Fall 2019

EDITOR: Elizabeth Peirce


COVER PHOTO: Kelly Clark

CONTRIBUTORS: Erin Elaine Casey, Gail Lethbridge, Cale Loney, Elizabeth Peirce, Joanie Veitch, Jordan Whitehouse

ALUMNI DIRECTOR: Mary Ann Daye BComm’85

ALUMNI OFFICERS: Chantal Caissie BA’13, Emily LeBlanc


ADVERTISING: (902) 420-5420



VICE-PRESIDENT: Collette Robert BSc’15

SECRETARY: Bafana Mashingaidze BSc’14 MBA’17

ALUMNI COUNCIL: Brenda Allen BA’96; Kelsey Baker BComm’15; Bruce Bishop BA’79; Sarah Cameron BComm’18; Tariro Dheka BA’16; Jennifer Drillio BA’14; Sylvia Gawad BSc’14; Elora Gehue BA’17; Fiona King BComm’93; Dongsheng Li BComm’15; Ralston MacDonnell DipENG’76; Zachary MacMillan BA’17; Michael Mercer BA’10 MA’16; Jason Mullen BA’98; Tom O’Handley BComm’02 MBA’15; Dan Rudisuela BComm’07 MBA’08; Jennifer Schwartz BA’09; Kaitlyn Touesnard BComm’13

ALUMNI REPRESENTATIVES ON THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS: Greg Dickie BComm’03 (external); Rick Flynn EMBA’97 (external); Scott McElman BComm’91; Jennifer Nicholson BComm’93 (external); Tom O’Handley BComm’02 MBA'15; Dan Rudisuela BComm’07 MBA’08

Maroon & White is published for alumni and friends of Saint Mary’s University.

Circulation: 15,000

Please send address changes, suggestions, and snippets to:
Saint Mary’s University Alumni Office, 923 Robie St, Halifax, NS  B3H 3C3
T: (902) 420-5420  |  F: (902) 420-5140  |  E: alumni@smu.ca  |  smu.ca/alumni

Please send address changes, suggestions, and snippets to: Saint Mary’s University Alumni Office.

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Featured Articles:

“Our job is exposing people to what can be and what’s possible”

Saint Mary’s University has been in the business of entrepreneurship education and scholarship for more than 25 years — much longer than the vast majority of Canadian institutions. And the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) is the beating heart of entrepreneurship, on campus and off.

“Entrepreneurship has a long history at Saint Mary’s University,” says…

Everything’s Coming Up Jennifer!

What does a master chef like to eat when they’re not the one doing the cooking?

If that chef is Jennifer Crawford MA’07, winner of CTV’s 2019 MasterChef Canada amateur chef competition, the answer is simple.

“Treat cereal and Three-Cheese Pizza Pops. These were special occasion foods when I was a child.”

Crawford—who is non-binary and uses they/their…

SMU Professor Wins Prestigious O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction

I’ve been travelling by rabbit a lot this year!” laughs Alexander MacLeod. The professor of English and Atlantic Canada Studies has reason for mirth: his story “Lagomorph,” featuring a pet rabbit as a main character, was chosen as the 2019 winner of the internationally-recognized O. Henry Prize for short fiction.

Dr. MacLeod got the news last November while driving to Cape Breton…

A New Building For An Old Tradition

hen you first see the Dauphinee Centre on the campus of Saint Mary’s University, you might think you are looking at a business school or a newly-minted administration centre.

It is modern, angular, shining, sophisticated, with lines that are very twenty-first century.

That is a long way away from the old-school rinks of yesterday.

But when you walk inside, there is…

Campus Notes:

Dr. Michael Durland named Chancellor Of Saint Mary’s University

“We are incredibly honoured and proud that Michael Durland BComm’87 DComm’10 accepted the role of Chancellor of the University,” said Saint Mary’s President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray. “His long and successful career in corporate Canada and as an entrepreneur and investor positions him as an excellent role model and inspiration for our students and our community.…

Fostering reconciliation and respect

Saint Mary’s is working with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (MNFC) in Halifax to promote respect and understanding. A new agreement signed in 2019 opens the door for shared programming, projects and research, and will see the university work with the MNFC on how to enhance support for Indigenous students, faculty and staff. The partnership also makes it possible to have an Elder on campus.

Dr. Ellen Farrell releases research findings on Atlantic entrepreneurial ecosystem

A major research project led by Saint Mary’s University suggests Atlantic Canadian startup businesses need to look further afield for innovation, information and funding. A three-year, $210,000 research project exploring the startup community in Atlantic Canada has delivered its final report. The research shows that while the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is highly interconnected, companies…

Saint Mary’s PhD student to receive Research Nova Scotia Quest Award

Brendan Grue, a Saint Mary’s University (SMU) PhD in Applied Science student, is the 2019 recipient of Research Nova Scotia’s (RNS) prestigious Quest Award. “I was surprised and honoured to be chosen,” said Grue. “I think it reflects the growing research community here at Saint Mary’s.”  Grue is researching the development of a new class of orthopedic implants to hopefully reduce…

Saint Mary’s part of new $6.5 million offshore de-risking project

Saint Mary’s University is part of a major new initiative that adds genomics technologies to traditional geoscience with the aim to reduce the risk for oil exploration in Nova Scotia’s offshore.  The $6.5 million project, Validation and Integration of Genomics Solutions for Offshore Oil Exploration in Nova Scotia and Beyond, was one of 20 projects across Canada awarded through Genome Canada’s…

Unlocking overlooked history from a 2,200-year-old Roman villa

When modern technology meets buried remnants from the early Roman Empire, collaborative research has the potential to unearth new chapters of human history never previously analyzed. That’s the thinking behind The Villa di Tito Project: Reexamining Roman Villas, helmed by Dr. Myles McCallum of Saint Mary’s University. The rural Villa site is located amid olive groves on the north slopes of the…

Spelling success: Dr. Nicole Conrad wins $92,000 funding for literacy research

Dr. Nicole Conrad has won an Insight Grant worth $92,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Dr. Conrad’s grant will be used to pursue research on the role of spelling on the development of reading skills in elementary school children. Dr. Conrad and her undergraduate students will perform their next study in Nova Scotia schools. The project involves administering…

Saint Mary’s PhD graduate wins international award

Dr. Samantha A. Penney, a recent PhD graduate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, has received the prestigious 2019 Kenneth E. Clark Student Research Award from the Center for Creative Leadership and the International Leadership Association. “It is an absolute honour to have my dissertation research recognized internationally,” said Dr. Penney. In her award-winning paper on leadership titled…

Major NSERC funding awarded to Saint Mary’s researchers

Saint Mary’s researchers will receive funding worth more than $1.2 million over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for eight Discovery Grants plus a Discovery Development Grant. The Discovery Grants Program, NSERC’s largest program, supports ongoing natural sciences and engineering research projects with long-term goals. “For a university…

Young historians shine at Provincial Heritage Fair

The future of history is in great hands if the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair is any indication. Eighty students from across the province showcased their excellent and informative history projects on June 6 and 7, in the McNally Theatre Auditorium at Saint Mary’s University. Ranging from Grades 4 to 9, the students researched everything from local theatre and Louisbourg to maple syrup and…

Saint Mary’s Researcher named a Fellow of the American Physical Society

Saint Mary’s University physicist Dr. Rituparna Kanungo has been named as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for her outstanding research on rare isotopes. This honour goes to scientists who have made significant innovative contributions to the field of physics. No more than one half of one percent of the Society’s membership who have been nominated by their peers are elected as…

Undergraduate Astrophysics student publishes a lead-author scientific paper

An exciting milestone usually accomplished by graduate students has been achieved by Sophia Waddell, a third-year undergraduate student in Astrophysics. Waddell is the lead author of a scientific paper with the Royal Astronomical Society. After coming up with the idea for the paper in her High Energy Astrophysics course, she wrote the paper and worked with Dr. Luigi Gallo on a series of revisions.…

Alumni News:


September 30 - October 4, 2020

Alumni Events

Past Alumni Event Photos


We are always pleased to hear about the diverse experiences and accomplishments of our alumni and to share these stories with you.

Class Notes

Find out what other alumni from our year are up to.

In Memoriam

Death notices and obituaries