PROFESSOR EMERITUS AND EMINENT SERVICE AWARDS ANNOUNCED
The 2002/03 recipients of two prestigious Trent University awards have been announced.
Professor Joan Vastokas will receive the Professor Emeritus Award, an honourary title bestowed upon eligible faculty members and professional librarians upon full retirement from the University. A member of the Department of Anthropology, Professor Vastokas has been at Trent University for 33 years.
Among her credits, she holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York. She is, in fact, the first person in the world to obtain a Ph.D. in Aboriginal Art of the Americas (1966). At Trent University, she has taught archaeology, cultural anthropology, art history, and objects of folk and popular culture as symbolic, functional entities in human life. The "meaning of things" has always held interest for her, and has inspired her exploration of a variety of disciplines, including Medieval European, 19th and 20th century Western art and architecture, European folk art and material culture, prehistoric art of Europe and the circumpolar northern hemisphere, and Canadian art and architecture. Her research pursuits have included: Lithuanian Folk Art in Canada, Rethinking Material Culture Theory, and Pictoral Conventions of Algonkian Bark Records in the Context of Native North American Art History.
Over the years, Professor Vastokas has witnessed tremendous development and growth in the Anthropology Department at Trent, which has since obtained international recognition. She is extremely proud that Trent offers unprecedented creative potential for students and faculty alike - a certain interdisciplinarity that cannot be pursued at other institutions.
Through her teaching experiences, Professor Vastokas has influenced participation in politics through Native Art, and has worked hard to emphasize it as an important area of scholarship. She is also a strong supporter of the Peterborough Petroglyphs, and she works tirelessly to increase awareness of their Canadian aboriginal origins.
Upon her retirement, Professor Vastokas plans to continue research and teaching, and visit Greece, China, Japan, and India. "I don’t see my retirement as an ending, but rather a graduation from one stage to another. I’ll be able to explore all of my interests, including aboriginal art history and prehistoric art in diverse parts of the world, and high Artic circumpolar and North American peoples," she says. "I’ll finally have the time to pursue the great interests of my life."
Linda Slavin is the recipient of Trent’s Eminent Service Award for her outstanding leadership, expertise, and commitment to international development initiatives, and to peace and social justice issues in the community.
Ms. Slavin is a dedicated advocate for social justice and equity. For the past six years, she has been a member of the Trent International Program, and has been Project Manager for INSTRUCT (Inter-American Networking for Studies and Training in Natural Resource Usage for Community Transformation). In this capacity, she promoted a "bottom up" approach to environmental management that included communities and universities as equal partners. "INSTRUCT has fostered different ways of thinking and working on water and recycling issues, youth education, and small-scale economic development," says Ms. Slavin.
In tandem with community partners such as the Kawartha World Issues Centre, OPIRG, the Green-Up, and numerous student volunteers, she organized six "Roots of Our Future" conferences at Trent, and two "Sharing Equity" conferences, all of which involved students in the issues facing developing countries.
In addition to her outstanding service as Manager of INSTRUCT, Ms. Slavin has also contributed considerable time, expertise, and enthusiasm to a broad range of international and Peterborough activities in Peterborough. She is keenly interested in working for social justice initiatives locally and globally. She takes great pride in her Development Education Award from CIDA and the fact that she was a co-founder of the local Person’s Day Breakfast. Ms. Slavin is currently Chair of the Peterborough Coalition for Social Justice, and is an active member of Kawartha Ploughshares. She worked with the Kawartha World Issues Centre for eight years and, as Program Coordinator and Global Educator, was instrumental in supporting such community organizations and projects as the Peterborough Sustainable Development Committee, Peterborough Green-Up, the Ecology Council, the Rainbow Immigrant Needs Assessment, Women Take Action North-South, Women Working for Change, the Food Policy Action Coalition, the Food Project, and Community Gardens. She has also run for political office three times.
Ms. Slavin has also worked as a consultant in organizational management, evaluation and impact assessment, and popular education. She served as President of the Ontario Council for International Cooperation for six years, and in 1994 was one of 30 persons chosen to monitor the elections in South Africa with Oxfam-Canada. To her credit, Ms. Slavin is one of the founders of the Peterborough Raging Grannies, a social group which advocates ideas on how the world should be more equitable.
Ms. Slavin was in Ecuador when she was informed that she'd won the Eminent Service award. "Because the INSTRUCT program is facilitated by so many people, this award is a shared accomplishment," she says. "All of the people I've worked with are equally deserving of this recognition, especially those partners in Mexico and Ecuador. I also thank Trent and the International Program for their tremendous support."
Both the Professor Emeritus and the Eminent Service Award will be presented at Trent University’s Convocation ceremonies on Friday May 30th, 2003.
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