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The Faculty of Arts and Science celebrates the annual Dean’s Awards for Excellence

December 6, 2022

Concordia University's Loyola campus, winter scene

On December 2, after two years of virtual events, the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Dean’s Awards for Excellence returned to an in-person format, with staff, faculty and researchers celebrated at the Loyola Chapel.

“I cannot tell you how pleased I am to be able to gather with everyone in person once again,” says Dean Pascale Sicotte, who began her tenure during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These awards are so meaningful, as they honour excellence across the board. It is our chance to recognize superior achievements in teaching, staff who go above and beyond every day, and our new Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and Concordia University Research Chairs (CURCs).

“Every year, we hold our Scholar Awards early in the fall semester, to celebrate our top undergraduate students, and we have this event towards the end of the term. I cannot think of a better way to bookend what has been at times a challenging, but always rewarding semester.”

“To everyone being honoured, I extend my sincere congratulations. You make us all proud.”

Alexandra Zeitz (Political Science, Junior Scholar Award) Dean Pascale Sicotte (left) presents Alexandra Zeitz from the department of Political Science with her Junior Scholar Award

A generous and supportive research environment

The staff and faculty awards are organized by the office of Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Inclusion Jill Didur, via a committee which she chairs. Selections are then sent to the dean for final approval.

“I think I speak for the entire committee when I say it was a joy to read so many outstanding letters of recommendation from colleagues and students,” Didur says.

Alexandra Zeitz, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, received the Junior Scholar Award, along with colleague Marek Majewski from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She was honoured for her numerous contributions to the faculty, including a standout record in terms of publications and funding. Zeits’ research focuses on the politics of international finance and the position of developing countries in the global financial system.

“I was very honoured to receive the award,” says Zeitz. “I really appreciate the generous and supportive research environment at Concordia and within the department of political science, which has allowed me to move forward my research on the politics of finance and international development even during the difficult context of the pandemic”

Leonie Morris (Biology, Staff Award) Dean Pascale Sicotte (left) presents Leonie Morris from the department of Biology with her Staff Award

‘An incredible place to work’

Leonie Morris, the undergraduate program assistant for the Department of Biology, received a staff award, as did Patrice Desaulniers, technical officer for the Department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology.

“The Biology department has been an incredible place to work with great professors, staff and students, and I am very grateful to have remained part of it,” says Morris, who was honoured for her dedication to and support of the department, spanning 34 years.

“This award is an honour of encouragement for me to continue working harder for an institution I admire so much. It is a recognition that I owe to every other support staff, professors, students, and current and previous chairs of the department with whom I have worked over the years.”

Elena Kuzmin (Biology, Tier 2 CRC in Cellular Systems Design) Dean Pascale Sicotte (left) presents Elena Kuzmin from the department of Biology with a certificate in honour of her Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Cellular Systems Design

Acknowledging dynamic research

Other categories in the staff/faculty portion of the awards were Senior Scholar, Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Community Outreach and Public engagement, Excellence in Graduate Supervision and Excellence in Academic Service.

Associate Dean of Research Louis Patrick Leroux presented the newest CRCs and CURCs.

“Acknowledging and honouring the amazing research, teaching, and service that make ours such a dynamic faculty is an essential act,” says Leroux. “I was so happy to see all of the awardees come together so that we could collectively thank them for the sustained extra effort they have provided over time.”

Elena Kuzmin, an assistant professor from the Department of Biology, holds a Tier 2 CRC in Cellular Systems Design.

"It is an honour to receive the CRC,” says Kuzmin. “It has provided me the necessary research funding to develop my research program."

“My hat is off to all our honourees,” concludes dean Sicotte. “It was wonderful to come together and celebrate our faculty’s excellence before we all head off on well-deserved holidays!”

Full list of honourees

Dean’s award for Excellence in Research

Senior Scholar category

  • John Capobianco, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Geneviève Sicotte, Département d’études françaises

Junior Scholar category

  • Marek Majewski, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Alexandra Zeitz, Political Science

Excellence in Teaching

  • Danielle Bobker, English
  • Nicole De Silva, Political Science

Excellence in Academic Service

  • Alisa Piekny, Biology
  • Christine York, Département d’études françaises

Excellence in Service to the Faculty by a Staff Member

  • Patrice Desaulniers, Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology
  • Leonie Morris, Biology

Excellence in Community Outreach and Public Engagement

  • Catherine Richardson, School of Community and Public Affairs

Excellence in Graduate Supervision

  • Steven High, History

Research Awards and Chairs

Concordia University Research Chairs

  • Emily Coffey, Psychology (New Scholar, Concordia University Research Chair in Sleep and Sound)
  • Angela Alberga, Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology (Tier 2, Concordia University Research Chair in Maternal, Child and Youth-Related Issues)
  • Dajana Vukovic, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Tier 2, Concordia University Research Chair in Clinical Metabolics and Biomarkers)
  • Prosper Dovonon, Economics (Tier 1, Concordia University Research Chair in Econometrics of Large Datasets)

Canada Research Chairs

  • Elena Kuzmin, Biology (Tier 2, Canada Research Chair in Cellular Systems Design)
  • Melissa Passarelli, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Tier 2, Canada Research Chair in Spatial Omics: from Single-cell to Clinical Innovations)
  • Ré Mansbach, Physics (Tier 2, Canada Research Chair in Computational Physics/Biophysics)
  • Nicole Alberts, Psychology (Tier 2, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Health Intervention)
  • Simon Bacon, Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology (Chaire de recherche double - Intelligence Artificielle en Santé)

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