Fred Longstaffe, founding director of the Western Academy for Advanced Research (WAFAR), and five Western graduates have been named among 99 new appointments to the Order of Canada.
The honourees were announced Dec. 29, 2022, by Mary Simon, governor general of Canada.
The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours, recognizing people across all sectors of society who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to our nation.
Simon described the appointees as “celebrated trailblazers,” who are “inspiring, educating and mentoring future generations.”
Longstaffe, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Stable Isotope Science, is being honoured for his pioneering contributions to stable isotope geochemistry. Using light stable isotopic ratios of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen, his research aims to understand connections among Earth’s lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, and how they control the state of the Earth system.
As a Distinguished University Professor and founder and director of the laboratory for stable isotope science, Longstaffe has made an incredible impact on many students and trainees throughout his career. He has frequently appeared on the University Students’ Council teaching honour roll and received the E.G. Pleva Teaching Award in 2005.
His other contributions at Western include those made as the founding chair of the department of earth sciences, dean of science and as former provost and vice-president (academic). He is cross appointed to the departments of anthropology, biology and geography.
As director of WAFAR, Longstaffe leads an interdisciplinary team of Western and international thought leaders driven to spark creative solutions to significant world challenges.
Western alumni appointed to the Order of Canada include:
Shelley Ambrose, BA’83, LLD’22, of Toronto, for her contributions to the Canadian media industry and to national public affairs as a reporter, producer and senior executive.
Warren Kimel, BSc’72, of Toronto, for his enduring leadership and philanthropic contributions supporting vulnerable members of Canadian society.
Dr. Ivar Mendez, MD’86, PhD’94, of Saskatoon, for his pioneering work in using remote telemedicine and robotics to revolutionize the delivery of health and patient care in Canada and worldwide.
Gary Segal, LLB’79, of Vancouver, for his enduring commitment to humanitarian work, philanthropy and service to the community.
Mac Van Wielingen, HBA’75, of Calgary, for his visionary leadership in ethical governance and corporate responsibility, and for his transformative advocacy of collaborative philanthropy.