Campus Digest: Dean, alumnae named among influential women

By Communications Staff
November 22, 2012

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Science Guy says the end is 'Nye'

NyePhoto by Mitch Zimmer
Bill Nye – ‘The Science Guy’ – spoke to a packed Alumni Hall Tuesday night. He encouraged the cheering crowd of mainly students to be innovative thinkers, ever-ready to find solutions and live responsibly in a world where climate change is inevitable and population is rapidly increasing. “We’ve got to do more with less so we can change the world,” Nye said.

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Richard Ivey School of Business Dean Carol Stephenson, along with five Western alumnae, have been named among Canada’s most influential women, according to Women of Influence Magazine in the Canadian publication’s 2nd annual Top 25 Women of Influence list, released in its Winter 2012 issue.

The Top 25 Women of Influence program celebrates women who have demonstrated, over the last year, strong and unyielding leadership in one of five distinct sectors. The women listed have an unparalleled reach and influence, today.

“Creating access to role models is the most compelling reason why these achievers must be celebrated,” said Carolyn Lawrence, Women of Influence president and CEO. “The women we profile have made an important impact in their chosen fields and they are all using their influence to change the world, for the better. It is important that they are recognized because they serve as role models for Canadian women and girls. 

“It was how I got inspired at the start of my career, and we’ve been returning the favor every day since.”

Stephenson, on the list for the second time, was named in the Public Sector category for her work developing Ivey’s new $110 million building, including fundraising, site selection, design details and construction plans and bringing the school’s current dispersed programs under one roof.

Western’s alumnae also made a huge splash, occupying a fifth of the list all to themselves.

Sylvia Chrominska, BA’73 (Economics), HBA’75, Scotiabank, Global Human Resources and Communications group head, was named in the Business category. She was recognized for re-launching the bank’s Advancement of Women initiative, making executives more accountable for the advancement of female employees.

Carol Hansell, BA'81(History), Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, senior partner, was named in the Professional Services category. She was honoured for creating a reliable corporate voting system for the benefit of the issuer and their shareholders.

Rosemary McCarney, LLB'77, Plan Canada, president and CEO, was named in the NGO category. She was recognized for the Because I Am A Girl campaign, a global initiative to end gender inequity, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls, and everyone around them, out of poverty. This campaign led to the United Nations designating Oct. 11, 2012 the inaugural ‘International Day of the Girl.’

Bonnie Schmidt, BSc'86, Dipl'88, PhD'93 (Physiology), Let’s Talk Science founder and president, was named in the NGO category. She was honoured for her program’s ability to transform the thinking of young people who see science as an important part of society, but not relevant to them. She gets kids to see so many job opportunities will be closed if they don’t have an open attitude toward these fields.

Karen Stintz, BA’92, Dipl’93 (Political Science, King’s), Toronto City Councilor and TTC chair, was named in the Public Sector category. Stintz was honoured for her ultimate vision to see a TTC – and community – better off in 2014 than when she found it.


  • The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), a research consortium with Western at its core, recently announced its IBM Blue Gene/Q system has been named the fastest in Canada on the Top 500 list of the world’s top supercomputers.
    Established in April, SOSCIP members include the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre as well as seven Ontario universities, led by Western and the University of Toronto. Other participants include McMaster, Queen’s, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Ottawa and Waterloo. 
  • Linda Miller has been re-appointed to a second term as the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) vice-provost through June 30, 2019. She has served as vice-provost since the formation of the school in 2008.
  • Western’s Gerontology in Practice course was honoured recently in the Community Collaboration category of the 6th annual Pillar Community Innovation Awards at the London Convention Centre.
  • Vivek Kalwani, a Richard Ivey School of Business student, was among seven winners of the 2012 Carl Marks Student Paper Competition for his work, An In-Depth Look at Corporate Turnarounds from the Lens of Organizational Learning.
  • The online ordering system reflecting Western’s new brand is now live. Faculties and support units can now order new stationery from the university’s official supplier, Data Group of Companies. Log onto to get started. Using a Western credential, users will need to set up an account in the DATAOnline application upon the first visit. Every visit after that, however, users simply need to log in.
    Contact Nicole Murphy at or 519-472-6555, ext. 230 at Data Group of Companies with any questions or concerns about logging in.
  • Music Theory professor Peter Franck recently received the Society for Music Theory’s 2012 Outstanding Publication Award for his article, ‘A Fallacious Concept': Invertible Counterpoint at the Twelfth within the Ursatz, which appeared in Music Theory Spectrum. The award, given for a distinguished article by an author of any age or career stage, is the highest honour for a scholarly article awarded by this peer-based learned society.
  • London pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago are spotlighted in an exhibition now in the Spencer Gallery, Weldon Library display cases and Schweitzer Gallery in the Archives and Research Collections Centre.
    The pilgrims of the route, popularized in the film The Way with Martin Sheen, have assembled paintings, photos and artifacts of their journeys in Spain and France on the ancient pilgrimage routes. The show runs until Jan. 4. This exhibition is a collaboration with Visual Arts professor Kathryn Brush’s Visual Arts History 2253E: Romanesque and Gothic Art.
  • Western student Joanne Afghani has been awarded one of the four grand prizes across Canada in Samsung’s Campus Mobilers program, recognizing the most passionate students with funding and technology to pursue what they love most. Afghani raises awareness about youth health and funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada. With her $1,500 award, she was able to host a recent fundraiser, Cooking for a Cause, where close to 100 people from the London community participated in an interactive cooking class and learned about the importance of good health and nutrition from expert fitness instructors and nutritionists.
  • ‘Tis the season for the Book Store at Western’s Wreath Decorating Contest. Wreathes are now available at The Book Store for individual departments to pick up, decorate and return by Nov. 30. A maximum of 20 entries will be displayed at the store and voted on by customers. Winners will be announced at noon Dec. 12. The winning department will have a ‘coffee break’ from Great Hall Catering delivered to their office in January. A silent auction will be held Dec. 12-14, with all wreaths auctioned off and proceeds benefitting A Book for Every Child.

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Science meets Hollywood

BaldwinPaul Mayne, Western News
Science met Hollywood Monday night as actor Alec Baldwin joined Western’s Robarts Research Institute for a symposium on the latest advances in spinal cord injury research. The evening featured the presentation of the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine to Reggie Edgerton of the University of California. Following an afternoon symposium, the evening came to a close as Baldwin was joined by Western alumna and CBC News anchor Heather Hiscox, MA’87, for a question-and-answer session surrounding Canada’s innovative role in spinal cord research.














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