Regina, SK - Local Regina entrepreneur Dr. Bev Robertson has gifted $500,000 to the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) to assist in establishing a centre focused on improving the democratic processes, through knowledge transfer and public education, around science and public policy. Part of the donation will also be used to create graduate scholarships.
Recruited to the University of Regina’s Physics Department in 1969 to work on an automated x-ray diffractometer, Dr. Robertson was also involved in the development of crystallographic software before retiring in 1997. He was later conferred as a professor emeritus in 2003. In addition to his academic career, Dr. Robertson is well-known in the Regina community as the owner of Bushwakker Brewing Company Ltd.
“The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is a world-class provincial institution for advanced education, research and, training in policy and administration,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons. “I would like to thank Dr. Bev Robertson for his generous donation, which says so much about his continuing commitment to providing opportunities for our students.”
“The ability to translate scientific discoveries through commercial or non-commercial channels is very important to decision makers in government, industry and the social economy; however, it is very difficult because many of these developments involve highly contested science” said Kathy McNutt, director of the JSGS U of R campus. Once established, the centre will focus on translating scientific evidence into informed policy work, and generating public debate and social engagement about science and policy.
The donation will also support the development of two student scholarships – one for a Master of Public Policy student ($20,000/year for one year) and one for a JSGS doctoral student ($35,000/year for three years) – named in his honour.
“Students bring new ideas and energy to the JSGS community and are vitally important to advancing the school’s research success,” said Caroline Beck, MPP student. “Through the Robertson Graduate Scholarship, the school will be able to provide students with the financial support needed so that we can concentrate on our studies and research.”
Both the school and centre will be located at the College Avenue campus, upon completion of the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project. The revitalized campus will be transformed into a vibrant, accessible centre of learning, strengthening the University of Regina’s connection to the community and further contributing to the education of the next century of learners and leaders. The campus will be known as the University of Regina Leadership and Outreach Centre (LOC).