Awards Honour Excellence in Teaching, Service, Academics

June 03, 2008 - News Release

Summer convocation marks the presentation of prestigious University of Guelph awards for teaching, distinguished service and academic achievement.

This year’s John Bell Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to university education at U of G, goes to Prof. Julia Christensen Hughes, chair of the Department of Business and a former director of Teaching Support Services. A strong advocate for the improvement of teaching and learning in higher education in Canada, she is a former president of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Her research on academic integrity has done much to raise awareness and catalyze action on the issue.

Retired Ontario Agricultural College professor Sandy Warley will receive the Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service, which honours an individual who has played a pivotal role in the functioning of the institution and who has influenced the quality of academic life at U of G. Warley came to Guelph as chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Education in 1970 and remains one of the strongest advocates for his discipline, OAC and the University.

The Winegard Medal, U of G’s top undergraduate convocation award, will be presented to biomedical sciences student Shelly Burton. Named for former U of G president Bill Winegard, the award recognizes both academic achievement and contributions to University and community life.

In addition to obtaining top marks, Burton was a member of U of G’s varsity basketball team and served as an international research assistant and volunteer. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford.

The recipient of this year’s Forster Medal, U of G’s top convocation award for graduate students, is Peter Anderson, a PhD graduate of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The award is named for the late Donald Forster, a former president of U of G, and recognizes academic achievement, motivation, leadership and citizenship.

During his doctoral program, Anderson conducted research that may help scientists battle a rare genetic disorder that normally kills by early adulthood. He helped created a first-ever fruit fly model that may eventually lead to the development of therapies for treating the disease.

This year’s winner of the Walter Vaughan Medal is Revlon Stoddart, a student in the honours bachelor's of applied science in early childhood degree program and the diploma program in early childhood education at the University of Guelph-Humber. Named for a former secretary of Senate, the medal recognizes the contributions of a student member of Senate. Stoddart was cited for being a staunch advocate for Guelph-Humber students and for serving as vice-chair of the Board of Undergraduate Studies.

U of G will also present its Governor General’s Medals for academic excellence during convocation week. The gold medal recognizes academic achievement at the master’s level, the silver medal goes to the undergraduate student with the highest marks, and the bronze medal goes to the OAC diploma student with the top marks.

This year’s gold medallist is Anna Allen, who completed a master’s degree in chemistry in the fall of 2007 and is now pursuing a PhD in organic chemistry at Princeton University.

Silver medals will be awarded to Kate Smolina and Elisa Fatila. Fatila completed a B.Sc. in chemistry this winter and is now working on a master’s degree at Guelph. Smolina, who is graduating with a degree in biomedical sciences next week, will head off to the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship this fall to pursue graduate studies in global health science.

Winner of the bronze medal is Devon Core of Ridgetown Campus, who is graduating from the veterinary technician program.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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