Text Only Page



Eight Distinguished Trent Alumni Honoured at Annual Awards Event


Distinguished Alumni, Spirit of Trent, and Young Leader Awards Presented at Summer Solstice Event at Trent University

Saturday, June 21, 2008, Peterborough

Trent University celebrated the official arrival of summer in a special way this year, honouring the accomplishments of eight distinguished Trent alumni at the 2008 Alumni Awards held at the University earlier today.

“The annual Alumni Awards event is an important occasion of recognition and celebration at Trent University,” said Dianne Lister, vice president of external relations and advancement. “Today is an opportunity to recognize and thank all of the alumni who showcase to the world how Trent made a difference in their lives and how they are using their education and experience to make their impact on the world.”

Eight alumni, ranging from Trent’s earliest graduates to some of the more recent, were recognized at the event, which featured a boat cruise on the Otonabee River and a Grand Afternoon tea in a tent outside Alumni House on the University’s Symons campus. The alumni were honoured in three award categories: the Distinguished Alumni Award; the Spirit of Trent Award; and the Young Leader Award, which was presented for only the second time this year.

“In each category, this year’s alumni awards winners have all made quite an impact in a wide variety of fields,” said Matt Griem, president of the Trent University Alumni Association, who acted as emcee for the event. “Collectively, as a group, they help position Trent as a world-class university and they are all a source of great pride within our alumni family.”

The 2008 Alumni Awards recipients are:

Su Ditta, Distinguished Alumni Award
Su Ditta ’73 was presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award for her achievement and leadership in Canadian arts and culture, having worked in sector for approximately 30 years. She has held senior national positions in arts management and curating, including associate curator of Media Arts at the National Gallery of Canada. Currently, Ms. Ditta is president of Wild Ideas Art Consulting, working with organizations such as the Vancouver Art Gallery. She also serves as vice chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. She received a B.A. in Canadian Studies and Politics from Trent University.

Victor Arnold Dyck, Distinguished Alumni Award
Victor Arnold Dyck (M.Sc. ‘67) received the Distinguished Alumni Award for being a leader in the field of entomology. He has served as entomologist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and for his contributions to eradicating insect pests, Mr. Dyck has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. He is also a member of the Order of Canada. When he received his M.Sc. in Entomology from Trent University in 1967, Mr. Dyck was part of Trent’s first graduating class. Currently, Mr. Dyck is a consultant in Entomology for the International Atomic Energy Agency and lives in Austria. He was unable to attend the awards event. Professor Emeritus Roy Edwards accepted the award on Mr. Dyck’s behalf.

Richard Fleming, Distinguished Alumni Award
Richard Fleming ‘68 was honoured with a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for his work in ecology and climate change. A research scientist for the Canadian Forest Service and a professor with the University of Toronto, he uses mathematical and statistical models to forecast the response of forest insect outbreak systems and their interactions with fire to changing climate and human intervention. A world leader in this area, Mr. Fleming has been a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for ten years. The IPCC was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2007. While at Trent, Mr. Fleming won the University’s first Ontario Universities Athletic Association championship in squash in 1972, and often represented Canada internationally. He graduated from Trent with a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics.

Christine Harmston, Distinguished Alumni Award
Christine Harmston ’91 was recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award for her achievement in international development. She is currently a senior advisor to the International Health Division of Health Canada in Ottawa. Previously she worked for the Canadian International Development Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. She has held a variety of international positions, including assignments in Cambodia and on the Thai-Burmese border. Ms. Harmston graduated from Trent’s Special Emphasis in International Studies Program in 1995. She was unable to attend the awards but will be formally presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award during next year’s celebration in Ottawa.

Christine White, Distinguished Alumni Award
Christine White ’77 was presented with a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for her leadership and achievement in Bioarchaeology. One of Canada’s foremost leaders in this field, she is a leading authority in chemical and forensic analysis of human skeletal and mummified remains. She has served as president of the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropologists and has received numerous academic awards, including the Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award. Currently, she holds a prestigious Canada Research Chair in Bioarchaeology and Isotopic Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario and her research attracts widespread media attention and recognition from national and international scholars. Ms. White received a B.Sc. and M.A. in Anthropology from Trent University.

Karin Galldin, Young Leader Award
The 2008 Young Leader Award was presented to Karin Galldin ’96 in honour of the outstanding leadership she has demonstrated in the first ten years of her alumna status. At only 30 years of age, Ms. Galldin is an inspiration to young leaders everywhere. Before becoming a founding partner of the feminist law office Galldin Liew LLP in Ottawa, she interned with a constitutional litigation centre in Africa, was involved in anti-poverty work in Ottawa, and practiced labour and human rights law. While studying Comparative Development and Environmental Studies at Trent, she also played varsity rugby and participated in the Trent in Ghana Year Abroad program.

Paul Davidson, Spirit of Trent Award
For his impressive contributions to community, Paul Davidson ’83 was honoured with the 2008 Spirit of Trent Award. Since 2002, Mr. Davidson has served as executive director of World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a leading Canadian international development agency that links Canadian colleges and universities with development activities overseas. Before joining WUSC, he worked in Canadian book publishing, government relations, and at Queen’s Park. Mr. Davidson received a B.A. in History and Politics from Trent University. He currently lives in Chelsea, Quebec.

Helen Sweet, Spirit of Trent Award
A second Spirit of Trent Award was presented to Helen Sweet ’86, creator and owner The Brides’ Project in Toronto, a company that receives gifts of wedding gowns from brides and corporate donors and sells them to raise money for charities including the Canadian Cancer Society. While operating The Project, Ms. Sweet also finds time to run Maternity Bride Canada and volunteer with Volunteer Services Overseas. She is also an accomplished designer, creating wedding veils that are sold across Canada, the US and the UK, and a licensed officiant. Before creating The Project, Ms. Sweet worked as a research consultant for Decima Research and with Hay Management Consultants. She received her B.Sc. in Psychology from Trent. Ms. Sweet was unable to attend the awards but was presented with the Spirit of Trent Award in Toronto last week.

The 2008 Alumni Awards event was generously sponsored by Wellington West Clearsight Investment Program, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, and IA Pacific.


For full descriptions of each Alumni Award category, visit www.trentu.ca/alumni/awardsandhonours

For more information, please contact:
Tony Storey, director of alumni affairs, Trent University, 705-748-1599 or tstorey@trentu.ca