Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX set to graduate over 350, bestow an honorary degree on alumnus Faisal Joseph, a champion of inclusion, dialogue and understanding

November 23rd, 2022
StFX will bestow an honorary degree upon Faisal Joseph, pictured, during Fall Convocation 2022

More than 350 students will graduate, and St. Francis Xavier University will bestow an honorary degree upon one of its own, Faisal Joseph, an alumnus from the Class of 1982, and an advocate for the Islamic community in Canada, when StFX celebrates Fall Convocation 2022 on Sunday, December 4 in the Charles V. Keating Centre.

Mr. Joseph, who has enjoyed a successful law career, is known as a respected champion of inclusion, dialogue and understanding. 

StFX will also bestow two major honours during Fall Convocation, which starts at 3 p.m. 

Yogesh Ghore, a senior program teaching staff member at Coady Institute, will be honoured with the Outstanding Staff Teaching Award, and the StFX Outreach Award will be presented to Dr. Maureen Coady, a faculty member in StFX’s Department of Adult Education. 

Honorary Degree recipient

Faisal Joseph 

Faisal Joseph was born in Truro, NS, and graduated from StFX in 1982. After earning his law degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1985, he began his legal career with Burchell, MacDougall and Gruchy, where he was promoted to partner in 1990. In 1994, he relocated to London, ON, where he joined Lerners Law Firm. Mr. Joseph has enjoyed a successful career in his adopted province, having been recognized by the Premier of Ontario in 2011 for his expertise in drafting hate-crime legislation, as well as for his views on security and international justice. In 2015, he was awarded the Law Society Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the Law Society of Ontario. In the aftermath of the events of September 2001, which precipitated a low point in relations between Muslim and non-Muslim Canadians, Mr. Joseph became a de facto spokesperson of the Islamic community in Canada. More than 20 years later, he is still a familiar and respected presence in the national media. Mr. Joseph’s expertise is also acknowledged internationally. In 2009, he participated in a three-day forum on issues of peace, security, and social justice in Vatican City, where he was received by Pope Benedict XVI. He continues to call for greater interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians, who together comprise half of the world’s population. Mr. Joseph is a particular hero of the Islamic community in his adopted city of London, ON (which boasts the highest per capita Muslim population in Canada), but he is also an inspiration to all Canadians as a respected champion of inclusion, dialogue and understanding.

Outstanding Staff Teaching Award

Yogesh Kumar Ghore

Yogesh Ghore started his teaching career at StFX’s Coady Institute in 2009. Mr. Ghore himself is a former Coady student who so impressed the Institute that he was offered a permanent teaching position at the Coady where he is a senior program teaching staff member and is the strategic partnership advisor. Mr. Ghore brought with him experience in the NGO sector in India, working in some of the most remote and marginalised rural communities on poverty reduction, enterprise development and market inclusion. He completed a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York through the highly competitive Ford Foundation Fellowship Program. Mr. Ghore is committed to ensuring his teaching is meaningful and impactful to students tackling some of the world’s most complicated problems, from some of the most vulnerable positions. Many have gone on to create vibrant social enterprises. Former students recognize the personal connections he makes. As one said, “You never end your class with Yogesh, you just start another chapter.” He has also leveraged his network of partnerships to benefit StFX students too, primarily in the Gerald Schwartz School of Business, enabling unique and impactful learning. Colleagues attest that courses Mr. Ghore has taught have consistently been among the highest rated each year. 

StFX Outreach Award

Dr. Maureen Coady

Dr. Maureen Coady has been a faculty member in StFX’s Department of Adult Education since 2007, where she has consistently brought her community-based experience to bear on the research and teaching of graduate students in this professional development program. Dr. Coady, the grandniece of Antigonish Movement pioneer Rt. Rev. Moses Coady, learned early that active involvement in the community is essential for long-term social, cultural, and economic development. The breadth, length, and duration of her community engagement spans decades. She has supported the Coady Institute and Extension and their ideals her entire life, from joining her family as a child in hosting Coady participants at the ancestral home of Moses Coady, to helping lead Extension conferences and the People’s School, and serving as an advisor to Coady students on independent projects. As a StFX student, she served as VP of the Students’ Union, and as a community person, Dr. Coady has filled multiple roles—as a participant, facilitator, director, chair, and advisor—and in many sectors, including community, youth, recreation, health, and development. With the Nova Scotia Volunteer Community Advisory Council, she supported advancing the cause of volunteerism. As a member of the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority Board of Directors, she promoted community engagement on health, including the development of Community Hearts in Motion. For many years, she has been vice chair of the Rural Communities Foundation, which last year provided more than a million dollars for innovative initiatives to strengthen rural communities’ capacity to thrive across Nova Scotia. Among many involvements, she has been a participant in the People Assessing Their Health (PATH) initiative; a director with the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre; advocated for a skateboard park for youth; and is a long-time volunteer at The Keppoch. Dr. Coady has been steadfast in acting on her belief in being present, being active, and being engaged.

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