Robert Gordon was officially installed as president of the University of Windsor during the institution’s Convocation ceremonies on Saturday, Oct. 19.
“I’m delighted that my life journey has led me here to Windsor,” Dr. Gordon said before graduands, their families, and friends. “I never imagined, growing up in Nova Scotia, with my sights set on being a future wide-receiver for the New England Patriots — well before the Tom Brady era — that I would be standing before you here today.
“I suppose you could say I am living proof of the importance of keeping yourself open to new ideas, to changing directions, and to taking chances.”
Gordon joined chancellor Mary Jo Haddad to confer more than 1,000 degrees in two sessions at the St. Denis Centre.
Among those honoured were Emma De Roy (BSc 2016, MSc 2019) and Manar Shoshani (BSc 2013, PhD 2018), recipients of the Governor General’s Gold Medal for academic achievement in graduate study.
A student of environmental science, De Roy braved Hurricane Irma during fieldwork exploring the impact of invasive lionfish on coral reefs off the Florida coast. She co-authored two peer-reviewed journal articles, with four others currently in review, and has presented at two academic conferences.
Her thesis supervisor Hugh MacIsaac praised her “strong record of disseminating scientific research in public forums,” and noted her engagement in community outreach.
De Roy is currently working as a research associate examining the role of invasive species on nutrient and contaminant cycling in Lake Erie. She will begin doctoral studies in autumn 2020.
In the course of earning his doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry under the supervision of professor Samuel Johnson, Dr. Shoshani wrote or co-wrote 10 peer-reviewed journal articles, including one published in Nature Chemistry.
The departmental letter nominating him noted: “A paper in a Nature journal is often the pinnacle of an academic’s life and frequently not achieved during an entire career. Manar has marked himself out as an exceptional researcher at an early stage in his research career.”
Shoshani is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology.