Celebration of Excellence Awards

“What is a university? A university is a collegiate gathering of those for whom learning is the key to advancement, a community of teachers and scholars, researchers and thinkers who seek not only to discover but to proclaim.”

These were the opening remarks made by English professor Aritha van Herk at an awards ceremony honouring 120 University of Calgary professors for outstanding contributions to teaching and research. The “Celebration of Excellence” ceremony held on Mon., Sept. 30 at the Rozsa Centre, recognized innovation and leadership in all disciplines.

The evening showcased some bright stars of this university. Dr. James McGhee, Dr. Sarah McFarlane, Dr. Michal Okoniewski, Dr. Michael Surette, and Dr. John Watrous all won the prestigious Canada Research Chair. The government initiative supplies the recipient with a generous five-year research grant.

Competition is fierce, and the applicant is screened by an adjudication committee of leading experts in their field. These five new honourees bring the total number of Canada Research Chairs awarded to the university to 30.

Other awards such as the “President’s Circle Award for Achievement in Teaching Excellence, Research and Creative Activity,” and the “Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award” were also handed out. While the former award requires nomination from a professor’s peers, the latter is based on student recommendations.

Every fall and winter, students can nominate a professor they feel has inspired, challenged, and motivated them in any field of study. Nomination forms are always available at the Students’ Union office at MSC 251.

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