Alumnae starring in play chosen for Singapore festival

An acclaimed stage play developed by Department of Drama faculty and alumni will represent Canada at an international fringe festival in Singapore this January.

Displaced, a story of three female refugees fleeing to Canada at different points in history, was co-written by Associate Professor Natasha Martina (with Sue Mythen). After several successful performances in Canada, the play caught the attention of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, which selected it to be presented at its Jan. 17–28 festival in 2018 as one of four highlighted shows from around the world.

The stars of Displaced (left to right): Emma Laishram, Anna Mazurik (BFAHon’16) and Jacqueline Block (BFA’14). (Photo: S.E. Grummett)










Displaced debuted in 2015 at the Montreal and Saskatoon fringe festivals, earning nominations for best English production and best English text in Montreal. The showhas since drawn crowds around Saskatchewan as part of the 2017 Live Five Independent Theatre season and received four prizes at the recent Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards.

“The response was overwhelming,” says Martina, who also produced and directed the play. “I think people really wanted to support this piece because it has a message of equality and acceptance and the need to be inclusive.”

The global developments that have made this message so resonant in recent years—including ongoing refugee crises, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump—didn’t factor into the creation of the play, Martina says. She began researching and writing Displaced in 2011 with a simpler goal: telling a story that would have personal meaning to her as a child of immigrants.

“I just knew that immigration and starting a new life was a very large aspect of my growing up: seeing my parents start from nothing to create their own business, to employ 125 people, and to share all the traditions I grew up with that were in two cultures.”

The stars of Displaced include drama alumnae Jacqueline Block (BFA’14) and Anna Mazurik (BFAHon’16). Amberlin Hsu (BFAHon’16) is the stage manager and lighting designer. Assistant Professor of Drama Carla Orosz (BFA’04) designed the set and costumes.

Before heading to Singapore, the cast and crew will give a single performance of Displaced in Saskatoon on Jan. 20. Details and ticket information for that event can be viewed here.

Displaced is produced by Ground Cover Theatre. The Singapore trip is funded by the High Commission of Canada, Creative Saskatchewan and the College of Arts & Science.

Written by Chris Putman

Alumni named to CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 list

CBC Saskatchewan has announced the winners of its 2017 Future 40 campaign. CBC’s Future 40 celebrates Saskatchewan’s up-and-coming leaders, builders and change-makers under the age of 40. Winners are nominated by members of the community and chosen by CBC Saskatchewan.

Zondra Roy (BEd’17), one of 14 U of S alum recognized by CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 (photo:

This year, 14 U of S alumni were recognized on this list:

Nicole Baldwin (BSc’17)-U of S researcher focusing on the effects of chemical toxicity.

Cece Baptiste (BComm’04)-Founding member of the Saskatoon Aboriginal Professionals Association, dedicated to advancing Aboriginal professionals into leadership roles.

Tenille Campbell (BA’07)-PhD student in the Department of English at the U of S; author of #IndianLovePoems poetry collection.

Matthew Dunn (BE’04, MSc’10)-Professional engineer, community leader and board member of Saskatchewan Aboriginal Track and Field.

Ashlyn George (BA’09, BEd’10)-former ‘Saskatchewanderer’ and current digital content entrepreneur.

Neal Kewistep (MPA’11)-The first First Nations graduate of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Dr. Kylie Kvinlaug (BSc’04, MD’04)-Assistant professor at the U of S and program director for Surgical Foundations.

Robert Laprairie (BSc’10)-Leading expert in pharmacology, specifically cannabinoids.

Holly Manswell (BSP’02)-Associate professor at the College of Pharmacy at Nutrition at the U of S.

Cara-Faye Merasty (JD’12)-Contributor to Legal Aid Saskatchewan, the Community Initiatives Fund and the Northern Adjudication Committee.

Karen Robson (BComm’13)-Executive director of The Princess Shop, providing underprivileged young women with a special graduation experience.

Zondra Roy (BEd’17)-Award-winning spoken word poet, community-based educator, filmmaker, and author.

Amy Smith-Morris (BSP’10)-Founder of Survivher, a support group for young, female cancer survivors.

Joe Wickenhauser (BA’09)-founder and executive director of Moose Jaw Pride and the Saskatchewan Pride Network.

Read more about each alum at CBC Saskatchewan.

Fall Convocation award winners

Three U of S alumni will receive special distinction at the University of Saskatchewan’s Fall Convocation on Oct. 28.

Margret Asmuss (BA’85, MCTGED’89)
President’s Service Award
A proud alumna who completed both her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Continuing Education degrees at the U of S, Margret Asmuss has served as sustainability co-ordinator for the past 13 years. She has helped develop the Office of Sustainability and helped implement the Campus Sustainability Plan, which provides a framework for integrating sustainability into university activities. Asmuss also plays a role in the Sustainability Living Lab, which provides students with project-based courses and offers professional development for faculty. Her combination of knowledge, expertise and readiness helps others achieve their sustainability goals.

Carey Simonson, (BE’91, MSc’93, PhD’98)
Distinguished Graduate Supervisor Award
Carey Simonson earned his bachelor’s, master’s and a PhD in mechanical engineering at the U of S, where he has served as a professor since 2001. The Graduate Chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Simonson received the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in 2015 and was awarded $423,465 in NSERC grants in September. Winner of the U of S Graduate Students’ Association Teaching Excellence Award in April, Simonson has supervised 50 graduate and postdoctoral students. Simonson is a Fellow of ASHRAE, the premier society in his research field, with more than 56,000 members from 130 countries.

Harold Chapman, (BSA’43)
Honorary Doctor of Laws
Harold Chapman has spent a lifetime committed to the co-operative movement as a builder and educator. Chapman, who was born in Saskatoon, graduated from the U of S with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture back in 1943, spent decades helping develop farming, fishing, trapping and housing co-operatives in the province, and was the first director of the Co-operative Institute in Saskatoon. Since retiring in 1982, he has remained involved with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives located at the U of S and celebrated his 100th birthday this year by being inducted into the Order of Canada.

U of S astronomy graduates’ research is out of this world

Hope Boyce (BSC’16) and Taylor Bell (BSC’16) have spent many evenings on the Physics Building rooftop observatory expanding their knowledge of, and passion for, astronomy.

But these U of S alumni have more in common than simply their love of stargazing. Boyce and Bell completed Bachelor of Science degrees in physics in Saskatoon and have gone on to study in the astronomy Master’s program at McGill University. Recently, Boyce and Bell each published a research article in The Astrophysical Journal, a world-renowned research journal devoted to recent developments, discoveries, and theories in astronomy and astrophysics.

Hope Boyce (BSC’16) and Taylor Bell (BSC’16).

Boyce’s article, “An Upper Limit on the Mass of a Central Black Hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud from the Stellar Rotation Field,” is a continuation of research she began as an astronomy student at the U of S. Her paper is the first to put a limit on the mass of any central supermassive black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

“Searching for a black hole in another galaxy advances the community’s knowledge about the formation and evolution of many galaxies and their black holes, including our own,” she explains. “Pure astronomy research helps us answer fundamental questions about physics and our place in the universe.”

Meanwhile, Bell explores the exoplanet WASP-12b in his journal article, “The Very Low Albedo of WASP-12b from Spectral Eclipse Observations with Hubble.” Bell’s measurement of the planet’s surface brightness—or its reflectiveness—reveals that it is essentially pitch black and reflects only six per cent of the light from its host star. As the planet is tidally locked with a parent star, there is an even divide between day and night. The day side of the planet is 2,600 degrees Celsius, while the night side is believed to be 1,000 degrees Celsius.

“By observing planets like this we can better understand how hydrogen breaks apart and goes back into a molecule at different points on a planet as it heats up and cools down,” Bell explains. “In that way, we can learn something about the planet’s chemistry and physics.”

Stan Shadick, astronomy lecturer and physics/astronomy lab instructor at the U of S, is delighted with the recent accomplishments of the two young graduates.

“The Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at the U of S has a long tradition to training respected professional astronomers,” Shadick says. “The university is proud to see both Boyce and Bell continuing this tradition and making such important new discoveries at the beginning of their professional careers.”

Boyce’s full journal article
Bell’s full journal article

The Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence

It’s tradition, in the MFA writing program, that the first year student who has travelled the farthest to attend the program is given the honour of attending and writing an article on the annual Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence.

By Taidgh Lynch, MFA in Writing, University of Saskatchewan

Trevor Herriot (BA’79, ARTS’81)

The Kloppenburg award, established in 2010, acknowledges a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of literary work. As I have travelled over 6,000 kilometres from Ireland to do my Master of Fine Arts in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan, I won in regards to mileage covered.

I met Henry (BA’65, JD’68) and Cheryl Kloppenburg (BA’70, ARTS,71, JD’75, MA’75), a few days before the awards ceremony to learn a little bit about them and find out the reason behind the Kloppenburg Award. We met for lunch at the Somewhere Else Pub and Grill. Henry recommended I try the steak sandwich, which I did, and when the food arrived he said grace in Latin, a tradition he said from his time in Oxford University, UK where he was a Rhodes Scholar at Exeter College.

Over lunch I learnt about the Kloppenburgs’ life and their over 80 years in law practice between them in Saskatoon. Henry talked fondly of growing up in Humboldt, SK, and spoke proudly about the Kloppenburg Wildlife Refuge near Humboldt that was established in 1996 with 160 acres of land to protect the natural wildlife in the area, which has never been broken for agriculture. It’s there visitors can go to enjoy bird watching, take in the beauty of wildflowers and relax in the peaceful surroundings.

Cheryl Kloppenburg, like her husband is a tremendously accomplished lawyer, having completed her entire post-secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan and also has the same passion in supporting the community and promoting the arts.

Herriot accepting the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence

We continued chatting around coffee. Cheryl and Henry talked in great detail about art and giving back to the community of Saskatoon and the province of Saskatchewan. They told me about the scholarships and prizes that they have set up at High Schools, Humboldt College Institute and at the University of Saskatchewan. The were keen for me to have a look at their 55-piece Inuit art collection that they collected for over 40 years and donated to the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011.

They spoke passionately about the annual Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence that Henry told me was set up to celebrate the long, proud history the province of Saskatchewan has in producing renowned writers that have made a significant contribution to Canadian literature. They wanted to recognise the achievements of a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of literary work and so the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence was established.

With a lovely lunch and an entertaining chat over we said our goodbyes, looking forward to meeting again at the awards ceremony.

This year the 8th annual Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence took place at a luncheon on September 19th at the German Cultural Centre, 160, Cartwright St. East, Saskatoon. If I thought I left the rain behind in Ireland I was sadly mistaken. The day was muggy and wet, just like home. But the weather did little to dampen our spirits as everyone hurried excitedly in and took their seats. There was a great buzz in the air as local dignitaries, writers and guests mingled. I spotted the novelist Yann Martel in the crowd who won last year’s award. Previous winners of the award included the novelist, poet and short story writer David Carpenter in 2015, novelist Sandra Birdsell in 2014, novelist, dramatist and short story writer, Diane Warren in 2013, novelist Sharon Butala in 2012, poet Lorna Crozier in 2011 and novelist and short story writer, Guy Vanderhaeghe in 2010.

This year it was proudly hosted by The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, and emceed by its president Jack Walton. He welcomed everyone to the event, acknowledging the generosity and support of Cheryl and Henry to the province of Saskatchewan. He talked about the rich literary heritage of the province and how important it was to have an award recognising the achievements of its writers. The three Honorary Patrons of the Award, Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Dr. Peter Stoicheff, President of the University of Saskatchewan and Charlie Clark the Mayor of Saskatoon each gave a short speech mentioning the importance of the award and congratulated the winner careful not to let it slip who the winner was.

Then Cheryl and Henry presented the award of $10,000, and a framed print from the highly respected Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles to the 2017 winner of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Literary Award of Excellence, the prairie naturalist, illustrator, activist, and non-fiction writer — the esteemed Trevor Herriot.

Trevor graciously accepted the award saying how wonderful it was to be recognised for his writing locally and how much it meant to be listed amongst such distinguished writers. He talked passionately about the importance of preserving and protecting Canadian grasslands for future generations. Then in appreciation for Cheryl and Henry’s contribution in promoting the arts he gave them an illustration of his, a Mountain Plover whose population is in decline and some honey, from his home in Regina which he shares with his wife Karen and their four children.

Not wanting the guests to feel left out, Cheryl made sure everyone got a little gift too of a print of Dorothy Knowles’s art to take home with them. When lunch was over, Trevor Herriot read from his book, Islands of Grass which comes out on November 1st later this year. The book is accompanied by acclaimed photographer Branimir Gjetvaj’s extraordinary photographs. The audience listened to Trevor read about the prairie grasslands that are rapidly disappearing and of the Great Northern Plain that stretched across the continent abundant with wildlife, and with herds of bison. numbering in the millions. Sadly, today, all this is rapidly disappearing and in some areas there are only small unique islands of untouched prairie grassland left.

Jack Walton closed proceedings to the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence 2017 thanking everyone for coming and wished everyone well.

Front row, left to right: Dorothy Knowles (distinguished Canadian artist and donor of the print that is part of the Award); the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan; Cheryl Kloppenburg (co-donor). Back row, left to right: Peter Stoicheff; Trevor Herriott (Award recipient); Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon; Henry Kloppenburg (co-donor); Jack Walton (President of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild); Darrell Dick (President of the German Cultural Centre, hosting the event).

After saying goodbye to Cheryl and Henry, and briefly chatting with Trevor Herriot, I made my way to the Murray Library, on Saskatchewan University campus. I was keen to discover for myself Trevor Herriot’s work. What I found was beautiful, lyrically rich language within the pages of his books. I discovered a writer who has a deep love and respect for the grasslands in a world where we think more about expansion rather than seeing what we can preserve and keep intact for future generations. The library is well stocked with all five of his books with Towards a Prairie Atonement, published in October 2016 being his most recent to date. Apart from his books and his regular guest spot on CBC Radio Saskatchewan’s Blue Sky, Trevor has a blog, Grass Notes ( He started blogging in 2009 as a way to further educate and inform his readers and listeners.

I have yet to check out Cheryl and Henry’s donated collection of art in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan but when I get the chance I’ll definitely have a look at their permanent collection.

Going to the Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence was a great experience for me. Not only did I met Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg who are exceptionally warm and friendly but I got to talk writers like Trevor Herriot who is creative and sincere. I got to witness firsthand the creative vibrancy of Saskatoon and the province of Saskatchewan. I could feel the willingness from Cheryl, Henry and Trevor to preserve art and land for generations to come. Such ideals should be promoted and celebrated no matter where we live.

Ushering in a new era with Home Ice

With a new era of hockey on the horizon, alumni Kerry (BCOMM’85) and Bonnie Preete (BSPE’82; BED’84) reflect fondly on their memories of playing with the Huskies.

Kerry Preete, top row, fifth from left, with the Huskie’s men’s hockey team in 1983.

Both were student athletes while they attended the U of S – Bonnie playing with the Huskiettes from 1979-1982, while Kerry joined the men’s hockey team in 1980. It was a turning point for the men’s team in particular, as new coach Dave King propelled them to the final game of the University Cup three years in a row.  But it wasn’t until 1983 that the team was finally victorious, having lost in the championship game during the first two runs. Kerry explained that the roller coaster of emotions that the team shared during those years helped build the foundations of friendship with his teammates that, nearly four decades later, remain today.

“I think we had something special going on,” Kerry said. “Maybe part of that was forged by being so successful as a group over those three or four years and coming really close twice, and then to end up winning, it added an extra something special to the relationship and to the bond that all of us had.”

The Preete’s relocated to St. Louis, Missouri nearly 20 years ago, where Kerry has assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Monsanto. He says much of his professional success can be attributed back to the lessons and values he learned as a Huskie.

“I look back and I see what playing in that program did for me personally, in terms of some of the life lessons that I learned from playing the game at that level, the things I learned from extremely successful teammates, and from Dave King, who was a mentor to all of us,” Kerry said.

Bonnie and Kerry Preete.

The Preete’s have stayed connected to hockey in St. Louis, spending hours at the rink cheering on their three sons with Kerry acting as a coach.  Watching their boys grow up with the game and having been players themselves, Bonnie and Kerry know how important a good facility is to building a strong program.

“In order to have strong sports team you need good facilities,” Bonnie said. “I think a new rink facility for the U of S and the Huskies is long overdue.”

Ensuring the Huskies hockey program continues to be successful and offer players the same kinds of opportunities they had inspired Kerry and Bonnie to support the Home Ice Campaign and usher in a new era for the Huskies. They generously donated $150,000 to the campaign to help build a new home for the dogs – Merlis Belsher Place.

“As much affection that I certainly have for Rutherford – we call it the doghouse – I do think programs at all kinds of levels now have to realize that having a nice facility allows you to attract players and keep a program successful,” Kerry said.

“The University of Saskatchewan is a very important place for both Kerry and I, and the Rutherford rink was a place we both spent a lot of time,” Bonnie adds. “We know the ‘old doghouse’ will not stand up forever so it is time for a ‘new doghouse’.”

The Preete’s are looking forward to a bright future for the Huskies, and plan on making a trip back to Saskatchewan soon to cheer them on at the new facility. Kerry said he’s ready to see his former line-mate – current head coach of men’s hockey, Dave Adolph – lead the Dogs to another National Championship.

“I’m just so excited about the U of S and the Huskies being able to move into a new rink,” Kerry said. “I think it will just add to the legacy and their success going forward.”

Invictus inspiration

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

This line from the poem Invictus by English poet William Ernest Henley is the ethos of the Invictus Games, the brainchild of Prince Harry of Wales.

The Invictus Games is an international athletics competition for active duty and veteran service members who have become ill or injured during, or resulting from, their service. Featuring 12 sports including powerlifting and wheelchair tennis, the Games are an Olympics-style event for adaptive sport athletes. Hosted in Toronto, the Games will welcome more than 550 competitors from 17 countries, including Canada.

The indomitable spirit of these men and women has always been an inspiration for Andy McCreath (BA’99), co-chair of this year’s competition in Toronto. In his role, McCreath is leading fundraising efforts and sponsorship of the Games.

Andy McCreath (far left) with Prince Harry at the launch announcement of the 2017 Invictus Games.

McCreath’s devotion to servicemen and women is nothing new. For several years, he was involved with the True Patriot Love Foundation, a national charity which raises funds for veterans and their families. In 2014, McCreath and his business partner Christian Darbyshire spearheaded efforts to raise $1.2 million for the foundation through a charity dinner in Calgary.

McCreath is proud that it was ultimately the work done by the True Patriot Love Foundation which attracted interest from the Invictus Games organizers to host the event in Canada.

“The True Patriot Love Foundation is something very close to my heart, as my grandfather served our country,” he said. “The countless sacrifices made by our Canadian armed forces, be it physical or mental, should be highly recognized by Canadians everywhere.”

Sharing the common bond of supporting and celebrating the resilience of the Invictus Games competitors, McCreath met Prince Harry at the launch announcement of the 2017 Games.

“He was very humble,” McCreath said of the prince. “It was great that he was able to make it out for the launch. He should be very proud of what he has created.”

The Invictus Games take place Sept. 23-30, beginning with the opening ceremonies. The closing ceremonies on Sept. 30 will feature performances by Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson and more.

Read more at Invictus Games.

Canada 150 Citizens

As part of the U of S Canada 150 Project, the University of Saskatchewan is proud to recognize 10 remarkable members of the university community as U of S Canada 150 Citizens. These individuals have significantly contributed to Canada becoming a more diverse, inclusive and environmentally sustainable country.

The honourees were nominated by members of the public, and were selected for exemplifying the Canada 150 themes of diversity and inclusion, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, environment and youth. Congratulations to the following alumni for their contributions to enriching Canada’s present and future:

CeCe Baptiste (BComm’04)

CeCe is passionate about community. A university employee, CeCe is also a dedicated volunteer serving on various provincial and non-profit boards. As a Cree woman, she is committed to advocating for Indigenous Peoples, and works hard to ensure Indigenous perspectives are represented at decision-making tables locally and provincially.



Angie Bugg (BE’85)

Angie is a passionate advocate for environmental stewardship and youth engagement. A graduate from the College of Engineering, she works for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and educates children, businesses, and non-profits on the importance of energy conservation and waste prevention.




Max FineDay (BA’15)

Passionate about youth leadership development, theories of change-making, and First Nations community revitalization, Max is currently co-executive director of Canadian Roots Exchange, a national charity committed to building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.



Harry Lafond (MEDUC’89)

Harry is an advocate for Indigenous Peoples and the Cree language. He has a range of experience in politics and academics, and is currently the executive director of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner and serves as chair of the Board of Trustees First Nations Trust.




Naheda Sahtout (GPSC’17)

An award-winning graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, Naheda never lets anything stand in the way of accomplishing her goals. She has a deep commitment to helping others and spends countless hours volunteering in the community.

Pharmacy alumnus named first CEO of new Saskatchewan Health Authority

Scott Livingstone (BSP’88, MSc’94) was introduced as the first CEO of new Saskatchewan Health Authority. Since April 2010, Livingstone has led the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency as president and CEO.  Previously, he served as CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Information Network (now eHealth Saskatchewan).

(Photo: Rachel Psutka / Regina Leader-Post)

Livingstone holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacy Degree and a Master of Science in Clinical Pharmacy.

Read more on Livingstone’s appointment and the new Saskatchewan Health Authority at the Government of Saskatchewan.

Profile pictures worth a thousand words

For most people, using Tinder at work is a no-no.

Sedgewick works in Lorin Elias’ human neuropsychology lab, which examines how differences between brain hemispheres contribute to lateral biases in perception and attention. She was curious as to how people perceived men and women as attractive on dating apps such as Tinder.

Her research, she explained, is grounded in a psychological theory called conceptual metaphors, which denotes that how people understand metaphors is how they act in real life.

Jennifer Sedgewick (BA’14, BA’15).

“For example, if you are trying to convey power, you would try to convey yourself to be taller or show other people as subordinate,” she said.

Sedgewick found this theme prevalent in how men and women vertically represented themselves in selfie-style photos. She collected her data last summer, analyzing over 900 profile photos from the app. After parsing the selfies from the non-selfies, she found some distinct gender differences in the selfie pile.

“Men tended to hold (the phone) from below whereas women were more likely to orient it from above,” she said.

For men, not only does holding the phone from below give the impression of being bigger, but it also pronounces features associated with masculinity, like a bigger jawline and smaller eyes. Women, on the other hand, tended to orient their selfies from above, which makes them appear smaller and manipulates other features associated with femininity, such as bigger eyes.

This pattern is consistent with what the literature would suggest is attractive for men versus women, she explained, as well as with other dating sites where men tend to over-report their height and women under-report their weight.

Additionally, selfies accounted for 90 per cent of women’s profile photos—versus 54 per cent of men’s photos—which would suggest that women are taking and sharing more selfies than men.

Read the full story

Written by Lesley Porter