Dec. 17, 2018

Leaders in entrepreneurship, innovation and engagement honoured at 2018 Peak Scholars Celebration

Newly inducted scholars praised for their impact on economic diversification, social resilience

On Nov. 13, University of Calgary and Innovate Calgary leadership honoured more than 40 scholars for their outstanding accomplishments in entrepreneurship, innovation, and community engagement at the fifth annual Peak Scholars Celebration Luncheon.

“Peak Scholars drive innovations that benefit all aspects of our community. These thought leaders have contributed to everything from new medical advancements to new enterprises. They’ve had a direct impact on the economic diversification and resilience of this city,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, president.

“Peak Scholars have also encouraged the success of the next generation of innovators. They’ve served as dedicated educators, mentors and research advisers to many of our students.”

  • Photo above: President and Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Cannon and Vice-President (Research) Ed McCauley hosted the 2018 Peak Scholars Celebration Luncheon. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Peak Scholars are nominated by their deans for projects that demonstrate community or knowledge engagement, entrepreneurship, tech transfer, innovation, or collaborative research. This year, 33 scholars were nominated and welcomed to the Peak Scholars community by Cannon and Vice-President (Research) Ed McCauley. Thirteen newly awarded patent holders were also welcomed to the Peak Scholars community by Peter Garrett, associate vice-president (research and innovation) and CEO of Innovate Calgary.

McCauley and Garrett also recognized Cannon for her leadership in entrepreneurship by presenting her with her own Peak Scholars certificate.

“President Cannon had a vision to formalize our institutional commitment to entrepreneurial thinking, which was accomplished through last year’s energized Eyes High strategy,” said McCauley. “She has long recognized the entrepreneurial spirit that runs through our campus community, and is part of it herself.”

Cannon is an expert in geomatics engineering and has led research at the forefront of Global Positioning Systems since 1984, commercializing technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. She also developed several innovative programs to encourage women to explore careers in STEM fields, including the largest online mentorship program of its kind in Canada, Cybermentor.

This year’s Peak Scholars join the 2014–2017 cohorts, expanding the community of researchers who will serve as ambassadors to promote entrepreneurial thinking to over 200 members.

Projects recognized this year include:

  • We are the Roots: Black Settlers and Their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies

Dr. David Este, Faculty of Social Work, professor

“We Are The Roots” explores the experiences of 1,500 African Americans who migrated and settled in Alberta and Saskatchewan between 1905 and 1912. The film is seen the lens of interviews conducted with 19 descendants of those black settlers. Este completed this project with Deborah Dobbins, president of the Shiloh Community Multicultural Roots (Edmonton), and Dr. Jenna Bailey of the University of Lethbridge. Learn more >

  • HOPE Digital Platform Supporting e-Mental Health - A First in Canada

Dr. Dawn Kingston, Faculty of Nursing, associate professor

The HOPE Digital Platform is a model of universal mental healthcare. Built on an e-technology backbone, this virtual single-point access to mental healthcare is being trialled in pregnant and postpartum women across all five zones in Alberta. Like a doorway into a mental healthcare system, women can access e-screening, e-referral, and e-therapy - anytime, anywhere. Learn more >

  • Straight Up Business Institute

Dr. Alex Bruton, Schulich School of Engineering, senior instructor

The Straight Up Business Institute is an open education company and innovation design firm, led by Dr. Alex Bruton. It offers courses, methodologies, and services that help teams, individuals, and educators learn to innovate.  It has provided the underpinnings of several notable nationwide initiatives for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, including the federally funded Big Idea Labs designed for STEM professionals in the Waterloo area. Learn more >

Find a full list of the 2018 Peak Scholars on the website.

UCalgary’s Strategic Research Plan is part of the roadmap toward our Eyes High vision of becoming one of Canada’s top research universities. To achieve this goal, we are focused on three major priorities: matching our strengths with opportunities, increasing our research capacity, and creating a dynamic environment to promote research excellence. Learn more about the Strategic Research Themes and Platforms that provide the framework through which we are achieving our goals.

Innovate Calgary is the technology-transfer and business-incubation centre for the University of Calgary, working with the Office of the Vice-President (Research) to help bridge the gap between discovery and innovation. From ideation to commercialization, Innovate Calgary has successfully supported the innovation-driven community for 35 years.