Dr. Norma Mickelson is UVic's first female chancellor. The former dean of education was elected by members of convocation and took over her responsibilities on Jan. 1.
Mickelson became a lecturer at UVic in 1967 in the faculty of education. Her specialty was literacy. She was appointed dean of the faculty in 1980--the first woman academic dean in Canada--and appointed advisor to the vice president on women's academic issues in 1986. She has long been a leader in the area of gender bias in university learning, teaching and research and set up UVic's equity office after being named special advisor to the president on equity issues in 1989.
Mickelson, who won the 1991 Sarah Shorten Award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and UVic's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995, is the eighth chancellor of UVic and will hold a three year term. Mickelson replaces Robert Rogers, who was UVic chancellor from 1991 to 1996.
UVic's law school has been rated number one in the country for the second year in a row in a survey of almost 400 recent law school graduates conducted by Canadian Lawyer magazine for its January issue. The graduates were asked to rate the quality of their alma mater in six categories including curriculum, quality of law faculty and fellow students, standards of testing, adequacy of facilities and technology and relevance of their education to actual law practice.
UVic's law faculty was given a final grade of A minus, the same overall mark as second place University of New Brunswick and third place University of Toronto. UVic placed first because of the glowing reviews given by students about the rapport they enjoy with faculty members. "A giant family, really, in a great setting," said one.
Michael Cullen (English) has won the 1996 Praxis screen-writing competition for his screenplay Goodnight, Sammy Wong. He beat out almost 70 scripts from across Canada. Praxis, which is supported in part by Telefilm Canada, British Columbia Film and Rogers Cablesystems, supports the production of innovative Canadian feature films through screenplay development.
Cullen's screenplay, which is based on his novel by the same name, looks at the seamy, pulsing underbelly of life in Lethbridge, Alberta, the "centre of the universe, where people struggle to be the same," explains Cullen. The novel was optioned in 1995 as a feature film by Frame 30 Productions, which then employed Cullen to write the screenplay. The film will be shot this summer.
Stephen Owen, long-time activist and former deputy attorney general of B.C., joined UVic's faculty March 1 as the David and Dorothy Lam Professor of Law and Public Policy. He will teach and conduct research jointly in the Faculties of Law and Human and Social Development in areas that will incorporate his extensive international experience in dispute resolution, human rights and environmental sustainability.
Owen, who has a master's degree in law at the University of London and an MBA from the University of Geneva, was B.C.'s Ombudsman from 1986 until 1992 when he left to lead the Commission on Resources and Environment.
He has been active in civil and human rights organizations throughout his career. As legal advisor to Amnesty International since 1984, his investigations included security force killings and torture in South Africa and police killings of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia. He served as a consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency on dispute resolution and ombudsman legislation in Thailand, human rights legislation in Ethiopia, and human rights and dispute resolution in Cambodia. He was a member of the Canadian election monitoring team in Nicaragua in 1990 and special legal advisor to the board of inquiry into the Canadian Airborne Regiment's role in Somalia.
Dr. Andrew Weaver (BSc '83) (Centre for Earth and Ocean Sciences), who looks to the ocean's currents for clues about the world's changing climate, has been chosen as one of four recipients of the prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) 1997 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship.
The award provides up to $500,000 in research funding over two years and frees up recipients from teaching and administrative duties. Weaver uses highly-sophisticated computer models to study how mechanisms of variability in the ocean affect the natural variability in climate. He has attracted international attention for his work in unravelling the mysteries of past climates for clues to improve the prediction of future climate change.
Dr. Wesley J. Koczka, head of UVic's English Language Centre, is the new dean of the Division of Continuing Studies. Koczka has a strong interest in the development of international programs and is executive producer of several CD-ROMs on English language instruction which are being marketed internationally.
The loop road through the David and Dorothy Lam Family Student Housing complex has been named the Lam Circle. David Lam, who received an honorary degree from UVic in 1995, was Lieutenant-Governor of B.C. from 1988 to 1995. The Lams are well known for their philanthropic activities and their substantial contributions to higher educational institutions including UVic.
Dr. Michael Prince, Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy, is the inaugural associate dean of the Faculty of Human & Social Development responsible for the faculty's extensive distance education programs. More than 60 per cent of the undergraduate offerings in HSD are through distance education and the faculty accounts for most of the University's total. Prince will also be responsible for general promotion and marketing of the faculty, faculty curriculum and student issues.
Dr. Michael Hadley (Germanic Studies) is acting director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society while the Centre's full-time director, Dr. Harold Coward, is on study leave. Hadley is a prize-winning naval historian with an interest in submarine warfare. His most recent book Count Not the Dead: The Popular Image of the German Submarine is short-listed for the prestigious Raymond Klibansky Book Prize, which recognizes excellence in research and writing.
Dr. Florin Diacu (Mathematics & Statistics) is co-author of the most recent book on chaos theory, Celestial Encounters: The Origins of Chaos and Stability. Along with Dr. Phillip Holmes of Princeton University, Diacu discusses celestial mechanics, the study of bodies moving in accordance with Newton's law of gravity, and presents a history of the subject, interweaving numerous anecdotes about the personalities involved in the discoveries with technical details of the mathematical ideas. Princeton University Press which published the book, has already received 12 requests for translation. The book has been translated into Diacu's native Romanian.
UVic Vikes basketball players swept this year's Canada West University Athletic Association (CWUAA) awards. Eric Hinrichsen was the unanimous choice as player-of-the-year for men's basketball while Lisa Koop topped the vote for player-of-the-year on the women's side. Another Vikes member, Aaron Olson, was the unanimous choice for rookie-of-the-year.
Both Vikes women's coach Kathy Shields and men's coach Guy Vetrie were selected as coaches of the year.
Hinrichsen led Canada West in rebounding, was second in field-goal percentage and finished third in scoring. Koop was the conference's scoring champion and was first in free-throw percentage. She was one of three unanimous selections to the first all star team.