Dr. Cheryl J. Misak BA '83
2009 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
Currently the Vice President and Provost of the University of Toronto, Cheryl Misak first earned her reputation for academic excellence as a student at the University of Lethbridge. Majoring in Philosophy, she won the University's Gold Medal for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1982, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree with great distinction in 1983. Following her graduation, Cheryl Misak attended Columbia University and completed her master's degree in 1984. As the University of Lethbridge's first Rhodes scholar, she attended the University of Oxford and earned her PhD in philosophy in 1988.
Throughout her career, Cheryl Misak has worked at four post-secondary institutions. In 1990, she began her distinguished career with the University of Toronto, where she quickly moved up the ranks as professor of philosophy, chair of the Philosophy Department, dean of the Mississauga Campus at the University of Toronto, acting vice-president and principal of the Mississauga campus, and deputy provost at the U of T. Her extensive administrative experience, integrity and collaborative leadership style facilitates a high degree of professionalism in both herself and her colleagues. February 1, 2009, Cheryl Misak was appointed vice president and provost. Acting as chief academic and budget officer, she works in conjunction with the President and the Deans to maintain an efficient and effective operation of academic affairs.
Interested in the theories of philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, Cheryl Misak has published more than 30 articles and has written or edited nine books, many of which focus on Peirce's theory of truth. She is renowned for her thought-provoking, clear and challenging philosophical arguments. She is currently working on what she hopes will be her most important project, a book on American pragmatism. Her research has taken her on sabbaticals to Cape Town South Africa, England, Germany and New Zealand. She has been invited to speak at institutions and conferences all over the world, including Harvard University and the Inter-Nordic Philosophy Symposium. Her professional awards include the Queen's National Scholar (1988), the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (1992), Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2001) and the Alberta Centennial Medal (2005). Well respected by students as well as peers, Cheryl Misak was awarded the University of Toronto Student's Administrative Council Equity Commission Certificate for enhancing student life and diversity on campus (2006) and the University of Toronto Student's Administrative Council Award (2007).
During the last few years, Cheryl Misak has developed an interest in medical ethics. Her writing, published in several medical journals, has had some impact on the profession and she has presented her findings at numerous medical conferences and institutions including the American Thoracic Society and the University of Alberta hospital. She currently serves on the board of the St. Michael's Hospital.
The University of Lethbridge Alumni Association is proud to recognize Cheryl J. Misak for her exceptional academic and professional achievements by presenting her with the 2009 Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award.