Alumnotes Spring/Summer 2010


Agricultural  & Environmental Sciences

Marie Chantal Messier, BSc(Nut)’94, is joining the World Bank as a senior nutrition specialist in the Health Unit of the Human Development Department, Latin America and Caribbean Region.With most of her time spent doing field work in developing countries, Marie Chantal has amassed expertise in international nutrition while collaborating with international organizations, NGOs, government, private sector and investment firms. Previously, Marie Chantal held the position of senior associate for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Geneva.


David Fox, BArch’80, is a senior associate in the healthcare design studio of Hord Coplan Macht, a 100-person architecture and landscape architecture firm in Baltimore, Maryland. David is the architect for the first stand-alone emergency department building in Maryland, which is currently under construction in Queen Anne’s County.


Irving Massey, BA’44, is a professor of English and comparative literature at the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo. The author of nine books, his most recent is The Neural Imagination: Aesthetic and Neuroscientific Approaches to the Arts (University of Texas Press). The book examines neuroesthetics, a new field that combines neuroscience with aesthetics. He hopes to allay the fear that brain science might “explain away” the arts, while exploring how neuroscience can enhance our understanding of certain features of art.

Joan Clark, BA’50, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008. Joan, a prominent patent lawyer, has served as the first woman president of several national and international professional associations in the field of intellectual property and was a major force behind the creation and implementation of a groundbreaking animal protection law in Quebec. Formerly senior partner and now counsel to the law firm Ogilvy Renault, she has previously received the Ordre du mérite of the Bar of Quebec and in 2007 was awarded the distinction of Advocatus Emeritus by the Quebec Bar.


Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, BA’55, DLitt’92, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in January. One of the most influential singer-songwriters of his era, he will also be inducted into the New York-based Songwriters Hall of Fame this year. His concert tour of Europe, originally scheduled to begin in March, has been delayed until September while he recovers from a back injury.

Gordon L. Noseworthy, BA’62, attended Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh, Scotland, after graduating from McGill. He went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Gordon worked for 41 years in public education before retiring as superintendent of schools for the Silver Lake Regional School District (South Shore, Massachusetts). He and his wife, Mary Ann (née Cleghorn) live in Northampton and Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Michael Schleifer, BA’64, PhD’71, has co-written Science and Religion in Education (Temeron Press, 2009) with McGill associate professor of educational and counselling psychology Victoria Talwar and Paul Harris, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Their book has also been published in French (Presses Universitaires du Quebec). Michael’s earlier book, Talking about Values and Feelings with Children (Temeron Press, 2006), has been translated into French, Spanish and Persian (Farsi).

Ian Ross Robertson, BA’65, MA’68, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, recently published a biography of Sir Andrew Macphail, BA1888, MD1891, the first professor of the history of medicine at McGill (1907 -1937), and a prolific author on many non-medical subjects. Sir Andrew Macphail: The Life and Legacy of a Canadian Man of Letters is available from McGill-Queen’s University Press. Ian was the 2009 recipient of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation’s Award of Honour.

Alice Becker Lehrer, BA’68, BSc(OT)’70, is the author of If We Could Hear Them Now: Encounters with Legendary Jewish Heroines, published by Urim Fiction. In this book, historical Jewish heroines retell their stories from a personal point of view in an interview format, reminding readers of the “timelessness” of the Jewish heroines’ teachings. Alice teaches at the David Weissman Institute of the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre in Montreal and has held senior positions in the Montreal Jewish community for many years.

Leighton J. Reynolds, BA’70, is the author of From the Other Side of the Moon, the first novel in the Seaville Wildfire Trilogy, published by iUniverse. The thriller follows a psychoanalyst’s attempts to hunt down a serial arsonist. The author, who lives in wildfire-prone Southern California, has doctoral degrees in both psychoanalysis and neuroscience and recently published what he believes is the first psychoanalytic paper ever written on the psychodynamics of the serial arsonist. The book is available through

Joy Parr, BA’71, has written a new book entitled Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003 (UBC Press). The book explores the notion that our bodies are archives of sensory knowledge and laboratories in which to retool our senses and practices in response to changing circumstances. The book examines how state-driven megaprojects and regulatory and environmental changes force people to cope with radical transformations in their work and home environments. The book is partnered with a website,, which augments Sensing Changes. Joy is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture, and Risk in the University of Western Ontario’s geography department.

Marilyn McNeil, MA’74, will serve as the chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee during the 2010-11 academic year. Her term officially begins on September 1, 2010. Marilyn is currently vice president and director of athletics at Monmouth University in New Jersey. She is also a former member of the NCAA Division I Committee on Women’s Athletics and served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA).

Karen Koning Abuzayd

Karen Koning Abuzayd

Karen Koning AbuZayd, MA’71, retired from her position as deputy commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency earlier this year. From the UNRWA’s base in Gaza, she helped oversee education, health, social services and microfinance programs for 4.6 million Palestinian refugees. Shortly before she stepped down from the UNRWA, she urged everyone interested in forging a lasting peace in the Middle East “to acknowledge, in their rhetoric and their policies, the need to address Palestinian dispossession,” calling it “a necessity, an international obligation and a humanitarian imperative.”

Gary S. Wihl, BA’76, MA’78, was installed as the Hortense and Tobia Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) on September 16, 2009. Gary joined WUSTL as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences on July 1, 2009, leaving his previous post as dean of Rice University’s school of humanities.

Richard Westley, MA’84, is the author of B League Champs, a coming-of-age novel set in Chicago during the sixties. Published by the Leder Press, the book is now available through in Amazon’s Kindle ebook format. It’s also available in Googlebooks format. In 2006, Richard published an article in Literary and Linguistic Computing that applied computer analysis to a question of authorial identity in connection with Robert Greene’s Groatsworth of Wit, a pamphlet renowned for attacking Shakespeare as a playwright and actor.

Licia Canton, BA’85, MA’86, is a writer, editor and communications consultant. She is the author of Almond Wine and Fertility (2008), a collection of short stories, and the editor-in-chief of Accenti Magazine—a national publication for Italian Canadians and lovers of all things Italian. She holds a PhD from Université de Montréal. Licia lives in Montreal with her husband and three children. She would love to hear from old friends and can be reached at

James Simon, BA’85, was recently named one of the top 10 faculty members at George Brown College in Toronto. He is in his 10th year as artistic director of the George Brown College Theatre School. After leaving McGill, James obtained a master’s degree in drama from the University of Alberta. His professional directing credits include productions at the National Arts Centre, Citadel Theatre, Young People’s Theatre, Blyth Festival, Buddies in Bad Times, Stage West, Carousel Players and Theatre on the Move. James joined the teaching staff at George Brown in 1997.

David A. B. Murray, BA’86, is an associate professor of anthropology at York University and the editor of the recently published book Homophobias: Lust and Loathing Across Time and Space (Duke University Press). The book examines, among other things, the cultural, political and economic forces that contribute to the development of new forms of homophobia.

David Rumsey, BA’87, has been elected to the American Translators Association’s (ATS) board of directors for the 2009-2010 term. The ATA is the largest organization in the U.S. for translators and interpreters. David operates North Country Translations from both Seattle, Washington, and Salt Spring Island, B.C. He specializes in translating technical, commercial and medical documentation from German and the Scandinavian languages.

Kristel Smentek, BA’91, an assistant professor of art history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was awarded the 2009 Council of Graduate Schools/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts. She earned the prize for her PhD thesis, which she completed at the University of Delaware, entitled “Art, Commerce and Scholarship in the Age of Enlightenment: Pierre-Jean Mariette and the Making of Art History.”

Adam Dodek, BA’92, and Daniel Jutras have edited a new book entitled The Sacred Fire: The Legacy of Antonio Lamer (Chief Justice of Canada)/Le feu sacre: l’heritage d’Antonio Lamer (juge en chef du Canada), published by Lexis Nexis. Adam is an associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa and Daniel is the dean of law at McGill.


Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons, BA’98, is one of the regular judges on Top Chef, a popular television series on Bravo (U.S.) and the Food Network (Canada) that features aspiring chefs competing for a shot at culinary stardom. Gail is also in charge of special projects for the epicurean magazine Food & Wine. She received her formal culinary training at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. She began her career writing food articles for Toronto Life and the National Post.

Patrick James Boucher, BA’93, was appointed as a justice of the Ontario Court of Justice on October 14, 2009. As a practicing lawyer, he represented clients in child protection, custody, access and support matters, and as an agent of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, he represented the interests of children in numerous family law matters. He represented clients in criminal matters in both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice. He has also served as director of Clinique Juridique Grand-Nord Legal Clinic, a community-based legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario.

Lisa Grushcow, BA’96, and Andrea Myers celebrated the birth of Alice Emerson Myers, sister to Ariella, on Dec. 27, 2009.

Robin Vose, BA’96, has a new book published, entitled Dominicans, Muslims and Jews in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, available from Cambridge University Press. She is currently teaching at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Luciano D’Iorio, BA’99, has been appointed president and CEO of Terramont Real Estate Services in Montreal. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of Terramont, Luciano works with corporations looking to renegotiate their leases, acquire new premises or dispose of their existing locations. Since graduation, he has continued his involvement in the community, including having been elected school commissioner for the English Montreal School Board (2003-2007) and serving on McGill’s Young Alumni Association. Luciano lives with his wife and two sons in Montreal. He can be contacted at

Matthew Bernstein, BA’00, and Cristina Blesa Novati, BSc’00, were married in 2006, and are pleased to announce that their first child, Isabel, was born in June 2009. Matthew, who completed his BEd and MEd at OISE (University of Toronto), works for the York Region District School Board as an elementary school teacher, while Cristina works for Ryerson University as an editor/production coordinator.

Jerry Fielden, BA’00, MLIS’02, and his band AraPacis released their sophomore album, Consequences of Dreams (available at, on October 5, 2009. Jerry, a guitarist and songwriter with over 40 years of experience, features metal, progressive rock and blues rock in his new album. In addition to creating music, he has taught the GLIS 633 Multimedia for Librarians course at McGill and is currently finishing a book on the 438th TAC HEL Squadron of the Canadian Air Force.

LionelTiger© JoyceRavid_God'sBrain-PrometheusBooksjpg_hires

Lionel Tiger (Photo: Joyce Ravid)

Lionel Tiger, BA’57, MA’60, the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, is the co-author of God’s Brain, a new book that examines religion’s role in human society with a focus on evolutionary biology and brain science. His co-author is neuroscientist Michael McGuire. The book explores perennial questions about religion: What is its purpose? How did it arise? Why does every known culture have some form of it? Lionel is the author of previous bestsellers, including Men in GroupsThe Pursuit of Pleasure and The Decline of Males.

Nicholas J. Bellerose, BA’02, joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada in 2008. He is currently an outreach communication officer for the Afghanistan Task Force, responsible for coordinating special events, organizing high-level visits and promoting the outreach on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan. He can be reached at

Francis Halin (B.A. 2004, M.A. 2008) occupe le poste de coordonnateur du Regroupement des organismes en francisation du Québec, lequel représente plus de 53 associations communautaires québécoises. Francis a terminé demi-finaliste lors de l’édition 2009 du Festival international de la chanson de Granby.

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, BA’05, is a writer and historian who had her first book, For the Love of Flying: The Story of Laurentian Air Services (Robin Brass Studio), published this year. The book explores the colourful 60-year history of Laurentian Air Services, dealing with everything from back-country air tourism to the mineral and hydro-power boom in Quebec and Newfoundland-Labrador to daring rescue missions. Danielle currently lives in Wyoming and is working on a non-fiction history of aviation in Canada’s north and a historical novel about a female bush pilot in the thirties and forties. For more information, visit

Jeremy J. Schmidt, MA’07, is a PhD candidate and Trudeau Scholar in the department of geography at the University of Western Ontario. Jeremy recently collaborated on a book project with Peter Brown, a professor cross-appointed in McGill’s departments of natural resource sciences and geography, and in the McGill School of Environment. The result of their partnership is Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals (Island Press). The book contends that all approaches to managing water, no matter how grounded in empirical data, involve value judgments and cultural assumptions.

Jason Takefman, BA’07, is the new general manager of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club, the 11th in club history dating back to 1978. Jason has been a part of the Vancouver Canadians organization since 2006.

Aviva Levy, BA’09, was one of 10 recent Canadian university graduates selected to participate in the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme (OLIP), administered by the Canadian Political Science Association. For a period of 10 months, interns work closely with both a government and an opposition Member of Provincial Parliament, gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the legislative process. Participants also have the opportunity to meet important political players and to attend special events.

Wayne Halliwell

Wayne Halliwell

Wayne Halliwell, MA’73, is a professor of kinesiology at the Université de Montréal and a sports psychology consultant who works with B2ten, a non-profit organization that supports elite Canadian athletes. Wayne worked with three key members of Canada’s Olympic contingent at the Vancouver Winter Games and all three earned medals—gold medalist Alexandre Bilodeau (freestyle moguls skiing), silver medalist and McGill student Jenn Heil (freestyle moguls skiing), and bronze medalist Joannie Rochette (figure skating). Describing his work, Wayne says, “My role is to fine-tune the mental preparation of athletes, help them cope with stress and enable them to remain calm so they are in an optimal state in competition.”


Amey Doyle, BEd’02, MA’05, interim head coach of the McGill Martlets hockey team, was named coach of the year by the Quebec university women’s hockey league. Amey led the Martlets to a perfect 20-0 record in the regular season.


David Haccoun, PhD’74, has been elected as a member of the board of governors of the Vehicular Technology Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a three-year mandate starting in 2009. David is a fellow of the IEEE, a fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, and a member of the board of directors of the Telecommunications Engineering Management Institute of Canada. He is an electrical engineering professor at École Polytechnique de Montréal.

Nathan M. Stubina, BEng’80, MEng’83, was recently elected president of MetSoc (the Metallurgical Society) of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. He works for Barrick Gold in Toronto and lives in Oakville, Ontario, with his wife, Maureen, and their two children. Last August, Nathan chaired the annual Conference of Metallurgists.

Elizabeth Edwards, BEng’83, MEng’85, has been honoured with a 2009 Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in the category of partnerships with a large company. The Synergy Awards celebrate research and development partnerships between university and industry. Elizabeth is a professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at the University of Toronto and partners with GeoSyntec Consultants and its subsidiary SiREM in developing effective techniques for using bacteria to clean up contaminated groundwater sites.

Erik Ryan, BEng’87, was appointed chairman of the board of directors for the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal for 2009-2010. The Board of Trade represents the interests of the Greater Montreal business community and promotes the economic development of the metropolitan area. Erik is senior vice-president, communications and external relations, for Rio Tinto Alcan. Previously, Erik was the secretary general of the Sommet de Montréal 2002, overseeing this event which was organized to identify the strategic priorities and initiatives critical to the City of Montreal.

Arthur Sweetman, BEng’88, has been named the new Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources at McMaster University. The newly created position was awarded by the Council of Ontario Universities and is funded by a $3-million endowment from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Health. The position was established to help Ontario be a leader in health workforce research and modelling and to continue to steer the system toward evidence-informed planning. Arthur is the former director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University.


Mo & Yulanda Faris_hires

Mohammad and Yulanda Faris (Photo: Michelle Libby)

Mohammad (Moh) Faris, BEng’59, MEng’62, and Yulanda Faris, BA’60, were awarded the 2010 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts during the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. The prize recognizes outstanding voluntary service that has benefited the cultural life of Canada. Moh and Yulanda have been an active force in the Vancouver arts community for almost 40 years, donating their time and financial support to a wide range of organizations. Moh was particularly instrumental in establishing the Scotiabank Dance Centre, while Yulanda currently chairs the Vancouver Opera Foundation.

Christian de Serres, BEng’89, DipWM&GC’92, joined Nouvelle Autoroute 30 (NA-30) in early 2009 as manager of environment, quality, health and safety. NA-30 is building and designing the new stretch of Highway 30 on the South Shore of Montreal under an agreement with the Quebec Ministry of Transport. Previously, Christian was an environmental consultant with SNC-Lavalin. He and his wife, Sylvie Letendre, VP at SNC-Lavalin, live in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce with their two adopted kids.

Michel Perrier, PhD’91, was named the 2009 winner of the D.G. Fisher Award by the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering at the 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering. The D.G. Fisher Award is given to an individual who has made substantial contributions to the field of systems and control engineering in the areas of theory, practice and education. Michel is a professor of chemical engineering at Polytechnique Montréal.

Imad Maalouf, BEng’93, and his wife, Rania, welcomed their new twins to their family in December 2009. Imad, a retired skydiver, works on lump sum EPC projects in oil and gas as an engineering manager at Technip USA in Houston, Texas.

Robert Rohling, MEng’94, has won a 2009 Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in the category of partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises. He shares this award with Septimiu (Tim) Salcudean, BEng’79, MEng’81. The two UBC engineering professors were honoured along with their industry partner Ultrasonix Medical Corporation for developing new ultrasonic imaging techniques that could improve cancer diagnosis and treatment while reducing the number of biopsies required.


Yves Fortier, BCL’58, LLD’05, was one of two Canadian members of the Ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), appointed to hear any disputes that might have arisen during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The CAS selects arbitrators from different countries to serve as members of the Ad hoc Division during the Olympic Games. These arbitrators are required to settle legal disputes relating to such matters as drug testing, qualification and judging, within very short periods of time.

Barry M. Fish, BA’65, BCL’68, LLB’69, has co-authored three books: The Family Fight: Planning to Avoid It (2002), The Family War: Winning the Inheritance Battle (2006), and Where There’s an Inheritance: Stories from Inside the World of Two Wills Lawyers (2009), all published by Continental Atlantic Publications Inc. Barry’s books can be purchased from Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, or at

Allan Gold, BA’70, BCL’73, is the author of Estate Document Professor, the first in a series of life handbooks published by Practitioners’ Press Inc. The guide explains how to prepare estates, providing how-to tips on wills, living wills, estate inventories, power of attorney, etc. Allan is an attorney, retirement consultant, lecturer, and a columnist for the Canadian National Law Review.


Stuart Cobbett (Photo: Claudio Calligaris)

Stuart Cobbett (Photo: Claudio Calligaris)

Stuart (Kip) Cobbett, BA’69, BCL’72, was appointed to a five-year term as the new chair of McGill’s board of governors on January 1. A partner with the law firm Stikeman Elliott, where he has also acted as managing partner and chief operating officer, Kip has long served his alma mater in a wide variety of roles, including as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, as the chair of the Faculty of Arts board of visitors and as the chair of the McGill News advisory board.

Herbert Brownstein, BA’79, BCL’82, LLB’83, and Mitchell Brownstein, BCom’83, BCL’87, LLB’87, have been partners in the law firm Brownstein, Brownstein and Associates since 1990, specializing in international business, immigration and citizenship law in Montreal. In November 2009, municipal elections were held throughout Quebec and Herbert was re-elected as city councillor for Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Mitchell was also re-elected councillor to the City of Côte-Saint-Luc.

Shawn McReynolds, LLB’82, will become the new managing partner of the Toronto office of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP on June 1, 2010. He has been a partner in the law firm’s mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance & securities practices for more than 24 years. He is a former chairman of the Securities Advisory Committee to the Ontario Securities Commission and has taught securities law at McGill and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Michael Polak, BCL’82, LLB’82, is now Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Montreal for a five-year term, starting January 26, 2010. Michael is an attorney with Polak & Associates, practicing in Westmount Square since 1983, specializing mostly in corporate and commercial law. Michael has assisted the Dutch government in Montreal regarding Dutch-Quebec contacts on numerous levels and looks forward to strengthening the ties between the Netherlands and Quebec on both business and cultural levels.

Sophie Dagenais, BCL’88, LLB’88, a partner in the law firm of Ballard Spahr LLP, was named one of SmartCEO magazine’s 2009 Smart Lawyers. Attorneys are chosen for this award based on their leadership, professional success and engagement, and community involvement. Sophie works in Ballard Spahr’s real estate and public finance departments, and is a member of the firm’s energy and project finance group.

Eric P. Voinot, LLM’93, has joined Yum! Brands as the chief legal officer and corporate social responsibility director for KFC in France and Spain. Eric is based in Paris, France.


Richard Pound

Richard Pound

Richard Pound, BCom’62, BCL’67, was awarded the Foundation for Global Sports Development’s 2010 Humanitarian Award. A longtime member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard was also the founding director of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Steven Ungerleider, an executive board member with the foundation, describes Richard as “someone who has changed the face of Olympic competition [through] his promotion of major anti-doping efforts.”

Axel Bernabe, BCL’01, LLB’01, is now a partner in the New York office of the law firm Constantine Cannon. Axel focuses on antitrust litigation and counselling, representing clients in the health services and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in insurance and real estate brokerage.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, BCL’01, LLB’01, recently published Des jeunes et l’avenir du Québec, a book that explores political disengagement among young people in Quebec. In spring 2009, he left his job with a major law firm to tour 19 Quebec cities and towns. Along the way, he met with over 500 Gen-Yers—people between the ages of 20 and 35—to talk to them about their ideas, worries and hopes for the future.

Lucien Bellemare, BCL/LLB’03, served as a detective for 27 years in the Quebec police force before retiring and attending McGill. After graduating, Lucien opted to renovate his house and travel to Italy, Corsica, Spain, France and China instead of starting a new career in an office. In 2007, he raised $8,500 for the Arthritis Society by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. In October 2009, Lucien climbed Island Peak (Nepal) for the Centre Loisirs Déficience Intellectuelle, raising $7,000.

Library and Information Studies

Douglas Lochhead, BLS’51, published a volume of poetry in September 2009 entitled Looking into Trees (Sybertooth). The book is illustrated with paintings by Douglas’s brother, the late Kenneth Lochhead, who was one of the Regina Five painters and a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Video and Media Arts and the Order of Canada. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Douglas is the recipient of many honours, including the Alden Nowlan Award and the Carlo Betocchi Prize.


Martin Webber, BCom’76, has co-written a book entitled Building Competitiveness in Africa’s Agriculture with Patick Labaste. The book was published in October 2009 as part of the World Bank’s agriculture and rural development series.

André J. Roy, BCom’77, has been managing partner of the Montreal office of Stikeman Elliot, and a member of the firm’s partnership board and executive committee since October 1, 2009. His expertise is primarily focused in the areas of private and public financings, cross-border transactions, public and private mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. He also chairs Stikeman Elliot’s business development committee.

Philippe E. Sarfati, BCom’78, has been appointed chief risk officer for Coast Capital Savings, Canada’s second largest credit union. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day measurement, reporting, monitoring and evaluation of risk across the credit union. Philippe also holds a BSc (Economics) from Collège Stanislas and an MBA from École des Hautes Études Commerciales, Université de Montréal. Coast Capital Savings has more than 400,000 members and 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia. To learn more, visit

Maria Gonzalez, BCom’81, MBA’85, has recently published The Mindful Investor: How a Calm Mind Can Bring You Inner Peace and Financial Security. The book is a guide to mindfulness meditation, techniques used to develop calm, focus and other important skills for sound decision-making in the high-stakes worlds of finance and investing. Maria is the president of Argonauta Strategic Alliances Consulting Inc.

Honora Shaughnessy

Honora Shaughnessy

Honora Shaughnessy, MLS’73, is McGill’s senior executive director of alumni relations. Honora, who has worked at McGill since 1978, recently received the Eleanor Collier Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s District 1 (covering New England, Quebec and the Maritimes). The award recognizes the efforts of outstanding individuals who have reflected honour on CASE, the cause of education and their profession.

France Bélanger, BCom’85, has been named the Byrd Senior Fellow by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1997, France is a professor of accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business. Recently, she held an appointment as Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury.

Stéfan Danis, BCom’85, CEO of Mandrake and NEXCareer, participated in a six-day, 250-km foot race across the Gobi Desert in an effort to raise funds for the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS). He raised over $41,000 for NABS, which assists advertising and communications professionals facing unemployment and financial hardships. Stéfan’s next run was across the Atacama Desert, Chile, in March of 2010.

Georgia Kokotsis, BSc’86, MBA’93, is living in Montreal with her daughter Yasmine, who just started kindergarten. Georgia is planning to re-enter the workforce after an extended maternity leave.

André Fok Kam, MBA’92, has published a new book entitled From Conflict to Trust: How Mutual Funds Manage Conflicts of Interest (Carswell). The book analyses the conflicts of interest which arise in the operation of a mutual fund and explains how they may be managed, with particular emphasis on the critical role of the Independent Review Committee.

Julie Martineau (B. Com.1992) est directrice du Service des communications de l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique. Auparavant, elle a œuvré au sein de l’Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec pendant quatre ans, dont deux comme présidente.

Tim Mattimoe, MBA’92, and Christine Mattimoe (née Jacobsen) are happy to announce the birth of their baby boy Jacob on January 4, 2010.

Daniel Shteyn, BCom’92, DPA’94, MBA’01, was recently appointed to the post of senior director and P&L leader by Enova Financial, a U.S. consumer finance multinational. Daniel’s move into consumer finance follows a decade spent on Bay Street in investment banking and equity research. He can be reached through LinkedIn, at

Simon Olivier, MBA’97, is the general manager, North-East USA & Canada, for General Electric (GE) Energy Infrastructure, Power and Water. His responsibilities include growing the portfolio of technologies, including renewable ones (wind, solar, bio gas), as well as the conventional ones (gas and steam turbines). Simon is a director of the GE Canada board and also received the “2009 Young Business Leader of Quebec” award.

Pierre Matuszewski

Pierre Matuszewski

Pierre Matuszewski, MBA’79, has been the chief executive officer for Société Générale (Canada) for the past year and is the first Canadian to hold the position. He has close to 30 years of experience in investment banking. The Paris-based Société Générale is a global retail and corporate/investment bank with assets exceeding $600 billion. Pierre is a member of the advisory board for the Desautels Faculty of Management’s Executive Institute.

Marnie Consky (Rabinovitch), BCom’98, recently launched a specialty women’s underwear brand called Thigh Society (, sold online and in specialty boutiques across the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal, with more stores and styles slated for spring 2010. Marnie also currently works as assistant director at the Rotman School of Management’s Corporate Connections Centre at the University of Toronto, where she provides career counselling to MBA students and partners with several international strategy consulting firms.

Claude Dagenais, MBA’98, is enjoying his new life as a photographer and has embarked on a six-month road trip with his wife, starting November 19, 2009. The trip is promoted by iStock, one of Claude’s agent companies, and consists of visits with fellow iStock artists wishing to share their experiences. Claude’s trip has been covered in La Presse and he is maintaining both an English and a French blog chronicling his adventures.


F. Victor Ogulnik, BSc’32, MDCM’36, celebrated his 100th birthday last December. After McGill, he shipped out with the Royal Military Academy of Canada (RMAC) and then practiced medicine in Montreal until his retirement. He and his wife Nanette have been married for 68 years and still live in their home on Belfrage in Westmount.

Richard Valeriote, BSc’52, MDCM’57, recently published Alice Street: A Memoir with McGill-Queen’s University Press. The book chronicles Richard’s difficult childhood on Alice Street in Guelph, Ontario, and his even harder years as a student at McGill, offering a personal perspective on the Great Depression, the Second World War and the racism and ethnic tensions of small-town Ontario. Richard is a retired physician and was formerly a bank board chairman and regent of Santa Clara University.

Gary McCarragher, BSc’82, MDCM’86, is a hospice physician, college professor and novelist living in Odessa, Florida, with his wife Susan and two children, Erin and James. He recently self-published his first novel, The Struggle, available in trade paperback and Kindle through and his webpage An audio book version, performed by Broadway actor and singer Zachary James, is currently in production. Gary would love to hear from you at, through his website, or on Facebook.

Phil Gold

Phil Gold

Phil Gold, BSc’57, MDCM’61, MSc’61, PhD’65, a McGill professor of medicine, physiology and oncology, was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame on April 13. Among his accomplishments, he co-discovered the carcinoembryonic antigen, the first clinically useful human tumour marker. Also inducted into the hall was James Hogg, PhD’69, the founder of a centre for pulmonary and cardiovascular research at the University of British Columbia and a pioneering figure in the study of lung disease.

Aline Levi, MDCM’84, was a torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics, running with the Olympic flame on December 6 in Granby, Quebec. Aline and her husband, Richard Swieca, MDCM’84, attended their 25th class reunion, where they were delighted to connect with classmates from across North America.

Lucie Montpetit, BSc(OT)’86, is the author of Se libérer de la fatigue persistante, published by Les Éditions de L’Homme. The book is geared towards people suffering from debilitating persistent fatigue and the health professionals who are involved in their treatment. Every chapter tackles possible contributing factors for the condition and provides self-help guidance and practical exercises. The book is available through most book stores.

Eric M. Grief, BSc’87, Medical Resident’93, has authored Get Diagnosed Fast (Publish America, Inc.). This is Eric’s first book and is geared towards patients and their doctors. Readers will learn how to overcome communication obstacles that occur while at their doctor’s office. The book can be purchased online at .html. Eric’s blog can be viewed at and he can be contacted at

Bill Swales, MDCM’88, an emergency doctor from Peterborough, Ontario, on contract to the Canadian military, was part of an advance team sent into Haiti to assess needs immediately following the recent earthquake in that country. The team went into Port-au-Prince with UN land rovers to rescue injured Canadians since no ambulances were available. Using pieces of plywood as stretchers, Bill and his team brought the injured back to hospitals in Miami and Montreal. Bill has since returned to Haiti for another evacuation mission.

Lisa Andermann, BA’89, MDCM’96, and Michael Prokaziuk are happy to announce the birth of their son James Isak Gabriel, born on November 14, 2009 in Toronto. Big sister Hannah welcomes her baby brother. Proud grandparents are Drs. Eva and Frederick Andermann at the Montreal Neurological Institute and John and Mary Prokaziuk of Montreal.

Praveen Tipirneni, MDCM’95, the vice-president, business development, of Cubist Pharmaceuticals in Lexington, Massachusetts, has received the company’s Tally Award, Cubist’s equivalent of a lifetime achievement prize. In presenting the award, Cubist president and CEO Michael Bonney paid tribute to Praveen, declaring, “During Praveen’s seven years with Cubist, he has developed a reputation for contributing in so many areas, both in and outside of his formal job description, that we are sometimes left wondering, ‘What does he do exactly?’ or maybe more appropriately, ‘What doesn’t he do?’”

Charles Scriver

Charles Scriver (Photo courtesy of PKU Alliance)

Charles Scriver, BA’51, MDCM’55, DSc’07, McGill’s Alva Professor Emeritus of Human Genetics, has earned the 2010 Pollin Prize, the largest international award for pediatric research. He was also recently named as one of the National PKU Alliance’s first PKU Heroes in recognition of his groundbreaking efforts in understanding and treating phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder which, when left untreated, can cause severe neurological complications.

Jonathan Gates, MDCM’99, the assistant chief of medicine at Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island, was awarded the hospital’s 2009 Physician of the Year Award. Jonathan is credited with making vital contributions to the hospital’s undergraduate medical education program and to its use of information technology for patient care.


Linda LaRoche (née Alexander), BMus’67, is celebrating 20 years as accompanist and rehearsal pianist with the Lyric Theatre Singers, Montreal’s award-winning Broadway choral ensemble founded by Bob Bachelor, BMus’76, in 1990. Linda has been involved in Montreal’s musical theatre scene for more than 40 years now, including 25 seasons with the Arcadians as rehearsal and show pianist, along with stints at numerous other companies. Linda also plays the organ and directs the choir at Greenfield Park United Church, and has served for 19 years as treasurer for the Lyric Theatre Singers. For info on their upcoming concert in June, visit or email

Bradley Moggach, BMus’77, has been the director of music at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Ontario, since 1982. The church celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2009 by holding a recital on November 15 that featured many McGill graduates, including Alison Clark, MMus’85, Lilla Hall, LMus’83 and Corrine Dutton, MMus’96.

Jana Hancinsky-Jast, BMus’86, BEd’87, is the musical director of the JazzKidz band, which just might be the youngest jazz ensemble in North America. This young group of musicians, ages four to fourteen, performed at the Montreal International Jazz Fest last summer. Jana, a music teacher with more than 20 years of experience, began the group in 2008. For more information, visit

Sylvie Beaudette, BMus’87, is a pianist who, in collaboration with soprano Eileen Strempel, recently released a new album, (In)Habitation: Musical Settings of Margaret Atwood Poetry (Centaur Records). The CD features 19 new songs by six leading female composers, all of whom were commissioned to set Atwood’s words to music. Sylvie is an assistant professor of chamber music at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and the artistic director of Eastman’s Women in Music Festival.

Richard King (Photo: Owen Egan)

Richard King (Photo: Owen Egan)

Richard King, MMus’91, an associate professor in the Schulich School of Music’s sound recording program, engineered five albums that were all recently nominated for Grammy Awards. Two of the albums went on to win Grammys on January 31—Renee Fleming’s Verismo Arias (Best Vocal Performance) and Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Joy and Peace (Classical Crossover). Richard’s colleague in the McGill sound recording program, adjunct professor Steven Epstein, was awarded the Grammy for Producer of the Year (Classical).

Allison Gagnon, MMus’91, recently produced a new piano reduction of Poème, op. 25 for Violin and Orchestra by Ernest Chausson. The reduction illuminates the full range of orchestral textures that characterize the original orchestral work and offers not only playable notation but also labeling of instrumental lines to inspire colorful interpretation. It is available at Allison directs the collaborative piano program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Bess Vasilakopoulos, BMus’93, has recently been hired as music & development agent for Montreal-based world ensemble OktoEcho. Prior to this post, she founded and ran Promotion d’arts Bess Vass Arts Promotion (2002) and then Gestion d’art bmuse arts management inc (2005), developing all aspects of an international classical/world music agency. To date, she has organized numerous concerts and tours, working with over 30 world-renowned soloists/ensembles/ orchestras from Canada and abroad, with media networks, and with granting agencies, including the Canada Council for the Arts.

Patrick Graham, BMus’95, has released his solo album Rheõ, which was chosen by the CBC Radio 2 show The Signal as one of its top 13 picks of 2009. Patrick’s album also received positive reviews in Percussive Notes magazine and in Le Devoir. Rheõ can be purchased at iTunes and at

Darcy James Argue, BMus’97, and his ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, were finalists for a 2010 Juno Award in the category Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year. The group earned the nomination for their CD Infernal Machines.

Patrice Sawyer

Patrice Sawyer

Patrice Sawyer, PhD’90, was appointed as Laurentian University’s vice-president, research and graduate studies, on December 18, 2009. A professor of mathematics and computer science, Patrice had previously served Laurentian as the chair of his department and as the dean of science and engineering. He has also been active as a board member for a number of research-intensive institutions, including the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Institute and the Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO).

Yaniv Attar, MMus’05, DMus’08, is the recipient of the 2010 Solti Foundation’s Career Development Award, a $5,000 grant given every two years to conductors 32 years old and younger. Yaniv is the assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and leads the orchestra in a wide variety of educational and community outreach performances.

Karl Schwonik, BMus’09, is the founder and president of the Wetaskiwin Jazz Society, founder and artistic director of the Wetaskiwin Jazz Camp, and founder and director of the Calgary Jazz Festival’s C-Jazz Camp. He is the youngest ever named one of Calgary’s 2009 “Top 40 under 40” by Avenue Magazine. Karl also won the VSA Arts International Soloist Award and signed a record deal with Chronograph Records (Calgary, Alberta).


Gordon R. Freeman, PhD’55, is a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Alberta, where he served as the director of the Radiation Research Centre for 30 years. Gordon has had a long-time interest in archaeological sites and in 1980 discovered a 5,000-year-old sun temple in southern Alberta. In his new book, Canada’s Stonehenge: Astounding Archaeological Discoveries in Canada, England and Wales, he discusses this discovery, along with other archaeological wonders.

Irwin Sankoff, BSc’57, MSc’63, former sports editor of the McGill Daily, is proud to announce that his daughter Irene Carl Sankoff is the co-author (with husband David Hein) of, and an actor in, the hit musical My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, which played to sold-out audiences at both the Toronto Fringe Festival and the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto.

Alan Bailes, BSc’65, has been appointed to the advisory board of VMS Ventures Inc. Alan is a former chief geologist with the Manitoba Geological Survey. VMS Ventures Inc. is focused primarily on acquiring, exploring and developing copper-zinc properties in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake VMS Belt.


Victoria Kaspi (Photo: Owen Egan)

Victoria Kaspi (Photo: Owen Egan)

Victoria Kaspi, BSc’89, was one of eight outstanding researchers from across Canada to be awarded a Killam Research Fellowship, worth $70,000 a year for two years. Her Killam-funded work will focus on a small group of neutron stars called magnetars, which have the highest magnetic fields known in the universe. Her work will be assisted by the launch of NuSTAR, a new NASA X-ray telescope, in 2011. She is McGill’s Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology and a Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics.

W. Bruce Gillis, BSc’67, has been appointed to the Federal Pension Appeals Tribunal as chairman and a legal member. His son, W. Robert Gillis, has just completed his course requirements for his BA in philosophy and political science and will graduate from McGill at the 2010 Spring Convocation.

Nick Di Pietro, BSc’72, MSc’75, was appointed as project manager in the mining and metallurgical division of SNC-Lavalin (Montreal) in November 2009. He and his wife, Olga Biscotti, BA’74, have three sons, one of whom, Alessandro, has been accepted into a dentistry residency program at McGill, starting in July 2010.

Roland Horst, BSc’74, is the new chief executive officer for Orvana Minerals Corp. He has 35 years of experience in the mining industry as a CEO, investment banker, corporate banker and geologist. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Royal Nickel Corporation.

Stewart J. Cohen, BSc’75, is the co-author (with science communicator Melissa Waddell) of Climate Change in the 21st Century (McGill-Queen’s University Press), a book on the many dimensions of global warming aimed at senior undergraduate and graduate students from any academic background. Stewart based the book on a course he teaches at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he is an adjunct professor in the department of forest resources management, as well as a senior researcher with Environment Canada.

Michel David, BSc’75, is the new president and CEO of Radisson Mining Resources. Michel has over 35 years of experience in geology and geophysics, base metal and precious metal exploration and mining. He has managed numerous projects in southern Africa, Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Korea and throughout North America, with emphasis on the Abitibi gold belt in northwestern Quebec where Radisson’s highly prospective O’Brien and Kewagama properties are located.

Luc Hamelin, BSc’83, Dip(OH)’84, MSc(A)’91, is the president-elect of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) for 2009-2010. Luc will officially become IOHA president in 2010-2011. He is the first Canadian since 1987 to be appointed head of this organization. He also serves as director (Quebec) on the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists.

Avram Whiteman, BSc’83, has been elected president of the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine (, an association of physicians with an active interest in occupational and environmental medicine.

Stephanie Wragg, BSc’88, MSc’91, is now working for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, D.C. She started in November 2009 as the director for the newly formed Group for Women in Medicine and Science, which seeks to advance the full and successful participation of women in all roles within academic medicine. Stephanie was assistant dean for the medical curriculum and director of faculty development for the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine Regional Campus in Boca Raton from 2006-2009.


Harvey Weingarten (Photo courtesy of the University of Calgary)

Harvey Weingarten (Photo courtesy of the University of Calgary)

Harvey Weingarten, BSc’74, has been named the next president of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. He is leaving the University of Calgary, where he had served as the president and vice-chancellor since 2001, overseeing the institution’s $1.5-billion capital expansion during that period. The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is an arm’s-length agency of the Ontario government dedicated to ensuring the continued improvement of the postsecondary education system.

Matt Dobbs, BSc’97, McGill’s Canada Research Chair in Astro-particle Physics, has earned a 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship worth $50,000. Sloan fellowships are awarded to “early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.” The aim of his research is to improve our understanding of the fundamental constituents of the universe— including its origin, history, and fate —as well as providing new insight into the early universe, where the laws of particle physics and cosmology intersect.

Joshua Roebke, MSc’04, is the author of an essay about quantum mechanics that was included in the 2009 edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing, which is now available at bookstores. Joshua is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is at work on his first book: a social and cultural history of physics in the 20th century, entitled The Invisible World.

Social Work

Denise Brend, BSW’99, MSW’00, is the author of the English-French Guide to Human Services Terminology. This book is an extensive resource for human service terms and vocabulary in French and English —an important tool for the social services field and classroom, especially in Quebec.

Golam Mathbor, MSW’95, was elected vice president of planning and operations of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) from 2009 to 2013. The ICSD is a non-profit international association of institutions, scholars, practitioners and students joined in the common pursuit of social development. Golam is a professor and associate dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Monmouth University.

Urban Planning

Pierre Malo (M. Urb. 1991) s’est joint à la firme montréalaise Samcon à titre de directeur du développement pour la mise en œuvre de projets de redéveloppement urbain, en collaboration avec les professionnels de la société. Après avoir entrepris une carrière dans les milieux municipal et privé, il intègre en 1998 l’équipe de planification de la Commission de la capitale nationale à Ottawa chargée d’élaborer le concept du cœur de la capitale du Canada. En 2000, il s’attaque à de nouveaux défis au sein de la Ville de Montréal en s’associant à la Direction de l’aménagement urbain. En 2003, il intègre la Société du Havre de Montréal comme chargé de projet. À ce titre, il est appelé à mobiliser l’ensemble des partenaires autour d’une vision concertée sur l’avenir du Havre. En 2007, au sein de la même société, il est nommé directeur du projet Bonaventure et est alors responsable de coordonner l’ensemble des études du réaménagement de cette autoroute.

Share this article:

Comments are closed.