John Langan
John Langan (BA’13) published a memoir and guide to Indigenous spirituality. (Photography: David Stobbe)

Alumni notes

Updates from the past year

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University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher Dr. Kathryn McWilliams (BSc’94, MSc’97) became the first Canadian to be awarded an honorary fellowship from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) of the United Kingdom. The RAS awards honorary fellowships to scientists living outside the U.K. who are eminent in the fields of astronomy or geophysics. In its announcement on Jan. 14, 2022, the RAS described McWilliams, a professor in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, as “an unquestioned international expert in the dynamics of field-aligned currents that link the solar wind, magnetosphere and ionosphere.”

Dr. Lillian Dyck (BA’66, BA’68, MSc’70, PhD’81) and Ed Ratushny (BA’64, LLB’65, LLD’21) have been appointed officers of the Order of Canada. Dyck, a retired Canadian senator, was appointed for her contributions to human rights and social justice, while Ratushny was promoted within the order for his work in law and sports arbitration.

Brad Birnie (BA’83) and Blaine Fagnou (BSc’91, BA’94) were among the 2021 inductees into the Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame. Birnie holds three professional titles and was twice named the Professional Golfers’ Association of Saskatchewan coach of the year. Fagnou has been superintendent of Elk Ridge Resort for 25 years, hosting 11 provincial tournaments and a Royale senior women’s national championship during his tenure.

Kelley Moore (BA’00, MA’13) was elected to the College of Fellows of the Canadian Institute of Planners. (Photography: Christopher Putnam)
Kelley Moore (BA’00, MA’13) was elected to the College of Fellows of the Canadian Institute of Planners. (Photography: Christopher Putnam)

Dr. Susan Mumm (BA’87, MA’89) was appointed chancellor of the American University of Sharjah, a leading private university in the United Arab Emirates. Mumm has held previous academic and leadership roles at institutions in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, most recently serving as principal of Brescia University College in Ontario.

Kelley Moore (BA’00, MA’13) was elected to the College of Fellows of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Moore has worked for more than 20 years as a planner in both the public and private sectors, contributing at the local, provincial and international levels.

A new album by two Department of Music graduates combines music with the sounds of nature. Tracks for behold, the sonic universe were composed by Spencer Krips (BMus’19, BEd’21) and feature vibraphone and marimba performed by his brother, Fraser Krips (BMus’20, Cert’21).

Saskatoon Police Service constable John Langan (BA’13) published Iskocēs Tipiskak: A Spark in the Dark—a memoir about overcoming racism and poverty, and a guide to Saulteaux and Cree spirituality.

Department of English faculty member Dr. Sheri Benning (BA’02) released her fourth book, Field Requiem, a collection of poetry inspired by the loss of family farms on the Prairies. A short film adaptation of one of the book’s poems—titled Winter Sleep and directed by Chad Galloway (BA’00)—has been an official selection at eight international film festivals.

Dr. Robert Henry (BEd’04, MEd’09, PhD’15), a faculty member in the Department of Indigenous Studies, is the co-author of Indigenous Women and Street Gangs, a collection of stories about strength, determination and growth. Henry co-wrote the book with six Saskatoon women who were involved in street lifestyles.

Dr. John Pomeroy (BSc’83, PhD’88) was named the 2021 Walter Langbein Lecturer by the American Geophysical Union. The annual award recognizes lifetime contributions to the science of hydrology. Pomeroy is a distinguished professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Geography and Planning.

Dr. Terry Wotherspoon (BA’76, BEd’77, MA’83) received two national sociology awards: the 2021 Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Sociological Association and the 2021 Best Article Award from the Canadian Review of Sociology. Wotherspoon is a professor in the Department of Sociology.

Canada Post released a stamp honouring editorial cartoonist Brian Gable (BA’70). (Photography: Canada Post)
Canada Post released a stamp honouring editorial cartoonist Brian Gable (BA’70). (Photography: Canada Post)

Dr. Priscilla Settee (BEd’87, PhD’07), a professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies, was named a 2021 NDN Changemaker Fellow by the NDN Collective. Through the international fellowship, Settee was awarded funding to engage in work that defends, develops and decolonizes Indigenous communities and nations.

Brian Gable (BA’70, DLitt’15) has been honoured with a commemorative stamp from Canada Post. The postage stamp celebrates Gable, the editorial cartoonist for The Globe and Mail, for making Canadians laugh and reflect for more than 30 years.

Fidelia Anulika Orji (MSc’19) is a 2021 recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her PhD studies in the Department of Computer Science. Orji is the second member of her family to receive the Vanier Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards in Canada for graduate students. Her sister Dr. Rita Orji (PhD’14) was a 2011 Vanier Scholar—and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network.

Murray Guest (BSc’92, BEd’93, MEd’10) was honoured with the Canadian Association of Physicists Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics. Guest is a physics and math teacher at Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon.

Zachari Logan (BFA’05, MFA’09) premiered his new exhibition, Ghost Meadows, at Remai Modern in Saskatoon. It was the first solo exhibition at Remai Modern for the Saskatoon-born artist, whose work has been exhibited around the world.

Dr. Helen Pridmore (BMus’83) recently moved back to Saskatoon after a career of university teaching in New Brunswick and Regina. She is continuing her career as a singer and will premiere a new work, The Grim Keys, with Saskatoon’s La troupe du jour this spring.

Interdisciplinary artists Derek Sandbeck (BFA’11) and Andie Nicole Palynchuk (BFA’13) explored the value of play through a residency and exhibition in 2021 at the Kenderdine Art Gallery on the USask campus. Their exhibition, PLAY, was produced under their collaborative name, derdie.

Vukie Mpofu (BA’18) accepted a position as manager of hockey operations and legal affairs for the Los Angeles Kings. Mpofu played as a forward with the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League before focusing on a career in the business side of hockey.

Dr. Jessica Schule (BSc’12) was awarded the title of Seattle Met Top Doctor in Naturopathic Medicine for 2021 by Seattle Met magazine. A member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Schule has practiced naturopathic medicine in the state of Washington for five years.

Fidelia Anulika Orji (MSc’19) was named a 2021 Vanier Scholar. (Photography: David Stobbe)
Fidelia Anulika Orji (MSc’19) was named a 2021 Vanier Scholar. (Photography: David Stobbe)

Five alumni of the College of Arts and Science were honoured with 2021 Saskatchewan Book Awards: Randy Lundy (BA’94, MA’00) for Field Notes for the Self, Shannon McConnell (MFA’17, MA’20) for The Burden of Gravity, Dr. Merle Massie (BA’93, MA’98, PhD’11) for A Radiant Life: The Honourable Sylvia Fedoruk, Leona Theis (BA’80, Cert’87, MCtgEd’91) for If Sylvie Had Nine Lives, and Dr. Daniel M. Beveridge (BSc’61, BA’62, MA’65) as editor for The Red Road and Other Narratives of the Dakota Sioux.

Dr. Bill Waiser (MA’76, PhD’83, DLitt’10) received the 2021 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence, an award from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild that honours a writer with a substantial body of acclaimed literary work. Waiser, a distinguished professor emeritus of the Department of History, is the author of more than a dozen books.

Three College of Arts and Science alumni were named to the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2021. Albert Brown (BA’74, BEd’82) is the founder and coordinator of the John School, which has made a significant contribution toward eliminating human trafficking in Saskatoon. Hart Godden (BMus’82) has spent decades mentoring young musicians and helping them launch musical careers. Dr. Donald Greve (BA’58, MD’60) has served the community of Rosthern, Sask., for more than 40 years as both a physician and a volunteer for countless community organizations and projects.

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