(Illustrator: Sébastien Thibault)

Alum Notes

Alum Notes: Summer 2023

Story by McGill News

August 2023


Julie Carrier, BSc(Agr)’84, MSc’86, PhD’92, the head of the University of Tennessee Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, was awarded the James R. and Karen A. Gilley Academic Leadership Award during the annual international meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in July. The award was given in recognition of her leadership as department head as well as her ongoing dedication to furthering the UT Institute of Agriculture’s mission to provide research and extension initiatives at the local, state, national and international level.

Jean-Philippe Linteau, BSc(Agr)’94, is Canada’s new ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1997. He served as trade commissioner in Seoul from 1998 to 2001 and in Kuala Lumpur from 2001 to 2004, as political officer in Colombo from 2005 to 2007, as international business development program manager in Washington, D.C., from 2007 to 2011, and as investment counsellor and then senior trade commissioner in New York City from 2011 to 2016. He most recently served as consul general in Dubai.


Brenda Milner, PhD’52, DSc’91, a pioneering neuropsychologist and a retired professor from the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital, will be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. She is being honoured for her groundbreaking research on the human brain and cognitive memory formation. Her fellow 2023 inductees include hockey star Connor McDavid, comedian Rick Mercer, and former Supreme Court of Canada justice Rosalie Silberman Abella.

Elizabeth Wirth, BA’64, DMus’23, the president and CEO of WirthBrand Inc., and a major supporter of McGill’s Schulich School of Music, received an honorary doctor of music degree from McGill this spring. She has been a member of the Schulich School’s Faculty Advisory Board for more than 20 years and its chair since 2008. She endowed the Students Initiatives Fund at the Schulich School and established the Wirth Vocal Prize, which recognizes a voice student who demonstrates exceptional talent and significant promise for an international career. She is the chairperson and founding director of M.F. Wirth Rail Corp.

Linda Gaboriau, BA’65, MA’72, was recently appointed to the Ordre national du Québec as an officer. A literary translator based in Montreal, she has translated more than 125 plays, including works by some of Quebec’s most prominent playwrights. A two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, she was the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre.

James Archibald, BA’67, a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Modern Cultures at the University of Turin, was an invited speaker at the 2023 Nitobe Symposium, at the University of Turin in July. The symposium marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and focused on issues related to the implementation of language rights. His paper examined the principles for implementing integrated language policies in various multilingual jurisdictions.

Susan Swan, BA’67, was named to the Order of Canada as a new member for “her contributions to Canadian literature and culture, and for her mentorship of the next generation of writers.” A prominent fiction and non-fiction writer, her works include Stupid Boys Are Good to Relax WithThe Wives of Bath, and The Dead Celebrities Club. She is also the co-founder of The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, the largest literary prize in the world for Canadian and American women and non-binary fiction authors.

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, BA’69, MA’72, PhD’76, was named to the Order of Canada as a new member in recognition of her “extensive scholarly contributions and steadfast commitment to the advancement of international human rights.” A professor emeritus at Wilfred Laurier University, she once held the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, and her books include Reparations to AfricaState Food CrimesCan Globalization Promote Human Rights? and In Defense of Universal Human Rights.

Elaine Zuckerman, BA’69, was recently named one of 10 influential voices on climate finance by Livism, a newsletter and site that covers the climate crisis. She is the president and founder of Gender Action, an NGO that holds international financial institutions to account for harmful gender and climate impacts. Previously, she worked at the World Bank as an economist on environmental and rural projects in China. She also worked at the Inter-American Development Bank where she led the first Amazonia strategy that promoted ending investments in roads, ranching, and migration.

Julian Sher, BA’75, recently published The North Star (Knopf Canada), a book that explores the many unexpected ways in which Canadians were involved in different aspects of the American Civil War – fomenting many of the plots against U.S. president Abraham Lincoln, for instance. An award-winning journalist and former senior producer of CBC’s The Fifth Estate, he is a senior fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Centre for Free Expression.

Adam Berg, BA’76, recently published Sales on the Go; The Salesperson’s Desk Reference and Formulary for Sales Success (Springer). He  worked in the entertainment industry, representing actors, writers, and radio personalities, then transitioned to the licensing industry, where he represented brands and trademarks. The book helps salespeople decode jargon and doublespeak commonly heard during the selling process and offers advice on how to move beyond ambiguous terminology to close the deal. Sales on the Go is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Annmarie Adams, BA’81, the Stevenson Chair in the Philosophy and History of Science, including Medicine at McGill, has been named a fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians. Jointly appointed in the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine, her research focuses on the cultural landscapes of homes and hospitals, with an emphasis on how to read the medical beliefs and gender expectations that are inscribed in the built environment. She is currently writing a book on the life of Maude Abbott, as seen through 10 spaces occupied by the McGill medical pioneer.

Daniel Weinstock, BA’83, MA’86, was appointed to the Order of Canada as a new member in recognition of his “exemplary contributions to the advancement of political philosophy, public policy and social justice in Canada, as a renowned ethicist, philosopher and public intellectual.” The former director of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, he was appointed Katharine A. Pearson Chair in Civil Society and Public Policy in the Faculties of Law and of Arts in 2020 for a seven-year mandate. He is also the Faculty of Law’s associate dean (research).

Sarah Harding, BA’86, is the new dean of Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law. She had been an associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law for 28 years and its associate dean for faculty development and research for six years.

Ned Blackhawk, BA’92, is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, where he is the faculty coordinator for the Yale Group for the Study of Native America. He recently published The Rediscovery of America (Yale University Press), a sweeping retelling of U.S. history that recognizes that understanding Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. 

Adam Jagiellowicz, BA’93, has published a new novel, Earth Hangs Heavy Beneath My Feet, a philosophical and humorous story about a Gen Xer who finds a spiritual awakening after assuming the identity of a con man. It is set (in part) in the McGill Ghetto, as well as in Prague, Bangkok and other cities. The book is available on Amazon.

Guy Boucher, BA’95, has joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as an assistant coach. He was previously the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning (2010-11 to 2012-13) and the Ottawa Senators (2016-17 to 2018-19), posting a combined record of 191-186-46. He was head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs in 2009-10 and led the team to a 52-17-11 record. He won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s most outstanding coach that season.

Yana Watson Kakar, BA’98, is joining the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) as managing director and head of Americas. She will contribute to the global strategy of the CDPQ and will serve as head of the CDPQ’s New York office while also overseeing its offices in Mexico and Brazil. She recently served as CEO of Growth for Good, a special purpose acquisition company focused on sustainable companies critical to the decarbonization of the global economy.

Anna Gainey, BA’01, was elected as the new member of Parliament for the Quebec riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Westmount in a June by-election. She ran as the Liberal Party candidate. She previously served as a policy advisor to the ministers of national defence and veterans affairs and is a former president of the Liberal Party of Canada. Most recently, she has been executive chair of the think tank Canada 2020. She is the founder of the Gainey Foundation, which provides funding for environmental and arts education programs for youth.

Brian Friesen, BA’03, recently joined the board of directors for Destination BC, a provincial Crown corporation that leads the marketing of British Columbia as a tourist destination and promotes the development and growth of the provincial tourism industry. He is the vice president, trade development & real estate, for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the federal agency responsible for the overall planning, development, and management of Canada’s third largest port.

Paul Cossu, BA’06, recently returned to the law firm Pryor Cashman as a partner in the art law group. He previously served as a partner at Olsoff Cahill Cossu. His practice focuses on litigation and transactional matters for galleries, auction houses, museums, artists, advisors, collectors, and other members of the global arts community. His litigation work includes a wide range of art-related cases in state and federal courts.

Jacq Frances, BA’09, recently released a new comedy special, The Life and Divorce of Jacq the Stripper. To find out more, visit her site.

Emma Fiske-Dobell, BA’14, is the 2023 recipient of the David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Award from Humanitas. A recent graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, she won the prize for her pilot script “Shakespeare’s Sister.” Winners of the award receive a $20,000 cash prize along with a notes session involving an experienced professional writer from the TV and film industry. The prize is part of the Humanitas awards program which “seeks to recognize work that explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way.”

Adam Kuplowsky, MA’15, is a Japanese-to-English translator who recently translated Vasily Eroshenko’s The Narrow Cage & Other Modern Fairy Tales (Columbia University Press). Eroshenko was one of the most remarkable transnational literary figures of the early twentieth century: a blind writer/translator /activist from Ukraine who studied in London and Moscow and achieved fame in Japan and China.


Jacques Dussault, BEd’76, is one of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame’s inductees for 2023. A former member of McGill’s football team, he was the first francophone to coach in the CFL when he joined the Montreal Concordes as a defensive coach in 1982. His long coaching career has included stints in the collegiate ranks with Acadia and Mount Allison and a return to the CFL in 1997 with the Montreal Alouettes. He was the first head coach for the Carabins de l’Université de Montréal when the team returned after a 30-year absence and helped build the foundation for what is now a thriving football program at the university.

Jamie Kompon, BEd’89, will be inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame on September 30. He played with the McGill hockey team as a student and is now an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers, where he helped lead the team to the 2023 Stanley Cup final. As an assistant coach in the NHL, he has won the Stanley Cup twice, with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, and the following year with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Daniel Jacob, BEd’05, was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning to serve on the coaching staff of their American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse. He will assist new Syracuse Crunch head coach Joel Bouchard. The duo previously worked together with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls and Laval Rocket as well as the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, where they guided the team to back-to-back President’s Cup Final appearances. He played five seasons of university hockey with McGill from 2000 to 2005 and was appointed team captain in his fifth season.

Madison Guben, BEd’23, graduated from McGill this spring. Her family now boasts five McGill graduates, including her mother Tracey Greenberg, BA’91, her sisters Jamie Guben, BN’21, and Sydney Guben, BA’19, MSc(A)’22, and her father Jason Guben, BScN’91, GradCertChronicPainMgmt’20.


Ram Panda, MEng’71, MBA’77, LLB’23, who recently completed a five-year term as chair of McGill’s Board of Governors, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University this spring. As board chair, he played an important role in helping to guide McGill through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a donor, he provided key support for the recently launched McGill Students and Scholars at Risk Fund – a fund that provides urgent financial support to international students, postdoctoral fellows, scholars, and researchers who have been displaced by conflict or other humanitarian crises. An entrepreneur and software developer, he co-founded Invera Inc., a company that today is a leading supplier of resource planning systems.

Patrick Merrin, BEng’95, became the new president and CEO of Copper Mountain Mining Corporation in April. He has extensive experience in the mining industry, most recently as the acting senior vice-president of Canadian operations at Newcrest Mining. Copper Mountain owns 75 per cent of the Copper Mountain Mine in southern British Columbia, which produces approximately 100 million pounds of copper equivalent per year.

Paula Wood-Adams, MEng’95, PhD’99, is joining the University of Northern British Columbia as its new vice president research and innovation. She will officially begin in the role on September 1. An expert in applied polymer science, she comes to UNBC from Concordia University, where she served in roles such as interim vice president research and graduate studies, dean of graduate studies, and graduate program director of mechanical and industrial engineering.


Leslie Weir, MLS’79, has been reappointed librarian and archivist of Canada for a four-year term, effective August 30, 2023. She has led Library and Archives Canada since 2019, guiding the institution through the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing the development of the library’s Vision 2030 strategic plan and the launch of digital and service transformations. She also helped guide major building projects, such as the Gatineau 2 Preservation Storage Facility and Ādisōke, a joint facility with the Ottawa Public Library.

Vincent Larivière, PhD’10, was recently appointed the first UNESCO Chair in Open Science. His research in this role, which will be carried out in collaboration with 17 partners from 10 countries, will advance understanding of open science in its various forms, and its impact on the dissemination of scientific knowledge nationally and internationally. He is a professor at the Université de Montréal’s École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information.


Irwin Cotler, BA’61, BCL’64, LLD’19, a longtime human rights lawyer, a professor emeritus of law at McGill, and a former Canadian justice minister and attorney general, will receive the 2023 Lantos Human Rights Prize in October. He has served as counsel to numerous high-profile prisoners of conscience, including Soviet “refusenik” Natan Sharansky, imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and many others. He is also the international chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and Canada’s special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism. Previous recipients of the Lantos Human Rights Prize include the Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Browder, founder of the global Magnitsky movement.

Richard Pound, BCom’62, BCL’67, LLD’09, who served as McGill chancellor from 1999 to 2009, was inducted into the Canadian Squash Hall of Fame. He represented Canada in swimming at the 1960 Rome Olympics and was a five-time national freestyle champion. He later shifted his sporting focus to squash, competed at McGill and became a nationally ranked singles and doubles player. He also served as secretary of the Canadian Squash Racquets Association (now Squash Canada) and assisted with the drafting of its constitution. A longtime International Olympic Committee member, he was the founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Larry Smith, BCL’76, is one of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame’s inductees for 2023. Following a nine-year playing career in the CFL and 10 years spent working in the financial services industry, he was appointed commissioner of the CFL in 1992. He led the league through a significant time of transition – first during its expansion into the U.S., and then as the Alouettes returned to Montreal in 1996. He joined the Alouettes as club president in 1997 and served until 2001, and again oversaw the team from 2004 to 2010. He is a four-time Grey Cup champion – twice as a player (1974 and 1977) and twice as an executive (2009, 2010). He serves in the Senate of Canada as a senator from Quebec.

Clément Gascon, BCL’81, a former justice on the Supreme Court of Canada, was named to the Order of Canada as a companion for “his exceptional contributions to Canadian law and for his deep commitment to destigmatizing mental illness, particularly within the legal community.” A senior counsel with Woods, he frequently participates in conferences and other events aimed at encouraging a better dialogue on mental health issues and wellness within the Canadian legal community.

Lori Renée Weitzman, BCL’84, LLB’85, formerly a judge of the Court of Quebec in Montreal, was appointed a puisne judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Montreal. Before she was appointed to the Quebec Court, Criminal Division, in 2010, she was a Crown prosecutor in Montreal and specialized in the prosecution of sexual assault and homicide cases. From 2013 to 2016, she was responsible for the New Judges Education Program, an annual week-long conference organized by the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges.

Ann Martin, LLB’90, began a five-year appointment in June as the chief executive officer for WorkplaceNL. She had already assumed responsibility for the duties of CEO in January and has served as the general counsel and corporate secretary of WorkplaceNL since 2006. WorkplaceNL provides no-fault workplace injury insurance to employers and workers across Newfoundland and Labrador. It also works with employers and workers to promote safe and healthy workplaces, prevent workplace injuries, and support injured workers and their families.

Jacques Neatby, BCL’92, LLB’92, recently published Leadership Team Alignment: From Conflict to Collaboration (Stanford University Press). He is a partner with MindLab, a Europe-based consultancy supporting executive teams globally. He also teaches executive team best practices at North American and European business schools. He lives in Montreal with his wife Anne-Marie Migneault, BCL’92, LLB ’92. Leadership Team Alignment, co-written with Frédéric Godart, an associate professor of organizational behaviour at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, offers solutions for managing conflict and for creating environments that effectively address misalignments in organizations.

Véronique Hivon, BCL’94, LLB’94, is joining the Université de Montréal as a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science and as an expert in residence at U de M’s new Maison des affaires publiques et internationales. She is a former Quebec cabinet minister and played an instrumental role in the creation of Quebec’s Act Respecting End-of-Life Care.

Christine Mainville, BCL/LLB’06, has been appointed a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice and assigned to Toronto. She was a partner at Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP, practicing criminal, penal and disciplinary law. Previously, she was senior counsel at the Independent Street Checks Review, which examined Ontario’s regulation on police street checks, sometimes referred to as carding. She has been a mentor at McGill’s Women in Leadership Mentorship Program, and was a founding member and an advisory board member of Innocence McGill, a legal clinic investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Bram Abramson, BCL/LLB’07, was appointed as regional commissioner for Ontario at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for a five-year term beginning on February 15. A lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the regulated communications and technology sectors, he has acted as general counsel for a blockchain wallet provider and chief legal and regulatory officer for a competitive telco. He also served as a Mozilla Foundation fellow with the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab.

Benjamin Perrin, LLM’07, is a professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia and a best-selling author. His latest book is Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial (University of Toronto Press). Based on first-hand interviews with survivors, people who have committed offences, and others on the frontlines, Indictment proposes a bold new vision of transformative justice. For more information, visit: benjaminperrin.ca.

Robin Holman, LLM’11, was recently appointed judge advocate general (JAG) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for a four-year term and was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. He joined the Office of the Judge Advocate General as a legal officer in 2002 and has served as a military prosecutor, as a deployed legal officer and in a series of leadership roles within the Office of the JAG including deputy JAG for military justice and deputy JAG for operational and international law. He had been the acting judge advocate general since November 2021. The JAG is the legal advisor to the governor general, the minister of national defence, the Department of National Defence, and the CAF in all matters relating to military law.


Jacques Farcy, EMBA’21, who had been the president and CEO of the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) for the past two years, is the new president and CEO of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ). Before joining the SQDC, he held senior positions at the SAQ between 2015 and 2021, notably in marketing and sales network operations. Catherine Dagenais, EMBA’18, who had been the SAQ’s president and CEO, retired after a 23-year career at Quebec’s liquor board.


N. Paul Rosman, BSc’55, MDCM’59, LLD’23, a professor emeritus of pediatrics and neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from McGill this spring in recognition of his major contributions to the field of pediatric neurology. His research has been fundamental to the understanding and management of disorders of the nervous system in children. In 1987, he co-founded the Center for Children with Special Needs (CCSN) at Tufts-New England Medical Center and served as its director until 2004.

Howard Bergman, BSc’67, MDCM’69, was recently appointed to the Ordre national du Québec as a knight. A professor of family medicine, medicine (geriatrics) and oncology at McGill, he is also the assistant dean, international affairs, for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. He led a group of Canadian and international investigators in the Canadian Initiative on Frailty and Aging and leads the International Database Inquiry on Frailty. He has also been widely influential in policy circles and played a significant role in the creation of Family Medicine Groups (GMF) in Quebec.

Sender Herschorn, BSc’70, MDCM’72, is a professor of urology at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine and a urologist at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre. A past president of the Canadian Urological Association, he launched and led a collaborative city-wide functional urology research program that supported residents, fellows, early career urologists and more than 20 research projects. In recognition of the leadership role he has played throughout his career, Temerty Medicine, with the support of donors, recently established the Sender Herschorn Chair in Functional Urology.

Richard Reznick, MDCM’77, was named to the Order of Canada as a new officer in recognition of “his innovative contributions to the field of medical and surgical education.” He served as the dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University from 2010 to 2020. He is also the former chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, the former vice president of education at University Health Network, and the founding director of the Wilson Centre, a health professions education research institute. He is also a past president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Joanne Liu, MDCM’91, IMHL’14, DSc’16, received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Alberta in June. She is a pediatric emergency physician and a professor at McGill’s School of Population and Global Health. As the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders from 2013-2019, she was a leading voice drawing global attention to humanitarian crises including Ebola outbreaks in West Africa. She also introduced comprehensive care for survivors of sexual violence and developed a telemedicine platform to connect doctors in rural areas with specialists worldwide.

Brenda Hemmelgarn, PhD’97, became the new college dean and vice-provost of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Alberta in July. She will continue to lead the university’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry as its dean, a position she has held since January 2020. She established the Alberta Kidney Disease Network and is a founding member and co-team lead of the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration.

Anne-Claude Gingras, PhD’01, is the new director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. She has also taken on the role of vice president of research for Sinai Health, which includes Mount Sinai Hospital, Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital, the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and the not-for-profit home care provider Circle of Care. She is a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and holds the Canada Research Chair in Functional Proteomics. She is also the inaugural holder of the Lou Siminovitch Research Chair at Sinai Health.

Michele Ramien, BSc’01, MSc’03, MDCM’08, became the new president of the Canadian Dermatology Association in June. She is a clinician-investigator at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, and her practice is focused on the clinical care of medically or dermatologically complex children.

Suzanne Leclerc, PhD’04, will be the chief doctor for Team Canada at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. A sports medicine expert with experience at several major international athletic competitions dating back to the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics, she currently serves as medical director at the Institut national du sport du Québec.

Mehdi Aloosh, MSc’17, MSc’21, is the new acting medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. He had been serving as a public health physician at Public Health Ontario. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit provides information and public health warnings and recommendations to the residents of Essex County and Windsor in Ontario.


Leah Reid, BMus’08, an assistant professor of composition at the University of Virginia, took first place in the Musicworks Electronic Music Composition Contest for her composition, “Reverie.” Her work was selected from 179 entries from 19 countries. Her compositions range from opera, chamber and vocal music to acousmatic, electroacoustic works, and interactive sound installations.

Jordan de Souza, BMus’09, MMus’11, was appointed the general music director of the City of Dortmund, Germany. He will be responsible for the opera and the symphony orchestra, the Dortmunder Philharmoniker. He has conducted many major opera companies worldwide, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Seattle Opera, and Dutch National Opera. A former faculty member at McGill’s Schulich School of Music, he also served as the principal conductor of the Komische Oper Berlin for a four-year term.

Vincent Lauzer, BMus’10, MMus’12, became the artistic co-director of the Montreal Baroque Festival last November. He is also the artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival, the co-artistic director of Les Plaisirs du Clavecin, and works with Arion Baroque Orchestra to develop programs for young audiences. An award-winning recorder player, he is a member of Flûte Alors! and Les Songes, and regularly performs as a soloist with Arion Baroque Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and Les Violons du Roy.

Andrew Crust, MMus’12, began a four-year term as the new music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in March. Before taking on this position, he served as the music director of the Lima Symphony. He has also been the associate conductor of the Vancouver Symphony (2019 – 2022), the assistant conductor of the Memphis Symphony (2017- 2019) and the assistant conductor of the National Youth Orchestra (2017 – 2018).

Hillary Simms, BMus’16, a trombonist, recently joined the American Brass Quintet (ABQ), which has been in residence at the Juilliard School in New York since 1987. She will be teaching trombone and chamber music at Juilliard. She has performed with ensembles including the Vancouver, Chicago, and Newfoundland symphony orchestras as well as the Canadian Opera Company. She serves on the artistic committee for the Canadian Women’s Brass Collective. Since its founding in 1960, the ABQ has performed on five continents, made nearly 60 recordings, and premiered more than 150 contemporary works for brass.

Lauren Irschick, BMus’18, is the winner of this year’s Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers. She will use the fellowship to complete work on her doctoral dissertation, “The Fictionalization of Music Analysis,” an investigation into the ways in which techniques of fiction may be applied to music analysis through the study of novels by Carson McCullers, Willa Cather, Richard Powers and others. Awarded by Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, the fellowship offers writers uninterrupted time to focus on their work. Fellowship winners stay in the Columbus, Georgia childhood home of McCullers, whose works included The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.


Gilbert Laporte, BSc’71, was recently appointed to the Ordre national du Québec as a knight. A professor emeritus at HEC Montréal and the former Canada Research Chair in Distribution Management, he has received many honours for his work over the years, including the Jacques-Rousseau Prize for interdisciplinarity from the Association canadienne-française pour l’avancement des sciences (Acfas), the Innis-Gérin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, the Urgel-Archambault award from Acfas, and the Prix Marie-Victorin from the Quebec government.

Alexander John Davidson, BSc’72, MSc’77, was one of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s 2023 inductees. After joining Falconbridge Copper in 1980, he contributed to the discovery of the high-grade Winston Lake zinc deposit. Later, as the executive vice president of exploration and then corporate development at Barrick Gold, he helped expand Barrick’s gold resources. His industry honours include the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s Prospector of the Year Award (2003), the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s A.O. Dufresne Award (2005) and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s Charles F. Rand Gold Medal (2019).

Suzanne Fortier, BSc’72, PhD’76, was recently appointed to the Ordre national du Québec as an officer. She served as McGill’s 17th 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. She is also an officer of the Order of Canada, an officer of France’s National Order of Merit, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a specially elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Julian Adams, BSc’77, DSc’12, recently became the first chief science officer of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a charitable organization that raises funds to accelerate the pace of cancer research. He joins SU2C’s senior leadership team and will oversee its scientific advisory committee and scientific staff. Until his retirement in October 2022, he served as the CEO of Gamida Cell, a biopharmaceutical company working to develop cell therapies for blood cancers and rare serious blood diseases. More than 3,000 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.

Samuel Weiss, BSc’78, was named to the Order of Canada as a new member in recognition of his “groundbreaking discoveries in neuroscience that have led to novel approaches in the treatment of brain disorders.” He is a professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and the founder of that university’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute.

Yoshua Bengio, BEng’86, MSc’88, PhD’91, the founder and scientific director of Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, and a professor at Université de Montréal, was one of seven experts recently named to a new scientific advisory board by the United Nations. These experts will advise UN leaders on breakthroughs in science and technology and on how to harness the benefits of these advances and mitigate potential risks. Members of the board will work alongside the chief scientists of UN System entities, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, and the rector of the United Nations University.

Rosaline Kwan, BSc’89, is Canada’s new consul general in Atlanta. She joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1997 and has served in several roles including executive director, commercial-economic, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Division; director, Multi-industry Sectors and Virtual Practices Division; and deputy director, Korea and Oceania Division. Overseas, she served in Beijing, Taipei and New Delhi. Most recently, she held the position of director of operations, Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat, Privy Council Office.

Ekaterina Tsimberis, BSc’95, was appointed a judge of the Federal Court. She was an associate, partner and principal at Smart & Biggar LLP (1999-2022) where she practiced intellectual property (IP) law. She was a fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), where she was past director (2019) and assistant director (2017-2018) of the IPIC-McGill Understanding Trademarks Course.

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