Alumnotes Fall/Winter 2010



Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

BILL RITCHIE, BSc(Agr)’51, is a 2010 inductee into the Junior Achievement Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. Bill has been a founding shareholder, director and adviser to many corporations, including Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc. With his guidance and support, numerous fledgling enterprises grew into successful ventures, such as Salter Street Films, DHX Media Ltd., Keltic Incorporated, and eAcademy Inc. Even at 80 years of age, Bill is still heavily involved in his community.

G. MELVIN BARCLAY, BSc(Agr)’64, of Upper Kintore, New Brunswick, was inducted into the Potato World (New Brunswick Potato Museum ) Hall of Recognition in September 2009. Referred to as “the most knowledgeable potato specialist in New Brunswick,” Melvin’s career as a professional agrologist in the agricultural industry has won him many honours and awards, including being named a fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and earning the James Robb Award from the New Brunswick Federation of Agriculture.

EBRAHIM NOROOZI, MSc’78, during a recent visit to Iran, was presented with an award named after one of his former teachers, Shahab Vaez Zadeh, a pioneering figure in the Iranian food industry. Ebrahim was honoured for his contributions to the Iranian Food Science & Technology Association’s health and safety efforts. Ebrahim is the health and safety professional lab manager for McGill’s Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry at Macdonald Campus.


Elizabeth Paden (Photo by Emma McIntyre)

ELIZABETH PADEN, BSc(Arch)’07, MArch’09, is the winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ 2010 Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners. The $34,000 prize is awarded to a recent graduate of one of Canada’s 10 accredited schools of architecture who demonstrates outstanding potential. Elizabeth is studying the impact that large-scale public buildings can have on territorial boundaries within geopolitical regions. Her interest in the subject is rooted in her Northern Ontario upbringing, where she developed an interest in the relationships between aboriginal and non-aboriginal space.


BLANCHE LEMCO VAN GINKEL, BArch’45, and her partner, Sandy van Ginkel, presented their work in the exhibition “Penser Tout Haut/Faire l’Architecture,” at the Université du Québec à Montréal’s Centre de Design, from February 11 until April 18, 2010.

MICHAEL FIELDMAN, BSc’59, BArch’63, could be spotted performing the role of the innkeeper Lillas Pastia in Carmen for Lake George Opera in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., this past July. This was his second time treading the boards; previously, he interpreted another non-singing role in a production of La Traviata with the same company. When not hanging out with dragoons, gypsies and smugglers, he is the principal of Michael Fieldman Architects in New York City, where he has lived for the past 37 years.

FRANCES BRONET, BSc(Arch)’77, BArch’78, BEng’79, is a contributor to Feminist Technology (University of Illinois Press). In this collection, feminist scholars examine products, tools and technologies that were specifically designed for and marketed to women in an effort to define “feminist technology.” Taking into consideration products such as the home pregnancy test, menstrual-suppressing birth control pills, and tampons, the book evaluates the claims that such products are liberating for women.

JOHN LEROUX, BSc(Arch)’93, BArch’94, is an architect and art historian who teaches at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and at St. Thomas University. His new book, Building a University: The Architecture of UNB, marks the 225th anniversary of the University of New Brunswick by tracing the development of the school’s two campuses and exploring UNB’s unique architecture.

ALEC SURESH PERERA, MArch’04, and PIERRE GENDRON, MArch’03, will present their architectural explorations in an exhibition entitled ‘’Thin spaces / Espaces minces,’’ from January 6 to 21, 2011, in the exhibition space of the School of Architecture, in the Macdonald-Harrington Building. This exhibition will present a series of large-size models and installations which perceptually alter and modify the space of the exhibition room. The presented work of both architects is a continuation of previous research and creation projects funded by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.


Lola Sheppard (Photo courtesy of Lateral Office)

LOLA SHEPPARD, BSc(Arch)’94, BArch’95, and Mason White, the founding partners of Lateral Office, a Toronto architecture firm, are the recipients of the $50,000 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture for 2010. Administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, the award recognizes excellent achievement in Canadian architectural practice. Lola and Mason intend to use the funds to conduct additional research for their project Emergent North, which is an ongoing investigation of cold-climate settlement forms, issues and innovations in the Arctic.

MARY LOU DICKINSON, BA’58, has published her second book of fiction, Ile d’Or (Inanna Publications, 2010). Set shortly after the first referendum on Quebec separation, the book focuses on four people in their forties who encounter each other in Ile d’Or, the mining town in northern Quebec where they all grew up .

DEBORA RESNICK, BA’60, is the author of The Language Professor (AEG Publishing Group), a novel about the Machiavellian use of language, micro-politics and the loss of innocence, Debora is the author of three other books and works as an academic adviser at a post-secondary college in Montreal.

LINDA BUZZELL, BA’65, wrote an essay about the psychology of coping with escalating eco-challenges that is included in the recently published anthology Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World. Other contributors to the anthology include Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, Frances Moore Lappe and Alice Walker. Linda co-edited another anthology, Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, published last year by Sierra Club Books. She continues to blog on ecopsychology and environmental topics for the Huffington Post.

HARVEY SCHNEIDER, BA’65, MA’69, retired in March 2010 after 34 wonderful years as a librarian and slide archivist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology. He says he will now have time to read some of the material he has handled all these years.

HENRY SREBRNIK, BA’66, MA’70, a professor of political studies at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, has published Dreams of Nationhood: American Jewish Communists and the Birobidzhan Project, 1924-1951 (Academic Studies Press, 2010). By focusing on the ideological and material support provided to the Jewish Autonomous Region of Birobidzhan in the far east of the Soviet Union, Dreams of Nationhood illustrates how the American Jewish Communist movement once played a large role in the politics of Jewish communities in the U.S.

MICHEL VAÏS (M.A. 1969) a été réélu au poste de secrétaire général de l’Association internationale des critiques de théâtre, à l’occasion du 25e congrès de l’organisation, lequel s’est tenu à Erevan, en Arménie, du 15 au 20 juin 2010. Fondée à Paris en 1956, l’Association internationale des critiques de théâtre regroupe environ 2 500 critiques, dans 53 pays. Monsieur Vaïs en assume le rôle de secrétaire général depuis maintenant 12 ans.


LINDA GYULAI, BA’90, a civic affairs reporter with the Montreal Gazette, won the 2009 Michener Award, Canada’s top prize for public- service journalism. Linda wrote most of the articles in a Gazette series that outlined serious irregularities involving a multimillion-dollar water-management project in Montreal. Linda also received the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Don McGillivray Award for Investigative Journalism for her work. Linda (second from left) and Gazette publisher Alan Allnutt (left) were presented with the Michener Award by Governor General Michaëlle Jean in a ceremony at Rideau Hall.

KEITH HARRISON, BA’72, has published The Missionary, The Violinist, and The Aunt Whose Head Was Squeezed, a narrative diary exploring the gap and myths in Keith’s own family history while retracing a multi-generational voyage. Keith is the author of five books, some of which have been nominated for the Books in Canada Best First Novel Award, QSPELL’s Hugh MacLennan Fiction Prize, and the Ethel Wilson Award.

DAVID SHEAR, BA’72, a partner in the Coral Gables office of Arnstein & Lehr LLP, was recently appointed to the Beacon Council’s International Committee. The Beacon Council is an organization that promotes economic development for the Miami-Dade County region. David’s law practice focuses on condominiums, commercial and residential real estate, community associations, construction, financing, and representing developers in project closings.

CHAD GAFFIELD, BA’73, MA’74, has earned the first Antonio Zampolli Prize, awarded by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. This prize recognizes outstanding contributions to the digital humanities involving the innovative use of information and communication technologies. Chad is a professor of history at the University of Ottawa and the president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

DAVID LANSKY, BA’75, is a principal with the Family Business Consulting Group, which works with family businesses around the world, from Fortune 500 operations to smaller, closely held companies. A clinical psychologist and family therapist by training, David has published widely on family business and family wealth, including a regular column in the Journal of Practical Estate Planning and in Family Business Magazine.

PAUL MCKAY, BA’75, is executive director of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU), an organization representing Canadian advisers specializing in the financial, retirement and estate planning applications of life insurance and related risk management and investment products. Prior to his work with CALU, he served as the director of public affairs for the Financial Advisors Association of Canada and as national director of communications and development for Special Olympics Canada.


Deborah Chow (Photo by Jan Thijs)

DEBORAH CHOW, BA’96, received the Toronto International Film Festival’s Skyy Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature for her film The High Cost of Living. The movie, which stars Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais, explores the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident. Deborah was the inaugural recipient of the Kodak New Vision Mentorship award, which enabled her to develop The High Cost of Living under the guidance of award-winning director Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park).

PENNY GILL, BA’77, the founding president of the charity Autism/PDD Family Alliance, operates a cooking school for high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She recently published the second edition of Coach in the Kitchen: Cooking with Autism, a one-of-a-kind cookbook designed for teens and adults with Asperger’s syndrome or other forms of ASD. The book offers step-by-step instructions for cooking great meals while promoting social interaction. To learn more about the cookbook or the charity, or to contact Penny, visit

ROBERT ZARETSKY, BA’78, a professor of French history in the Honors College of the University of Houston, is the author of Albert Camus: Elements of a Life (Cornell University Press), a book that examines the lasting impact of the Nobel Prize-winning author 50 years after his death. The Times Literary Supplement describes the book as “elegantly written and beautifully paced.” Robert is the author of five books, including the award-winning historical study Nîmes at War.

DAVID WINCH, BA’80, a one-time McGill Daily writer, has been named chief of editing at UN Geneva, where he manages a multilingual team of eight human rights editors. His son Nicholas, 20, aims to join the alumni ranks next spring as a BCom’11. David is also drafting a political and cultural history of Montreal in the seventies; any insights welcome (

HOWARD GOLD, BA’81, is a professor of government at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. He co-authored a recently published book, Parties, Polarization, and Democracy in the United States (Paradigm Publishers), with Donald C. Baumer. The book analyzes the partisan divide among citizens at large and among elected representatives in the United States.

PETER HERMAN, BA’81, is a professor of English at San Diego State University, and the author of Royal Poetrie, the first book to address the significance of a distinctive body of verse from the English Renaissance poems produced by the Tudor-Stuart monarchs Henry VIII, Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I and James VI/I.

JONATHAN SHAPIRO, BA’84, has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2011 (Woodward/White, Inc.). He has been recognized in the volume since 2006 for his expertise in labour and employment law. Jonathan is the regional managing partner of the Portland, Maine, office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, a leading labour and employment firm.


Ron Burnett

RON BURNETT, BA’68, MA’71, PhD’81, was recently named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France in recognition of his contributions to culture. A former professor of communications at McGill, Ron was the founding editor of Ciné-Tracts, an influential film and cultural studies journal. Today he is the president of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in British Columbia.

CHRIS MELLEN, BA’85, has written a book, Valuation for M&A: Building Value in Private Companies, published by John Wiley & Sons. Co-authored with Frank Evans, the book provides tools for determining and enhancing a company’s value. Chris is president of Delphi Valuation Advisors, a business valuation firm he founded in Boston 10 years ago.

SHELLY SAUNDERS, BA’86, a software quality assurance analyst, is one of the founding partners of Semaphore Solutions Inc., a full-service software consulting company based in Victoria, B.C. Shelly would love to hear from old friends, especially those from Gardner Hall and the M.O.C., and can be reached at

MONIQUE DEVEAUX, BA’89, MA’91, has been promoted to full professorship at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Her primary research interests include contemporary liberal and democratic political theory. Monique is the author of two books: Gender and Justice in Multicultural Liberal Studies and Cultural Pluralism and Dilemmas of Justice. Her work has also been published in many academic journals, including Political Theory, Political Studies, and Social Theory and Practice.

MATTHEW HENDLEY, MA’91, and HO HON LEUNG, PhD’01, are the co-editors of a book of essays entitled Imagining Globalization: Language, Identities and Boundaries (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). This collection gives voice to the peoples and groups impacted by globalization as they seek to negotiate their identities, language use and boundaries within a larger global context. Matthew and Ho also co-wrote the prologue and each contributed a chapter.

KENNETH J. SALTMAN, BA’91, an associate professor of education at DePaul University, is the author of The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy (Palgrave Macmillan). The book maps and criticizes venture philanthropy, while offering a new and different way of conceptualizing public education in response to the neoliberal climate affecting all aspects of public education.

ALAIN LONDES, BA’93, is now a professor of international business at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto.

VINCE FIELD, BA’98, has been awarded a national Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship, one of only three presented this year. Vince was recognized for his work in the growing field of animal law. He founded the University of Chicago’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter in 2008. He oversees service projects with his SALDF chapter, including one that provides refuge for domestic violence victims and their pets.


Jeff Rubin (Photo by Greg Tjepkema)

JEFF RUBIN, BA’82, received the National Business Book Award this summer for his recent best-seller, Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization. Jeff was the chief economist at CIBC World Markets for 20 years. The book explores the widespread ramifications of the rising price of oil.

DAVID M. TURETSKY, BA’99, has become a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. David works in the firm’s New York office and practises in its corporate restructuring department. He represents clients in complex business reorganizations, out-of-court restructurings and workouts, debt restructurings and insolvency matters.

MICHEL OHAYON, BA’00, has been awarded the 2010 Émérite Desjardins scholarship from the Association des MBA du Québec (AMBAQ). The $5,000 award is presented annually to a graduate from an MBA program at a Quebec business school or management faculty in recognition of the student’s excellent academic record, involvement and leadership. Michel is now a professional recruiter with Shores & Associés.

FERNANDA PORTO, BA’00, graduated from the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine in May 2010. She is now in a three-year internal medicine residency program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Md.

PATRICIA CAVIGLIA, BA’01, is the author of Masks, published by iUniverse. The young adult romance novel follows the life of a teenage girl dealing with parental abuse and a violent boyfriend. Patricia lives in Mississauga, Ont., with her young daughter. She is currently working on her second novel, about a musician trying to make it big. For more information, visit

NICK FRATE, BA’02, was one of the recent recipients of the Quebec government’s Hommage bénévolat-Québec awards, a prize that recognizes outstanding contributions to Quebec society made through volunteering and community service. Nick is the president of CAEO Québec, an organization committed to combatting homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexism. One of CAEO Québec’s services is Gay Line, a free and confidential listening, referral and support telephone service.

ROSE DESIRÉE ZE MEKA, BA’04, BSW’05, met HENRY-LILYAN BOLAP, CertMarketing’05, while both were studying at McGill. Today the couple has two beautiful young daughters, Camille and Audrina Zoe. In 2005, Rose and Henry launched Fontaine Chocolatée ( in Montreal, a chocolate fountain rental business that caters corporate events, weddings and other special occasions.

KATHERINE HORAN, BA’05, and Jonah Mink, students at the Ben-Gurion University-Columbia University Medical School for International Health, presented a prize-winning poster at the 19th annual Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC) conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The poster, highlighting the recent changes made to the global health curriculum at their school, received first prize. Katherine was also awarded the national Global Health Student Achievement Award from the American Medical Student Association for her work on the poster.

AMANDA QUAN, BA’07, graduated from the University of Akron’s School of Law with a juris doctorate degree in May 2010.


Two McGill graduates were recently finalists for the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. Among the nominees were SARAH LEAVITT, BA’91, for Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me, a graphic novel that explores the impact that Alzheimer’s had on her family; and MERRILY WEISBORD, BEd’64, for The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das, which chronicles Weisbord’s relationship with the late Das, a beloved but controversial Indian author.RYAN KICHLER, BA’09, quickly immersed himself in the world of opera after moving to Boston to pursue a master’s degree in theatre and production management from Boston University. While at BU, he will also earn a certificate in arts administration. When he’s not at the theatre, Ryan works in development at Opera Boston and serves as co-producer of Opera Boston Underground, a series which presents opera for young adults in alternative performance spaces.KEN MORIN, BA’09, has been hired by the Montreal Canadiens to work in their hockey operations department as the team’s hockey information coordinator. Ken is a former captain of the McGill Redmen hockey team. Last season, he played for Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., where he was pursuing an MBA. At the end of the season, he was signed by the Bakersfield Condors of the East Coast Hockey League.CONTINUING EDUCATIONRHONDA MULLINS, CertTranslation’05, has published a translation of Jocelyn Saucier’s Jeanne sur les routes under its English title, Jeanne’s Road (Cormorant Books). The novel, set in the small mining town of Rouyn in northern Quebec during the thirties, brings to life a lost period of Quebec history when Rouyn became a refuge for Russians, Finns, Ukrainians, Chinese and Jews. Rhonda is a Montreal freelance writer and translator. She was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2007.DENTISTRYBRUCE WARD, DDS’76, is the president of the British Columbia Dental Association for the 2010-2011 term.EDUCATIONMARJORIE E. (KARN) DIBBLEE, BSc(PE)’48, celebrated 55 years of marriage to Alan C. “Dibb” Dibblee. In attendance at their wedding in Montreal in June 1955 were GORDON KEARNS, BA’49, best man, and GORDON KARN, MDCM’43, usher. Marjorie and Dibb have four children, three boys and one girl. In 2008, Marjorie attended her 60-year McGill reunion with nine classmates from Physical Education.HORACE I. GODDARD, DipEd’77, MEd’88, has published his second novel, Child of the Jaguar Spirit. The book follows a young boy who confronts issues of marital conflict, religion, race and life’s complexity— all with a dash of humour and candour. Horace has been editing Kola Magazine for the last 22 years as well as authoring fiction, drama, poetry and literary criticism. He is a resident of Montreal.TOM SILLETTA, BEd’83, MA’87, was the coach of the Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. Under his guidance, the squad earned three of Canada’s 10 gold medals at the Paralympics and five of Canada’s 19 medals overall. Previously, Tom was the head coach of the Canadian Forces Biathlon team for two years and of the Military Pentathlon team for seven years. He was also on the support staff of Canada’s national cross-country ski team at the 1988 Winter Olympics, the 1987 World Junior Championships, and for six World Cups.GEORGE BURNETT, BEd’85, has been named an assistant coach with the Canadian national men’s hockey team for the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. George is the coach and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls. A two-time winner of the OHL’s Matt Leyden Trophy as coach of the year, George was an assistant coach with the NHL’s Anaheim Mighty Ducks from 1998 to 2000.  Alex K. Paterson

ALEX K. PATERSON, BCL’56, LLD’94, an emeritus governor of McGill and the former chair of McGill’s board of governors, was one of several McGill graduates to recently earn the distinction of Advocatus Emeritus from the Quebec Bar in recognition of their career accomplishments. Others who received the honour include McGill chancellor emeritus RICHARD POUND, BCom’62, BCL’67, LLD’09, MAX BERNARD, BA’66, BCL’69, MONIQUE DUPUIS, BCL’76, MAURICE FORGET, BCL’69, COLIN K. IRVING, BA’55, BCL’58, MAXWELL MENDELSOHN, BA’62, MICHAEL STOBER, BA’75, PIERRE SYLVESTRE, BCL’70, and McGill emeritus professor of law PIERRE GABRIEL JOBIN, who also received the Bar’s Mérite prize.

PATRICK COFFIN, DipEd’90, has published a new book called Sex au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good For Your Marriage. In this book, Patrick explains the Catholic Church’s rejection of contraception while examining biblical passages that support the Church’s position. Patrick is the host of the radio show Catholic Answers Live.

ARNIE GREENBERG, MEd’92, has just published his latest novel, Twice Deceived. The book blends history and drama to tell a tale of art and intrigue. Based on real historical characters, the novel is set in Paris during the twenties. Arnie is a retired Montreal college professor who has written many novels and texts, including over 1,000 scripts for the CBC. He can be reached at


MICHAEL NOVAC, BEng’58, received the Canadian Gaming Association Industry Leadership and Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2010 Canadian Gaming Summit held in Calgary in April. He has been actively involved in the Canadian gaming industry since 1994 and this achievement recognizes his past and continuing participation in the industry, especially his partnering with First Nations communities in casino endeavours.

BIR BIKRAM SINGH BASARKE, BEng’59, received a Governor General’s Certificate of Commendation after saving a boy’s life by pulling him out of the path of a vehicle. The award is presented to those who have made a significant contribution by providing assistance to another person in a selfless manner.

GEORGE HANUS, BEng’72, MEng’80, became the new president and chief operating officer of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) in January 2010. The GTMA is a well-established public-private partnership with over 12 years of experience assisting with foreign direct investment by companies into the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). George’s responsibilities involve improving communications with regional and private sector partners, raising additional funds to expand activities, and increasing the role of the organization in foreign direct investment in the GTA.

ERIC W. DENMAN, BEng’74, DipMan’79, MBA’82, is now a senior partner with D&G Enviro-Group Inc., an environmental risk management consulting practice in Montreal. Eric specializes in environmental due diligence for corporate mergers and acquisitions. His son WILLIAM (BILL) DENMAN, BEng’07, obtained his MSc(A) from Concordia in 2009 and headed to Cambridge, U.K., in September 2010 to complete a PhD in the field of formal hardware verification.

BOBBY UMAR, BEng’94, received an international GMAT Instructor of the Year award for 2009 from Veritas Prep, the world’s largest private GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) preparation company. Bobby is a GMAT teacher and the president of Raeallan, a company that specializes in courses on teamwork, communication skills, improvisation techniques and leadership. Since graduating from McGill, he has led a varied career, including brand marketing, aerospace design, camp counseling and TV acting.

RABIH ABOUCHAKRA, BEng’95, MEng’97, is the managing director of the Office of Strategic Affairs, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court.

LISA RANKEN, BEng’06, and MELANIE ARSENAULT, BEng’06, are bicycle enthusiasts who both long dreamt of travelling across Canada by bike. This summer, they did just that. Calling themselves Pedaling Feat, the duo began a 6,000-km trek on June 25, from Victoria, B.C., to Charlottetown, PEI, with the goal of raising $50,000 to support cancer research. To find out more and to read their blog about the trip, visit


IAN M. SOLLOWAY, BA’70, BCL’73, a Montreal-area family lawyer, has been appointed to a second term as chair of the English-speaking section of the Bar of Montreal for 2010-2011. Ian is a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a former president of the Lord Reading Law Society.

NEIL L. BINDMAN, BCL’74, has been named a partner in the Montreal office of Stikeman Elliott. A member of the firm’s Real Estate Group, Neil has more than 35 years of experience as a lawyer representing major clients in Montreal and nationally. He is recognized by Lexpert and Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in the areas of real estate development and financing.


Robert Leckey (Photo by Lysanne Laros)

ROBERT LECKEY, BCL’02, LLB’02, is the recipient of the International Academy of Comparative Law’s 2010 Canada Prize for his book Contextual Subjects: Family, State and Relational Theory. The prize, which is worth $10,000 and only awarded every four years, recognizes an original legal work “of high scientific quality” that critically compares the common law and civil law systems. Robert is an assistant professor of law at McGill who specializes in family and constitutional law.

GREGORY TARDI, BA’70, BCL’74, has obtained a doctor of jurisprudence degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. His dissertation is entitled Legality, Discretion and Power in Democratic Governing. Gregory is continuing his work as senior parliamentary counsel at the House of Commons, as executive director of the Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law, and as executive editor of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.

FRED CARON, LLB’75, was appointed in July by the federal government to serve as the chief federal negotiator on the Mohawks of Kanesatake’s Seigneury of Lake of Two Mountains specific claim. Fred has more than 30 years of experience in the federal public service, much of which involved negotiations with aboriginal groups. In 1992, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession.

JEAN-PIERRE BLAIS, BCL’84, LLB’84, is the recipient of the 2010 Leadership Award presented by the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX). Jean-Pierre is the assistant deputy minister of cultural affairs for the Department of Canadian Heritage. He was honoured by APEX as “an exceptional leader.”

SHARON G. DRUKER, BCL’85, LLB’85, a senior partner in the Business Law Group of Robinson Sheppard Shapiro LLP, was chosen by the Association of Quebec Women in Finance (AFFQ) to receive its Prix Reconnaissance. Presented at the AFFQ Annual Gala in April 2010, the award marks her contributions to the AFFQ board of directors and to its international affairs and governance committees.

CHRISTOPHER COOTER, BCL’86, LLB’86, has been appointed Canada’s new high commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and permanent observer to the Economic Community of West African States. Christopher joined the Department of External Affairs in 1990 after working in Vancouver as a lawyer in private practice and for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development as a lands officer. Most recently he was deputy permanent representative of the Canadian Joint Delegation to the North Atlantic Council in Brussels.

SOPHIE DAGENAIS, BCL’88, LLB’88, became the chief of staff for Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the new mayor of Baltimore, Md., in February 2010.

WARREN M. KATZ, BCL’95, has joined the Corporate Group of Stikeman Elliott as a partner. Warren specializes in complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions involving both public and private companies and investment funds, public offerings, private placements and going-private transactions. He was ranked among Canada’s Top 40 under 40 and is recognized by Lexpert and Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in mergers and acquisitions.

MELANIE DE SOUZA, BCL’97, LLB’97, MBA’03, and BENOIT MOREL, BCom’90, BCL’94, LLB’94, MBA’99, along with Sarah Jade (age 5) and Emma Rose (age 3), are proud to welcome Zachary Vincent to their family. Melanie pursues her legal career at Mega Brands and Benoit practises business law as a partner at Lavery, de Billy in Montreal.

ANNIE GAGNON-LAROCQUE, BA’99, BCL/LLB’02, and Eric Falls are happy to announce the birth of their son, Alexandre Patrick Falls, in March 2010. Annie is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP.

WILLIAM AMOS, BCL/LLB’04, was appointed director of the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, where he had previously served as staff lawyer since 2007. William is also a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law. Ecojustice ( is Canada’s leading advocate on environmental legal issues and its Ottawa clinic provides students with the opportunity to assist with pro bono litigation and law reform projects in the public interest.


Eugene Bereza (Photo by Claudio Calligaris)

EUGENE BEREZA, BA’78, MDCM’88, MedicalResident’90, is the recipient of the Canadian Medical Association’s 2010 Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics. He is a family physician, a bioethicist, and the director of the Biomedical Ethics Unit in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine. Eugene has provided expert testimony to Canadian Senate committees and provincial commissions on such issues as euthanasia and reproductive technologies. In 2001, he was appointed by the federal health minister to serve as ethicist to the Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation.



ALAN T. JOHN HOBBINS, BA’66, MLS’68, was awarded the 2010 Library Career Recognition Award, presented during the McGill Faculty of Law’s spring convocation on June 4, 2010. The award recognizes John’s service as law librarian between 2003 and 2009, as well as his service as acting director of the Law Library for the years 1988-1990 and 2000-2003. John has also published extensively on John Peters Humphrey, the original drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


RICHARD M. WISE, BCom’62, has received the 2010 Communicator Award from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators. The award is presented annually to a member of the institute for promoting the profession in Canada to non-members. The prize also rewards leadership, innovation and creativity. Richard is a fellow and past president of the institute.

PHILIP C. LEVI, BCom’70, was named the representative of the public to the board of directors of the Chambre de la sécurité financière for a three-year term starting in June 2010. The Chambre is a self-regulatory organization that oversees more than 32,000 professionals who work in the financial products and services industry in Quebec.

ERIC BIRENBAUM, BCom’80, DPA’81, is celebrating 30 years of marriage to Sheryl, 23 years of fatherhood, and five years as corporate controller of Omnitrans Inc. Eric is also organizing 1 Million Kilometers – 1Million Dollars to benefit the Montreal Children’s Hospital (

SYLVIE LACHANCE, MBA’87, was recently appointed the new executive vice president of real estate development for Sobeys Inc., a national grocery retailer. She will be responsible for defining Sobeys’ overall real estate strategy and associated capital requirements for strip mall and shopping centre developments.

ALAN DESNOYERS, BCom’95, has been appointed vice-president of BMO Bank of Montreal for downtown Montreal. He joins BMO with nearly 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Alan is also active in the community, co-chairing the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers benefiting the Jewish General Hospital, and is a member of the board of directors of the McGill Alumni Association.

DEEPAK DAVE, BCom’98, has returned to Canada after 10 years in Kenya, South Africa and the United Kingdom to work as a senior manager in the financing group at Export Development Canada.

JASON FRENETTE, BCom’99, married Elena Di Arrigo in June 2010 on the island of Elba.

BROOKE FISHBACK, MBA’02, international sales manager for Health Enterprises, Inc., was recently appointed to the U.S. Federal Government International Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC 11) for the 2010-2014 charter term. ITAC 11 represents the interests of small and minority businesses involved in international trade, and provides recommendations to the U.S. government on international trade policies and agreements.

J. B. KENT SMITH, BCom’02, of Watt Section, Nova Scotia, was a member of the 2010 Nova Scotia provincial champion curling team and represented Nova Scotia at the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier. Kent played second on skip Ian Fritsner-Leblanc’s team. The team won the Nova Scotia Molson Men’s Tankard in February 2010.


Santa Ono

SANTA ONO, PhD’91, is the new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Cincinnati. He had recently been working as the senior vice provost for undergraduate education and academic affairs at Emory University, where he was also a full professor of ophthalmology, medicine, pediatrics and biology. The author of more than 110 scholarly publications, his research has appeared in such journals as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and Nature Medicine.

ANDRÉS FRIEDMAN, BCom’03, has been appointed to the position of manager of the supply chain of Bombardier in Mexico. Andrés will lead the newly created Mexico supplier development team, consisting of technical, quality and supply chain agents. His team will be responsible for managing the transition of work packages to Bombardier’s Mexican suppliers and for the supplier development programs. Previously, Andrés worked at GE in the area of credit and risk management.

LANA GHANEM, BCom’06, worked at Arab Telemedia Services in Jordan after graduating from McGill. She then joined Dresdner Leinwort in London in 2007 as a financial analyst in the M&A division. Lana is now pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School.

MARTIN URQUHART, BCom’08, a former all-Canadian defenceman with the McGill Redman, has signed a one-year contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Montreal Canadiens’ American Hockey League affiliate. A native of Thorold, Ont., Martin played defence for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL for the past two years.

SADAF KASHFI, BCom’09, was one of 20 youth interns selected to take part in the Coady International Institute’s Youth in Partnership Program. Sadaf has been using her business and marketing training to help local farmers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines develop a marketing strategy. The Nova Scotia-based Coady Institute gives recent university graduates the opportunity to work with development organizations in their field of study.

KEVIN CRUZ ANTUNES, BCom’10, worked at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. He was chosen as one of 11,000 Canadians to carry the torch out of 2.5 million applicants and ran in Williams Lake, B.C. He was also behind the scenes for the opening ceremonies, medal ceremonies, Canada Hockey Place games and the closing ceremonies.


ALAN TENENHOUSE, BSc’55, PhD’59, MDCM’62, and HARRIET SUSIE TENENHOUSE, BSc’61, MSc’63, PhD’72, were awarded the CP Leblond Award for 2010 by the Network for Oral and Bone Health Research. The award recognizes their contributions to bone and mineral research in Quebec. Alan is a professor emeritus of medicine at McGill, the founding national principal investigator for the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), and director of the Montreal General Hospital’s Division of Bone Metabolism. Susie is a professor emerita in McGill’s Departments of Pediatrics and Human Genetics and principal investigator in the MRC/CIHR Group in Medical Genetics at McGill.

JOHN HSU, BSc’57, MDCM’61, BSc’67, is the 2010 recipient of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation’s Weinstein-Goldenson Medical Science Award  “for outstanding contributions in medical research which enhance the lives of individuals with cerebral palsy and their families.” John, a clinical professor emeritus at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, has published more than 120 research papers and book chapters in the field of orthopedic surgical interventions for neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy.

RICHARD DECKELBAUM, BSc’63, was named co-director of the Medical School for International Health in 2009. MSIH is the only North American-style medical school that incorporates global health coursework into all four years of the medical school curriculum. Richard is also a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health. The school’s other co-director is A. MARK CLARFIELD, an adjunct professor in McGill’s Division of Geriatric Medicine.

ELAINE I. TUOMANEN, BSc’73, MDCM’77, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process based on their records of scientific achievement and on original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Elaine is affiliated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

HILLEL M. FINESTONE, BSc’79, MDCM’83, is the author of The Pain Detective: Every Ache Tells a Story (Praeger Publishers). The book brings readers into diagnostic sessions that use “detective” processes to find the source of their pain. The Pain Detective also examines how psychological and social issues influence healing and general health, ultimately explaining how the mind and the body are linked and react to each other.


The Cecilia String Quartet (Photo by J. Lynn Kageyama)

THE CECILIA STRING QUARTET took first prize at the 10th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), which involved some of the world’s finest emerging string quartets from France, Germany, Russia, Canada and the United States. The BISQC victory includes a $25,000 cash prize, a North American and European tour that will be arranged by the Banff Centre, and the offer of a two-week residency at the centre to produce a CD. The winning quartet members were, (l to r) cellist REBECCA WENHAM, GrDipMusic’10, violinist MIN-JEONG KOH, GrDipMusic’10, violistCAITLIN BOYLE, GrDipMusic’10, and violinist SARAH NEMATALLAH, GrDipMusic’10. Wenham, recently left the group to pursue projects in California. Cellist Rachel Desoer has replaced her.

CONNIE LEBRUN, MDCM’81, the medical director of the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of Alberta, received one of five Citation Awards for 2010 from the American College of Sports Medicine in June. The prize recognizes those who have made significant contributions to sports medicine and/or the exercise sciences.

ALLAN PETERKIN, MedicalResident’90, DipPsych’92, has been named the head of the Program in Narrative Study and Healthcare Humanities at the University of Toronto. He is also a founding editor of Ars Medica: A Journal of Medicine, the Arts and Humanities (

PAUL S. FRENETTE, MedicalResident’92, is the first director of the new Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A leading stem cell and vascular biology researcher, Paul was a professor of medicine, hematology and medical oncology, and gene and cell medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He will spearhead Einstein College’s efforts to create a premier stem cell research institute.

DANIEL DUROCHER, PhD’98, has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in recognition of his research accomplishments and his impact on Canada’s biomedical community. Daniel is an internationally renowned cancer researcher from Varennes, Quebec. His work has given scientists a deeper understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying cancer and other human illnesses. He is currently researching at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto.


KERRY STRATTON, BMus’74, is a Canadian orchestra conductor who toured the globe in April and May 2010. His schedule included leading the Slovak Sinfonietta of Zilina in the Toronto area during its Canadian debut as well as in Slovakia, guest-conducting the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, leading the Grand Salon— Canada’s Palm Court Orchestra, making his conducting debut with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in Israel, and returning to conduct his home orchestra, the Toronto Philharmonia.

MICHAEL CAPON, MMus’88, has been appointed director of music at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in Kingston, Ont. Michael is active as a performer, conductor, composer and teacher. His new anthem, “Cheer Up, Friends,” for choir organ and brass, was premiered on Easter Sunday 2010. His other anthems have been published by the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Michael’s self-published organ works are distributed by Con Brio Music in Ottawa.

KEVIN KOMISARUK, BMus’94, MMus’96, DMus’03, is now the principal organist at the historic St. Basil’s Church in downtown Toronto. The church’s 3-manual, 53-stop Casavant organ was built in 1919. St. Basil’s is the collegiate church of the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. Kevin has been teaching organ performance, improvisation, pedagogy and keyboard theory at U of T’s Faculty of Music since 2004.


JANET BRAIDWOOD COSTELLO, BN’76, graduated with a doctorate in nursing practice with the inaugural class of the George Washington University School of Health Science and Medicine in Washington, D.C., in May 2010. She practises at Apple Blossom Family Practice in Winchester, Virginia, and is a clinical preceptor for George Washington, George Mason and Shenandoah universities. Janet can be reached at

LYNNE MCVEY, BSc’81, MSc(A)’85, the director of nursing at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, was awarded the 2010 Prix Florence, one of the most prestigious honours bestowed by the Order of Nurses of Quebec. Lynne, who received her award in the leadership category, is also co-director of the Segal Cancer Centre and an associate professor in McGill’s School of Nursing.



Marc Tessier-Lavigne (Photo by Owen Egan)

MARC TESSIER-LAVIGNE, BSc’80, was elected by the board of trustees of New York’s Rockefeller University to serve as the institution’s 10th president. Marc, who earned a Rhodes Scholarship while studying at McGill, is currently the executive vice president for research and the chief scientific officer at Genetech, where he directs the efforts of about 1,400 people involved in disease research and drug development. His own research focuses on the mechanisms of brain development and repair. He will begin his new role at Rockefeller on March 1, 2011.



NAE ISMAIL, BSc’62, recently published his first book, A Hot Tea by the Giza: The Real Global Warming, Not CO2 Hoax ( A retired molecular physicist, Nae’s book raises questions about the causes of climate change. Nae writes an online science column for the Toronto-

DAVID RYBACK, BSc’63, is a speaker and consultant specializing in organiza-tional success. He is the co-author of ConnectAbility, a book which offers an eight-step approach to fostering optimum communication. According to David and his co-authors, even the best-intentioned team players too often focus more on communicating their own ideas than on hearing and understanding what others have to say.

KATHY FOX, BSc’72, MBA’86, was named the 2010 recipient of the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award. Presented by the First Canadian Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, Inc., the award recognizes the achievements of Canadian women in the field of aviation or aerospace. Kathy has been involved in aviation for more than 40 years. She is currently a member of the Transportation Safety Board.

DOUGLAS H. HURLBURT, PhD’72, has retired from his position as chief scientist for the technology management division of Schafer Corporation after more than 40 years’ involvement in the development and management of high technology programs for the U.S. Department of Defense. Douglas continues to manage his defense-related consulting business, Beacon Place Associates, LLC, as well as Dynamic Sounds Associates, LLC, his “hobby” business, developing high-end audio electronic equipment.

ROBERT D. EVANS, PhD’81, an environmental and resource studies professor and the dean of graduate studies at Trent University, was presented with Trent’s Distinguished Research Award in June 2010. Robert is an international leader in the field of environmental biogeochemistry, and has a remarkable record of research productivity, with more than 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles published.

JAMES E. SZALADOS, BSc’81, practises anesthesiology and critical care in Rochester, N.Y. He has 20 years of clinical experience in medicine, including experience in the fields of surgery, anesthesiology and critical care—both in academia and in private practice. James has attained hospitalist fellowship status in the American College of Critical Care Medicine, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Legal Medicine.

BEVERLY AKERMAN, BSc’82, MSc’87, has won the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick’s 2010 Richards Prize for her unpublished fiction collection The Meaning of Children. The award was presented in May 2010 during the WordsSpring Festival in Fredericton, N.B. Beverly’s stories will appear in The Nashwaak Review, The New Quarterly, Rampike and the Windsor Review. More information can be found at

GLENN SAXE, BSc’84, has been appointed chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of the Child Study Center at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. An award-winning teacher and researcher, Glenn primarily studies childhood traumatic stress, focusing on the behavioural processes that lead to mental heath issues. Most recently, he was an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an attending psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

CHRISTOPHER BURNS, BSc’89, is an associate professor and director of medical education for the Department of Microbiology at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is part of an education leadership team that seeks to change medical education. His primary responsibility is in designing and overseeing the implementation of microbiology and immunology courses and content in his school’s new interdisciplinary “Next Generation” curriculum.

MARJOLAINE BONENFANT, BSc’94, MSc’96, is an illustrator who has published a new book, Abécédaire des anibêtes, with author Robert Soulières. The humorous book presents chimeric creatures in odd settings, highlighting the inspiration behind it all—the animal world. Marjolaine is an avid animal lover, especially when it comes to horses. This is her second creature-themed book.

JOHN PO, BSc’94, MSc’96, a physician at the Banner Estralla Medical Center in Phoenix, was chosen as the president of the Arizona Infectious Diseases Society (ARIDS) through a peer-selection process. ARIDS is the statewide chapter of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. John’s responsibilities for the next year include promoting ARIDS as the main source for infectious disease information for patients and physicians. He is also chairman of the infection prevention committee and the pharmaceuticals and therapeutics committee at Banner Estrella.



Louis Nirenberg (Photo by AP Photo/Mahesh Kumara)

LOUIS NIRENBERG, BSc’45, DSc’86, an emeritus professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, is the first recipient of the International Mathematical Union’s new Chern Medal. The prize will be awarded every four years to an individual whose work “warrants the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics.” A pioneering mathematician credited with making fundamental contributions to the understanding of linear and non-linear partial differential equations, Louis received the medal from Indian president Pratibha Patil at the International Congress of Mathematicians in August.

SIGALIT HOFFMAN, BSc’00, a 2006 graduate of the Medical School for International Health, recently began a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Tufts University in Boston. Prior to commencing her fellowship, she participated in a relief mission in Haiti, helping those recovering from the January 2010 earthquake.

AMIT CHANDRA, BSc’01, has co-published the Tarascon Global Health Pocketbook with MATTHEW DACSO, BA’01. The convenient and portable guide provides regional and issue-based information on global medicine. The book outlines some of the major themes in international health, including water safety, respiratory infections and HIV, while offering region-specific information on such matters as unusual local pathogens. Amit is an emergency physician based in Queens, N.Y. Matthew practises general internal medicine in Houston, Texas.

Social Work

PHYLLIS BLACK, BA’58, MSW’60, received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter. The award honours her scholarly and service contributions to the profession. Phyllis is a professor at Marywood University’s School of Social Work and the director of the university’s Lehigh Valley Program.

STEPHEN J. VALLEY, MSW’97, has been appointed director of community services for Essex County, New York. He will provide oversight and coordination for county-wide recovery services for mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities. He most recently served as assistant director of Essex County Mental Health Services in Elizabethtown, NY, where he has been employed since graduating from the McGill School of Social Work.

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One Response to “Alumnotes Fall/Winter 2010”
  1. Elizabeth Wallace says:

    BA’93, MLIS’95, has been appointed Collections Librarian in the Science & Technology Library at the University of Alberta. She had spent the past 14 years as a Science & Engineering Librarian at Syracuse University in Upstate New York.