Honorary Doctorates and Order of AU announced
February 12, 2016
The Governors of Athabasca University Honorary Awards Committee is pleased to announce the following honours to be awarded at Convocation 2016.
Order of Athabasca University
Dr. Terry Anderson
On Thursday, June 9, Dr. Terry Anderson will be inducted into the Order of Athabasca University in recognition of his leadership in distance education and his contributions to scholarship and research at Athabasca University.
A prolific researcher, Anderson has received widespread international recognition for his work, including the prestigious Mildred B. and Charles A. Wedemeyer Excellence in Distance Education Award.
As AU’s first Canada Research Chair (2001-11) he provided exceptional leadership in the Centre for Distance Education, supporting the scholarship of teaching, promoting research in online learning and being a major catalyst to the establishment of the university’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Education in Distance Education. He was a co-founder of AU’s social network (the Landing), a co-founder of The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and a main proponent of AU’s current open-access policy.
On Friday, June 10, Mr. Barry Walker will be inducted into the Order of Athabasca University in recognition of his leadership and his outstanding dedication to Athabasca University during his 10-year term as a public member of the Board of Governors (2004-14), including five years as chair (2009-14). During his tenure, he also chaired the board’s Audit Committee and Finance Committee, and served as a member of the Executive Committee and the Human Resources Committee.
A chartered accountant, Walker has worked with clients in the Athabasca area since the 1960s, and his firm Peterson Walker LLP, established a permanent office in the town in 1985. He watched AU grow with interest, and he and his wife Valerie took AU courses out of interest and for professional development. In addition to his participation on the board and on board committees, Walker dedicated countless hours to representing AU to the Government of Alberta and to Campus Alberta, to supporting the Open Our World Campaign , and to chairing or contributing to executive search and reappointment committees. In 2012, he and his wife established the Walker Family Awards in support of AU students in accounting, and child and youth counselling.
Dr. Antonio D’Alfonso
On Thursday, June 9, an honorary Doctor of Letters will be conferred on Dr. Antonio D’Alfonso in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Canadian culture—as an editor, translator, publisher and creative artist. In 1978, D’Alfonso founded Guernica Editions, a literary press publishing in both English and French, at which he edited more than 450 books over 30 years. In 2000, Guernica established the Essential Writers Series, which has since published more than 40 collections of essays on major Canadian writers. Through his translations, D’Alfonso has opened the works of Québécois authors to a wider Canadian audience, and he has tirelessly promoted the publication and study of works by Canadian minority- and women authors, while mentoring and supporting young writers across Canada.
A poet, novelist, essayist, filmmaker and photographer, D’Alfonso has presented his original work across the country and internationally. He has received, among other recognition, the Trillium Award for his novel Un vendredi du mois d’août, and Best Director and Best Foreign Film awards at the New York International Independent Film Festival for his feature film Bruco. A devoted lifelong learner, D’Alfonso received a PhD in Italian film studies from the University of Toronto in 2012, at the age of 59.
David Gabriel Tuccaro
On Saturday, June 11, an honorary Doctor of Laws will be conferred on Mr. David Gabriel Tuccaro in recognition of his business leadership and his dedication to enriching the lives of indigenous people. Tuccaro is president and chief executive officer of Tuccaro Inc., a group of oil sands support companies that have, as a shared purpose, the creation of meaningful employment opportunities for aboriginal people. A member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Fort Chipewyan, Tuccaro is an entrepreneur known for his strong personal values, exceptional work ethic, visionary strategic thinking and community involvement, and as a mentor to many aspiring business leaders. He played a leadership role in developing the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association, served on the Alberta Chamber of Resources, the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies and the National Aboriginal Financing Task Force and chaired the Aboriginal Business Canada Market Expansion Group. In the local community, he served on the board of the Regional Health Authority and co-chaired the Arctic Winter Games Committee. A strong supporter of the skilled trades, he served on the board of Careers: the Next Generation, helping young people complete apprenticeships. As chair of lndspire, he is helping to set strategic direction for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards and deepen the organization’s support of K to 12 education and indigenous teachers across Canada.