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‘The success of our students is made possible by these people’

Concordia's Faculty of Arts and Science hosts the inaugural Dean’s Reception to Honour Excellence
December 10, 2015
By Elisabeth Faure

It was a chance for the Faculty of Arts and Science to salute their own.

On Monday, November 30, the first-ever Dean’s Reception to Honour Excellence was held at the Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre. The celebration grew out of the annual Dean’s Awards ceremony, which celebrated the achievements of staff and faculty.

“This year, we wanted to expand the evening to include our new Concordia University Research Chairs, Canada Research Chairs and other research chairs, whose incredible work highlights the strengths of our faculty every day,” said André Roy, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Jason Camlot, associate dean of Faculty Affairs, oversaw the selection committee for the awards. He noted the overwhelming number of recommendations the three winners received.

Winning staff members received a $500 gift certificate, and faculty members received $500 in research funding.

Staff and faculty award winners

Gilles Pelsherbe, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, won for Distinguished Scholarship in the Senior Scholar Category. “He is an extremely productive researcher,” said Camlot.

Viviane Namaste, a professor in the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, won for Teaching Excellence. Camlot praised her for her extensive mentorship over the years. “Her students have been transformed by her personal interventions, and by her example,” he said.

But perhaps the most memorable of the three winners was Ron Rehel, who recently retired from the Department of Exercise Science as a technical supervisor, following a 36-year career.

Rehel received a standing ovation from the crowd when he accepted his award for Exceptional Service to the Faculty. “I always held the Concordia family in high esteem,” said Rehel. “It was a pleasure to work with these folks. In so many ways they are the reason I ended up receiving my award. I love my Concordia life!”

Chair winners

Next, the faculty’s new research chairs were honoured. “They are chosen because of the vision for research in the faculty that they articulated in their applications for chair, and the leadership that they are expected to provide by holding the chair,” said Kim Sawchuk, the faculty’s associate dean, Research and Graduate Studies.

When he presented the chairs with their certificates and prizes, Roy put the academics on the spot. He asked them to sum up their field of research in one sentence. Thanh Dang-Vu, assistant professor and a Concordia Research Chair joked, “I put people to sleep.” He’s a leader in the field of sleep study.

Following the ceremony, guests had the chance to mix and mingle with honourees, department chairs, colleagues, friends and family.

“We hold many events throughout the year to honour our students, but none of our students’ success would be possible without the exceptional staff and faculty we have here,” said Roy. “Tonight is to honour them. I am pleased to congratulate each of tonight’s honourees, and salute their success in the company of their colleagues.”

The complete list of chairs honoured is as follows:


Find out more about research in Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science.



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