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This article was published 8/6/2012 (2629 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When Caleigh Christie isn't singing the praises of riding a bicycle in a Winnipeg winter, she's likely getting up close and personal with polluted lichen from northern Manitoba or mapping the geography on Mars.
Or maybe teaching kids how to ski and shoot in the biathlon, or studying our lousy winter driving habits.
Life is somewhat eclectic for Christie, who is graduating from the University of Winnipeg in geography.
Pretty much the same story for math and geography grad Matt Morrison, who's a drummer in a rock band when he isn't choppering in to Moose Factory, Ont., to save the national historic site from erosion caused by global warming.
Christie and Morrison are among 1,087 students graduating from the University of Winnipeg at convocation ceremonies held Thursday and today.
Christie, a resident of Falcon Lake, where her parents own the Falcon Trails Resort, is a grad of Steinbach Regional Secondary School. "For grades 11 and 12, I had to ride a bus a hour and a half every day," she recalled.
At the U of W, Christie rode her bicycle 20 minutes a day to get to school, and some of those were really awfully cold and snow-packed days.
She's the co-ordinator of the U of W's bike lab and works with the U of W Students Association ICE Riders group.
"I'm general co-ordinator for the lab. I've been involved in getting it up and running the last three years," she explained.
As for the ICE Riders, "That's for commuting. It's a group that promotes and supports winter riding. We do workshops on how to winterize your bike and winterize yourself."
That type of activism earned Christie a campus sustainability award this year.
Academically, she's working with Prof. Ed Cloutis of Mars research fame. "He is doing astrobiology research. He has a team of researchers looking at the geographic aspects" of Mars, Christie said.
Closer to home, she focuses her studies on lichens.
"I am looking at lichen as a biological indicator of pollution," said Christie, who analyzes the spectral signature of lichens from Thompson in U of W labs.
She plans to take a year off before grad school and an eventual career in academia, starting off by going home to Falcon Lake to coach the next generation of Manitoba athletes.
"I'm a Level 3 certified biathlon coach. I've been fairly involved in developing the 2011 Canada Winter Games team."
She has a dream to do a bike trip up the Dempster Highway, which connects Dawson City and Inuvik.
Christie also worked for U of W Prof. Danny Blair, acting associate dean of science, on a GPS study that monitored Winnipeg driving habits and how best to save energy.
"The answer is not necessarily in electric cars, but in changing our habits," she found.
Morrison moves to the beat of a different drum.
His rock band will be on a long, cross-country tour this summer, and the drummer will pass the time between gigs curling up in the back of the van and doing pure math.
"I'm doing some research in pure math — it gives you something to do on long drives," laughed Morrison, who will graduate with a double major in math and geography.
"It's not classic badass rock 'n' roll. We're all university grads, we're all nerds."
The Gordon Bell High School graduate plans to go to grad school, but first comes a year touring with his indie rock band, Salinas.
"I'm going to be a rock star first— that's the plan," Morrison said. "Our band has a tour lined up for the summer and into the fall.
"I'd certainly regret not doing it. I can't imagine looking back and saying, 'Man, I'm glad I stayed in school 10 straight years,' " he said.
The band has bookings in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Boston and several festivals.
At the U of W, Morrison conducted research into erosion threatening the Moose Factory national historic site on an island in the Moose River near James Bay.
"It's in danger of falling into the river in the next 100 years. That's going to increase the erosion on the site. Melting permafrost — that's the glue that's holding it together," he explained. "It's going to rain more in the future, from the climate models."
Morrison received a Parks Canada research grant, and he got to ride in a helicopter stuffed with food for staff at the isolated outpost.
"I got to go there, which was pretty incredible. I got to helicopter in," he enthused.
His erosion studies have also sent him to northern Manitoba.
"It was really cool to be in Churchill. We hung out in Gillam for 48 hours — fun town."
R.M. (Bob) Kozminski’s business acumen in the local automotive industry is well-known to Manitobans. He also has a deep commitment to community through philanthropy and volunteerism with a particular interest in education, health and child safety.
After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg, Kozminski went on to earn a law degree.
Kozminski is a founding member and director of the U of W Foundation. In 2004, he assumed responsibility as campaign chair for the World of Opportunity Capital Campaign, which successfully attracted $135 million in campus development, endowment, program funding, scholarships and bursaries — the most ambitious campaign in U of W’s history.
Hartley T. Richardson, C.M., O.M., received an Honorary Doctor of Laws for his leadership in business, service to the community, and lifelong commitment to The University of Winnipeg and the citizens of Manitoba and Canada.
As President and CEO of James Richardson and Sons, Limited, a private, family-owned corporation, he has been involved in the international grain trade and agri-foods business, real estate, oil and gas development, financial services and investments.
Richardson also initiated one of the most important gifts to U of W, resulting in the state-of-the-art Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, where thousands of students now study, helping to revitalize Winnipeg’s inner city.
Diane McGifford is a tireless advocate for post-secondary educational opportunities in Manitoba, having shared her passion and insights as the longest serving Minister of Advanced Education and Training in Canada.
She received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1970 at UWinnipeg, and went on to obtain a Master of Arts and a PhD in English in 1979. McGifford worked as an English professor at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Winnipeg.
McGifford’s political career spanned 16 years, beginning as an MLA in 1995. In 1999, she was appointed to Premier Gary Doer’s first cabinet as the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism. In 2001, she became Manitoba’s first Minister of Advanced Education.
During her many years in this role, McGifford made some of her most significant and lasting contributions to the province. She established, “Bright Futures,” a suite of programs that bring community-based organizations and schools together designed to address student success and access to post-secondary education among traditionally marginalized and under-represented populations. McGifford has also been a steadfast supporter of U of W’s Opportunity Fund.
Lesley Sisler has been called the memory and conscience of U of W’s Collegiate, the high school on campus. During her tenure as associate dean, Sisler helped shape the collegiate and was instrumental in creating the mission statement and instructor’s handbook.
As an educator, Sisler was so highly esteemed by her colleagues that she was nominated for and received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence Award.
Sisler joined U of W in 1978 and quickly established herself as a dedicated educator, mentor and academic leader. She served as an instructor, counsellor and assistant/associate dean of the collegiate, and is herself a graduate of both the collegiate and U of W. She has been named a Fellow of United College.
Brian Keenan has been a renowned teacher of philosophy for more than 35 years, most of which was spent at U of W until his retirement in 2008. With his Socratic style, Keenan attracted and engaged countless students, who founded an annual essay prize in his honour when he retired. He also received the Clifford Robson Distinguished Teacher Award in 2006.
Keenan’s greatest joy is to foster debate. In his classroom, students talk as much as he does — they are dialogues, not lectures — discussions that continue out into the hallways. Joining U of W in 1972, he spent a significant portion of this time acting as chair of the philosophy department. Keenan has been named a Fellow of United College.
Steve Coppinger dedicated time and energy to U of W for more than 45 years, and in retirement he continues to serve the university with enthusiasm.
Coppinger entered the Collegiate in 1967 and went on to earn a BA in Geography at U of W. As soon as he graduated, Coppinger embarked on what would become a 36-year career at the university.
For 18 of those years he was associate vice-president, finance and administration.
In retirement, Coppinger shifted his considerable energy to the University of Winnipeg Retirees Association and was a member of a small fundraising committee that raised $40,000 for a UWRA scholarship, recognizing students who demonstrate strong academics and community service. Coppinger is being named a Fellow of United College.
The University of Winnipeg Alumni Association will honour former mayor Susan A. Thompson (Collegiate ‘67, BA ‘71) with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Alumni Association president Chris Minaker (BA ‘04) lauded Thompson, saying, “The Alumni Council selected Susan not only because of her remarkable career as mayor, but also because of her lifetime of service to her community, especially to The University of Winnipeg community.”
Thompson is a well-known entrepreneur, fundraiser, diplomat and community leader. After a distinguished career in business, Thompson entered civic politics. As mayor of Winnipeg, she managed a city budget of $1.2 billion and more than 10,000 employees. She led Winnipeg through major flooding when the city faced what became known as the ‘Flood of the Century’ in 1997.
After her term as mayor, Thompson was appointed Canadian Consul General in Minneapolis, where she served an eight-state territory consisting of 15 million people and $32 billion in Canada-U.S. trade.
Thompson returned to Winnipeg in 2003 to assume the role as founding president and CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation. Together with the foundation board, she managed an unprecedented $38 million endowment fund and provided stewardship to over 7,600 donors. Just prior to Thompson’s retirement, the foundation concluded the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history. More than $135 million dollars were raised in support of student awards, capital projects, and academic enhancements.
Known for her humour, warmth, and intelligence, Caleigh Christie, a Bachelor of Science, Honours, Geography student, has earned the University of Winnipeg’s 2012 Campus Sustainability Recognition Award.
“Caleigh applies her impressive intelligence to meaningful academic and community work”, said Alana Lajoie-O’Malley, U of W manager, Campus Sustainability Office. “She undertakes this work with passion, enthusiasm, and commitment which inspires others while thoroughly enjoying all that she does.”
Christie has acted as the co-president of the Geography and Environmental Studies Students’ Association, the UWSA Bike Lab coordinator, and as a member of the Environmental Studies Department Advisory Committee. She has played an integral role in increasing awareness in innovative sustainability projects — encouraging others, young and old, to redouble their sustainability efforts.
Christie is a core member of the UWSA Ice Riders Bike Gang, the winter cycling team that is the spirit and energy behind the UWSA Bike Lab. She was one of four students who created a short film documenting the group’s aspirations for an all-season cycling repair and advocacy centre.
The University of Winnipeg Campus Sustainability Recognition Award was established to celebrate notable contributions to campus sustainability.
Retired history professor, director of the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies and distinguished ethnohistorian, Prof. Jennifer S. H. Brown, has earned the rank of Professor Emerita.
Brown’s publications have shed light on familial and social relations among fur traders and Aboriginal communities across three centuries. Her work also tackles the complex and multiple origins of people of mixed descent whose life trajectories led them towards diverse identities, Métis and other.
By bringing together documentary and oral records generated from various perspectives, Brown has helped to preserve, develop and disseminate Aboriginal historical education. This work has not only advanced research in her field but has also increased the understanding of Aboriginal communities, histories and cultures among a wider audience.
Brown has held a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (Aboriginal Peoples in an Urban and Regional Context), among numerous other honours and awards. She has also been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy II (Social Sciences), the highest honour for scholarship in Canada.
The honour of Professor Emeritus will be conferred on retired classics Prof. Iain McDougall, who taught at U of W for 30 years.
McDougall has brought prestige to U of W and has created broad and lasting benefits to his students, colleagues and the discipline of classics in general.
An active researcher, McDougall’s active scholarly activities led to numerous published articles in peer-reviewed classics journals. One of his most impressive accomplishments is a two-volume set on the Lexicon of Diodorus Siculus. The result of two decades of conscientious investigation, this 1,700-page work is considered a highly valued research resource by scholars of classics worldwide. It resides in every major research library in the world.
Under McDougall’s term as chair of classics, the department gained the reputation as being among the best undergraduate Classics department in Canada. In addition to his usual teaching load, his mentorship created many award winning students that earned Classic Awards within and outside the campus.
In 1992, he was awarded the Dr. Robin Farquhar Award for Excellence Contributing to Self-Governance in recognition for his many years of exceptional service on several committees, including the Board of Regents.
Awards and Prizes
Bill Gadsby Pre-Service Teaching Award — Pamela Louise Gordon
Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba Graduation Prize in Business and Administration — Qianying Lin
Gawthrop Prize — Margaret Anne Elizabeth Morton
Lost Prizes Award — Margret Ruth Pawluk Henderson
Mayor’s Medal — Caleigh Erin Christie
Nisbet Memorial and Winchester Prize — Raymond Ares
O.T. Anderson Award — Lauren Maria Cecile Bosc
Ron Norton Prize in Psychology — Kerri Danielle Paschke
Swiss Ambassador Book Prize for Distinction in French Studies — Celine Helga Doll
Tait and Anderson Prize — Ray Temmerman
Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree
Governor General’s Gold Medal, Master’s — Melanie Jane Dennis Unrau
Governor General’s Silver Medal, Undergraduate — Peter Mark Slivinski
Graduate Student of Highest Distinction Award — Margaret Anne Elizabeth Morton, Melanie Jane Dennis Unrau
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Education — Peter Mark Slivinski
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Education — Natalie Maria Rose Fitkowsky, Svitlana Oleksia Maluzynsky
Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree (Honours)
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Arts — Andrea Katryn Blanchard
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Science — Joel Richard Kosowan
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Arts — Lynne Williams
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Science — Lisa Jane Teichroeb
Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree (4-Year)
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Arts — Christina Louise Reinke
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Anna M. Hawkins
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Science — Katherine Diane Dearborn
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Arts — Emily Jean Wessel
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Qianying Lin
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Science — Rebekah Danielle E. Rittberg
Medals for Overall Achievement in a Degree (3-Year)
Lieutenant-Governor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Arts — Jon Michael Kornelsen
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Kirsten Ria Penner-Goeke
Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in Science — Gabrielle Rebecca Levin
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Arts — Kelly Alynne Leask
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Business and Economics — Adriana Passante
University Silver Medal for the Second Highest Standing in Science — Jamie Angela Slivinski
Medals for Achievement in a Major (Honours)
Anthropology — Brigitte Jeannine Savard
Applied Computer Science — Yi Zhe Zeng
Biochemistry — Joel Richard Kosowan
Biology — Lisa Jane Teichroeb
Biopsychology — Nicholas Hans Krueger
Chemistry — Joshua Evan T. Yakiwchuk
Classics — Melina Sturym
Criminal Justice — Alison Chantel Carrey
Economics — Mulamba Rita B. Abemba
English — Lynne Williams
Geography — Genevieve May Berard
History — Emma Mary Fieldhouse
History of Art — Emily Glinski Doucet
Interdisciplinary Linguistics — Brendon Daly Yarish
International Development Studies — Andrea Katryn Blanchard
Mathematics — Blake William Madill
Philosophy — Damian Ezequiel Melamedoff
Physics — Jared Kyle Wiebe
Politics — Andri Matthais Shchudlo
Psychology — Rebecca Danielle Martin
Sociology — Meghann Marie McLachlan
Student-Designed Major — Sarah Ann Leeson-Klym
Theatre and Film — Ariel Natan Levine
Theatre and Film — Dance — Janelle Dawn Hacault
Urban and Inner City Studies — Andrea Leslie Derbecker
Women’s and Gender Studies — Lauren Maria Cecile Bosc
Medals for Achievement in a Major (4-Year)
Anthropology — Kara Janina Dueck
Biochemistry — James Blain Johnston
Biology — Rebekah Danielle E.Rittberg
Biopsychology — Jesse Levi Shantz
Business and Administration — Anna M. Hawkins
Combined Major — Kaitlin Slone Young
Conflict Resolution Studies — Christina Louise Reinke
Economics — Laura Denise Valentini
English — Allison Norris
Environmental Studies — Katherine Diane Dearborn
Geography — Matthew Qmar Morison
Human Rights and Global Studies — Katrina Nicole Sklepowich
History — David Thomas Guenther
Interdisciplinary Linguistics — Naomi Catherine Goerz
International Development Studies — Stephanie Lynn Janisse
Joint Communications (UW/RRC) — Emily Jean Wessel
Kinesiology and Applied Health — Andrew T. Grant
Mathematics — Matthew Qmar Morison
Politics — Tyrone Louis Krawetz
Religion and Culture — Porcha Lee Palmer
Rhetoric and Communications — Allison Nora Ferry
Statistics — Elizabeth Wall-Wieler
Medals for Achievement in a Major (3-Year):
Anthropology — Amy Lynn Schellenberg
Applied Computer Science — Kelleigh Dayle Ryan
Biochemistry — Prabhjot Singh
Biology — Jamie Angela Slivinski
Biopsychology — Robin Louella Stonebridge
Business and Administration — Stephanie Nicole Wilson
Chemistry — Oluwaseyi Samuel Akinbobola
Combined Major— Kelly Alynne Leask
Conflict Resolution Studies — Colin Denis Bourrier
Criminal Justice — Rita Katsanos
Developmental Studies — Beth Alisson Baggs
Economics — Kirsten Ria Penner-Goeke
English — Jon Michael Kornelsen
French Studies — Janis Roseanne Severloh
Geography — Sarah Marie Bisson
Human Rights and Global Studies — Nicole Breckman Jowett
History — Paul Kenneth Figsby
International Development Studies — Alaina Nicole Jacobsen
Kinesiology and Applied Health — Ashton Paige Freund
Mathematics — Gabrielle Rebecca Levin
Physics — Timothy Chau
Politics — Zoe Danielle Abreder
Psychology — Miranda Diane Grayson
Rhetoric and Communications — Nur Liyana Mohammed Fudzi
Sociology — Karen Elizabeth Bell
Spanish Studies — Erica Lorena Dorfman
Theatre and Film — Nur Liyana Mohammed Fudzi
Theatre and Film—Dance — Kathleen Tess Rutherford