Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko was just nine years old in 1992 when she founded the Canadian Association for Girls in Science, hoping to dispel the myth that science is just for boys. Today it is a national organization with a Web site (www.cagis.ca), a newsletter and monthly events aimed at motivating girls, aged seven to 16, to get excited about science. Vingilis-Jaremko, who recently completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at U of T, is the 2006 YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction.
Rosemary Speirs (BA 1963 UC, MA 1964, PhD 1974), a former political journalist and a longtime women’s rights activist, is the 2006 YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction for Civic Engagement. In 2001, she founded the action group Equal Voice/À Voix Égales to promote greater representation of women in all levels of Canadian government.
Paul Shaffer (BA 1971 UC) will play sidekick to no one when he receives a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto on June 3. The Grammy-winning musician has been David Letterman’s music director for more than 20 years. Legendary actor and singer Robert Goulet – a Grammy, Tony and Emmy award winner who attended the former Royal Conservatory Opera School (which used to be affiliated with U of T) – will also be honoured.
The age of exploration lives on in the 21st century: just ask Joseph Frey (BEd 1979), an award-winning science writer who received the Explorers Club’s Citation of Merit for his leadership of the club’s Canadian chapter. Frey’s fellow recipients at the March ceremony in New York included J. Michael Fay, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, the Russian cosmonaut who became the first woman in space in 1963.
Opera singer Isabel Bayrakdarian (BASc 1997) won a 2006 Juno Award in the classical album of the year – vocal or choral performance category for Viardot-Garcia: Lieder Chansons Canzoni Mazurkas. She was accompanied on the album by her husband, pianist Serouj Kradjian (BMusP 1994).