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The Hon. Sylvia Olga Fedoruk

Photograph of The Hon. Sylvia Olga Fedoruk

The Honourable Sylvia Olga Fedoruk,
O.C., S.O.M., B.A., M.A., D.Sc., LL.D., D.Hum.L., F.C.C.P.M.

First woman Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Born in Canora, Saskatchewan on May 5, 1927

The Hon. Sylvia Olga Fedoruk

Honours and Awards: YMCA Woman of the Year (1986), Saskatchewan Order of Merit (1986), Officer of the Order of Canada (1987), the Distinguished Canadian Award (1999), Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (date unknown)

Sylvia Fedoruk grew up in rural Saskatchewan and acquired her post-secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan. Academically outstanding while a university student, she was granted scholarships and awards, and was also very active in athletics.

She joined the staff of the University of Saskatchewan in 1951 where she was the sole woman on a research team that developed the world's first Cobalt 60 cancer therapy unit and one of the first scanning machines utilizing nuclear medicine. In addition, she was instrumental in developing the Dosimeter and a radioactive iodine device. Appointed assistant professor at the University in 1956, she became a full professor in 1973, served as Professor of Oncology, was an Associate Member in Physics, 1973-1986, was the professor emerita, and eventually was elected to the position of Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan, 1986-1989, the first woman to fill that post.

Fedoruk is renowned as a result of her work involving radiation in the diagnosis of cancer and its treatment. At the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic she was the Medical Physicist, 1951-1957, and was the Director of Physics Services of the Saskatchewan Cancer Foundation, 1966-1986. She was a member of the Saskatchewan Commission on Direction in Health Care, 1986-1988. She served as a member of the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada, 1973-1988, was a consultant in nuclear medicine to the International Atomic Energy Agency, 1966, 1968-1969, and had the distinction of being the first female trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.

She has made presentations at international conferences. Author or co-author of more than 38 scientific papers and book chapters, she has had several honorary university degrees conferred upon her.

During her distinguished career in nuclear medicine and education, Fedoruk has been a member (and honorary member) on committees, boards, a task group, associations, societies and clubs. At various times she has been a fellow, a chair and vice-chair, trustee, and director, and has been the recipient of several medals, honours and awards.

As a result of her active participation in and enthusiasm for sports, she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1973, the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1986, the University of Saskatchewan Athletic Wall of Fame in 1984 and the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk was sworn in as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan September 7, 1988, and held the office until 1994.


The Canadian Encyclopedia. "Fedoruk, Sylvia Olga." Historica Foundation of Canada.
(accessed October 14, 2008).

Canadian Nuclear Society. "Sylvia O. Fedoruk."
(accessed September 12, 2005).

Canadian Parliamentary Guide / Guide Parlementaire Canadien, 1994, p. 976. Canadian Who's Who. Vol. XL, 2005, p. 416.

Inventive Women Biographies. "Sylvia Fedoruk."
(accessed September 12, 2005).

ISC Centennial Site. "Sylvia Fedoruk (1927-) First Woman Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan."
(accessed October 14, 2008). Scientist Profile. "Sylvia Fedoruk."
(accessed September 12, 2005).

University of Saskatchewan. "1986: First Female Chancellor Elected: Sylvia Fedoruk."
(accessed September 12, 2005).

Wikipedia. "Sylvia Fedoruk." Wikipedia Foundation Inc.
(accessed September 12, 2005).

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