Congratulations to Andy Patton, PhD, winner of the 2013 Governor General's Gold Medal. This award recognizes academic excellence and acknowledges Andy's outstanding contribution to the field of Art and Visual Culture. Andy wishes to thank his committee, Patrick Mahon (supervisor), David Merritt, and James Flath, for their support and criticism throughout his PhD.
Joel Faflak Department of English and Writing Studies, School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and HumanitiesCongratulations to Dr. Joel Faflak on being named Western Faculty Scholar for 2012-13. Dr. Faflak is Associate Professor in the Department of English and the inagural Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities.
Kathryn Brush Department of Visual Arts
In her 26 years at Western, Visual Arts professor Kathryn Brush has distinguished herself as both teacher and researcher, as her research has always nourished her teaching. Her area of expertise, Medieval Art and Architecture, is not one that immediately appeals to students, but she has a remarkable ability to shift expectations and generate enthusiasm. Working with her students, she has also reached out into the larger community with her exhibitions at Museum London. She has worked with her graduate students to publish a collection of essays developed from a graduate course and exhibition, Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier (2010). In fall 2012, she organized a teaching exhibition on Arts of Pilgrimage: Experiencing the Medieval Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, that emerged from her current undergraduate course on Romanesque and Gothic Art, and which included collaboration with local pilgrims who had made the medieval-inspired pilgrimage. This initiative is typical of Brush’s teaching, which forges connections with lived experience and the life of the wider community. She manages not only to bridge historical periods, medieval to modern, but to bridge geographically as well. Perhaps the most remarkable quality of this remarkable teacher is the selfless way in which she showcases her students rather than herself. The two websites that have come out of her seminars and exhibitions put the students front and centre. Her courses knit together the best classroom experience with extramural activities that are not embellishments, but are absolutely central to the curriculum.
Susan Knabe, Women's Studies and Feminist Research
Susan Knabe is a brilliant and popular teacher jointly appointed in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) and the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. Her students and colleagues praise her as a generous and tireless mentor, the kind of professor who “changes lives,” “turns people around” and “turns even the toughest situation into an occasion for learning.” Knabe is a prolific course designer and curriculum developer. She has played a key role in developing a Major in Sexuality Studies, the Teaching Support Centre’s Master Class Program as well as a dozen innovative and wildly successful courses in both Women’s Studies and FIMS. Students “talk about these courses with joy,” her colleagues report, and “buzz with excitement” about their assignments, many of which spill out of the classroom and into the public sphere. Knabe’s students engage in “culture jamming” activities, create wikis and e-zines, and plaster campus with awareness-raising banners, posters and art. Knabe is also the creator and driving force behind Flaunting It, the interdisciplinary undergraduate conference on gender and sexuality, now in its eighth year. Service-learning options take Knabe’s students into the community. Those in Knabe’s Feminist Theory and Practice course, for example, really do both theory and practice, connecting classroom discussions to placements in organizations like Big Sisters, the London Abused Women’s Centre and the Sexual Assault Centre of London. Knabe is deeply committed to the teaching mission of the university in its broadest sense, making a difference in her students’ lives and empowering them to make a difference in the world around them.
This award is handed out annually to a full-time and part-time faculty member who demonstrates a level of excellence in the areas of classroom and seminar teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, course design, curriculum development, thesis supervision and educational outreach.
M.J. Kidnie, Department of English and Writing Studies
M.J. Kidnie specializes in early modern drama and textual studies; much of her work focuses on Shakespeare and drama and the challenges of adaptation. Kidnie teaches a popular, interactive course on Shakespeare and Drama where her boundless energy inspires students to bring the texts to life. Kidnie has been instrumental in building a strong relationship between Western's English Department and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Kidnie is regularly invovled in educational outreach, engaging theatre patrons through workshops, articles and lectures. M.J. Kidnie has also lectured at Shakespeare's Globe in London and acted as textual and academic adviser for the Royal National Theatre in London. Kidnie's creativity and passion for teaching is evident in her classroom, where she regularly transforms a basic room into a place where students are engaged and enlightened as the texts are brought to life.
Mitsume Fukui, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Mitsume Fukui has taught Japanese at Western since 2004 and is consistently one of the most popular instructors in the department. Fukui not only teaches the fundamentals of Japanese language, but she takes great pride in her role as a cultural ambassador. Students are immersed in lessons about Japanese culture, inter-ethnic communication and tolerance, as well as cultural sensitivities. Many of her students have gone on to win annual Japanese speech contests, but more importantly, they learn valuable life lessons along the way and forever have an appreciation and understanding of new cultures.
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is proud to announce this year’s recipients of the Arts and Humanities Teaching Excellence Awards, handed out annually to a full-time and part-time faculty member who demonstrates a level of excellence in the areas of classroom and seminar teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, course design, curriculum development, thesis supervision and educational outreach. Each will receive a grant to be used to enhance research and/or educational development.
Michelle Hartley (P/T) Department of English
Michelle Hartley has an outstanding record of teaching excellence in a variety of fields, and has made longstanding contributions to the Faculty. Hartley has worked with programs on main campus, as well as at the affiliated university colleges: Brescia, Huron and King's. From curriculum development to course delivery, Michelle utilizes technology in ways that inspire and excite her students. She finds unique ways to connect with her students, both in the classroom and through distance studies. It is clear through peers and student evaluations, that Michelle is a highly respected instructor and who is committed to both her classroom and her community, and is very deserving of the 2013 Teaching Excellence Award.
Allan Pero (F/T) Department of English
Allan Pero is very popular in the classrooom as his unique teaching style transforms lectures into theatrical, engaging performances, and he is able to consistently elicit participation from all students. He is always "attentive to students' needs, and able to explain complicated ideas and texts in a cogent and engaging fashion." He values creativity and flexibility in the classroom, while still maintaining exceptionally high standards, and it is through this teaching philosophy that he allows students of all background and abilities to succeed under his guidance. Through his outstanding teaching evaluations, it is also clear that Pero is equally inspired by and rewarded by his students, and this reciprocal relationship in the classroom is ultimately what the study of arts and humanities is about.
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is proud to announce this year's Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Scholars, M.J. Kidnie (English) and Jean LeClerc (French Studies). This Faculty-based award recognizes Kidnie's and LeClerc's prominent contributions as internationally-recognized researchers in their field. Appointments to the Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Scholar Fellowship are for a one-year period and will provide faculty members with one half-course teaching relief, allowing them to focus on research.
M.J. Kidnie, Department of English
M.J. Kidnie specializes in early modern drama and textual studies, much of her work focuses on Shakespeare and drama and the challenges of adaptation. Kidnie teaches a popular, interactive course on Shakespeare and Drama where her boundless energy inspires students to bring the texts to life. Kidnie has been instrumental in building a strong relationship between Western's English Department and the Stratford Festival. Kidnie is regularly involved in educational outreach, engaging theatre patrons through workshops, articles and lectures. M.J. Kidnie has also lectured at Shakespeare's Globe in London and acted as textual and academic adviser for the Royal National Theatre in London. Kidnie's creativity and passion for teaching is evident in her classroom, where she regularly transforms a basic room into a place where students are engaged and enlightened as the texts are brought to life.
Jean Leclerc, Department of French Studies
Jean Leclerc is one of the most prolific young scholars in the Department of French Studies. Specializing in French seventeenth-centure literature, he is internationally recognized for his work on the burlesque. Leclerc has produced two major books on the burlesque genre, and is currently on sabbatical in France where he is conducting research for three major critical edition projects. Beyond his active pace of publication, Leclerc is highly involved in the life of the Faculty and French department, and he is highly respected and admired by his students, peers and international network of colleagues.