Honorary Degree Recipients 2020
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The 2020 honorary degree recipients are:
In 2011, Lisa LaFlamme was named chief news anchor and senior editor of CTV National News. After 30 years as a familiar face on Canadian television, Ms. LaFlamme, has also blazed a trail for women in news broadcasting.
The veteran reporter, regularly interviews world leaders and has reported from the epicenter of breaking news in Canada and throughout the globe. Ms. LaFlamme is known for bringing the story from the treacherous front lines in the war against ISIS from Iraq and the Canadian combat mission in Afghanistan, she has covered major natural disasters and leads live coverage of top current events such as elections, Olympic Games, Papal enclaves and royal weddings.
Ms. LaFlamme began her news career in 1988 as a copy writer and script assistant. She worked her way up to radio news and then television reporting at CTV in her hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. She became a National news reporter for CTV in 1997 and subsequently worked as a consumer reporter, parliamentary correspondent, foreign and national affairs correspondent as well as co-host of Canada AM.
Through Lisa’s unwavering commitment to telling the story of human rights, poverty and world issues, she exemplifies Trent University’s vision for its students “to develop a learning environment which ensures that the individual student is knowledgeable, thinks critically, is socially conscious and is prepared to make a difference in society.” Lisa embodies the characteristics that the University wishes to instill into its students, and she would serve as a remarkable role model for Trent students. This is demonstrated not only in her commitment to ethically sound journalism, but also in her volunteer commitments around the world, including educating future journalists and advocating for education in war-torn and impoverished countries. –anonymous nominator
Ms. LaFlamme is a strong advocate for democracy in journalism. As a volunteer for Journalists for Human Rights, she mentors young journalists, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, empowering them to report the news in places where freedom of the press barely exists. She is also involved with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, a charity that advances education and educational opportunities for Afghan women and their families. The organization also educates Canadians about human rights in Afghanistan. Ms. LaFlamme brings attention to child poverty around the world with a spotlight on women and girls through her role as an ambassador for Plan International.
In 2019, Ms. LaFlamme was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada for her contributions to journalism and support of human rights. She was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2016 for her work promoting human rights and improving access to education for Afghan women.
In her time as Chief Anchor, she has consistently been named Best National News Anchor at the Canadian Screen Awards (CSA) and since 2011 has won the CSA repeatedly for Best National Newscast, as well as the Radio Television Digital News Association RTDNA Bert Canning Award for Best Network Television Newscast. She received the President’s Award from the RTDNA in 2016 and was named as one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women, by the Women’s Executive Network in 2014.
Ms. LaFlamme received the Daughters for Life, Industry Luminary Award in 2014. She was awarded with the Distinguished Canadian Award and the Meritas-Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement from, her alma mater, the University of Ottawa.
She was recognized with an honorary Doctorate from the University of Windsor in 2018, the University of Ottawa in 2014 and from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2006.
In acknowledgment of the recognition from Trent University, Ms. LaFlamme states, “I am thrilled and humbled to be awarded an honorary degree from Trent University, a school that truly reflects my own passion for democracy and diversity. I spent time on the Trent campus during the 2019 Federal election campaign and witnessed first-hand how the faculty empowers students to challenge the status quo and to use their own voices. I was overwhelmed to meet so many enthusiastic students armed with the critical thinking skills that will make them future leaders in our country. Education is without a doubt the key to an equal world and this great honour from Trent University means the world to me.”
Dr. Ilse Treurnicht has a penchant for startup businesses and knows the positive, multi-faceted impact that innovation can create. As one of Canada's first female CEOs of a venture capital fund, she is a powerful voice for women. Born and raised in South Africa, the Rhodes Scholar came to Canada as a post-doctoral researcher after completing her D.Phil. in Chemistry at Oxford University.
Following her experiences as an entrepreneur, a business executive in technology companies and as CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, she accepted the role of CEO at MaRS Discovery District in 2005. She oversaw the development and operation of the MaRS Centre and its entrepreneurship and innovation programs. She worked with Toronto academic institutions and teaching hospitals to create MaRS Innovation, an integrated commercialization platform for commercializing research. As a scientist, academic, business executive and innovator, Dr. Treurnicht brought her vision and knowledge to the Toronto-based innovation hub, now known the throughout the world.
MaRS serves as a launchpad for startups, a platform for researchers and a home to innovators - bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, leading corporations, academics and government partners. Together they work to impact key areas such as health, cleantech, finance and commerce. The organization supports over 1,200 young Canadian science and technology companies, providing critical connections to customers, capital and talent.
“As one of Canada's first female CEOs of a venture capital fund, Dr. Treurnicht’s leadership promotes measures to improve economic and social prosperity, and to help break the glass ceiling for other women. A tireless advocate for building a Canadian innovation ecosystem that fosters both economic and social prosperity, Dr. Treurnicht serves as an inspirational honorary degree for the newest class of Trent alumni.” -anonymous nominator
Dr. Treurnicht is an active member of Canada’s innovation community. She was chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance (2010), served on the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (2014-2016), Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth (2016-2019) and on the boards of several technology firms and non-profit organizations. She is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking and chairs the Impact Canada Advisory Committee. She also serves as executive chair of Triphase Accelerator Corporation (a cancer drug development firm), chair of the Public Policy Forum, and a director of the Equality Fund.
Dr. Treurnicht was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2017 and holds honorary doctorate degrees from Ontario Tech (formerly UOIT, 2014) , Western University (2017) and the University of Toronto (2018). She is a strong advocate for women in innovation, and has been honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award (Hall of Fame).
A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Treurnicht received her D.Phil. in Chemistry from the University of Oxford. She completed graduate and undergraduate degrees in South Africa.
In acknowledgement of the recognition from Trent University Dr. Treurnicht states, “I am deeply honoured and grateful to receive this recognition from Trent University, and look forward to sharing an important milestone celebration with the remarkable graduates from the University. These are extraordinary times - Canada and the world need their knowledge, energy and leadership.”
Mr. Mobeen Khaja is devoted to building bridges of understanding between people from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures. An accomplished leader and activist, Mr. Khaja and his family became Canadian citizens soon after moving to Canada in 1974. Since then he has worked tirelessly to encourage respect and mutual understanding among all Canadians through his outreach work via religious groups, police, government, communities, education and even tourism.
In 1998 Mr. Khaja founded the Association of Progressive Muslims of Ontario (APMO) and the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada (APMC) in 2002. Both are government incorporated, non-profit organizations. While projecting core Islamic values of peace, justice, respect, understanding and equality, their mandate is to foster understanding between communities and faith groups and serve the needs of the Muslim community.
Under Mr. Khaja’s leadership, APMC and APMO organized the first celebrations of Eid on Parliament Hill and at Queen's Park and the Toronto City Hall. In honour of Ramadan, they organized Iftar dinners at the Ottawa City Hall, uniting faiths, cultures, parliamentarians and diplomats. Annual APMC Canada Day celebrations have been organized since 1999 in Toronto and Canadian Citizenship ceremonies have been added to these since 2016.
Mr. Khaja also organized an International Visitor Leadership program for Muslim university students in July 2012 in partnership with the Embassy of the United States. He recently led a delegation of APMC members and youth to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis and leaders from the Pontifical Council of Interreligious Dialogue and the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies to establish connections for further inter-faith dialogue. In partnership with the Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham, Mr. Khaja is also the Co-chair of the Taste of Asia Festival, the largest Asian festival in Canada.
In 2019, Mr. Khaja sponsored a merit-based scholarship at Trent University open to undergraduate students of all faiths whose efforts reflect the importance of promoting peace, justice, respect, understanding and equality.
Mr. Khaja is also one of the founders of New Canada Movement, an organization that focuses on social justice, fairness and equity in the areas of immigration, employment, education, human rights, environment, seniors and youth.
Mr. Khaja is a long-time resident of Durham Region. As Vice-president of the Multicultural Council of Oshawa-Durham and President of the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association for several years, he organized educational and social activities to enhance race relations.
Mr. Khaja was the recipient of the Order of Ontario in January 2011 for his contributions to promoting peace and cross-cultural understanding between Muslims and other religious and ethnic groups. He was named by Peace Quest, a non-profit, non-denominational, non-partisan organization that supports and facilitates peace-building initiatives across Canada, as one of the 150+ Canadians Who Contributed to Peace. Mr. Khaja was awarded the Senate’s 150th Anniversary Medal and also the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
In acknowledgment of the recognition from Trent University, Mr. Khaja states, “I am deeply touched and moved to receive the honorary degree from Trent University. In the past, I have received the Order of Ontario, Peace Quest Award as one of the 150+ Canadians who contributed to peace, Senate’s 150th Anniversary Medal and Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal. However it is indeed an incredible honour to receive this honorary degree in the presence of so many scholars, professors, teachers and graduating young people who are ready to contribute and serve our country.”
Devoted to preserving the natural heritage that surrounds us, Ronald Reid continues to make an indelible impact on the physical landscape throughout Ontario, preserving its wildlife, habitats and ecosystems for generations to come.
Throughout his long career as a natural heritage consultant and a field biologist, Mr. Reid’s work has played a pivotal role in designing and assessing conservation strategies from the Toronto waterfront and wetlands, to the Niagara Escarpment, protected areas in Muskoka, Simcoe County and throughout the Canadian Shield.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Reid led a successful campaign for a provincial wetland conservation policy that evaluates and protects wetlands from development. His teambuilding and negotiating work through Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy helped create a landmark agreement that added 2.4 million acres in 378 parks and other protected areas, the largest expansion of the Ontario's parks system ever. His work also protected thousands of acres of globally rare limestone alvar habitats.
He brought together conservation and industry through the Ontario Forest Accord and more recently the Cornerstone certification program for the aggregate industry. He was key to forming the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (CONE) which resulted in Canada's first, large scale, environmentally-based land use plan. In turn, the Niagara Escarpment Plan became the model for the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan. He was appointed by the Province to a four-year term on the Niagara Escarpment Commission to implement the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
Mr. Reid was a senior advisor and writer with the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront, and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. He also worked with Ontario Hydro on environmental planning, and as Conservation Director with the Federation of Ontario Naturalists.
“Ron is an outstanding field biologist, a persuasive writer and educator, and a visionary conservation leader and pioneer. His skills and legacy exemplify Trent University's programs at their best, particularly in the disciplines of biology, education, environmental and Canadian studies. Recognition of practical conservation leaders like Ron at this critical moment in our global history will inspire students eager to make a difference in our world.” – anonymous nominator
More recently, as founder of the Carden Nature Festival, he happily shares his knowledge of Ontario’s natural history of Ontario with thousands of visitors. Mr. Reid’s wife, Janet Grand, is a founder and past president of the Couchiching Conservancy in Orillia, Ontario. Both have been a driving force behind the non-profit, non-government organization dedicated to protecting the natural features of the Couchiching Region. Since 1993, the organization has protected over 13,000 acres of special, natural lands in north Simcoe County and Carden Township in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
In September 2018, the Conservancy officially named its largest nature reserve located inside the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park in his honour. The Ron Reid Nature Reserve provides habitat for several species listed by SARA (Species at Risk Act).
Mr. Reid has authored or contributed to several books devoted to nature including, Canoeing Ontario's Rivers (with Janet Grand), Creative Conservation (with Stewart Hilts), and Beyond Islands of Green (with Stewart Hilts).
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Reid’s favourite indulgence is to escape the office to go birding. He loves canoeing with his wife, and if he could change the world, he would awaken everyone to the real and present danger of climate change. Through work at the Conservancy, he loves to find innovative ways to make projects happen and make tangible accomplishments in protecting nature.
Mr. Reid’s outstanding accomplishments and life-long commitment to nature conservation, protection, innovation and community engagement have been recognized through many awards.
2018, Naming of the Ron Reid Nature Reserve, Couchiching Conservancy; 2018, Bob Whittam Environmental Award, Severn-Sound Environmental Association; 2012, OLTA Pioneering Leader, Ontario Land Trust Alliance; 2009, Carden Alvar Protection Award, Carden Nature Festival; 2008, W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award, Ontario Nature; 2006, Conservation Pioneer Award, A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium; and Honorary Life Member, Federation of Ontario Naturalists.
He graduated from the University of Guelph in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, specializing in Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
In reflecting on his nomination for this honorary degree, Mr. Reid states: “Over the span or my career, I had the incredible privilege to work with amazing people who challenged and inspired me, and invited me to be involved in meaningful projects. Nothing I have accomplished was a solo act; everything was as part of various teams that deserve recognition as much as myself. Perhaps my most important decision (with the notable exception of marrying Janet Grand) was to give up a secure corporate job to focus on nature conservation through a string of contracts and volunteer roles. I hope at least some of Trent’s fine graduates will follow that path to make the most of every opportunity to protect our world from ruin.”
Ms. Waneek Horn-Miller is a celebrated Olympian, an inductee into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and a strong supporter of youth in sports. And, since being cast into the public consciousness at an early age, she has emerged as a renowned advocate for Indigenous and human rights.
Ms. Waneek Horn-Miller was born in Montreal to Mohawk parents and raised in Kahnawake, Quebec. Her mother, Kahn-Tineta Horn, was an Indigenous activist and a negotiator during the 1990 Oka Crisis, a highly-publicized land dispute between Mohawk protestors and provincial police in Quebec. Shockingly, as a teenager, Ms. Horn-Miller was stabbed in the chest by a Canadian soldier’s bayonet while carrying her young sister out of the protest encampment through a chaotic crowd.
Remarkably, she recovered to carry the flame in the 1991 Sacred Run Canada and 1992 Sacred Run North America, events that promote strength and unity between Indigenous communities.
Her illustrious sports career in the water began in childhood. She won 20 gold medals at the North American Indigenous Games, including one for rifle-shooting. She became Carleton University’s first Female Athlete of the Year, a title that she held for three years. Ms. Horn-Miller was voted Most Valuable Player at the women’s national water polo team Championships in 1999, and was a member of the Canadian team that won the gold medal in water polo at the 1999 Pan American Games and a bronze medal at the 2001 FINA World Aquatic Championship Tournament
Ms. Horn-Miller was the first Mohawk woman from Canada to compete in the Olympic Games. Prior to the 2000 Games she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine to promote her sport and serve as a positive, female role model. She was chosen to be torchbearer for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
She became a commentator at the Olympic Summer Games in Athens, and Beijing and hosted coverage of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). She launched a fitness and healthy-eating initiative with the network and served as assistant chef de mission for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
To support Indigenous youth and to encourage more engagement in sport, Ms. Waneek Horn-Miller became an IndigenACTION ambassador to the Assembly of First Nations, a strategy to look into developing a National Indigenous Sport, Fitness and Wellness Strategy. Waneek also has presented at many WE Day national events and is currently an ambassador for Nike N7. In April 2018, the motivational speaker was chosen to work on the Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport to address glaring gender inequality for Canadian women in sport.
Outside of sports, Ms. Waneek Horn-Miller served as the director of community engagement for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. On a more personal front, she took part in a challenge against the ‘Marry Out, Get Out’ policy in 2018 after being presented with eviction notices from the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. The action stemmed from a council law that banned any Indigenous band member with a non-Indigenous spouse from living on its territory. The Superior Court of Quebec subsequently ruled that the law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
She has received many athletic awards including: 2019, Induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; 1999, gold medal, Women’s Water Polo, Pan American Games; 1999, Most Valuable Player Award, Canadian Senior Women’s Water Polo National Championships; 1999, Tom Longboat Award; 1994-97, Female Athlete of the Year, Carleton University; multiple medals, North American Indigenous Games.
For her advocacy she earned the 2000, Youth Award, National Aboriginal Achievement Awards; 2015, DAREarts Cultural Award; 2015, Most Influential Women, Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity. She has also been recognized with Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from Mount Allison University in 2018.
She graduated with a degree in Political Science from Carleton University in 2000 and is completing a master’s degree in Indigenous Studies in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.
In acknowledgment of the recognition from Trent University, Ms. Horn-Miller states, “To be recognized for my contribution by Trent University is an incredible honour. Trent has always been a leader in the field of Indigenous Studies and this honour is one that means I am being recognized by a university that understands the Indigenous landscape and the reason for the work I have done and the contributions I have made. Nia:wen Kowa for this gift of good medicine.”