Spring 2023 Convocation – Detailed Biographies of Honorary Doctorate Recipients
May 30, 2023, 10 a.m.– Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
Amelia Tekwatonti McGregor
Thanks to the breadth and depth of her knowledge and experience, Amelia Tekwatonti McGregor has made vital contributions to the expanding fields of Indigenous research methodology, health promotion, and community education.A Mohawk from Kahnawà:ke Territory, Mrs. McGregor is a revered community leader and knowledge holder. She helped create the Kahnawà:ke Schools Diabetes Prevention Project (KSDPP) in 1994 – an award-winning response to alarming rates of Type 2 diabetes in the Kahnawà:ke community. For decades, Mrs. McGregor has shared her knowledge with the next generation, nurturing their understanding of how important it is to uphold Indigenous identity and perspective within academic institutions and the wider healthcare landscape.
May 30, 2023, 3 p.m. - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
N. Paul Rosman, F.R.C.P.(C)
B.Sc., M.D.C.M. (McGill University)
N. Paul Rosman has brilliantly mastered the combination of exceptional patient care, clinical and applied research, and the training of medical students, residents, and fellows – all while shaping the field of pediatric neurology. Dr. Rosman’s research has been fundamental to the understanding and management of disorders of the nervous system in children. He has been at the forefront of developing novel interdisciplinary approaches to the care of children with special needs. He is widely known for employing entertaining and creative interview and examination techniques, particularly with children, to elicit information others failed to gain and which would often prove crucial to forming a diagnosis.
May 30, 2023, 3 p.m. - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.) N. Paul Rosman, F.R.C.P.(C) B.Sc., M.D.C.M. (McGill University) N. Paul Rosman has brilliantly mastered the combination of exceptional patient care, clinical and applied research, and the training of medical students, residents, and fellows – all while shaping the field of pediatric neurology. Dr. Rosman’s research has been fundamental to the understanding and management of disorders of the nervous system in children. He has been at the forefront of developing novel interdisciplinary approaches to the care of children with special needs. He is widely known for employing entertaining and creative interview and examination techniques, particularly with children, to elicit information others failed to gain and which would often prove crucial to forming a diagnosis.
May 31, 2023, 10 a.m. - Desautels Faculty of Management, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
Serge Godin, O.C., O.Q.
B.A. (Université Laval)
Serge Godin is a model of leadership and social engagement, both in terms of his contribution to the information technology sector and to the broader Canadian business community. His company, CGI, employs 91,000 consultants and professionals, operates in 400 markets in 40 countries, and is one of the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. In 2000, Mr. Godin and members of his family established the Godin Family Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate poverty, promote education, and improve the health of children and teens in need.
May 31, 2023, 3 p.m. - Faculty of Law, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
Christiane Taubira’s career has been a sequence of firsts: the first woman to be elected French Guiana’s deputy to the French National Assembly; the first Black person to run in France’s presidential election; and the first Black woman to be named justice minister of France. Deeply committed to civil rights and equality, Ms. Taubira founded the Guianese Walwari Party and was first elected as a member of the French National Assembly for French Guiana in 1993. Ms. Taubira was appointed justice minister of France by President François Hollande in 2012, and she quickly became known as one of the most outspoken and progressive voices in his government. In 2013, she introduced a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in France.
June 1, 2023, 3 p.m. - Faculty of Education, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
B.Sc. (University of Pittsburgh), Ph.D. (University of Minnesota)
A visionary theorist, researcher, and clinician, Dante Cicchetti formalized the multidisciplinary field of developmental psychopathology – and improved the lives of countless children in the process. Dr. Cicchetti’s unique work, combining theoretical and technological science with applied intervention, has challenged the way scholars, educators, professionals, and policy makers work with children and adolescents whose development is at risk due to physiological, psychological, experiential, and/or societal reasons. His pioneering research with children with Down syndrome, maltreated children, and children of depressed parents has transformed the discourse and applied work with these and other vulnerable groups of youth.
June 2, 2023, 10 a.m. – Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
Vijay P. Singh
B.Tech. (G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology), M.Sc. (University of Guelph), Ph.D. (Colorado State University), D.Sc. (University of Witwatersrand)
With degrees in agricultural engineering, engineering hydrology, civil engineering, and environmental and water-resources engineering, Professor Vijay Singh has devoted his stellar career to developing a multi-disciplinary framework of environmental and water-resources science and engineering. He pioneered a systems approach to hydrology, paving the way for the development of the most advanced technologies for experimental measurements and both field and satellite observations.
June 2, 2023, 2:30 p.m. - Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
B.S., M.S. (Michigan State University), Ph.D. (University of Illinois)
A renowned leader in policy-making decisions on scientific agricultural issues, Dale Bauman has left an indelible mark in the fields of animal and nutritional sciences. His research integrating nutrition, biochemistry, and endocrinology has provided novel concepts, identified basic mechanisms, resulted in commercial applications, and has had a positive effect on public understanding of nutrition and animal agriculture globally. Professor Bauman became internationally recognized for his study and teaching on the metabolic regulation of nutrient use as it relates to lactation biology, animal-derived functional foods, and the environment.
June 5, 2023, 10 a.m. - Faculty of Science, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc)
A.B. (Harvard College), Ph.D. (Harvard University)
A pioneer and renowned scholar in ecology and conservation biology, Daniel Simberloff’s research has informed the design of nature reserves, the management of invasive species, and the risks of biological control. Studying the susceptibility of ecosystems to biological invasions years before the phenomenon became a thriving subdiscipline, Simberloff is a world leader in this research area. His work helped motivate U.S. President Bill Clinton’s 1999 Executive Order that outlined a federal strategy to address the threat of invasive species and established an Invasive Species Advisory Committee, on which Dr. Simberloff served and which produced the first national invasive-species-management plan for the United States.
June 5, 2023, 3 p.m. - Faculty of Science, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts, F.R.S.C.
B.Sc. (Trent University), M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of California, Riverside)
Ottawa-born Barbara Finlayson-Pitts is a renowned atmospheric chemist whose pioneering research has led to novel breakthroughs and insights into the most important aspects of atmospheric chemistry, and the causes and creation of air pollution. Professor Finlayson-Pitts’s research group is dedicated to the study of atmospheric processes. She is focused on obtaining a molecular-level understanding of reactions that have the potential or are known to occur in the atmosphere and is particularly interested in interactions at the interface between air and water as well as air and particles, where gases meet liquids or solids.
June 6, 2023, 10 a.m. - Faculty of Arts - Doctor of Letters, honoris causa (D.Litt.)
Françoise Sullivan, O.C., Q.C.
A renowned dancer, choreographer, painter, sculptor, and photographer, Françoise Sullivan, who will celebrate her 100th birthday on June 10, has made exceptional contributions to the arts in Canada. A native Montrealer, Ms. Sullivan was one of Canada’s first multidisciplinary artists, with a career spanning more than 70 years. Beginning as an artist and a classical dancer, she studied modern dance from 1945 to 1947 in New York. In 1948, Ms. Sullivan was one of 16 artists who signed the Refus global, a fierce manifesto calling for the rejection of conventional thinking in Quebec society. This artistic and political expression contributed to a crucial movement of openness to change, was a turning point in the cultural history of Quebec and was a precursor to the Quiet Revolution. In the 1960s, Ms. Sullivan studied sculpture, learning to create in Plexiglas, wood, and metal, welding her own work. By the 1970s, she had added conceptual art to her repertoire and in the 1980s she returned to painting, developing her own approach to abstraction. She still works today. Later this year, to mark her centenary, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts will stage an exhibition from a body of her work begun in 2022.
June 6, 2023, 3 p.m. - Faculty of Arts - Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
Charlie William Watt, O.Q.
A prominent Indigenous-rights advocate, Charlie William Watt is a respected leader in Nunavik who has made enormous contributions to the Inuit community, Quebec, and Canada. In the 1970s, Mr. Watt led the Inuit of northern Quebec (now called Nunavik) in negotiations that resulted in the 1975 signing of the historic James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. His leadership during the Canadian Constitutional debates of the early 1980s helped ensure Aboriginal rights were enshrined in Canada’s repatriated Constitution. Appointed to the Senate in 1984, Senator Watt was instrumental in changing Senate rules to allow the use of his mother tongue, as well as for producing the first materials in Inuktitut on the Canadian Parliamentary system.
June 7, 2023, 10 a.m. - Faculty of Arts - Doctor of Letters, honoris causa (D.Litt.)
M.A., D.Phil. (University of Oxford)
Author, professor, and pioneering researcher Nicholas Cronk is at once one of the world’s pre-eminent Enlightenment scholars while standing at the forefront of digital humanities technology. His work has been and remains crucial to the development of digital humanities research and is broadening our understanding of 18th-century civilization. Professor Cronk was the general editor of the Complete Works of Voltaire, the first critical edition of the totality of Voltaire’s writings in the original French, arranged chronologically. He is now leading the planning of the digital edition of Voltaire’s complete writings as part of a new initiative titled Digital Enlightenment.
June 7, 2023, 3 p.m. - Schulich School of Music, Doctor of Music, honoris causa (D.Mus.)
B.A. (McGill University)
A successful businessperson, committed volunteer, and generous philanthropist, Elizabeth Wirth is a respected and inspiring role model. President and CEO of WirthBrand Inc., Ms. Wirth is also chairperson and founding director of M.F. Wirth Rail Corp. Ms. Wirth has been a member of the Schulich School of Music’s Faculty Advisory Board for more than 20 years and its Chair since 2008.On top of endowing the Students Initiatives Fund at the Schulich School of Music, Ms. Wirth established the Wirth Vocal Prize, which recognizes a voice student who demonstrates exceptional talent and significant promise for an international career. Along with her father, Ms. Wirth generously supported renovations to Schulich’s opera-training facilities to create the Wirth Opera Studio.
June 7, 2023, 6:30 p.m. - School of Continuing Studies, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
M.Eng., M.B.A. (McGill University)
Since graduating from McGill more than 50 years ago, Ram Panda has been one of the University’s most loyal champions. Mr. Panda has had an impressive career as an entrepreneur and software developer. In 1978, he combined his software expertise and business acumen to co-found Invera Inc., a company that today is a leading supplier of resource planning systems. Mr. Panda recently completed a five-year term as Chair of McGill’s Board of Governors, during which he guided the University through exciting milestones, as well as the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting critical innovations in virtual and hybrid learning. A generous benefactor of the University, Mr. Panda supported the recently launched McGill Students and Scholars at Risk Fund – a fund that provides urgent financial support to international students, postdoctoral fellows, scholars, and researchers who have been displaced by conflict or other humanitarian crises.