A long-serving combat surgeon and an outstanding English professor emeritus are among several Western-connected Canadians to be celebrated with top national and provincial honours.
Newly appointed to the Order of Canada are Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry faculty member Dr. Vivian McAlister and English professor emeritus Stan Dragland.
Engineering professor Jing Jiang, Robarts Research Institute scientist Marlys Koschinsky and neuroradiologist Dr. Allan J. Fox are new appointees to the Order of Ontario.
The Order of Canada and Order of Ontario are among the highest civilian honours for people whose service, innovation and compassion have made significant contributions to their communities.
McAlister is a general surgeon and professor with specialties that include transplant and combat surgery as well as military medical history. He is also director of the Office of Military Academic Medicine at Schulich Medicine.
He served as Lieut.-Col., chief of general surgery, in the Canadian Armed Forces Royal Canadian Medical Service and provided advanced surgical and medical care in 15 medical missions during the Afghanistan War. When an earthquake in 2010 leveled much of Haiti, McAlister was deployed as a general surgeon to aid in humanitarian/disaster relief through the Canadian Forces Field Hospital – a 39-day stretch that included treating approximately 4,000 seriously ill and injured patients.
Dragland, the founder of Brick Books, is an award-winning novelist, literary critic, essayist, poetry editor, and community-builder who taught at Western for 29 years and now lives in Newfoundland.
“His wise, erudite, and yet accessible and often funny scholarship offers deep insights and press the boundaries of genres like the memoir, creative non-fiction and literary commentary, stimulating readers to develop heartfelt attention to and engagement with words and the world,” said professor Manina Jones, professor of English and writing studies at Western.
Jones recalled Dragland as an “inspiring colleague, teacher, mentor and proponent of local cultural roots and creative networks.”
Also among Governor General Julie Payette’s 61 appointments to the Order of Canada are J. Edward Johnson, HBA’68, for his leadership in Power Financial Corporation and governance in the field of education; and Peter Gilgan, noted entrepreneur, homebuilder and philanthropist who in 2019 received the Ivey Business Leader Award.
Koschinsky is among recipients of the 2019 and 2020 appointments to the Order of Ontario, announced by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
Koschinsky is a scientist at Robarts and a professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.
Dr. Allan J. Fox, professor emeritus from Schulich Medicine, was also named to the list for shaping the science of neuroradiology in Canada and around the world, including how diseases of the brain are diagnosed and treated.
Jin Jiang is was appointed to the Order of Ontario, part of a 2020 list announced at the same time as the 2019 cohort.
An international expert on instrumentation and control systems that ensure safety at nuclear power plants, Jiang is an NSERC/UNENE Senior Industrial Research Chair, and has trained the next generation of Ontario and international leaders in safe nuclear power generation.