Trent University will honour five Canadians who have made tremendous impact on the nation’s environmental, social, cultural and business landscape as the University’s 2020 honorary degree recipients at Trent’s Convocation ceremonies to be held June 2 to 12, 2020.
The 2020 recipients cover an impressive span and include a social justice and cultural champion, a celebrated Olympian and Indigenous community advocate, a leader in nature conservation, one of Canada’s first female CEOs of a venture capital fund, and a chief national news anchor and trailblazer for women in broadcast journalism.
"This year’s impressive list of recipients continues Trent’s proud tradition of recognizing remarkable individuals who challenge the way we think,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor at Trent University. “This year, the university will pay special tribute to five honorary degree recipients who have made meaningful contributions to Indigenous leadership, sport, nature conservation, social justice, entrepreneurship and journalism. Their diverse accomplishments will no doubt inspire the graduates of 2020 and further brighten the celebration of excellence that is Convocation at Trent.”
At this year’s ceremonies, the following individuals will be presented with the University’s highest honour:
Mobeen Khaja– Tuesday, June 2, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. ceremony, Trent University Durham GTA
Durham Region-based social justice and cultural champion Mobeen Khaja will receive an honorary doctorate of laws in recognition of his extraordinary community activism and leadership.
Ronald Reid – Monday, June 8, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. ceremony, Peterborough
Ronald Reid, leader in nature conservation, will be presented with an honorary doctorate of science in acknowledgement of his significant contributions to science and conservation in Ontario and beyond.
Dr. Ilse Treurnicht – Tuesday, June 9, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. ceremony, Peterborough
Entrepreneur, Rhodes Scholar and one of Canada’s innovation leaders, Dr. Ilse Treurnicht will be honoured with an honorary doctorate of laws in recognition of her entrepreneurial leadership in Canada’s innovation community.
Waneek Horn-Miller – Thursday, June 11, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. ceremony, Peterborough
Celebrated Olympian and Indigenous community advocate Waneek Horn-Miller will be awarded with an honorary doctorate of laws for her remarkable achievements in sport, broadcasting and community activism and her life-long commitment to Indigenous rights.
Lisa LaFlamme – Friday, June 12, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. ceremony, Peterborough
Lisa LaFlamme, chief news anchor and senior editor for CTV National News, will be honoured with an honorary doctorate of laws in recognition of her work as a trailblazer for women in journalism and Canadian broadcasting.
Honorary Degree Recipient Profiles
Mobeenuddin (Mobeen) Hasan Khaja
Mobeen Khaja is known for building bridges of understanding between all faiths and communities from various backgrounds and cultures. Through founding the Association of Progressive Muslims of Ontario (APMO) in 1998 and the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada (APMC) in 2002, he leads organizations that strive to foster understanding between communities and faith groups and serve the needs of the Muslim community.
Under Mr. Khaja’s leadership, APMC has created and hosted Eid celebrations at Parliament Hill for the past 25 years. He has also hosted Canada Day celebrations in the GTA for the past 21 years and added Canadian citizenship ceremonies since 2016.
Mr. Khaja is also known for his role for organizing an international visitor leadership program for Muslim university students in 2012 in partnership with the Embassy of the United States. He also 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.
Mr. Khaja received the Order of Ontario in January 2011, and Peace Quest named him one of the 150+ Canadians Who Contributed to Peace in 2017. Mr. Khaja has also been awarded the Senate’s 150th Anniversary Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As a natural heritage consultant and a field biologist, Ronald Reid has had a profound and protective impact on the nature that surrounds us, from waterfronts and wetlands to escarpments and beyond.
His work with the province of Ontario and other organizations led to the protection of millions of acres of land including sensitive, natural habitats; the largest-ever expansion of the Ontario parks system; and wide-scale environmental planning. Among other initiatives, he contributed to the Niagara Escarpment Plan which became a model for the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan.
Mr. Reid is the founder of the Couchiching Conservancy in Orillia, Ontario with his wife, Janet Grand, and other community members, and was the organization’s first executive director. Since 1993, the organization has protected over 13,000 acres of special, natural lands, especially within the Carden Alvar. Mr. Reid also provided guidance and advice to many other land trusts in Ontario and beyond.
In September 2018, the Conservancy officially named its largest nature reserve in his honour. The Ron Reid Nature Reserve provides habitat for several species listed by the Species at Risk Act.
Mr. Reid is the author or key contributor to several books devoted to nature and conservation including, Canoeing Ontario's Rivers (with Janet Grand), as well as Creative Conservation and Beyond Islands of Green (both co-authored with Stewart Hilts).
Mr. Reid’s outstanding accomplishments have been widely recognized and celebrated through a number of awards from the Ontario conservation community.
Dr. Ilse Treurnicht
Dr. Ilse Treurnicht has a penchant for converting science into business and knows first-hand the positive, multi-faceted impact true innovation can create. As one of Canada's innovation leaders, this Rhodes Scholar provides a powerful voice for women in business.
Following her experiences as a scientist, entrepreneur and business executive in technology companies, and as CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, she accepted the role of CEO at MaRS Discovery District in 2005. Bringing her expansive vision and knowledge to the Toronto-based innovation hub, Dr. Treurnicht led the development and operation of the MaRS Centre and its entrepreneurship and innovation programs, now known throughout the world.
Dr. Treurnicht is currently the executive chair of the board of Triphase Accelerator Corporation, a firm that accelerates the development of new oncology therapies. She is also an active member of Canada’s innovation community, participating in many scientific and economic councils and advisory boards.
Appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2017, Dr. Treurnicht is a four-time recipient of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards and was inducted into the Women’s Executive Network Hall of Fame in 2013. She has been presented with honorary degrees from Ontario Tech University, Western University and the University of Toronto.
Waneek Horn-Miller is a celebrated Olympian, a Canadian Sports Hall of Fame inductee, and a strong supporter of youth in sports. She is also a renowned advocate for Indigenous and human rights, following in the footsteps of her mother, Kahn-tineta Horn, an Indigenous activist and a negotiator during the 1990 Oka Crisis.
As a teenager, Ms. Horn-Miller was stabbed in the chest by a soldier’s bayonet while leaving the Oka protest encampment. Remarkably, she recovered in time to carry the flame in the 1991 Sacred Run Canada and the 1992 Sacred Run North America and went on to become a decorated athlete. She has won 20 gold medals at the North American Indigenous Games, a bronze at the 2001 FINA World Aquatic Championship Tournaments, and a gold medal in water polo at the 1999 Pan American Games. She was also the first Mohawk woman from Canada to compete in the Olympic Games, a role which earned her an appearance on the cover of TIME.
To support Indigenous youth and to encourage more engagement in sport, Ms. Horn-Miller became an IndigenACTION ambassador to the Assembly of First Nations, an effort to look at developing a National Indigenous Sport, Fitness and Wellness Strategy. Waneek is an accomplished and motivational speaker and facilitator, and was selected for the Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport.
Outside of sport, Ms. Horn-Miller served as the director of community engagement for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Additionally, she successfully challenged the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake’s ‘Marry Out, Get Out’ policy in 2018 that banned Indigenous band members with a non-Indigenous spouse from living on its territory.
In recognition of her advocacy, she has received numerous awards, including National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2000 and Most Influential Women award from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity in 2015. Most recently she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and is the first waterpolo player to achieve this honour.
As the chief news anchor and senior editor of CTV National News, Lisa LaFlamme is well-known to millions of Canadians. Throughout her more than 30 years as a journalist, the veteran reporter has blazed a trail for women in news broadcasting.
Ms. LaFlamme has interviewed countless world leaders and has reported from the epicenter of major international and domestic news events, from war zones to general elections. Beginning her news career in 1988 as a copy writer and script assistant, she moved into radio news and then television reporting with CTV in Kitchener-Waterloo. She moved to CTV National in 1997 as a reporter, worked in the parliamentary bureau, and was co-host of Canada AM before going on to become a foreign and national affairs correspondent and becoming chief news anchor in 2011.
As a key volunteer with Journalists for Human Rights, Ms. LaFlamme mentors young journalists in places where freedom of the press is a work in progress, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo. She brings attention to issues including child poverty and women’s education through her work with Plan International and Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.
In 2016, Ms. LaFlamme was appointed to the Order of Ontario and in 2019, she was named Officer of the Order of Canada. Her work with CTV’s flagship newscast has resulted in multiple awards from the Canadian Screen Awards and the Radio Television Digital News Association. In 2014, Ms. LaFlamme was named one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women, by the Women’s Executive Network. Her achievements have also been recognized by Daughters for Life and with honorary degrees from her alma mater, the University of Ottawa, as well as University of Windsor and Wilfrid Laurier University.
View longer bios of all recipients and learn more about Trent University’s 2020 Convocation ceremonies: trentu.ca/convocation.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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