McMaster faculty, alumni and community members named to Order of Canada

Order of Canada insignias laid out on a table

The Order of Canada is one of this country’s highest honours. Appointments are made for sustained achievement at three levels: Companion, Officer and Member. Photo credit: MCpl Anis Assari, Rideau Hall

Seven individuals with connections to McMaster, including a professor emerita, a renowned surgeon and a pioneer in women’s sport, have been appointed to the Order of Canada — one of the country’s highest civilian honours. 

The seven individuals are among a list of 83 prominent Canadians recognized by the governor general on June 27 for their impacts in their respective fields. 

“The Order of Canada recognizes individuals who have made positive and lasting impacts on communities here in Canada or who have brought honour to our country abroad,” said Governor General of Canada Mary Simon of the appointees. 

Learn more about the McMaster faculty members, graduates and community members recognized for their extraordinary contributions to Canada: 

Daphne Maurer 

Psychologist Daphne Maurer, a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, and a Royal Society Fellow, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her work on visual and cognitive development during early childhood, and its impact in improving patient outcomes and clinical practice.  

“She was also instrumental in developing and implementing Ontario’s universal vision screening program for kindergarten children, an initiative that is spreading across Canada,” according to the professor emerita’s citation.  

In 2020, Maurer and science writer Charles Maurer published a book called Pretty Ugly, based on decades of work on the mechanisms that help us decide what we like and don’t like.  

Learn more: Daphne Maurer explains her life’s work 

Budhendranauth Doobay 

Retired surgeon and former McMaster assistant clinical professor Budhendranauth Doobay was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.  

Doobay is the founder of the Doobay-Gafoor Medical Research Centre in Guyana, a partner institution of McMaster, which provides free dialysis to patients in need and promotes preventative care.  

He is also a community and religious leader, and founded the Vishnu Mandir temple and the Gandhi Memorial Peace Garden.   

Judy Kent 

Judy Kent, head coach of the Marauders women’s swim team from 1975 to 1979, has been recognized as an Officer of Canada for her work championing sport as a tool for social change.  

Kent, who was instrumental in turning McMaster’s varsity swim program into one of the most successful in the country, was a faculty member in the School of Physical Education and Athletics and played a key role in integrating the National Coaching Certification Program into the University’s curriculum.  

She was the first woman to serve as both president of Commonwealth Sport Canada and Canada’s chef de mission for the Commonwealth Games and has spent her career promoting gender equality and inclusion.  

Kent was inducted into the McMaster University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. 

 Yusuf Altintas  

Altintas, who obtained his PhD from McMaster in 1987, is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC).  

A world leader in the fields of metal cutting dynamics, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for his work in pushing the limits of manufacturing.  

He is the founder and director of UBC’s Manufacturing Automation Laboratory and has been recognized for being an exceptional mentor, and for his contributions to cultural and educational organizations worldwide. 

Douglas Stephan  

Douglas Stephan, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto (U of T), graduated with his Bachelor of Science from McMaster in 1976.  

A world-leading researcher in inorganic chemistry/catalysis, he is best known as the founder of the field of “frustrated Lewis pair” (FLP) chemistry. The concept received worldwide recognition in academia and industry, and continues to impact the broader scientific community.  

Stephan is the recipient of many national and international awards and was appointed a University Professor by U of T in 2018. 

Pamela Appelt  

Retired judge and esteemed community leader Pamela Appelt has been appointed on Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her dedication to uplifting Black communities, particularly through education initiatives and mentorship of young leaders.  

Appelt received an honorary degree from McMaster in 2022 and played an instrumental role in bringing the archives of iconic Jamaican-Canadian poet Louise Bennett Coverley, better known as “Miss Lou,” to the McMaster University Library. 

Appelt was the first female Afro-Canadian to serve as a judge of the Court of Canadian Citizenship and has spent her life working with numerous community and national organizations, including helping found the Black-Jewish dialogue of B’Nai Brith Canada. 

Colleen Murphy 

Screenwriter, film director and playwright Colleen Murphy, who was the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence at McMaster in 2009, has been named a Member of the Order of Canada.  

Murphy, a two-time recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, has been recognized for her body of work and her support of young, emerging writers and women in the arts.

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