Shorts: Ellis and Bottcher named U of A athletes of the year
Ellis and Bottcher named U of A athletes of the year
Fourth-year Pandas volleyball setter/outside hitter Jaki Ellis and CIS champion Golden Bears curling skip Brendan Bottcher were chosen as the 2011-12 University of Alberta athletes of the year at the Green and Gold Athletic Awards held April 5 at the Shaw Conference Centre.
Ellis, a physical education and recreation student, accepted the Bakewell Trophy for a season that saw her named a CIS championship tournament all-star, and a CIS first team all-Canadian. She helped the Pandas to a Canada West championship and CIS silver, and was one of the top servers and setters in CIS play. Ellis is the 17th member of the Pandas’ volleyball program to win the award, and the first since Tiffany Proudfoot won in 2010.
Bottcher, an engineering student, became the first curler to win the Wilson Challenge Trophy thanks to a spectacular season leading the Golden Bears to their first ever CIS/CCA curling championship. Bottcher and his teammates went a combined 12-1 against CIS competition this season, and he was named a CIS second team all-Canadian. Outside of his varsity competition, the Sherwood Park native led a different group of Golden Bears curlers to the Alberta, Canadian and World junior championship titles, while racking up a 42-3 record this year.
Carleigh Miller of Pandas soccer received a Block ‘A’ Ring, which is presented to fourth-year athletes who have demonstrated an exceptional contribution to interuniversity sport in the areas of athletics, academics, community support, and leadership.
Leah Walkeden was selected as the female rookie of the year after claiming Canada West gold in the 60m dash and bronze in the 300m race, as the Pandas track and field team finished third overall at the conference championship.
Golden Bears swimmer Joe Byram was named male rookie of the year to go with CIS swimming rookie of the year honours after a season that saw the science student win two CIS individual medals (silver in 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke), set two U of A records, and set an Alberta provincial record (200m backstroke). He was also on a relay team (4x100m medley) that earned CIS bronze.
Finally, Mike Ling of Pandas volleyball was chosen as the R.G. Glassford Award winner. The award is given annually to a coach who has demonstrated long-standing coaching excellence in teaching ability, knowledge of sport and ability to motivate athletes.
University responds to federal budget
The University of Alberta is pleased the 2012 federal budget recognizes the importance education, research and innovation have as a driver for Canada’s future economic prosperity, said president Indira Samarasekera.
Despite tough fiscal realities affecting Canada and nations across the globe, Samarasekera said, the government continues to show confidence in the role universities have on the nation’s economic landscape.
“The 2012 budget is a clear signal that the federal government recognizes the benefits of investing in research, development and talented people, and the impact it will have on Canadians over the long term,” she said.
Highlights of the budget include $500 million over five years, starting in 2014-15, to the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support advanced research infrastructure; $60 million for Genome Canada to launch a new applied research competition in the area of human health, and to sustain the science and technology centres until 2014-15; $37 million annually, starting in 2012-13, to the granting councils to enhance their support for industry-academic research partnerships; and $10 million over two years to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to link Canadians to global research networks.
Honorary degree for Blackstock
Faculty of Extension associate professor Cindy Blackstock will receive an honorary degree from the University of Northern British Columbia in recognition of her longtime advocacy for Aboriginal children.
Blackstock, a native of Prince George, B.C., is also executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
“It’s a special honour because I grew up in Prince George,” says Blackstock, “so on a personal level it’s quite nice to be honoured; it really brought to mind who deserves to be honoured in this, and that is the First Nations children and the non-Aboriginal children standing with them to ensure equality in health care, education and child welfare for children across Canada living on reserves.”
She and the CEO of the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, John Furlong, will receive honorary degrees May 25 during convocation ceremonies.