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Autumn alumni honourees

Fall convocations honour Emmy winner, Indigenous champion, astronaut, and Canadian playwright.

[Queen's 175th logo]

This fall’s distinguished honorary degree recipients are all Queen’s alumni, as the university continues to recognize its 175th anniversary with special celebrations throughout the year.

“The 175th anniversary of Queen’s has afforded us the unique opportunity to welcome back a group of exceptional alumni and celebrate their individual achievements,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “As leaders in their fields, these alumni have contributed to our university’s distinguished reputation in numerous ways, and we are delighted to honour their accomplishments during our convocation ceremonies.”

The following distinguished Queen’s alumni will be awarded honorary degrees at fall convocation ceremonies in November:

Carol Ann Budd, Sc’89 (Engineering Chemistry) - Ms. Budd is a proud member of the Sagamok Anishawbek reserve in Northern Ontario. She came to Queen’s in 1985 to study applied science but found herself missing the North and left Kingston to marry and have two children. She returned to Queen’s to finish her engineering chemistry degree in 1987, graduating in 1989. She worked for 20 years as a professional engineer and now works as a financial planner.

Earning honorary degrees are (clockwise from top left): Carol Ann Budd, Drew Feustel, Michelle MacLaren and Judith Thompson.

A past member of the Circle of Advisors, comprised of Aboriginal faculty members and alumni, she offered input during the development of Aboriginal Access to Engineering at Queen’s – a program to attract and retain more Aboriginal students. Ms. Budd continues to support the university as a member of the Queen’s University Aboriginal Council.

Drew Feustel, PhD’95 (Geology) - In 1991, Dr. Feustel moved to Kingston where he worked as a graduate research assistant and a graduate teaching assistant. Nine years late, he was selected by NASA and now is a veteran of two space flights. In 2009, Dr. Feustel served on STS‐125 – the fifth and final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope that improved the observatories capabilities through 2014. Dr. Feustel also served on STS‐134, which delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPress Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. Dr. Feustel has logged more than 25 days in space with over 42 hours in spacewalks.

He is next scheduled to fly to the International Space Station on the Soyuz 54 launch vehicle in March, 2018.

Michelle MacLaren, Artsci’86 (Film and Media) - An Emmy-winning producer, Ms. MacLaren started working as a production assistant upon her graduation from Queen’s and eventually climbed the ladder to become a leading producer and director. She has directed 11 episodes of Breaking Bad, in addition to numerous episodes of the X-Files, The Walking Dead, HBO’s Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, Westworld, and other major network programs.

As one of the executive producers on Breaking Bad, Michelle was awarded two Emmys, a Golden Globe, two Producers Guild of America awards, and a Peabody Award. She has also received numerous other nominations, including two Emmy nominations for outstanding directing in a drama series.

Judith Thompson, OC, Artsci’77 (Dan School of Drama and Music) - Ms. Thompson is a playwright, director, actor, professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph, and the artistic director of RARE Theatre – a company with a mandate to give voice to communities that are seen but seldom heard from foster children to the elderly, to people with exceptionalities and special needs.

She is the author of 18 plays, two feature films, two television movies, and numerous radio plays. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of two Governor General's Awards for Drama, the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, the Dora, the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

Queen’s professor and scientist Louise Winn will also appear as a guest speaker.

Louise Winn (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Environmental Studies) - After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Dr. Winn was recruited to Queen’s. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate toxicology courses and has an active research laboratory. Dr. Winn’s research interests are in understanding the mechanisms of toxicant induced developmental toxicity, including that of the environmental pollutant benzene. 

The quality of Dr. Winn’s research is highly regarded by the scientific community as reflected by her receipt of several awards including the 2009 F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award from the Teratology Society and the 2011 Mentoring Award presented by the Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group of the Society of Toxicology. 

For more on the honorary degrees and the guest speakers visit the website.