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By Susan Rogers (’12)
Sometimes lifelong dreams just need a nudge in the right direction to turn into something spectacular. Dr. Natasha Turner (’93) wanted to be a doctor from the age of five. After graduating from Mount Allison and writing the MCATs, she fully intended to apply to medical school. “I went for a massage one day and the practitioner asked me what I was going to do. I told her of my plan to apply to med school and she said, ‘Why don’t you become a naturopath?’ I didn’t even know what that was. But when I looked into it I quickly realized that it wouldn’t be a job, it would be a way of life.” Though she sometimes felt out of place while studying for her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto — she wasn’t the Birkenstock-wearing, granola-eating type — once she began seeing patients in her fourth year, she knew she was in the right place. “I discovered people out there like me, who wanted to be healthy without becoming a health nut.” Turner has become one of Canada’s leading naturopathic doctors. She founded a clinic in Toronto called Clear Medicine, and created The Clear Medicine Lifestyle System, where patients work closely with an ND, an MD, and a personal trainer. “Seeing the amazing things that happen to people when they make the effort to lead healthier lives never gets old, even after 10 years of clinical practice.” Her passion for promoting wellness, fitness, and integrated medicine has made her a sought-after speaker for corporations and has earned her guest appearances on CTV News, Balance Television, and The Perfect Fit. She has written articles for Elle Magazine, Today’s Parent, Glow Magazine, and the National Post. In April 2009, she published her first book, The Hormone Diet, Canada’s #1 best-selling health and lifestyle book. “I wrote the book because of my own health problems and because of seeing patient after patient struggling with managing their total health and life balance. My book fills a gap,” says Turner. “Hormones control almost every single thing that happens in our bodies from one minute to the next. And so everything you do, think, and feel influences your hormones in one way or another. And your hormones influence so many aspects of your health. The secret to living a healthy lifestyle is hormonal balance.” She’s now tossing around the idea of a cookbook. That is, when she is not seeing patients, managing her clinic, or promoting her book. Still, Turner says she manages to find time to live the healthy lifestyle she teaches. Learn more about Dr. Turner’s clinic and her new book at www.thehormonediet.com
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John Thaler (’06) experiences space on earth at the Mars Desert Research Station
By Melissa Lombard, with files from Susan Rogers (’12)
It has been four short years since John Thaler (’06) graduated from Mount Allison and he has certainly made the most of it. Since leaving Sackville, Thaler has embarked on three missions at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. He has participated in the MDRS missions in a range of capacities, from crew biologist, to executive officer, to leading his final mission as commander. He and his crewmembers lived in an 8m x 12m habitat, and followed similar routines as NASA astronauts. Whenever anyone would go outside they would dress in bulky space suits and go through a depressurization routine in an airlock, simulating spacewalks on the international space station.
Another key component of the missions was to share areas of expertise. In his first mission, Thaler designed and implemented a biological science experiment that proposed and conducted a search for halophilic, or salt-loving bacteria. Thaler describes his experiences with MDRS as a challenge, but says the people and place are something he will never forget. “Psychologically it was rather daunting because I was nervous about how eight people were going to interact during isolation in the desert. In short, at the end of the two weeks, I felt like I was saying goodbye to lifelong friends.” His research is in the area of musculoskeletal health, which relates to health concerns for astronauts in microgravity — a condition that comes about whenever an object is in free fall. He is currently working as a veterinary assistant at the Toronto Humane Society and plans to attend veterinary school next fall.
“The simulation was an amazing experience. The landscape in the MDRS region is very similar to the type of terrain scientists have identified on Mars using satellites and the martian rovers,” says Thaler.
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We were the first humans to ever see these rocks from space.
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Photo Credit: Grady Semmens (Associate Director, Media Relations for U of C)
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Ellen Milley (’07) is first to find Buzzard Coulee meteorite
By Melissa Lombard, with files from Susan Rogers (’12)
ut of this world
Since then, she has presented her findings at a conference in Prague, Czech Republic, and was awarded a congratulatory certificate for finding the meteorite fragment by the Small Bodies Discipline Working Group. Funded by the Canadian Space Agency, the working group is Canada’s volunteer group charged with the investigation of fireballs and the recovery of meteorites. Meteors have fascinated Milley since her second year at Mount Allison, when she began researching the phenomenon with Dr. Robert Hawkes. And now, the so-called shooting stars have cemented her a place in Canadian history.
Call it beginner’s luck, or a case of being in the right place at the right time. One thing for sure is, finding the first piece of the Buzzard Coulee meteorite was a great first step for Ellen Milley’s (’07) career. While working on her Master’s thesis at the University of Calgary, Milley was invited by her thesis advisor, Dr. Alan Hildebrand, to help track a large meteorite that fell four days earlier in Saskatchewan. One week after the meteor fell, Milley and Hildebrand spotted a piece of the meteorite while driving through the site. This is only the second time in Canada that the first meteorites from a fall were found by a scientific team. “It was an incredible feeling when we got out of the car and checked the rocks on the frozen pond, realizing we were the first humans to ever see these rocks from space,” Milley recalls.
Dr. Alan Hildebrand, left, with Ellen Milley
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Dr. A. Seth Greenwald: a baby boomer’s best friend
By Sue Seaborn
It is hard to imagine how the dots connect between an alumnus called “Big Al” (A. Seth Greenwald ’59), Mel’s Restaurant, Mount Allison’s 1955 registrar, an Oxford pub, orthopaedic implants, world-famous research, and life-changing surgeries. But let’s try.
visiting friends in Nova Scotia. He happened upon Mel’s Restaurant and a billboard that read “Welcome to Mount Allison University...Home of the Mounties.” Following the sign, Seth Greenwald, a soon-to-be US Marine, found himself in Centennial Hall and under the convincing spell of Mount Allison’s registrar, Christine MacInnes. After several hours MacInnes had talked Greenwald out of the Marine Corps and into Mount Allison, where he enrolled in physics and engineering. Influenced by the “MacInnes Factor” Greenwald worked his way through university under her watchful eye.
In the summer of ’55 a sixteen-year-old from Manhattan Island was hitchhiking through the Sackville area while
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Forever grateful for the former registrar’s kindness, in 1991, he founded the Christine MacInnes Bursary. After leaving Mount Allison, Greenwald received his Masters in Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University, and a Sc.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). By the early 60’s he had worked on moon rockets and also designed parts for fighter planes. In 1966 Greenwald took an instructor’s job at MIT but a year later was seconded to Oxford University to solve a vibrations problem associated with several of the UK’s nuclear cooling towers. It was there, at an Oxford pub, that his life changed course once again — in a big way. Over a British ale or two, he met orthopaedic surgeon John Goodfellow and pathologist Peter Bullough. Together they struggled over the complex problems of describing the weight-bearing surfaces of a human hip joint, and the causes of osteoarthritis. Goodfellow and Bullough felt that it would be a great doctoral thesis topic and that Greenwald was just the person to find the solution. After research on hundreds of donated cadaveric hips, he received the first Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) degree in Orthopaedic and Engineering Sciences from Oxford. It has become an important cross-discipline, and one that has changed the lives of so many, worldwide.
Seth has had a tremendous impact on the medical education of thousands of orthopaedic surgeons around the globe.
Dr. Allan Gross, MD, FRCS, University of Toronto.
Prince Charles visits the Biomechanics Laboratory in 1979 and is shown a wrist replacement implant developed at the Cleveland Clinic by Greenwald (left) and his staff.
Greenwald immersed himself in these two merging fields — and was heavily involved in researching, teaching, and educating students, nurses, and orthopaedic surgeons. In the early 70’s he settled in the Cleveland, Ohio area where he later held several positions, including founder of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s Biomechanics Laboratory, director of orthopaedic research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Today he is the Director of Cleveland’s Orthopaedic Research Laboratories and the worldfamous continuing medical education program, Current Concepts in Joint Replacement.
It is difficult to encapsulate Greenwald’s contributions, but in a nutshell he has been a world leader in the research, education, and application of engineering and life science disciplines directed towards artificial joint replacements, and solving musculoskeletal system problems. In other words — he is a baby boomer’s best friend. When asked what his greatest accomplishments have been, Greenwald did not mention his multitude of honours. He simply quoted Sir Isaac Newton saying, “‘If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.’ I was just a part of the team, and while honours are nice and appreciated, I feel my biggest achievements have been educating others and the blending of two disciplines. It’s all been a great run! At Mount Allison I gained the confidence and maturity that equipped me for life. This island boy did well with a degree from Mount Allison.”
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Gary Ross (’10) is arguably the best football player to ever wear Garnet and Gold
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By Sue Seaborn
Gary Ross is arguably the best football player to ever wear Garnet and Gold. And according to his coach, he is a better person than a football player and a role model of exceptional standards. Ross’ story is as unique as his athletic talents. Upon graduation from Riverside High in Windsor, ON, he married his school sweetheart, Tenecia. Over the next five years the two began to raise a family, and while Tenecia furthered her education, Ross supported the family. By 2006 it was Ross’ turn to pursue his education. With their two young sons in tow, the couple moved to the Maritimes so he could pursue a degree in science and return to playing the sport he loved so much in high school. Though relatively unknown at first — it didn’t take long for Ross to establish himself as one of the finest players in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) league. In his first year he was recognized as a league all-star, the AUS special teams player of the year, and an Academic AllCanadian. In year two, he was again an AUS all-star and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) All-Canadian, as he became the first player in CIS history to compile over 600 yards in each of the categories for receiving, punt returns, and kickoff returns — incredibly totaling 1,936 all-purpose yards over the season. He was named an all-star receiver and the conference’s top special teams player in all four of his years in the AUS, and was honoured with a pair of CIS All-Canadian Awards as a first-team receiver and a second-team return specialist in each of his last two seasons. Despite opponents strategically kicking away from the all-star returner, Ross was still able to compile some impressive statistics in his last two seasons. In 2009 he was named the AUS conference’s most valuable player and nominated for the prestigious Hec Crighton trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player. Even though this particular award eluded him, Ross had a recordsetting season, leading the AUS in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and all-purpose yards (1,423 yards), and is now the AUS career leader in receptions (172), receiving yards (2,582), and all-purpose yards (5,990 yards). This year he was the only AUS player to average over 100 yards receiving per game and his 60 receptions are also a new AUS single-season record. His 818 receiving yards are a new Mounties’ single-season school record and the fourth highest total in league history. Ross also currently ranks second in AUS history with 1,679 career punt return yards and 1,403 career kickoff return yards. However, athletic success is only part of the Ross story. Currently in his fourth year of studies, the two-time University Athlete of the Year has excelled equally in science — three times being named an Academic AllCanadian and earning a spot on the Dean’s List. With one year of eligibility remaining, Ross could find himself back in Garnet and Gold for one more campaign, but he also has his eye on a future in dentistry. However it turns out, he has certainly cemented his reputation as one of the all-time greats.
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