Distinguished geochemist and top female scientist among honorees at Spring 2015 convocation

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In two ceremonies today, the Faculty of Science held its 110th Convocation ceremony to celebrate the achievements of four highly distinguished honorees and 779 graduating students. Among them, 699 Bachelor degrees, 58 Master degrees and 22 Doctoral degrees were conferred.  

The morning ceremony graduated students from Biochemistry, Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy, Biotechnology/Economics, Chemistry, Computational Science, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Physics, Science, Science and Aviation, and Science and Business. The valedictory address was given by Nicollette Georgina Zaptses.

Feridun and BroeckerDr. Wallace Broecker (right), Newberry Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Columbia University was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the morning ceremony.

A true pioneer, Broecker is arguably one of the most accomplished living geochemists in the world. For more than half a century, his research has refined what we know about the ocean’s effects on climate change.

He is the father of the concept of abrupt climate change and coined the term global warming. Broecker was also the first to identify the ocean conveyor belt, the system of thermohaline currents that moves water around the globe.

The afternoon ceremony graduated students from Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Optometry and Vision Science, Pharmacy and Psychology. The valedictory address was given by Rishi Sharma.

Feridun and GloverDr. Anne Glover, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at Aberdeen University also received a honorary Doctor of Science degree. 

Glover's research focuses on microbial biodiversity and the application of microbes as biosensors and indicators for bioremediation. Her work has played a critical role in the commercialization of biosensor technology to diagnose environmental pollution and provide solutions for pollution cleanups.

Throughout her career, Glover has helped to promote excellence in science, engineering and technology, working proactively to raise the profile of women in these disciplines. A top scientist, she was made a Women of Outstanding Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology in 2008.

She is also a Dame of the British Empire and the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission.  

Niels Bols

Recognizing their exceptional service and contributions to Waterloo Science, Professor Niels Bols (left) and Professor William Taylor from the Department of Biology were both awarded the title, Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

During his 35 years at Waterloo, Professor Bols has played the role of both an excellent researcher and inspiring teacher. He is best known for his remarkable generation and maintenance of cell lines for detailed experimental work and has taught decades worth of student cohorts in the first-year cell biology course.

President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Dr. Bill TaylorProfessor Bill Taylor (right) and current Chair for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has been a faculty member since 1981. His research focuses on the pollution of surface water and has had a profound impact on issues of human health and the economy.

Chemistry Professor Kam Tong Leung and Physics Professor Robert Mann received Awards of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. 

Leung is noted as a caring and compassionate supervisor who keeps in contact with his students long after they leave his lab. His students consider themselves extremely fortunate to have him as a mentor. 

Mann has a knack for inspiring a sense of wonder and curiosity about the universe, helping students find their passion, and working hard to nurture that passion. He works tirelessly and effectively to help his students make a successful start in their careers. 

Yuqing TangYuqing Tang (left) received the Alumni Gold Medal. The award recognizes top graduating students from each Faculty, at the Master or Doctoral level, for their academic achievements.

Leonard Angka (Fall 2014), ​Vivek Labhishetty, Zheng Shao​, ​Lilian Tran and Taylor May Urquhart received the Dean of Science Awards in recognition of the creative research presented in their Master's thesis.

Andrew Achkar, Keith Delaney (Fall 2014), Alex Hui (Fall 2014), Nguyen Tran Khoi Vo and Stephen Winter received the W. B. Pearson Medal for recognition of the creative research presented in their doctoral thesis.

Stephen Winter receive the award for outstanding achievement in graduate studies at the doctoral level.

Congratulations honorees and all Faculty of Science graduates!