9 researchers and leaders who are building Concordia’s reputation

The 2017 Provost’s Celebration honours outstanding faculty
June 5, 2017
By Meagan Boisse


The Provost’s Celebration is a yearly tradition that recognizes outstanding members of the Concordia community.

On May 17, guests gathered for the evening gala to honour this year’s inductees into the Provost’s Circle of Distinction, as well as the recipients of the 2017 Academic Leadership and Graduate Mentoring awards.

“Concordia is among the world’s top universities under 50 years old, and our faculty are largely responsible for our success,” said Graham Carr, provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs.

“They’re winning national and international awards, mentoring prize-winning graduate students, stepping into academic leadership roles and taking on strategic projects at the university. This event is about celebrating their accomplishments.”

Overall, nine researchers and leaders were recognized for their work.

From left: Jean-Marc Edwards, Meredith Giffin and Karen Jensen From left: Jean-Marc Edwards, Meredith Giffin and Karen Jensen

Academic Leadership Award: four new recipients

Academic Leadership Awards recognize outstanding leadership abilities and significant administrative accomplishments at the university.

David Morris is a professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy. During his tenure, he has revamped the research and teaching profile of the department and produced guidelines and handbooks for the successful management of the department. Morris also played a key role during the 2012 student protests and acted as chair of an ad hoc committee established to review Senate eligibility.

Meredith Giffin is the collections coordinator and Irish Studies librarian at Concordia University Library. She provided integral leadership during the collection reconfiguration project, which systematically assessed the circulating book collection on both campus libraries. She also managed the move of all Concordia’s books and other library materials twice, relocating them to free up space for renovation, then moving them back to their new location in the renovated spaces.

Martin Pugh is a professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering (MIAE). He has a record of outstanding administrative service, reflected in his work toward the accreditation of many MIAE programs. As chair of the department, he oversaw a 47 per cent increase in enrollment and many successful hires.

Monica Mulrennan is associate professor and chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. She is being recognized for achieving a 30 per cent increase in the faculty complement. She also oversaw important developments in the department’s undergraduate and graduate programs, including the launch of the PhD program in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies.

From left: André Roy, Monica Mulrennan, Miranda D’Amico, David Morris, Diane Poulin-Dubois and Damon Mathews. André Roy, Monica Mulrennan, Miranda D’Amico, David Morris, Diane Poulin-Dubois and Damon Mathews

Provost's Circle of Distinction: ‘Exceptionally accomplished’

This year, three new members will be added to the Provost’s Circle of Distinction, which honours faculty members and librarians who earned professional recognition from external groups and organizations.

“The group of faculty being inducted into the Provost’s Circle this year are exceptionally accomplished,” says Carr. “They are also builders of Concordia’s reputation as a home for path-breaking research.”

Damon Matthews is a Concordia University Research Chair for Climate Science and Sustainability and professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment.

His research on climate systems and sustainability earned Matthews membership in the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. A leader in his field, Matthews researches climate systems, climate change and environmental modelling.

Diane Poulin-Dubois, a psychology professor from the Faculty of Arts and Science, leads the Cognitive and Language Development Lab. This past year she was honoured with a career award, the Prix Acfas Thérèse Gouin-Décarie for social science. The Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) hosts the largest multidisciplinary gathering of research and knowledge in the French-speaking world.

Haidee Wasson is a professor of film studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and is currently a distinguished visiting scholar at the University of California in Santa Barbara. This past year, Wasson received the Service Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies for her stewardship of the Fieldnotes project.

From left: Rebecca Duclos and Lorrie Blair From left: Rebecca Duclos and Lorrie Blair

Lorrie Blair receives the Award for Graduate Mentoring

“Mentoring graduate students is often invisible work, but faculty advisors make tremendous contributions to students’ professional and personal development,” says Carr. “This award brings to light the deep investments in our students made by Concordia faculty.”

The inaugural Award for Graduate Mentoring was given to Lorrie Blair, professor and chair of the Department of Art Education, and fellow of the School of Irish Studies.

From left: Nancy Acemian, Graham Carr and Martin Pugh From left: Nancy Acemian, Graham Carr and Martin Pugh

Nancy Acemian is recognized for her work as provost fellow

Concordia’s Provost’s Fellows Program gives talented faculty members an opportunity to get involved in leadership roles related to specific portfolios.

“Provost’s fellows fill key roles on strategically important academic files,” says Carr. “They can make the difference between an intention to act on something and action.”

As the 2016-17 provost fellow for digital and blended learning, Nancy Acemian shared her knowledge and expertise in education to enrich the academic life of the university.

Find out more about the Office of the Provost.

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