Campus Digest, April 19

Western neuroscientist wins Grammy award
While she didn’t share the stage with Bruce Springsteen or Adele at the 54th annual Grammy Awards, Jessica Grahn is now a Grammy winner.

Grahn, a neuroscientist at Western, has been awarded a grant from the Grammy Foundation for her ongoing research in studying how the brain senses and reacts to music. Announced as one of 18 grants totalling $250,000, the Grammy Foundation Grant Program helps facilitate a range of research, archiving, and preservation projects on a variety of subjects.

The aim of Grahn’s project, which received$19,500, is to understand the neural processes that underpin humans’ unique ability to sense the beat in musical rhythm by utilizing the most advanced magnetic resonance imaging methods available. One of only six research-focused grants awarded across all of North America, Grahn collaborates with Western scientists Stefan Everling and Joe Gati on her project.

“Our ability to literally feel the beat has played a major role in the development of human culture for millennia,” said Grahn, a principal investigator at Western’s Brain and Mind Institute. “Thanks to this gift from the Grammy Foundation, we are able to further explore this unique ability and better understand what it is about music that drives us as a species.”

If a class gives students lemons, make lemonade

Armed with only $50 in seed money, a self-made cardboard lemonade stand, a pitcher and a set of markers, 523 Ivey HBA1 students fanned out across London and Toronto to sell as much lemonade as possible – in only 48 hours.

The event challenged the students’ ingenuity and marketing skills all for a good cause. The 2nd annual Hunter Straker and Ivey Give LemonAid project raised more than $42,500 for the United Way of London & Middlesex’s Matched Savings and Microloan Program. This amount surpasses the $31,138 raised last year for the Boys & Girls Club of London.

Buffett visit sparks ideas

Twenty Richard Ivey School of Business MBA/HBA students from George Athanassakos’ Value Investing classes recently returned from Omaha, Neb., from a visit they will not soon forget.

The students, along with finance professors  Athanassakos and Alessandro Previtero, hailed from the only Canadian school to have a private question-and-answer session and lunch with arguably the world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffett.

Joined by seven other universities from the United States, the students held court with Buffett discussing a wide range of topics from value investing to his love for playing bridge with Bill Gates.
In spite of his stature as the third richest man in the world, Buffett offered some very down-to-earth advice for the future business leaders. He suggested the most important thing is to follow your passion, and to never trade your reputation away for money.
“The trip was life-changing. Meeting Warren reinforced the idea that good guys really can be quite successful,” said Brent Osborne, MBA’12. “The biggest lesson I learned from him was that there is nothing as important or powerful as a well-grounded optimism in humanity, and that we’ve only just begun to tap our collective human potential.”

Turik tapped for CIHR position

Lori Turik, Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation executive director, was appointed to the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a three-year term, Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced this week.

Turik was appointed along with Michael H. Wilson, Barclays Capital Canada Inc. chairman, who was named chair of the council. Wilson delivered the Richard Ivey School of Business’ 2011 Thomas d’Aquino Lecture on Leadership.

Turik has extensive background providing strategic, government relations, policy, stakeholder relations and communications advice to public and private sector clients in her capacity as consultant associate with Link Strategies. She served as vice-president of public policy for the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores. A registered nurse, Turik was director of nursing with the largest public health nursing division in Ontario and has more than 12 years of experience in senior nursing positions and health care research.

Stephenson named to London hall

Carol Stephenson, Richard Ivey School of Business dean, has been named one of two 2012 inductees into the London and District Business Hall of Fame.

Stephenson, along with Paul Cocker, McKay-Cocker Construction Limited president and CEO, will be honoured at the 22nd annual London and District Business Hall of Fame Induction Gala Dinner on Oct. 25 at the London Convention Centre.

“It is a real privilege to be recognized by Junior Achievement and the London Business Hall of Fame,” Stephenson said. “London is truly a city and region which embraces an entrepreneurial spirit, and I’m humbled to be mentioned in the same breath as the past inductees.”

The London Business Hall of Fame was founded in 1990 by Junior Achievement. In recognition of their entrepreneurship and ethics in business, outstanding members of the London business community are inducted into the hall each year.

Four professors honoured by USC

Western professors Julie Gosse, Eli Gladstone and Sean Burkett, all of the Richard Ivey School of Business, and Lars Kottermann, Science, were recently recognized with the 2011/12 Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, presented by the University Students’ Council, Bank of Nova Scotia and UWO Alumni Association. Gosse was further recognized by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance as an exceptional instructor in the Province of Ontario.

Kleinknecht wins Brescia teaching award

Sociology professor Steve Kleinknecht has been awarded the Brescia University College Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2012. The award will be presented at convocation on June 18.

“Being part of an environment, which is truly focused on learning, has been a catalyst for my approachable teaching style. I want students to feel they can openly discuss their ideas inside and outside of the classroom,” Kleinknecht said. “I am passionate about my work and make a concerted effort to share my enthusiasm for Sociology with my students.”

Up on the Wall of Champions

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It has been 65 years since all-star quarterback Herb Ballantyne (’47) hit the gridiron at Western, but that didn’t stop him from running a few plays with fellow all-star wide receiver Andy Fantuz (’06). Last week, the 87-year-old Ballantyne, who led the Mustangs to a Yates Cup victory in 1946, and Fantuz, the all-time CIS receiving leader, were inducted into the Mustangs Football Wall of Champions along with photographer Art Martin, defensive lineman Roger Dunbrack (’98), all-star running back Ralph Simmons (’56) and the 1976 Vanier Cup champion team.

‘Shocked’ Sarnia student wins Take the Lead

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Sarnia’s Yasmeen Ibrahim inspired the panel of judges and others in the crowd when she delivered the speech that won the top prize at Brescia University College’s fourth annual Take the Lead public-speaking contest on March 31. “When (Brescia University College Principal Colleen) Hanycz called my name, I was completely shocked. There were so many strong speeches,” said Yasmeen, a Grade 11 student from the same high school as the 2011 winner, Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School. She is thrilled to have won a full-year academic tuition for her first year at Brescia. Pictured above, from left, are Take the Lead finalists Natalie Doummar (Brampton), Mandy Auplish (Mississauga), Ursula Carmichael (London), Belkiza Haziri (London), Athena Dunlop (Windsor), Ibrahim and Emily Dobrich (Medway).