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Faculty of Arts Awards: 2017

Annual event set for Wednesday, May 3 in EEEL Building


Photo by Glen Co

By Heath McCoy
April 26, 2017

Once a year the Faculty of Arts honours a few of its best and brightest teachers, researchers, staff members and champions of internationalization at the Faculty of Arts Awards Ceremony and Celebration, while also recognizing the achievements  of alumni.

It’s become a staple of the academic year — a chance to reflect on the diversity and scope of learning and innovation in this faculty, while also reflecting back on another year of remarkable achievements.

Here is a list of this year’s winners:

Established Researcher

Giuseppe Iaria (Psychology) — Dr. Iaria is recognized internationally for his research on human spatial cognition, wherein he investigates the ability of individuals to navigate and orient themselves to their spatial surroundings. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on CBC TV and radio, among other high profile media interest he’s received. He recently began a five-year NASA project, funded by the Canadian Space Agency investigating how the orientation skills of astronauts is affected after they have been in the International Space Station.

Maria Zytaruk (English) — A scholar of 17th and 18th century literature, Dr. Zytaruk reaches into the worlds of science, medicine and historical artifacts, including the history of museums and libraries. She has made a significant national and international impact with this unique and interdisciplinary research path.

Clem Martini (School of Creative and Performing Arts, Drama) — An accomplished playwright of the highest caliber, with his plays produced internationally, Martini’s body of work also encompasses operas, television and film, articles and short stories and books, fiction and non-fiction, including those on the history and art of playwriting. Martini embodies the kind of creative research that artists should strive for in a university setting.

New Researcher

Brent Else (Geography) — Dr. Else’s research focuses on Arctic marine ecosystems and the role they play in global climate change. Since joining the Department of Geography in July 2014 he has been involved in 17 successful grant applications with a total value of $11.9 million. These funding awards have enhanced the department allowing Else’s team to travel all over the Canadian Arctic to conduct cutting edge research.

Sheri Madigan (Psychology) — Dr. Madigan’s research focuses on the determinants of children’s early social, emotional and cognitive development. She examines how such influences as neighborhood, families and individual characteristics can contribute to both healthy and unhealthy developmental trajectories. As an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development, and a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, young Dr. Madigan is poised to become a global leader in the early childhood research community.

Established Teacher

Lee Carruthers (Communications, Media and Film) — The film studies program at the University of Calgary is a young one having started in 2008, and that’s also the year Lee Carruthers was hired here. Since then she has been instrumental in helping the program grow to its current position, as one of the best film studies programs in the country. She has done this by being that rare instructor who engages with every student in her class, creating an intellectually stimulating, technology enriched learning environment.

April Viczko (School of Creative and Performing Arts, Drama) — With the creation of the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the curricular reinvention of the drama division, as the school seeks to reimagine artistry for the 21st century, April Viczko has emerged as a leader in the school. And one of her greatest strengths is as a teacher. For much of the year she basically lives on campus, providing guidance, oversight, instruction and mentorship. Her commitment to her students provides them with a constant and robust support network, making it possible for them to reach their full potential.

New Teacher

Lena Schuett (School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Culture) — As an instructor of German who accepted her position here in 2015, Lena Schuett has greatly impressed the newly established School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures with her innovative teaching techniques. She has also published books on the topic with The Fizz Buzz Book, a collection of classroom language games and Who Is Welcome? on the topic of immigration and language learning. When a teacher’s evaluations from students include comparisons to super heroes you know you have something special in the classroom and that’s certainly the case with Lena Schuett.

Leadership In Internationalization

Julio Mercader (Anthropology and Archaeology) — Since arriving at the University of Calgary in 2003 Dr. Mercader has collaborated with over 60 colleagues from 41 institutions in 12 countries. This has included collaborative work with researchers from such African countries as Cameroon, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, to name only a few. In each of these countries he has collaborated with and spearheaded humanitarian efforts with the indigenous populations. Most recently he’s been leading a multinational SSHRC funded archaeological research project in Tanzania’s world famous Olduvai Gorge. Dr. Mercader’s research epitomizes the Eyes High spirit of internationalization here at the University of Calgary.

Individual Staff Member

Rachel Blake (Classics and Religion) — As the former departments of Greek and Roman Studies and Religious Studies merged to form the Department of Classics and Religion, Rachel Blake, in her role as graduate program and communications administrator, was a key facilitator in the move. She was always professional and highly efficient while remaining friendly, charming and kind, which is why she’s so valuable to her department.

Staff Team

Mimi Daniel, Kristine Ennis, Megan Freeman, Krystle Monahan (Communication, Media and Film) — The importance of a great administration staff to any department can’t be undervalued and over in Communications, Media and Film they have one of the best teams in the faculty. Department manager Mimi Daniel, undergraduate program administrator Kristine Ennis, administrative assistant to the head Krystle Monahan and graduate program administrator Megan Freeman crate a cohesive and collegial atmosphere in the department that is both professional and fun. Together their work supports every member of the department.

Celebrated Alumni

Vincent Ho (BMus’98) — After graduating with his bachelors in music in 1998 Vincent Ho went on to become a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and theatre music. His works have been described as “brilliant and compelling” by The New York Times. Ho was the Composer-in-Residence with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 2007-2014. In the fall of 2015 he returned to Calgary where he is currently the Artistic Director of Calgary’s Land’s End Chamber Music Ensemble. Most recently he was appointed as the New Music Advisor for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lourdes Juan (BGs’05, MEDes’10) — Armed with a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a masters degree in environmental design, Lourdes Juan has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur in both business and non-profit ventures. She is a founder of urban planning firm Hive Developments, Soma Hammam & Spa and the Leftovers Foundation, an organization that ensures excess food gets to service agencies in need. Her community contributions include sitting on the Board of Directors for the Calgary Downtown Association, the Hong Kong Canada Business Association and the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

To attend the Faculty of Arts Awards please RSVP here by May 1.