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Killam Scholars and award winners celebrated at annual reception

Students and faculty recognized for their outstanding research and leadership
October 21, 2014

The annual Killam reception held on Oct. 16 was a chance for the Killam Trustees and honoured guests to meet the University of Calgary’s Killam Postdoctoral Laureates and learn more about their innovative research and academic achievements. It was also a chance for the doctoral students to thank the trustees one-on-one.

“The University of Calgary welcomed the Killam Trustees to our campus to express our sincere gratitude to the trusts for their continued support of Canadian academia and join together in celebration of world-class scholarship and research from the exceptional Killam Scholars,” says President Elizabeth Cannon, who herself was a past Killam Scholar in 1988. “We also took this opportunity to thank retiring Killam Trustee Ann McCaig, for her over 20 years of dedicated service and visionary guidance in the larger community.” Cannon went on to announce that Jim Dinning, also a former chancellor with the university, will be taking over McCaig’s role as a Killam Trustee.

Prominent Canadian businessman Izaak Walton Killam and his wife Dorothy J. Killam established the Killam Trust to support advanced education. In establishing this memorial to her late husband, Dorothy J. Killam wanted “to help in the building of Canada’s future by encouraging advanced study … to increase the scientific and scholastic attainments of Canadians, to develop and expand the work of Canadian universities, and to promote sympathetic understanding between Canadians and the peoples of other countries.” It was her desire “that those selected to receive scholarships shall be likely to contribute to the advancement of learning or to win distinction in their profession.”

Ryan Lewinson, a second-year Killam Scholar in biomedical engineering, said he was honoured to be invited to assist with the ceremony alongside Lisa Young, vice-provost and dean of Graduate Studies. “It was really just a humbling experience to be introducing some of the university’s outstanding researchers and leaders,” he says.

A leading scholar in his own right, Lewinson says that receiving the award had two very distinct advantages. “The Killam award has really helped me to focus on my research and ignore the financial aspect of being a grad student,” he says. “It’s also knowing that your research has the support of the Killam scholarship and selection committees. This recognition has helped to motivate me to keep going and strive to live up to the committees’ belief in my work.”

Lewinson credits a lot of his success to those who have mentored and supported him, saying that “this has been one big collective endeavour.” His supervisor, Darren Stefanyshyn, and co-supervisor, Jay Worobets, both provided invaluable mentorship throughout his graduate degrees. Lewinson also found valuable guidance, training, and presentation opportunities through his PhD thesis committee, the Leaders in Medicine MD/PhD Program, and the Human Performance Laboratory.

The Donald N. Byers Memorial Killam Prize for the Best Statement of Program of Studies and Research was also announced at the presentation ceremony. This year’s recipient was Mark Harding, doctoral student in the Department of Political Science. Harding received the award for having the best-written research proposal for a general audience. His research measures the extent of “inter-institutional dialogue” between courts and legislatures in Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand in order to provide empirical evidence for how different models of rights protection affect democratic governance.

Valued at more than $400 million, the Killam Trust is distributed between five Canadian universities and the Canadian Council for the Arts.

Visit the Killam Trusts for more information.

This year’s Killam Scholars and Killam award holders are:

Killam Pre-Doctoral Scholars

First-Year Scholarships

  • Marc Bomhof, kinesiology
  • Hayley Britz, medical science
  • Donna Chen, civil engineering
  • Kelsey Collins, biomedical engineering
  • Leigh Conroy, physics and astronomy
  • Colleen Cuthbert, nursing
  • Basia Ellis, psychology
  • Amin Farshidi, electrical and computer engineering
  • Kyle Hall, chemistry
  • Mark Harding, political science
  • Fatemeh Hendijani fard, electrical and computer engineering
  • Jillian Johnson, psychology
  • Muhammad Khan, mathematics and statistics
  • Matthew Morris, biological sciences
  • Tamara Nerlien, sociology
  • Adrianne Offenbecker, archaeology
  • Josh Rash, clinical psychology

Second-Year Scholarships

  • Khaled Abdel Rahman, cardiovascular and respiratory sciences
  • Lauren Capozzi, kinesiology 
  • Melanie Khu, clinical psychology 
  • Ryan Lewinson, biomedical engineering 
  • Lisa Lorenzetti, social work 
  • Aura Pon, music/computational media design 
  • Saeid Saidi, civil engineering 
  • Nilima Sonpal-Valias, sociology

Killam Postdoctoral Laureates

  • Barret Kurylyk, geoscience 
  • Geoff Power, kinesiology
  • Christian Reus, chemistry

Killam Memorial Chair

  • Walter Herzog, kinesiology, engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine

Killam Annual Professors

  • Daniel Lai, social work
  • Karl Riabowol, biochemistry and molecular biology and oncology
  • Peter Tieleman, biological sciences 
  • Gerrit Voordouw, biological sciences

Killam Research and Teaching Awards

  • Carolyn Emery, Faculty of Kinesiology, Killam Emerging Research Leader Award, CIHR
  • Lina Kattan, Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Killam Emerging Research Leader Award, NSERC
  • David Keegan, Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Killam Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Amelia Kiddle, Faculty of Arts, Department of History, Killam Emerging Research Leader Award, SSHRC
  • Ebba Kurz, Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Killam Undergraduate Mentoring Award
  • Gerard Lachapelle, Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Geomatics Engineering, Killam Award for Graduate Supervision and Mentoring
  • Alain Verbeke, Haskayne School of Business, Killam Research Excellence Award