(Illustrator: Sébastien Thibault)

Alum Notes

Alum Notes: Spring 2021

Story by McGill News

March 2021


Brandeis Denham Jolly, BSc(Agr)’60, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. He founded the Black Business and Professional Association, and the Harry Jerome Awards, a national program that recognizes excellence within the African-Canadian community. He is the past owner and former publisher of Contrast, a Black community newspaper in Toronto, and established FLOW 93.5, the first Black-owned radio station. He has served on several institutional boards, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the Black Action Defence Committee and Caribana.

Garth Coffin, BSc(Agr)’62, a former acting dean for the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, recently published a book about his life and career. A Boy From Cherry Hill traces his life from a farm in Prince Edward Island through his years at McGill and the University of Connecticut (PhD’70). After working with the federal government for nine years, he returned to the academic world to chair the Department of Agricultural Economics at Macdonald Campus. He was appointed principal of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro in 1997, where he now lives in retirement with his wife, Mary Catherine “Trinkie” Hooker, BSc(HEc)’62.

Ebrahim Noroozi, MSc’78, was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, a national award that recognizes living Canadians who have made a significant, sustained and unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. He is a laboratory manager and course coordinator with the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry at Macdonald Campus.

Yves Choinière, BSc(AgrEng)’84, has been named a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He is one of the principals at Consultants Lemay & Choinière Inc., an engineering and agronomy consulting firm specialized in farm building construction and environmental legislation compliance. He has led the design of several research centres in animal production for Agriculture Canada and several universities. He has been a fellow of the Canadian Society of Bioengineering since 2015.

Prosanta Chakrabarty, BSc(Agr)’00, was promoted to full professor at Louisiana State University (LSU) and awarded a 9-month appointment as Fulbright Canada Distinguished Chair in Environmental Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. He is also the curator of fishes at LSU’s Museum of Natural Sciences.

Trevor Rajchgot, BSc(FSc)’14, participated in the MIT Covid-19 Challenge held last May. Over the course of just 48 hours, he and his team created CareOwl, a scalable web and mobile app for front line elder/long-term care workers to access training, education, and peer-to-peer support in a fun and engaging way. He and his team were selected as the winners in their category: solutions for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.


Danielle Fontaine, BSc(Arch)’80, BArch’81, a visual artist based at the Greenville Center for Creative Arts, in Greenville, South Carolina, recently published the pictorial memoir Still Time on Pye Pond (Clemson University Press). It is the story of a young white woman, the author’s daughter, who was rejected by her paternal grandfather for marrying a Black man. The memoir is told principally in encaustic paintings, from the point of view of the mother who remains painfully silent to avoid further unraveling tenuous family bonds.

Matthieu Quiviger (B. Sc. 1994, B. Arch. 1995) a été tour à tour joueur des Alouettes de Montréal, entraîneur, père de famille, architecte et analyste pour le football universitaire sur les ondes de TVA Sports. Récemment, il est devenu Monsieur Matthieu pour les élèves d’une école primaire de Montréal. En 2019, il a publié les romans Le Village tome 1 et tome 2, chez Hurtubise. Son nouveau livre, L’Homme qui bâtissait des villages, est une histoire empreinte de fraternité et de succès inspirants, avec pour trame l’univers du football.

Naomi Frangos, BSc(Arch)’96, BArch’97, MArch’11, is an architect, artist, and educator. As a visiting associate professor at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, she taught a studio course in collaboration with the Corning Museum of Glass in which students explored the properties of glass-making, while reimagining the dormant grain silos of Buffalo, NY. Her course won a 2020 Studio Prize from Architect Magazine. The prizes recognize excellence in studio curricula and the student work that results from it.

Dana Ben-David, BSc(Arch)’15, is a singer/songwriter/producer who records and performs under the name VËR. After graduating from McGill, she studied audio production at the Harris Institute in Toronto. She recently released bloom, her first EP. Visit her website to find out more.

David Donnelly, MArch’18, won the Niagara Biennial Design Award in the Student Design Category. His project, Re-Engaging the Defunct and Historic Welland Canals, reimagines the derelict third Welland Canal by proposing a park system and a series of pavilions designed to educate hikers and bikers about the canal’s history. The Niagara Biennial Design Award program celebrates the role of design toward the enhancement of the unique and diverse environments in Niagara.


William Macdonald, BA’48, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. He practiced law for 42 years, 20 as senior partner at McMillan Binch in Toronto. In 1993, he left McMillan Binch to establish W.A. Macdonald Associates Inc., a firm focused on government relations, economic policy, and the Canadian and global economic/political/policy environment. He has been involved for more than 55 years in a very broad range of policy issues for governments and businesses, as well as specific major projects involving both provincial and the federal governments.

Joan Fraser, BA’65, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. A former editor-in-chief of The Montreal Gazette, she had a long and distinguished career in journalism. The former director general of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada, she was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1998, serving there until 2018.

Linda Leith, BA’70, Montreal-based writer, editor and publisher, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is the founder of Blue Metropolis (Blue Met), the international literary festival held annually in Montreal since 1999. She also founded the Blue Metropolis Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people from different cultures together to share the pleasures of reading and writing. The founder of Linda Leith Publishing, she will publish her memoir The Girl from Dream City: A Literary Life in April.

Guy Sprung, BA’70, recently stepped down as the artistic director of Montreal’s Infinithéâtre, a position he held for more than 20 years. Over the course of his career, he directed the first production of David Fennario’s ground-breaking Balconville, co-founded the Canadian Stage Company, and created Dream in High Park, Toronto’s annual free outdoor Shakespeare festival.

Frances Westley, DipEd’72, MA’74, Phd’78, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. She is the JW McConnell Chair in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo, where she heads up Social Innovation Generation, a national initiative designed to build capacity for social innovation in Canada. A former professor of management at McGill, her areas of expertise include strategies for sustainable development, strategic change, visionary leadership and inter-organizational collaboration.

John L. Withers II, MA’75, is the author of Balm in Gilead: A Story from the War, an account of how his father and other members of an all-Black U.S. Army truck company sheltered two young Jewish survivors of Dachau after the Second World War. Now retired, he had a long career in the U.S. Foreign Service, with assignments in the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Albania (as ambassador), as well as domestic assignments as special assistant to the deputy secretary of state and director of the operations center.

Nuria Claro, BA’77, enjoyed a successful career in human resource management where she managed teams and played a role in executive searches with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and KPMG Canada. The search assignments included senior executive and middle management positions in manufacturing, marketing, petroleum industries and financial services. Retiring in 2011, she joined the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as a docent specializing in European masters and international contemporary art. She lives in the Greater Montreal area , is married to Raymond Goulet and has a son, Jonathan.

Susan Stromberg-Stein, MA’77, has created over 540 sculptures, including one installed in the garden at Rideau Hall and another in the Canadian Senate. In the early months of the pandemic, she encountered a dilemma that she had never dealt with before in an artistic career that spans more than four decades – an inability to create. Invited by the Hyde Historic House & Museum to take part in a digital art competition, she turned a minor misadventure into new art, etching the shape of the COVID-19 virus with some milk she had accidently spilled. She took a photo, titled it “Don’t cry over spilt milk,” and entered it in the competition to prevail over her case of artist’s block.

Barbara Mittleman, BA’78, was reappointed to Canada’s Industrial Relations Board. She has been serving as a part-time employer representative member of the board since 2016. Prior to her appointment, she held the position of legal counsel, and subsequently, director of employee relations and chief privacy officer at Canadian Pacific, where she played a key role in employment-related policy and legislative initiatives.

Sarah Milroy, BA’79, a Toronto-based art critic, curator and writer, was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. In 1991, she co-founded the Canadian Art Foundation, and served as the editor and publisher of Canadian Art from 1991 to 1996. From 2001 to 2010, she was the chief art critic for The Globe and Mail. She is the chief curator for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and has curated exhibitions and published books about major Canadian artists, including Emily Carr and the Group of Seven.

Sandra Kirby, MA’80, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is a former Olympic rower and an accomplished scholar who has dedicated much of her career to combatting sexual harassment and abuse, homophobia and violence against children in sport. Credited with pioneering research into sexual harassment and abuse among high performance athletes, she has worked with the International Olympic Committee, UNICEF and other national and international organizations to make sport safer for athletes.

John McCall MacBain

John McCall MacBain, BA’80, LLD’14, will become McGill’s 20th chancellor on July 1, succeeding Michael A. Meighen, whose term will end on June 30. Together with his wife Marcy McCall MacBain, he established the McCall MacBain Foundation to support initiatives in education and scholarships, climate change and the environment, and health and wellness. He is a trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in Cape Town, the Second Century Founder of the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, a Foundation Fellow of Wadham College Oxford and the founding chair of the European Climate Foundation. He has continued to contribute his time to McGill, serving on the Principal’s International Advisory Board and as honorary chair of Made by McGill: the Campaign for Our Third Century.

Carolyn Marie Souaid, BA’81, DipEd’83, recently published The Eleventh Hour, a new collection of poems. The author of seven previous poetry collections, her work has been shortlisted for literary awards, including the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and has been featured on CBC Radio.

Michele Young, BA’81, was named one of The Cincinnati Enquirer’s 2020 Women of the Year. She is a lawyer known for her work on anti-bullying and don’t-text-and-drive initiatives. She also runs political campaigns for free for women and minority candidates.

David Monod, BA’82, MA’83, a professor of American social and cultural history at Wilfrid Laurier University, recently published Vaudeville and the Making of Modern Entertainment, 1890-1925 (North Carolina University Press). The book traces the rise and decline of vaudeville, a form of entertainment that once attracted five million Americans to vaudeville shows each week. The book makes the case that vaudeville became so popular because it offered audiences a guide to a modern urban lifestyle.

Peter O’Brien, MA’85, is the co-editor of A Perfect Offering: Personal Stories of Trauma and Transformation (Mosaic Press), a book that explores trauma from different vantage points. His close friend Harold Heft, BA’87, an author and marketing communications executive, came up with the idea for the book after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Harold’s widow Suzanne Heft, a fundraising executive and a former McGill student,  is also a co-editor for the book. A Perfect Offering includes contributions from former Canadian Forces officer Trevor Greene, who was almost killed by an assailant in Afghanistan in 2006, transgender activist and New York Times contributor Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Paul Watson.

Lorne Sossin, BA’85, was appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He had previously been serving as a judge on the Superior Court of Ontario. Before that appointment, he had been the dean of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Teresa Donnelly, BA’86, is the treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. The treasurer is the top-elected official of the Law Society, which regulates Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals in the public interest. As the West Region Sexual Violence Crown, she is one of seven prosecutors in the province dedicated to enhancing the quality of sexual violence prosecutions and the victim’s experience in the criminal justice system.

Goldie Morgentaler, DipEd’82, MA’86, PhD’96, was one of the winners of the 2020 Jacob Isaac Segal Awards. She was a co-recipient of the Rosa and David Z”L Finestone Translation Award for a Book on a Jewish Theme, earning the honour for her translation of Confessions of a Yiddish Writer by Chava Rosenfarb.

Inez Jabalpurwala, BA’89, MA’91, MBA’01, has teamed up with Rocket Science Health to launch VINEx, a multi-disciplinary exploration of how viruses directly and indirectly affect the central nervous system (CNS), and the potential impact on brain health in the immediate and longer term. VINEx aims to connect the people, knowledge, and funding needed to advance research at the intersection of neuroscience/neurology, virology, immunology and data science. She was the founding CEO of the Brain Canada Foundation, a role she held for almost two decades.

Barbara Anderson, BA’91, BEd’93, and her daughter Jackie Graham, BA’16, are teachers based in New York. They have played major roles in launching and managing Art on the Ave NYC, an initiative that showcases the work of local artists in vacant storefronts along Columbus Avenue. The project offers New Yorkers the opportunity to take part in outdoor socially-distanced gallery walks. The project has a special focus on schoolchildren, offering gallery walks with educators and curators, and digital and printable educational materials.

Chantal Chastenay, BA’91, is Canada’s new ambassador to the Lebanese Republic. Over the course of her career, she has held a number of positions abroad, including in Morocco (2000 to 2001) and Jordan (1995 to 1998); in the latter, she was responsible for political relations with Iraq. She was also political counsellor at the embassy in Paris (2008 to 2013). In 2016, she became deputy head of mission and minister-counsellor at the Embassy to Mexico.

Chris McKhool, BA’91, is the leader of the Sultans of String, a Juno-nominated band that recently released Refuge. The album, which speaks to the challenges facing the world’s displaced peoples, includes contributions from American banjo master Béla Fleck, Oscar winning sitarist Anwar Khurshid, Iraqi violinst Imah Al Taha, Iranian santur player Amir Amiri, Israeli vocalist Yasmin Levy, Somali poet Ifrah Mansour, Ojibway Elder Duke Redbird, and Twin Flames.

Jason Fox, BA’91, the vice-president and chief digital officer of Consumer Reports, was inducted into Folio’s 2019 Digital Hall of Fame for his career contributions to digital media. Since 2015, he has been overseeing the management and transformation of Consumer Report’s digital product portfolio, rebuilding its digital platform, and expanding its shopping network to include a dozen new partners. Previously, he served as the global head of product for Reuters and held several senior-level positions with Time Inc.

Ardith Walkem, BA’92, was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Practicing with Cedar and Sage Law, she worked extensively with Indigenous communities and organizations to support them in asserting their Aboriginal Title Rights and Treaty Rights. She co-chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) advisory committee of the Law Society of B.C. and sat on the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s TRC advisory committee.

Patrick Boucher, BA’93, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. He had been a regional senior justice of the Ontario Court of Justice in Sudbury. After his appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2009, he was a local administrative judge, a director of the Association of Ontario Judges, an education chair for the Northeast, and a member of the Chief Justice’s Judicial Pre-trial Best Practices Working Group.

Gerald Butts, BA’93, MA’96, is now vice chairman and senior advisor at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. As the former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he was responsible for providing executive direction on the development, implementation, and communication of the government’s agenda. This work included overseeing economic policy, the negotiation of the Paris climate accord, and the creation of Canada’s first national climate change plan. He also played a major role in the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Monica Flores, BA’93, recently joined Novartis as head of communications and patient advocacy pharma for Canada and Latin America. She had been at Bristol Myers Squibb for eight years, most recently as corporate affairs lead for Canada. She is an active volunteer with various non-profits, including La Dauphinelle, an organization that supports women and children in situations of violence, and the McGill Women’s Alumni Association.

Andrea Himel, BA’93, was appointed to serve as a judge for the Family Court Branch of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Prior to her appointment, she was a sole practitioner with a focus on family law, mediation, child protection and children’s law. As a member of the Child and Family Services Review Board, she adjudicated and mediated cases involving school expulsions, adoptions, secure treatment, and other Children’s Aid Society matters. She co-founded ASC Toronto, which provides affordable private duty counsel services, and is a past-president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Bundeep Singh Rangar, BA’93, is the founder of Art&Co, an initiative connecting the worlds of art, finance and support groups. He is also the chairman and CEO of the British-based insurtech firm PremFina, which is supporting Art&Co. Art&Co launched an international online auction last year to fundraise for organizations helping those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The auction included 247 items by artists from around the world, including works by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Some works are still available and Art&Co is still raising funds for the seven charities it is supporting.

Sanda Ojiambo, BA’95, is the new executive director of the UN Global Compact, the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. She was the head of sustainable business and social impact at Safaricom for more than 11 years. Before that, she was the director of programmes for the Africa Regional Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Jonathan Roberts, BA’95, MA’98, is an associate professor of history at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. He recently created Vampire Pandemics: Past and Present, a podcast series that explores the history of pandemic diseases, including the bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera and HIV.

Karen Wenckebach, BA’95, BSW’96, who had served as legal counsel at the Government of Yukon since 2013, was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Yukon. In her role as legal counsel at the territorial government in Whitehorse, she focused on the areas of labour, human rights and administrative law.

Lisa Propst, BA’01, an assistant professor of literature at Clarkson University, recently published Marina Warner and the Ethics of Telling Silenced Stories (McGill-Queen’s University Press). The book focuses on British novelist and public intellectual Marina Warner and the ways in which she negotiates the dangers of appropriating voices through narrative.

Kapwani Kiwanga

Kapwani Kiwanga, BA’02, won the Prix Marcel Duchamp, one of France’s most prestigious visual arts prizes, for her installation Flowers for Africa, recently exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Featuring 13 floral arrangements on white podiums, the work is based on archived imagery of flowers at key diplomatic events connected to the independence of African countries. Her work spans sculpture, installation, photography, film, and more, and has often relied on anthropology to make visible histories of colonialism.

Clea Minaker, BA’02, performed in A Letter From the Ocean, an 11-minute looped video that people could watch outdoors at the Comox Valley Art Gallery. Written by playwright Caridad Svich, the work, which was screened from March 4 to March 23, explores stories of wreckage, salvage, migration, crossings, deaths and rebirths live in the ocean. A performing artist, designer and director, Minaker’s past collaborations include Feist’s The Reminder Tour, Nufonia Must Fall by Kid Koala, and shadow design for Atom Egoyan’s Salomé at the Canadian Opera Company. 

David Sax, BA’02, is an author and journalist. His latest book, The Soul of an Entrepreneur, examines the day-to-day realities of what it’s like to create a new business, and how these new businesses usually aren’t splashy tech startups; they are what we think of as ordinary: restaurants or dry cleaners or accounting services. The book focuses on the deeply personal questions of entrepreneurship: why an immigrant family risks everything to build a bakery; how a small farmer fights to manage his debt; and what it feels like to rise and fall with a business you built for yourself.

Dominique Fortier

Dominique Fortier, PhD’03, recently became the first Quebec writer to receive the Prix Renaudot in the essay category, one of France’s most prestigious literary prizes. She received the award for Les villes de papier, a mixture of fiction and biography that explores the life of the poet Emily Dickinson. Fortier is a three-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award for English to French translation and won the Governor General’s Award for French-language fiction in 2016 for her novel Au péril de la mer.

Emily Lieberman, BA’03, was appointed a judge for the 17th Judicial District Court of Colorado. She had been a Colorado state public defender in the Brighton Regional Office since 2007 and served as a supervising public defender since 2017.

Jonathan Sandals, BA’03, launched Sook, a free shopping assistant for Google Chrome that is intended to make it easier for consumers to browse and buy from small businesses in their communities.

Adam O’Brian, BA’04, was recently promoted to partner by the law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth. His practice focuses on energy sector capital markets transactions.

David Wachsmuth, BA’04, an associate professor of urban planning at McGill and the University’s Canada Research Chair of Urban Governance, was awarded the 2020 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation President’s Medal for Outstanding Housing Research for his exploration of short-term rentals in Canada.

Charles Alovisetti, BA’05, recently published The Cannabis Business: Understanding Law, Finance, and Governance in America’s New Industry, co-authored with Cassia Furman. The book examines the complex patchwork of state and federal laws regarding cannabis in the U.S. All author profits will go to the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit that assists people serving prison sentences for cannabis offences in the U.S. He is a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP, a law firm specializing in cannabis law and policy.

Lucie Lederhendler, BA’05, is the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba’s new curator. She had been working as a curator at Montreal’s Studio Béluga, and has held education positions at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Concordia University’s FOFA Gallery, and McGill. Her work has been published in Canadian Art Teacher and Quebec Heritage magazines.

Andrea Charbonneau, BA’06, is the co-founder and trustee of Wakadogo School in Uganda, one of 100 schools that were selected to take part in World Education Week last October. Wakadogo, which opened in 2009, is a nursery and primary school in a remote village in northern Uganda that serves more than 450 boys and girls. Charbonneau received the McGill Alumni Association’s James G. Wright Award for her work on Wakadogo. She is a professional project manager and most recently worked in the corporate social responsibility team at Moët Hennessy, part of LVMH, a luxury products company in London.

Diego Mesa Puyo, MA’06, became Columbia’s minister of energy and mining last June. He was the country’s deputy energy minister between 2018 and 2020. Before joining the Colombian government, he spent six years at the International Monetary Fund where he led technical assistance missions to advise African, Asian, European, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries on fiscal issues for extractive industries.

Tania Jenkins, BA’07, MA’09, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently published Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession (Columbia University Press). Having spent years observing and interviewing American, international, and osteopathic medical residents, she examines the unspoken mechanisms behind the U.S. medical residency system that lead to hierarchies among supposed equals. Doctors’ Orders explores how these hierarchies grant elite status to U.S. trained MDs, and how they have lasting consequences before, during, and after residency training.

Jaimie Boyd, BA’09, is the chief digital officer for the Government of British Columbia. Her TEDxUNBC Talk about how technology can help governments around the world provide services is available online.

Ken Morin, BA’09, a former captain of the McGill men’s hockey team, recently became the Florida Panthers’ scout for Western Canada. Previously, he worked for the Montreal Canadiens as the team’s amateur scout responsible for the Western Hockey League.

Bryn Turnbull, BA’10, is the author of The Woman Before Wallis, a novel based on the true story of Thelma Morgan Furness, the American woman who lost Edward, Prince of Wales, to Wallis Simpson in 1934. It focuses on Thelma’s real-life involvement in a notorious custody case centered on her niece, the young heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. BookNet Canada named the novel one of the 10 best-selling works of fiction by a Canadian author in 2020.

Nancy Buchet, BA’13, recently wrote and published her first children’s picture book Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family (Penguin Random House). Intended for readers from three to seven, the book takes a light-hearted look at what happens when a dog’s dad moves in with a cat and dog’s mom. The book was longlisted for the Association for Library Service to Children’s Notable Children’s Books.

Jessica Roman, BA’13, leads the Canadian division of Meltwater, a software as a service company specialized in data intelligence. Since joining Meltwater after graduating from McGill, she worked her way up from an entry level sales position in Montreal to leading the entire sales organization in Canada and managing 80 employees across three offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Kayla “K.M” Herbert, BA’15, is the author of the YA novel The Book of Moons, which was recently picked up by England-based publishing house Fisher King Publishing. The book, which was longlisted in Adventures in Fiction’s 2018 New Voices competition, follows the story of sixteen-year-old Kathy who is on the run from a convent orphanage and finds herself in a camp of Irish Travellers.

Cheryl Thompson, PhD’15, is an assistant professor at Ryerson University in the School of Creative Industries. She recently published Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Loyalty. The book focuses on Uncle Tom, the eponymous figure in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sentimental anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and traces Tom’s journey from literary character to racial trope. Uncle explores how Uncle Tom came to be and exposes the relentless reworking of Uncle Tom into a nostalgic, racial metaphor with the power to shape how we see Black men, a distortion visible in everything from Uncle Ben and Rastus The Cream of Wheat chef to Shirley Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson to Bill Cosby.

Carly Walter, BA’16, recently joined the law firm Dickinson Wright LLP in their Toronto office. Her practice deals with a variety of corporate matters with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. She provides advice to importers and retailers on a broad range of product marketing law issues, and advises clients when navigating Canada’s federal and provincial privacy legislation among other regulatory matters.

Flore Delaporte, BA’17, is the co-founder and artistic director of the France-based athleisure clothing brand Les Actives Paris.

Simone Cambridge, BA’20, is a researcher and curator born in Nassau, Bahamas. She is the curatorial assistant for a virtual exhibition titled Seascape Poetics. Featuring six contemporary Caribbean artists and drawing on the work of Caribbean scholars and theorists, the exhibition considers connections between water and regional colonial histories, rapidly accelerating climate change, and fluid archipelagic identities. She is an advisory board member for the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery at NSCAD University, and a research assistant and communications coordinator at Concordia University’s Curating and Public Scholarship Lab.

Gideon Salutin, BA’20, a research associate with McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, co-authored Gideon’s Bible: A Father and Son Discuss God, the Bible and Life (ECW Press) with his father, Rick Salutin, an award-winning playwright and journalist. Modeled on classical Jewish biblical commentaries, Gideon’s Bible is presented as a conversation between father and son, questioning and exploring biblical passages and discussing subjects like God, parenting and literature.


Fiona Hackett, BA&Sc’13, a resident in rural family medicine at the University of Calgary (Lethbridge program), co-authored the Lancet Countdown Policy Brief: Canada in 2020, which highlights the growing impact of extreme heat and air pollution on the health of Canadians, and includes recommendations for how the country can address the increasing impact of climate change on health. The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is a collaboration between experts from more than 38 institutions including the World Health Organization and the World Bank.


Mona Sue Weissmark, BEd’77, recently published The Science of Diversity, an exploration of the concept of diversity, analyzing its meaning over time, place, and polity—from ancient Greece to the era of Donald Trump, from biblical parables to United Nations pronouncements. She is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the founder and former director of Northwestern’s Global Mental Health Studies Program, and a visiting professor of psychology at Harvard University, where she teaches the course ‘Psychology of Diversity.’

Mike Babcock, BEd’86, LLD’13, is the new head coach of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Huskies men’s hockey team. A former Huskie hockey player himself, he will lead the team on a full-time volunteer basis for the next two seasons. He joins the Huskies after spending the past 17 seasons in the NHL, including guiding the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup championship in 2008 and coaching Canada to back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014.

Geoff Phillips, BEd’87, MA’93, is now the senior director of Athletics and Recreation (A&R) at McGill. He has worked at A&R for more than three decades, most recently as director of sport programs. He played varsity hockey for McGill during his undergraduate studies, and was the head coach of the women’s hockey program between 1990 and 1994.

Cedric Speyer, BA’81, MEd’90, and John Yaphe, MDCM’79, are the co-authors of Applications of a Psychospiritual Model in the Helping Professions: Principles of InnerView Guidance (Routledge). The book brings together the historically separate domains of mental health and spiritual awareness in a holistic framework called InnerView Guidance. Building on strength-based and solution-oriented approaches to therapy, the InnerView model offers a unique psychospiritual approach which can be applied in any of the helping professions.

Peesee Pitsiulak, BEd’93, is one of the members of the Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education, announced last October by the Canadian government. She is dean of the Nunatta Campus of Nunavut Arctic College in the Qikiqtani Region of Nunavut. The task force will consult with Indigenous partners, youth, governments, post-secondary education institutions and leaders, and then make recommendations on ways to address barriers and make post-secondary education achievable for more Northerners.

Kim St-Pierre, BEd’05, joined RDS as a television analyst and a regular contributor to Hockey 360, which airs nightly at 6:30 pm, from Monday to Saturday. Recently selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the retired goaltender and former McGill Martlet earned three Olympic gold medals playing for Team Canada.

Mélodie Daoust, BEd’17, joined TVA Sports as the network’s first female NHL analyst. She has earned a gold medal and a silver medal as a member of the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team and was named the tournament’s MVP for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Latoya Belfon, BEd’19, is a children’s book author whose work explores themes of diversity and multiculturalism. She has recently written, designed and illustrated five children’s books and a colouring book, translated one story to French, and published a goal setting guide (a planner and journal) which seeks to motivate and help women strategize an action plan for success. She was recently profiled by City News Montreal.


Tony Yep, BEng’71, is the author of Words of Wisdom for Living Life: A Book of Philosophical Thoughts on Life. The book explores some of the existential questions about life that everyone struggles with at some point in an attempt to help guide readers as they attempt to gain a better understanding who they are and the things that really matter to them in their own lives. The book is available on Amazon.

Ian Cameron, BEng’79, MEng’82, is the co-author of Blast Furnace Ironmaking: Analysis, Control and Optimization. The principal metallurgist at Hatch, he cites his former McGill professor William Davenport’s course on blast furnace ironmaking as a major influence on his career. Davenport, the co-author of an influential 1979 book on iron blast furnaces, collaborated with Cameron on the new book. Five engineering students from McGill also contributed to the project, helping to prepare and test the approaches developed for the book.

Elizabeth Edwards, BEng’83, MEng’85, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. The University of Toronto’s Canada Research Chair in Anaerobic Biotechnology, she is a pioneer in advancing the understanding of anaerobic microbial transformation processes and translating that knowledge into technologies for groundwater bioremediation — the use of microorganisms to degrade and detoxify dangerous chemical pollutants. She is also developing new microbial processes for wastewater treatment, particularly anaerobic digestion to recover methane for energy.

Martin Brouillette, BEng’84, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke, and his colleagues at SoundBite Medical Solutions Inc. (he is the firm’s co-founder and chief technology officer), were recognized at the 2020 Engineers Canada Awards with the National Award for an Engineering Project or Achievement. The firm is commercializing a vascular recanalization technology that is applicable to coronary and peripheral vascular occlusions.

Paul Carmel, BEng’86, is the new president and CEO of SIDEX. He has more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry, having held senior management and director positions with mining companies, investment banks and private equity firms. SIDEX is an initiative of the Government of Québec and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Its mission is to invest in companies engaged in mineral exploration in Quebec in order to diversify Quebec’s mineral base.

Caroline Harvey, BEng’89, teaches in the Department of Civil Engineering Technology at Dawson College. During the pandemic she has led a team of volunteers in an after-hours initiative, creating fashionable non-medical face masks. The masks are available through Atelier Bamboo on Facebook. The project has also supplied masks to several community groups, while raising money for organizations that include Dans la Rue, the Fondation Charles-Bruneau and the Native Women’s Shelter.

Bill Tam, BEng’89, was appointed to the CBC/Radio-Canada board of directors as a part-time director. He has been actively involved with technology and start-ups as a founder, executive, investor, advisor and board member for the past 20 years. He launched the largest technology accelerator in British Columbia, the BC Tech Innovation Hub, and led the creation of The Cube, an accelerator focused on emerging start-ups in augmented, mixed and virtual reality.

Dominique Lord, BEng’92, a professor and the A.P. and Florence Wiley Faculty Fellow in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University, recently published a textbook titled Highway Safety Analytics and Modeling (Elsevier Publishing). In a recently published bibliometric paper in Accident Analysis & Prevention, he was listed as the researcher who had the greatest impact in highway safety research. He was also ranked among the top 100,000 most cited researchers across all disciplines (1.4%), as documented in the “Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators” published in PLOS Biology in 2020.

Luc Sirois

Luc Sirois, BEng’92, was named the chief innovation officer for Quebec. He will work with the new Quebec Innovation Council to boost the development of innovation within Quebec businesses and society, and to multiply the economic and social spinoffs of innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in key sectors for Quebec’s future. He is the executive director of Prompt, which promotes collaborations between universities and industry in the information and communications technologies sector, and the co-founder of Hacking Health, a grassroots healthcare innovation movement with chapters all over the world.

Nathalie Tufenkji, BEng’00, a professor of chemical engineering at McGill, received the Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession at the 2020 Engineers Canada Awards. She is the faculty advisor to the McGill Chapter of the Society for Women in Engineering and has supported student initiatives to increase gender equity within the field of engineering. She is McGill’s Canada Research Chair in Biocolloids and Surfaces and her research focuses on addressing problems linked with plastic pollution and the spread of harmful bacteria.

ShiNung Ching, BEng’03, an associate professor of electrical and systems engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, was among 100 St. Louis-area educators to receive Emerson’s Excellence in Teaching awards. The awards pay tribute to area educators – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – for their achievements and dedication to the field of education.

Cyrille Fleury, MEng’05, is the new chief executive officer of MENIX Group, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of orthopaedic (primarily hip and knee) and dental implants. He brings more than 15 years of experience in the medical device and digital technology industry to his new role. More recently, he was country manager for Wright Medical Group in France, focused on extremities & biologics. As CEO, he will be based in Lyon near the MENIX Group’s corporate headquarters.

Jean-François Héroux, BEng’05, is the site leader of Amazon’s first fulfillment centre in Quebec, located in Lachine. As the site leader, he was responsible for building the site team and preparing the operations for the centre’s launch last July. Prior to joining Amazon in 2017, he was the plant manager at ThyssenKrupp Aerospace in Montreal.

Abdaal Mazhar Shafi, BEng’14, the co-founder of UpstartEd and a founder and partner at Quantum Lead, and Raphael Gotlieb, MSc’17, the founder and CEO of Precare, were among the 48 young entrepreneurs who represented Canada at the 2020 G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, held virtually in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pavel Sinha, a doctoral student in electrical engineering at McGill and the founder and CEO of Aarish Technologies, also represented Canada. The G20 YEA is a collective of organizations across the G20 countries that work to promote and advance youth entrepreneurship, representing over 500,000 young entrepreneurs.


Irwin Cotler

Irwin Cotler, BA’61, BCL’64, LLD’19 was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. In this role, he will lead Canada’s delegation to the 34-member International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and work to strengthen and promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research. He is the founder and chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an emeritus professor of law at McGill and Canada’s former minister of justice and attorney general.

Ronald I. Cohen, BCL’68, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. Over the course of his career, he has been senior counsel for the Commission d’enquête sur le crime organisé in Quebec, a film producer, the founding chairman of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the author of the award-winning Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill. He was also the national chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for many years.

Myer Bick, BA’66, BCL’69, the former president and CEO of the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) Foundation, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. He led two major fundraising campaigns at the foundation that raised a combined $450 million, and received the Outstanding Career in Philanthropy Award from the Quebec branch of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2017.

Sheldon Burshtein, BEng’74, BCL’77, LLB’78, a partner emeritus with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, recently published Trump, Twitter & the Law, a book that explores legal issues, laws and court decisions related to former U.S. president Donald Trump. The book examines Trump’s conduct online and how he responded to impeachment and the challenge of COVID-19. The book also explores the role of tweets as a presidential medium and as the basis for, and evidence in, lawsuits.

Norman Bacal, BCL’80, LLB’80, the former national managing partner of Heenan Blaikie, published his first novel Odell’s Fall in 2019. His second mystery novel Ophelia, inspired by Hamlet (Odell’s Fall was inspired by Othello), will soon be released. He has also been working on a guidebook offering career advice to young professionals and law students. His first book, the memoir Breakdown, was a Globe and Mail bestseller.

Jacques Shore, LLB’80, is the author of the new picture book Sleep, My Baby, published by Simon & Schuster. The book is based on a lullaby by the same name that his late mother Lena Allen-Shore, MA’72, an author and educator, composed for him when he was born. For three generations, Sleep, My Baby has lulled his family’s children to sleep. He is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office, a member of the firm’s Advocacy Group, and past leader of the firm’s Government Affairs Group.

Martine Turcotte, BCL’82, LLB’83, was appointed as the chair of the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission last summer. She took on the role after a long career at BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, most recently serving as vice-chair Quebec, where she was responsible for driving the company’s business, government and community investment initiatives across Quebec.

Linda Rychel, BA’86, LLB’89, experienced two important milestones on July 20, 2020. It marked the 28th anniversary of her joining the federal public service and it was also her last day of work. She is now happily retired from her position as a senior counsel in the Specific Claims Section of CIRNAC/ISC Legal Services for the Department of Justice Canada. When she received her law degree in 1989, she never imagined she would become a government lawyer or that she would finish her career working for a fellow 1989 McGill law graduate, Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti.

Hélène V. Gagnon, BCL’93, LLB’93, CAE’s senior vice president, public affairs and global communications, was inducted into the Canadian Public Relations Society’s (CPRS) College of Fellows. The honour recognizes her achievements as a practitioner and mentor. She manages CAE’s brand and reputation including public affairs, web and social media presence, corporate events as well as issues and crisis management. She also strengthens relationships and communications with key internal and external stakeholders worldwide, including CAE’s more than 10,000 employees, media, communities and governments.

Sarah Qadeer, BSc’91, BCL’96, is now Deloitte Canada’s chief legal officer (CLO), partner, and a member of its executive team. As CLO, she will oversee Deloitte Canada and Chile’s in-house legal and corporate governance teams. She has more than 20 years of legal experience, previously serving as general counsel at The Home Depot Canada and six-and-a-half years as VP and legal counsel at BMO Nesbitt Burns. She also spent the last two-and-a-half years as president of Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion.

Marie–Andrée Vermette, BCL’97, LLB’97, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Prior to her appointment, she was a partner with WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto, where she practiced civil, commercial and public law litigation for almost 20 years. She was chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She was also vice-president of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario, and a member of the board of governors of the Université de l’Ontario français.

Alexander Pless, BA’94, BCL’98, LLB’98, was appointed a puisne judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. He had been a senior general counsel at the Department of Justice Canada in Montreal and an adjunct professor of law at McGill.

Geeta Narang, BEd’94, BCL’00, was appointed a puisne judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. She articled at the Office of the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague and then worked at a Montreal law firm specializing in environmental law and First Nations law before starting her own practice. She also founded the Mile End Legal Clinic, a non-profit that provides free legal services to those in need, and was president of its board.

Juan Carlos Salazar

Juan Carlos Salazar, LLM’00, will become the new secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on August 1. Since 2018, he has been serving as director general of civil aviation of Colombia at Aerocivil, a complex civil aviation organization with more than 3,100 employees and 12 trade unions. He is in charge of a network of 72 public airports and of the sole air navigation service provider in a country that serves as a key hub for air routes in Latin America. He has also served as chief executive officer of the Colombian Civil Aviation Organisation and as senior advisor to the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates.

Jeff John Roberts, BA’01, BCL/LLB’05, recently published Kings of Crypto: One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street with Harvard Business Press. He is a lawyer and journalist at Fortune who specializes in IP and bitcoin stories. Kings of Crypto traces the rise, fall, and rebirth of cryptocurrency through the experiences of major players across the globe.

Tara Mandjee, BCL/LLB’12, was named the Jeune Barreau de Montréal’s 2020 Lawyer of the Year in the Litigation/State Lawyer category. She is the senior legal counsel for BRP, and is a board member for Artistri Sud, a non-profit that aims to empower women through entrepreneurship training. She has also been actively involved with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada for several years.

David Matyas, BCL/LLB’19, is a Gates Cambridge Scholar pursuing a PhD in law at the University of Cambridge. He worked as a judicial law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada from August 2019 to July 2020.


Jacques Nantel, BCom’78, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. He is an emeritus professor at HEC Montréal, where he taught for more than 35 years. He founded HEC Montréal’s RBC Financial Group Chair of E-commerce and directed it from 2002 to 2007. He is a current or past member of numerous boards of directors, including those of Vidéotron, Renaud-Bray, Hôtels Germain, La Vie en Rose, Léger, Aliments Ouimet-Cordon Bleu, Groupe Medicart and the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec.

Ella Yoelli Amir, MBA’79, the executive director of AMI-Québec since 1990, has been named a Member of the Order of Canada. Under her leadership, AMI-Québec has been supporting families of the mentally ill through advocacy, education, and guidance. As the chair of the Family Caregivers Advisory Committee for the Mental Health Commission of Canada from 2007 to 2012, she led the development of the guidelines for caregivers support, a blueprint for a comprehensive system of care to support family caregivers across the country.

Guy Berthiaume, BCom’80, MBA’86, the librarian and archivist of Canada emeritus, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. A historian specializing in the study of classical antiquity, he was the chair and chief executive officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec before serving as librarian and archivist of Canada.

Robert Bennett, BCom’91, joined SOCAN as its chief financial officer last November. Previously, he worked at BMO Financial Group as lead financial officer, capital markets, technology and operations. SOCAN is a rights management organization that connects more than four million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada.

Sylvain Girard, BCom’92, is now the senior vice-president and chief financial officer for Resolute Forest Products. An experienced finance professional with extensive global experience, he most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Jean-Yves Bourgeois, MBA’93, became the new executive vice-president, busines services, for Desjardins Group in January. He joined Desjardins in 2010 and became vice-president of capital markets in 2016. He also sits on the boards of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.

Marie-Helene Nolet, BCom’94, became the new chief operating officer of Desjardins Capital in January. She had been the vice-president, strategy and program support, advisory services at BDC. She sits on the board of directors for Aéroports de Montréal and played a key role  in founding the Montreal Group, a global forum for development banks focused on micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

Julie Courtemanche, BCom’95, recently took on the new role of Vision7 Media’s chief of staff. In this position, she will oversee group governance, coordinate change management, and support the delivery of strategic projects. She has more than 25 years of experience at Cossette Media. Vision7 Media is Canada’s largest independent media agency group and Cossette’s parent company.

Mathieu Darche, BCom’00, is the director of hockey operations for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. He took part in the on-ice celebrations after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup last September. He is a former NHL player. Before joining the Lightning in his current position, he worked for Delmar International, a Canadian customs broker, in the position of vice president of sales and marketing. He also worked for six years as a television analyst on RDS.

Aneerudha Borkotoky, BCom’08, was elected as the chairman of the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, becoming the CBC-Dubai’s youngest chairman in its 25-year history. During his time at McGill, he was an undergraduate senator and a winner of the Scarlet Key Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership as a student. The CBC-Dubai helps connect Canadians operating in Dubai and provides a platform for the community’s success.

Joseph Polossifakis, BCom’14, is now a member of the Canada’s Olympic Athletes’ Commission. The commission represents the voice of Canadian Olympic athletes to the Canadian Olympic Committee Board of Directors, to Sport Canada, to the International Olympic Committee, international sport federations and all other domestic sport organizations. A sabre fencer, he represented Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics and has won four medals at the Pan American Games.


Andrew J. Szabo, MDCM’59, is a retired physician, researcher and medical educator in New York City. He recently published his autobiography, Grass in the Storm. The book deals with his childhood experiences in Hungary during the Second World War and under Nazi occupation, the events of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and his escape to the west, along with his experiences as a medical student at McGill and as a medical resident at the Montreal General Hospital.

Franklin White, MDCM’69, recently published Miner with a Heart of Gold, a biography of his late father Frank T.M. White, a champion for sustainable development in the pursuit of metals, who played an important role in revitalizing mining engineering at McGill as departmental chair. Franklin White worked summers in the mining industry before pursuing medical studies and becoming a public health scientist. He is the founder of Pacific Health & Development Sciences Inc., a consulting firm based in British Columbia, which focuses on international health monitoring and evaluation.

Christopher Cressey, MDCM’73, a family doctor in Palmerston, Ontario, received the 2020 Rural Long Service Award from the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC). The prize recognizes SRPC physician members of five years or longer who live and work in rural Canada and have served their rural communities for a minimum of 20 years.

Dave Williams, BSc’76, MDCM’83, MSc’83, DSc’07, is the co-author of a new book that will be available in July. Leadership Moments from NASA: Achieving the Impossible explores the personalities, leadership styles, and decision-making of the NASA senior executives in the first decade of spaceflight, and follows how those individuals created a culture that can take on seemingly insurmountable challenges, that can recover from tragedy and adversity, and that continues to attract the best and brightest. He is the former director of space and life sciences at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and took part in two space missions as a Canadian astronaut.

Vivek Goel

Vivek Goel, MDCM’84, will become the new president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo on July 1. He has held several senior roles at the University of Toronto, including vice-president and provost and most recently as vice-president of research and innovation. The public health physician currently serves as a member of the federal government’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force and Scientific Advisor for the CanCOVID Research Network. He was previously the founding president and CEO of Public Health Ontario.

Vincenzo Di Nicola, BA’76, DipPsych’86, re-established and was elected president of the Canadian Association of Social Psychiatry (CASP) in 2019 and made an honorary fellow at the 23rd World Congress of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) in Bucharest, Romania in October 2019, where he became president-elect of WASP. He and CASP were successful in a competitive bid to bring the 25th World Congress of Social Psychiatry to Montreal in 2025.

Marilyn McHarg, MSc(A)’87, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. She is the former president and CEO of Dignitas International, as well as a founding member of the Canadian branch of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. She has served as the general director of the Canadian branch, and took part in MSF missions as a field nurse in Uganda, Sudan and Liberia, opening clinics and offering treatment on the front lines.

Santa J. Ono, PhD’91, has been appointed to a second five-year term as president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia. During his first term, he led the comprehensive, consultative process to create UBC’s strategic plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century. He was also instrumental in launching and leading the Blue & Gold Campaign for Students, the largest fundraising campaign for students in UBC history. He was recently appointed to lead the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a network of 22 leading North American research universities working together to accelerate local and regional climate action.

Lise Bjerre, MSc’95, MDCM’99, PhD’04, is the inaugural University of Ottawa and Institut du Savoir Montfort Chair in Family Medicine. She is affiliated with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. She is also an adjunct (full-status) scientist at ICES, the agency responsible for Ontario’s population health databases, which she uses for several of her studies. Her areas of interest focus on access to primary health care (particularly for vulnerable and underserved populations, including Francophones minorities and rural populations), and on the appropriate use of medications at the population level.

Philip Hedrei, MDCM’00, a volunteer head coach with the men’s and women’s rowing teams at McGill, has been named the recipient of a Long Service Award from Rowing Canada. The national governing body annually recognizes individuals who have served as a rowing volunteer, in any capacity, for 15 years or longer. Currently on staff as a pediatrician at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, he rowed for McGill while completing medical school. He joined the team’s coaching staff in 2004 and was appointed head coach in 2009. He was named men’s coach of the year in 2009 by Ontario University Athletics and won a similar award two years later for his work with McGill’s novice program.

Samantha Hill, MDCM’03, MSc’10, became the new president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) last May. She is a Toronto-based cardiac surgeon currently working at St. Michael’s Hospital and Sunnybrook Health Services Centre. She has held several positions within the OMA and has a background in epidemiology, community health and education. She is a recipient of the University of Toronto’s Fitzgerald Teaching Award.

Frederique St-Pierre, MDCM’17, received the 2020 Donald J. Feist, M.D. Primary Care Clinic Award for Clinical Excellence for the Internal Medicine Residency Training program of the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education. The honor is awarded to one of the 52 members of the graduating internal medicine class each year and is based on clinical competency, professionalism, scholarly activity and contributions to the residency program. She is the chair elect of the Council of Resident and Fellow Members of the American College of Physicians a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Northwestern Medicine.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, MDCM’18, was named co-winner of the 2020 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year. He was also one of five athletes named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated. A Super Bowl winner in 2020, he put his NFL career on hold this past year to work on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic as a volunteer at a local long-term care facility.


Jonathan G. Bayley, BMus’75, is a professor emeritus at the University of Windsor, and while he retired in 2017, he continues to be busy. He has co-authored papers in research journals on such subjects as peer learning, Canadian music students’ experiences during a three-month residency in China, and music learning for adults, and arranged and edited Nine English Madrigals for Flute Trio.

Karl J. Raudsepp, BMus’75, MA’80, recently retired from teaching at John Abbott College where he was named an emeritus professor. He was the organist at St. John’s Estonian Lutheran Church in Montreal for 40 years and taught at Concordia University for 25 years. As a consultant, he has produced reports on historic pipe-organs in Quebec and related research for the Ministère des Affaires culturelles, Direction du Patrimoine. His ongoing research focuses on compiling a definitive biography of Samuel Russell Warren, Canada’s first organbuilder of international renown.

Aldo Mazza, BMus’79, is a drummer and percussionist who has appeared on more than 100 albums working with artists including Celine Dion and Jon Bon Jovi. He is also the co-founder of KoSA Music, which has been hosting and conducting music workshops in Cuba for the last 19 years. The Cuban Ministry of Culture announced that his recent book Cuban Rhythms for Percussion and Drumset: The Essentials (KoSA Music) would become an official method book in Cuba’s music schools and conservatories.

Daniel Taylor, LMus’92, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. A countertenor, he has performed on stages around the world, and has appeared on more than 120 recordings. He is the founding artistic director and conductor of the Theatre of Early Music, and an associate professor of voice and opera at the University of Toronto, where he is the head of the Historical Performance Area.

Shawn Mativetsky, BMus’98, MMus’00, recently published Rudimentaal, a collection of rudimental snare drum pieces inspired by the tabla drumming of North India. By bridging together two principal percussion instruments and their respective musical traditions, the book provides a gateway into North Indian drumming for drummers and percussionists from all backgrounds. He is a course lecturer at the Schulich School of Music and teaches tabla and percussion. As a practitioner of Indian classical music, he regularly gives solo tabla performances. He has appeared on albums by Daniel Lavoie, Suzie Leblanc, Joel Miller, and other artists.

Claudia Friedlander, DMus’99, a voice teacher in New York and a teaching artist at Carnegie Hall, recently published The Singer’s Audition & Career Handbook (Rowman & Littlefield). Including insights from nearly 70 prominent performers, educators, and opera industry professionals, the book offers a comprehensive guide to the training, audition technique, and professional development essential for launching and sustaining a rewarding career in classical singing. She writes the monthly column “Musings on Mechanics” for Classical Singer Magazine, and her students have performed on Broadway, and at leading opera houses including The Santa Fe Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

Rich Coburn, MMus’12, ArtistDip’15, was one of the winners of the Music Academy of the West’s 2021 Alumni Enterprise Awards. He received $15,000 for his project BIPOC Voices: The Library of Music for Voice and Orchestra by BIPOC Composers. He will create an online database of orchestrated vocal works by Black, Indigenous, and other composers of colour featuring samples of many previously un-recorded works. He is a freelance pianist, vocal coach, organist, arranger, and composer.

Brittany Rae, GradDip’18, and pianist Jesse Plessis (a doctoral student at the Schulich School of Music) placed first in the 43rd edition of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition. Rae, a soprano, and Plessis, a pianist, performed works by Canadian composers Jocelyn Morlock, Gordon Fitzell, Ana Sokolovic, and Claude Vivier. The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music has been held annually since 1976 at Brandon University.

Brian Segal, BSc’64, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. He was president of Ryerson University from 1980 to 1988, and president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph from 1988 to 1992. From 1992 to 1999, he was the publisher of Maclean’s and senior vice president of Rogers Publishing. He is the founding chair of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre at Ryerson.

Morris Moscovitch, BSc’66, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. He is the University of Toronto’s Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology and Aging and a senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. His research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of memory and the changes it undergoes with time and experience, from childhood to old age, in people who are neurologically intact and in people with brain damage or degeneration.

Howard Alper, PhD’67, was named a Companion of the Order of Canada. He is the chair of the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Council, and a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Ottawa. He served as vice-president, research at the University of Ottawa from 1997 to 2006. He has earned many honours for his research efforts, including the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in Science and Engineering.

Mark J. Poznansky, BSc’67, PhD’70, recently published Saved by Science: The Hope and Promise of Synthetic Biology (ECW Press). The book examines the many crises facing humanity while offering encouragement with the promise of an emerging solution: synthetic biology. The book explores how synthetic biology can help make manufacturing greener, production more sustainable, agriculture more robust, and medicine more powerful and precise. A research scientist and science blogger, he is the past president and CEO of the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) and the founder of G2G Consulting Inc.

G. Peter Lepage, BSc’72, has been named to the Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished Professorship at Cornell University, which recognizes excellence in teaching and extends the undergraduate teaching role beyond retirement. He began phased retirement in 2019 and will fully retire in 2024. He joined Cornell’s Department of Physics. He was appointed in 2012 by U.S. president Barack Obama to the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation. He also co-chaired a study on postsecondary science education for the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology.

Stewart J. Cohen, BSc’75, retired from Environment and Climate Change Canada after 35 years as a research scientist assessing the projected impacts of human-caused climate change. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia working with faculty and students on climate change studies. This year, he is offering an online course at Royal Roads University, and writes posts for a blog called doctorclimatechange.com.

Peter G. Voith, BSc’77, was appointed a justice of appeal of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. In 2009, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Prior to becoming a judge, he was one of the founders of Hunter Litigation Chambers and served on both the ethics committee and the discipline committee of the Law Society of British Columbia.

Mary Lou Smith, MSc’80, PhD’85, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, was awarded the 2020 Fritz E. Dreifuss Award by the American Epilepsy Society for excellence in clinical research. She is a senior associate scientist in the Neurosciences and Mental Health Program at SickKids Research Institute. Her current research examines the cognitive and behavioural co-morbidities associated with pediatric onset epilepsy, the long term cognitive and psychosocial outcomes of epilepsy surgery in childhood, and the key psychosocial, family, cognitive and neurological variables that determine quality of life in children with epilepsy.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, BSc’80, DSc’11, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is the president of Stanford University and the former president of Rockefeller University. A neuroscientist, his research has focused on the cause and treatment of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as on therapies for spinal cord injuries.

Sam Stea, BSc’85, a physician, recently published his debut novel The Edge of Elsewhere. The book begins in 2079, in a world reeling from ecological collapse. After discovering an old scientific notebook in the ruins of Princeton University, three teenagers make their way to New York City in 1971 and meet a music legend whose fate may hold the key to Earth’s destiny.

Michael Khan, BSc’88, became the new provost and vice-president academic of Trent University last August. He had been the dean of human kinetics at the University of Windsor since 2011, where he oversaw the Department of Kinesiology and Athletics & Recreational Services. His research focuses on the visual control of manual movements.

Patrick Louchouarn, BSc’89, became the interim vice-provost for faculty affairs and interdisciplinary initiatives at Texas A&M University on March 1. He had been serving as chief academic officer for Texas A&M University Galveston Campus and associate provost at Texas A&M since 2012. He is a full professor at Texas A&M in the Departments of Marine Sciences and Oceanography.

Simon John, PhD’92, the Robert L. Burch III Professor of Ophthalmic Sciences at Columbia University, was one of 13 scientists selected to share $3 million in prizes from The Sanford and Sue Greenberg Prize to End Blindness. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, his research focuses on ocular diseases and glaucoma.


Tim Wu

Tim Wu, BSc’95, has joined the administration of U.S. president Joe Biden as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy. A professor of law at Columbia University, he previously served as senior enforcement counsel to the New York attorney general, as a senior advisor at the Federal Trade Commission, and an advisor at the National Economic Council. He was recently a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and his most recent book was The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.

Geneviève Deblois, BSc’98, MSc’01, PhD’14, has joined the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal as a principal investigator. She heads IRIC’s Metabolic and Epigenetic Alterations in Cancer Research Unit. She is also an assistant professor in U de M’s Faculty of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on the development of drug resistance in cancers. Before joining U de M, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto and at McGill’s Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre.

Jade Raymond, BSc’98, is the CEO and founder of Haven Entertainment Studios, a new game development studio based in Montreal. She is best known for helping to create the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs franchises, and for founding Ubisoft’s Toronto studio. Most recently, she served as VP for Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment. Haven is an independent studio supported by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Matthew Letts, MSc’99, became the new dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Lethbridge last May. A professor of geography and environment, he had served as the faculty’s interim dean since July 2019. He had also been the associate dean since 2012. He held an interim role as associate vice-president (research) in 2014-15. His research is focused on plant physiological acclimation to environmental stress, using photosynthesis measurement, as well as remote sensing and stable isotope analysis techniques.

Sarah Weinman, BSc’00, recently became the new crime fiction columnist for The New York Times. She is the author of The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, An Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece, which won the Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Crime Writing. She has written for Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, New York, and The Guardian, while her fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and numerous anthologies.

Hari Balasubramanian, BSc’01, is the founding managing partner of EcoAdvisors, a global environmental consulting firm that advises on sustainability for public, private, voluntary and academic clients. Real Leaders, a business and sustainable leadership magazine, selected EcoAdvisors as one of its 2021 “Top Impact Companies” from around the world. Some of the other companies on the list include Tesla, Beyond Meat and Patagonia.

Louigi Addario-Berry, BSc’02, MSc’04, PhD’06, was named a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). An associate professor in McGill’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, he received the distinction in recognition of his fundamental contributions to probability, in particular to the topics of branching structures and random graphs.

Veronique Miron, BSc’04, PhD’09, a senior lecturer and principal investigator at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, received a Suffrage Science award. Curated by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, the prizes celebrate women in science and engineering. The 11 awardees are chosen by the previous award holders for their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others.

Supriya Dwivedi, BSc’08, recently joined Enterprise, a national strategic communications firm, as senior counsel. The former host of The Morning Show on Global News Radio 640 Toronto, she has also worked as press secretary and spokesperson for Toronto mayoral candidate David Soknacki, as a co-host/producer at CJAD Radio in Montreal, and as a research assistant and policy analyst for the Centre of Genomics and Policy. She appears regularly as a panelist on CBC’s Power & Politics and has written for The Walrus, The Toronto Star and other publications.


Jennifer Davidson, BSW’91, was awarded an Order of the British Empire for her work advocating for the rights and wellbeing of children in Scotland and worldwide. She is the executive director of the University of Strathclyde-based Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures, and the founding director of the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection. She is the project director of the Justice for Children, Justice for All Global Initiative in collaboration with the United Nations-sponsored Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. She was also project director for the Moving Forward: Implementing the UN Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children handbook.

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