Winter Convocation Set: Feb. 18-19

Noted Princeton University microbiologist Bonnie Bassler will receive an honorary doctorate during the University of Guelph’s winter convocation ceremonies, to be held Feb. 18 and 19.

U of G professor Dana Paramskas, School of Languages and Literatures, will receive a Medal of Merit. Profs. John Prescott, Pathobiology, and William Smith, Mathematics and Statistics, will be named as University Professor Emeriti.

Bassler is considered a leading scientist in quorum sensing, or the ability of bacteria to communicate with each other. Her 2009 TED Talk on the topic has received more than 1.7 million views.

She has contributed to more than 100 research papers, many in notable journals. She has served as president of the American Society for Microbiology and is current chair of Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology.

Paramskas will receive the Medal of Merit for service to the University of Guelph community for more than four decades.

Even in retirement she continues to promote distance education, including seeking innovative tools, websites and programs to improve student learning. She has also frequently volunteered to review entrance scholarship candidates.

Paramskas has served on the executive of the U of G Retiree Association for eight years.

Prescott has taught and studied at the Ontario Veterinary College for 25 years. He has mentored 39 graduate students and published more than 200 papers on veterinary bacteriology.

He played a major role in the design of the Pathobiology and Animal Health Laboratory building.

Smith joined Guelph as a professor in 1979. He helped launch an undergraduate program in applied mathematics and helped develop other programs in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

He was one of the first faculty members at Guelph to use computer technology in the classroom, and he helped establish the first undergraduate microcomputer laboratory on campus.

Since leaving the university in 2003, he has continued to be involved as an adjunct professor in the department.

Honorary doctorates will be awarded as follows:

Feb. 18

Paramskas, 10 a.m.

Bassler, 1 p.m.

Feb. 19

Prescott, 10 a.m.

Smith, 7 p.m.

For a full list of ceremonies, visit the convocation website.