Fuelled by love.
McGill placed 18th in the 2009 Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. It was the sixth consecutive year McGill ranked among the top 25 schools internationally, and it speaks to the University's special something. Perhaps it's the joie de vivre of Quebec, which has shaped McGill's character for nearly two hundred years. Or maybe it's the magic of uniting more than 45,000 smart, curious people into one vibrant community. In any case, the passion of faculty, students and staff surely drives McGill's success on the world stage.
Frogs, pucks and sound. What do they have in common? There's someone at McGill who is fanatically, wonderfully passionate about each of them.
As David Green, Professor of Biology and Director of the Redpath Museum, explains, "The University is full of people with, you could call it passion, obsession, curiosity, fascination – but they have it, and they won't let it go. That makes McGill special."
After passing through the requisite fervour for dinosaurs, Green caught some toads when he was 11 years old and "that was that. My destiny was set." A frog obsession may sound a little, well, impractical for an adult, but amphibians are now viewed as the canaries in the global warming coal mine – which makes Green's work of vital importance.
Growing up in Colombia, Martha de Francisco, Associate Professor at McGill's Schulich School of Music, was "a child torn between disciplines" – the art of music and the logic of mathematics. Music production united her twin loves. After 20 years at Philips Classics in Europe, where she co-invented digital music editing, she came to McGill in 2003. Here, she teaches students how to "seek the essence of good sound."
While most Montrealers are glad to see the end of the wintry ice, Cathy Chartrand can't get enough. "You give me ice time," says the Physical Education student and member of McGill's repeat national champion Martlets hockey squad, "and I'm the happiest person on earth." The key to success for the 2005 National Women's Hockey League Defense Player of the year? "I just put my whole heart into it."