Convocation Awards Honour Excellence

June 01, 2010 - News Release

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

The John Bell Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to university education, will be presented to Prof. Jack Weiner, a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for some 27 years. Weiner was recognized for his innovative teaching practices that motivate students to learn.
Iain Campbell, physics professor emeritus, will receive a Medal of Merit. It’s awarded to a retiring professor who has made outstanding contributions to teaching and other areas to substantially improve the academic life and character of the University.

Four retired faculty members will also be granted the distinction of University Professor Emeritus, as follows: Peter Kevan, School of Environmental Sciences; Donald Reid, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development; Keith Solomon, School of Environmental Sciences; and Karol Mathews, Department of Clinical Studies.

The W.C. Winegard Medal, U of G’s top undergraduate convocation award, will be presented to biological sciences honour student Adam Lewandowski. Named for former U of G president Bill Winegard, the award recognizes both academic achievement and contributions to campus and community life. Lewandowski is being honoured for his high academic achievement (ranked sixth in the College of Biological Sciences 2010 graduating class), his success as a member of the cross-country and track teams, and his volunteer activities on and off campus, including leading a project to send more than 1,300 pairs of running shoes to villages in Kenya and Tanzania. He plans to attend graduate school at the University of Oxford in the fall, and has received a Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.

The Forster Medal, U of G’s top convocation award for graduate students, goes to master’s student Tricia van Rhijn. The award is named for the late Donald Forster, a former president of U of G, and recognizes academic achievement, motivation, leadership and citizenship. A 2009 MSc graduate and currently a PhD student in Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, van Rhijn was honoured for her research excellence, academic success and community involvement. She was ranked second in her graduating class and has received many awards, including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Graduate Scholarship and the Dorothy Britton Memorial Scholarship.

This year’s winner of the Walter Vaughan Medal is biological sciences student Nathan Lachowsky. Named for a former secretary of Senate, the medal recognizes the contributions of a student member of Senate. Lachowsky was honoured for his leadership in student government, residence life and athletics. His nominators also cited his ability to connect with and engage others, and his success in changing the discourse between the student body and University administrators. In addition to serving in various Senate-related positions, Lachowsky was the academic and university affairs commissioner for the Central Student Association, a student representative on Board of Governors and president of the CBS student council.

U of G will also present three Governor General’s Awards during summer convocation. The awards were created in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third governor general, to recognize academic excellence. The gold medal honours achievement at the graduate level, the silver medal goes to the undergraduate student with the highest marks, and the bronze medal is awarded to the Ontario Agricultural College diploma student with the top marks.

Winner of the gold medal is Paul Dyce, a doctoral student in Animal and Poultry Science. Silver medals will go to Aidan Brown and Jonathan Grossauer, both honours students in the Department of Physics. The recipient of the bronze medal is Ridgetown Campus student Stephen Courey.

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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