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David Mendelsohn was in a state of disbelief when he got the news that he was one of 14 doctoral students to win a Trudeau Foundation scholarship.
"When I applied, I felt like I was buying a lottery ticket," said the 36-year-old on the phone from Hamburg, Germany, where he was finishing his doctorate for Concordia University in Classics and Linguistics. He is starting a doctorate this fall at McGill in Islamic Studies. The Trudeau Foundation — which awards $35,000 per year, plus an annual $15,000 travel stipend over a four-year period — will allow Mendelsohn to pursue his dream of contributing to the peace process in the Middle East.
After living in Israel for three years, where he became fluent in Arabic through friendships with Palestinians, Mendelsohn came to believe that both the Palestinians and Israeli Jews wanted peace. "Yet they were incapable of finding the means to communicate that desire to each other in a respectful, believable manner," he said.
Through his graduate studies, Mendelsohn hopes to bridge the cultural and linguistic divide in communications between the two peoples.
Gregoire Webber's work is more theoretical. He's just completed his law degree at McGill where his interest was in constitutional law. At Oxford University, he will examine the "idea of justification," whereby a principle of a country's constitution is infringed upon in the name of the greater good through democratic governance. In Canada, the War Measures Act, used in 1970 during the October Crisis to give the federal government exceptional powers to arrest people suspected of terrorist activity, is the best-known example, but the issue of justification is also present in such issues as special protection for members of minority groups or preferential hiring of people from so-called disadvantaged groups.
"I want to articulate and re- evaluate the tension between the constitution and democratic governance so that people can think for themselves whether particular compromises to the constitution may be justified," he said on the phone from Ottawa, where he was working for Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie.
Both Webber's and Mendelsohn's work fall neatly within the four themes of the Trudeau Foundation: human rights and social justice; responsible citizenship; Canada and the world; and humans and the natural environment. Established in 2002 as a private foundation funded by the federal government, the Trudeau Foundation's goal is to produce intellectual leaders who will make a difference in the local and global communities to which they belong, and who will participate in the debates that shape our collective future.
For more information about the Trudeau Foundation, see www.trudeaufoundation.ca.
Thanks to all the grounds-keepers with such green thumbs. The campus has looked splendid over the summer, and their work on McGill's greenery calms the mind and lifts the spirit.
Edward Keyserlingk, coordinator of the undergraduate and graduate teaching program in bioethics and health law at the Faculty of Medicine received the 2004 Medal of Honour from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) on August 18, in recognition of his work as a clinician, scholar, teacher, humanitarian and pioneer in medical ethics. Presented each year to a nonphysician, the medal recognizes contributions to medical research or education, health care organization and public education
Chemistry rofessor Adi Eisenberg is this year's winner of the Prix Urgel-Archambault from ACFAS. This prize was created in 1953 in honour of Urgel Archambault, founding director of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, and it is the annual award from ACFAS (l'Association francophone pour le savoir) recognizing excellence in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics, or Engineering.
The Statistical Society of Canada awarded their 2004 Gold Medal to Keith Worsley of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The medal honours current leaders in their fields who make substantial contributions to statistics or probability, in either mathematical developments or applied work. Worsley's research interests concern the geometry of random images in astrophysics and brain imaging.
Peter Leuprecht, previous dean of law at McGill, was made director of the Montreal Institute of International Studies, based at UQAM, where he now teaches.
Holly Demare, Animal Care Services manager for the Animal Resources Centre has received the Technician of the Year Award from the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science at their annual conference held in Hamilton, Ontario. The Agribrands Purina Technician of the Year Award was first presented in 1966.