U of S receives rare Picasso prints from alumnus

On January 30, U of S alumnus Frederick Mulder (BA’64) announced his donation of six Picasso prints to the University of Saskatchewan’s art collection.
Mulder was delivering a public lecture at the U of S campus about his journey from the prairies to the world of Picasso at the time he announced the donation.
“Picasso was one of the world’s great artists, and it’s been a wonderful, strange journey from a small prairie town to dealing in his work, meeting his family and his printers, and now bringing his work to the University of Saskatchewan,” said Mulder. Read the complete On Campus News story

U of S alumnus receives UNESCO prize for popularization of science

René Raúl Drucker-Colín (PhD’71) a U of S alumnus and an eminent researcher who brought small doses of science to the general public in his home country of Mexico, is the winner of the 2011 UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science.
An ardent promoter of science, Drucker-Colín’s work is regularly published in La Jornada, a leading Mexican daily, and he has participated in the science programming of Televisa, a national broadcaster, over the past 12 years. Speaking from Mexico City, Drucker-Colín said when he was vice-chancellor of science at National Autonomous University of Mexico, “it was necessary for me to promote science to society, to educate everyone on the public value of science. I created Small Doses of Science, two-minute pieces of news on interesting scientific findings.”
Small Doses of Science grew from a piece on the university’s radio station to a daily rush-hour science item airing on a popular Mexico City radio station and eventually was broadcast six to seven times per day on television. “It became part of Mexican life,” said Drucker-Colín.
Drucker-Colín received his award from UNESCO in early January. Funded by the Kalinga Foundation and the Government of the State of Orissa in India, the prize recognizes contributions made in presenting science and technology to a general public. After earning a bachelor’s degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico and a master’s from Northern Illinois University, Drucker-Colín moved to the U of S where he received a doctorate in physiology in 1971. Since returning to Mexico, his neurological research has focused in two areas: sleep and wakefulness, specifically narcolepsy; and Parkinson’s disease.
“We spend about one-third of our lives asleep,” says Drucker-Colín, one of the founders of the Sleep Disorders Clinic in Mexico City. “That’s 20 years by the age of 60. So it’s important to understand the transmitters and substances related to sleep.” His work includes research on the loss of neurons that produce orexin, a protein responsible for controlling appetite and sleep patterns, and the possibility of its transplantation.
In the area of Parkinson’s research, Drucker-Colín was involved in the first cell transplant to treat the disease almost 25 years ago. A neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s symptoms occur when the cells in the brain stem produce less dopamine. “We can substitute lost cells with those that produce dopamine,” he said. “Not all patients respond in the same way, but we are trying to find which type of cells are best to transplant.”
The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science includes a monetary award of $20,000. Prior winners include Bertrand Russell (1957), Julian Huxley (1953), Margaret Mead (1970) and David Suzuki (1986).

Engaged Alumni Excellence Award nominations are open

In 2010-2011 a new Experience in Excellence Award was created in partnership between the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) and U of S Alumni Association. This new award is called the Engaged Alumni Excellence Award. The USSU’s An Experience in Excellence program recognizes those individuals that show leadership qualities that better both the academic and non-academic environment for the undergraduate students of the University of Saskatchewan.
Nominate someone for the Engaged Alumni Excellence Award who:
• has graduated from the U of S in the last five years
• is under 35 years of age
• is actively engaged in or still connected to the U of S
Deadline for nominations is February 15, 2012.
Visit the awards web page to nominate someone, to see last year’s winner, or for more information.
If you have any questions please contact Andrea Eccleston, Alumni Relations Officer at andrea.eccleston@usask.ca.

MacKinnon and Stiller named Officers of the Order of Canada

University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon (LLM’76) has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, for his contributions to education and for his commitment to innovation and research excellence.
MacKinnon joined the College of Law at the U of S in 1975, becoming a full professor in 1983. He went on to serve as assistant dean and dean before his appointment as the university’s eighth president in 1999. MacKinnon is also a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council, an advisory body to the federal government that measures Canada’s science and technology performance against international standards, and served as chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada from 2003-2005.
MacKinnon will step down as U of S president June 30, 2012.
Dr. Calvin Stiller (MD’65, DSc (honorary)’07), who was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994, was promoted to officer within the order for his leadership as a medical entrepreneur and for his advancement of scientific research and innovation.
Dr. Stiller, a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, is a pioneer in the establishment of multi-organ transplant services in Canada and was the principal investigator in a study that established the importance of cyclosporine as a first-line therapy for transplant rejection.
As a businessman and entrepreneur, Dr. Stiller founded or co-founded many ventures, including Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund Inc., The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund, and the Canadian Science and Technology Growth Fund.
Both men were named to the University of Saskatchewan’s 100 Alumni of Influence in 2007.
Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.