How will we remember 2010? Probably through these faces. This year, the Western News starts a new, if not wholly original, tradition. Our Newsmakers 2010 section celebrates the best of research, academia and volunteer spirit that we have to offer on this campus.
We spotlight, in brief words and striking images, the accomplishments of some of our favourites from the last year. One of the most powerful women in Canada. A student with an eye for the greater good. And a man who would do anything, including posing with a zebra, for the United Way. A football coach. A ground-breaking wind researcher. A citizen soldier. A pioneering administrator. An Olympic expert. Labour leaders. Even a man who hasn’t started work yet.
Each contributed positively to important conversations on this campus. They are how we will remember 2010.
Understand, we honour a mere handful of the hundreds who shaped the last year at The University of Western Ontario. Some of these names you’ll know by heart. Others, you may need a little help to remember.
But all were part of what makes this university community so grand.
Dr. Vivian McAlister, a professor in the Department of Surgery at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and a general surgeon at the London Health Sciences Centre, not only completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan as a field surgeon over the last couple of years, but earlier this year the major in the Canadian Forces Medical Service travelled to Haiti to join the emergency relief mission organized by 1 Canadian Field Hospital. Operating on a stretcher resting on concrete blocks in an open tent, McAlister provided surgery such as limb amputations in these extraordinarily primitive conditions. There were also two modern operating rooms with full support of diagnostic imaging, laboratory services and critical care.
Already leading one of the countries top business schools, Richard Ivey School of Business Dean Carol Stephenson definitely added much to her plate this past year. Coming off a busy 2009 – as a member of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and selected by the Governments of Canada and Ontario to serve as the Canadian Board Member for General Motors Company, the recognition for Stephenson didn’t slow down. She was honoured this year with the Order of Canada and was also named one of the 2010 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, by the Women’s Executive Network.
Setting out to document the lives and stories of the clients of London’s Ark Aid Mission, Jeremy Jeresky’s plans took a unique turn. The Masters of Fine Arts student began a community-based art program which now acts as a social space, where creatively facilitates dialogue and sociability in the downtown community. After winning a 2010 Pillar Community Innovation Award, which recognizes individuals who make the London community a better place through innovation, leadership, impact and collaboration, Jeresky used his $2,500 prize to expand his art program at the Ark Aid Mission, creating the New School of Colour.
Working in the mailroom at The University of Western Ontario for more than three decades, Alex Kulczycki felt the need to give back to the community. For four months in 2009, Kulczycki left his position to take on the full-time role as a sponsored employee with United Way of London & Middlesex, helping to lead the university in raising an all-time high $590,383. Not one to pass up a challenge, Kulczycki has once again joined the United Way in an effort to surpass last year’s fundraising total and make a difference in the lives of thousands of London and area families.
In his fourth as head coach of the Western Mustangs, Greg Marshall was honored with the 2010 Ontario University Athletics Coach of Year award. His consistency as a head coach is tremendous, leading his team to four straight Yates Cup appearances, winning three – including this year’s dramatic 26-25 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gee’s. As a head coach, this was Marshall’s eighth consecutive Yates Cup appearance (four with McMaster from 2000-2003). He won seven of those eight games. The International Federation of American Football named Marshall head coach of the World Team for the annual ‘Team USA’ vs. ‘The World’ match-up, which will be played in Austin, Texas on Feb. 2, 2011.
Having the 2010 Olympics on home soil kept International Centre for Olympic Studies director Janice Forsyth busy fielding questions and making media appearances only a few months into her new post. But Forsyth isn’t a stranger to The University of Western Ontario, as the former varsity athlete, three-time Western graduate and Aboriginal sport expert was a perfect choice for the position.
The forecast might call for a little wind, but Horia Hangan doesn’t mind. As Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel associate research director and WindEEE Dome principal investigator, Hangan is looking forward to the construction of the world’s first hexagonal wind tunnel, soon to be constructed at Western’s Advanced Manufacturing Park. Construction is expected to be complete in 2011.
Just five months on the job, Deakin, who serves as The University of Western Ontario’s first female in the position of Provost and Vice-President Academic, has been in the spotlight since Day One. Sitting atop her list, planning for the next four-year budget cycle and securing a new four-year deal with the faculty union.
While he doesn’t actually begin at The University of Western Ontario until the New Year, the news that Adrian Owen – one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists – would be bringing his remarkable research program from the University of Cambridge was seen across the country as a huge catch for Western. Owen generated widespread international attention earlier this year for a study that demonstrated for the first time that some patients in a vegetative state may not only have cognitive thoughts, but can also communicate. As the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neuroscience and Imaging, Owen will study the cognitive deficits in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and ALS.
The University of Western Ontario spent a lot of time at the bargaining table in 2010 as seven employee groups had contracts expire or were negotiating their first contract. Leading the way for contract negations for Western’s largest employee groups, faculty association negotiator Mike Dawes and staff association negotiations committee chair and vice-president Stephanie Macleod, helped advert strikes and set the tone for negotiations with other collective bargaining units on campus. Michele Parkin, director, Office of Faculty Relations (not pictured), represented the university through UWOFA’S lengthy negotiations.
The International Student
Committed to internationalization and encouraging all students to become global citizens, The University of Western Ontario is continually looking at ways to strengthen and grow its international student population. Having earned its reputation as one of Canada’s leading universities, Western is looking to play an even bigger role on the global stage. The university hopes to create a student body that is more reflective of the world we live in. A new position – Special Advisor to the Provost for its International Education Initiative – has been created to focus on international student recruitment, student exchange as well as other study-abroad opportunities.