Fourth-year criminal justice and public policy student
Other than playing the blockbuster video game Halo 2, Ronnie McLester doesn't have many hobbies or extracurricular activities in common with most guys his age. Growing up on the Oneida Nation of Six Nations reservation in Wisconsin, McLester was surrounded by cultural activities such as drumming, dancing, painting and crafting dreamcatchers, jewelry, moccasins and corn husk dolls.
McLester, who paints, makes beaded wampum belts, drums and dances in his spare time, says he learned most of his creative skills from his dad and his uncle.
“I think that, with my generation, there's a lack of knowledge about cultural things, but it's getting better. The younger aboriginal generation is now learning a lot more about our culture in school.”
He's helping to spread his own knowledge as the cultural facilitator at U of G's Aboriginal Resource Centre. He offers cultural workshops on things like moccasin-making and is a peer helper for the centre.
McLester also organizes the visiting elder program, bringing Dan and Mary-Lou Smoke to campus monthly to provide a spiritual outlet for the aboriginal community.
“Traditionally, we get our teachings and guidance from elders,” he says. “A lot of students on campus have an outlet for spirituality at the University. There's a lack of that for aboriginal students, so we bring Dan and Mary-Lou Smoke here for anyone who's interested to be able to speak to an elder.”
Alumni programs manager for CBS and CPES, staff member since 1990
Sam Kosakowski is winding down from another season of being yelled at. The life of a basketball referee isn't for everyone, he says. “You take a lot of grief, so you have to be able to deal with it.”
Kosakowski has been officiating basketball since 1986 and Ontario University Athletics women's basketball since 1999, and says he can easily ignore most of the noise heard from the stands when he makes a call that some may find unpopular.
“You can't please everyone,” he says, explaining that refs must quickly assess a play and decide the impact of the call as well as the outcome. “You've got to do all that decision-making in a fraction of a second.”
He's also been a driving force behind what is now known as the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. Before 1986, field lacrosse didn't exist as a university sport. Kosakowski says he saw a void that needed to be filled and worked to raise the sport's profile. What started out as an exhibition tournament has become a full-fledged league with 10 teams. Today, he serves as league commissioner and coaches the U of G men's team.
In addition to sports, Kosakowski has an avid interest in photography. He admits he's uncomfortable taking shots of people, but says he has an eye for landscapes and lighthouses. He also has an eye for babies, having just returned to work in February after taking a six-month parental leave to care for his 13-month-old son, Joseph.
Faculty member in the Department of Pathobiology since 2002
Prof. Patricia Turner is a Renaissance woman. “I'm kind of a closet artsy,” she admits.
She's a longtime member of the Burlington Civic Chorale and also sits on its board of directors. Turner says the pieces the choir tackles are technically challenging and rarely sung in English. Instead, they're performed in German, Italian and Latin.
Six months ago, she joined the Toronto Early Music Players Organization, where she plays recorder and Renaissance flute. “It's a little musical niche,” she says. “Everybody learns to play recorder in Grade 6, but it's another thing to play with people who are really experienced.”
Her main musical interests are classical and jazz. These outlets allow her to be creative and soulful and to meet a variety of people she wouldn't normally meet, she says. “You can totally absorb yourself in music, and for a moment, your worries are somewhere else.”
Turner has also found a niche in the kitchen. She and her husband, a chef and baker by training, take turns when it comes to cooking. Her favourite meals are Mediterranean-inspired, mainly Italian, Greek and Spanish.
The secret to good cooking? “My husband is Italian,” she quips. “No, the real secret is good-quality ingredients, simple cooking and simple flavours.”
In this spirit, Turner keeps an herb garden and grows her own tomatoes. Her favourite food writer is Marcella Hazan, who insists that: “Like truth, (flavour) needs no embellishment.”
University of Guelph | Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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University of Guelph