Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Long-Serving Faculty Rewarded

During the discussion period following my State of the University address, we talked about the need to celebrate the work of long-serving U of A faculty and staff. I agree wholeheartedly. Let me share some good news with you now about four U of A faculty members who have developed exceptional research and teaching careers over many years at the U of A.

Jacob Masliyah, of Chemical and Materials Engineering, has been elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineers. Jacob is a leading researcher in advancing the science and technology for recovering bitumen from oilsands. His election is especially noteworthy, as the National Academy only elects nine foreign associates each year.

Mathematician Alexander Litvak received NSERC’s ERW Steacie Memorial Fellowship award for his accomplishments in developing new mathematical theories. This is the tenth U of A Steacie Fellow in the last decade.

Today, it was announced that two of the 2011 3M National Teaching Fellowships were awarded to University of Alberta faculty. Billy Strean, from Physical Education and Recreation, and Scott North, from the Department of Oncology, were both recognized for their passion and leadership in the classroom. For the second year in a row, two of the ten 3M Fellows have been at the U of A.

My congratulations to Jacob, Alexander, Billy and Scott. And my thanks to all of the faculty members who put together the winning award nominations in support of their colleagues.

President Indira Samarasekera


  1. I thought the discussion was about the need to recognize the majority of faculty, who do good teaching, research and service, and who thereby do the bulk of the work of this institution, but who do not stand out as stars. Of course the folks above deserve congratulations, but you have missed the boat yet again.

  2. Nice to see so many from the SSHRC faculties getting the recognition they deserve. We won't even mention the question of gender balance.

  3. Its the same with Express news. Just go take a look and you'll see its pretty well all Science and Technology. The Arts and Humanities have pretty well been thrown under a bus on this campus.

  4. Really commenters 1 & 3? Way to turn lemonade into lemons. Bravo to these professors--who have been toiling away largely in obscurity--for being recognized for their great work in the lab and classroom. If people want the Arts & Humanities to have more recognition, nominate your colleagues for awards and recognition. Central is constantly asking faculties to submit nominations. #3--please ask yourself what you've done to advance arts & humanities on this campus before you blame others.

  5. #4--I agree, bravo to our colleagues! As for the contention that SSHRC faculties are not getting recognition: Billy Strean IS a in a SSHRC faculty and specializes in both educational psychology and sports psychology (SSHRC disciplines). He has a BA in philosophy and an MA in the philosophy and psychology of sport. In recent years, U of A 3M winners have included members of SSHRC faculties for 2010, 2009 and 2006.

  6. I concur with the 'bravos' to the award winners. And thanks to the President for extending her thanks to those who put in their efforts in preparing the nominations.

    I'm not necessarily in agreement (ok, that's an understatement) with many of the decisions that have been made by the administration, but I also don't see the point in finding fault with every little thing the Indira says.

  7. Maybe this is bit off-topic to this post and comments, but the students & alumni are doing their own kind of celebrating of teaching with their tweets remembering their favourite teachers and classes at UAlberta:
    Here's the list.
    Nice to see that happening as the Festival of Teaching & Learning comes to a close.


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