Meet the Fall convocation’s honorary degree recipients

A driving force for equitable, community-focused research at McMaster, a pioneer in stroke recovery and treatment, and a champion of science education: This fall’s honorary degree recipients are leaders in their fields.

The achievements of these figures will be recognized during Fall convocation ceremonies on Nov. 23 and 24.

In order of presentation, here’s a look at who will be receiving honorary degrees this Fall:

Patrick Deane

Thursday November 23rd, 2023 at 9:30 am

Deane is an extremely familiar face to many people at McMaster, having led the university as our president and vice-chancellor from 2010 to 2019. He began his leadership at McMaster by authoring Forward With Integrity, advancing guiding principles for and emphasizing a focus on student experience, community engagement, research and internationalization. His initiatives ultimately led to the creation of the Office of Community Engagement, as well as the development of the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching ,which was a key factor in McMaster winning the second-ever Global Teaching Excellence Award in 2018.

Deane is known for being a staunch advocate for the societal value of research-intensive universities, and his commitment to equipping McMaster students with the skills and tools they need to engage thoughtfully and critically with the challenges facing our world. He initiated McMaster’s response to the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and reimagined the Equity and Inclusion Office.

A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Deane returned to Queen’s University to become its principal and vice-chancellor in 2019. He is also president of the Governing Council of the Magna Charta Observatory and was a member of the group that developed the updated version of the Magna Charta Universitatum.

Janice Eng

Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 at 2:30 pm

Eng is the associate director of the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries at the University of British Columbia. She is the university delegate for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the health research advisor for the UBC Office of the VP Research & International, and the associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Eng is the director of the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute’s Rehabilitation Research Program, the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation and a University Killam Professor — UBC’s highest faculty honour.

Her research has influenced neurological rehabilitation practice both in Canada and internationally. She developed innovative treatments such as high-intensity exercise to optimize brain recovery after stroke, as well as wearable robotic devices to enable people recovering from severe stroke to walk.

She also shaped clinical practice through the Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program, now in use in more than 45 countries, and the Fitness and Movement Exercise community exercise program. She recently adapted both initiatives into virtual formats to help people recovering during the isolation of the pandemic era. Her work has helped shape national guidelines for stroke recovery in Canada, the U.S. and further abroad.

The lead researcher for the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Evidence (SCIRE) Project and co-principal investigator of the CanStroke Recovery Network, Eng has been recognized with several awards and honours, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation Research Award. She has been named the Greene Lecturer in Physical Therapy by Springfield College and was recognized with the Distinguished Achievement Award for Overall Excellence from the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and one of only 10 physical therapists among the 700 academy fellows.

Emily Calandrelli

Friday November 24th, 2023 at 9:30 am

Emily Calandrelli is well known to young and aspiring space experts in homes around the world.

She holds degrees in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering, aeronautics and astronautics, as well as in technology and policy. As a student, she worked as a NASA Glenn Research Assistant, a NASA Ames Academy Research Assistant, a legislative intern in the US House of Representatives and a visiting scholar at the Harvard NASA Tournament Lab.

Calandrelli was the first woman to host her own nation-wide science show in the United States. Now in its 10th year, the Emmy-winning show features Calandrelli – an Emmy nominee herself – introducing viewers to outer space and various NASA facilities. One of the hallmarks of Xploration Outer Space is its commitment to profiling and encouraging greater diversity in the aerospace industry.

Calandrelli was also a correspondent with the Emmy-winning Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World and, since 2020, has been the host and co-executive producer of the hit Netflix series Emily’s Wonder Lab, a show that teaches children about science.

Calandrelli is an educator and advocate for space exploration, scientific literacy and equality. She is the author of Reach For The Stars, as well as best-selling science experiment books in the Stay Curious and Keep Exploring series, and the six-volume chapter-book series The Ada Lace Adventures.

Calandrelli is a champion for making science, technology, engineering and mathematics more inclusive and accessible, and is part of the executive team with the Brooke Owens Fellowship which helps make the aerospace workforce more inclusive and gender diverse.

Calandrelli is a much sought-after public speaker who has presented to organizations including Google, Pixar and the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

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