Award for Distinction in Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship

Over its 100-year history, the University of Saskatchewan has cherished a tradition and mandate of working closely with communities across Saskatchewan and beyond. Building on that tradition, the Award for Distinction in Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship acknowledges outstanding and sustained effort in undertaking research, teaching, and artistic work that is meaningful and responsive to community interests and needs. The University of Saskatchewan celebrates successful partnerships that result in measurable community-recognized social or economic benefit. 

The Award for Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship recognizes University of Saskatchewan faculty, teaching, or research staff who have contributed greatly, and with distinction, to the achievement of the university’s engagement mission. It is designed to draw attention to the value of forging and sustaining community partnerships as a means of conducting important research and delivering valuable teaching opportunities.

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Vivian Ramsden

Vivian Ramsden

The Award for Distinction in Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship

The Award for Distinction in Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship acknowledges outstanding and sustained effort in undertaking research, teaching, and artistic work that is meaningful and responsive to community interests and needs.

 Dr. Vivian Ramsden’s scholarship perfectly models the best practices of community engaged research and teaching, maintaining the principle of “with, not on”. Dr. Ramsden has a distinguished CV, including supervision and teaching of many undergraduate students, medical residents, and graduate students. The majority of her research projects are community based. In every abstract, publication, and grant proposal, Dr. Ramsden strives for inclusivity and community voice. Elders, community members, students, and support staff routinely participate in Dr. Ramsden’s research, and are cited as authors at every opportunity.

 Dr. Ramsden’s colleagues, students, and community partners all note her consistency of practice, her ethics, her willingness to mentor, and the profound respect the scholarly community and public have for her work and character. Adherence to her principles of engagement has led to a number of highly productive and sustained research partnerships with communities ranging from Saskatchewan to British Columbia to India. Beyond simply collecting and analysing data, Dr. Ramsden maintains meaningful relationships with these communities through mentoring, teaching, and provision of service, often without explicit funding to do so. A community partner stated: “Dr. Ramsden is a role model and leader in fostering cultural capacity, creating cultural learning spaces for all health care professionals to become more responsive to the cultural needs of communities they serve…Her dedication to community-based research and education within First Nations communities has been transformational, effective, influential, and inspiring.”

 Beyond her deep record of scholarly work, perhaps Dr. Ramsden’s most important legacy is a resource article published in Canadian Family Physician, which succinctly elucidates the principles and practices of community-based research for all primary health care researchers. Dr. Ramsden is recognized within the North American health research community as one of the foremost champions and models of community-based participatory research. Last year, the College of Family Physicians Canada honoured Dr. Ramsden for her achievements as a pioneer in the use of participatory research to improve health and healthcare of underserved communities. Dr. Ramsden’s status as a highly respected representative of Community Engaged Scholarship, and more importantly, her lasting impact on the health of people, locally, nationally, and abroad, makes her very deserving of this award.

Marie Lovrod

Marie Lovrod

Award for Distinction in Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship

In undertaking her research on youth in care, and the gendered effects of economic policies and practices related to paid and unpaid labour, Dr. Marie Lovrod’s primary objective is engaging relevant local, regional, national and international communities in all facets of her research, teaching, and outreach efforts. As professor of Women’s and Gender studies and English, Dr. Lovrod documents autobiographic accounts of traumatic experiences, expressed though writing and other creative forms of expression in order to better understand childhood and youth trauma, and the effects of domestic and state violence. Working with vulnerable young people requires great trust, something Dr. Lovrod has earned by building sensitive, lasting relationships with many Saskatchewan community organizations.

One of Dr. Lovrod’s research projects led to the establishment of a housing project and community hotline for young people facing violence. This, in turn, led to a valuable partnership with the Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network (SYICCN) and further examination of how peer-supported training might improve outcomes for young adults formerly in government care and transitioning to independence. A series of projects, organized in part by young people, allowed participants to express their experiences through the traditional methods of focus groups and surveys, but also via more participant-centred forms of expression including photo-voicing, scrapbooking, and oral history.

Through the Office of Engagement and Outreach at Station 20 West, Dr. Lovrod contributes to the work of several community-based organizations, including The Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre, Next UP and International Women of Saskatoon. Beyond Saskatchewan, Dr. Lovrod has established a collaborative research project between the University of Saskatchewan and Lanzhou University in China to support that country’s realization of the increasing importance of gender equity through the development of graduate training in gender studies. Nationally recognized for her work, Dr. Lovrod currently serves as president of Woman’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, and is also often sought out by local media as an expert in her field.

For conducting meaningful community-based scholarship that contributes greatly to a wider body of knowledge in Women’s and Gender studies, and provides enriching student learning experiences, Dr. Lovrod enhances the University of Saskatchewan’s reputation locally, nationally, and internationally. She is a very deserving recipient of the 2015 Award for Distinction in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship.

Nancy Van Styvendale

Nancy Van Styvendale

Award for Distinction in Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship

Dr. Nancy Van Styvendale, an assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of English specializing in Aboriginal literature, is genuinely engaged in the community, providing educational opportunities to her students and to those who do not have access to traditional university level education and learning.

With the assistance of the University Learning Centre, Dr. Van Styvendale developed an interdisciplinary course in community involvement that had students work on a community-based project in lieu of a final exam. Projects included family literacy workshops, nutrition classes, AIDS awareness strategies and addressing local housing disparities.

Dr. Van Styvendale worked collaboratively with other campus partners to bring together students studying law, English, and Native studies with non-traditional learners and at-risk youth in STR8 UP, a gang prevention initiative, and mature students at Oskayak High School. Participants learn about common issues of concern such as cultural identity and the media.

With a community-service learning (CSL) model, Dr. Van Styvendale brings her teaching, research and scholarship to inmates and at-risk youth in Saskatoon, who are disproportionately of Aboriginal ancestry. Working with the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, Dr. Van Styvendale offers writing classes for inmates, giving them both a creative outlet for self-expression and development of transferable skills in communication and critical thinking. This volunteer initiative is affiliated with the university, and a U of S certificate of completion is given to inmate participants who complete six out of the eight sessions per term.

Her flexibility, approachable disposition and open, non-judgemental attitude has allowed Dr. Van Styvendale to quickly gain the trust of students, community members, inmates and colleagues.

Through her relationships with corrections and STR8 UP, Dr. Van Styvendale helped individuals write their stories that would be compiled into an award-nominated book titled Str8Up and Gangs: The Untold Stories. The book is intended to educate junior high school-aged youth about the consequences of gang life.

Dr. Van Styvendale’s good humour, grace and creativity in her scholarly and outreach endeavors has enhanced the University of Saskatchewan’s profile and reputation within the community, making her a very deserving recipient of the Award for Distinction in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship.

Chelsea Willness

Award for Distinction in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship

Chelsea Willness is an assistant professor and Grandey Scholar in Sustainable Leadership at the Edwards School of Business. She is also associate faculty at the School of Environment and Sustainability, and a research associate with the Community-University Institute for Social Research. She is a passionate champion of community-engaged scholarship.

Dr. Willness holds two national research grants (SSHRC) for her research focusing on how stakeholders respond to organizations' environmental practices and community involvement, and has published this work in top journals and book chapters. She is also co-investigator on a $2.5 million SSHRC Partnership grant examining Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement. She has presented her research on topics such as environmental and social responsibility, organizational reputation, and community-based experiential learning to local, national, and international audiences.

Dr. Willness has successfully developed and implemented dozens of innovative, in-depth applied projects for students in her training and development, recruitment and selection, and leadership courses, via partnerships that she has developed between the university and numerous community organizations.

One achievement of which she is most proud was the creation of a new course—the governance and leadership development practicum—and the formation of her advisory council. This course is centered on an eight-month partnership between students and non-profit board mentors, and involves extensive leadership development, interactive seminars (on fundamentals of governance, strategy, financials, and talent management), and active involvement with the organization and its board. Dr. Willness adopted a stakeholder engagement approach by identifying key constituents such as non-profit organizations, current and former students, faculty colleagues and governance experts, and ensured that they each had a "voice" at the table. Each stakeholder group has ongoing representation on the advisory council to ensure that their needs and goals are reflected in the course structure, content, and implementation.

Dr. Willness provides ongoing mentorship to other educators, both internal and external to the University of Saskatchewan, through a variety of presentations, seminars, and workshops. In 2012-13, she served as the special advisor on community engaged scholarship for the School of Environment and Sustainability. She is a member of the Community Engaged Scholar group, centered at Station 20 West, which aims to build collaborations and increase community-based teaching and research across the university. In 2012, Dr. Willness was awarded the Innovation in Teaching Award from the Academy of Management for her design and implementation of human resource courses that integrate community involvement and experiential learning.

Lalita Bharadwaj

Award for Distinction in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship - Fall 2013

Dr. Lalita Bharadwaj is committed to finding solutions and understanding issues associated with inequitable access, supply and provision of safe sustainable drinking water supplies for First Nations, rural and remote Saskatchewan communities. Through her community-based participatory research activities she has provided learning opportunities for university and local students, facilitated regional, national and international interdisciplinary research collaborations and has benefited from the opportunities to build research capacity at the local and university level.

Dr. Bharadwaj is a toxicologist in the School of Public Health. Her areas of expertise include human and environmental health risk assessment, and community-based participatory research. Dr. Bharadwaj has performed numerous human and environmental risk assessments on brownfield sites, impacted by creosote, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals. She has contributed to the development of Saskatoon’s River Landing by providing her expertise to the City of Saskatoon. She currently serves as a member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction.

Dr. Bharadwaj strives to be a university leader in community-based participatory research with Saskatchewan Aboriginal communities. Over the past 10 years she has carefully established a working relationship and partnership with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, building strong ties, trust, cooperation and mutual respect using a participatory community approach to her research on water and health. In partnership with her community colleagues she has developed novel community-based research approaches “Science in a Circle”, where indigenous and western scientific knowledge is shared, student mentorship across all levels of education, age and status in the community is promoted, community capacity for research is built and long-lasting “Community Links” among researchers and community members are established. Her participatory community approach has extended to global contributions. She has worked in two different areas in Peru, Chachapoyas and Huaraz, where she fostered collaborative research and knowledge-sharing between sectors of government, health, education, non-profit organization, academics and Indigenous communities on issues of water supply, quality and policy. Both projects depend on community involvement, something at which she excels. Dr. Bharadwaj has also contributed to the development of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Safe Drinking Water Program. This program promotes self-determination and community capacity for water quality testing, monitoring and management. As part of her commitment to community engagement, she has worked alongside colleagues from other health science colleges, to conduct summer science camps at the University of Saskatchewan for high school students from northern Aboriginal communities.

Lou Hammond Ketilson

Award for Distinction in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship - Spring 2013

Dr. Lou Hammond Ketilson has been a leading scholar, researcher, advocate and mentor for co-operative businesses and organizations for much of her career. Her skills in reaching out to and building strong relationships with a diverse range of individuals, groups, organizations and institutions around the world have not only made for a successful career, they have helped build many successful co-operatives and enhanced the reputation of the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Ketilson is director of the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the U of S and holds an academic position in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. She was previously a tenured faculty member in the Department of Management and Marketing at the Edwards School of Business’s and is a former associate dean of graduate programs with the college. She also chairs the International Co-operative Alliance Committee on Co‑operative Research and is a past-president of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada.

Engaged in community-based scholarship her entire career, Dr. Ketilson is well-equipped to help the centre fulfill its mandate of community outreach and engagement. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her research and publications on financial co-operatives, Aboriginal co-operative development, gender diversity and leadership in co-operatives. Her work has a strong policy focus, specifically the role that co-operatives play in achieving sustainable economic and social development, and is a frequently invited speaker or workshop leader for provincial and federal policy events.

Perhaps her greatest asset is her ability to integrate academic theory with practical application to benefit the people with whom she works.

Dr. Ketilson has partnered with many First Nations groups to research the feasibility of using co-operative models to finance Aboriginal enterprise development. She created a toolkit specifically for Aboriginal co-op development that helps promote ongoing socio-economic growth.

Taking a leadership role in a major social economy research project, Linking Learning, Leveraging: Social Enterprises, Knowledge Economies and Sustainable Communities, Dr. Ketlison worked with 25 academics from 13 universities and 53 community partners from four countries—including four Canadian provinces—to conduct 90 community-based, participatory research projects. The resulting exhibition was featured at the Diefenbaker Centre and was subsequently taken to several other communities across Canada.

Dr. Ketilson’s willingness to share her time and expertise has garnered much praise and recognition from her colleagues, has enhanced the University of Saskatchewan’s reputation, and makes her a very deserving recipient of the Award for Distinction in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship.

Award for Distinction in Community Relations and Engagement

The University of Saskatchewan Award for Distinction in Community Relations and Engagement (formerly Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service) was established in 2002 to honour employees who have contributed greatly to the achievement of the university’s outreach mission. The award recognizes exemplary contributions of university staff and faculty members undertaking efforts that are meaningful and responsive to community interests and needs, and reflect positively on the university as a whole. The award celebrates innovative activities and programs within paid or voluntary work that are designed to inform, involve, or assist external audiences.

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Joe Garcea

Joe Garcea

Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service

The University of Saskatchewan Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service honours university employees who have contributed greatly to the achievement of the university’s outreach mission. The award recognizes exemplary contributions of staff and faculty members undertaking efforts that are meaningful and responsive to community interests and needs, and reflect positively on the university as a whole.

 For nearly three decades, Dr. Joseph Garcea has contributed in a substantial and laudable manner to the university’s outreach mission. A trusted source of professional opinion and information on governance and political matters, Dr. Garcea’s opinion is regularly sought and he has given over 500 interviews and commentaries to local and national television, radio, and print media. He is well known to the Saskatchewan public for his participation in numerous television and radio election panels. Journalists appreciate his interviews and commentaries for their insightfulness, objectivity, and even-handedness.

 Some of Dr. Garcea’s most significant contributions to community engagement have come through his commitment to the Department of Political Studies’ Career Internship Program. Since its inception, the program has provided many Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal, and international students an opportunity to work with governmental or community based agencies across Saskatchewan. For many years, students under Dr. Garcea’s supervision have gained valuable experience, while contributing to these agencies’ community-building work.

 Throughout his time at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Garcea has also contributed lasting impact through his work for provincial commissions and task forces working to improve governance and public management, including: designing financial accountability systems for the Saskatchewan Financial Review Commission, serving as Chair and Director of Research for Saskatchewan’s Task Force on Municipal Reform, serving as a member of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Panel on Metis Elections, as well as serving as one of the three members of Saskatoon’s Ward Boundaries Commission.

 A recipient of numerous grants, many of which supported research with direct community benefit, Dr. Garcea has contributed to the Community-University Institute for Social Research and other research networks, and has undertaken many specifically commissioned research projects for a variety of community partners. Dr. Garcea has hosted innumerable open houses, assisted countless high school students, and has always made himself available to community forums. For these and other contributions to the building of community, and for the lasting engagement he has forged between the university and wider public, Dr. Garcea is a highly deserving recipient of the Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service.

Alexandria Wilson

Alexandria Wilson

Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service - Fall 2015

Dr. Alexandria Wilson’s teaching, research, and outreach engages the public at multiple levels, encompassing and embracing diverse communities and peoples. As associate professor of Educational Foundations in the College of Education, Dr. Wilson undertakes research that is based in community, for community. Although her activities are wide-ranging, they are singular in focus: to improve the lives of Indigenous and marginalized peoples.

Dr. Wilson is the primary architect of the Land-Based Indigenous Education program linking graduate training with traditional ways of knowing and place-based learning. Students enrolled in the program live on-site within designated Indigenous communities, allowing all people involved immersive and meaningful community building educational experiences. Dr. Wilson instructs teacher candidates and graduate education students to create safe communities for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, two-spirited and queer (GLBTTQ) individuals. She has flipped the notion of “coming out” to one of “coming in”, recognizing the strong community connections of sexual minorities. Her scholarship on Indigenous perspectives of gender identity is well-respected and widely available internationally.

Dr. Wilson is also a well-known activist for Indigenous rights. She is a founding and inspirational member of the grassroots Idle No More movement that seeks increased recognition of Indigenous rights and the elimination of violence and racist attitudes against Indigenous peoples, nationally and internationally. As part of the Idle No More communications team, Dr. Wilson has helped develop an extensive database of connected groups and individuals, and using social media, has built a vast network of supporters. Dr. Wilson is also involved with several important educational and outreach efforts drawing attention to  missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Dr. Wilson maintains strong connections with her own community, Opaskwayak Cree Nation in western Manitoba, where she has been involved with projects around food sovereignty and community opposition to proposed nuclear-waste disposal. Within Saskatchewan and beyond, Dr. Wilson has conducted cross-cultural awareness training for countless organizations and businesses, bringing her knowledge of Indigenous issues to thousands of people.

Dr. Wilson’s scholarship and activism has raised awareness and effected change for Indigenous and queer peoples, enhancing the University of Saskatchewan’s reputation as an institution that can understand and serve marginalized people within the province and beyond. Dr. Wilson is a very deserving recipient of the 2015 Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service.

Graham Strickert

Graham Strickert

Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service - Fall 2014

Dr. Graham Strickert, a research fellow at the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Water Security, plays a key role in community-based water research projects in the Saskatchewan River delta. This unique freshwater ecosystem has great value for local communities, and Dr. Strickert has developed crucial relationships that enable the examination and understanding of how local communities view and use water.

Honest and respectful dialogue with First Nations communities and leaders of the community of Cumberland House are the foundation on which strong relationships have been built. Through these relationships, Dr. Strickert and other U of S researchers have been able to capture ecological knowledge of the river, its ecosystem and the downstream effects of water management choices on the community and their food web. He has worked with secondary school students in Cumberland House to collect data on traditional foods from the delta.

Dr. Strickert effectively engages water managers, researchers and community members in open dialogue. He expertly translates technical research and scientific data so various stakeholders can understand, creating a common language that fosters a better understanding of the varied backgrounds, cultures and perspectives each group has. This has enabled decision makers to embrace the social elements of water management, not just talking about water, but understanding the fine balance of water demands within various regions and across provincial and national boundaries.

Working with scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada, Dr. Strickert has used a drought management game to teach the complex nature of long-term drought planning and response. He has been able to enhance their decision-making abilities by factoring in human and ecosystem dimensions along with computational climate models.

As outreach and engagement co-ordinator for the Changing Cold Regions Network, Dr. Strickert builds and maintains a community of global climate systems knowledge users and producers that includes government agencies, university researchers, industry partners, and members of local and First Nations communities. This work includes working with citizen scientists to collect data and conduct a variety of grassroots level activities.

Dr. Strickert has proven to be an exceptional ambassador for the U of S through his ongoing outreach activities and invaluable relationships he has built. His service and dedication make him a deserving recipient for the University of Saskatchewan's Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service.

Ken Rosaasen

Kenneth Rosaasen

Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service - Spring 2014

Professor Kenneth (Ken) Rosaasen has earned the reputation of a well-respected educator, analyst, presenter and leader on agricultural economic issues affecting Western Canada, particularly Saskatchewan. Soon after earning his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Master of Science degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, Ken began teaching in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, working his way to the position of tenured professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics. He has been a professional agrologist since 1972.

In his 34 years at the university, Ken has travelled countless thousands of miles throughout the province to speak about agricultural economic issues to a seemingly endless number of communities, large and small. There are likely few Saskatchewan farmers not familiar with Ken and his work. As a farmer and academic, Ken not only explains agricultural economics and policy to producers, he is also able to bring their ideas, innovations and concerns back to the academic world, ensuring that their interests and expertise are understood and incorporated into research, teaching, and policy formation.

The most significant outreach work Ken performs is the creation and continued development of Market Prospects, a series of annual broadcasts that has aired on CTV’s Farm Gate in Saskatchewan since 1984. These shows give farmers, agribusiness professionals academics and those interested in agriculture timely commodity market and outlook information prior to spring planting. Ken coordinates topics, guest analysts and world-class experts, and the broadcast schedule for the show. He also secures funding from a variety of industry and government partnerships and sponsorships. Tens of thousands of viewers have come to rely on the program for timely market information, and its influence continues to expand with the program now being posted online.

Ken’s expertise and community outreach has contributed greatly to the success of individual producers, specific agricultural sectors such as flax and canola, and the agricultural industry as a whole. His studies on the beef industry in Western Canada and the economic impact of the elimination of the CROW subsidy are widely read and cited. More recently, Ken visited several Saskatchewan communities to discuss post-single desk grain marketing. Ken’s ongoing outreach activities, and his influence and contributions to the agricultural industry in Western Canada, make him a deserving recipient for the University of Saskatchewan’s Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service.

Glen Hauser

Glen Hauser

Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service - Fall 2013

Glen Hauser graduated from the University of Saskatchewan as a mechanical engineer in 1992. He returned to the university as the College of Engineering’s information technology manager in 2003. As manager, he led various projects to advance student access to specialized computer software and enhance the efficiency and accuracy of scholarly and research activities through technology, which aided in the college’s accreditation process.

For seven years Glen volunteered his time as faculty advisor for Huskie Motorsports, the college’s student-led Formula SAE race team that designs, builds and races a racecar. Glen’s expertise in information technology helped the team work with computer modelling in the design and engineering of the car. Under his leadership, the squad grew from a small group of engineers struggling to keep the team going, to a thriving cross-disciplinary team that utilizes the knowledge and experience of students across campus—such as finance and marketing students from the Edwards School of Business— allowing the team to represent the University of Saskatchewan at a consistently high level at international competitions. Glen helped start the fledgling mini baja and aero design teams as well.

Glen volunteers, and served as president, with the Saskatoon Soap Box Derby club, assisting children race in gravity powered soapbox derby cars. He helps the children understand the physics of aerodynamics and rolling resistance to build faster cars. Combining his roles with Huskie Motorsports and as a long-serving volunteer with Scouts Canada, Glen was active with the university’s Sci- Fi Science Camps, teaching children the physics behind the design of wooden Kub Kars. He also arranged for motorsport students to help camp participants build their cars, and he worked with the camp staff to help the scouts build electric race cars. Glen is also an active volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Saskatoon, serving as their “computer guy” to maintain the organization’s hardware and software. Glen is a long- standing member of the Knights of Columbus and currently serves as treasurer on the executive of a local council.

Glen’s service to the university and community outreach as a volunteer make him a deserving recipient for the University of Saskatchewan’s Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service.

William (Bill) Waiser

William (Bill) Waiser has successfully melded scholarship and story-telling as an historian.  He has earned a reputation as an engaging and entertaining speaker who brings historical stories and characters to life, making our shared past accessible and understandable.

Dr. Waiser is a professor of history and A.S. Morton Distinguished Research Chair with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Arts and Science. He joined the U of S in 1984 and has served as head of the Department of History and as graduate director. Prior to this appointment, he was Yukon historian for the Canadian Parks Service.

Dr. Waiser has published over a dozen books. His most recent, Tommy’s Team: The People behind the Douglas Years was short-listed for the Canadian Authors Association best book in Canadian History for 2011. Arguably his most popular book is his centennial history of the province, Saskatchewan: A New History, named by the Globe and Mail as one of the best books of 2005. Dr. Waiser presented a pre-publication copy of the book personally to Queen Elizabeth II in a private ceremony during her visit to Saskatoon.

His captivating way of telling a story is not only great to read, it makes Dr. Waiser a welcome and regular guest on radio and television. From 1999‑2001, he was researcher and on-camera host of an award winning CBC Saskatchewan Television weekly production featuring five-minute segments examining little-known pieces of the province’s history.

In 2005, Saskatchewan’s centennial year, Dr. Waiser had a weekly radio program, Saskatchewan Centennial Stories, that he converted to newspaper columns for use by the province’s weekly newspapers.

Dr. Waiser also takes the stories to the people. He has given more than 150 talks—focusing primarily on topics specific to Saskatchewan or Western Canada—to schools, libraries, conventions, conferences, clubs and organizations throughout the province, across Canada and internationally. He has visited the hamlet of Glidden, population 23, to support fundraising efforts, and recently spoke between the beef-on-a-bun dinner and talent show in another community.

Perhaps more significant than all his books and talks is the work he did to lobby the Federal Government to open the 1906 census data to the public, paving the way for historians, academics, anthropologists, genealogists and the general public to have access to documents containing yet-to-be-told stories.

Dr. Waiser’s work to research, reveal and share the stories of the people of Saskatchewan make him a deserving recipient for the University of Saskatchewan’s Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service.

Ryan Walker

Dr. Ryan Walker’s commitment to urban planning and bridging the gap between classroom work and community involvement has provided powerful learning opportunities for students, enhanced local, national and international partnerships, and benefited both the community of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Walker, MCIP, has been a professor in the Regional and Urban Planning Program since 2006. His areas of expertise include urban planning, geography, and design; comparative urban Indigenous studies in Canada, New Zealand and Australia; housing studies; multi level governance and urban policy; First Nations community planning; and citizenship theory. 

Dr. Walker has contributed to the local and provincial community in many ways. In 2008, he used his expertise in urban planning to develop a relationship with the City of Prince Albert, while assisting city administration and the mayor with the drafting of the city’s condominium conversion policy. This led to field trips for Walker’s urban planning class, which one student nominator described as “[making] our planning classes real in a way that isn’t often achieved at the university level.” 

In 2009, he was one of the initiators and key organizers of “Great Places”, which has been a major stimulant of local discussion aimed at informing and inspiring an ongoing dialogue about what makes a great place. This group consists of design professionals, government officials and citizens, and involves workshops and discussions on downtown planning, civic parks and squares, a program in architecture for Saskatoon and other important topics. 

Dr. Walker is involved in the international community as well. He was the University of Saskatchewan’s Director of the Indigenous Planning Exchange from 2007 to 2011, which involved student and faculty exchanges between six universities across Canada, Mexico and the United States. This partnership helped to enrich the academic environment and provide powerful, stimulating and intellectual experiences for both students and faculty at universities throughout North America.

Frequently noted throughout the letters of support for Dr. Walker was his commitment to bringing the community into the classroom and the classroom into the community. A Saskatoon city councillor said that he is “most willing to cross the river from the university to the city council chambers and share what he is learning about the issues he is researching with us to help inform our debates.” A community association president commented that “he has entrenched [the] culture of volunteerism deep into his classroom, ensuring that both he and the Department of Geography and Planning will continue to contribute to healthy urban planning city-wide for many years to come.” Dr. Walker’s commitment to community-based research, urban planning and community engagement makes him a very deserving recipient of the University of Saskatchewan award for distinction in outreach and engagement.

Phil Thacker

Phil Thacker’s expertise on swine nutrition and management has raised the profile of the University of Saskatchewan provincially, nationally and internationally. He is highly regarded within the swine and feed industries and very deserving of the Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement. 

Dr. Thacker has been a professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources for the past 28 years. During this time, he has provided volumes of resource material related to the swine and feed industries. He has published books, CDs, journal and magazine articles, as well as several conference talks and presentations, many of which reach around the globe. More specifically, he is the author or co-author of four books on swine production in nutrition, two of which have been translated into Chinese. He has also written 22 book chapters related to swine production and nutrition along with 65 popular press magazine articles. He has given more than 70 international presentations, talking to audiences in China, Korea, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Spain, Canada and the United States. During his travels, he has received two “Friendship Awards”, one from the Federal Government of China and one from the City of Dalian People’s Government. The first is the highest award presented by the Chinese government to foreign experts, and is awarded as a “thank you” for their contribution to China. The latter is given to extend gratitude and recognition to foreign experts who have made great contributions. Throughout his career he has also been the recipient of the Co-op Feeds Young Scientist Award (1989) and the Animal Industries Award in Extension and Public Service (2009) from the Canadian Society of Animal Science. 

Although Dr. Thacker is internationally recognized, he still is heavily involved in projects close to home. In 2008, the Department of Animal and Poultry Science was approached to develop a swine nutrition and management course for the Hutterite Brethren of Saskatchewan. Dr. Thacker worked to develop the course material and presented 24 hours of lecture material to the colony’s swine managers. The course reached a significant proportion of the Hutterite population while having the potential to significantly impact the economy in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Thacker’s work is highly regarded by his colleagues. One nominator wrote that “the publications of the Swine Nutrition Guide and the Non-Traditional Feed Sources for Use in Swine Production that Dr. Thacker co-authored have left a legacy for the Canadian feed and swine industry.” Another nominator expressed admiration for “his unending commitment to knowledge transfer, and to his lifetime of dedication to his work in swine research.” This dedication, along with his many other attributes described above, make Philip Thacker a very worthy recipient of this award.

Susan Whiting

Dr. Susan Whiting is an outstanding faculty member, award winning mentor, and exemplary contributor to her community and ever so deserving of the university’s award for distinction in outreach and engagement.

Dr. Whiting has been a professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition since 1988. Her work has enhanced existing community and research partnerships and she has built new partnerships with communities and a variety of sectors. Dr. Whiting has been on the Board of CHEP Good Foods, Inc (formerly Child Hunger and Education Program) for over 15 years. She has held leadership roles with the Saskatoon Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada and the Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre. She is co-investigator of a provincial study on how growth, activity and nutrition affect bone development in adolescents. She has CIHR research funding to look at how nutrient and food intake affect chronic disease prevention in Canadian children, and she is involved in research to study the effects of calcium on Canadians. Dr. Whiting collaborates with American researchers on dietary supplements with a particular emphasis on the impact of Vitamin D. Her findings on calcium, Vitamin D, osteoporosis and bone health are shared with community groups, health care professionals and the academic community locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Dr. Whiting provides leadership in knowledge creation within Saskatchewan industry and local communities and these efforts enhance the reputation of the University. She has served on national and international boards and working groups for nutritional sciences, bone and mineral research and dietary intakes. Her collaborative approach with scholars and organizations has attracted attention in other parts of the world. She is currently involved with two multi‑disciplinary teams, one investigating strategies for improving quality of care in long-term care in Saskatchewan, and the other one looking to improve sustainable agriculture productivity and human nutrition in Ethiopia.Dr. Whiting leverages these opportunities to further education experiences for our students and to enhance local and international outreach. In 2006, Dr. Whiting received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Science, Technology and Research and she received the University’s Distinguished Supervisor’s Award in 2009 for her stimulating and intellectual experiences for undergraduate and graduate students.

One nominator spoke to Susan’s leadership with a merger of two Canadian nutrition societies that has led to a stronger agency linking research science and professional nutritional practice. She is a much sought after speaker, consultant and expert on nutrition, osteoporosis and community programming. This past year, she has given over 10 invited presentations to audiences ranging from local retiree groups in Saskatoon to peers at international conferences in France and China. Dr. Whiting’s strengths with the university’s teaching and research missions and her personal commitment to community bring honor to the University of Saskatchewan, have long-lasting impact, and make her a distinguished recipient of this award.

Nola Buhr

Dr. Nola Buhr’s outstanding outreach and engagement achievements are notable for their impact on governance structures, organizational accountability, and the well-being of communities. 

Dr. Buhr has been a professor of accounting in the N. Murray Edwards School of Business since 2000 and has held the PotashCorp Enhancement Chair for Saskatchewan Enterprise since January 2010.    Dr.  Buhr is a Chartered Accountant who has established herself as professional who can make a difference.  Last year, she facilitated an agreement between the Edwards School of Business and the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada to enhance career advancement for Aboriginal business professionals by giving Aboriginal Financial Management diploma holders advanced standing towards the BCOMM degree program.  Dean Daphne Taras said that Dr. Buhr “was the initiator of the agreement, its constant champion, and she gave most generously of her time and creativity to see this agreement come to fruition”.  Dr. Buhr is known nationally for her efforts in the practice of accounting by First Nations governments.  Working with a task force, her research led to the publication of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants report entitled, Financial Reporting by First Nations.  In addition, Dr. Buhr has delivered workshops and presentations on public sector accounting to over 800 First Nations financial managers.   Her involvement in public sector accounting extends to all levels of government.   As a volunteer member and chair of the Public Sector Accounting Board, she has played a key role in setting accounting standards for all governments in Canada.

Dr. Buhr currently provides leadership on audit committees for the federal and provincial governments.  Federally, she serves the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, as well as the department of Canadian Heritage.  One nominator spoke of how “her work with members of Parliament, First Nations, and very senior government officials demonstrates her commitment to serving the public interest”.  Provincially, Dr. Buhr serves as the chair of the Audit Committee of the Province of Saskatchewan.  In this role she assisted with the recent selection of the Provincial Auditor.  Locally, Dr. Buhr has worked with the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development on campus to perform an assessment to determine training needs of the financial administrators in 24 municipal communities in northern Saskatchewan.  She has expertly applied her accounting knowledge to the betterment of communities and developed substantive partnerships with organizations, provincially and nationally.   And it is her collaborative approach that has engaged individuals and groups beyond the border of our campus.  People describe her as invaluable, exemplary, and passionate.  Others spoke about her character and integrity.  Please join me in recognizing Dr. Buhr as one of our premier ambassadors and a very deserving recipient of the University of Saskatchewan award for distinction in outreach and engagement.

Margaret Crossley

Margaret Crossley joined the U of S Department of Psychology in 1994, where she has earned a reputation for seamlessly blending research, hands-on clinical training for graduate students, supervision of graduate student research and public service. She goes to great lengths to make herself available to her students—efforts that earned her the U of S Alumni Association’s Alumni Mentorship Award in 2005.

As a neuropsychologist, Crossley specializes in the early-stage detection and diagnosis of dementia. In 1994, she established the Aging Research Memory Clinic, providing services to clients and their families in Saskatoon and area. She served as director of the clinic until 2004, when the clinic was integrated with the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic.     

Crossley and her students have provided neuropsychological services to hundreds of patients and consultations to hundreds of families free of charge.

Orest Murawsky

Orest Murawsky’s work as an educator and his impact on Aboriginal education have provided powerful experiences for students, enhanced community partnerships and positioned the University of Saskatchewan as a national leader. Murawsky connection to the College of Education spans nearly 40 years. He has been in leadership positions with the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for more than 30 years, serving as director since 1986. The ITEP model has inspired other First Nation communities to deliver similar programs in other parts of Canada. His collaborative approach has contributed to significant and long-lasting educational partnerships everywhere. In 2005, the U of S Alumni Association recognized Murawsky as the inaugural recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence for Aboriginal Initiatives.

Bob Bors

Bob Bors’ contributions to fruit breeding and establishing commercially viable fruit crop production in North America and around the world have earned him the 2009 Outreach and Engagement Award.

The assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses specializing in fruit crop production, plant propagation and nursery management, and greenhouse structures and crops.  His scholarly work includes dozens of lectures, one book and a number of academic articles and reports.

Bors was instrumental in the breeding and commercializing Dwarf Sour Cherries, the prairie apple and Haskap (also called blue honeysuckle), varieties now propagated in seven provinces varieties.  Besides maintaining fruit germplasm collections, he has amassed hundreds of Haskap and interspecific strawberry plants, the most genetically diverse collections in the world. He has co-operative fruit projects across Canada and with researchers in the United States, Russia, Mongolia and Japan. 

His commitment to outreach and engagement is most evident in his work on creating food industries for local crops. Not satisfied to simply create or improve a fruit cultivar, Bors helps establish a viable industry in which crops can flourish, growers can succeed and consumers can enjoy locally grown and produced products.

Bonnie Schoenfeld

Professor Schoenfeld’s contribution to community health and experiential learning has extended outreach and engagement to the larger community.

An alumna of the U of S and the California College for Heath Sciences, Schoenfeld has been a faculty member in the College of Nursing since 1974. She has taught in the area of community health theory and practice, participates in community-based research and interdisciplinary population health projects, and publishes on the topics of public health, health and education partnerships and learning communities.

Her work with outreach and engagement has focused on health promotion, and she has built strong collaborative relationships with a variety of community agencies and practitioners. Schoenfeld has been a dedicated advocate of an expanded role for the public health nurse in the school system and she has put theory into practice by providing experiential learning for her students in school settings. These learning opportunities led to formal partnerships between the College of Nursing and schools in the Saskatoon area. The partnerships were expanded to rural high schools, a number of elementary schools and projects with international students and their families.

Henry Classen

Dr. Henry Classen's contributions to outreach and engagement were evident from his first days as a new faculty member nearly 30 years ago. Since his appointment, Dr. Classen has demonstrated outstanding and sustained effort through activities and programs on poultry management and nutrition designed to inform and involve external publics and partnerships about the core missions of the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Classen is an alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan and Professor and Head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. His outreach and engagement accomplishments include numerous collaborations across disciplines, work with other universities and partnerships beyond the borders of the campus. The collaborations include working with engineers, animal species specialists, pathologists, medical doctors, plant scientists and physiologists. For over 25 years, he has developed relationships with individual producers, boards and processing plants through the University Poultry Extension Service, described as unique in Canada. He holds 8 patents granted and his involvement with the U of S Poultry Centre speaks to his strong research interests and his commitment to sustainability and economic development.

He has served as President of the Poultry Science Association, an international scientific association, and President of the Canadian Branch of the World's Poultry Science Association. In 2007, Dr. Classen was awarded the Poultry Science Association Fellow. He has received accolades and awards including the American Feed Industry Association Nutrition Research Award in 1993, the Alberta Poultry Serviceman of the Year Award in 1994 and was part of a team that received the Saskatchewan Award of Innovation in 2005. His commitment to teaching is evidenced by a group of graduate students who wrote in support of Dr. Classen that he "provides an atmosphere for his students that is powerful, stimulating and intellectually based" and the fact that he has received the College of Agriculture & Bioresources Professor of the Year award twice. 

The industry has such great respect for his work that he has been asked to develop protocols and to conduct research to address industry-wide concerns. He has served on award and scholarship selection committees and a variety of boards and councils. One supporter wrote that Professor Classen "epitomizes the very best of how a university professor can seamlessly integrate the scholarship of teaching, learning, discovery, knowledge translation, outreach, professional practice, and leadership. All of his work is characterized by its interdisciplinary nature and by the strong connections that are sustained between the University and communities and businesses that make up the poultry industry."

Sarah Buhler

Sarah Buhler, a sessional lecturer in the College of Law, has been recognized for distinction in outreach and engagement for her outstanding contributions to legal assistance. She has made an exceptional contribution to the legal community through her involvement with the re-establishment of the Clinical Legal Education program for the College of Law and her work in Saskatoon’s inner city community through Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City, a not for profit agency and poverty law clinic known as CLASSIC.

CLASSIC provides free legal assistance to low-income clients, with a special emphasis on addressing needs of the inner city Aboriginal community. Buhler serves as executive director and supervising lawyer, overseeing the student lawyers, recruiting volunteer lawyers and engaging the community. Buhler’s teaching and engagement efforts are described as having “a powerful experience for students, most of whom have no other opportunity to become involved with Saskatoon’s inner city community. It is the kind of experience that brings the University into the community in a very concrete way.” One nominator said that Buhler “has enhanced the community partnerships that are essential to the success of CLASSIC.”

Lisa Vargo

Dr. Lisa Vargo is an individual whose contributions to literacy and volunteerism have contributed greatly and with distinction to the University's outreach and engagement mission. 

Dr. Vargo is an Associate Professor of English specializing in romantic literature.  She is an alumna of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Toronto.  She joined the faculty at the University of Saskatchewan in 1990.  In her academic life, Dr. Vargo teaches introductory and senior undergraduate courses, specializing in British romanticism.  Her research interests include women writers of the Romantic period, especially Mary Shelley's writings. 

In addition to enhancing the academic environment of the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Vargo has made an exceptional contribution to literacy in the province and beyond. Her interest in literacy began in Toronto where she served as a literacy worker for a community-based learning centre.  She also volunteered with an adult learning program in Peterborough, Ontario.  Upon her arrival in Saskatoon, Dr. Vargo joined READ Saskatoon and has served as a tutor for the past 17 years.   She has served on the Board of Directors and twice assumed the Presidency of the organization.  She was involved with the Word Whiz Fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Literacy Foundation and served on the Board of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network.  In 1999, she received the Saskatchewan Literacy Award of Merit for her volunteerism and in 2004 was awarded the Canada Post Literacy Award as an educator. 

Dr. Vargo has been described as "energetic, inspirational and indefatigable in her dedication to literacy."  Others have said that "she brings a deep understanding of the complexities of literacy and of human justice to the way she works with learners and to the way she helps organizations develop respectful and fair policies and practices for volunteers and staff."  One of her students said "I am so proud of the person that I am today. I know with my whole heart that it has everything to do with Lisa Vargo." She has demonstrated a sustained commitment to use her expertise in ways that engage individuals and groups beyond the borders of the campus and she has enhanced the University's reputation in exceptional ways. 

Dr. Vargo's outreach and engagement activities have had substantial impact and long-term significance and she is truly deserving of the University of Saskatchewan's Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement.

Jeff Schoenau

Dr. Jeff Schoenau's contributions to applied research in soil fertility and management are recognized locally, nationally and internationally and he has furthered the University's outreach and engagement mission with great distinction.

Dr. Schoenau received his B.S.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and is currently a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Soil Science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources holding the Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food Research Chair in Nutrient Management. His outstanding research accomplishments have led to a number of awards including the Agriculture Institute of Canada's Outstanding Young Agrologist Award in 1998, the Robert E. Wagner Young Scientist Award from the Potash and Phosphate Institute in 2000, the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists' Outstanding Young Agrologist Award in 2002 and the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in 2004. He has been recognized as Professor of the Year three times by the Agriculture Students Association, and was the recipient of the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Award of Excellence in 2001. Dr. Schoenau has built important partnerships with a variety of organizations in Western Canada including the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), Canola Council of Canada, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association among others. In addition, Jeff serves on a number of boards and committees related to soil stewardship and other farm environmental issues.

Jeff's nominators commented on his passion for disseminating knowledge and his reputation for captivating presentations making him a highly sought after speaker. His colleagues state "whether Jeff is in China, Australia or Kindersley, . . .  he is always a welcome expert and ambassador for the University of Saskatchewan." One nominator said it best when he stated "at the University level, a great deal of very important research is conducted but without someone to find practical uses for it, it stays within the realm of often forgotten research. Dr. Schoenau is not only able to relay to people in the farm (and consulting) community the practicality of the research, but he is able to do it in a wonderfully interesting and personable manner . . . When Dr. Schoenau speaks, we listen - when we speak, he listens."

Dr. Schoenau began developing a cost-effective soil testing tool and forecasting software to measure crop nutrition requirements of benefit to growers. This substantive work led to the creation of the Plant Root Simulator (PRS)TM-probe in 1992. The significance of this technology has been profound. It has provided a basis for fertilizer use on over 3 million acres of farmland in Western Canada and has improved yields for a variety of grain, pulse and forage crops with an estimated economic impact of more than $200 million. This technology has been patented in 5 jurisdictions and is utilized by researchers throughout the world.

For these reasons and many others, Dr. Schoenau's outreach and engagement activities have had substantial impact and long-term significance and he is truly deserving of the University of Saskatchewan's Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement.

François Messier

Dr. François Messier’s many contributions to teaching and research are matched only by his abiding interest in environmental conservation and community development.

His current research interests are varied, and examine a variety of important ecological questions on mammals ranging from Ord’s Kangaroo rats to black-tailed prairie dogs.

A well-published authority on economically significant wildlife diseases, such as Bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease, he has travelled as far north as Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to study the ecology of grizzly bears, grey wolves, and moose and is keenly interested in aboriginal traditional knowledge with respect to caribou ecology both in the arctic and in Saskatchewan. 

While much of his research speaks to his commitment to conservation, it also illustrates his interest in the interrelationships between communities and their environments. Dr. Messier has worked with the Innu Nation and the Cree of Quebec to determine the impacts of low-level military flights on caribou health and developed a large atlas highlighting the movements of polar bears in Canada’s arctic, which was translated into Inuit-Inupiaq for use by the local people. In particular, his work on polar bears required significant interaction with Inuit communities, relationships which resulted in the employment of numerous local people in order to facilitate the live capture of bears for tagging.  His work has contributed to what one of his nominators has described as “bringing Canadian polar bear conservation from a somewhat rudimentary state to what more observers feel is one of the best mammal management programs in the world.”

Professor Messier’s belief in the importance of outreach and public service has also evidenced itself in his considerable voluntary participation in ecological organizations. In 2003, he was invited to participate in three major public policy committees that conducted independent scientific reviews of the management of grizzly bears in B.C. and the recovery of threatened mountain caribou in the Rocky Mountains. He has also served as a member of an independent environmental monitoring promoting good environmental management at the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories. This work created relationships with several First Nations and Metis groups and permitted interactive exchanges of traditional aboriginal knowledge and leading edge research.  

Dr. Messier’s work is exceptional and he does this in addition to serving as the Head of the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan.  He exemplifies through his outreach activities the ways in which a university professor and administrator can positively engage and influence the public sphere.

Chilakamarri (Chary) Rangacharyulu

At the heart of Dr. Rangacharyulu’s exemplary record of professional and public service is a deep commitment to promoting and fostering youth science education at home and around the world.

As faculty member in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Professor Rangacharyulu has taken his passion for science beyond the boundaries of his Department, College and this University.  Since 1999, he has participated in every Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF), co-chaired the successful bid proposal to bring the 2002 Fair to Saskatoon and then co-chaired the organizing committee. He has fostered alliances with both the Saskatchewan Association of Science Fairs Inc. (SASFI) and the Youth Science Foundation, which is the governing body of science fairs in Canada.  In addition, Dr. Rangacharyulu has become involved with the International Biology Olympiad and was a key driver in bringing the IBO competition to Saskatoon in 2007.

Dr. Rangacharyulu has been a tireless advocate of student success, particularly when it comes to ensuring successful transition from high school to university. He has built strong and fruitful relationships with teachers across the province, partnerships that have been instrumental in the formation of the Knowledge and Education Exchange Network, more commonly known as KEEN. This group is dedicated to bringing together high school teachers and University faculty in an effort to ensure students are adequately prepared for the challenges of post-secondary education. He also works as an active member of the NSERC-funded CRYSTALSs team, which is committed to developing and offering appropriate math and science transition programs for Aboriginal and Northern schools.    

The impact and benefits of Dr. Rangacharyulu’s work, however, are not limited simply to Saskatchewan and Canada; his international partnerships, for example, have resulted in the development of student exchange programs in physics between the U of S and universities in Germany and Japan. His dedication to teaching and research has also resulted in discussions between the U of S, the Biotechnology Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne University, and Tsukuba University (Japan) that are centered on the development of an international interdisciplinary centre.

Dr. Rangacharyulu’s passion for his work serves as a model for outreach and public service. This is how one of his nominators described him, ‘Chary’ “is a constant source of optimism and energy for all who are associated with these outreach endeavors.  In addition, Chary offers all his vision and passion for engaging youth in being and doing their very best.  In this process, he has also energized and mobilized the skills and energies of others . . . [and] the many talented young people who are the direct beneficiaries of his efforts.”

Sheila Schmutz

A leader in the field of animal genetics and researcher of international acclaim, Dr. Sheila Schmutz has extended the University's expertise beyond the campus and scientific community. Her commitment to information-sharing and public dialogue makes her a worthy recipient of the Outreach and Public Service Award.

Dr. Schmutz was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in Louisiana and Wisconsin. She received a B.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a M.Sc. from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D. from Queen's University.

After a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary, she joined the U of S in 1983. In addition to her role as professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, she currently serves as Acting Associate Dean (Research) in the College of Agriculture.

Dr. Schmutz is highly regarded for her research in two core areas–genes influencing the economics of beef cattle production and genes affecting coat colour in cattle and dogs.

Her world-class genomics research has thrust the U of S into the international spotlight. Dr. Schmutz's team of professionals has been credited with many discoveries including leading-edge DNA tests related to cattle horns and scurs, carcass quality and milk composition, cattle and dog coat colour and related disorders. Groups of these DNA tests are offered by three Canadian companies: Quantum Genetics, Bova-Can Laboratories and HealthGene. As a result, the public can access important information for breeding decisions.

Although Dr. Schmutz's research is well-documented in scientific papers and conferences, her primary outreach tool has been the Internet. Her websites dedicated to cattle traits and cattle and dog coat colour provide valuable information to breeders, researchers and students around the world. During her sabbatical in 2003, Dr. Schmutz launched an online book entitled Genes for Cowboys. This website on beef cattle genetics continues to be a popular resource for students and ranchers.

Ernest Walker
Dr. Ernest Gordon Walker (C.M., S.O.M., B.Ed.'71, B.A.'72, M.A.'78, Ph.D.'80) is an individual whose contributions to heritage and the community have been recognized both provincially through the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2001 and nationally in his becoming a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. 

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Dr. Walker is a Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Texas - Austin. Dr. Walker has Associate Memberships in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (College of Medicine), the College of Dentistry and the Department of Geological Sciences (College of Arts and Science). 

Dr. Walker's research interests in the Great Plains and its people have led him to be a strong proponent for the establishment of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. He has been involved at the Park since its inception and he has also been a committed spokesperson for aboriginal interests in archaeological sites across the province. 

His interest in human remains and forensic science as a component of his archaeological research has not remained solely an academic exercise. He has applied these principles to forensic investigations across Canada for the past 25 years involving homicides and suspicious death investigations for a variety of law enforcement agencies. His work and knowledge were recognized when he was named a Special Constable with the RCMP in 2000. 

Dr. Walker has been actively involved with Saskatchewan's First Nations for many years in the areas of cultural expression and post-secondary education for Aboriginal students. He has worked extensively with elders and members of the senate of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Dr. Walker is an Honorary Chief among Saskatchewan's First Nations with the traditional name "Miko Peyasew" or Red Thunderbird. He has received the Distinguished Researcher Award, Master Teacher Award, as well as the Students' Union Excellence in Teaching Award from the U of S.

Brian Rossnagel

This award recognizes a member of faculty who has extended the University's expertise to the wider community. Brian Rossnagel is the spring 2004 recipient.

Rossnagel is a Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, based at the renowned U of S Crop Development Centre (CDC). He began his distinguished career at the University of Manitoba, where he earned a Bachelor's degree and later, his Ph.D. He joined the U of S in 1977.

Professor Rossnagel's work has centered mainly on the improvement of feed and food barley and oat for the Canadian Prairies, where he and his colleagues developed more than 35 varieties. As of the 2003 crop year, fields sown to his cultivars comprised about five million acres - more than half of all feed barley and oat acreage in Saskatchewan and Alberta. A few recent examples are CDC Orrin and CDC Dancer (oat) and CDC Trey and CDC Fibar (barley).

A much-sought-after speaker, Rossnagel has shared his expertise at more than 300 extension events in Canada, Australia, the USA, Japan and several European countries. His knowledge transfer activities have also included a plethora of industry meetings, telephone and radio interviews, field days and tours. He has become the farmer's first choice for information on barley, oats, seed production and associated topics.

Over the years, he has built an extensive network of research collaborators, including colleagues in private industry, the NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research centres in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. His university collaborations span the country and reach into the U.S., Australia and the EU.

Rossnagel's scholarly work has appeared as more than 85 papers in peer reviewed journals, describing, for example, research on malting and feed barley genetics, feed quality, disease resistance, and suitability for fuel alcohol production.

He has also been active in many professional and agricultural organizations including the Saskatchewan and Canadian Seed Growers Association, the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists, the Canadian Society of Agronomy, the Royal Agricultural Societies of the Commonwealth, Canadian Western Agribition, the American Oat Workers Conference, the North American Barley Workers and the International Oat Conference.

Rossnagel has made key contributions as member and chair of numerous committees. His work with the Department of Plant Sciences - CDC Extension and Publicity committee led to an extremely successful magazine publication to mark the 80th anniversary of the department and the 20th department of the CDC. His efforts with a College of Agriculture policy committee helped define the College's standards for public service and the practice of professional skills.

In 2000, he was named to the three-year W.J. White Professorship and was honoured with the Kirylchuk Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Western Canadian Oat Industry from the Prairie Oat Growers Association in 1998. He is an honourary life member of both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Seed Growers Association, a fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, and was recently named Distinguished Agrologist by the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists.

Rossnagel's accomplishments in research and development, his untiring volunteer work, and his dedication to sharing knowledge to benefit farmers truly exemplifies the spirit of public service and extension recognized by this award.

Bruce Hobin
Each year, this award recognizes a U of S faculty member who has made an outstanding effort to bring the University to the wider community. Bruce Hobin, MSc, PAg, Extension Specialist IV, is the fall 2004 recipient.

A true ambassador for the U of S, Hobin is well known throughout the province as an accomplished agrologist, innovative educator and active volunteer in community and professional circles.

Hobin is Program Director of the Agriculture, Food and Horticulture Program with the Extension Division at the U of S. As director, he has overseen an entire range of program activities such as the Certified Crop Science Consultant Program, the Western Canada Feedlot Management School, University Hort Week and the Saskatchewan Master Gardener Program. He has also coordinated numerous agriculture and horticulture publications including the Saskatchewan Book Awards winner Creating the Prairie Xeriscape (written by Sara Williams) and Don't Turn out the Lights (written by Al Scholz).

Hobin served as Director of Programming for the University's Bruno Ursuline Campus, which is located 90 km east of Saskatoon. Hobin's diligence and vision helped to turn the former Ursuline convent into a thriving operation that provides community education to residents of Bruno and the surrounding area. Thanks to Hobin's leadership, in the future the Bruno Ursuline Campus (now called the Prairie Ursuline Centre) may provide a home for fruit crop production research, arts programming, and possibly a sports camp.

In more than 20 years of experience in extension education, Hobin has developed a well-deserved reputation for his devotion, professionalism and outstanding teaching ability. He has been a student, a visionary, an advocate for part-time and distance learners, a leader and supporter of the agriculture industry, and a tireless worker on many boards and committees at the U of S and throughout Saskatchewan.

Hobin earned his B.Sc. in Genetics from the University of Alberta and his M.Sc. in Rural Extension Studies from the University of Guelph. 

He began his professional career in agriculture in Saskatchewan in 1977, as Manager of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Research Farm in Watrous, and joined the U of S Extension Division in 1980.

Hobin has been successful in expanding and enhancing the Extension Division's programming. He has been responsible for successful activities and programs including conferences, workshops, home study programs, software programs and field days. He has also taught at the degree, diploma and certificate levels, and devoted the remainder of his time to committee work in Extension, the University and various professional and agricultural associations.

Hobin is a past president of the Canadian Society of Extension and the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists. In 1999, he received the SIA's Distinguished Agrologist Award.
James Dosman

The Award for Extension and Public Service recognizes a member of faculty who has made an outstanding effort to further the University's extension and public service mission and has extended the University's expertise to the wider community.  James Dosman, Director of the Institute of Agricultural, Rural and Environmental Health, is the recipient for Spring 2003.

Dr. Dosman earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in 1963.  After working for four years as a general practitioner in Saskatoon, he completed a residency in internal and respiratory medicine at McGill University.  In 1975 he joined the University of Saskatchewan as the founding head of the Division of Respiratory Medicine, College of Medicine.

In 1986, Dr. Dosman was instrumental in creating the Centre for Agricultural Medicine to do research and carry out programs relevant to the health of Saskatchewan farmers.  He has served as director of the Centre since its inception and has expanded and diversified its programs to the point in 2001 when, under his leadership, it became the Institute of Agricultural, Rural and Environmental Health.  It's the only institute in Canada that provides research, education, and health promotion to agricultural and rural populations.

In 1988, Dr. Dosman in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (S.A.R.M.) and rural municipal councils established the Agricultural Health and Safety Network.  Unique in Canada, this program provides education services, respiratory health and hearing screening programs, courses in emergency preparedness and other educational opportunities to the rural population.  The program now extends directly to more than 25,000 Saskatchewan farm families.

Dr. Dosman has also been instrumental in establishing rural health safety programs at the national and international levels.  In 1992, he became the chair of the newly-created Canadian Coalition of Agricultural Health and Safety and oversaw a number of new initiatives including the first annual Agriculture Health and Safety Conference, the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program, and the Canadian Agriculture Safety Program.

Murray Scharf

The Award for Distinction in Extension and Public Service honours faculty members who have made an outstanding effort to further the University's public service and extension mission. This year's recipient is Murray Scharf, Professor of Educational Administration and Director of the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU).

Dr. Scharf has a long history of service to the teaching profession and to the public education system in this province, and much of the Saskatchewan's public policy on education over the last several decades has been influenced by his work. He is widely respected among professional educational organizations across the globe for his leadership, research and community work.

A University of Saskatchewan Alumnus, Dr. Scharf earned his PhD from the University of Alberta in 1967. He joined the University of Saskatchewan that same year, and served as Head of the Department of Educational Administration from 1982-1985 and as Dean of the College of Education from 1986-1996.

In 1974 Dr. Scharf completed what has come to be known as the Scharf Report on the Declining Rural Population and the Implications for Rural Education. Educational professionals and government utilized this report for many years as the authoritative statement on the condition of rural schools. A consequent 1991 report authored by Dr. Scharf dramatically influenced school system restructuring in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Scharf created the SELU in 1985. The Unit, now in its 18th year, has become a model for other provinces to follow. In his current role as Director, Dr. Scharf has spearheaded a number of valuable international training initiatives.

In 1992 Dr. Scharf initiated a focus on rural education among faculty, resulting in the creation of the Congress on Rural Education, which has been held annually for the past eight years and attracts educators and community leaders from across Canada.

During the course of his career at the University of Saskatchewan Dr. Scharf has delivered lectures on a wide variety of issues related to community and rural education. He is extremely well known for his lively, challenging and creative ideas on contemporary issues critical to Saskatchewan communities.

Dr. Scharf's dedication to public service is reflected through his ongoing involvement with a number of organizations. Most recently he has served as a member of the Inner City Pre-School Foundation, President of the Saskatoon Chapter of the United Services Institute, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Corps of Commissionaires and President of the Rotary Club of Saskatoon. Since 1989 he has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Congress on Education for Teaching (an affiliate of UNESCO).

Dr. Scharf's career has been one in which extension and community service have been paramount, and he has been honoured with a number of prestigious awards from both local and international organizations.

The quality of education in the broader community has been substantively enhanced by Dr. Scharf's work, as has the reputation of the University of Saskatchewan. He is a very worthy recipient of this award.

Donald Kerr

The University has selected Donald Kerr, Professor in the Department of English, as the first recipient of the Distinction in Extension and Public Service Award Award.

Prof. Kerr earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree (1958) at the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Arts (1960) at the University of Toronto. He began his career at the U of S in 1960 as an instructor in the Department of English, and has served as Acting Head of both the English and Drama departments.

Prof. Kerr is not only a fine teacher inspired by a love of the arts and history, he is also a renowned author, historian, poet, and playwright with a keen interest in society and politics, community development and the heritage movement.

Both as a published poet and associate editor for the literary magazines Grain and NeWest Review, he has nourished the careers of countless Prairie writers. Kerr has been the press editor for 17 books. He has also served on the board of directors for both NeWest Press and Coteau Books for 20 years.

His numerous plays have been performed in Saskatoon and Regina, and one of his plays, Lanc, was performed for the Drama department's 50th anniversary in 1996. He has served on the SaskFilm board and Saskatchewan Arts Board where his advocacy of smaller arts organizations helped to keep them alive.

He served on the Saskatoon Public Library Board for 11 years, and is one of the library's most popular speakers, whether reading from his own books, lecturing on literary topics, or speaking about Saskatoon's history. This year, the Saskatoon Library Trustees Association has chosen Prof. Kerr to write the history of public libraries in Saskatchewan.

Prof. Kerr has been a tireless steward of Saskatoon's heritage, helping to save older neighborhoods and documenting the architecture of both the U of S and the city of Saskatoon. Along with the late Stan Hanson, university archivist, he published Saskatoon: The First Half Century in 1982.

Prof. Kerr has helped Saskatoon residents understand how to live in harmony with their city's past. As the first chair of the Saskatoon Heritage Society and the first chair of the Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Committee, he helped change land use bylaws and establish heritage policies. His passion for this work continues through his current elected position as the Saskatchewan governor for the Heritage Canada Foundation. He has also served on the Meewasin Valley Authority Board.

Prof. Kerr's achievements as a teacher and scholar are inseparable from his deeply felt commitment to his community. In his half-century association with the U of S, he has played a principal role in the many achievements of the Saskatoon region. He is a very deserving recipient of this award.