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‘Your service and leadership play an instrumental role’

47 Concordia faculty received tenure and promotions in 2016
November 30, 2016
By J. Latimer

“As a teacher, I find myself even more committed to creating challenging and engaged experiences for my students,” says film studies scholar Haidee Wasson, who was promoted to full professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts this summer.

“As an academic, I am reminded of the crucial role that senior scholars must play in university leadership. It is a call to mentorship and to fully act upon the agency that our current model of self-governance provides.”

Wasson was one of 47 librarians and faculty at Concordia who received a promotion and/or tenure in 2016.

At an event to celebrate their achievements on Monday, November 28, Concordia’s president Alan Shepard welcomed everyone warmly, noting that the cross-faculty celebration was the first of its kind. In previous years, departments, faculties and the Concordia Library marked the occasion individually.

“Achieving tenure marks years of hard work, exceptional service and an ongoing commitment to giving your best” Shepard said. “It’s a significant milestone in your career, and I thank you for all that you do to make Concordia a great university.”

Graham Carr, provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs, also congratulated the assembled faculty members on their accomplishments, and expressed his gratitude for their dedication. “It is a delight to celebrate your successes in the classroom, and as researchers and librarians,” he said.

“As we continue to engage on all fronts to make Concordia a truly next-generation university, your academic work, service and leadership will play an instrumental role in your departments, faculties, research units, as well as the university at large.”

Ivan Contreras: ‘The culmination of an exciting and enriching journey’

Ivan Contreras from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science received tenure and a promotion to associate professor. "To me, this is the culmination of an exciting and personally enriching five-year journey,” he says. 

“It included the development of new courses, obtaining research grants, student supervision and becoming a member of the Engineering Order of Quebec.”

His research in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering focuses on the development of mathematical models and solution algorithms to design and optimize the next generation of urban transportation systems.

“I also served as member of examination committees for countless master’s and PhD theses, becoming good at multi-tasking, and immersing into a challenging third language — French, of course.”

The proud father of a new baby, Contreras adds that he looks forward to continuing to contribute to the mentorship of Concordia students and to the progress of science and engineering.

Melinda Reinhart: motivated, engaged, contributing

Recognition at this level offers a chance to reflect on the work she has accomplished so far, says Melinda Reinhart who received a promotion to senior librarian. It's also added motivation to continue contributing meaningfully to her chosen field.

“As the visual arts librarian, I have had the opportunity to engage with various research groups including the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative where I continue to work on a database project,” says Reinhart, who was also recently invited to participate in the Elastic 3D Space Research group.

“I will bring information related to my current research focus on artists’ books and publishing as artistic practice to their exploration of technological media.”

Alexandra Panaccio: ‘I immediately felt at home’

For Alexandra Panaccio, receiving tenure and a promotion to associate professor in the Department of Management serves as confirmation that she has earned a place in her community.

Her research centres on employee attitudes, well-being and leadership. Tenure is particularly meaningful to Panaccio, because one of her focuses is organizational commitment.

"When I joined Concordia’s John Molson School of Business, I found dynamic, productive and engaged scholars, and I immediately felt at home,” she says.

“I know first-hand that feeling emotionally connected to one's organization is important. I am excited to continue progressing as an academic in this next-generation, leading university, and I have many projects in the works, including a longitudinal study on student well-being!”

For that, Panaccio will collaborate with Gaya Arasaratnam and Gabriella Szabo from Concordia’s Campus Wellness and Support Services, and Laura Mitchell from the Student Success Centre.

Jill Didur: gratitude and renewed energy

When Jill Didur in the Department of English became a full professor this summer, she felt gratitude toward Concordia for the opportunities it provided as a scholar and teacher.

“Concordia’s ambition to be a leader in research has buoyed and fuelled my own sense that the effort I put into my scholarly work matters and makes a difference in my field,” she says.

Her current research in the Faculty of Arts and Science — funded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council — focuses on locative media, globalization and environmental storytelling, and she is completing a book manuscript about imperialism, gardening, and the environment in postcolonial literature.

“I was proud to receive tenure and be promoted to associate professor in 2005,” Didur continues. “And it was with renewed energy (and two kids in tow) that I embarked on a post-tenure research trajectory that has led to my promotion to full professor this past year.”

To Didur, promotion means the opportunity to continue to participate in Concordia’s growing reputation as an important place to study and carry out research in Canada, and it makes this next phase in her career feel as full of potential as it did on the day she was hired in 1998.  

See the full list of
tenure and promotion recipients at Concordia for 2016.


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