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Class Notes

We want to hear from you. Have you taken on a new job, got married, had a baby, taken the trip of your dreams? Please let us know so we can share your news with former classmates and with the Western alumni family around the world. Submit your class note today!

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Lincoln Wood

Jason Wood, BA'08, is pleased to announce the birth of his firstborn child, a son named Lincoln Christopher Wood. Lincoln was born on January 25, 2017 at 5:36 a.m., weighing 6lbs 14oz at McMaster Hospital in Hamilton. Mother Lisa Angela Wood and baby are doing well.

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Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas, BA'63, MSc'67, MDiv'80, was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers for "significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community in Canada." The award was presented on behalf of the Governor-General by Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberg, on Jan. 25, 2017.

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Jenny Park headshot

In November of 2016, Jenny Park, BEd'05, started working as a Practicum Coordinator for Constructing Futures, a bridging and training program with the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. Constructing Futures is an integrated occupational skills training program that provides essential workplace skills and access to the labour market for unemployed or underemployed immigrants who want to further develop careers in Project Management.

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Derek Parsons headshot

After several recording collaborations with saxophonist Clifford Leaman as a member of The Ambassador Duo, Derek Parsons, BMus'83, has released his first solo CD, entitled Liszt: The Poet Inspired, featuring music from Liszt's Italian travels. The disc is distributed by Equilibrium Recordings (EQ 127). Parsons has also arranged (with Ms. Caroline Owen, Furman University) the Healey Willan Piano Concerto, Op. 76 in orchestral piano reduction. The reduction has been endorsed by the Healey Willan Society, and is being prepared for publication and distribution.

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Tony Wilson headshot

Tony Wilson, BA'79, was recently awarded a QC by the Attorney General of British Columbia. He has been a Bencher of the Law Society British Columbia since 2012 and a regular small business columnist for the Globe and Mail since 2010. He continues to practice franchise law at Boughton Law in Vancouver.

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Jade Woo-Yam-Tung, BSc'04, got a new home and is getting married.

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Nicole Suen Phillips, HBA'97, has been promoted to Senior Counsel of Underwriting at Stewart Title Guaranty Company. Her portfolio includes underwriting title insurance policies for real estate transactions up to $10 million. 

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Margaret E. Henderson, BSc'86, MLIS'86, Director for Research Data Management, Associate Professor, at VCU Libraries, in Richmond, Virginia, has published her first book. 'Data Management: A Practical Guide for Librarians' was published in November 2016 by Rowman and Littlefield. Her book covers the basics of research data management and how to set up a data management service in a library. Margaret's chapter on reference interviews relies heavily on the work of Professor Emerita Catherine Sheldrick Ross.

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McCreery book cover

Chris McCreery, BA'98, has two new books out marking the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada. Fifty Years Honouring Canadians; The Order of Canada 1967-2017 (Dundurn Press) and The Order of Canada: Genesis of an Honours System (UofT Press).

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Kas Rigas

Kas Rigas, BA'94, joins APCO Worldwide as a senior director in the Food, Consumer Products & Retail practice.

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Elizabeth Rankin, BScN'77, has been been selected to participate at the Medicine X-ED spring conference at Stanford University. She developed a patient-centred medical education curriculum in her book: The Patient's Time Has Come: Listening to Patients Will Redefine Patient Safety and Revitalize Service Delivery. She feels privileged to have been accepted, knowing she was competing with proposals from all over the world.

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Vuong medal

Kevin Vuong, BMOS'11, was named one of Her Majesty The Queen's Young Leaders and Canada's representative to meet HM Queen Elizabeth II this coming June 2017, when she will personally hand-deliver the Award and Medal.

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Class of Geography '66

The class of Geography '66 celebrated 50 years since graduation in October 2016 by attending the football game, the President's dinner and enjoying a brunch together at the home of Lynn and Keith Watson. Stories of field trips to the Bruce Peninsula and Pelee Island and the travails of cartography lab flowed freely. Tales of children and grandchildren were shared. Sherrill Bell flew in all the way from Canberra, Australia, and Jack Wood crossed the continent from Vancouver. Commitment like that allowed the class to achieve 80 per cent attendance. Many thanks to Nicole Bullbrook Viragos from Western Alumni for helping to organize.

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In August 2016, In-Ting Ho, BSc'12, BEd'13, became the first stadium announcer from an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) program to ever announce at the Olympic Games. Announced in English and French for the badminton competition. Stadium announcing had been a part-time activity at Western, where he was involved with nine different sports and nine OUA championships. While pursuing graduate school at the University of Waterloo, he worked with their varsity teams as well, but was then called to announce in French and Spanish for multiple sports at the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games.

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Ashley Posluns, BA'15, got a job! She now works as a Digital Marketing Assistant in Publishing at HarperCollins Canada in Toronto, Ontario. This is bher dream job (and she didn't even know it). She runs Twitter accounts (@SavvyReader, @HarperClassroom), manages bloggers and blogger requests, creates marketing campaigns (like chooseyourthrill.ca!), and more. But most of all she loves being able to apply what she learned in the MIT program at Western to her every day life/job.

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Jordyn Martinez headshot

Jordyn Martinez, BA'15, graduated from Western in February 2015 and since leaving London, her life looks completely different! She was accepted to Humber College's Creative Book Publishing Program, for a post-grad certificate. Her major in English and minor in Creative Writing from Western helped her get an interview. The program was an intense four months, with the option to apply for internships using connections from the program. Two internships later, she was hired by Simon & Schuster Canada, one of the fastest growing publishers in Canada! She is living her dream: working with books, living in Toronto with her husband and cat, working full time within 18 months of graduating from Western.

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Palmer-MacLeod wedding

It was a very Western wedding for Melissa MacLeod, BA'13, BEd'14, and Daniel Palmer, BA'11, on August 6, 2016. The couple met at Western after a Mustangs Football Game while completing their undergraduate degrees and knew it would be the perfect place to celebrate their special day. Western is also the meeting place of the groom's maternal grandparents (Bob and Zaida Rankin, Class of 1948) and was also attended by the Bride's parents (Cheryl and Dave MacLeod, Class of 1985) as well as the Maid of Honour, Jackie Lather, BA'14, and groomsman Michael Slotwinski, BEd'12.

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Penn Kemp, BA'66, published a new book of poetry, Barbaric Cultural Practice, in October 2016. She also edited two anthologies: Performing Women and Women and Multimedia. Her new play, The Triumph of Teresa Harris, was performed at The Palace Theatre, in London, in March 2017.

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Rustan Juma, LLB'07, became the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Eckler Ltd, effective October 11, 2016. He was previously Legal Counsel at Deloitte LLP. On August 1, 2015 he married to Zaynah Marani, BA'04.

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Soroka wedding portrait

Jayden Bourgard, BMOS'08, and Stephanie Soroka, BA'08, met at Saugeen-Maitland in 2004 and finally tied the knot on June 18, 2016 in Toronto. Many Western alumni were in attendance, including their former roommates.

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Danielle Kelly, BA'03, APR has been elected 2016-17 Co-President for the Canadian Public Relations Society, Toronto.

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Maureen Black, BSc'11, has been promoted to Assistant General Manager for Equinox Fitness.She was formerly Membership Advisor. She will be working at the Yorkville location and welcomes all alumni, family and friends.

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Grant Black, BA'78, has moved to a new position as Litigation Counsel at Allstate, Pembridge, and Pafco Legal Services in Markham, Ontario, carrying on as inhouse legal counsel in the insurance industry.

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After getting her BEd'12, Cynthia Cheng traveled the world as a teacher. She lived in Seoul, Melbourne and Arkansas on teaching-related jobs. In 2015, she started her MPH at the University of Victoria. To combine her love of teaching, traveling and health, she moved to Vientiane, Laos on a volunteer mission with Veterinarians Without Borders, spending six months on a volunteer mission as an English teacher with the National University of Laos. Her education at Western was the beginning of a long journey of being an educator, and the introduction to her love of health promotion. She wanted to share her story because she remembers how lost she was after graduation. She thinks she's taken an unconventional path and hopes to inspire others to travel, see the world, make mistakes and do some good for others.

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Jonathon Hindley, BA’13, recently secured his first permanent full-time position after graduating. As the Corporate Customer Service Coordinator for the City of St. Thomas, he will be assisting with developing and implementing a new Customer Service Plan and a consolidated Corporate Customer Service location.

Please note: Gazetteer notices, like all portions of the print magazine, appear in an online version of Alumni Gazette and the contents may turn up during a web search. Publicly available personal information may be collected for the purpose of updating alumni records as well as for the purpose of recognizing outstanding achievement or distinguished service by alumni in University publications. Western respects your privacy. At any time you have the right to request that your personal information cease to be used to recognize outstanding achievement or distinguished service in University publications. For more information or to make a request about the kinds of contact you would like to receive, please contact the Operations Administrator, Advancement Services, 519-661-4176 or 1-800-420-7519, fax 519-661-4182, e-mail advser@uwo.ca. Inclusion is at the discretion of the editor.

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