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Honouring a few of our finest

Annual Faculty of Arts Awards ceremony set for May 11 


Charles Tepperman, associate professor of film studies will be one of the recipients of a Faculty of Arts Award on May 11. Photo by Riley Brandt

By Heath McCoy 
April 28, 2016

From innovative research in behavioral medicine, global ground water supply and the history of amateur film to outstanding teaching achievements and great strides in the University of Calgary’s internationalization strategy, the annual Faculty of Arts Awards showcases the depth, diversity and excellence of the work being done everyday within the faculty.

The ceremony – to be held on Wednesday, May 11 at 2:30 p.m. in the Alberta Room Dining Centre – will also honour staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and, for the first time this year, there will be awards for distinguished alumni.

“This is one of the faculty events I most look forward to every year,” says Dean Richard Sigurdson.  “We have such a wealth of talent in our faculty, and such a strong, dedicated staff, and this ceremony gives us a chance to honour some of our finest. It’s nice to be able to acknowledge the hard work and efficiency of our recipients and give them a much deserved thank you.”

He adds: “I’m also excited that this year we’ll be doing something new by celebrating three of our terrific alumni, whose passion and achievements epitomize the values of the Faculty of Arts.”

Here are this year’s recipients:

Established Scholar Research Award – Tavis Campbell (Psychology)
In the past decade Campbell has established himself as a leading researcher in the field of behavioral medicine with great strides focused on biobehavioral interventions in illnesses such as chronic pain, hypertension and cancer. An active leader in the Canadian Hypertension Education Program, which improves the ability of health care providers to manage hypertension in their patients, Campbell’s work positively impacts health policy in Canada.

Established Scholar Research Award – Charles Tepperman (Communication, Media and Film)
Tepperman has emerged as an important contributor to the discipline of Film Studies with his research in the field of amateur film particularly groundbreaking. He received two SSHRC grants last year, one for an ambitious project to create a database which maps significant amateur films made between 1928 and 1971. Acknowledged as a world authority in this area, Tepperman has been invited to give talks on amateur film in Frankfurt and at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Established Scholar Research  Award– Dona Schwartz (Art)
In her career as an artist, photographer and educator Schwartz has had her work exhibited internationally at venues including the National Portrait Gallery in London, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland and the Kinsey Institute. Her latest portrait series, On the Nest, which examines becoming a first-time parent and an empty nester once the children have left the home is being featured in Toronto’s Stephen Bulger Gallery, drawing rave reviews internationally.

New Scholar Research Award – Scott Jasechko (Geography)
John Yackel, head of the Department of Geography, describes Jasechko as a “rising star,” and it’s not hard to see why. A researcher in the important field of global groundwater supply, Jasechko has published a truly remarkable seven peer reviewed publications since joining the University of Calgary last year. Four of these publications were in the prestigious journal Nature, with Jasechko taking the lead author title in two of those.

Established Teacher Award –Melissa Boyce (Psychology)
Specializing in social psychology, senior instructor Boyce has prepared and taught new courses in her area of researching, including the psychology of law and consumer psychology. She has consistently proven herself as a strong mentor working with students as part of the Emerging Leaders Program and the Sophomore Leadership Program.

Established Teacher Award – Stephen Dumas (Sociology)
With a focus on criminology, deviance and social justice, Dumas has been a sociology instructor since 2011, taking on classes small and large, ranging from 40 to 400 students, including both introductory and advanced courses. His teaching scores are consistently stellar. Comments have included: “Best prof I’ve ever had,” “I would take all my classes with Steve.” And, in one memorable instance: “Magnificent, like a unicorn.” 

New Teacher Award – Susanne Cote (Anthropology and Archaeology)
Hired as an assistant professor in 2015, Cote has brought her expertise in primatology and human evolution to the faculty. She also teaches paleoanthropology, coaching students in their work with fossils. Her love of teaching and her ability to make difficult topics enjoyable, while always encouraging critical thinking and debate in class, has been evident.

Leadership in Internationalization -- Amal Madibbo (Sociology)
Madibbo has long been a champion of international development in this institution. To name only a few of her activities, she returns to her native Sudan each year to teach and supply books to universities in the region, donated through the University of Calgary. She has established strong academic partnership between this university and those in Sudan. She also provides invaluable aid to international students on this campus, helping them to culturally adjust. Most recently she was invited by the Sudan government to take part in a Knowledge Transfer Conference, helping to strengthen relations between Sudanese immigrants and their host countries, like Canada. 

Leadership in Internationalization -- Hank Stam (Psychology)
As an expert on theoretical psychology Stam has dedicated himself to bringing that field of research to China. Since he began that work in the 1990s, theoretical psychology has become a major presence in Chinese universities. He is also a founding member of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology.

Outstanding Staff Individual – Catherine Avramenko (Geography)
In nominating Avramenko for this outstanding staff award, one professor in geography described her as the glue that holds the department together. Looking at the great contributions she makes, as a liaison between researchers and government, private sector and various institutional units within the university – not to mention the everyday leadership role she takes in a large department with 24 faculty members, 11 support staff and more than 95 graduate students – there’s no question that her services are invaluable.

Outstanding Staff Team – Julie Suffield, May Ives, Lori Kallsen, Merrit Penny (Economics)
From handling the budget, and organizing department seminars to managing the undergraduate and graduate programs – which is really only a fraction of what these women do– it has to be said that Suffield, Ives, Kallsen and Penny work fantastically as a team, always enhancing the culture and efficiency of the Economics department.

Celebrated Alumni – Derek Beaulieu (BA ’96, English; MA ’04 English, BEd, ’08)
Besides being Calgary’s outgoing Poet Laureate, Beaulieu is also an instructor at ACAD, a prolific author and a champion of Calgary’s arts community. In partnership with the Calgary Chamber and Calgary Arts Development, he spearheaded the Artist in the Workplace initiative, pairing businesses that have vacant offices with artists in need of affordable spaces.

Celebrated Alumni – Jill Drader (BGS ’05, Development Studies)
Drader is the CEO and founder of projects that coach and mentor women who want to get started in trades, including Steel Toe Stiletto, Women in Work Boots, and the online training site Business in Work Boots. In 2014 she was included in Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list.

Celebrated Alumni – Douglas Hagedorn (BA ’07 Urban Studies; MSc ’11 (Geography)
Hagedorn is the CEO of Tactalis, a tech startup he founded in 2012. The company develops tactile tablet computer systems that help blind and visually impaired individuals use digital media that they cannot see. This revolutionary technology allows users to interact with maps, apps, diagrams, games, spreadsheets and graphics.

Please RSVP by May 6 for the 2016 Faculty of Arts Awards at artsrsvp@ucalgary.ca