Stephen Bend saw a lot of the world before settling down in Regina in 1990, where he's an author, athlete and award-winning professor at the University of Regina.
Born and raised in northern England, Bend considered a teaching career while he was in high school. He later received a B.A. (Hons.) in Geology and Geography with a minor in Geochemistry from the University of Keele, England. His career as a professional geologist took him around the world - to the Netherlands, Norway, Egypt, Qatar, Columbio, Venezeula and Canada.
As a globe-trotting young geologist, he demonstrated patience with new employees. "I'd get newbies one after another. One year I trained six geologists," Bend reflects.
After working for a few years, Bend returned to school and earned his M.Sc. in Petroleum Geochemistry and a Ph.D in Physical Chemistry from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Engalnd.
In 1990 he moved to Regina, where he began teaching Geology, and served as head of the department from 1996 to 1999. His teaching philosophy is simple: "You've got to make the material being taught mean something to the students." Bend finds that telling stories is an effective way to make his lessons interesting and memorable. Bend received the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching at Spring Convocation in June 2011. He says he was especially proud that his wife, Phyliss, and their children, Rebecca and Christopher, were on hand to see him accept the award.
Bend has also created an inter-active CD-ROM textbook for petroleum geology students. It features embedded video, a virtual microscope, links to book chapters, peer-reviewed scientific papers, and it searches like a web browser. It's used at seven universities across Canada, another seven in the United States, as well China and Australia.
As a winter-sports buff , Bend loves Regina winters. He represented Great Britain in cross-coutnry skiing at the world championships in the 1980s, and he and his wife represented Saskatchewan in biathlon at the Canadian championships in the early 1990s. Bend enjoys cycling in the summertime. Bend says Regina reminds him of the close-knit community in which he was raised in northern England.