Alumni Association recognizes recent graduates


Five recent McMaster graduates will receive the McMaster Alumni Association Arch Awards at the Alumni Gallery Induction Ceremony on Saturday. The 2004 Albert Lager Student Alumni Relations Award and Alumni Association's Branch Award for 2004 will also be awarded.

McMaster's Arch Awards recognize the achievements of McMaster's most recent graduates, in career endeavours, interesting, unusual or innovative accomplishments, or notable contributions to society, to local communities or the McMaster community.

The following graduates will be honoured:

Al-Riaz Adatia 1993 B.Eng. Faculty of Engineering

Al-Riaz Adatia

An accomplished entrepreneur and engineer, Adatia built his professional career in California's Silicon Valley working for companies such as Octel/Lucent, ST Microelectronics and Microsoft.

In 1998, Adatia was one of the three founders of IMDI, developers of the MP3 Player Sonique. During its peak, Sonique was the second most popular MP3 player on the internet. The product generated three patent applications, of which Adatia is co-inventor of two. In 1999, Adatia led IMDI through its acquisition by Lycos, worth more than $70M (USD).

While in California, Adatia also became well recognized for his teaching at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. In addition to teaching at the university level, Adatia founded Ustad, a teaching consulting practice, which developed and presented private courses for companies including S3, Microsoft, Apple and HAL. His courses were considered the most sought after in the Valley.

Combining his passion for engineering, travel and community service, Adatia is currently volunteering technology, work flow and communication systems in Afghanistan, Syria and India for Micro Credit Loan Programs, organizations that loans people money to start small businesses.

Matthew Choi 2001 B.A.Sc. Arts & Science

Matthew Choi

While working towards his Bachelor of Arts and Science at McMaster, Choi co-founded, Canada's first and only nonprofit internet charity portal. The Web site processes online donations at no cost for every charity in Canada. Since inception in 2000, the Web site has delivered millions of dollars in value to the charitable sector. In recognition of this achievement Choi and the CanadaHelps team have been honoured with numerous awards including the Government of Ontario Showcase Voluntary Sector Award of Excellence, the Microsoft Productivity Award: Best Solution for Not-for-Profit, and the Industry Canada/Canarie IWAY Recognition for Technological Innovation.

An exceptional student and volunteer, Choi is currently studying medicine at Queen's University. His academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honours including, the Associated Medical Services/Boyd Upper Award, the Queen's University Aesculapian Society Award of Merit, and the McMaster University Award for Special Achievement.

Choi is particularly interested in exploring the practice of medicine in underdeveloped nations. After graduation he headed to the Indian Himalayans on a rural development project to create a basic health care manual for isolated mountain communities. Most recently, he has traveled to Tanzania to work at a hospital Trauma Centre.

Alexandra Kitty 1994 B.A. Faculty of Social Sciences

Alexandra Kitty

While completing the final year of her BA in psychology at McMaster, Kitty decided, quite by accident, to pursue a career in journalism. After watching a story on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes, Kitty wrote a letter praising the story. 60 Minutes responded by asking Kitty to do some further research into the topic. It was at that time she decided that if 60 Minutes thought a McMaster psychology student had the right stuff to be a journalist, she was not going to argue.

Kitty has written for a number of magazines and papers including Elle Canada, Maisonneuve, Current Magazine, Quill Magazine, Hamilton Magazine, Presstime Magazine, the Hamilton Spectator, Victoria Times Colonist and Burlington Post. Kitty's topics of specialty are crime, the news media and hoaxes in the news. She is expecting her first book Don't Believe it!: How lies make news to be published by the Disinformation Company in the Fall of 2004.

In addition to writing for a number of magazines, Kitty currently teaches writing at the Sheridan Institute. She was also a professor of Language Studies at Mohawk College, teaching courses ranging from communication, research and reporting, ideas in tv and film to public speaking.

Alexandra would like to be remembered for: “..improving the journalism product by helping to change the way journalism is taught to university students  I believe that journalists should be better informed about psychology or forensic psychiatry.”

Patrick Mahoney 2002 B.Sc.N. Faculty of Health Sciences

Patrick Mahoney

An accomplished nurse and passionate volunteer, Mahoney came to McMaster as a mature student to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. During his first year of study, Mahoney co-founded the McMaster Student Outreach Clinic (MacSOC), which patrols the streets of Hamilton and provides a helping hand to the homeless. The program operates with out a budget and relies on volunteers who provide donated food, clothing and hygiene supplies to Hamilton's less fortunate. Identifying the need for a unique program specifically targeted to help Hamilton's struggling youth, Mahoney also founded Getting Youth Back from the Edge (GYBE), which works to get homeless youth off the street and prevent homelessness among street youth 16-25 years of age.

Working with a professor at McMaster, Mahoney co-produced and co-teaches a fourth level course on Poverty and Homelessness at McMaster that has been offered for three consecutive years. In honour of his many distinguished accomplishments, Mahoney won the McMaster University Nursing Science Society's Service to McMaster Community Award and the McMaster University Prize for Special Achievement. Mahoney is currently a public health nurse with the city of Toronto in the Family Health Division.

Bernardo Trigatti 1988 B.Sc. Faculty of Science, 1995 Ph.D. Faculty of Science

Bernardo Trigatti

Trigatti completed his undergraduate (B.Sc., 1988) and doctoral (Ph.D., 1995) degrees at McMaster and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before returning to McMaster in 2000 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry.

An exceptional young scientist, his state-of-the art approach to understanding the molecular aspects of lipid transport using a combination of biochemistry, cell biology and transgenic mouse model technology may reveal new strategies for therapy aimed at preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease. In recognition of his research Trigatti has won numerous awards including; the Medical Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario New Investigator Award, and, most recently, the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference/Pfizer Young Investigator Award for Basic Lipoprotein Science.

A talented and devoted professor, Trigatti has the ability to make complex problems clear and meaningful to students. He has also initiated the establishment of new graduate courses in Molecular Genetics and Diseases. In addition to teaching and research he has taken on numerous responsibilities within the Department of Biochemistry and the Faculty of Science. He is a member of the Graduate Admissions Committee, the Graduate Scholarships Ranking Committee. He is also a member of the Centre for Functional Genomics.

Also being awarded this weekend are alumni Joshua Wong, who will receive the 2004 Albert Lager Student Alumni Relations Award and Yasir Naqvi, who will be awarded the Alumni Association's Branch Award for 2004.

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