Convocation Awards Honour Faculty and Student Excellence

June 07, 2013 - News Release

Prestigious University of Guelph awards for teaching, distinguished service and academic achievement will be presented during summer convocation which takes place June 11-13.

Psychology professor emeritus Thomas Herrmann will receive a Medal of Merit, awarded to a retiring professor for outstanding contributions to teaching and other areas to improve the academic life and character of the University.

Herrmann has been a faculty leader and role model during four decades at the University, including developing an innovative psychology program at the University of Guelph-Humber. He served on Senate for three years, co-chaired a capital campaign and continues to teach in retirement.

The W.C. Winegard Medal, U of G’s top undergraduate convocation award, will be presented to sociology and music student Megan Miceli. Named for former U of G president Bill Winegard, the award recognizes academic achievement and contributions to campus and community life.

Miceli is the top scholar in the College of Arts. A gifted singer, she is a soloist with Siren -- the university’s women’s choir -- and belongs to the University of Guelph Chamber Singers. She began a program with other singers to raise money for the Compass Food Bank, and has sung at fundraisers for Haiti and other causes. Miceli is a counsellor for War Amps Canada.

The Forster Medal, U of G’s top convocation award for graduate students, goes to molecular and cellular biology PhD student Jason Carere. The award is named for the late Donald Forster -- a former president of U of G -- and recognizes academic achievement, motivation, leadership and citizenship.

Carere defended his PhD thesis in April and has already published five articles on enzyme research. He served on the Graduate Student Association and as a graduate student representative on the Board of Governors. He also led the development of a “Careers in Biology” day for students across campus, and reached out to children through the Let’s Talk Science program and as a science fair judge.

This year’s winner of the Walter Vaughan Medal is veterinary medicine student Erin Preiss. Named for a former secretary of Senate, the medal recognizes the contributions of a student member of Senate.

Preiss will begin her fourth year in the doctor of veterinary medicine program at Guelph this fall. She served on three Senate committees this year while on the Senate. A President’s Scholar, she received a Canada Millennium Foundation Scholarship and published a research paper in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. Preiss has volunteered with the Pet Loss Support hotline and will attend the Kitchener-Waterloo Special Olympics this summer as a volunteer coach.

U of G will also present three Governor General’s Awards, created in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third governor general. The gold medal for the top graduate student goes to mathematics student Nathaniel Johnston. Silver medals for top undergraduate marks go to physical sciences student Ethan Buchman and biomedical toxicology student Kelly Fader. Kendra Cavanagh, a student at U of G’s Kemptville Campus, is receiving the bronze medal for top marks among Ontario Agricultural College diploma students.

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

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