Engineering Ambassador Award Dr. Hanan Anis
Dr. Hanan Anis is a Professor for Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, in which she represents the Coordinator of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She acts as NSERC Chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design and Co-founded Ceyba, an optical long-haul networking company in which she is also CTO. Her current research is working to bring nonlinear imaging and sensing closer to the bedside by conceiving all-fiber, ultrafast, high-sensitivity platforms targeted at biomedical applications. She has, in the past, been honored with the prestigious Nortel Innovation award, and the Early Researcher Award, and has amassed $5M in research funding, and $100M in venture capital funding respectively. Dr. Anis founded and directs the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design (CEED) that allows students and community members to access the Richard L’Abbé Makerspace (RLAM), an invent-build-play space. This was the inspiration for future projects, such as Maker Mobile, a mobile Makerspace that over its first fourteen months enticed 19,200 youth to participate. Her impact in Canada doesn’t stop, as she continues to develop new initiatives, such as the uOttawa Women’s Start-up Network for women in technology and engineering, providing mentoring and support for women-led start-ups.
Biomedical Science Ambassador Award Dr. Michael Cusimano
Dr. Cusimano obtained his PhD, MD and Neurosurgery specialty training from the University of Toronto and Cranial Base and Microvascular Surgery from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. From there, he has become an international expert in the fields of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurosurgery and is now a full professor in surgery at University of Toronto, as well as Neurosurgeon in the University Health Network, to name a few. He previously served as Vice-President and before that, National Director of Research for ThinkFirst Canada, a national injury prevention foundation. He has developed collaborations with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Toronto District School Board and presented injury prevention related presentations in their respective schools. In his clinical research, his collaborations have resulted in expansion of several TBI research programs. Dr. Cusimano’s work has been presented at conferences such as American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the Brain Injury Association of Canada among others.
Science Ambassador Award Dr. Stephen Lougheed
Prof. Stephen Lougheed is currently a professor at Queen’s University in the Department of Biology as well as serving the position of Director of the Queen’s University Biology Station (QUBS). His research studies how genetic structure and adaptation of animal populations are affected by abiotic and biotic factors. Dr. Lougheed works to raise public awareness of the importance of science in Canada and around the world exemplified by his engagements with the public in his many visits to China and other countries. His commitment is highlighted in his ambitious pilot of a weeklong QUBS environmental camp for over 50 youth from Beijing. His dedication to Canadian conservation has led to awards such as a recent $9.2M from Genome Canada and other partners to track the impact of climate change on Polar bears, using an innovative non-invasive fecal-based biomarker toolkit. Amongst his other great achievements, Prof. Lougheed is responsible for establishing the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It includes 400 hectares of protected forest and a private lake, and is a unique venue for outreach and education in biodiversity; providing Eco-Adventure Camp for youth 10-14, and hands-on field focused programming, among others.
Technology Ambassador Award Dr. Audrey Girouard
Dr. Audrey Girouard’s work is internationally recognized as leading in the field of human-computer interaction, as she explores the next generation of user interfaces. Her current research focus is in deformable user interfaces and flexible displays and evaluating how the next generation of displays will affect how people interact with them for the purposes of work, play and health. Dr. Girouard received her masters and doctorate in Computer Science from Tufts University and is a tenured professor at Carleton University in the School of Information Technology and cross-appointed with the School of Computer Science. Through her Creative Innovations Website, she features her students’ research, and creates videos to accompany publications. She promotes through media such as YouTube to present to the general public, having her work on the PaperPhone and Snaplet viewed over two million times and 160,000 times respectively. As the first female member of the Carleton School of Information Technology (CSIT), she has been a strong voice to encourage women in a predominately male-dominated field. Finally, Dr. Girouard actively involves herself in hands-on youth outreach, twice acting as mentor for the Virtual Ventures summer camp and encouraging through feedback on the projects the youth create.
Dr. Jonathan Borwein Mathematics Ambassador Award Dr. Nathalie Sinclair
Dr. Sinclair is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University and holds the Canada Research Chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning. She has authored and/or edited several books, some of which serve to develop Teachers’ skills in Mathematics education and others that contribute to the appreciation of the impact of mathematics on our society. Dr. Sinclair’s research has been widely influential, nationally and internationally, generating collaborations in Italy, the UK, Israel, Australia, and the USA. Based on her research, Dr. Sinclair has designed several novel tools that enable learners to interact with mathematics concepts in tangible ways, facilitating a deeper understanding—in her words, giving students “the freedom to think both about the microworld and with it”. Most recently, she co-developed the free iPad app, TouchCounts, which has been shown to develop young children’s fluency in counting and adding and has been downloaded over 800,000 times across ten countries, in six languages. Most importantly, Dr. Sinclair’s research and outreach efforts are tapping into children’s natural abilities in spatial reasoning to engage and motivate them, ensuring that “students can experiment, ask questions, and delight in the wonder of mathematics.”
Ronald G. Calhoun Science Ambassador Award Michelle Brownrigg
Michelle Brownrigg received her M.Sc from the University of Toronto where she now acts as Director of Physical Activity and Equity in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. A former CEO of Active Healthy Kids Canada, she also does independent consulting in various areas of health promotion and school development. Instrumental in the MoveU campaign, she helped enable critical health research to be conducted and improve the health of the student body of University of Toronto, and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as tribute to her dedication. Ms. Brownrigg has been a revelation in health promotion, helping graduate students with analysis and implementation of ideas and initiatives. Alongside research support, she also facilitates linkages with Health and Wellness at the University of Toronto to support physical activity programming as well as overseeing data collection for the National College Health Association which enables the University health care professionals to gain information on the wellbeing of the students in comparison to others in North America.