U of S alumni, professor, and former chancellor recieve province’s highest honour

Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield announced Oct. 23 that two U of S alumni, one alumnus who is also chancellor emeritus, and one professor emeritus will be invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

The U of S recipients of this honour include:
Chancellor Emeritus Tom Molloy (S.M.O.M., O.C., S.O.M., Q.C.), a Saskatoon-based lawyer who has served as chief federal negotiator for the Government of Canada for nearly 30 years. Molloy is recognized for his community involvement and his award-winning book, The World is Our Witness, about land reclamation and treaties in Canada. He received his BA and LLB in 1964 and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws (LLD) at convocation 2009.

Professor Emeritus Brian Rossnagel (S.O.M), began working at the U of S in 1977, and since then he has helped produce over 94 varieties of oats and barley. He received the U of S Award for Distinguished Outreach and Engagement in 2004.

David Thauberger (C.M., S.O.M.) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the U of S in 1971. According to his bio, Thauberger has been an advocate of prairie folk art and recognized internationally for his colourful paintings of prairie store fronts.

William Brett Wilson (C.M., S.O.M.) received his Bachelor of Engineering in 1979 and went on to become a successful businessman and entrepreneur in Alberta. In 2007, he established the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence in the Edwards School of Business with a donation of $2 million.

The Saskatchewan Order of Merit is the province’s highest honour, recognizing individuals who have contributed significantly to the well-being of the province and its residents. Including the eight new members, there have been 193 appointments to the Order of Merit since its inception in 1985.

The recipients will be officially invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit during a ceremony to be held on Nov. 27 in Saskatoon.

For more information on the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and its members, or the Saskatchewan Honours and Awards Program, please visit www.ops.gov.sk.ca/som.

Stretching the limits

Jennifer Campeau (left) with federal minister Rona Ambrose at a Status of Women conference in Halifax, NS

Ambition and drive come naturally to Jennifer Campeau (MBA’09), a rookie Saskatchewan MLA for Saskatoon Fairview. Confidence in her own abilities may come less naturally, but you would never know it. Years of being stretched outside of her comfort zone has led to a keen sense of self-awareness, resulting in confidence in her own capacity to tackle whatever challenges lie before her.

A member of the Yellow Quill First Nation, Campeau was raised primarily in Saskatoon, spending some of her formative years in rural Saskatchewan and attending the residential school in Lestock, SK.

Campeau moved to the United States as a teenager, but after a failed marriage she felt the tug of home. “Like a lot of ex-pats I had went off on my own and explored. I lived in the Southern U.S. a little bit, but there was always a pull to be home and be around family. That was amplified when I had a child. I wanted her to grow up in a community where her family was there, her cousins, my family,” said Campeau.

Her drive for a better life—for her and her daughter— combined with a frustration over the employment gap between the Aboriginal population and the rest of Canada, led to an interest in business. “I started reading a lot about economics. I read about the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and their research question about why some American Indian communities are doing well and others are struggling. And what that boils down to is business and entrepreneurship.”

Campeau took courses at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Applied Technology which, thanks to joint programming with the University of Lethbridge, led to a business management degree.

Future ambitions didn’t let her stop there, even if it meant stretching her limits once again. She enrolled in the Masters in Business Administration program at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business. “Oh, there was a lot of fear,” she said with a healthy dose of laughter. “I don’t know if I’d say it’s a favourite memory, but it’s gotten me to be comfortable and confident in what I was doing. There is a focus on leadership, and I’m glad that the MBA program has that aspect to it.”

Raising a child while enrolled in a full-time MBA program presented some challenges. “My main concern was the cost of it,” explained Campeau. On top of scholarships to ease the financial burden, Campeau is grateful for the many avenues of support she received. “It was a little bit daunting and intimidating, but the university has these great supports. The Rawlco [Resource] Centre at the Edwards School of Business was phenomenal. Leanne Bellegarde [Rawlco program coordinator] was there at the time, and she was instrumental in me getting through the program.”

As if the MBA program didn’t push her security far enough, Campeau began teaching an introduction to commerce course for the college. With a confident laugh, she recalled her trial-by-fire experience in teaching. “Again that put me out of my comfort zone. It taught me a lot about myself—it was looking at information from a different lens.”

Campeau’s lifelong interest in politics brought an abrupt end to her pursuit of a PhD and her role as junior achievement coordinator for the Saskatoon Tribal Council. “There was always an interest [in politics], but it was always with Aboriginal politics, Aboriginal policy. I always thought I would be doing policy work or being the technician behind the politician, and it would be in Aboriginal politics.” But an opportunity to run in the 2011 Saskatchewan provincial election presented itself. “I didn’t think I’d make it past the nomination,” she says through laughter once again. “You know, hard work pays off.”

That different lens Campeau speaks of is what gives her the ability to reflect on challenging moments with confidence, accepting the humour—maybe even the irony—in the notion that it often takes challenges and trials to bring out the best in people.
“It’s important not to discount anybody’s abilities. A lot of people thought the odds were stacked against me being a single mother, being First Nations, and being a student. So I really think your limitations are only what you believe they are. If you believe that you can do something, then do it.”

U of S Alumni to be Honoured

Their collective list of accomplishments is as long and varied as it is impressive—including patents to mechanically neutralize land mines, leading-edge cardiovascular research and treatment, advising on international trade agreements and co-founding an up-and-coming commercial development company, to name just a few.

The tie that binds these achievements is they are all performed by University of Saskatchewan alumni. More specifically, the 12 recipients of the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association’s 2012 Alumni Achievement Awards.

The annual awards recognize graduates of the University of Saskatchewan for excellence, leadership, and innovation in their achievements and contributions to the social, cultural, and economic well-being of society, which positively reflect on the University of Saskatchewan and the Alumni Association.

“We have about 138,000 graduates, so it’s really no wonder that we have such accomplished individuals we can honour and celebrate,” says Judy MacMillan, president of the U of S Alumni Association.

“The broad range of expertise and the many varied contributions this year’s recipients make in their respective professions, to their communities, to U of S and to society-at-large is really quite impressive,” continues MacMillan. “It really illustrates the quality and the breadth and depth of educational programs we have available at the U of S. They are a testament to the notion that a university education—a U of S education—is a solid foundation for success, and we are proud to have them as ambassadors of our fine institution.”

The annual Honouring our Alumni reception will be held November 2 at the Delta Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon to celebrate award recipients.

This year’s recipients are (view biographies and photos):
Austin Beggs (BA’74) for his role in helping grow innovation and research in Saskatoon and throughout Saskatchewan.
Dr. Sasha Bernatsky (BSc’88) for her contributions to internal medicine in the fields of rheumatology, epidemiology and research focused on improving the outcomes for persons with systematic lupus (SLE).
Dr. Anne Doig (MD’76) for her leadership and commitment to family medicine and the medical profession.
Elaine Golds (BA’64) for her life-long commitment to volunteerism and environmental sustainability.
Digvir Jayas, FRSC (PhD’87) for his research and significant contributions to the agricultural industry.
Professor Emeritus Radhey Lal Kushwaha (PhD’67) for his service to the engineering profession—nationally and internationally.
Robert (Bob) McKercher, QC (BA’50, LLB’52) for his contributions to and the advancement of the law profession in Canada.
Dr. Bruce McManus, FRSC, FCAHS (BAPE’67, MD’77) for his contributions to cardiovascular research and treatment.
Chancellor Emeritus Edward (Ted) Turner, CM, SOM (D/Agric’48, LLD (honorary)’89) for his leadership in agriculture and service to the University of Saskatchewan.
Garrett Wilson, QC (BA’53, LLB’54) for his contributions to law, business, politics and literature.

The Young Alumni Achievement Award recipients are:
Natasha Haskey (BSNT’98, MSc’07) for her work improving the nutritional well-being of children.
Karl Miller (BA’98, BComm’01) for his contributions as an entrepreneur and businessman.

Also being recognized at this year’s reception are three honorary alumni. Wendy Field (nee Bates) worked in the Alumni Relations Office at the U of S for over 30 years before retiring earlier this year. William (Bill) Albritton, former dean of the College of Medicine, and his wife, Betty, were nominated by the college and the college’s alumni association.
Alumni Achievement Award recipients are nominated by fellow U of S alumni and chosen by a volunteer committee.

Nominations are open year round. The deadline for next year’s awards is June 30, 2013.
Read more about the alumni awards, recipients, the reception and the nomination process.