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20 years and 50 cupcakes

Les Roos brought me into the Centre as a post-doc in Les hiring style. I came to see what this MCHP place was all about and it worked out really well since I stayed for 20 years. Les really encouraged people to carve your own path at MCHP and if it worked well then there you were— you are a researcher at MCHP. I’ve met a lot of great people through Les’s extended web of individuals.



I went from a post-doc to part time split between MCHP and the bio-stats consulting unit which at that point was part of Community Health Sciences before it moved over to CHI. A lot of the bio-stats work happened at MCHP and it was Pat Martens who brought me over to the Centre full time. Pat was a great leader. She really had my back and a force to be reckoned with, not unlike her predecessors and not unlike Alan Katz. Leadership at MCHP has always really done what they can for MCHP through the tough times and the boom times.


The Centre is made up of great people. People have always come and gone but mostly you see people stay. There’s a crew from the early days of MCHP that have some really great stories to tell. I can’t say there would be very many places that would put 50 cupcakes on my desk to celebrate a milestone birthday. It would have been a lot of cake to eat on my own but luckily I didn’t have too.

There were plenty of people to share the cupcakes with me. There’s plenty of people at the Centre there to lend a helping hand. People like Charles who will show you all the best bike paths around town and lend you a canoe. Randy, Shelley, and Heather are always there with a helping hand. Those are people I got to know well when I started at the Centre. People who are there to lend a hand and bring you into MCHP.


One of my early memories at the Centre happened just before the July long weekend. I was in a meeting with Charles, Sumit Gupta, and Randy and I asked if anyone had weekend plans. They must have thought I was going to invite them over for a BBQ or something because they all said they didn’t have plans. That’s when I mentioned that I was moving and looking for some help. They probably didn’t like that very much but they came and helped. Right from the get go at the Centre people lent a helping hand to move me into my house that I’ve now been in for about 20 years.

I would say that one of the most important things about MCHP is the lunchroom. The lunchroom is key to building the team especially in those first few years when you’re new to the Centre. In the lunchroom is where you meet everyone, have a chat and discuss one of the most important philosophical questions facing humanity: could you get out of the bottom of a swimming pool full of Jell-O? A legacy I hope continues on after I’ve moved to Australia is to find out what new people to the Centre think about the answer to that question.


The joy of working at MCHP makes us more productive. Let’s hope for another fun and productive 30 years for everyone at Centre.


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