On November 10, more than 2,000 students at the University of Calgary will mark the end of one journey and the beginning of another as they gather for convocation. An important part of the convocation ceremonies is the awarding of honorary degrees. 

The Office of the Chancellor and Senate bestows two prestigious awards during convocation each term for people making an impact in our community and around the world: Honorary Degrees and the Order of the University of Calgary. 

The Honorary Degree is the University of Calgary’s highest academic distinction and is bestowed upon individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition.

The Order of the University of Calgary honours recipients who have a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the university. The nominees can be current or past members of the university community.

Honorary Degree Recipient - Fall 2022

Roy Bear Chief

Roy Bear Chief, Hon. LLD’22

Esteemed Elder, social worker and community champion

An influential and honoured Elder, Roy Bear Chief is originally from the Siksika Nation and has been living in Calgary since 1980.

After receiving a nursing assistant certificate, GED and social work diploma, Bear Chief went on to earn a Bachelor of Social Work (1999) and Master of Social Work (2004) from the University of Calgary.

A residential school survivor, he has been an instrumental leader in the Siksika Nation, having worked in Income Support, Children’s Services, Health Services, Aboriginal Mental Health, various hospitals and a group home for spinal cord injury. He also served as tribal manager for the Nation and has been twice elected as a member of its Chief and Council.

Bear Chief has made significant contributions as an Aboriginal consultant for Vibrant Communities Calgary within the Aboriginal Poverty Reduction Strategy. He also led the Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy for Momentum; was an Elder/program advisor for Calgary Legal Guidance and Elder-in-residence for the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University; and he is an Espoom tah (helper) with MRU’s Health, Community and Education department.

He has been recognized with a Distinguished Achievement Award from Bow Valley College, a Centennial Medal from the Province of Alberta, and a Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award as an MRU alumnus.

Throughout his career, Bear Chief has advocated for raising consciousness and awareness that Indigenous ways of knowing and doing do have a place in the institutional landscape of learning.

Order of the University of Calgary Recipient - Fall 2022

Head and shoulders photo of Mae Wang.

Dr. Mea Wang, PhD

Professor, community ambassador and technological pioneer

Dr. Mea Wang ambitiously empowers our daily life with technologies.

Since 2008, Dr. Wang has been an integral part of the University of Calgary’s Department of Computer Science, as an associate professor – and recently appointed full professor - and her studies into the design and development of networking systems and algorithms. Her research focuses on multimedia networking, cloud computing, mixed reality and networking optimization.

After receiving her Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba, Dr. Wang studied electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto, earning her Master of Applied Science and PhD.

During her time at UCalgary, Dr. Wang has been a leader in community-outreach activities, having created and organized the first Calgary Computer Science Teacher Symposium, the High School Speaker’s Bureau, and organizing many workshops and events for the annual Association for Computing Machinery Computer Science Education Week.

Her career led her to create two U.S. patents on bandwidth-efficient adaptive video streaming with AT&T Research; one U.S. patent on interactive immersive entertainment with TCL Research; develop the Brightshare app with Brightsquid, which helps users track COVID-19 symptoms, exposures and risks; and she is currently working on a data framework to automate the data science pipeline for infectious disease studies.

Dr. Wang has been recognized with a University of Calgary Faculty of Science Award of Excellence in Community Outreach, as a University of Calgary PEAK Scholar and with the University of Calgary Faculty Association’s Community Service Award.