Class Notes from the Fall 2021 Alumni Gazette


Bruce Thorne, BESc'67, has been volunteering full-time for a variety of organizations, including the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Cancer Society, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Douglas A. Morrison, HBA'66, retired after 50 years as a university professor and was presented with the University Service Award from Syracuse University and the State University of New York. Prior to teaching, Douglas counselled returning veterans and those fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
James Bartleman, BA'63, LLD'02, was named an Ambassador of Note for 2020-21 by the Canadian Ambassadors Alumni Association.
Peter Harris, HBA'64, was appointed chair of the Ontario Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.
Sherrill Grace, BA'65, published her biography on Canadian writer Timothy Findley, Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley, through Wilfred Laurier University Press.


Barbara Hoover, BA'77, MEd'94, LLB'99, retired after a 17-year career in teaching and nearly 20 years practising as a family lawyer. She is happy to be spending more time with her husband Eric Hoar, BA'69.
Dave Ryde, BESc'74, retired from his engineering career and moved back to St. Marys, Ont. from the Columbus, OH area with his wife Brenda.
David Patchell-Evans, BA'77, the founder of GoodLife Fitness, was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame on May 27, 2021.
Don Hunter, BESc'70, was appointed the inaugural chair of the United Property Resource Corp., a company established by the United Church of Canada in partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to build 5,000 affordable housing units across the country over the next 15 years. Many of these new housing units will be built on under-utilized church properties.
Elaine Kozak, MLIS'76, published her second fiction book, The Lighthouse, which won a Canada Book Award.
Ian Ellingham, MBA'79, authored the book Understanding Ugly: Human Response to Buildings in the Environment, which proposes a more evidence-based approach to what we build.
Janet Louise Wilson, BA'73, was a 2021 recipient of the Governor General's Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers for her work with Regina Lyric Musical Theatre.
Judy Monk Bidgood, BA'72, released a children's book titled Slimy Slick, which made Amazon's #1 bestseller list.
Kiyoko Miyanishi, MSc'79, published her third book, Plant Disturbance Ecology, 2nd edition, with her husband Ed Johnson. She is a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph.
Laurence Hutchman, BA'72, published Swimming Toward the Sun: Collected Poems: 1968-2020. He and his wife, Eva Kolacz, also published a book of poems titled Fire and Water together.
Rob Reid, BA'77, is the chair of the Terry Fox Centre in Vancouver, BC.
Sandra Wilson Wallis, BA'74, won a publishing contest with Word Alive Press for her book Not What I Bargained for: My Journey Raising Four Incredible Kids, Including Two with Severe Medical Conditions.
Sylvia Smitas, BA'79, On Oct. 5, 2019, alumni friends met up in Kitchener, Ont. for a 43-year reunion. 'Six young men lived together in a house on Victoria Street in London, Ont. from 1975 to 1976. After many emails back and forth, we managed to find everyone and decided on a time and place to get together. Both Sylvia and Pat were good friends of the group. Unfortunately, Graham Smith, who came to Western from Bermuda, was not able to join us, but we FaceTimed him. Times have changed since we were 19 or so. A few pounds, ten children, a few health issues and grandchildren! We are lucky to all be healthy and happy! The guys are all retired, except Graham. Sylvia and Pat are both still working hard. We have so much to be thankful for, including meeting at Western and like this 43 years later! (Left to right: John Hazell, BA'77; Brian Farn, BSc'74, BESc'78; Ken Speare, BA'76; Sylvia Smitas, BA'79; Greg Mavin, BA'78; Graeme Walker, BESc'78; and Pat Petch Hazell, BA'79.)


Candace Bloom Bell, MLIS'85, was appointed vice-chair of the Veterans Reference Board at the Royal's Centre of Excellence for PTSD.
David Mills, BA'83, published his comedy novel titled Of Hearts and Livers.
Dennis Bock, BA'89, published a novel titled The Good German with HarperCollins.
J. Craig Foxcroft, BA'88, retired from his 30-year career at General Motors/General Dynamics in Dec. 2018.
Jim Chung, BSc'87, DDS'91, published Discovering Wildlife in Toronto's Don Valley, the first photographic study of urban wildlife in Toronto presented as a coffee table-style pictorial.
Madeline Sonik, BA'85, MA'86, published a book of short stories titled Fontainebleau through Anvil Press.


Alexandra Kitty, MA'96, released four books in 2020: The Mind Under Siege: Mechanisms of War Propaganda; The Dramatic Moment of Fate: The Life of Sherlock Holmes in Theatre; The Art of Kintsugi: Learning the Japanese Craft of Beautiful Repair; and A New Approach to Journalism.
Catherine Bell, BA'93, joined the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation, led by the former premier of New Brunswick, as an expert panel member.
Claire Brown, PhD'98, received an Imaging Scientist Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. She was the only Canadian out of 40 other scientists from around the world to receive this honour.
Craig William Sigurdson, BSW'98, Cert'01, was appointed as a justice at the Ontario Court of Justice in Dec. 2020. He remains an active member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Damhnait Monaghan, LLB'92, published her debut novel, New Girl in the Little Cove, through HarperCollins Canada and Graydon House Books in the U.S. It was selected as one of Indigo's most anticipated rom-coms.
Geraldine Moriba, BA'90, was named senior vice-president of news and entertainment at the Grio.
Gervan Fearon, PhD'99, was named president of George Brown College. Prior, he was president of Brock University.
Gillian Tessis, BA'95, launched her company, Gillian Tessis Executive Search, in 2017.
Katherine Ponte, BA'91, is a mental health advocate, writer, entrepreneur and lawyer. She is the founder of an online mental illness peer support community,, which was inspired by her own struggle with severe bipolar 1 disorder. She also recently published a book on mental illness recovery.
Kelly Watson, BA'99, released a book, The Next Smart Step: How to Overcome Gender Stereotypes and Build a Stronger Organization, with her business partner.
Lance Triskle, BA'97, published his first book, Guide to Martin's Annual Criminal Code, 3rd edition. He is currently a professor of community safety at Georgian College.
Lehana Thabane, PhD'98, became vice-president of research at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.
Madhur Anand, BSc'93, PhD'97, published her book titled This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart through Penguin Random House Canada, which won the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. She's also a professor of ecology at the University of Guelph.
Mark Mathieson, BA'99, has been a leading voice in the U.S. on COVID-19. After being published in the esteemed 'CIDRAP: The Viewpoint,' he and his co-authors have been endorsed by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Atlantic. He has been a contributor and personality with ESPN, CNN, NBC and CBS, where he provides insights on the best ways to manage and maneuver through the global pandemic.
Michael Copeland, LLB'93, MBA'99, was named chief commercial officer at Woodbine Entertainment.
Mirko Petricevic, MA'98, and a group of former newsroom staffers at the Waterloo Region Record started a grassroots campaign called 'Ink-Stained Wretches,' which aims to encourage elected leaders to create an ecosystem in which local journalism can thrive.
Rhodora Meliton-Vanderpool, BA'98, BEd'99, , published her first children's book, Stick to Your Vision: Young Maestro Goes to School, with Canadian hip-hop legend Wes 'Maestro' Williams (also known as Maestro Fresh Wes).
Robert Labatt, MBA'99, started a new company, Inland Logistics, which does last-mile delivery for top 100 U.S. retailers. He has been living in the San Francisco Bay area for the last 20 years and is married with two children.
Ryan Clarke, LLB'93, was appointed to McMaster University's Board of Governors.
Shari Cust St. Peter, BA'95, was appointed as a justice of the peace for the Ontario Court of Justice in Feb. 2020..
Tim Covell, BA'95, published his third academic article, 'Government Versus Industry Self-Regulation: Film Classification in Canada and the United States,' in the Journal of Canadian Studies. He is also preparing to publish his first romance novel, Ocean's Lure.


Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi, BSc'08, was appointed assistant dean of social accountability in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.
Derrick Fournier, BESc'06, HBA'06, MBA'10, was promoted to vice-president of business insights and analytics (global product development and supply) at Bristol Myers Squibb.
Henry Svec, MA'08, PhD'13, released his first novel, Life is Like Canadian Football and Other Authentic Folk Songs, with Invisible Publishing.
Jacqueline Hopmeyer, BMOS'08, gave birth to her second son. Her first son, Harry, was born in 2018 and is very excited to be a big brother.
Jade Woo-Yam-Tung Timmons, BA'04, welcomed a baby girl in Aug. 2020.

Jodi Greydanus Roelands, BA'05, founded Roelands Plant Farms and Plantables, recognized as one of Canada's top 400 fastest growing companies by The Globe and Mail. Jodi and her husband Adrian also received Ontario's Outstanding Young Farmers award in 2016.

Julia Katsivo Carter, BA'02, has been busy coaching female entrepreneurs. She has also recently gotten married, been featured in Forbes, and won awards for public speaking, business and community initiatives.
Julie Montes, BMSc'07, BEd'11, and wife Kacey Leslie, welcomed their son, Edison 'Eddie' Manuel Leslie-Montes, on Dec. 5, 2020. 'Both mamas are over the moon with the first addition to their family!'
Livia Tang, BA'01, currently resides in Hong Kong and is working with gifted children aged 10 to 18.

Lorin MacDonald, JD'09, launched HearVue, a social enterprise that promotes captioning for people with hearing impairments. Their first captioning event was for Michelle Obama in Hamilton, Ont.

Mike Bickerton, BA'01, won a 2021 Canadian Screen Award for Canada's Drag Race.
Noam Franklin, BA'04, received a 2020 Rising Stars in Real Estate award by Crain's New York.
Robin Crozier Kool, MA'03, wrote a screenplay for the feature film, The Sanctuary. It's now available in Canada on Hollywood Suite.
Roy Butler, PhD'02, was appointed president and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care London.


Alexander Marchand, BSc'18, MA'20, broke the Guinness World Record for the 'most full twisting back somersault burpees in a minute' with nine.

Alizabeth George-Antone, BEd'13, MPEd'15, became the Indigenous community liaison advisor for the City of London's anti-racism and anti-oppression division.
Alshaan Kassam, BA'18, became a regional product and service assurance manager at Fusion Systems Group in Japan.
Amy Sivanesan, BSc'18, became a senior financial analyst for Roots Canada.
Andrea Feldman-Kohlver, BA'13, welcomed her twins, Bryce and Brooklyn, in Oct. 2020.
Becky Keast, BA'10, and her partner welcomed their first daughter, Kennedy, in July 2020.

Brittani Schroeder Hamilton, BA'17, married husband Luke in Sept. 2020.

Chad Sasko and Taylor Field, both BMOS'10, appeared on an episode of Dragon's Den to pitch their 'Brokini,' a one shoulder bathing suit for men.
Danielle Perro, BMSc'18, is a doctorate student at the University of Oxford and has launched a podcast on endometriosis with a fellow lab partner.
Daryl Waud, BA'16, and Elena Koskinas, BSc'15, got engaged in Ireland where Daryl is studying law and Elena is studying medicine. They met at Western in 2011 when they were both residents of Essex Hall and have been together ever since.
Erin Kearney, BA'14, became the associate city solicitor for the City of Kitchener in Jan. 2021.
Frank Qin, BA'14, co-founded Ontario-based Mary Agrotechnologies, which has secured a highly-coveted licence to grow hemp for CBD in China.
Jesse Minns, and Nicole Madigan, both BSW'16, MSW'17, got married.
Jordan Wajs, JD'18, HBA'18, became an associate in Stikeman Elliott LLP's litigation and dispute resolution group.
Kaitlyn Gooding, BSc'15, got engaged to her long-time partner, Austen Querino, BMOS'15, who she met while living at Perth Hall in first year.
Kevin Vuong, BMOS'11, got a corgi puppy named Maple. 'She has a #purpleandproud bark!'
Kirstin Wood Novak, BA'10, and her husband welcomed their second child, Myla, on June 10, 2021. Her older sister Neveaeh is 'a great little helper.'
Kurt Downes, MA'12, was named Community Builder of the Year at Canadian Running Magazine's 2020 Golden Shoe Awards.
Mahathi Mundluru, HBA'18, competed on season 4 of the Great Canadian Baking Show.

Matt Bertram, BESc'10, is a project engineer at Skelton Brumwell & Associates Inc. in Barrie, Ont. He was recently named one of Rock to Road magazine's Top 10 Under 40 award recipients.

Maximilian Specht, MA'15, joined Personio, Europe's largest HR tech software company, to lead their English content marketing efforts.
Melissa McIlwain Bush, BA'14, and her husband welcomed a baby boy named Owen on April 28, 2020.
Michaela Latta, BA'17, accepted her first teaching position with the Northwest Catholic District School Board in Fort Frances, Ont.
Rachel Dengate Janzem, BA'14, got married to her partner Brycen on Oct. 17, 2020.
Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, EdD'18, released her first book, Calm Within the Storm, which weaves research, personal narrative and practical application together to help readers better understand the complexity of resiliency.
Sandra Harnum, MLIS'15, started her first full-time librarian job in April 2020.
Sarah McFarlane, BSc'14, MSc'16, started working for InsideScientific.
Stacey Clark, BMOS'15, purchased her first home in the spring of 2021.
Tatiana Enhorning, BA'12, started a full-service financial advisory practice.
Vanessa Lee, MSc'16, and Brandon Harvey, MD'18, got married in Oct. 2020.


Anirban Banerjee, PhD'19, accepted a postdoctoral fellow position in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo.
Elif Beyatli, BA'20, began a master of teaching degree at the University of Toronto.
Erika Jansen, BA'20, got married in June 2020.
John Fortner, BA'20, accepted a full-time position as a financial services representative at Libro Credit Union.
Madison Klodt, BScN'20, has been working on the frontlines of COVID-19 as a registered nurse in Hamilton, Ont.
Maryam Ghahremani, PhD'20, successfully wrote and defended her thesis. She was the first in her program to do this virtually due to the pandemic.
Monika Nabizade, BSc'20, was accepted to medical school in Ukraine.
Nico Waltenbury, BA'20, HBA'20, accepted his offer to join the first class of McCall MacBain Scholars at McGill University.
Parteek kaur Smagh, MEng'20, got engaged.
Sunera Rahman, BSc'20, became a lab analyst at SC Johnson and is working on a London-based start-up with some fellow Western alumni.
Suzette Vacianna, MPEd'20, and her husband Henry celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in Dec. 2020.
Tessie Spyksma, MCISc'20, got her first job as a speech-language pathologist.
Yin Gao, MA'20, married her husband Miguel in California.

In Memoriam

Barbara Alexandra Coatsworth McElya, BA'08, passed away on Nov. 19, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer. She leaves behind her husband David and their seven-year-old daughter, Blythe.
Carl Ohlson, MBA'61, passed away of complications from Parkinson's disease on July 21, 2020.
Carol (Cossar) Murray, BA'78, BEd'81, passed away on June 9, 2020, in Calgary, Alta. after a short but courageous battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband Gary W. Murray, BA'78, MA'80.
Charles Edmund Thomas, MA'82, LLB'85, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 10, 2020, in Stratford, Ont. He was a retired military major and had been studying towards his doctorate in law.

Clifford G. Arnott, MBA�62, passed away on July 16, 2020 in Amherstburg, Ont.

Conrad Kristian Odegaard, BSc'69, MEng'74, passed away on June 30, 2019. He was an elementary school teacher, meteorologist, and later co-founded Grains, Beans and Things, and Street Farm Products.

David Frederick Morrison, BA�65, passed away on Sept. 4, 2020, in Baysville, Ont. He is survived by his partner Margaret Carson Morrison, BScN�66, and children Michael, Janet, David and John, as well as seven beloved grandchildren.

Donald Henderson, BA'60, passed away on Aug. 7, 2020. He practised law in St. Catharines and Thorold for over 55 years.
Dr. Edward Roemmele, MD'50, passed away on Aug. 7, 2020, peacefully at his home. He was part of a special class of veterans known as 'Meds '50' and went on to practise medicine in Windsor, Ont. for over 50 years.
Eileen Hartigan, BA'50, passed away peacefully on Dec. 27, 2020. She loved spending time with family and friends, a good cup of tea, a clever joke, Jane Austen novels, traveling by ship, classic movies and music, and had a great sense of humor.
Genevieve Westcott, MA'78, passed away on July 10, 2020, in New Zealand with family by her side.
George Arnold Pearce, MD'55, passed away on Oct. 14, 2020. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force before starting a career in family medicine.
Greg Greenham, HBA'76, passed away on Oct. 19, 2020, in Toronto, after a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He owned and operated Greg Greenham Annuity and Insurance Agency for many years and was an accomplished athlete.
Harold Heft, PhD'94, passed away from an inoperable brain tumour in 2015. Before this, he co-edited a book of non-fiction stories titled A Perfect Offering: Personal Stories of Trauma and Transformation, which was published by Mosaic Press in Jan. 2021.
Harvey MacLeod Lewis, Dip'46, passed away on Oct. 13, 2020, in Louisbourg, N.S.
Helen Dewar McLean, Dip'55, passed away on March 21, 2019. She battled Type 1 diabetes for over 60 years and was a recipient of the Diabetes Half Century Award.

James (Jim) Mucklow, MESc�90, passed away on Oct. 28, 2020, in Thunder Bay, Ont. after a four-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. Jim was a professional engineer whose work took him across Canada, which he loved because it meant discovering new places and people.

Jim Hayhurst Sr., BA'85, passed away on Feb. 29, 2020, at his farm near Collingwood, Ont.
Joe Arvay, LLB'74, passed away on Dec. 7, 2020, in Vancouver, BC. After graduating Western, he went on to earn a LLM from Harvard and taught law for several years at the University of Windsor before becoming a constitutional lawyer with the British Columbia Attorney General. Arvay later left the government for private practice. He was appointed Queen's Counsel at the age of 38 and was later awarded the Order of Canada.
John Carrothers, BA'86, passed away on May 22, 2019, in his 88th year. Throughout his life, John was an industrious fellow who loved to tinker with machines and renovate houses. At the ripe age of 85, he could be found at his grandparents' 122-year-old home rewiring the old place to 'bring it up to code.' John worked for Western for 34 years as a works project supervisor and was involved in the construction of almost every building at the university until his retirement in 1994. John believed in the power of higher education and spent much of this time in his life taking night courses before graduating from Western in 1986. He is remembered as a kind, generous and loving husband and father who always put others before himself, as well as for his priceless sense of humour.
Katie Warfield, BA'01, passed away May 8, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was a distinguished scholar and beloved faculty member in Kwantlen Polytechnic University's department of journalism and communication studies.
Laurie Brown, BA'00, passed away on March 18, 2021, after 30 years battling brain tumours that began at age 15. He was a man of deep faith and loved nothing more than spending quality time with family.
Lois Farley, BA'51, passed away on Nov. 12, 2020. She spent more than 20 years teaching at various schools in the London and Middlesex area and volunteering in the community, including as the first female director of the Progressive Conservatives of Elgin.
Mary Elizabeth Matthews, BScN'11, passed away in a tragic hiking accident on Sept. 6, 2020, at the age of 31. She was an ambitious, well-respected nurse who pursued a master's in health leadership and policy after her time at Western.
May Parkinson, BA'49, passed away on Aug. 17, 2020. Her passion for education led to a long career as a school board trustee, where she received many awards from the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, Ontario School Trustee Council, and Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation.
Nellie Jamsa McLaughlin, BA'53, passed away on Feb. 8, 2020.
Noel Andrew Gallagher, Dip'74, passed away on Oct. 27, 2020, in London, Ont.
Paul Soles, BA'53, passed away on May 6, 2021. Perhaps best known for portraying Hermey the Elf in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and Peter Parker in Spiderman (1967), he enjoyed a career that took him all over the world, including to Broadway. He will be remembered as a creative, charming and principled man.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, LLD'83, passed away peacefully on April 9, 2021. This photo from 1959 shows Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on campus as part of their Canadian Royal Tour. After entering J.W. Little Memorial Stadium, Prince Philip asked, 'If this is the little stadium, where is the big one?' His Royal Highness returned to Western in 1983 for a special Canada Day convocation ceremony, where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws.

(London Free Press Collection of Negatives/ Western Archives)

Ryan Nickerson, HBA'80, and his son Hugh passed away after a tragic accident on the Capilano River in North Vancouver on Oct. 1, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Barb, and daughter, Emily.
Walter Bruce Hill, BA'61, passed away on Dec. 11, 2020, in Perth, Australia.
Zelma Irene Williams Hardy, BA�80, passed away on Jan. 26, 2021, in London, Ont. She was a beloved teacher who spent several years tutoring after retirement.

Share your news and photos with fellow Western alumni

We want to hear from you. Have you taken on a new job, got married, had a baby, taken the trip of your dreams? Please let us know using our online Class Notes form so we can share your news with former classmates and with the Western alumni family around the world.