2013 ORION Leadership Award Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 Leadership Awards!

The ORION Leadership Award was created to recognize innovation and leadership in Ontario’s vibrant and active e‐Infrastructure, Higher Education, and Kindergarten to Grade 12 sectors.

Category: Kindergarten – Grade 12

Winner: Jack McMaster, Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board

Under Jack McMaster’s leadership, the Keewatin Patricia District School Board is purchasing nearly $2.3 million worth of technology for students to start using in the fall of 2012, including personal computers and iPads.

“Learning is changing and it’s no longer about waiting for the textbook to be handed to you,” McMaster said. “The networking that’s going on between students and staff is completely different now and there is no longer this isolation between teachers, students and information.”

Click here to read more about how Mr. McMaster is using technology to keep students engaged.

Category: Higher Education

Winner: Dr. Paul Corkum, University of Ottawa Professor and National Research Council Scientist

For more than 30 years, University of Ottawa Professor Paul Corkum has been pushing the frontiers of knowledge on how light and matter interact. He won the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, and holds the NRC-Canada Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics. His world-renowned research has been recognized for developing a new theoretical approach to shortening the duration of light pulses produced by lasers. His international reputation was secured when he became the first to successfully produce a 650 attosecond pulse. One attosecond is 10-18 seconds, or one billionth of one billionth of a second.

Attosecond pulses enable scientists to see chemical reactions as they occur by capturing the incredibly fast motion of electrons in atoms and molecules in a “movie” whose time resolution can be measured in attoseconds. This pioneering research does more than open a new door to studying matter—it offers a new way to control matter on a molecular scale.

Category: E-Infrastructure

Winner: Dr. Berge Minassian, Principal Researcher and Neurologist at the Hospital for Sick Children

Led by Dr. Minassian, a team of Canadian researchers have used the power of genomics to identify the cause of a rare Parkinson’s-like disease in children and come up with a treatment to help reverse its effects. It is believed to be the first time that a new disease has been discovered, its cause determined and a treatment figured out in a relatively short period of time – just two years. The researchers attribute their success to new technology that allows scientists to sequence chunks of DNA much faster than in the past.

Click here to read more about how Dr. Minassian’s work changed the lives of affected children almost immediately.