The end of the academic year heralds the coming of Convocation, always an impressive event at Macdonald as graduands and faculty are piped across the lawns dressed in reds and greens and golds. And this year was no different. 350 Bachelors, Masters, PhD and FMT students received their degrees, under the proud eyes of family and friends.
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws
Jacques Bougie, OC, LLL (Université de Montréal); DSA (HEC Montréal)
THE FOLLOWING IS THE CITATION READ DURING CONVOCATION CEREMONIES
Montrealer Jacques Bougie exemplifies the highest standards of achievement and merit in industry and community service. In his 20-year career at Alcan Aluminium Inc. -including seven years as its president and chief executive officer - Mr. Bougie, with imagination and determination, realized the full potential of the company and propelled it forward as an industry leader. A director of many and various company boards across the nation, his expertise is renowned and sought after by both emerging and established companies that have subsequently benefited from his guidance and advice.
A philanthropist, Mr. Bougie is deeply committed to the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, and other non-profit organizations to ensure their longevity and future strength. He has worked tirelessly in campaign leadership roles within educational and community organizations. Guided by astute business acumen and a broad perspective of industry, Jacques Bougie has a keen understanding of the importance of strong educational institutions to secure the economic vitality of Canada.
In recognition of his important achievements and contributions, Jacques Bougie was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1994.
Robert Kok, Bioresource Engineering
Robert Kok has a life-long fascination with learning and education, and he has dedicated his career to the preservation and advancement of engineering knowledge and the education of young engineers. He has the rare ability to think in truly unconventional yet analytically rigorous ways, thereby challenging his colleagues and students to think outside the bounds of the ordinary and entertain new ideas. This ability, combined with a broad conversance in the engineering disciplines and unwavering integrity and professionalism, makes him an excellent teacher and mentor. Professor Kok’s research program often provides an academic home for students from diverse backgrounds to explore novel, interdisciplinary concepts, sometimes years before they become main-stream. Examples of such projects include the industrial use of insects for food, the endowment of ecosystems with artificial consciousness, and the exploration of the concept of ecology in classical Greece and Rome, as well as more conventional applications of numerical modelling and artificial intelligence in bioengineering. Professor Kok has a keen interest in the welfare and mission of the university, as illustrated by his extensive and effective committee involvement at all levels. His unfailing sense of humour and probing curiosity about all things often shed new light on the challenges of research, education, and administration, and enliven any gathering, formal or informal. He has a strong belief in the importance of the engineering profession in society, and has been a steadfast and active member of the CSBE/SCGAB and the ASABE throughout his professional career. In particular, Professor Kok has been an exceptional promoter of undergraduate and graduate student involvement in these professional societies.
Macdonald Award for Teaching Excellence
Christian Molgat, Farm Management and Technology Program
This year’s recipient of the Macdonald Campus Award for Teaching Excellence is Christian Molgat. Christian is a faculty lecturer in the Farm Management and Technology Program (FMT), where he is responsible for the animal anatomy and animal nutrition courses, as well as the beef and sheep, swine and poultry and dairy production courses.
Chris’s approach to teaching can best be described with a single word – engaged! Chris doesn’t just teach – he guides students in their learning. He gets students to talk about their farms and what they do on their farms, leads them through a process where they apply management theories and current industry practices to their real-world situations and learn to appreciate that the science underlying animal anatomy and animal nutrition is important to them, because good management practices always come back to a solid scientific foundation. He gets them to develop critical thinking skills, and apply them to their operations at home, by exposing them to industry experts, by visiting leading edge operations, and by working with the most current industry practices. It’s motivating for students, and it provides a forum where they learn from each other, from industry specialists and top notch agricultural producers as well as from Chris. It is “student centered learning in action.”
The following quote captures how FMT students feel about Chris’s teaching: “… you have a good relationship with the students, you know the stuff you’re teaching, and it’s all up to date. This is all essential knowledge, and needs to be done on a daily basis to be a good agricultural producer.”
When a school project finds concrete business applications
Farm Credit Canada presents four awards to Farm Management and Technology students
Hands-on experience is the best way to put into practice the knowledge learned in the classroom setting. Every year, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) challenges students in agriculture diploma programs across Canada to work with experienced farm operators and real farm data to develop solid business plans. The awards for the four highest quality plans from McGill’s Farm Management and Technology (FMT) program were presented on April 19, 2010 at the Macdonald Campus.
The winners are: First place Regula Estermann, FMT’10, second place Jonathan Messerli, FMT’10, third place Lyna L’Heureux, FMT’10, and fourth place Benjamin Oeggerli, FMT’10,. All the FMT third year students have to build a business plan as part of their capstone Farm Project course. “This project is the comprehensive assessment for the program. It’s an invaluable learning experience: the FCC awards greatly encourage high quality business plans, and provide recognition for excellent projects,” said Peter Enright, BSc(AgrEnv)’86, MSc’89, director of the FMT program. “In addition, when a student returns home with a solid business plan and with the skill sets required to update and redefine those plans as market conditions change, it’s a great benefit to the family enterprise or company.” Regula Estermann prepared a plan for the dairy farm operation her family operates in Dundee, Québec. Jonathan Messerli from St-André-d’Argenteuil, Québec prepared his five year investment plan on his family farm, a dairy operation. Lyna L’Heureux from St-Henri-de-Lévis, Québec prepared a business plan focusing on optimizing her dairy and hog operation. Finally, Benjamin Oeggerli from Bainsville, Ontario, also from a dairy farm worked on an investment plan for his family business. All four students demonstrate a profound understanding of the financial and technical challenges that their farm face, and brought forward plans which strengthen the operations.