University of Guelph faculty and student awards for teaching, service and academic achievement will be presented during summer convocation June 8-12.

Top faculty awards will be presented to Prof. Ian Duncan, Animal and Poultry Science, and Prof. Andrea Buchholz, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition.

Duncan will receive the Medal of Merit, awarded to a retired professor for outstanding contributions to teaching and other areas that improve academic life and character.

He has taught and studied at U of G for 25 years and continues to work since retiring five years ago.

His teaching awards include the President’s Distinguished Professor Award, the Ontario Agricultural College Teaching Award, the University of Guelph Faculty Award and the inaugural award of the Humane Society of the United States for the best established course in North America on animals and society.

Buchholz will receive the John Bell Award, named for the late Prof. John Bell, a former classics professor and department chair at Guelph.

Buchholz joined U of G in 2004 and helped create courses with applied clinical skills, including the first course in Canada to involve nutrition-focused physical examination.

She received the 2010 Teaching Award from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the University of Guelph Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award.

The W.C. Winegard Medal, U of G’s top undergraduate convocation award, will be presented to Laura Jane Weber, a graduating biomedical science student. Named for former U of G president Bill Winegard, this honour recognizes academic achievement and contributions to campus and community.

Weber achieved the seventh-highest grade point average among nearly 1,000 College of Biological Science graduates this year.

She served with the Student Life department, helped facilitate strategic planning processes for Kenyan schools, volunteered at drop-in centres for homeless people and was a U of G multi-faith resource team ambassador. She will begin a PhD in epidemiology and international development.

The Forster Medal, U of G’s top convocation award for graduate students, goes to PhD epidemiology graduate Nathan Lachowsky and master’s graduate Alison Ludzki. Named for the late Donald Forster, a former U of G president, the medal recognizes academic achievement, leadership and citizenship.

Lachowsky was the first direct entry PhD candidate into the Ontario Veterinary College’s epidemiology program. He published seven research papers in peer-reviewed journals and 83 research abstracts, and received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Vanier Award for doctoral studies. He belonged to the U of G Senate and Board of Governors.

Ludzki, who graduated last fall, studied the effects of exercise on obesity and insulin resistance, and authored three research papers. A varsity cross-country runner, she helped lead the “Exercise Is Medicine” campaign at Guelph, the second campus in Ontario to launch this program.

This year’s winner of the Walter Vaughan Medal is psychology student Thomas Sasso. Named for a former secretary of Senate, the medal recognizes the contributions of a student member of Senate.

A senator for three years, Sasso served as student Senate caucus co-chair in his final year. He served on several committees and volunteered on and off campus.

The Governor General’s gold medal for top graduate student goes to Jennifer Aitken, who completed a master of fine arts degree last fall. Two silver medals for top undergraduate students go to biomedical science student Diana Marie De Santis and Mateusz Buraczynski, physics. Sidney Ryzebo at U of G’s Kemptville Campus will receive the bronze medal for top marks among Ontario Agricultural College diploma students.