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OnCampus Weekly...APRIL 15/05

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OnCampus Weekly



Arch Awards honour doctor,
advocate for the disabled

By Leslie Strudwick

Aphysician who has changed the face of cardiac science and treatment, and an innovative young lawyer who is an advocate for people with disabilities. These are the two newest alumni to be named recipients of the Arch Awards, given out by the University of Calgary Alumni Association.

wyseDr. D. George Wyse, MD’74, is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. By the time Wyse entered medical school at the U of C, he was already an accomplished scientist (having earned a master’s and PhD in pharmacology), and he held an appointment as an adjunct assistant professor in pharmacology while he earned his medical degree.

One of Wyse’s most outstanding achievements has been his work as the principal investigator on a study of atrial fibrillation (the most common cardiac arrhythmia requiring treatment), which changed the way physicians around the world now treat the condition. “Dr. Wyse strives as a tireless advocate for the advancement of medical science,” says Franciscus van der Hoorn, a PhD candidate who works with Wyse.

“ Some of my colleagues, like Cy Frank, have earned this Distinguished Alumni Award in the past, and I’m very honoured to be among him and others chosen by the Alumni Association. It’s a wonderful and unexpected acknowledgment, especially as I retire from the U of C at the end of this year,” admits Wyse.

hehrKent Hehr, BA’97, LLB’01, was left a quadriplegic after being the victim of random act of violence, a drive–by shooting. The active 21-year-old who planned to be a phys-ed teacher has since become a powerful advocate for people with disabilities. Hehr was the president for the National Education Association of Disabled Students while earning his law degree at U of C, and was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Award along with then Prime Minister Jean Chretien from the United Nations in 1999 for his efforts.

Hehr now works at Calgary law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain and also chairs the City of Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility and is incoming president of the Canadian Paraplegic Association (Alberta).

“ My community has given so much to me over the years, and I’m proud to be able to give back in any way that I can. It’s an honour to be named this year’s GOLD Award recipient, especially since I am only the third person to receive it.”

There are more than 110,000 alumni living in 120 countries around the world, and 5,000 more will join the alumni family this spring. This pair of outstanding graduates will be honoured at a special event during convocation week on June 10. Visit www.alumni.ucalgary.ca for details.