For immediate release
Professional Institute Awards 2011 Gold Medal for Excellence in Public Service
SWIFT CURRENT June 20, 2011 – Gary Corbett, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, today presented the Institute’s Gold Medal to Dr. Ronald DePauw, in recognition of his leadership in developing some of the world’s best wheat varieties or “cultivars”. Dr. DePauw is a Senior Research Scientist at Agriculture Canada’s Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
President Corbett commented: “Dr. DePauw is an example of the role model that the Institute’s Gold Medal is intended to honour. His innovative work has changed the nature of the wheat industry in Canada and abroad.”
Dr. DePauw is a world leader in breeding superior quality wheat cultivars that are disease and insect-resistant, and highly water-efficient. He has developed more than 50 wheat cultivars, which have generated $8.8 million in royalties for the Canadian government. His wheat germ plasma and cultivars are used in the national grain breeding programs worldwide, from China and Japan to Russia and Australia, Germany, France, India, Argentina, and Brazil. Great Britain’s largest independent baker, Warburton’s, uses specific cultivars from Dr. DePauw’s program for their products, and for which premiums are paid to Canadian producers.
Through almost four decades, Dr. DePauw’s discoveries have been of direct national strategic significance to our country’s agriculture industry, keeping wheat production in Canada strong. Some of his cultivars have opened such new markets for farmers as ethanol production. He has effectively aligned public and private sector interests, working closely with people and organizations from farmers to the Canadian Wheat Board. Early in his career, Dr. DePauw realized the importance of developing cultivars that fit the requirements of the extremely complex $13 billion wheat industry. His vision has made an impressive economic impact, and Canada has reaped the rewards of the government’s investment in public science.
“The tremendous contribution dedicated professionals like Dr. Ron DePauw make to the public good confirms that government – and the federal government in particular – has a unique role to play in scientific research. The federal government is responsible for creating and maintaining a climate in which fruitful research can take place and flourish. This research is a critical component in our success as a society – whether it is our ability to protect the health and safety of our fellow citizens, preserve our environment or ensure future economic prosperity,” added Mr. Corbett.
The Institute extends its sincere appreciation to the independent panel of judges who generously volunteered their time and expertise to make this year’s Gold Medal Award program a success. “Every year, the Gold Medal judges tell us of the challenges they face to select only one laureate, given the outstanding accomplishments of the candidates. Canada indeed has a high calibre public service worthy of public recognition,” said Gary Corbett.
The selection panel was composed of Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary; Dr. Eddy Campbell, President of the University of New Brunswick; and Dr. Alan Wildeman, President of the University of Windsor.
The Professional Institute established the Gold Medal Award program in 1937 to recognize professional public service employees whose outstanding work has led to the improvement and enhancement of public well-being. The program’s other objective is to promote greater awareness of the role and value of professional public services in Canada and globally. The award is presented on a yearly basis. In odd-numbered years, the award is presented for achievement in the field of pure and applied science, and in even-numbered years it is presented for achievement in a field other than pure and applied science.
To be eligible for this prestigious award, nominees must be, or have been, employees of federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, regional or aboriginal government services. To qualify for the award, candidates’ work must have been performed during their tenure in the public service.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is a national union representing some 60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada’s public sector.
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For further information: Laureen Allan (613) 228-6310 extension 2230 or (613) 864-6700 (cell)