2013 Alumni of Influence

Nine new recipients were recognized in 2013.

See the List

4th annual Dean's Dinner and Award Ceremony

 

 


Recognized in 2013

 

Sarah Carter BA'76, MA'81

For the past 20 years, Sarah Carter of has forged an international reputation as a distinguished and vigorous scholar in the fields of history and native studies. Currently a professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair at the University of Alberta, Carter has also held faculty positions at the universities of Calgary and Winnipeg. Her research focuses on the history of Western Canada, particularly the late 19th century when Aboriginal people and newcomers began sustained contact. Carter's work in this area has touched on several topics, including Aboriginal roles in the agricultural economy and the creation of race and gender categories.

She is a widely-published author of numerous articles, papers, books and monographs. Her writing has won several honours, including the CiloAward (Prairie Region) in '92 and '09 and the Armitage-Jameson award in women's and gender history from the Western History Association. Her most recent book, Recollecting: Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands, won a total of four book awards in 2012. Her work has earned Carter numerous awards and prestigious grants, including a Killam Research Fellowship and Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights inNorth America. She was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007.

What is your favourite memory about your time in Arts & Science?

In my first years I recall many pleasant hours spent on the register by the windows across from the elevators (where a plaque was once placed, and may still be there, to honour a friend who spent many more hours there). As an MA student I enjoyed meeting other grad students from many disciplines and from all over the world in our shared office space that was carmped and noisy but very congenial.

How did your Arts & Science education help you in your career?

My many inspiring and challenging  classes and professors launched me in my career. We learned independent and critical thinking and we had to learn to write well. These are the essential skills in my career. I also learned that to have high expectations of students motivated and encouraged them.

What advice would you offer to current students in Arts & Science?

Sample and savour the diversity of disciplines while digging deep into your major. You are building knowledge, acquiring intellectual skills, and learning to communicate effectively. All of these are essential to success outside the academy. Learn another language.




Leonard (Len) Edwards (BA'67, MA'69)

One of Canada''s longest serving and most distinguished diplomats, Len Edwards has not only organized the logistics of several summits in Canada, but has also served as the Prime Minister''s Personal Representative (or Sherpa) in promoting Canadian interests at Asia Pacific, G-8 and G-20 summits, including negotiating summit outcomes and communiques. After studying History at the University of Saskatchewan, Edwards spent almost 41 years in a long list of diplomatic and senior public service positions before retiring in 2010.

His Foreign Service appointments included Ambassadorships to the Republic of Korea and to Japan, as well as assignments to Geneva/UN, Brussels/NATO, Turkey and Vietnam. In Ottawa, he served 9 years as a Deputy Minister in three assignments: International Trade, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, and finally Foreign Affairs. Edwards is currently a Strategic Adviser with Gowling Henderson Lafleur LLP and a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of VIDO-InterVac at the University of Saskatchewan. He has received several awards throughout his career including the Public Service Outstanding Achievement Award in 2011 for his work on the Muskoka G-8 and Toronto G-20 Summits.

What is your favourite memory
about your time in Arts & Science?

No single memory stands out, but an accumulation of memories centred around meeting and interacting with so many talented young people from cities, towns and farms all over Saskatchewan. It was energizing.  I came to understand that through them this province had so much to offer to Canada and the world. And I could be one of those people.

How did your Arts and Science
education help you in your career?

It taught me not to be frightened of complexity and the unknown, to be inquisitive and challenge convention, to speak my mind, to be critical but objective at the same time, and how to "connect the dots" --- think more horizontally and strategically. I could not have asked for any better preparation for a career in the Public Service of Canada.

What advice would you offer
to current students in Arts and Science?

In today's incredibly complex world, an Arts and Science education is more critical than it ever to laying the foundations for a successful career and productive and satisfying life.  Students should relish these challenging years to broaden their vistas, to understand the globalized environment we now live in, explore international opportunities, and to hone the thinking and other skills that will serve them well through their careers.



Tim Gitzel BA'86, LLB'90

A well-known figure in the nuclear industry, Tim Gitzel is the current president and CEO of Cameco, one of the world’s largest uranium producers.

His roots in the industry were planted early, working as a summer student with AREVA Resources as a teenaged summer student in 1979. While studying French, political science and law at the U of S, he worked for two summers with AREVA as a summer student in France. Following a brief career with a local law firm, Gitzel joined AREVA’s Saskatoon office in 1994 and eventually moved to Paris where he headed the company’s mining business unit as executive vice-president.

He joined Cameco in 2007 as senior vice-president and COO, was appointed president of the company in 2010, and CEO in 2011.

Gitzel is active on many industry and community-based boards and committees. He is currently chair of the World Nuclear Association, co-chair of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup and a governor with Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan. He is also a past president of the Saskatchewan Mining Association, was co-chair of the Royal Care campaign, and served as vice-president communications for the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships.  As well, he has served on the boards of the Mining Association of Canada, Canadian Nuclear Association, Sask Energy and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

What is your favourite memory
about your time in Arts & Science?

The friendships built both inside and outside the classroom.

How did your Arts & Science
education help you in your career?

My arts and science gave me a strong educational foundation and broadened my horizons.  The knowledge gained during that period has served me well every day since.

What advice would you offer
to current students in Arts & Science?

Diversify your education and experiences.  Try new things and then follow your passion.  Be the best you can be at whatever you choose to do.




Allen Harrington BMus'99

A world-renowned saxophonist, respected adjudicator and popular professor, Allen Harrington is one of the University of Saskatchewan's most accomplished alumnus. Currently, Harrington is an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music where he teaches saxophone, bassoon and chamber music. Outside of the university, Harrington maintains a busy performance schedule, drawing rave reviews from many critics worldwide.

He has appeared as a soloist with more than a dozen orchestras in Canada, Europe and South America, and has considerable success at both national and international music competitions. He won the Grand Award at the National Music Festival of Canada in 1999, the Grand Prize at the International Stepping Stone Competition in 2004, and, in 2006, finished fourth at the International Adolphe Sax Compeition in Belgium, becoming the only Canadian to ever have advanced to the final round of this largest and most prestigious saxophone competition in the world.

Harrington also regularly performs in recital alongside fellow U of M music professor and pianist Laura Loewen. The duo has performed several times at the World Saxophone Congress, given recital tours in Asia, Europe, and South America, and toured in Canada for the organizations Debut Atlantic, Prairie Debut, and Home Routes Classical. Harrington also plays second bassoon for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and is a regular extra with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

What is your favourite memory about your time in Arts & Science?

My time with Professor Emeritus Marvin Eckroth. He was a large influence on me and my saxophone playing. Also, the U of S Wind Orchestra trip to Europe in 1997. It was my first time outside of North America.

How did your Arts & Science education help you in your career?

It was integral to my musical and educational development. Studying with excellent teachers, being surrounded by excellent students, and the nurturing environment in the Dep't of Music all played an important role for me.

What advice would you offer to current students in Arts & Science?

Having a busy professional carreer now, a family with young kids, and interests/hobbies outside of music, my best piece of advice to current students would be: take advantage of the fact that you are students! Now is the time to be selfish - practice and study your craft as much as you possibly can because you may never have as much time to devote to it as you do now.



Mary Houston BA'47, BEd'50

Despite her quiet and unassuming ways, Mary Houston has significantly impacted the lives of numerous people, of all ages and from all walks of life. After graduating from the U of S with a BA and BEd, Mary began her professional career as a teacher. She married Stuart Houston in 1951 and began raising her family, which eventually grew to four children. During this time, she was a highly-active volunteer and served on various boards throughout the province. Mary also spent considerable time assisting Stuart, a revered medical doctor, historian and naturalist-particularly in relation to his work with birds.

Whether it was helping Stuart file information, band birds or help him produce a constant flow of books and articles, Stuart says without Mary he could not have accomplished half of his life''s work. Since 1951, Mary has banded thousands of birds in her backyard, on her "bluebird house trail," and at colonial bird islands across Saskatchewan. Of particular note are 5,340 Bohemian Waxwings; two experts say she has monopolized the banding and resultant recoveries for a single species more than any other bander since the practice began in 1921. Her achievements have been widely recognized with several awards, including the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal and Centennial Medal in 2006 and being inducted into the Saskatoon Council of Women''s Hall of Fame in 2011.

What is your favourite memory about your time in Arts & Science?

I was impressed by the excellence of the faculty, the comparatively small size of the classes, and the variety of options available (including Radiation Physics from Dr. N. Haslam) to complement my major. Companionship of classmates of similar interest, but varying backgrounds, enriched the years.

How did your Arts & Science education help you in your career?

As a future high-school teacher, I found the academic challenges and the depth of background material helped set an example for the students in my classes to form a good work ethic.

What advice would you offer to current students in Arts & Science?

I recommend that today’s students take as broad a selection of electives as their Major allows, but work hard at both.



Thomas Mackie BSC'80

Like most academics, Thomas "Rock" Mackie spends much of his time researching, teaching and applying for grants. Unlike many of his colleagues, he is also an award-winning entrepreneur whose companies have revolutionized the field of medical physics. After earning his BSc at the U of S and PhD at the University of Alberta (''84), Mackie worked for three years at the Saskatchewan Cancer Foundation before moving to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987. He has been there ever since-currently as a professor emeritus-and over the years has become one of the North America''s most respected medical physicists. While staking claim to a distinguished academic reputation, Mackie has also become a highly-accomplished entrepreneur.

He was a co-founder and chairman of the board of TomoTherapy Inc., aradiation therapy treatment platform, now owned by Accuray. He is on the Board of Novelos Therapeutics, a developer of radiopharmaceuticals; Shine MedicalTechnologies, a medical radioisotope production company; and BioIonix, a water purification company based on electro-catalytic processes. He also co-founded Geometrics Corporation in '92, which developed the PinnacleTM treatment planning system now marketed by Philips Medical. In total, Mackie holds more than 30 patents, has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and has supervised more than 25 PhD students. He has received several awards, including the Sylvia Fedoruk Award from the Canadian Association of Physicists and a range of entrepreneurial achievement and research awards in the United States.

What is your favourite memory
about your time in Arts & Science?

Debating politics over endless cups of coffee in the Arts Bldg.

How did your Arts & Science
education help you in your career?

My research career was physics and so it meant everything to be well grounded by great teachers in small classes in the Physics Dept and my business career was enabled by the rigorous methodology of analysis I learned early.

What advice would you offer
to current students in Arts & Science?

Think broadly and be skeptical yet remain optimistic.



Mark Mullins BA'84

An entrepreneur, government fiscal expert and noted networker with prominent contacts worldwide, Mark Mullins has become one of this country''s most accomplished and respected economists. After receiving his PhD from the London School for Economics, Mullins has occupied senior positions with some of this country''s most respected organizations. He has served as a senior vice-president and chief economist for Midland Walwyn, president of MSG Hedge Corporation and, with the Fraser Institute, has been director of Ontario Policy Studies and executive director at its head office in Vancouver.

Between 2005 and 2009 he led unprecedented growth for the institute, helping the think tank achieve a top 10 worldwide ranking. He has established close business relationships with senior business leaders and policy makers across Canada, as well as the United States and China. He led an expansion of the Fraser Institute, opening new locations in Montreal, Ottawa and the United States, during which time revenues increased 70 per cent in less than four years. In 2009, Mullins developed his own asset allocation and financial markets analysis firm, Veras Inc. After joining the National Bank of Canada as a portfolio manager, Mullins used Veras'' analysis and trading techniques in 2011 to beat 99 per cent of peer funds and outperform global stock markets by 20 percentage points. He recently joined Ramsey Quantitative Systems Inc. in Kentucky as their chief investment officer.

What is your favourite memory
about your time in Arts & Science?

Staying late at the library in the winter and being rewarded with crunchy snow underfoot and Northern Lights above on the walk home.

How did your Arts & Science
education help you in your career?

I became a researcher and an economist at the College and have applied those skills ever since at each stage of my work career - even today, just before writing this note.

What advice would you offer
to current students in Arts & Science?

Read widely, expand your mind with new ideas, and join in with the social side of the College - it is a one-time only life experience.



Sandra Pyke BA'58, MA'61

A pioneer in the field of feminist psychology and tireless champion of gender equality, Sandra Pyke has inspired countless women to challenge the status quo and to promote positive change for women. After attending the U of S and receiving her PhD at McGill University ('64), Pyke was hired by York University's Counselling and Development Centre (CDC). Here, she established a comprehensive feminist workshop program that was unique within Canada at the time. She became increasingly involved in activist events and participated in a march in Ottawa, dedicated to the legalization of abortion. In International Women's Year, Pyke sat on the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)task force for Women in Psychology and also participated on the Status of Women Committee, which supervised subsequent changes in the organization.

She was also the founder of the CPA Section on Women and Psychology and was later elected president ('81-'82) of the association. At York, Pyke was appointed advisor to the president on the status of women, chair of the department of psychology, and dean of graduate studies. She was responsible for establishing a doctoral program in women's studies; York became the first Canadian university to offer a PhD in women's studies. She has long been in high demand as a speaker on women's issues. Pyke's publications have appeared in several prominent journals and she has won several awards, including the CPA's lifetime achievement award and a university professorship award from York.

What is your favourite memory
about your time in Arts & Science?

There are so many positive memories of my undergraduate years at U of S that it is difficult to single out one to report.  However, I recall the occasion in Professor Edward McCourt’s first year English course when he read my assignment out to the class.  I can’t remember what the submission was about but I do recall how proud I was that I had produced something that captured his approval. 

How did your Arts & Science
education help you in your career?

More accurately intuited than articulated, my undergraduate experiences alerted me to the diverse worlds of knowledge and the rewards associated with their exploration.  Additionally, given the small even intimate environment at the University of Saskatchewan, opportunities abounded to acquire and practice leadership skills, to participate in cooperative  and collaborative activities, and to appreciate the richness and multitextured nature of university life. 
This addiction to academic culture was the principle factor determining my career choice.

What advice would you offer
to current students in Art & Science?

To appreciate and take advantage of the multiplicity of opportunities the College and the University provide.  To voluntarily delve below the surface and not be satisfied with a minimal performance.  To seek a mentor who can expose you to the less obvious intricacies of your discipline.             



Gerald Schmitz BA'73, MA'75

One of Canada''s foremost experts on Canadian foreign policy, Gerald Schmitz''s Parliamentary career also made him one of this country''s most distinguished public servants. He was employed by the Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS) for 30 years. Specializing in the fields of international relations, political economy, human rights and parliamentary affairs, Schmitz held several senior roles with PIRS prior to his retirement in 2011. He was also the longest-serving research director for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade/Development (''94 to ''08). During this time he was the lead drafter of many major reports, including: Canada and circumpolar cooperation; the future of the World Trade Organization; relations between Canada and the United States and Mexico; Canada''s relations with the Muslim world; Canada''s international democracy assistance; and Canada''s role in Afghanistan.

Schmitz''s reputation for excellence in research and government policy knowledge also led to him twice being seconded-first as a program director for the North-South Institute and, later, as an advisor for Minister of Foreign Affairs. Schmitz was awarded a Hanns-Seidel Memorial Fellowship in 2007 and is a prolific author, having penned an array of scholarly papers, books and critical parliamentary reports. Among a wide range of interests, Schmitz is an accomplished photographer, winning the World Wildlife Fund''s international grand prize in 2005. He is also the longtime film critic for the Saskatchewan-based weekly journal The Prairie Messenger.

What is your favourite memory
about your time in Arts & Science?

I enjoyed having professors who were engaging characters as well as excellent teachers in their disciplines.  Norman Ward and Gene Porter were two that come to mind from my political science classes, which were small enough that we really felt engaged as well.  Perhaps a favorite specific memory is when then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau came to campus during the 1972 election campaign and I was able to use what I had learned in my economics courses to ask him a question that made it on to the CBC national news that night.  At the time I had no idea that a decade later I’d be rubbing shoulders with senior politicians on Parliament Hill.

How did your Arts & Science
education help you in your career?

I owe a great deal to the professors who enlarged my horizons and deepened my understanding of the social sciences, not just in academic terms, but as importantly in their application to the great issues of our time.  It was this formation that gave me the tools and enthusiasm to pursue further studies and subsequently to embark on a research career in public policy.  Time and again I have been able to draw on what I learned during those years at the University of Saskatchewan.  I look on them as invaluable preparation for handling the challenges of a demanding policy environment.

What advice would you offer
to current students in Arts & Science?

Take advantage of every opportunity to expand your horizons and to develop habits of critical thinking.  Along with sharpening your oral and written communication skills, these will serve you well whatever specializations your choose to pursue.  Today, when so much content is available online, just a mouse click or touch away, it is even more important to be able to discern what is really worthwhile.  In my experience when it comes to offering compelling arguments backed up by solid analysis and evidence, quality always beats quantity.