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2010 - Todd Woodward (UBC), Margo Greenwood (UNBC) and Mark N. Wexler (SFU)
- Published on Tuesday, 02 November 2010 22:25
- Written by Robert Clift
Todd Woodward, Margo Greenwood and Mark N. Wexler
2010 CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards Recipients
From Left to Right: Dr. Todd Woodward - Early in Career Award, Dr. Margo Greenwood - Academic of the Year Award, Dr. Moira Stilwell - Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, Prof. Mark N. Wexler - Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award
A UBC professor who developed an innovative therapy to assist people with schizophrenia, a UNBC professor who is a tireless educator, researcher, and advocate for improving health outcomes of Aboriginal peoples, and an SFU professor who has devoted his career to helping others deal with thorny ethical dilemmas received the 2010 CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards on Wednesday, April 7th.
UBCâ€™s Dr. Todd Woodward was the inaugural recipient of the Early in Career Award-Sponsored by Scotiabank for applying his research on brain functioning in people with schizophrenia to create a new therapy to help those with the disease to control their symptoms.
UNBCâ€™s Dr. Margo Greenwood was named Academic of the Year for publication of the ground breaking report â€œAboriginal Health: Leaving No Child Behindâ€ -- prepared for UNICEF by the National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health (NCCAH), which is led by Dr. Greenwood.
SFUâ€™s Professor Mark N. Wexler received the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award for his 30 years of applying his scholarly work on business ethics to practical problems in business, government health care, and other fields, and for engaging the broader community in a dialogue about ethics.
These awards are presented annually by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA BC) to recognize faculty members at BCâ€™s public universities who use their research and scholarly work to make contributions to the wider community.
â€œDr. Woodward, Dr. Greenwood, and Professor Wexler are outstanding examples of faculty members at BC universities who use their research to benefit the wider community,â€ said Dr. Paul Bowles, President of CUFA BC.
â€œDr. Woodwardâ€™s efforts to make his research relevant to the lives of people with schizophrenia is amazing for someone so early in their career,â€ Bowles continued. â€œDr. Greenwoodâ€™s report is just one of the many contributions she has made in an effort to get governments to understand and address the needs of Aboriginal communities. Dr. Wexlerâ€™s practical, hands-on approach to ethical reasoning, combined with a solid academic foundation, fuels the demand for his expertise as a consultant, advisor, and speaker.â€
Mark Forsythe, host of CBC Radio One's BC Almanac, emceed the awards dinner on Wednesday, April 7th at the Law Courts Inn in Vancouver.
The CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards are in their sixteenth year and receive generous support from Scotiabank, Pacific Blue Cross, CBC Radio One, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia, and Royal Roads University.
2010 CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards Recipients
April 7, 2010
Early in Career Award - Sponsored by Scotiabank - 2010
Dr. Todd Woodward - Department of Psychiatry - University of British Columbia
The first award recipient this evening is Dr. Todd Woodward, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Woodward is the inaugural recipient of the Early in Career Award - Sponsored by Scotiabank.
The hidden world of mental illness makes identification and treatment of the disease incredibly difficult. The multiple and overlapping effects of physical, psychological and environmental factors mean there are no easy answers.
So, UBC's Todd Woodward found it fascinating that data he was helping to analyze indicated that the many symptoms of schizophrenia cluster together into only three distinct categories. These findings were part of his wife's PhD dissertation at the University of Victoria, where they were both graduate students, and got him thinking about what his field of research - brain functioning - could contribute to understanding this phenomenon. So great was his curiosity that it led him to switch his research focus from Parkinson's disease to schizophrenia.
It was this new research focus that ultimately led to the creation of the MetaCognitive Training program-a tool for helping people with schizophrenia to identify and control thought patterns that exacerbate their illness.
Raised and educated in British Columbia, Dr. Woodward could have easily confined his research findings to scholarly journals and had a very successful academic career. However, he wanted to share the knowledge gained through his field of study with the people for whom it mattered most-people with schizophrenia. So, he and his colleague, Steffen Moritz, combined the results of their research on the development and maintenance of false beliefs with the results of other teams studying thinking biases to create this unique group therapy program.
The MetaCognitive Training program allows people to experience these thinking biases in a fun and relaxed setting, so that awareness of the nature of these biases is heightened, providing tools that people with schizophrenia can use to reduce the impact of their symptoms.
The MetaCognitive Training program has now been translated into 15 languages, is being used in hundreds of care centres worldwide, is the subject of three large-scale, international, randomized studies to confirm its efficacy, and is also being adapted into a program that can be used in one-on-one therapy.
At a time in his career when many young academics are focused exclusively on the teaching and research requirements necessary to obtain tenure, Dr. Woodward has distinguished himself by stepping beyond this to make his research relevant to the wider community.
For his ground breaking work in understanding and treating schizophrenia and for his commitment to making his research useful for people with schizophrenia, Dr. Todd Woodward was named as the inaugural recipient of the Early in Career Award - Sponsored by Scotiabank.
Academic of the Year Award - 2010
Dr. Margo Greenwood - First Nations Studies Program - University of Northern British Columbia
The United Nation's Human Development Index ranks countries based on their life expectancy, adult literacy rate and standard of living. Canada ranks fourth in the world, but within Canada, Aboriginal peoples live in a different country. A country that would be ranked 68th on the Human Development Index, alongside Belarus.
This is one of many sobering findings contained in a June 2009 report produced by National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health, headed up by UNBC's Dr. Margo Greenwood. The UNICEF-sponsored report, 'Aboriginal Children's Health: Leaving No Child Behind' is the embodiment of the National Collaborating Centre's and Dr. Greenwood's mission to improve the health outcomes of Canada's Aboriginal peoples through data and dialogue.
Dr. Greenwood, an indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry, is a tireless educator, researcher and advocate. Prior to her appointment at UNBC in 1997, she had spent more than a decade teaching Aboriginal childcare workers, administering education programs, and assisting First Nations in improving the living and learning conditions for their children. This included policy work on the national stage. During this time, and into her time at UNBC, virtually every national report and policy statement on Aboriginal youth has had her fingerprints on it.
Dr. Greenwood's 2005 appointment as the academic leader for the National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health, was a natural outgrowth of her work with children. Its knowledge-sharing mission deals with child and youth health, social determinants of Indigenous health, and emerging public health priorities. Building upon the attributes and strengths of First Nations, Inuit and MÃ©tis peoples, the National Collaborating Centre truly embraces the idea that it takes a community to raise a child.
In his letter supporting Dr. Greenwood's nomination, Nigel Fisher, President of UNICEF Canada writes that the 'Leaving No Child Behind' report is
"a singular exemplar of how research that combines the perspectives of both academics and community based specialists serves as an advocacy tool and contributes to the academic discourse as well as public education on children's rights issues."
For her years of advocacy, academic leadership, and research excellence and for publication of 'Aboriginal Health: Leaving No Child Behind', Dr. Margo Greenwood was named 2010 recipient of the Academic of the Year Award.
Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award - 2010
Professor Mark N. Wexler - Segal Graduate School of Business - Simon Fraser University
While most people tend to shy away from ethical dilemmas, Mark Wexler has spent 30 years seeking them out.
A professor in the Segal Graduate School of Business, Professor Wexler's teaching and research are centered on business ethics and corporate responsibility. Amongst other topics, he asks his students to examine the public perceptions of the modern corporation, to consider the ethical foundations of leadership, and to discuss the nature and limits of social responsibility. These are not mere academic exercises. Professor Wexler's students come away from his courses with practical tools to deal with the dilemmas they will face in the business world.
It is this practical, hands-on approach to ethical reasoning combined with a solid academic foundation that fuels the demand for Professor Wexler's expertise as a consultant, advisor and speaker. With a background in philosophy, sociology, business and law, Professor Wexler is called on to help make sense not only of business dilemmas, but also of difficult ethical questions facing our society. Mercy killing, stem cell research, the rights and responsibilities of new immigrants, the limits to treating people with rare diseases, and the boundaries of tolerance are among the topics he's addressed.
Professor Wexler firmly believes that academics have a duty to serve the public good, whether that public be Canada's business elite, a class of Grade 6 students, or homeless people in the heart of Vancouver. This engagement is well represented by his involvement with the Premier's Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Philosopher's CafÃ©, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the BC Ethics in Action Society and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.
Professor Wexler possesses a unique gift in his ability to come to these complicated and often emotional discussions without an axe to grind. In a letter supporting the nomination, the Vancouver Sun's Douglas Todd, who is with us here this evening, observes:
"He never pushes a narrow agenda in his media and other public appearances. His well-studied perspectives and positions on a variety of issues come with an impressive impartiality and commitment to truth. The best journalists are taught to cover the movers and shakers of their era 'without fear or favour,' and Dr. Wexler also seems to find this ethical stand a natural fit."
For his career-long commitment to applying his scholarly work to practical problems and to engaging the broader community in dialogue about ethics, Professor Mark N. Wexler was the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Academics Awards Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award.
2010 Distinguished Academics Awards