(Toronto—June 15, 2012) OCAD University has appointed Tony Belcourt, a leader in Canada's Métis and Aboriginal communities, and Dr. John Semple, Chair in Surgical Breast Cancer Research at Women's College Hospital and an alumnus of OCAD U, to its Board of Governors.
"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I welcome our new members into the OCAD University community," said Ian Tudhope, OCAD University Board of Governors Chair. "OCAD U's Aboriginal Education Council has already benefited for the last four years from Mr. Belcourt's wisdom and advice, and we look forward to working with him in this new capacity at the Board level. Dr. Semple's leadership in mobile health delivery, and his experience as an OCAD U alumnus, will no doubt greatly impact our many students and faculty already working with researchers across Ontario's health sector."
"Our new strategic plan renews OCAD U's commitment to developing the creativity of our students, graduates and faculty - uniquely equipped entrepreneurs and innovators who can address the world's significant challenges," said Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University. "Mr. Belcourt and Dr. Semple are exemplary leaders in their respective fields, and will share their insights and expertise in areas such as our Aboriginal Visual Culture program, and OCAD U's ongoing health and wellness research projects."
Mr. Belcourt and Dr. Semple will begin their three-year appointments this month.
A complete list of members of the Board of Governors and their biographies is available at http://www.ocadu.ca/.
Over Tony Belcourt's distinguished career, he has established a strong reputation as a successful corporate leader, innovator, entrepreneur and communications specialist.
Mr. Belcourt has been one of the foremost business leaders and political figures within Canada's Métis community. A well-respected negotiator, Mr. Belcourt has played a key role in establishing a national voice for Canada's Métis and Non-Status Indians. His efforts were an important contributing factor in the Métis being recognized, in the Constitution Act in 1982, as one of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. He has represented the Métis Nation in high-level talks at the United Nations and the Organization of American States and has made presentations to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Summit on Information Society, the International Telecommunications Union and the World Conference Against Racism.
Mr. Belcourt was founding President of the Native Council of Canada in 1971 and recently founded and served as President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) until early 2008.
Mr. Belcourt is currently President of the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas. He has been a member of OCAD University's Aboriginal Educational Council since its inception in 2008. In early 2008, Mr. Belcourt was appointed to the post of Métis Nation Ambassador for International Issues by the President of the Métis National Council. In 2006, Mr. Belcourt received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for public service. Mr. Belcourt received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Lakehead University in 2010.
Dr. John Semple
As chief of surgery at Women's College Hospital, Dr. John Semple has been instrumental in establishing the hospital as home to one of the country's top centres for breast restoration. He put Women's College on the map as a leading centre for breast reconstruction some years ago by developing and pioneering new surgical techniques in breast restoration. Previously, as director of the Advanced Regenerative Tissue Engineering Centre at the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Semple led a group of scientists, engineers and surgeons in producing new technologies for soft tissue regeneration and reconstruction following cancer surgery. He is a professor in the department of surgery at the University of Toronto and former president of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
In March 2010, Dr. Semple was named chair in surgical breast cancer research by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region. The chair is based at Women's College and was the first endowed chair in the hospital's department of surgery. Dr. Semple's appointment, Women's College's first such appointment in surgical breast cancer research, placed him as a core scientist at Women's College Research Institute (WCRI). He and his team explore improvements in reconstructive surgery techniques including the use of autotransplantation of a patient's own lymph nodes to treat and prevent the formation of lymphedema - a painful side-effect of breast cancer treatment that can cause severe swelling in the arm. Dr. Semple graduated from OCAD University in 1975.
About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
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