Spring 2019 honorary and award recipients

Honorary doctorates

An honorary degree (honoris causa) is the highest honour conferred by the University. Through the conferring of honorary degrees, the University of Waterloo seeks to recognize outstanding achievement, whether academic or through service to society.

Susan M.W. Cartwright, CM, BA, MA

Doctor of Environmental Studies, honoris causa
Tuesday, June 11, afternoon ceremony

Susan Cartwright received a Master’s in Geography from the University of Waterloo in 1981, following which she became a public servant in the Canadian government. She served in diplomatic postings in seven nations, including as Canada’s Ambassador to Hungary, Slovenia and Albania. Subsequently, she held senior roles in the federal government, and, among other things, led the preparation of the Federal Accountability Act and reviewed the Public Service Modernization Act, key initiatives intended to strengthen management, accountability and efficiency. She then became the Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. She was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016.



Antoni Cimolino, CM, BFA 

Doctor of Letters, honoris causa
Wednesday, June 12, afternoon ceremony

A graduate of Windsor’s BFA program, Antoni Cimolino began his career at the Stratford Festival in 1988 as an actor. He became the Festival’s Executive Director in 1998 and its General Director in 2007; in 2013 he was appointed Artistic Director. Cimolino has established the Stratford Festival as a signature venue for internationally celebrated artists, making the work of Shakespeare and other dramatists more accessible and available than ever before. Under Cimolino’s management, the Festival has substantially grown both its endowment fund and its audience engagement. In 2015, his leadership within Canada’s theatrical and artistic communities was recognized with his appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada.

antoni cimolino headshot


Kevin Dancey, BA, CM, FCPA, FCA 

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Wednesday, June 12, evening ceremony

Kevin Dancey is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the International Federation of Accountants.  His contribution to the Canadian and global accounting profession resulted from his roles as Canadian Senior Partner and CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Assistant Deputy Minister, Tax Policy with the Department of Finance, President and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and as the first President and CEO of the newly formed Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.  Most significantly he oversaw the unification of professional accounting in Canada, the most significant event to impact Canadian accounting profession in the last fifty years.

kevin dancey


Shafrira Goldwasser, BS, MS, PhD

Doctor of Mathematics, honoris causa
Friday, June 14, morning ceremony

Shafrira Goldwasser completed her B.S. at Carnegie Mellon University (1979), and her M.S. (1981) and PhD (1984) at University of California, Berkeley. Following her PhD, Goldwasser began her career as a faculty member at MIT. In 1997, she was appointed the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and, since 2018, has served as the director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at Berkeley. Since 1993, Goldwasser has simultaneously held a professorship at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Among many honours, Goldwasser was co-recipient of the 2012 Turing Award and won the Gödel Prize in 1993 and 2001.

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Toby Jenkins, BES, MBA

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Tuesday, June 11, morning ceremony

Toby Jenkins has contributed her leadership and expertise to initiatives in many domains, including health care, banking, government and real estate development. Over her wide-ranging career, she has made contributions at the regional, provincial, and national levels. Ms. Jenkins received her first degree at the University of Waterloo, graduating with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, majoring in Urban Planning, with a minor in Economics. She also completed an M.B.A at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

toby jenkins headshot 


Barbara Liskov, BA, PhD

Doctor of Mathematics, honoris causa
Friday, June 14, afternoon ceremony

Barbara Liskov is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She obtained her BA (1961) in Mathematics from University of California, Berkeley and PhD (1968) in Computer Science from Stanford University. She is best known for her work in software systems design, particularly data abstraction as a key organizational principle in large software systems. Among numerous awards and honours, she is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, charter fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors, fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and recipient of the Turing Award.

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Si'Yam Lee Maracle, OC

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Wednesday, June 12, morning ceremony

Lee Maracle is a member of the Stó:lō Nation. She has won numerous awards including The Order of Canada in 2018, the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in Ontario in 2014, and the Canada Council Mentor Award in 2010. In addition to her awards, Lee Maracle has held several academic posts, including Distinguished Visiting Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University; Writer-in-Residence at University of Toronto’s First Nations House; Traditional Cultural Director for the Indigenous Theatre School in Toronto, and, the Stanley Knowles Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies at the University of Waterloo. She currently teaches Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto.

lee maracle headshot


Arokia Nathan, BSc, MSc, PhD

Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Thursday, June 13, morning ceremony

Arokia Nathan obtained his BSc from University of Leeds (1981), and his MSc (1984) and PhD (1988) from University of Alberta. From 1989 to 2006, he was a Professor at the University of Waterloo, where he held a Canada Research Chair and was a Steacie Fellow. In 2006, he was appointed to the Sumitomo Chair of Nanotechnology at University College London. In 2011, Nathan moved to Cambridge University, where he held the Chair of Photonic Systems and Displays. Currently, he serves as the CTO of Cambridge Touch Technologies. Arokia is a co-founder of the Giga-to-Nanoelectronics lab, Quantum Nanofab facility, and the nanotechnology engineering program at Waterloo.

arokia nathan headshot


H. Vincent Poor, BEE, MS, MA, PhD

Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa
Saturday, June 15, afternoon ceremony

H. Vincent Poor is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor at Princeton University, from which institution he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science in 1977. His pioneering contributions to wireless networks, energy systems, and related fields have been published in more than 20 books and 700 journal articles. Professor Poor is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Engineering and Sciences, and is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. Recent recognition of his work includes the 2017 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the 2019 ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award.

vincent poor headshot


David Sankoff, PhD

Doctor of Mathematics, honoris causa
Friday, June 14, morning ceremony

Professor David Sankoff is Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Genomics at the University of Ottawa. He earned his PhD at McGill University, and was on the University of Montreal’s faculty from 1969 until 2002. Sankoff is one of the founders of bioinformatics. He co-wrote the field’s first book with Joseph Kruskal and identified several of its foundational problems and algorithms. He made basic contributions in sequence alignment, RNA structure prediction and his specialty, genome structure evolution and its use in evolutionary tree prediction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the recipient of numerous international prizes.

david sankoff headshot


David N.C. Tse, BASc, MS, PhD

Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa
Saturday, June 15, morning ceremony

David N.C. Tse is the Thomas Kailath and Guanghan Xu Professor of Engineering at Stanford University. He received his B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tse is a world-leading authority in information theory, particularly for his contributions to wireless communication, energy and computational biology. An IEEE Fellow, Tse is recipient of numerous awards, including the IEEE ITS Claude E. Shannon Award, the IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize and the INFORMS Applied Probability Society Erlang Prize. He was inducted into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2018.

david tse headshot


George C. Woo, OD, MS, PhD, LOSc

Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Thursday, June 13, afternoon ceremony

Professor Woo completed a Doctor of Optometry degree at the College of Optometry of Ontario, the precursor to today’s School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. Following graduation, he worked for the Canadian Red Cross delivering vision care to small communities in Northern Ontario. He then completed his MSc and PhD at Indiana University. In 1970, he joined the faculty of the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, where he was instrumental in developing the low vision program. In 1996 Professor Woo retired from Waterloo, and took the position of Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

george woo headshot


Distinguished professors emeriti

The Distinguished Professor Emeritus designation is made to faculty members who have had a distinguished record of service in teaching and research in the University. The honorary award is granted upon, or shortly after, retirement.

Ioannis Chatzis, BASc, MASc, PhD

Faculty of Engineering
Saturday, June 15, evening ceremony

Ioannis (John) Chatzis completed his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo (1979), where he spent over 30 years as a professor (1982-2014) and served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering (1997-2002). His pioneering contributions to the field of porous media have been multifaceted, integrating experiments with theory and simulation. As a result, his research has achieved commercial impact and advanced the fundamental understanding of fluid transport in porous media now included in textbooks. He has been a Professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the Kuwait University since 2015. 

john chatzis headshot


Ellsworth LeDrew, BA, MA, PhD, FIEEE

Faculty of Environment
Tuesday, June 11, afternoon ceremony

Ellsworth LeDrew spent 41 years as a professor at the University of Waterloo. He earned his doctorate from the University of Colorado. As a scholar of Arctic climate change, coral reef responses to climate, and Arctic data stewardship, his most profound contributions have been his research into Arctic sea ice variability and Arctic science data stewardship. He was the founding Editor in Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, was elected fellow of the IEEE and the Canadian Remote Sensing Society, and was the recipient of the Gold Medal by the Canadian Remote Sensing Society, the highest honour of the Canadian remote sensing community. He has served as Associate Dean and interim Dean of the Faculty of Environment.



Distinguished teacher awards

The Distinguished Teacher Award is granted to a professor or lecturer who uses their human quality and concern for the needs of the students to create lasting influence on students and, where relevant, on colleagues. Recipients exhibit intellectual vigour and communication skills in the interpretation and presentation of subject matter, along with evidence of educational impact beyond the classroom.

Steve Balaban, BMath, BBA, CFA

School of Accounting and Finance

Wednesday, June 12, evening ceremony

steve balaban headshot


Robin Cohen, BA, MSc, PhD

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Friday, June 14, afternoon ceremony

robin cohen headshot


Paul Fieguth, BASc, PhD

Department of Systems Design Engineering

Saturday, June 15, morning ceremony

paul fieguth headshot


Andrew Houston, BA, MA, PhD

Theatre and Performance Program
Department of Communication Arts

Wednesday, June 12, afternoon ceremony

andrew houston headshot


Honorary members of the University

The Honorary Member of the University designation is the highest honour a staff member can attain at the University of Waterloo and is granted upon retirement. It recognizes the individual for outstanding service to the university as a whole, not limited to one department or faculty. For faculty members, it recognizes distinctive administrative service to the university.

Ed Jernigan, BSc, MSc, PhD

Faculty of Environment 
Tuesday, June 11, afternoon ceremony

Professor Marvin Edward (Ed) Jernigan joined the young Department of Systems Design Engineering in 1976 from MIT. In his four decades at the University, he was a mentor, friend, and inspiration to students and colleagues alike. An award-winning teacher, his passion is legendary for giving students tools to know the world, and skills to change the world. He exercised this passion in his roles as Chair of Systems Design Engineering, the Director of Shad Waterloo and Waterloo Unlimited enrichment programs, and in the Department of Knowledge Integration, which he founded in 2008.



Judi Jewinski, BA, MA

Faculty of Arts
Wednesday, June 12, morning ceremony

Judi Jewinski is a graduate of the University of Waterloo where she earned her Honours B.A. (1975) and M.A. (1975) in English. She dedicated 47 years of service to the University of Waterloo and its affiliated and federated institutions as a teacher, consultant, and administrator. The first manager of the University of Waterloo’s Writing Clinic, Judi also served as Lecturer, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English, and eventually Administrative Dean at Renison University College. In 2013 she was appointed as the Special Advisor to the Provost on English Language Competency. Ms. Jewinski has also published several books and publications on proper English usage.

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Awards of excellence in graduate supervision

The Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision recognizes exemplary faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in graduate student supervision. An outstanding graduate supervisor is a mentor, advisor, role model, humanist and a strategist and possesses a high level of energy and ingenuity.

David Hammond, BA, MSc, PhD

School of Public Health and Health Systems

Tuesday, June 11, morning ceremony

David Hammond headshot


Randy Harris, BA, MA, MS, MSc, PhD

English Language and Literature

Wednesday, June 12, morning ceremony

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Cameron Stewart, BSc, MSc, PhD

Pure Mathematics

Friday, June 14, morning ceremony

Cameron Stewart headshot