomery, BCL’90, LLB’90, has been appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. She had been a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Ottawa and, before that, a partner with Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Ottawa. During 26 years as a civil litigator, she handled a wide array of disputes, but was particularly active in the areas of insurance, medical malpractice and health sector regulation, and class action defence.

Ann Florence Martin, LLB’90, was appointed to the King’s Counsel by John Hogan, minister of justice and public safety and attorney general of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is the chief executive officer for WorkplaceNL, the province’s workers’ compensation board. She first joined WorkplaceNL as legal counsel in 1995 and in 2006 was appointed general counsel and corporate secretary. The honourary title of King’s Counsel recognizes senior lawyers for exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.

Caroline Bérubé, BCL’99, LLB’99, the managing director of HJM Asia & Co, a boutique law firm that advises foreign investors on doing business in Asia, was named to the 2023 Touch the Sky list of Asia’s Most Inspirational Women in Leadership. The list is curated by House of Rose Professional, an international consulting firm that provides services to companies that wish to accelerate gender diversity and inclusion.

Nicholas Whalen, LLB’90, was appointed to the King’s Counsel by John Hogan, minister of justice and public safety and attorney general of Newfoundland and Labrador. From November 2015 until October 2019, he was the Member of Parliament for the Riding of St. John’s East. He served as chair of the Atlantic Liberal Caucus, chair of the House of Commons standing committee on citizenship and immigration and as a member of the House of Commons standing committees on natural resources and government operations and estimates. He is now a counsel at Benson Buffett PLC Inc.


William Shatner, BCom’52, DLitt’11, was a 2024 Grammy Award nominee for Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording for Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, the audiobook version of a recent collection of essays about his life.

Antonio Ariganello, BCom’80, was named a member of the Order of Canada last December for “advancing national practices and standards in the accounting and human resources professions.” The president and CEO of the Chartered Professionals of Human Resources (CPHR) of BC and the Yukon, and CPHR Canada, is currently serving a two-year term as the president of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA), the global representative body for HR management.

Cynthia Price Verreault, BCom’82, will succeed Robert Vineberg as the next chairperson of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 when his final term ends on March 3, 2024. She has served as vice-chairperson of the museum’s board of trustees since September 29, 2022. A governor emerita of McGill, she has extensive senior-level volunteer and fundraising experience with organizations such as the McGill University Health Centre, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex.

Gillian Brown, BCom’95, is now the chief investment officer, public & private investments, for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Since joining the OTPP in 1995, she has held progressively senior roles, most recently as head of the capital markets department.

Stephen McLennan, BCom’95, is now the chief investment officer, asset allocation, for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. He had been serving as its acting head of investments since September 2023. He sits on the board of Cadillac Fairview, a wholly owned subsidiary which is part of the OTPP’s real estate portfolio.

Adriana Germilli, BCom’07, became the new vice-president of marketing for DavidsTea last fall. She previously worked for the company as its director of marketing from 2016 to 2022. She has also worked at Mattel and Aldo.

Manon Jeannotte, EMBA’16, was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last December to be the new lieutenant governor of Quebec. She was the director of the First Nations executive education program at the École des hautes études commerciales of Montréal (HEC Montréal) and played a central role in its creation. Prior to joining HEC Montréal, she served for 12 years in leadership roles within her community, the Nation Micmac de Gespeg, including as chief.

Abhay Ghatpande, MBA’17, is the chief strategy officer at PartsAvatar.ca, an online automotive parts marketplace. The company offers a wide assortment of parts for both cars and trucks and provides free shipping on orders of $99 or more. Sherdeep Singh, a former postdoctoral researcher at McGill, is the company’s CEO.


Thomas Ming Swi Chang, BSc’57, MDCM’61, PhD’65, an emeritus professor in McGill’s Departments of Physiology and Medicine, was awarded an honorary degree from the University of British Columbia last fall. The former director of McGill’s Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre has received international recognition for his work on artificial cells – in fact, he created the world’s first artificial cell while he was still an undergraduate at McGill.

David S. Rosenblatt, BSc’68, MDCM’70, McGill’s Dodd Q. Chu and Family Chair in Medical Genetics and a senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, received the Jacob’s Ladder Norman Saunders International Research Prize for his work studying individuals with rare inborn errors of vitamin B12 and folate metabolism. The prize, awarded by Jacob’s Ladder, the Canadian Foundation for Control of Neurodegenerative Disease, is presented annually to an outstanding scientist in the field of genetics research.

Marlene Rabinovitch, BSc’67, MDCM’71, received the American Heart Association’s 2023 Research Achievement Award. Her research has focused on pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare condition with 500 to 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Her work has led to major discoveries, including the identification of neutrophil elastase as being responsible for triggering the inflammatory responses that damage lung blood vessels. She is the Dwight and Vera Dunlevie Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine and the director of the Basic Science and Engineering Initiative at the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.

Francine Lemire, MDCM’76, was made a member of the Order of Canada last December “for her accomplishments as a Paralympic medalist in cross-country skiing and for her exemplary leadership in family medicine.” She was the executive director and CEO of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and its Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine for nine years. She was also a gold medalist at the 1988 Paralympics.

Steven Paraskevas, MDCM’92, PhD’04, was the 2023 recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Canadian Society of Transplantation (CST). He is a professor of surgery at McGill, a senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, and the director of McGill’s Human Islet Transplantation Laboratory. He is a past president of the CST and has been an expert advisor to Canadian Blood Services on a variety of initiatives to better integrate organ transplant activities across Canada.

Jennifer E. Schwartz, BSc’95, MDCM’97, Medical Resident’00, is the new associate dean for continuing education in healthcare professions for the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine and had been serving as the interim division chief of its Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Thanh N. Nguyen, BSc’97, MDCM’00, a professor of neurology, radiology, and neurosurgery at Boston University’s Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, has been elected president of the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN). She is the director of interventional neurology/neuroradiology at Boston Medical Center and received SVIN’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018.

Suzanne Morin, MSc’07, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Osteoporosis Canada last fall. An associate professor in McGill’s Department of Medicine, she is also a scientist in the Metabolic Disorders and Complications (MeDiC) Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Her research focuses on osteoporosis and bone metabolism disorders. She has served on and led numerous committees with Osteoporosis Canada, including the executive committee and the clinical guidelines committee.

Marie-France Marin, BA’06, MSc’09, the Canada Research Chair in Hormonal Modulation of Cognitive and Emotional Functions (Tier 2) at the Université du Québec à Montréal, was the 2023 recipient of the Prix Hubert-Reeves, part of the Prix du Québec. The Prix Hubert-Reeves is awarded to exceptional young scientists (40 and under), both for the quality of their work and for their ability to foster constructive connections with the research community.

Francesca Meloni, PhD’14, a lecturer in social justice at King’s College London, recently published Ways of Belonging: Undocumented Youth in the Shadow of Illegality (Rutgers University Press). Drawing on five years of ethnographic fieldwork, the book examines the experiences of undocumented young people who are excluded from K-12 schools in Canada.

Laetitia Mwilambwe-Tshilobo, PhD’23, has been named a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University. Her work focuses on loneliness and social connection, aiming to identify the mechanisms driving the feedback loop between how loneliness shapes brain function and how brain function determines people’s ability to connect. The Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows program recognizes and supports outstanding scholars, allowing them to deepen their disciplinary expertise while testing out new ideas from other disciplines.

Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen, MDCM’23, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. As a member of the Conseil jeunesse de Montréal, she advised the mayor and other elected officials on youth issues. She was also involved in organizing or participating in several health-related volunteer initiatives, earning the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ CHAP Graduation Prize for Community Engagement. She is currently an ophthalmology resident at the University of Toronto and intends to study health policy at Oxford.


Chet Doxas, BMus’04, MMus’08, and Jim Doxas, BMus’11, perform together as members of the Doxas Brothers jazz quartet. Their latest album Kindred was recently released by Justin Time Records. Chet, a saxophonist, lives in Brooklyn and leads or co-leads several projects including The Chet Doxas Trio. Jim, a drummer and recording engineer, teaches at the Schulich School of Music. They were both featured on The Triplets de Belleville soundtrack, which received nominations for Grammy and Academy Awards, and have collaborated, either separately or together, with Carla Bley, Joe Lovano, John Abercrombie, and Maria Schneider.

Estelí Gomez, MMus’11, is a member of Roomful of Teeth, a vocal band dedicated to reimagining the expressive potential of the human voice. The group received the 2024 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their album Rough Magic. It was the third time they received a Grammy nomination in that category, also winning the prize in 2014. She is an assistant professor of voice at Lawrence University.

Elisabeth St-Gelais, BMus’21, MMus’23, sang “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca at the Canadian Opera Company’s 10th annual Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition last fall. The soprano won both the First Prize of $7,500 and the Audience Choice Award of $1,000. An Innu nation member from Pessamit, she was also named Radio-Canada’s 2023/2024 classical breakout artist.

David Therrien Brongo, DMus’23, recently released his album Confluence, an exploration of solo percussion works by French Canadian composers. The Montreal-based performer is the timpanist and principal percussionist with the Orchestre de l’Agora and the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and a founding member of Duo AIRS. From 2016 to 2023, he was the principal percussionist with Ensemble Paramirabo, contributing to recordings that earned Prix Opus and Juno Award nominations. 


William E. Roscoe, MSc’69, PhD’73, was named as one of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s 2024 inductees. After building his career as an exploration geologist with Cominco and St. Joseph Explorations, he co-founded Roscoe Postle Associates Inc., a respected geological and mining consulting firm. In 2022, he received the Vale Medal for Meritorious Contributions to Mining from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.

Suzanne Fortier, BSc’72, PhD’76, received an honorary degree from Queen’s University last fall. She served as McGill’s principal and vice-chancellor from 2013 to 2022, and as the president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada from 2006 to 2013. Before that, she spent 25 years at Queen’s. A professor of chemistry there, she also held senior roles as the university’s vice-principal (academic) and vice-principal (research).

Jeff Farber, BSc’75, MSc(A)’77, PhD’83, was named a member of the Order of Canada last December for “his significant contributions to improving food safety both within Canada and worldwide.” He played a large role in developing many of the food safety policies that are currently in place in Health Canada and served as its director of microbial food safety. He went on to become the director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety at the University of Guelph, where he is now an adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science.

Ariane Marelli, BSc’80, Medical Resident’91, has been appointed the next scientific director of the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, effective April 1, 2024. A professor of medicine at McGill and a senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), she is also the founding director of the McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease Excellence, which provides care to thousands of cardiac patients every year.

Yoshua Bengio, BEng’86, MSc’88, PhD’91, received the 2023 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. Awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the prize recognizes “research contributions characterized by both excellence and influence.” He is the founder and scientific director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute and his work has influenced the development and application of artificial intelligence around the world. In 2018, he was a co-recipient of the A.M. Turing Award, often described as the Nobel Prize of computing.

Jonathan Dawe, BSc’87, has been appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. He had been a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. He practiced criminal law for more than 20 years, first in the criminal law group at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, and then at his own law firm, Dawe & Dineen. He has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Alyson Walker, BSc’98, is the new general secretary for Canadian Soccer, the governing body for soccer in Canada. She is the first woman to be appointed to the position. She has held a number of senior roles over the course of her career, including executive director of sponsorships, licensing and commercial rights at the Canadian Olympic Committee, and vice-president of brand partnerships and client strategy at Bell Media. During her McGill studies, she played four seasons with the Martlets soccer team.

Isabella Liu, BSc’13, received a Certificate of Excellence as part of the 2023 Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and Teaching Excellence in STEM. She teaches chemistry, computer science and science to students in grades 10, 11, and 12 at the University of Toronto Schools. She also received the 2022 Beaumier Award for High School/CÉGEP Chemistry Teachers from the Chemical Institute of Canada.

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