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The Faculty of Arts and Science gather to celebrate their own

By Elisabeth Faure

Back row from left: Benjamin Eppinger, Christopher Wilds, Dean André Roy, Nathalie Phillips, Marlene Sokolon, Pablo Gilabert and Kirsten Dunfield. Middle row, from left:  Sherry Simon, Ann-Louise Davidson. Front row from left: Liz Fradette, Yasmin Jiwani, Naftali Cohn

On November 29, the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) came together to mark outstanding achievement from its staff and faculty members at the 2017 Dean’s Awards for Excellence.

“These awards are a great way to bring FAS together, and recognize the excellent work our people are doing every day,” said Dean André Roy.

The awards are given to staff and faculty via a nomination process and committee vote, overseen by the office of the FAS Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs.

In 2015, the Award event was expanded to include new Canada Research Chairs (CRCs), Concordia Research Chairs (CURCs) and new University Research Awards.

Kristen Dunfield, assistant professor in the department of psychology, and recipient of a University Research Award for her work in the Person and Society research cluster, playfully employed Concordia’s strategic directions in describing the awards.

"Mixing it up and getting your hands dirty can be daunting, this evening was an important reminder that we experiment boldly, we do so with a whole faculty behind us taking pride in our accomplishments!"

Staff honours went to Liz Fradette, assistant to the chair of the exercise science department, and Kathleen O’Connell, department administrator in psychology. Both wins were met with enthusiastic applause.

“I was nervous going into the evening,” Fradette confessed. “However, the Dean greeted me as I sat down and made me feel welcomed and at ease. That to me is what the event is all about – making individuals feel valued.”

O’Connell could not attend the ceremony. Her award was accepted by department chair Virginia Penhune. “The only reason I am happy she isn’t here is because she won’t complain about all the nice things I have to say about her!” Penhune joked.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized and appreciated,” said Naftali Cohn, assistant professor in religions and cultures, who was honoured for teaching excellence. “Not only officially by the Dean and the university, but by my students who wrote in support of my application and by my colleagues in the department. Because I truly love teaching, and I am so grateful that I get to teach the amazing students we have at Concordia.”

Former political science chair Marlene Sokolon was honoured for her excellence in academic service. “Though it is an honour to be recognized for my service contribution by both my department and the Dean, if I learned anything in my time as chair (and I learned a great deal!), it was that the success of the political science department at Concordia is really due to our fantastic staff, dedicated faculty members, and enthusiastic students." 

The Dean kept to his annual tradition of asking CRCs, CURCs, and new University Research Award winners to sum up their work in one minute or less. “I think we all enjoy hearing these little summaries of our colleagues’ work,” said Roy, , “I also like to keep the winners on their toes!”

All in all, 17 faculty and staff members were honoured, joined by colleagues, family and friends.

“I’m immensely grateful to be at this university, and in this Faculty,” said Dunfield. “The support from FAS is great, and shows how important the work we all do here is.”

Complete list of winners

Staff awards

Ms. Liz Fradette Department of Exercise Science, Assistant to the Chair, Dean’s Award for Excellence for Service to the Faculty by a Staff Member

Ms. Kathleen O’Connell Department of Psychology, Department Administrator, Dean’s Award for Excellence for Service to the Faculty by a Staff Member

Faculty awards

Professor Naftali Cohn Department of Religions and Cultures, Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Professor Pablo Gilabert Department of Philosophy, Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Scholarship (Mid-Career Scholar Category)

Professor Nathalie Phillips Department of Psychology, Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Scholarship (Senior Scholar Category)

Professor Sherry Simon Département d’études françaises, Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Scholarship (Senior Scholar Categroy)

Professor Marlene Sokolon Department of Political Science, Dean’s Award for Excellence in Academic Service

University Research Awards

Professor Kirsten Dunfield Department of Psychology –Strategic Research Cluster – The Person and Society (Category A)

Professor Pat Forgione Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry – Strategic Research Cluster – technology, Industry and the Environment (Category B)

Professor Monika Kin Gagnon Department of Communication Studies - Strategic Research Cluster – The Person and Society (Category C)

Professor Rafik Naccache Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry – 2017 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award – Strategic Research Cluster – Technology, Industry and the Environment

Professor Christopher Wilds Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry – Strategic Research Cluster – the Person and Society (Category B)

Concordia University Research Chairs

Professor Ann-Louise Davidson Department of Education – Maker Culture

Professor Yasmin Jiwani Department of Communication Studies - Intersectionality, Violence and Resistance

Professor Jean-Phillipe Lessard Department of Biology – Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning

Canada Research Chairs

Professor Benjamin Eppinger Department of Psychology – Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision-Making in Healthy Human Aging

Professor Pedro Peres-Neto Department of Biology – Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity

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