Five outstanding individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to the service of community, education, public service and business received honorary degrees from York University during the Fall 2018 Convocation ceremonies.
“Each of these individuals has proven themselves a remarkable leader, not only because of the ingenuity they have demonstrated in their chosen professional fields, but also because of their dedication to the communities they serve,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. “We look forward to celebrating their excellence, and we know they will inspire York’s newest graduates as they embrace their own roles as the leaders of tomorrow.”
Below are the recipients in order of the Faculty ceremonies at which they were honoured:
Dr. Frances Shepherd, MD
Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School
Dr. Frances Shepherd is a respected medical oncologist recognized for her scientific research on lung cancer and her contributions to the design, development and conduct of clinical trials. Her landmark studies are noted for changing treatment and outcomes for patients with both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer at a global level.
She is currently a senior staff physician at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where she has held the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research since 2001. She is also a full professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Shepherd has mentored more than 40 postdoctoral research Fellows from around the world, many of whom now hold senior academic positions of their own. She has authored or co-authored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications and 35 book chapters.
She is on the editorial board of several journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, as well as on numerous lung cancer advisory boards and data and safety monitoring boards for international lung cancer trials.
Dame Moya Greene
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies 1
Dame Moya Greene is one of Canada’s most influential and accomplished exports to the U.K. She has dedicated most of her life to public service and managing complex public and private organizations, mastering the daunting challenges that come with evolving business models.
She was appointed president and chief executive officer of Canada Post on May 12, 2005. In 2010, Greene was appointed chief executive officer of the U.K.’s Royal Mail. Greene was the first non-Briton and first woman to hold the post.
Greene has been the recipient of many personal awards in both Canada and the U.K. In 2003, she was named among the 100 most influential women in Canada by the National Post; in 2004, she was named one of the top 40 female corporate executives in Canada by Ivey Business School. In February 2013, BBC Radio 4 called her the 12th most powerful woman in Britain. Also in 2013, she received the Sunday Times Business Person of the Year Award. The following year saw Greene voted Business Person of the Year by the Financial Times. In 2015, she was ranked as one of the most powerful female CEOs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the Fortune 500. In 2018, Greene was named Business Leader of the Year by the Evening Standard. In June 2018, Greene was honoured by the Queen, who bestowed on her a damehood for services to the United Kingdom.
Anna Maria Tremonti
School of the Arts, Media Performance and Design and Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies 2
Journalist Anna Maria Tremonti is a familiar and engaging voice behind Canada’s most listened-to radio program, best known as a fearless interviewer who engages and informs on CBC’s Radio One show “The Current.”
Tremonti is dedicated to revealing the stories behind the headlines. Among her countless interviews have been those with Maher Arar, the Syrian-born Canadian whose detention as a political prisoner in Syria resulted in a public inquiry into Canada’s role in his deportation, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai for which she was awarded a 2014 Gracie Award for Best Interview Program.
Tremonti has received two Gemini Awards, an Outstanding Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television Toronto, and a Radio and Television News Directors Award.
Tremonti was CBC’s foreign correspondent in Berlin, London, Jerusalem and Washington. She has covered pivotal historical events and conflicts, from the breakup of the Soviet Union to wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and the efforts to impeach President Bill Clinton.
Colleen Johnston, BBA '82
Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA
York University alumna and business executive Colleen Johnston has been praised by her peers for her visionary leadership in the emergent financial technology (fintech) space.
As chief financial officer from 2005-15, she helped guide TD through the financial crisis and played a key role in the bank’s growth and North American expansion. During her tenure as CFO, she built a world-class finance organization and developed an award-winning investor relations program. From 2015-18, Johnston was instrumental in reshaping TD’s technology capabilities and the digital and customer experience for the future.
After close to 14 years at TD, and a career that spans over 30 years, Johnston retired from TD Bank Group in April of 2018.
As Chair of TD’s Women In Leadership committee, Johnston championed the role of women and encouraged emerging leaders to gain the confidence to strive for and reach positions of increased responsibility.
As an active community member, promoting health and well-being, she chaired the boards of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Bridgepoint Health and the ShareLife Corporate Campaign, she sits on the boards of St. Michael’s Hospital and the Shaw Festival, and she is a member of the Schulich School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. Johnston was also a recipient of the 2017 Bryden Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement.
Professor Thandika Mkandawire is a noted economist and public intellectual who has published broadly on the social sciences. He is an expert and scholar on policy-making, transformation and democratization in Africa.
He is a former director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the first person to take on the new position of Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics.
Mkandawire was formerly director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. He also served as senior research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen and has taught at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe.
He has held the Olof Palme Professor for Peace with the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm. He was born in Malawi and received his bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in economics at Ohio State University.
Mkandawire has served on the board of the Social Science Research Council. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Africa Development, Africa Review of Books, Development and Change, Global Governance, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Human Development,Oxford Development Studies and Feminist Economics.