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Date: February 01, 2012

UVic Distinguished Alumni: Make It An Even Dozen

A Giller Prize-winning novelist and a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame will be among 12 University of Victoria graduates to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards during the university’s fifth annual Alumni Week celebrations, from Feb. 6 - 12.
        Joining Esi Edugyan and Lauren Woolstencroft will be community leaders representing all of the university’s faculties, divisions, and the libraries.
        The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented at 7 p.m., Feb. 8 in the University Club. The award presentation is one of 16 events planned for Alumni Week. Full details are at www.alumni.uvic.ca.

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Faculty of Social Sciences
Hon. Marion Ruth Buller Bennett, BA ‘75, LLB ‘87
Provincial Court judge and first female First Nations member of the BC judiciary

A member of Saskatchewan’s Mistawasis First Nation, the Judge Marion Ruth Buller Bennett is the first and only First Nations woman to have been appointed to the bench at any level in British Columbia. Based in Port Coquitlam, she has been a Provincial Court judge since 1994 and has presided over the First Nations Court, which she initiated, since 2006.

Faculty of Law
Hon. Thomas Crabtree, LLB ‘83
Chief Judge, Provincial Court of BC
The Hon. Thomas (Tom) Crabtree is Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia.

Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree has been active in judicial education having served on the Court’s Education Committee for a number of years and chaired the committee from 2004 to 2008. In 2007 he participated in a delegation of judges who met with Chinese judges in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. He continues to be involved in the development and planning of judicial programs and seminars.

Division of Medical Sciences
Dr. Bruce Crawford, BSc ‘65
Influential medical educator and space science researcher

Dr. Bruce Crawford has dedicated his career to the education of medical students and medical research. He was the first recipient of the Dr. Crawford Teaching Award, established by the Island Medical Program’s Class of 2008 to recognize the “teacher who made the most profound and positive impact on their first two years of medical training.” Dr. Crawford’s research on microgravity included participation in a 1996 Canadian Space Agency/NASA project carried out by the crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Faculty of Fine Arts
Esi Edugyan, BA ‘99
Giller Prize-winning novelist

Esi Edugyan’s second novel – the highly acclaimed Half-Blood Blues – earned the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was short-listed for three other major literary awards in 2011: the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her writing has also appeared in such collections as Best New American Voices and Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing.

Faculty of Human and Social Development
Lise Haddock, BSW ‘88
Executive Director, Lalum’utul’Smun’eem Cowichan Tribes Child and Family Services

Lise Haddock’s leadership skills are centred on bringing people together in the best interests of Cowichan children. She helped the Lalum’utul Smun’eem receive adoption delegation – one of two First Nations in Canada to receive the designation and she is helping to develop the Cowichan Tribes Nation Based Child and Family Wellness Legislation which will take the nation toward self-determination.

Faculty of Education
Simon Ibell, BA ‘02
Founder, iBellieve Foundation

Simon Isbell is one of 30 people in Canada (and approximately 2,000 worldwide) born with Hunter Syndrome or MPS II (mucopolysacharridosis). As founder and CEO of the iBellieve Foundation, he spreads awareness of MPS and generates research funding so that a cure for MPS II and other rare diseases can be found. His goal is to give all children with MPS a chance of a longer life.

Faculty of Science
Dr. Mark Lewis, BSc ‘87
Leading mathematical biologist, focussed on ecological issues

Dr. Mark Lewis is a senior Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology at the University of Alberta. He is a leading thinker on issues such as climate change and resource management in Canada and globally. He has also been effective in communicating his research to governments, the media, and the public. He’s the youngest recipient of the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize for Exceptional Research in Mathematics, the top mathematics research prize in Canada.

Division of Continuing Studies
Margaret Lucas, Cert. ‘95
Victoria business community leader and manager, Hotel Rialto

Margaret Lucas has been employed in the Victoria hospitality industry for over 25 years, establishing herself as a force for positive change. In 2003 she became manager of the Hotel Douglas. She was challenged to rejuvenate a business that had little to contribute to the appeal and allure of downtown. She set out to change the hotel from a liability to a community asset. Lucas has worked tirelessly to bring life back to a part of the downtown that was once considered undesirable.

University Libraries
Robert J. Wiersema, BA ‘93
Best-selling author and Bolen Books event coordinator

Robert J. Wiersema is a respected book reviewer and the author of four books of his own: Before I Wake, a national bestseller and Globe and Mail Best Book of 2006; The World More Full of Weeping, a novella which shortlisted for the Prix Aurora; Bedtime Story, a national bestseller in 2010; and Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen, his first non-fiction book. Wiersema is also the event coordinator for Bolen Books, where he curates one of the foremost author signing and reading series in the country.

Faculty of Humanities
Jody Wilson-Raybould, BA ‘96
Regional Chief of BC, Assembly of First Nations

Jody Wilson-Raybould is the Regional Chief of British Columbia for the Assembly of First Nations. She graduated from UVic with a double major in political science and history prior to earning her law degree from UBC. She is a descendant of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach peoples, and a member of the We Wai Kai Nation. Regional Chief Wilson-Raybould has been an elected member of the AFN executive committee since October 2009.

Faculty of Engineering
Lauren Woolstencroft, BEng ‘05
Multi-gold medalist, Paralympic skiing

Alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft has won more than 50 World Cup medals, eight World Championship titles, 10 Paralympic medals, and was the 2006 International Paralympic Committee Athlete of the Year. At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, she became the first Canadian winter athlete to win five gold medals at a single Paralympics. Woolstencroft was subsequently named Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies. A member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Woolstencroft was born without legs below the knee and no left arm below the elbow.

Peter G. Gustavson School of Business
G. Andrew Work, MBA ‘02
Executive Director, Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

G. Andrew Work has spread the influence of his ideas and the interests of the Canadian business community in Hong Kong for more than 15 years. He currently leads the largest Canadian business organization outside of Canada, growing its membership more than 50 per cent and regularly hosting heads of state, CEOs and global business leaders. Work is also co-founder and director of Hong Kong’s most influential economic think-tank, the Lion Rock Institute, focusing on market solutions to Hong Kong's challenges.

Media contacts:

Mike McNeney (Alumni Communications) at 250-721-7642 or mmcneney@uvic.ca


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