Dr. Chris Opio and his family at the CUFA-BC Awards banquet on April 11th (from left to right): Elliot, Nathan, Chris, and Therese.
The CUFA-BC Distinguished Academic Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding faculty members at BC’s public universities who use their research and scholarly work to benefit the general public. Sheryl MacKay, host of CBC Radio One’s North by Northwest, emceed the awards dinner held on Wednesday, April 11th in Vancouver.
Dr. Opio received the 2012 Academic of the Year Award for his work establishing sustainable clean water resources in Northern Uganda. He founded the Northern Uganda Development Foundation in Prince George to support his work and to date has established 42 wells providing clean water to more than 50,000 people. Other award recipients included UBC-Okanagan’s Dr. Cigdem Eskicioglu who received the 2012 Early in Career Award for her groundbreaking work on processing organic waste into energy (in the form of methane gas) and organic fertilizer. Her work diverts waste from landfills, protecting our environment and creating valuable resources. UVic’s Dr. Eric Sager received the 2012 Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to connecting his historical research to contemporary issues. His is also dedicated to making his research available to the wider community, through newspaper articles, websites and public presentations.
“Dr. Eskicioglu’s work on adapting European technology to process BC waste has led to many innovations and scientific advancements”, said Dr. David Mirhady, President of CUFA BC. “Dr. Opio’s commitment not only to establishing wells, but also to teaching communities how to manage and care for their water resources is truly inspiring. Dr. Sager’s connection of the past to our present and future speaks volumes about his commitment to the wider community.”