Describe yourself in 50 words or less?
I am a 57 year old father of 4 who has a black belt in karate. What I lack in ingenuity, I make up for with tenacity. After leaving the University of Toronto, I went on for a master’s of science at the University of British Columbia in Audiology, and later a doctorate at the Arizona School of Health Sciences. I have written 7 books in audiology and have published over 200 articles. I am a Toronto area audiologist who specializes in musicians and the prevention of hearing loss.
Why did you choose New College (be honest) and what were your expectations?
I actually applied to both New College and University College, but UC snubbed me. New College was where all of my friends were going. They went into engineering and I went into math. Engineers can optionally choose a college and New College was typically their choice. Also my father grew up on Classic Ave. in the 1920s- and this is where the New College building now sits.
What was New College like when you came?
I did my undergraduate from 1974-1978 and at that time, New College was the newest building on campus. One of my memories was after classes we would all pack into the student “reading room” (which had a TV) and watched old re-runs of ‘Get Smart.’ For some reason New College students loved this show.
What are your strongest memories from your time at New?
There was an amazing man who worked in the New College registrar’s office. I believe his name was Dan Leckie, who was also civically active in municipal politics, and we hit it off. I had actually met him years ago at some political event. Dan had a very “pragmatic” view of university life and he was always willing to share his wisdom.
Was there anyone in particular at New College (staff, student or faculty) who had a strong influence on your life or made a lasting impression on you?
Other than Dan Leckie, I recall a Dr. Clark who was a professor in the Biology Department. It was customary at that time for more senior academics to spend time with the young undergraduates and provide guidance. I’m not sure what his official role at New College was but Dr. Clark’s door was always open.
How did your academic and social experience at the University/College prepare you for life and your career?
My four years of undergraduate provided me with my share of failure. My marks were fine, but I certainly needed to work hard for them (especially in combinatorial mathematics)! My four years taught me how to get up again whenever I was knocked down. Tenacity has been the corner stone of my life.
Tell us about some of the lessons you learned and how valuable they are today?
Three of the most important lessons I learned (other than how to solve a differential equation) is 1. Be organized; 2. Be organized; and 3. Be organized.
What was important to you then – what is important now?
That has not really changed. Family and friends were important to me then, and now.
What are your major accomplishments and who had the most influence on your Career?
I don’t know if I had any one major accomplishment. I suppose it would be having wonderful kids. I also am the 2012 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to Canada. The Queen never did come to present it however- there was some silly sports event in London, England during the summer of 2012 that she had to attend instead.
In your personal or professional life, what are you most looking forward to?
Having more time for myself and eventually becoming semi-retired in another 20 or 30 years.