For information and nomination forms, please click here.
The Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award was created by the Macdonald Branch of the McGill Alumni Association to recognize distinguished graduates who have made outstanding contributions. The first Awards were presented at Homecoming 2006.
In 2009, we were pleased to introduce the Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the achievements and contributions of our younger alumni. Like the Distinguished Alumni Award, this award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishments and/or service to the community at large.
This year at Homecoming, we honoured three graduates whose accomplishments are of such excellence that they provide inspiration and leadership to future generations of Macdonald graduates.
Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award
Eugene Terry, BScAgr’64, MSc’66
Eugene Terry is currently Senior Technical Adviser of TransFarm Africa devoted primarily to removing systemic barriers to investing in African agricultural enterprises. Eugene has held leadership positions in international institutions including that of first Director General of the West Africa Rice Development Association. He has held the position of Plant Pathologist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, Ibadan), Land and Crops Advisor in the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) Department, of The World Bank, and Founding Director, The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya.
Eugene Terry was born in Sierra Leone, and holds a BSc in agriculture, an MSc in plant pathology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and a PhD in plant pathology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA,
Eugene currently serves as a Trustee on the boards of several organizations including the World Vegetable Centre (the Asian Vegetable Research Centre (AVRDC) Taiwan, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Development (SFSA), in Basel, Switzerland. He chairs the Advisory Board of the West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
Dr. Terry was awarded the 2010 Presidential (Republic of Mali President) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Rice Research and Development in Africa, and the Medal Officier de L’Ordre Du Merit Ivoirien, Cote d’ Ivoire, 1993.
Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award
Nathalie Zinger, BScAgr’81, DipNorthernStu’83
Nathalie Zinger is Regional Vice-President for the Quebec Region of The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), a private non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of natural areas on private lands. An exceptional leader, Ms. Zinger intercedes with various government authorities and private sector individuals to heighten awareness on NCC’s mission and to develop sound and long-term partnerships. With over 30 years experience in the area of nature conservation, Ms. Zinger has an excellent understanding of issues associated with the protection of natural areas and natural resources management.
Her professional career highlights include her position as Executive Director, Heritage Montreal and her role as Executive Director of the Quebec Office of World Wildlife Fund - Canada. Responsible for all WWF activities in Quebec for more than 12 years, she generated strong support for the Endangered Spaces campaign.
Ms. Zinger has taken the helm of numerous and successful initiatives that have significantly influenced the course of conservation in Quebec over the last decades. She was instrumental in securing the required private funding to conduct the very first public campaign in support of a provincial park in Quebec, Vauréal on Anticosti Island. One of her goals, along with her passion, is to establish partnerships, some of which are unique and innovative, advancing the region’s conservation agenda. She worked in partnership with the forest industry to identify areas of high conservation values for protection.
In 1981, Ms. Zinger received her BSc Agriculture (Wildlife Management) from Macdonald College and, subsequently, obtained her M.Sc. in Landscape Planning at the University of Montreal in 1991. She also holds a diploma from McGill University Centre for Northern Studies and Research.
Among her many commitments, she is on the Board of the Small Change Fund and was until recently on the Boards of the Appalachian Corridor and the Conseil régional de l'environnement de Montréal and had previously been appointed by the Québec government to those of Société de la faune et des parcs du Québec and the Fondation de la faune du Québec. Since 2001, Nathalie Zinger is also a Governor of Les Amis de la montagne.
Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Prosanta Chakrabarty, BScAg’00
Prosanta Chakrabarty is an ichthyologist and evolutionary biologist working as an assistant professor and curator of fishes at Louisiana State University.
He was born in Montreal and moved to New York City with his family when he was a year old. He grew up in Bayside, Queens and went to Cardozo High School. He met his wife Annemarie while attending McGill University (Macdonald Campus) for his Bachelor's degree (BSc Applied Zoology 2000). They moved to Ann Arbor in 2001 so that he could attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. He graduated with his PhD in 2006 and moved back to New York as a postdoc at the American Museum of Natural History.
In 2008 he was hired as an assistant professor in the department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University, and as curator of fishes at the Museum of Natural Science in Baton Rouge. He has travelled to 20 countries, and has published over 30 scientific articles and a popular book, "A Guide to Academia." His research focuses on the systematics and evolution of fishes, particularly those from Central America, the deep sea, and from caves. Prosanta is the proud father of identical twin girls, Chaya and Anjali, born in May of 2011.
Read more about him at www.prosanta.net and follow him on Twitter @LSU_FISH