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Outstanding alumni honoured at Convocation

November 17, 2006

Source: McMaster University

by Jean BurrowsNovember 17, 2006

Three alumni and two future alumni will be honoured for their outstanding achievements at the fall Convocation held today.

Adriana Brook, Arts & Science, and Christian van der Pol, Electrical & Biomedical Engineering, will receive the Chancellor's Gold Medal, Dr. Todd Hoare '06 will receive the Governor General's Academic Medal, and Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed '78 and Dr. Norman Glendenning '55 will receive the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Chancellor's Gold Medal is awarded to an undergraduate student in his or her final year of study who ranks highest in scholarship, leadership and influence.

Brook is enrolled in the fifth year of the Arts & Science program, combining with Classics and minoring in French. Her academic awards include the Dr. Harry Lyman Hooker Scholarship, Muriel E. Skelton Scholarship, Marnie Spear Scholarship, Varey Scholarship and the Provincial Millennium Laureate Award.

She is a four-year member of the Dean's Honour List and has also received an Undergraduate Student Research Award and earned the Mark Keyes Leadership Certification.

Brook is the concert co-ordinator for the McMaster University Choir and the vocal director for the McMaster Musical Theatre's production of Hair. Her commitments to the McMaster community include sitting on the Senate Board for Student Appeals, serving on the executive of the McMaster Meal Exchange, and acting as a Welcome Week representative in both residence and Arts & Science.

Van der Pol, now in his fourth year, has excelled as a student in Electrical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering, earning a number of prestigious scholarschips, including the Bell Canada Scholarship, Atomic Energy of Canada Scholarship, the Dr. Harry Lyman Hooker Scholarship and the Herbert A. Ricker Scholarship. A fixture on the Dean's Honour List, he achieved a perfect grade point average in third year and joined the Provost's Honour Roll.

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The co-captain of the McMaster swim team, van der Pol earned the Dr. Jack Kennedy Award for his combination of athletic achievement, academics and community involvement. That community work includes volunteering for Ronald McDonald House locally and Habitat for Humanity internationally in Romania.

Van de Pol was named a Killam Fellow and received acceptance into a 2007 exchange with Harvard University.

Dr. Hoare, who graduates today in chemical engineering, will receive the Governor General's Academic Medal, which is awarded to the graduate student who achieves the highest academic standing in his or her graduate degree program.

Dr. Hoare is now an NSERC post-doctoral fellow at MIT. He is developing in situ-cross-linkable hydrogel systems to facilitate local drug delivery and to regulate biological adhesions in the peritoneum and joints. He is also investigating anti-fungal coating and "smart" magnetically activated devices for patient-regulated drug release.

Dr. Hoare earned a number of awards at McMaster, including the Julie Payette NSERC Research Scholarship, NSERC Innovation Challenge Prize, Dow Chemical Teaching Assistant Award, and R.B. Anderson Memorial Prize for Leadership.

He has co-authored seven papers published in refereed journals. He and his doctoral thesis supervisor have applied for a U.S. patent on glucose-responsive microgels.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to McMaster alumni who have distinguished themselves through outstanding scholarship, research, creative contributions to the arts or sciences, or service to society. Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed currently holds the position of governor of the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country, directing all affairs of the Bank with his astute economic background and experience.

Dr. Ahmed graduated with a PhD in economics in 1978 and an MA in economics in 1974. Throughout his career, his primary interests have been economics, rural development, employment, human resource development and microfinance. He has played a key role overseeing rural development research with several agencies in Bangladesh.

Leading an extensive career in economic affairs, Dr. Ahmed has also held the positions of managing director for the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, a rural employment support foundation, director general for the NGO Affairs Bureau of the Prime Minister's Office in Bangladesh and director general of the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development.

Dr. Ahmed has authored more than 60 books, reports and journal articles on rural development, macro policy, training, employment and the environment. He has participated in many seminars and workshops abroad. He is on the advisory bodies of several government and non-government agencies and has traveled to 34 countries around the world.

Dr. Norman Glendenning is an internationally recognized scientist in the areas of nuclear and particle physics and cosmology. He graduated from McMaster with both a BSc and MSc in Physics in 1954 and 1955, respectively.

Joining the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in 1958, Dr. Glendenning has dedicated his career to working at the LBNL. He is currently senior scientist, emeritus, in the Nuclear Science Division.

Dr. Glendenning has written several well-known technical books in the field that summarize his extensive research on nuclear physics and cosmology. His first book, Direct Nuclear Reactions, published in 1983, was the culmination of 20 years of research on the subject. He was the first to propose the existence of a solid crystal in the core of neutron stars, consisting of a mixture of quark and hadronic matter.

After the Beginning: A cosmic journey through space and time, published in 2004, was written primarily for the lay reader and for scientists in other fields. He has written two other recent books, one that will be published later this year and the other that is still in the working phase.

Throughout his scientific career, Dr. Glendenning has defined new directions of research in the field. He received the Alexander von Humboldt Award for US Senior Scientists in recognition of his outstanding contributions.



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