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People at Laurier

Staff changes, appointments, awards and accolades

Jim ButlerJim Butler retired in August after 14 years as Laurier's vice-president of finance and administration. Butler arrived at Laurier in 2002 and is credited with steering the university through challenging financial times, intense labour negotiations and pension plan reform, all while finding ways to build new infrastructure on the university's Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Among the key initiatives he led was the issuing of $115 million worth of bonds in 2005, leading to Laurier’s first credit rating. Butler also worked to implement a real estate and land-banking strategy that takes into account the university's needs over a 100-year horizon and led major organizational change in the university’s budgeting process.

Deborah DubenofskyDeborah Dubenofsky has been appointed Laurier's vice-president of finance and operations. Dubenofsky previously enjoyed a distinguished career in public service and public policy advocacy. Since November 2015, she has served as executive director and senior project lead for Laurier’s Milton campus bid. Dubenofsky holds a BA from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in public administration from Queen's University.

Carlo ChiarelloCarlo Chiarello has been appointed chief executive officer of the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises. Chiarello was most recently the chief product officer at Powermat Technologies Ltd. He also worked for 11 years in several executive roles at BlackBerry, where he launched over 50 smartphones, built a global product management team, engineered innovative partnerships and helped plan a business restructure.

Joanne Benham RennickLaurier is underscoring the importance of social innovation with an evolution in the name of its flagship entrepreneurship centre and appointment of a new executive director. The Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship is now known as the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, a change that highlights the value of applying business strategy and entrepreneurial spirit to solving urgent social challenges. The university has appointed Joanne Benham Rennick, associate professor in global studies and director of Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation at Laurier, as executive director of the centre.

The Royal Society of Canada has named eminent Laurier geographers Alison Blay-Palmer and Alison Mountz to the prestigious College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Blay-Palmer has over a decade of experience studying sustainable food systems and conducting research grounded in the needs of communities. Mountz researches the decisions, displacements and desires that drive human migration, as well as policies and practices designed to manage migration. The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists recognizes scholarly, research and artistic excellence, advises governments and organizations and promotes a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada.

Anne WilsonLaurier Psychology Professor Anne Wilson has been appointed by federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan to a panel of experts asked to review federal science funding structures. Wilson is a Canada Research Chair in social psychology, a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Successful Societies program and a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

Two senior administrators at Laurier have been honoured with national awards  from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers. Pamela Cant, assistant vice-president: Human Resources, was honoured with the Emerging Leader Award, while Jim Butler, who recently retired as vice-president: Finance and Administration, received the Distinguished Service Award.

Glen CarruthersGlen Carruthers, dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Music, was appointed an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian University Music Society. The honour recognizes his contributions to post-secondary music education in Canada. Carruthers has been dean since 2010 and is known for his commitment to students and bringing innovative programming and outreach opportunities to the faculty.

Claire BennettClaire Bennett, manager of Laurier’s Sustainability Office, has been named an "Emerging Leader" at Canada's Clean50 awards. Canada’s Clean50 provides annual recognition to leaders in sustainability who are under age 35 for their contributions during the past two years.

Janet HowittWaterloo Lutheran Seminary has announced the appointment of Janet Howitt as executive director of the Delton Glebe Counselling Centre. Howitt joins the centre after serving as community engagement co-ordinator with Immigration Partnership Waterloo Region and with Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work as a field instructor and assistant practicum instructor. The Glebe centre is a seminary outreach project that aims to strengthen the emotional and spiritual well-being of university students and Waterloo Region residents.

Thomas St. James O'ConnorProfessor Emeritus Thomas St. James O’Connor received the Distinguished Career Research Award from the Society for Pastoral Counselling Research. O’Connor graduated from Laurier in 1989 with a master’s degree in theology. In 1995, he received a doctorate in theology, pastoral care and counselling from the University of Toronto and started his teaching career at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. Among his many works are two books and more than 50 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.