Nine to Receive Honorary Degrees During Convocation

June 07, 2011 - News Release

A Canadian hockey star, a judge and human rights pioneer, and a world leader in studying genetics and physical activity will be among nine recipients of honorary degrees from the University of Guelph.

Convocation runs June 13 to 17 in War Memorial Hall. Some 3,500 students will graduate during 21 ceremonies. Honorary degree recipients will deliver convocation addresses. For a schedule, visit the convocation website.

U of G’s honorary degree recipients are as follows:

Julia Levy is a leader in developing photodynamic therapy, an innovative medical treatment using light-activated drugs to treat eye disease. She founded Quadra Logic Technologies in 1981 and developed drugs to treat cancers and other eye diseases. The professor emerita at the University of British Columbia has been named to the Order of Canada, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has received several honorary degrees.

Donald Cowan’s research on software engineering and in improving system development and use has benefited the software industry worldwide. He is a distinguished professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Waterloo, founding chair of the university’s computer science department and an active researcher. He helped found several software companies in Waterloo’s tech community.

Anita Stewart is an expert on Canada’s food life. She has published 14 books on culinary traditions, ingredients and cooks from coast to coast. She consults for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; the Canadian Tourism Commission; the University of Guelph, including the Ontario Agricultural College; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism. She was the lead author of Ontario’s culinary tourism strategy and has written for most major Canadian publications.

Rosalie Abella is one of the Supreme Court of Canada’s most respected jurists. She has pioneered Canadian human rights jurisprudence, both as a judge and as commissioner of the 1984 Royal Commission on Equality in Employment. She practised criminal law, served as commissioner to both the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and has received numerous awards for contributions to human rights and equity. Abella was Canada’s youngest judge and the first Jewish woman appointed to the bench when she became a judge of the Ontario family court.

Janice Longboat is recognized internationally for outstanding contributions as an herbalist, traditional healer and teacher. Since growing up on the Six Nations of the Grand River territory, Longboat has spent 60 years studying traditional healing practices of indigenous peoples and more than 40 years practising traditional medicine in clinics and the community. She has taught plant medicine at several universities and regularly conducts workshops across North America.

Gérard Bouchard is best known for his groundbreaking work in Canadian and Quebec social and demographic history. He has written numerous monographs and articles, and has led conferences and research teams. He has been a professor at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi since 1971 and co-chaired the Quebec Commission on Consultation on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Others. That group’s 2008 report is considered a milestone in the history of Canadian multicultural policies.

Ian Tizard is a prize-winning teacher who captivates students and convinces them of the critical importance of immunology. A professor at Texas A&M University, he is known by veterinarians worldwide for his groundbreaking and comprehensive textbook on immunology. He directs the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center and chairs the Scarlet Macaw Genome Project, a major research effort to sequence the bird’s genome.

Cassie Campbell is the former captain of Canada’s women’s hockey team and a Guelph graduate. She played in three Winter Olympics and seven World Women’s Championships. She was the only captain — male or female — to lead Canada to two Olympic gold medals and the longest-serving captain in Canadian hockey. In 2006, Campbell became the first woman to provide colour commentary on a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. She was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and was the first female hockey player inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Claude Bouchard is a world leader in studying genetics-lifestyle interactions, including body composition, obesity and metabolic disorders as well as diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. He directs the Human Genomics Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and has held the John W. Barton, Sr. Endowed Chair in Genetics and Nutrition since 2010. Besides receiving numerous awards, Bouchard has been named to the Order of Canada and l’Ordre national du Québec. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Heart Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Convocation ceremonies will take place as follows:

June 13

College of Biological Science, 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Levy will receive her honorary degree at the second ceremony.

Ontario Agricultural College, 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

College of Physical and Engineering Science, 7 p.m. (Cowan honorary degree).

June 14

College of Management and Economics, 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (Stewart honorary degree).

Graduate Studies, 4:30 p.m. (Abella honorary degree) and 7 p.m.

June 15

College of Arts, 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (Longboat honorary degree) and 2 p.m. (Gérard Bouchard honorary degree).

Ontario Veterinary College, 4:30 p.m. (Tizard honorary degree).

June 16

College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. (Campbell honorary degree) and 7 p.m.

June 17

CBS, 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. (Claude Bouchard honorary degree).

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

University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1