Alumni Tribute Awards 2004
At the Alumni Tribute Awards 2004, five Memorial alumni were recognized for their outstanding contributions at a ceremony in October.
(L-R) Alumni President Gary Peddle, Kevin Smith, Donna Roberts (on behalf of Robert Roberts), Leonard Williams, Krysta Rudofsky, William Dixon, and ATA Chair and alumni vice president Lynda Inkpen
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Robert Roberts, B.Sc.'61
Dr. Robert Roberts is a world expert on familial cardiac disease and a cofounder of molecular cardiology. He is one of the world's 50 most cited authors. And he has been named one of America's Top Ten Doctors for 13 consecutive years. In recognition of the remarkable trail he has blazed in the medical world, Memorial's alumni association names him the 2004 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
A native of Grole, Newfoundland, Dr. Roberts is the president, CEO and chief scientific officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
A founder of molecular cardiology, he's a leading contributor in the identification of genes responsible for heart disease. Dr. Roberts developed what is now the standard international procedure to diagnose heart attacks. In recognition of his scientific contribution he received the Distinguished Scientist of the Year award from the American College of Cardiology in 1998 and the Award of Meritorious Achievement from the American Heart Association in 2001. He served as NASA's lead cardiology consultant on the John Glenn space flight. And he has served as cardiologist to the world's royalty.
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Royal Society of Medicine in London, the European Society of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians all include his name among their most honoured fellowships.
In addition to his brilliant research, Dr. Roberts leads several national and international bodies. He was chair of the Committee on Molecular Genetics and Bioethics. He has chaired committees for the American Heart Association. And he serves on several international research advisory committees.
Dr. Roberts is on the editorial boards of most American and international cardiovascular journals. He has co-authored several medical textbooks including The Heart, one of the world's two major textbooks on heart disease.
Horizon Award for Lifetime Achievement (under age 35 years)
Krysta Rudofsky, BA '00
As a young girl Krysta Rudofsky entertained anyone who'd listen. In high school she performed with the award-winning Holy Heart of Mary Chamber Choir in Vienna. And Ms. Rudofsky has been active with many community theatre productions. But through all this she was preparing for a career in television.
In 1995 she hosted a one-hour CBC special and produced a short Newsworld documentary. As a student she volunteered for the community channel and produced and hosted several award winning programs. In 2001, Ms. Rudofsky stepped onto the "rooftop" when Rogers Television launched Out of
the Fog. An instant hit with viewers, this unique show is a platform for local performers and a forum for local issues. Ms. Rudofsky is now senior program producer.
A skilled professional with a passion for her community, Ms Rudofsky has built a reputation as one of the most influential people in Newfoundland television. And she has proven herself on the national stage as a professional bilingual host for such events as the Viking 2000 arrival of the Islandingur.
Ms. Rudofsky is particularly interested in inspiring young women to success. In 2001, she received the YMCA-YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award for her community work.
Outstanding Community Service Award
William Dixon, BA(Ed.)'62, BA '73
After Advocate Mines closed in the 1970s, putting 700 people out of work, Baie Verte Mayor Bill Dixon helped set up and served on a task force that successfully re-opened the mines and supported the creation of several new small businesses.
But Mr. Dixon's volunteer service for the people of Baie Verte didn't stop there. He took a lead role in many community-based groups including chair of the Community Futures Committee, executive member of the local Kinsmen Club, and board member for several organizations including the Emerald Business Development Corporation, the regional health board and the central health foundation.
After retiring as principal of R.T. Harvey Elementary School, Mr. Dixon served as school board member and chair of the District Five School Board. He oversaw the restructuring and amalgamation of the regional school boards. Mr. Dixon was also an active executive member of the Minor Hockey Association and president of the Rattling Brook Curling Club.
His dedication and volunteer service on the Baie Verte Peninsula is an inspiration to everyone. Most community-based organizations in the area have benefited from his vision, involvement and leadership.
Outstanding Professional Achievement Award Recipient
Dr. Leonard Williams, BA '66, BA (Ed.)'66
Dr. Leonard Williams' leadership and vision have earned him the highest respect among his colleagues and in his community. A member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of many awards, Dr. Williams has set a very high standard of professional achievement.
He served as president of the Newfoundland Teachers' Association and the Canadian Teachers' Federation and helped improve the professional lives of teachers locally, nationally and internationally. As director of student teaching at Memorial, he introduced teaching internship in rural areas and strengthened the university's ties with the school districts.
His work as co-chair of the provincial Educational Delivery in the Classroom Panel resulted in accessibility for more students to programs particularly in rural areas and enhanced teaching and classroom support.
As chair of the Royal Commission on Primary, Elementary and Secondary Education and as deputy minister of education, he implemented significant reforms. He played a lead role in implementing non-denominational education; school governance and community involvement; and curriculum reform.
Dr. Williams' career is enhanced by his ability to engage people in positive change for education. These efforts are rooted in his strongly held values of family, community and faith.
J. D. Eaton Alumni Award
Kevin Smith, BA'71, BA (Ed)'71, M.Ed.'76
For many alumni Kevin Smith is the face of Memorial University. As director of Alumni Affairs and Development for 15 years, he raised the profile of the alumni association and introduced alumni services.
Many alumni recall Mr. Smith's warm welcome for new students at the start of each semester, and his equally warm welcome for new alumni at convocation. And while these activities were part of his duty, Mr. Smith performed them with a genuine spirit that appealed to others.
Mr. Smith passed on his love for Memorial to generations of alumni and friends of the university. His three daughters are Memorial graduates. The volunteers who worked with him recall that no task or request was too great or too small for "Kevin." They knew they could rely on him to get things done.
During his tenure Mr. Smith spent countless hours seeking donations that helped fund scholarships and awards. In response, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Memorial increased their annual financial support. Through it all, Mr. Smith's motto was that the success of any alumni event is measured not just by the funds, but by the friends it raises for Memorial.