Campus News

New faces in development and alumni relations
Vikes have a winning year
Student inventions win awards, help people

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New faces in development and alumni relations



Meg Beckel
Patty Pitts photo
Meg Beckel is UVic's new Executive Director of Development and External Relations. Reporting directly to the President, she oversees the University's fundraising program, the remainder of the UVic Challenge Campaign, and alumni relations. She began her career in corporate banking and, after frequently being approached by cultural groups for financial support, decided to see for herself what life was like on the other side of the funding proposal. She worked in development for the National Ballet of Canada, the Vancouver Playhouse, and the Vancouver Symphony before becoming the University of Calgary's manager of annual giving. Beckel received her BA in political science from Queen's University and her MBA from the University of Western Ontario.


Nels Granewall
She will be assisted in her new position by Nels Granewall (BA'64), UVic's long-time Student Financial Aid Manager. After 28 years of helping students finance their education, Granewall became Beckel's special advisor for alumni relations Feb. 1. He will use the extensive contacts he's made with UVic students over the years­both in financial aid and as Chief Marshall at countless Convocations­to help the Alumni Association establish branch offices wherever there are UVic grads, help academic departments develop their own alumni programs, and assist in relations with current students.


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Vikes have a winning year



The Vikes men's team in Canada West Playoff action against the Alberta Golden Bears. Patty Pitts photo

Both the UVic Vikes men's and women's basketball teams ended the 1994/95 season battling for their respective Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) titles. The women earned their berth in the championships with a hard-fought, third-game overtime victory over the UBC Thunderbirds in McKinnon Gym March 5. Later that day, on the same court, the men won a decisive third game in their best-of-three series with the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

The Vikes won home court advantage for the playoff series by winning their respective Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) league titles. The series attracted record capacity crowds to the McKinnon Gym.

Other Vikes teams added three more CIAU titles to their already lengthy collection last fall. The Vikes women's field hockey team shut out York University 1-0 in a frosty McMahon Stadium in Calgary Nov. 5 to claim their third CIAU title in four years. A week later both the men's and women's Vikes cross-country teams won their respective national titles in London, Ontario. Both Vikes cross-country coaches Ron Bowker (women) and Brent Fougner (men) were named CIAU coaches of the year.

The Vikes were equally impressive away from the field and the gymnasium. Nineteen Vikes athletes were named to the Royal Bank Academic All-Canadians 1993-94 Honour Roll. Each year the Royal Bank honours students who achieve an average of 80 per cent or better while representing their university as a CIAU athlete.


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Student inventions win awards, help people



Four-year-old Amanda Johnson demonstrates the adaptability of the UVic student- designed transformer trike. Patty Pitts photo

UVic Mechanical Engineering students won two first-place design awards at the Canadian Engineering Competition in Edmonton on March 4 with innovative products that will assist the very young and the very old.

Third-year students Pat McKenzie, Ryan Smith and Ian Bekker won first place in the entrepreneurial design category for their wheel-chair power brake and fourth-year students Craig Gauld, Darlene Gates and Adrian Vickers won the corporate design category with the transformer trike, a tricycle developed for use by disabled children.

The wheelchair brake provides an added degree of safety for people in wheelchairs, who frequently suffer from falls when transferring from their chairs to beds or stationary chairs. The easy-to-reach push button brake can be used even by someone with arthritic or disease-weakened hands. A second push button is installed at the back of the chair so attendants don't have to repeatedly bend over to apply the brake in the conventional fashion.

The transformer trike, constructed from $65 worth of recycled bicycle parts, is the latest in a series of successful collaborations between UVic students and Victoria's G.R. Pearkes Centre for Children. The low-riding trike, with stabilizing heavy duty back tires and adjustable handle bars, seat and back rest, can be used by children with cerebral palsy and spina bifida or any other child aged three to 12 years old.


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