University of Calgary

Faculty of Arts Distinguished Research Awards: From primatology to Betty and Veronica

UToday HomeMay 16, 2013

By Heath McCoy

Political Science associate professor Susan Franceschet, pictured with Dean Richard Sigurdson,Political Science associate professor Susan Franceschet, pictured with Dean Richard Sigurdson, was one of the researchers honoured at the Distinguished Research Awards on May 13. Photo by Jae ImWhat makes the Faculty of Arts’ Distinguished Research Awards stand out among other research awards ceremonies in the University of Calgary?

Rob Oxoby, associate dean of research for the faculty, summed up the uniqueness and charm of the event in an interview prior to the ceremony, held Monday, May 13 at MacEwan Hall B.

“There’s not many research award presentations where one academic is studying primatology and another is researching Betty and Veronica,” said Oxoboy. “We have someone who will be presenting on theatre design and someone presenting on gender legislation. The research in this faculty crosses such a huge breadth.”

Faculty of Arts Dean Richard Sigurdson, who spearheaded the second annual Distinguished Research Awards event, agreed. “This is a great opportunity to showcase the diversity of research being done in the Faculty of Arts,” he said, while presenting the evening’s winners with their Established Researcher Awards.

Sigurdson also offered his compliments on the “informative and insightful” presentation each of the award winners prepared, providing a short synopsis of the 2012 work for which they earned their honours.

English Department head Bart Beaty discussed his provocative book Comics Versus Art – which has been nominated for a prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Award – focusing on the role of comic book studies in universities.

Suzanne Curtin, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, touched on language development in infants, while Susan Franceschet, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, presented on the topic of gender mandates in the legislative and executive branches of government.

Amanda Melin, a recent PhD graduate from the Department of Anthropology, accepted an award for Professor Linda Fedigan, for her research on reproductive success in primates.

Florentine Strzelczyk, department head in both Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies and Linguistics, accepted an award for professor Olga Mladenova. Mladenova’s winning research touched on archival recordings of endangered transplanted dialects in Bulgaria.

A New Researcher Award went to assistant professor in drama April Viczko for her work in the field of theatre design.

Undergraduates who had won PURE awards were also on hand to take a bow.

“These are people within our faculty publishing and researching at the top of their game,” said Oxoby. “It highlights what’s going on here for the rest of the university and I think that’s what’s important about doing this.

“But it’s a party too. This is about celebrating our colleague’s successes.”


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