Media Releases

University of Toronto faculty and alum prominent in list of Order of Ontario appointees

January 31, 2013

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to con­grat­u­lates its many dis­tin­guished fac­ul­ty and alum­ni appoint­ed to the Order of Ontario today.

Among the 25 extra­or­di­nary Ontar­i­ans receiv­ing the province’s high­est hon­our are pro­fes­sors Gail Robin­son, Ron Deib­ert, Izzeldin Abue­laish, Stephen Cook, Shafique Keshav­jee and Rory Fish­er.

Join­ing them on the list of those appoint­ed to Ontar­i­o’s high­est hon­our are Bri­an Stew­art, Dis­tin­guished Senior Fel­low with U of T’s Munk School of Glob­al Affairs, adjunct fac­ul­ty and alum­na Phyl­lis Creighton, alum­ni Anne Gold­en, Dr. Vladimir Hachin­s­kiJoan Green, John Hons­berg­er and the Hon­ourable Syd­ney Robins as well as hon­orary grad­u­ate Deepa Mehta.

“The Order of Ontario rec­og­nizes extra­or­di­nary Ontar­i­ans who have made a last­ing mark on the province, the coun­try and the world,” said the Hon­ourable David C. Onley, Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor of Ontario. “This group of remark­able cit­i­zens has made a dif­fer­ence in the lives of so many peo­ple over the course of a life­time, and I’m proud to invest them with Ontario’s high­est hon­our.”

Onley will invest the appointees at a cer­e­mo­ny Feb. 6, 2013 at Queen’s Park. The list of U of T recip­i­ents of the order includes:

Pro­fes­sor Gail Robin­son of U of T’s Depart­ment of Psy­chi­a­try, cross-appoint­ed to the Depart­ment of Obstet­rics and Gynae­col­o­gy, is inter­na­tion­al­ly respect­ed as a cru­sad­er in the fight against vio­lence toward women. A psy­chi­a­trist and advo­cate, she co-found­ed Canada’s first rape cri­sis cen­tre and helped estab­lish the Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons of Ontar­i­o’s task force on physi­cian-patient sex­u­al abuse.

Dr. Izzeldin Abue­laish, is an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at U of T’s Dal­la Lana School of Pub­lic Health. The Pales­tin­ian physi­cian and inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized human rights and inspi­ra­tional peace activist is devot­ed to advanc­ing health and edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties for women and girls in the Mid­dle East, through his own research and by found­ing the char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tion, The Daugh­ters of Life Foun­da­tion in Toron­to.

Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Stephen Cook is one of the world’s most rec­og­nized and influ­en­tial com­put­er sci­en­tists. A pio­neer in the field of com­pu­ta­tion­al com­plex­i­ty, Cook iden­ti­fies what com­put­ers can and can­not solve effi­cient­ly; his con­cept of ‘NP-com­plete’ is con­sid­ered one of the two most essen­tial prin­ci­ples in com­put­er sci­ence.

Pro­fes­sor Ronald Deib­ert is wide­ly rec­og­nized to be among the world’s lead­ing experts on dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy, secu­ri­ty and human rights. Deib­ert is the direc­tor of the Cit­i­zen Lab at U of T’s Munk School of Glob­al Affairs, and was among the first to rec­og­nize and take mea­sures to mit­i­gate grow­ing threats to com­mu­ni­ca­tions rights, open­ness and secu­ri­ty world­wide.

Pro­fes­sor Shafique Keshav­jee, is a tho­racic sur­geon and world leader in lung trans­plan­ta­tion. The James Wal­lace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery, Dr. Keshav­jee is also pro­fes­sor, Divi­sion of Tho­racic Surgery & Insti­tute of Bio­ma­te­ri­als and Bio­med­ical Engi­neer­ing, and direc­tor, Toron­to Lung Trans­plant Pro­gram. Dr. Keshav­jee’s advances in organ preser­va­tion and repair have sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased the num­ber of donor lungs used to save lives with lung trans­plan­ta­tion.

Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Dr. Rory Fish­er is a pio­neer in the field of geri­atric care, who has made mon­u­men­tal con­tri­bu­tions to the fields of end-of-life care, ethics in geri­atric care and pre­ven­tion of elder abuse. He head­ed the Depart­ment of Extend­ed Care at Sun­ny­brook Hos­pi­tal in Toron­to for almost 20 years.

Bri­an Stew­art is a Dis­tin­guished Senior Fel­low with U of T’s Munk School of Glob­al Affairs. The renowned reporter and for­eign cor­re­spon­dent has cov­ered inter­na­tion­al wars, famine, child slav­ery, geno­cide and many oth­er top­ics over his 48-year career. His qual­i­ty and depth of report­ing have earned him numer­ous awards, includ­ing three Gem­in­is.

Adjunct fac­ul­ty and alum­na Phyl­lis Creighton received her BA and MA from U of T. A pas­sion­ate advo­cate for men­tal and repro­duc­tive health care, social jus­tice, peace and the envi­ron­ment. Creighton chaired the Ontario Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion and the Addic­tion Research Foun­da­tion’s clin­i­cal insti­tute, and held lead­er­ship posi­tions in numer­ous orga­ni­za­tions that ben­e­fit both cur­rent and future Ontar­i­ans

Alum­na Anne Gold­en has made enor­mous con­tri­bu­tions to pub­lic pol­i­cy and civ­il soci­ety over a 40-year career. Gold­en received her BA and PhD from U of T as well an hon­orary doc­tor of laws in 2002. The retired pres­i­dent of the Con­fer­ence Board of Cana­da also served as pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed Way of Greater Toron­to and chaired sev­er­al high-pro­file pub­lic pol­i­cy task forces. She is cur­rent­ly a Dis­tin­guished Vis­it­ing Schol­ar and Spe­cial Advi­sor at Ryer­son Uni­ver­si­ty.

Alum­nus Dr. Vladimir Hachin­s­ki is a world-renowned neu­rol­o­gist and one of the fore­most author­i­ties in the fields of stroke, demen­tia and Alzheimer research. His dis­cov­er­ies have changed think­ing, approach­es and treat­ments, to the ben­e­fit of mil­lions. Dr. Hachin­s­ki is also a pro­fes­sor of neu­rol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Ontario and is cur­rent­ly pres­i­dent of the World Fed­er­a­tion of Neu­rol­o­gy.

Alum­nus Hon­ourable Syd­ney Robins of Toron­to has been a promi­nent fig­ure in Ontar­i­o’s legal pro­fes­sion for more than 50 years. As a Supreme Court of Ontario judge, and a judge of the province’s Court of Appeal, Robins authored many deci­sions cit­ed fre­quent­ly in courts across the coun­try.

Alum­na Joan Green received her BA from St. Michael’s Col­lege, U of T and her B.Ed and M.Ed from OISE at U of T. The Toron­to Board of Edu­ca­tion’s first female CEO and the found­ing CEO of Edu­ca­tion Qual­i­ty and Account­abil­i­ty Office (EQAO), Green has improved the learn­ing expe­ri­ences of Ontar­i­o’s chil­dren and has served the com­mu­ni­ty in a wide range of vol­un­teer roles.

Alum­nus John Hons­berg­er received his BA from U of T. A wide­ly respect­ed Thorn­hill lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in bank­rupt­cy and insol­ven­cy law, for sem­i­nal con­tri­bu­tions to legal edu­ca­tion, his­to­ry and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice. Hons­berg­er was found­ing edi­tor of the Law Soci­ety of Upper Cana­da Gazette.

Hon­orary grad­u­ate Deepa Mehta, an inter­na­tion­al icon in the film indus­try, uses the medi­um to defend human rights and fight social injus­tice. U of T award­ed Mehta the Hon­orary Doc­tor of Laws, hon­oris causa in 2011. A life­time advo­cate for wom­en’s rights, Mehta received the Gov­er­nor Gen­er­al’s Per­form­ing Arts Award for Life­time Artis­tic Achieve­ment in 2012.

Cre­at­ed in 1986, the Order of Ontario, the province’s high­est offi­cial hon­our, rec­og­nizes the high­est lev­el of indi­vid­ual excel­lence and achieve­ment in any field. Nom­i­na­tions are made by mem­bers of the pub­lic. The dead­line for nom­i­na­tions is March 16.


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