Dental detective, coach earn alumni awards

UBC's Alumni Association has named nine outstanding academics, athletes and business and community leaders as winners of its annual alumni awards.

Erminia Russo (BPE'89) has earned the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award and Dr. David Sweet (DMD'78), the Faculty Citation Award.

Russo brought acclaim to UBC's volleyball program as head coach of the Thunder-birds and was CIAU Coach of the Year in 1998. Co-captain of the 1996 Olympic volleyball team, she is currently training with Canada's Beach Volleyball Team for the 2000 Olympics.

Sweet, who helps solve crimes using DNA technology and bite mark analysis, is founder and director of the Bureau of Legal Dentistry at UBC, the first research lab in North America dedicated to forensic dentistry.

Bob Carkner (BPE'58), chair of UBC's Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee, is being honoured with the Alumni Award of Distinction. Carkner created the Steveston salmon hatchery and has worked to improve the lives of orphans in Guatemala and Vietnam.

This year's Outstanding Student Award winner is John Davies, a fourth-year Forestry student. A member of UBC's varsity rowing team, Davies is also a volunteer with the Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Team and fights fires with the B.C. Forest Service Rapattack Team.

Former UBC chancellor, Robert H. Lee (BCom'56, LLD'96) has earned the Blythe Eagles Volunteer Service Award for outstanding contributions to the Alumni Association. The chair of Prospero International Realty Inc., Lee was UBC chancellor from 1993-96, and served on UBC's Board of Governors from 1984-90.

Another longtime leader in the UBC community, Dr. Pat McGeer (BA'48, MD'58) receives the Alumni Award for Research. A UBC neuroscientist who is well known for his research of Alzheimer's and other diseases, McGeer was also a MLA from 1962-86 and held various senior cabinet positions.

David Neustaedter (PhD'97), a post-doctoral fellow at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, receives the Branch Service Award for rejuvenating the New York chapter of the Alumni Association.

Lifetime Achievement Awards go to Norman Watt (BPE'49) and Norman Young, (BA'52).

Watt, an associate professor emeritus of Physical Education, originated UBC's popular seniors' program, the Third Age Spring Lectures. He also coached Canada's first wheelchair basketball team.

Young, an assistant professor emeritus of Theatre, played a major role in the creation of the Frederic Wood Theatre. He is co-founder of the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame and was a driving force behind the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards program.

The Alumni Association awards will be presented along with UBC Athletics' Hall of Fame inductees at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Oct. 14. For more information call 604-822-3313 or visit the Web site at