Six of Brandon University’s most distinguished alumni will be recognized with awards during this weekend’s virtual Homecoming celebrations.
Homecoming, which is traditionally a time for in-person gatherings, class reunions, and festive revelry, has been moved online again this year, due to ongoing public health concerns, as well as to accommodate alumni from around the world for whom travel is difficult during the pandemic.
“Everyone misses the energy and vibrancy of returning to campus for a weekend of fun and fellowship, and we’re planning for a return to that next year,” said Carla Eisler, BU’s Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs. “This year, we’re once again leaning into the worldwide connections we can make online, which in many ways open Homecoming up to a much wider audience of BU alumni.”
Every former student of Brandon College and Brandon University is invited to visit BrandonU.ca/Homecoming to access all the virtual elements of the weekend celebration. They include a special alumni video, a virtual campus tour, live-streamed Bobcats soccer matches, and a mini music concert. The BU Alumni office is also facilitating special online class reunions, as well as an Indigenous alumni gathering. The Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies program is also kicking off their 20th anniversary celebrations during Homecoming.
“There’s something for everyone,” Eisler said. “There’s no charge, and it’s a great opportunity for BU grads from any year to reconnect with campus, as well as with friends and faculty you may not have seen for a while.”
One of the annual highlights at Homecoming is the awards banquet, which is being held via video this year. Six alumni — including a pair of brothers who have ended up teaching similar courses at different universities — are being recognized for their achievements.
“As a fellow Brandon University graduate, I can personally speak about the positive impact that BU had on me and others,” said Iris Wang, the President of the BU Alumni Association, who will be presenting the awards. “We know that there are many alumni within our community and province, and also throughout the country and around the world, who are making important contributions to their respective communities and who are a true example of the Brandon College and Brandon University spirit of excellence.”
The awards include recognition for excellence in teaching, community service, and career achievement.
Alumni awards 2021
BU Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching
The Excellence in Teaching Award is presented to a member of the Brandon University teaching staff who has exemplified excellence in teaching at Brandon University.
Professor David Taylor, BSc ’74
Born and raised in Brandon, David Taylor graduated from Brandon University with a Bachelor of Science degree and followed that by achieving his designation as a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba. The C.A. designation provided David with many opportunities in public practice and industry positions over his career.
Early in his professional career, David was asked to teach in the Chartered Accountants education program run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba. Many weekends were spent sharing knowledge with many of the accounting professionals now in practice in Manitoba and beyond. As the Manitoba CA education program moved to the province’s universities, David’s teaching continued as a sessional instructor at Brandon University for many years.
In 2003, an opportunity to teach fulltime at Brandon University opened and David became a member of the Business Administration Department, where he shares his knowledge and experience with students in the accounting and tax-related courses
In his teaching, David focuses on student success. A favourite saying in class is “Nothing comes without hard work but with hard work comes success.” David has always kept an open door policy for students to ask questions, voice concerns or just visit.
For over 15 years he has enjoyed the role of faculty advisor to the Enactus organization on campus and has shared in the successes of the students as they presented their community based projects in competition with other university groups across the country. Numerous regional and national honours have been earned by the Enactus team. David is currently the Business Administration Department Chair and serves on several University and community organizations.
Brandon University Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service
The Brandon University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to community service.
Bryton Moen, BA (Hons) ’11
Bryton Moen earned his Bachelor of Arts in 2011 (Honours) from Brandon University and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Manitoba in 2014.
Bryton is a Crown Attorney with Manitoba Justice. In that role he has prosecuted a variety of high profile and complex matters throughout the Province of Manitoba and has been Co-Counsel to several inquests. In addition to his professional life, Bryton enjoys volunteering his time to help others. He is a committed volunteer for both the community and the legal profession.
Bryton has been involved in a variety of different community organizations. He currently serves as Chair of the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund, and as a Director for the Victoria General Hospital Foundation. He has also served on the board of the Canadian Sport Centre – Manitoba, Brandon University Alumni Association, multiple committees of the Law Society of Manitoba, including ethics and education, and the Brandon & District United Way, where he served as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee. As well, Bryton worked with a humanitarian organization where his team worked alongside Haitians to help rebuild a school building, laboured with them on the farms and distributed food and medical supplies to a local hospital.
Bryton is active in a variety of different professional organizations, presently serving the Manitoba Bar Association as a Council Member, as Chair of the Constitutional & Human Rights Section and as Co-Chair of the Criminal Law Section. He also serves on the national executive of the Canadian Bar Association for both the Constitutional & Human Rights Section, and the Criminal Law Section. In addition, Bryton serves as a member of the Investment Committee of the Law Society of Manitoba. Bryton also volunteers his time to mentor first-year law students.
Brandon University Alumni Association Distinguished Awards for Career Achievement:
The Brandon University Alumni Association Distinguished Award for Career Achievement is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession, career, business, or industry.
This year, there are four awards.
Dr. Gordon Williams, BSc ’55
Dr. Gordon Williams has been a leader in the geoscience community and a key player in The Association of Petroleum Engineers and Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) regulatory functions. He was born and raised in a farming community in southwestern Manitoba, obtaining his B.Sc. from Brandon College (University of Manitoba) in 1955 and his PhD in geology in 1960 from the University of Alberta.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Williams has been active in the advancement of the profession and its future professionals. He taught geology and served as Chair of the Geology Department at the University of Alberta. Dr. Williams also taught at the University of Queensland in Australia, served as Dean of Science and Technology at Mount Royal College, and operated his own consulting company.
Dr. Williams has been employed by oil companies in Western Canada and has worked on oil and gas, oil sands, oil shale and coal projects in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan. Dr. Williams was a sessional instructor in Petroleum Land Management in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Williams has been an active APEGGA volunteer for more than 30 years. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists, is an Honorary Member and Past-President of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and a Distinguished Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada. Dr. Williams has been recognized by receiving the L.C. Charlesworth Professional Service Award, the first-ever Canadian Professional Geoscientist Award, the J. Willis Ambrose Medal and the President’s Award.
Harry Van Mulligen, BA ’68
Harry Van Mulligen was born in the Netherlands and immigrated as a young child to Brandon in 1956. There he attended public schools and then graduated from Brandon University in 1968 with a BA in Psychology. At BU he was active in student government and served as Vice President of the Student Union. Following graduation he worked in northern Manitoba as a social worker for the Manitoba Government. He moved to Regina in 1974 to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Regina and subsequently worked as a social researcher and adult education programmer at the university.
In Regina, Mr. Van Mulligen became active in local politics and served as a City Councilor between 1979 and 1985. He then was elected six times as a Member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly between 1986 and 2009. As an MLA, he served as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and as Deputy Speaker before being appointed to the provincial Cabinet. In Cabinet, he held several positions including Government House Leader and Minister of Finance. At other times his ministerial responsibilities included Social Services, Municipal Affairs, Intergovernmental Relations, Trade Policy, and SaskEnergy. When he retired he said the work he did as Social Services Minister in developing the KidsFirst program, which helps vulnerable families, was among his most satisfying.
Drs Cam and Tim Goater
Dr. Cam Goater is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta. Dr. Tim Goater is a professor in the Biology Department at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
The brothers’ shared fascination for the ecological sciences can be traced back to their early years in northern Ontario.
Tim and Cam completed their B.Sc. degrees (Zoology) at Brandon University in 1983 and 1985, respectively. Mentorship of both brothers by the late Dr. Al Bush in the Department of Zoology at BU sparked their interests to pursue post-graduate studies in ecological parasitology.
Cam obtained his Ph.D. degree at University of Exeter, England, followed by post-doctoral research stints at University of Zurich and University of Alberta. Cam eventually settled on the grasslands in southern Alberta in 1997. Tim obtained his Ph.D. degree at Wake Forest University, North Carolina and moved to Vancouver Island in 1990 to start his faculty position.
Both brothers teach courses in Parasitology and Invertebrate Zoology, with Cam adding Field Biology and Tim adding Entomology. Both brothers have research programs that seek to understand the complex phenomenon of parasitism in diverse animals, specifically unravelling the secrets of how parasites influence the ecology and evolution of their hosts.
A highlight of their teaching and research academic careers is the textbook published by Cambridge University Press that Tim and Cam co-wrote together, ‘Parasitism: The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites’. Their text supports parasitology and ecology courses at universities around the world.
Cam was awarded the prestigious Wardle Medal from the Canadian Society of Zoologists in 2019 in recognition of research excellence in parasitology. Tim was presented the VIU Provost Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016 and the President’s Award for Community Leadership in 2021.
Both brothers are especially proud of their Brandon roots and have many fond memories of their fun-filled years at Brandon University.
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