Two of the newest members of the Order of Canada have strong ties to the University of Saskatchewan (USask). Gary Gullickson (BEd’61, BA’64) is a retired College of Arts and Science professor and one-time head of the Department of Music who has cast a bright light across the campus during his storied career. David Dubé (BA’85) is a successful businessperson in Saskatoon whose commitment to philanthropy has bettered the lives of many in the community. Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian honours system and recognizes people in all sectors for their contributions to communities throughout Canada.
The Honourable Karen M. Weiler (BA’68) has been appointed to the Order of Ontario in recognition of her contributions to family law. The Order of Ontario is the Province of Ontario’s highest honour. Weiler, a retired lawyer and federal judge whose judicial career spanned 37 years, was previously appointed to the Order of Canada. She is currently a director of Covenant House Toronto and a volunteer with Innocence Canada.
Dr. Lillian Dyck (BA’66, BA’68, MSc’70, PhD’81) retired from the Canadian Senate in August 2020 at the age of 75, the age limit for sitting senators. Dyck, who was appointed by former prime minister Paul Martin in 2005, was the first First Nations woman and first Canadian-born Chinese person to be appointed to the Senate. Prior to politics, she was one of the first Indigenous women in Canada to enter the field of neuropsychiatry. Dyck was named one of the College of Arts and Science’s first 100 Alumni of Influence in 2009.
Lindsay Knight (Arts’10, MA’13), a PhD student in the Department of Indigenous Studies in the College of Arts and Science, served as the first Storyteller-in-Residence at USask earlier this year. The first position of its kind at USask and unique in the province, the Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence program at the University Library began as a six-week pilot on Jan. 4, 2021. Knight, also known as Eekwol, is an award-winning hip-hop artist with nine album releases to her credit. She was honoured as one of the College of Arts and Science’s Alumni of Influence in 2018.
USask and Remai Modern have teamed up to present an exhibition showcasing the work of Saskatoon photographer Thelma Pepper, who passed away in December 2020 at the age of 100. Thelma Pepper: Ordinary Women. A Retrospective is a collaboration between Remai Modern and the USask Art Galleries and Collection, featuring works from both the museum’s and the university’s collections. The project is the first such collaboration between USask and Remai Modern, two organizations that signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 to collaborate in areas of complementary strength and mission. The exhibition, which opened on Feb. 13, 2021, at Remai Modern and runs until Aug. 15, 2021, was co-curated by USask curator and College of Arts and Science alumna Leah Taylor (BFA’04) and Sandra Fraser, Remai Modern curator (collections).
Nine alumni from the College of Arts and Science were honoured in December 2020 as CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 winners. The 2020 recipients include Brittany Houk (BA’09), Alana Krug-MacLeod (BSc’20), Lenore Maier (BA’14), Natalya Mason (BA’14), Logan Martin-Arcand (BFA’19), Brandon Needham (BA’05, BEd’07, MEd’13), Nahanni Olson (BA’05, BEd’08), Dr. Monique Simair (BSc’04, PhD’09) and Helen Vangool (BA’12, BEd’14). Through the Future 40 program, CBC Saskatchewan celebrates people under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the province.
Two College of Arts and Science alumni were honoured with 2020 YWCA Saskatoon Women of Distinction Awards. Lisa Mooney (BA’02) was the winner in the Business and Professions category, while Nicole Shoaf (BA’99) was a recipient in the Health and Athletics category. The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards are recognized nationally as one of the most prestigious awards for women.
College of Arts and Science alumni were among the winners of 2020 Saskatchewan Book Awards, which celebrate excellence in publishing and writing. Jason Heit (BA’99, BA’04, MA’07) was nominated for three awards for his debut novel Kaidenberg’s Best Sons. Heit’s book received the First Book Award, honouring Brenda MacDonald Riches, and the Fiction Award. USask registrar Russell Isinger (BA’88, MA’97) and Department of Political Studies senior policy fellow and former USask chancellor Roy Romanow (BA’60, LLB’64, LLD’07) are co-editors of Back to Blakeney: Revitalizing the Democratic State, along with John Whyte and St. Thomas More College faculty member Dr. David McGrane. The book received the Jennifer Welsh Scholarly Writing Award, sponsored by the USask College of Arts and Science and the University of Regina Faculty of Arts. Alexandra Popoff (MA’98) and her biography Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century were shortlisted for two awards: The University of Saskatchewan President’s Office Non-Fiction Book Award and the Jennifer Welsh Scholarly Writing Award. She received the Non-Fiction Award. Paula Jane Remlinger (BA’94, CACE’99, BEd’00, CTESL’00, MA’06) received the SK Arts Poetry Award Honouring Anne Szumigalski for her book of poetry, This Hole Called January.
A new set of stamps from Canada Post pays tribute to six Canadian medical research pioneers, including College of Arts and Science alumnus Dr. James Till (BA'52, MA'54, DSc'08). Working at the Ontario Cancer Institute in the early 1960s, Till and his colleague Dr. Ernest McCulloch were the first to demonstrate the existence of stem cells, kickstarting a revolution in modern medicine. For his contributions to regenerative medicine, Till was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and one of the College of Arts and Science’s Alumni of Influence in 2009.
With the launch of an ambitious video game, a College of Arts and Science alumnus is hoping to shake up the strategy game genre and highlight Canada’s role in the Second World War. Radio General was released in 2020 by Foolish Mortals, an independent game company led by Department of Computer Science graduate Michael Long (BSc’15, MSc’19). The game puts players in the role of a Canadian general during the Second World War. Radio General launched on Steam, the world’s largest digital distributor of PC games, and can be played on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers. USask computer science PhD students Martin Dechant and Colby Johanson (MSc’17) were part of the small development team, and Long’s brother Dr. Jeff Long (BSc’04, MSc’06) acted as a consultant.