From Clockwise: Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (Photo: Submitted), Gary Carriere (Photo: Mark Ferguson), Ellen Remai (Photo: Submitted), Elder Sharon Jinkerson-Brass (Photo: Submitted), and Dr. John Conly (Photo: Julia MacGregor).
From Clockwise: Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (Photo: Submitted), Gary Carriere (Photo: Mark Ferguson), Ellen Remai (Photo: Submitted), Elder Sharon Jinkerson-Brass (Photo: Submitted), and Dr. John Conly (Photo: Julia MacGregor).

USask to pay tribute to honorary degree recipients

This spring, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will celebrate five remarkable individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities throughout their careers.

At this year’s USask Spring Convocation at Merlis Belsher Place from June 5-9, the university will award honorary degrees to Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, Indigenous environmentalist Gary Carriere, Dr. John Conly, Elder Sharon Jinkerson-Brass, and celebrated philanthropist Ellen Remai.

USask President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Stoicheff said the university is proud to have the opportunity to highlight and celebrate this year’s esteemed group of honorary degree recipients.

“It is a privilege to be able to shine the spotlight on this group of individuals for their lifelong contributions and commitment to their communities and country,” said Stoicheff. “From dedication to public health and justice, to protecting precious land and water habitats and preserving Indigenous ways of knowing, to promoting culture and the arts, the common string that ties these individuals together is a sense of service. We are proud and grateful to have this opportunity to celebrate the tremendous impact that these honorary degree recipients have had on society, and to bestow on them the university’s highest honour during USask Spring Convocation.”


(Honorary Doctor of Science)

Dr. John Conly (Photo: Julia MacGregor).

Born in Macklin, Sask., Dr. John Conly (MD) was a distinguished graduate of the class of 1978 in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), and has gone on to a celebrated career as a physician, scholar, and administrator.

His work in the areas of antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial stewardship, and infection prevention have been recognized nationally and internationally, for which he received an appointment to the Order of Canada in 2018, one of the country’s highest civilian honours. Other honours received during his illustrious career include the F.N.G. Starr Award in 2022, the highest award bestowed by the Canadian Medical Association and considered the “Victoria Cross” of Canadian medicine, the O’Brien Institute for Public Health Research Excellence Award in 2021, and a USask Alumni Achievement Award in 2017, presented for his commitment to advancing the medical profession and dedication to public service.

Dr. Conly also received the Alberta Medical Association’s Medal for Distinguished Service in 2016 for recognition of outstanding personal contributions to the medical profession, the Ronald Christie Award from the Canadian Professors of Medicine in 2012 for outstanding contributions to academic medicine, and he has had an Innovation Award and a Distinguished Lectureship co-named in his honour. He has published over 500 manuscripts, book chapters, technical reports, and guidelines and has been a speaker at more than 200 local, national and international meetings and conferences.

He is recognized as one of the world’s leading infectious diseases specialists and a pre-eminent expert on antimicrobial resistance, serving on advisory groups within Canada and the World Health Organization. A professor and researcher whose career has spanned nearly four decades at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Toronto, and Calgary, he has served on multiple committees to establish national and international guidelines that minimize the risk of transmission of hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistant organisms. He has worked to help identify and control hospital outbreaks, with his expertise and leadership in infection prevention recognized throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Conly’s visionary leadership led to the founding of the Ward of the 21st Century in 2004, a partnered program between UCalgary and Alberta Health Services. The multidisciplinary initiative is focused on innovations to improve the quality of care in health-care systems. A dedicated leader, scholar, mentor and former head of UCalgary’s Department of Medicine, he is sought internationally for his expert advice, and has driven research and innovation in health systems,  improving patient care and impacting countless lives.


Read the full article on the University of Saskatchewan news site.