The annual Long Service Awards and Retirement Recognition Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in the Students' Union Ballrooms. Faculty and staff are invited to join in the celebration. Please visit the Notice Board for more information and a full list of recipients.
This year, 146 employees will be honoured at this event, along with 17 retiring employees. We recently caught up with Drs. Reg Bibby and Peter McCormick, who both are celebrating 40 years at the U of L. Check out the photos from their early days on campus.
Dr. Peter McCormick
After an illustrious 40-year career at the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Peter McCormick will be retiring this year. He won’t be slowing down, though – McCormick plans to pen two books, including a biography of Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, and will continue to teach at the U of L.
“I’ve had a wonderful time at the University,” McCormick says, explaining that he has constantly expanded his research and teaching horizons as his career progressed.
McCormick has taught a wide variety of political science courses over his tenure, and has had the opportunity to mentor many students. “I’ve had many fantastic students. Some have gone on to be Rhodes Scholars, some have clerked at the Supreme Court,” he says, “The most gratifying thing, for me, is seeing everything clicking together for them. It’s so rewarding to see that.”
Dr. Reg Bibby
When Dr. Reginald (Reg) Bibby came to the University of Lethbridge in 1975, he didn’t anticipate staying for very long. “I had a bit of ambivalence about coming here,” he says. “Lethbridge was very small and the university was relatively unknown at the time. I was afraid I might disappear.”
This year, Bibby celebrates 40 years with the U of L and says the University has provided him with incredible opportunities as a researcher and teacher. “I’ve been given the resources to do everything I have wanted to do,” he says. “There’s also a certain tranquility to the city and the University. It’s a great base to work from.”
Bibby also credits fellow faculty members for his success. “I’ve worked with some exceptional colleagues,” he says, adding that Dr. Owen Holmes (LLD ’05) served as an important mentor in his early years at the University. “He was wise, generous and encouraging – I owe a lot to him. Owen symbolized the best of the U of L.”
Bibby’s research has focused on social trends, youth, and religion, and has received considerable media attention throughout his career. “My explicit goal has always been to make the material accessible not only to academics but to others with an interest in the material,” he says. That goal has clearly been met – Bibby’s research has been featured on the cover of Maclean’s four times, and his work has been featured by a variety of media organizations, including the Globe and Mail, CNN and The New York Times. More than 150,000 copies of his fourteen books have been sold. In recognition of the impact of his work on Canadian life, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.
“My passion for research comes from my love of ideas. Picking a research area and delving into it is so enjoyable for me,” he says. Currently holding his third U of L Board of Governors Research Chair appointment, Bibby has two new books scheduled for publication in 2016.
Dr. Jennifer Mather
After 30 years at the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Jennifer Mather continues to be inspired by her research and teaching endeavours.
“I keep enjoying what I’m doing,” she says. “I love research and teaching, and I keep postponing my retirement.”
Mather’s primary research is in the behaviour of cephalopod molluscs (octopuses and squid), and her areas of expertise include women in science and examining teaching and learning in higher education. Over the years, she has helped facilitate more than 100 applied studies, and believes in equipping students with the skills and passion required to succeed in a variety of fields.
“I love giving students the opportunity to learn. Watching them grow as individuals, and as scholars, is so rewarding,” she says.
As part of two courses she teaches, including one on Schizophrenia, which she has taught since 1993, and another on Alzheimer’s, Mather requires students to gain personal contact with those affected by the illness.
“In the textbook, it’s a few paragraphs. In the real world, it’s someone’s life,” she says. “For a lot of the students, it’s life-changing.”
As she looks ahead, Mather will continue doing what she enjoys – advancing knowledge and inspiring the next generation.