University of Calgary

Awards and more

news

raj rangayyan

Haskayne prof receives consumer awareness award

Law professor Peter Bowal has received an Alberta Consumer Champion Minister’s Award for his contributions to consumer awareness in Alberta.

bowalThe Alberta Consumer Champion Awards, now in its second year, recognizes individuals, organizations, businesses and media that demonstrate commitment and innovation in educating Alberta consumers and promoting fairness in the Alberta marketplace.

The Award was presented by the Hon. Lloyd Snelgrove, Minister of Service Alberta, at a private ceremony at Government House in Edmonton on July 16, 2007.

The Minister’s Award recognizes an individual for their long-term outstanding contributions to a fair and just Alberta marketplace. It is presented annual to an individual who has made a major contribution to consumer protection and awareness in Alberta.

Bowal works out of the Haskayne School of Business. Over the last 25 years he has been involved in public legal education—specifically consumer protection—in Alberta. He has published articles and research, made presentations and taught continuing education sessions on a volunteer basis. He has also contributed to a weblog, a regular column in a magazine and an Alberta-wide call-in radio program to educate Alberta consumers about their rights and obligations.

rajProfessor Raj Rangayyan joins elite ranks of medical imaging researchers

In June 2007, Schulich professor Raj Rangayyan became a member of two distinguished groups of academics. He joined a select group of only 23 Fellows elected—since its establishment in 1965—to the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society. South of the border, he was also one of only 16 Fellows elected to date by the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine and the first and only from outside the United States.

friesenEducation prof first to win
math award

Dr. Sharon Friesen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, has been awarded the 2007 Education Prize by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). This is the first time the Vancouver-based organization has awarded the prize to a professional educator. The PIMS award recognizes a member of the PIMS community who has made a significant contribution to education in the mathematical sciences, enhanced public awareness and appreciation of mathematics, and fostered communication among organizations involved in math training. Friesen is co-founder and president of the education faculty-based Galileo Educational Network.

cchscp winnersChild health research recognized with prestigious awards

Two University of Calgary researchers have received prestigious Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP) awards, the first ever given to members of the university. The program provides support for highly qualified child health clinicians to develop knowledge and skills for a career as an independent scientist in child health research.

Heather Sharpe, a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Nursing who works with the Alberta Strategy to Help Manage Asthma, specializes in paediatric asthma. Her research focuses on assessing the effectiveness of a provincial written asthma action plan, a set of guidelines provided to children with asthma and their caregivers by their primary care physician. The plan assists in self managing care.

“I have been very fortunate and know that this is by no means an individual achievement—the involvement of my supervisors and mentors played a critical role in our successful application,” says Sharpe. “CCHCSP is an incredible training opportunity; it will provide exposure to many of Canada’s premier pediatric researchers and the chance to work with a national peer network throughout the training program. It also gives me the opportunity to really focus on research and the development of my research skills and will hopefully lead to a career as an independent investigator.”

Dr. Christopher Waterhouse, who received a post-doctoral award, agrees. “Finding sufficient protected time for research in a clinical training program can be challenging. The CCHCSP makes this possible not only by providing financial support, but also by mandating 90 percent protected time for research activity. Providing trainees with these critical resources will undoubtedly translate to significantly higher chances of success as clinician scientists later in their careers.”

Waterhouse is mentored by immunologist Dr. Paul Kubes, and is a paediatric gastroenterology fellow at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, a CCHCSP Partner Centre which will match the award. His research centres on understanding the role that genes necessary for intestinal bacterial recognition play in the development of inflammatory bowel disease, a condition affecting an increasing number of Canadian children each year.

“Only the very very best in Canada win this award,” says Dr. Karen Benzies, associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Sharpe’s co-supervisor. “It is such an accolade for both Heather and Chris. For the Faculty of Nursing, it creates greater opportunities for us to link to other researchers and to better support our own students in their masters and doctoral work.”

“Both Heather and Chris are passionate about their research and have the potential to become leaders in their respective fields of interest,” adds the ACH’s Dr. David Johnson, site leader for the CCHCSP. “The CCHCSP awards are designed to foster research leadership and to aide awardees in reaching their maximum potential. With receipt of these awards, we are confident that both Heather and Chris will go on to have very successful research careers.”

The CCHCSP is a transdisciplinary program providing research training which is supervised by a research mentor and an advisory committee and structured to facilitate excellence in research with an interdisciplinary focus.

The story behind Scurfield Hall’s hanging sculpture

Have you noticed the giant cylinder-shaped art installation that hangs from the ceiling of Scurfield Hall? Despite its massive size, it has a quiet presence that causes it to blend in with its surroundings. Although some students seem to think the sculpture is a great target for paper airplanes, it has a rich history and interesting story behind it.

The sculpture, titled A Portrait of My Grandfather, was designed by Canadian artist Micah Lexier. Lexier creates non-traditional portraits by combining the seemingly opposite studies of statistics and visual arts. Instead of making portraits that visually represent a person he focuses on the numbers associated with that person at one moment in time. “I don’t believe it’s possible to do a real true portrait of a person,” he says. “So I just take something like their name, weight, height or age and work with that. Those numbers are something true you can work from.”

The University of Calgary commissioned A Portrait of My Grandfather in 1994, making it Lexier’s first publicly commissioned art installation in Western Canada. The massive sculpture is made from 29,064 laser-cut letter Xs in stainless steel. The total number of metallic Xs represents the number of days his 79-year-old grandfather was alive. The shape of the letter Xs was taken from Lexier’s grandfather’s actual handwriting.

Building the sculpture required the hands of many, so Lexier employed individuals at the Calgary Vocational Recreational Rehabilitation Institute to help construct the piece. This contributed to a sense of pride and ownership amongst the individuals involved and allowed some of the production costs to be paid back into the local community.

Lexier was born in Winnipeg and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Manitoba. In 1984 he received his Master of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since 1999 he has been living in New York and his work has been exhibited internationally since 1983.