Edmonton—Austin Mardon, an inspiring advocate for the mentally ill who has worked tirelessly to eliminate the stigma associated with psychiatric disorders, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree tomorrow morning during the University of Alberta’s 2011 spring convocation ceremonies.
Mardon, a member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s CM Hincks Award, was a member of the Antarctic meteorite field expedition in 1986–87. He has published several dozen books and written 221 articles and abstracts in areas as diverse as astronomy, history and Antarctic research. Despite being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1992, he entered a distance learning PhD program in geography through Greenwich University in Australia in 1993 and received his doctoral degree in 2000. As a member of Alberta’s Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, he has a major impact on policy direction and public perception.