Honorary doctorates, professors emeriti and teaching award winners

Honorary doctorates, professors emeriti and teaching award winners McGill University

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McGill Reporter
May 26, 2005 - Volume 37 Number 17
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 37: 2004-2005 > May 26, 2005 > Honorary doctorates, professors emeriti and teaching awards

Honorary Doctorates, Professors Emeriti and 2005 Teaching Award Winners

Honorary Doctorates

Joanne Marshall

Joanne Gard Marshall
Doctor of Letters
BA (University of Calgary), MLS (McGill University), MHSc (McMaster University), PhD (University of Toronto)

Joanne Marshall's contributions to the field of health sciences information are internationally lauded. As dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, from 1999 to 2004, she initiated important new educational programs that served the state of North Carolina and gained a four-fold increase in research funding. She has received numerous research and professional service awards, including the Winifred Sewell Prize for Innovation in Information Technologies from the Special Library Association, the Medical Library Association's Ida and George Eliot Prize for the most significant research in medical librarianship and the Award of Outstanding Achievement from the Canadian Health Libraries Association. She is currently the president of the Medical Library Association, a major health sciences information organization with more than 1,100 institutional and 3,600 individual members worldwide.

Andrew Benedek

Andrew Benedek
Doctor of Science
BEng (McGill University), PhD (University of Washington)

After earning his bachelor's in chemical engineering at McGill in 1966, Andrew Benedek began working in the petrochemical industry. Witnessing first-hand the adverse effects of pollution on the environment, he decided to specialize in environmental engineering. In 1970, he accepted a professorship at McMaster University, where he conducted research into improving water quality. By 1980, Benedek co-ordinated the internationally renowned Wastewater Research Group, and founded ZENON Environmental Inc., a company dedicated to solving water quality problems. Under his leadership, ZENON has become a global leader in membrane technology for water and wastewater treatment and recognized as Best Corporate Citizen in Canada for 2002 and 2004. In addition, Benedek has donated numerous complete water treatment systems to aboriginal groups within Canada whose water quality has been threatened.

Len Pinchuk

Leonard Pinchuk
Doctor of Science
BSc (McGill University ), MS and PhD (University of Miami)

An extraordinary inventor and entrepreneur, Pinchuk and his work have had a dramatic impact on the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people through his inventions of medical devices and by making them available. His many patented inventions range from the lifestyle-improving (novel venous and urinary tract catheter materials) to the life-saving (coronary artery stents, angioplasty balloon materials). Pinchuk has made these contributions through his profound understanding of materials chemistry, biocompatibility and human physiology, as well as through his keen sense of entrepreneurship. Pinchuk has received top recognition from many organizations and institutions, as well as the thanks of grateful patients and their families from around the world.

Veronica Tennant

Veronica Tennant
Doctor of Letters

Veronica Tennant was Prima Ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada for 25 years. After her debut as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, she quickly became one of the world's most sought-after dancers. Tennant has danced all the principal ballet roles and has partnered with the leading male dancers of her generation, including Erik Bruhn, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Since her retirement in 1989, she has turned her talents beyond ballet and has built an extensive reputation as a narrator, actor, broadcaster and lecturer. She has also worked tirelessly over the years in support of the arts and charitable organizations. In 2003, Veronica Tennant was named a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Rick Hansen

Rick M. Hansen
Doctor of Letters
CC, BPE (University of British Columbia)

During high school, Rick Hansen was an outstanding athlete. After a road accident left him confined to a wheelchair, he turned his personal tragedy to international triumph. He continued as an athlete and a coach while working toward a degree in physical education. Hansen also had a dream: he wanted to change public attitudes toward those with disabilities and broaden the prospects of people with spinal cord injuries. In 1985, he started the Man in Motion Tour, capturing the pride of our country and the imagination of the world. For two years he wheeled 40,000 kilometres around the globe, raising $26 million for spinal cord research, rehabilitation, wheelchair sport and awareness. Today, Hansen is the president and chief executive officer of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute, the latter a union of several organizations that focuses on improving the quality of life for the disabled. Hansen was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1987 and received the Order of British Columbia in 1990.

Paul Tellier

The Honourable Paul Tellier
Doctor of Laws
PC, CC, QC, BA, LLL (University of Ottawa), BLitt (Oxford University)

The Honourable Paul Tellier was president and chief executive officer of Bombardier Inc. until last December. Educated as a lawyer, he became a career civil servant. From 1992 to 2002, he was president and CEO of the Canadian National Railway Company. He was consecutively executive director of the Public Service Commission, deputy minister of Indian and Northern Development, deputy minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, and the clerk of the Privy Council and secretary to the Cabinet, as well as deputy secretary to the cabinet in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office. Tellier has held a number of board positions, such as on the executive committee of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Ottawa General Hospital, as well as the chair of the Conference Board of Canada. His many awards include the Most Respected CEO of the Year from the Globe & Mail in 2003, the Fellowship Award from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2003, B'nai Brith Canada's Award of Merit in 2000, and the Grand Montréalais in 1998.

Rodolfo Sacco

Rodolfo Sacco
Doctor of Laws
LLD (University of Turin)

Rodolfo Sacco, professor emeritus at the University of Turin, is undoubtedly Italy's best known legal scholar and Europe's most famous comparative lawyer. At the age of 80, Sacco continues to teach and publish extensively. He has authored numerous articles in the leading French and American journals. President of the Latin Group of the International Academy of Comparative Law, he is particularly well known as a civilian scholar in the French tradition. However, his international reputation is that of one of the founding fathers of the rich comparative law tradition that is now dominant in European circles. Virtually every Italian scholar of international note in this field has been one of Sacco's pupils.

Haile Debas

Haile T. Debas
Doctor of Science
BSc (University College),MD, CM (McGill University)

Haile T. Debas is a distinguished gastrointestinal surgeon, physiologist and leader in the field of academic medicine. An outstanding teacher and researcher, his interests in gastrointestinal physiology focus on the hormones and peptides that regulate the function of the GI-tract. He is currently the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the vice-chancellor of Medical Affairs at the University of California in San Francisco. He is a member of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the editorial boards of eight leading journals in the fields of physiology and surgery, and is currently the president of the American Surgical Association. Debas is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Jack Rabinovitch

Jack Rabinovitch
Doctor of Letters
CM, OOnt, BA (McGill)

Philanthropist Jack Rabinovitch has supported community activities in Montreal and Toronto. He has selflessly provided guidance and raised funds as chair of the building committee for the Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital. In memory of his wife, Doris Giller, he created the internationally noted Giller Prize for Fiction, one of Canada's foremost literary awards. Rabinovitch was a reporter and speechwriter before becoming a successful businessman and entrepreneur in food retailing and real estate development. He joined Trizec Corporation in 1972 and was appointed its executive vice-president in 1986. He was responsible for the planning, development, construction, leasing and financing of six million square feet of commercial, retail and hotel space, and was involved in ventures with major Fortune 500 companies like Xerox, General Motors, Hilton International and Sheraton Corporation. Rabinovitch's many awards include an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto, being Maclean's magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1999, and membership to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Donald Dawson

Donald A. Dawson
Doctor of Science
BSc, MSc (McGill), PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

McGill alumnus Donald Dawson is one of the world's leading probabilists, and has made seminal contributions to the study of spatially distributed stochastic processes and infinite-dimensional branching systems, including the Dawson-Watanabe superprocess. A tireless leader in mathematics and statistics, he served as director of Canada's Field Institute from 1996 to 2000 and is currently president of the (International) Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability. Dawson has received the 2004 Centre de Recherches Mathématiques-Fields Institute Prize, the 1991 Gold Medal Lecture of the Statistical Society of Canada, the 1994 Jeffery-Williams lecture of the Canadian Mathematical Society. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the International Statistical Institute and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and a Killam Senior Research Scholar. Dawson is currently distinguished research professor and professor emeritus at Carleton University.

Jane Eaglen

Jane Eaglen
Doctor of Music

Jane Eaglen is regarded as being one of the opera world's most exceptional talents. As one of today's greatest sopranos, she is a superb inspiration for young musicians. She started at the age of 5 with piano lessons; at 16, she began singing lessons, and at 18 she was accepted into the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 1984, she joined the English National Opera, where she sang many notable roles, particularly Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. Her breakthrough came soon after with the Scottish Opera as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Eaglen's other successes with the Scottish Opera were as Tosca and Norma. Eaglen sang Brünnhilde in Wagner's Ring at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1996, repeating the role with the San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. She sang her first Isolde with the Seattle Opera in 1998 and then with the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

Jeff Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs
Doctor of Laws
BA, MA and PhD (Harvard University)

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Before joining Columbia in 2002, Sachs spent over 20 years at Harvard University, most recently as director of the Center for International Development. Sachs has become internationally known for his work advising governments on poverty reduction. He is currently director of the UN Millennium Project, an independent body commissioned to advise the United Nations on strategies to meet its targets for reducing poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women. He is author or co-author of over 200 scholarly articles, and has written and edited several books. In 2004, Sachs was named by Time as one of the world's 100 most influential people.

Yves Fortier

Yves Fortier
Doctor of Laws
CC, BA (Université de Montréal), BCL (McGill University), BLitt (Oxford University)

Yves Fortier is chairman of the Montreal-based Ogilvy Renault and is one of the most prominent and distinguished lawyers in Canada. He earned a bachelor of Civil Law from McGill and a bachelor of letters from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. From 1988 to 1992, Fortier was Canada's ambassador and permanent representative for Canada to the United Nations, and he served as president of the United Nations Security Council in 1989. He has pleaded important cases before Canadian and international courts and arbitration panels and served as counsel to many royal commissions and commissions of inquiry. From 1998 to 2001, Fortier served as president of the London Court of International Arbitration. In 1991, Fortier was appointed as Companion of the Order of Canada.

Martin Charles Raff

Martin Charles Raff
Doctor of Science
BSc, MD, CM (McGill University)

Described as one of the world's most original biologists, Martin Raff has made seminal contributions to almost every area of modern biology, particularly cellular and developmental biology, immunology and neurobiology. From 1971, he co-directed the Medical Research Council Developmental Neurobiology Programme at University College, London, where he was professor of biology, until his retirement in 2002. Raff investigated and identified mechanisms that underlie the development of animal cells and the ways in which cells "decide" whether to grow or stop growing, differentiate or commit intercellular suicide at an appropriate time of the development cycle. His results have increased our understanding of how the size of an organ or an entire animal is determined. A fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Academia Europaea, Raff has been recognized with numerous accolades.

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Professors Emeriti

Abdul M. Ahmed
Thomas Workman Emeritus Professor in Mechanical Engineering
BSc (University of Dhaka), MEng, PhD (McGill University)

Abdul Ahmed came to McGill as a lecturer in 1968, completed his graduate degrees in 1971, and became a full professor in 1986. He was the chair of Mechanical Engineering from 1986 to 1996 and was appointed the Thomas Workman Professor in Mechanical Engineering in 2000. A pioneer in biomedical engineering, especially in research on knee joints and the spine, he has over 170 publications, and his research has led to many industrial applications.

Jean-Pierre Duquette, CQ
BA, LèsL (Université de Montréal), Doctorat de 3e cycle (Université de Paris X)

Jean-Pierre Duquette joined the Department of French Language and Literature in 1970 and served as its director from 1985 to 1996. A specialist in Flaubert, Colette and Germaine Guèvremont, he has published eight books and numerous articles, and has supervised more than 50 masters and doctoral students. Inducted into the Académie des lettres du Québec in 1982, he was appointed its president in 1998. He was named a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 1999.

Tak-Hang (Bill) Chan, FRSC
Tomlinson Emeritus Professor in Chemistry
BSc (University of Toronto), MSc, PhD (Princeton University)

Tak-Hang (Bill) Chan joined the Department of Chemistry in 1966 and has an international reputation in synthetic organic chemistry and organosilicon chemistry. The "Chan Rearrangement" has been added to the professional literature, and he is a pioneer of green chemistry. Chan has published over 250 scientific papers and co-authored three textbooks, created the first green chemistry course for undergraduates and mentored more than 80 graduate and postdoctoral students. He has also served as the chair of the Department of Chemistry, dean of the Faculty of Science and vice-principal (academic) of McGill.

Derek Armour Drummond
William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Architecture
BArch (McGill University)

Derek Drummond, the William C. Macdonald Professor of Architecture and a fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, joined the School of Architecture as a lecturer in 1964, following a short period in private practice. As a vice-principal, director, governor, senator and chair of countless standing and ad hoc committees, Drummond has never turned down an invitation or opportunity to work for the betterment of McGill. In addition to being an outstanding teacher, he has delivered numerous public lectures and has moderated over 40 Leacock Luncheons.

John E. Gruzleski, FCIM, FASM, FCAE
The Gerald Hatch Emeritus Professor of Metallurgical Engineering
BSc, MSc (Queen's University), PhD (University of Toronto)

John Gruzleski, who joined the Department of Mining and Metallurgical (now Mining, Metals and Materials) Engineering in 1969, is the author or co-author of over 150 papers and three books dealing with metal casting and solidification, especially related to aluminum alloys. He won the Engineering Alumni Award for outstanding teaching in 1995, and has also proven to be an excellent administrator, serving for 11 years as chair of his department, and then as dean of engineering from 1999 to 2005. He is currently chair of McGill's task force on campus planning.

Roger Basil Buckland
BSc(Agr), MSc (McGill University), PhD (University of Maryland)

After earning his doctorate in 1968, Roger Buckland worked as a research scientist with Agriculture Canada. He joined McGill in 1971, became the chair of the Department of Animal Science in 1979 and dean and vice-principal (Macdonald Campus) in 1985 — a post he held for 10 years. He is a fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and has received the Poultry Science Association Research Award and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College Distinguished Alumnus Award. Most recently, he has played a leadership role in establishing the joint McGill University and Université de Montréal Centre for Poultry Research.

Maurice Henri Dongier
MD, FRCPC, FAPA, MD, CM (Université de Marseille)

Maurice Dongier received his medical degree in Marseille in 1951 and then trained at the Allan Memorial Institute, earning a diploma in psychiatry from McGill in 1954. After positions at the Université de Marseille and the Université de Liège (Belgium), he returned to McGill as director of the Allan Memorial Institute in 1971 and served as the chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1974 to 1985. His research in alcohol abuse and his leadership in alcohol abuse research at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre has won international acclaim.

C. S. (Harry) Lam
Ernest Rutherford Emeritus Professor of Physics
BSc (McGill University), PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

C. S. (Harry) Lam is an internationally renowned leader in theoretical physics whose work, characterized by its breadth as well as its insight, has greatly furthered high-energy physics research. Lam has won the Faculty of Science's Leo Yaffe Award for Excellence in Teaching and has served as chair of the Department of Physics, as well as on many university committees. He holds the most prestigious named chair in the department, the Ernest Rutherford Professorship.

Robert H. Marchessault, OC, FRSC
E. B. Eddy Emeritus Professor in Industrial Chemistry
BSc (Loyola), PhD (McGill University)

Robert Marchessault is an authority in the physical chemistry of polymers and a pioneer in research on biodegradable commodity plastics. He worked at the State University of New York (Syracuse), the Université de Montréal, and the Xerox Research Centre of Canada before coming to McGill in 1987 as the NSERC-Xerox Industrial Research Chair and the E. B. Eddy Chair in Industrial and Cellulose Chemistry. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Physical Society and the Chemical Institute of Canada, as well as an officer of the Order of Canada and a 2002 recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

George P. H. Styan
BSc (Honours, University of Birmingham),MA, PhD (Columbia University)

George Styan joined McGill's Faculty of Science in 1969 and is a world authority in matrix analysis and its applications to statistics, with four books and over 100 original research papers. He has been managing editor of The Canadian Journal of Statistics since 1999 (as well as from 1977 to 1984), and in 2000 was named abstracting editor of Current Index to Statistics; he also edited the IMS Bulletin and Chance Magazine. He received the 1988 Plaque for Distinguished Service from the Statistical Society of Canada and the 2003 Harry C. Carver Medal from the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Alan Tenenhouse
BSc, MD, CM, PhD (McGill University)

Alan Tenenhouse joined McGill's Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the Department of Medicine in 1968 and established, in rapid succession, the McGill Bone Centre and the Division of Bone Metabolism in the Department of Medicine in 1987. The Bench to Bedside Lecture Series, which he chaired, showcased the activities of faculty members. He has also been active internationally, serving as director of the McGill-IMC (International Medical College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Partnership Program and as the Royal College Kilborn Memorial Visiting Professor to the People's Republic of China.

Juan H. Vera
IngChim (Universidad Technica del Estado, Chile); MSc (University of California, Berkeley), Dr Ing, (Universidad Santa Maria, Chile)

Juan Vera, an expert in thermodynamics, has produced novel methods that enable the first determination of thermodynamic parameters of amino acids and antibiotics. He joined McGill's Department of Chemical Engineering after coming from the State Technical University in Santiago in 1974. He twice won the Faculty of Engineering's Award for Outstanding Teaching (1981 and 1997) and from 2000 to 2004 was associate dean (research); he has also served as an elected senator, associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and President of the McGill Association of University Teachers (MAUT).

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2005 Teaching Award Winners

Class of '44 Award for Outstanding Teaching (Faculty of Engineering)
Saeed Mirza (Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics)

Osler Teaching Award (Faculty of Medicine)
Gary C. Bennett (Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology)

Award for Distinguished Teaching (Department of Continuing Education)
Ina Dieguez (Translation Studies)

Macdonald Campus Award for Teaching Excellence
David James Lewis (Department of Natural Resource Sciences)

Distinguished Teaching Award in the Faculty of Management (Graduate)
Margaret Graham

Distinguished Teaching Award in the Faculty of Management (Undergraduate)
Omar Nohad Toulan

H. Noel Fieldhouse Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Faculty of Arts
Brian Lewis (Department of History)

Carrie M. Derick Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Supervision
Peter Grütter (Department of Physics)

John W. Durford Teaching Excellence Award
Blaine Baker (Faculty of Law)

David Thomson Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision and Teaching
Hong Guo (Department of Physics)

Ida and Samuel Fromson Award for Outstanding Teaching (Faculty of Egineering)
Ricardo Castro (School of Architecture)

Faculty of Education Award for Distinguished Teaching
Phyllis Shapiro

Leo Yaffe Award for Excellence in Teaching (Faculty of Science)
Hanadi Sleiman (Department of Chemistry)

W. W. Wood Award for Excellence in Teaching (Faculty of Dentistry)
Veronique Benhamou

Howard S. Katz Award for Excellence in Teaching (Faculty of Dentistry)
Marc McKee

*Osler Teaching Award edited for accuracy Top of page

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