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Honoured Science alumni invited back to campus to share career advice with students

Opportunities in STEM highlighted

January 14, 2020 — 

On Thursday, January 30, 2020, join us for a discussion on careers in STEM. Meet alumni from over the years and celebrate our 2020 honoured alumni. 

Panel and Roundtable and free food

What: Careers in Science Panel, Roundtable, and 2020 Faculty of Science Honoured Alumni Awards

Where: Marshall McLuhan Hall, University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus 

When: January 30, 2020  – 3:30 PM  – event starts

The event is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to learn about careers in Science while honouring exceptional alumni and celebrating their achievements. 

The event invites current students to discover their future paths, illuminated by the journey’s shared by individual honoured alumni. Following the panel discussion, honoured guests will be presented with awards. A roundtable discussion with free food and refreshments follows where invited Science alumni, in addition to those being honoured, will share their experience and offer career advice to students.

The 2020 Honoured Alumni Award recipients were selected by each department in the Faculty of Science and represent the following categories: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics and Astronomy, Statistics and General Sciences. For the first time this year the Faculty also celebrates Alumni who have passed with its newly established memorial awards. The awards are given for exceptional achievements broadly defined, that reflect and build upon the mission of the Faculty of Science to discover the unknown, invent the future, and contribute to the well-being of society.

Our 2020 Faculty of Science Honoured Alumni Award recipients are:

  • Doug Collier [BSc/87] – General Sciences
    Former Senior VP/Pres: Intl/Chief Commercial Officer, LA-Z-Boy Inc.

    After recently retiring from a 30-year career in the corporate world with several companies (most recently La-Z-Boy), Collier now works startups innovating in anything from furniture to food storage technology to autonomous space-sharing platforms. Collier has witnessed first-hand how the skillset he acquired during his undergraduate career at the UM enabled his success.  
  • Beverly Diamond [PhD/82] – Mathematics
    Professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Charleston
    Dr. Diamond was a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the College of Charleston for many years. While there, she served as Associate Provost for some time. She was Program Director for Mathematics at the National Science Foundation from 1996 to 1998. Diamond has led students and researchers alike on a path of discovery in the mathematical sciences.
  • Mark Evans [MSc/86, PhD /88] – Computer Science
    Founder, CEO and President of EISI, to founder and CEO of Conquest Planning Inc.

    Dr. Mark Evans is a respected entrepreneur, philanthropist, and educator whose research in Computer Science from the University of Manitoba led him to become a leading innovator and entrepreneur in Winnipeg.
  • Muthana Al-Ghazi [PhD/83] – Nuclear Physics
    Clinical Professor & Director of Medical Physics, University of California Irvine

    Recently elected a fellow of the International Organization of Medical Physics, one of fewer than 50 in 87 countries worldwide. Al-Ghazi is an expert in radiology, he was named a fellow of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine in 1988 and AAPM in 2008. He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Medical Physics in therapeutic medical physics. In 2011, Al-Ghazi earned the “Educator of the Year” award from the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology for excellence in resident education. In 2010, the International Medical Corps awarded him “Volunteer Doctor” recognition for humanitarian service in war-torn Iraq.
  • Philip S. Lee [BSc/66, Public Admin. Diploma /77, LLD/11] – Chemistry
    The Honourable Philip S. Lee, C.M., O.M.

    On August 4, 2009, the Honourable Philip S. Lee, C.M., O.M. was installed as Manitoba’s 24th Lieutenant Governor. He was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to Canada in 1962. Lee studied Chemistry at the University of Manitoba and had a distinguished career working with the City of Winnipeg, as head chemist in charge of Winnipeg’s Industrial Waste Control Program.  Lee is know as a human rights advocate and a leader within Winnipeg’s Chinese-Canadian community. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Order of Canada in 1999. In 2002, he was the recipient of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. He became a member and the Chancellor of the Order of Manitoba on August 4, 2009.
  • Carl James Schwarz [BSc/78, MSc/80, PhD/88] – Statistics
    Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University

    An expert in the area of statistical ecology – particularly the estimation of animal abundance, survival, movement, and related parameters using capture-recapture methods. He is also interested in application of these methods for public health settings. A second interest is in the design and analysis of complex experiments and studies such as environmental impact studies, industrial experiments, and resource management. Fellow of the American Statistical Association, he has published over 90 research papers, 200 reports as an industry/government consultant. Schwarz is an excellent teacher and has taught courses at the University of Manitoba and Simon Fraser University and has given over 100 short courses on statistical methods to ecologists across Canada and the US.
  • Tom Sheldon [BSc/03, MSc/06] – Biological Sciences
    Director of Policy Advancement for Inuit Taporiit Kanatami

    Sheldon obtained an MBA from Queen’s University (where he was Valedictorian), his research in environmental science has contributed to knowledge in such areas as climate change and environmental contaminants. He has made significant contributions to the advancement and reconciliation of Indigenous peoples, as the senior advisor of environment and health to the Inuit Circumpolar Council. Tom is also the co-founder and former chair of the Kangidluasuk Student Program which provides students with land-based educational experiences related to Arctic Science, Inuit culture, northern tourism development, and natural resource conservation.
  • Karin Thacker [BSc/93, MSc/95 ] – Microbiology 
    VP-Global Regulatory Affairs at Gritstone Oncology

    Karin is helping move novel cancer vaccines into the clinic. As VP-Global Regulatory Affairs at Gritstone Oncology, she works to ensure that their investigational products are made in compliance with FDA and Health Canada standards, that the appropriate preclinical safety studies are conducted before entering the clinic, and that the clinical studies are correctly designed and executed.

Our Honoured Alumni Memorial Award recipients: 

    • Dr. John Allen [BA/28] – Fundamental Contributions to Discovery Science 
      He was a low-temperature physics pioneer known for discovering superfluid helium and developing techniques such as O-rings and indium gaskets to seal vacuum systems. During World War II, he created on-board oxygen generators for bombers. He used movie cameras to document experiments, including his superfluid helium fountain, discovered with the help of a flashlight. He was the son of our first Professor of Physics at UM, Dr. Frank Allen.
    • Yvonne Brill [BSc/45] – Applications that Changed the World
      Her pioneering spirit, vision, and genius led to the invention of a propulsion system to keep satellites in their orbits with a more efficient rocket thruster, reducing requirements for fuel and extending satellite lifetimes. She was the lone woman rocket scientist in the US in  the mid-1940s. Forty years later she developed the rocket motor for the space shuttle. In 2011, she received the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation. 
    • ​Monty Hall [BSc/46] – Beyond Science
      He was a legendary game show host. His occupations veered far from his roots in Winnipeg and science. He was a radio color man for the New York Rangers, honorary mayor of Hollywood, a TV show producer and a generous philanthropist. As the star of 4,700 episodes of Let’s Make a Deal, he inspired the Monty Hall problem, a classic probability problem, demonstrating that wherever you go, science goes with you.

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