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2022: Faculty to be Honored at Spring Convocation 2022

St. Thomas University President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell has announced the members of faculty who will be honored at Spring Convocation for their outstanding scholarly accomplishments and service to the University.

“Through all facets of their work, our faculty seek to create the best academic community possible at STU. As in previous years, these award winners demonstrate the high caliber of our teaching, research, and service,” said Russell. “We are looking forward to celebrating these awards in the presence of our graduates and their supporters at Spring Convocation on May 17. Congratulations to these members of faculty. ”

The award winners were selected by the Senate Special Merit Award Committee and Professor Emeritus Committee after nominees were received from the STU community.

Faculty Awards

John McKendy Memorial Teaching Award

Dr Sarah Vannier of the Department of Psychology teaches courses in introductory psychology, child and adolescent development, abnormal psychology, and research methods, and works closely with students to develop their written and oral communication skills, including communicating scientific information to the public. The passion and dedication demonstrated by Dr. Vannier is inspiring for her students of her. She takes considerable care to ensure their progress in course work and makes a substantial effort to allow them to explore areas of interest to them and develop skills essential to their success. Last year, she was appointed to the Ad Hoc Committee on Remote Teaching and worked tirelessly to help students and faculty transition effectively to remote teaching. She has also chaired her department’s curriculum committee, is a member of the Senate’s Learning and Teaching Development Committee, and is the representative for Science Atlantic which hosts an annual undergraduate research conference in psychology. She has earned numerous fellowships, awards, and prizes, including an SSHRC Explore grant to examine sexual wellbeing during adolescence and early adulthood, an SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence in Graduate Studies.

Award for Excellence in Part-time Teaching

Professor Gaila Friars has been Faculty Liaison for Field Practicums in the School of Social Work since 2009, and is an important mentor and supervisor of students during their social action and practice field placements. The integration seminars she holds throughout these placements promote individual student learning while also attending to student needs that arise in challenging work contexts. Her supervision of her regularly takes her around Maritime Canada which was particularly challenging as these placements continued during the pandemic. Professor Friars has been described as “a pillar of strength and support for our students and one who is able to negotiate and balance the needs of the students with the school’s expectations and the needs of our community partners.” She is a member of the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers and winner of their Raoul Léger Memorial Award for her significant contribution to the advancement of social work and social justice.

University Scholarship Award

Dr Clive Baldwin is an internationally recognized expert in narrative research and a social worker with experience in mental health, community work, and the not-for-profit sector. His record of research excellence spans a range of subjects including dementia, new religious movements, transmedia, and transableism. He has held a Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies at STU from 2011 to 2021 and is the author or co-author of four books, along with numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has explored the role of narrative in identity formation, ethics, and spirituality, and focused on developing narrative literacy in professional education and training in narrative ethics and narrative care. In his time at STU, he has generated more than $2 million in external funding for his research from him. A highly collaborative scholar, Dr. Baldwin’s mentoring and expertise have benefited students and faculty, and he has served externally as a PhD supervisor and a member of numerous thesis examination committees. He has also acted as a peer reviewer for 30 different academic journals.

University Service Award

Dr Dawn Morgan has been a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature since 2004. She regularly teaches introductory courses, as well as courses on the 18th century English novel, the scientific revolution, and the emergence of human rights in literature during the American and French revolutionary periods. Her service to the discipline includes journal article peer reviews, literature reviews, and conference roundtable discussions on Indigenizing literary studies. Her university service from ella includes the Senate Honorary Degree Committee, Senate Research Committee, Senate Special Merit Awards Committee, the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure, and the executive of the Faculty Association. As department chair, she led curricular reform, initiated a series of literary readings at the Pine Grove Care Home, and offered guidance to students presenting at conferences and applying for professional and graduate studies. She served on the Senate Committee on Indigenous Reconciliation that won the Student Union Outstanding Committee Award in 2019.

Professor Emeritus

Gary Irwin-Kenyon, MD is receiving the designation professor emeritus. He holds a BA and MA from Concordia, a PhD from UBC, and held post-doctoral positions at universities in the United States and Europe. He began his career at STU in 1987 when he was founding Chair of the Department of Gerontology and responsible for establishing degree and certificate programs. He also established a Visiting Chair in Gerontology that brought internationally recognized scholars to STU to deliver the Creamer Lecture. He initiated the Fredericton 80+ Study of aging and helped establish the Third Age Centre, a not-for-profit organization that advocates on behalf of older adults. Dr. Irwin-Kenyon is a highly productive and respected scholar. He has authored more than 55 scholarly publications and was corecipient of the Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology Award by the Gerontological Society of America. He was an editorial board member or reviewer for numerous scholarly journals, and guest editor of the Canadian Journal on Aging, Aging and Societyand Journal of Aging Studies.

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