Trent University Appoints New Dean of Graduate Studies and Head of Catharine Parr Traill College


History and Women’s Studies Professor Dr. Joan Sangster takes on lead role as graduate studies programming grows  

Thursday, July 15, 2010, Peterborough

After an international search that elicited strong candidates internally, provincially, nationally, and internationally, Trent University is pleased to announce that Dr. Joan Sangster, professor of History and Women’s Studies at Trent, has accepted the position of dean of graduate studies and head of Catharine Parr Traill College. 

“It is an exciting challenge to become dean at this point in time, as Trent is consolidating its existing programs and also building new ones,” Dr. Sangster said on the news of her appointment. “Our ability to recruit graduate students in the very competitive environment of graduate education will rest on both our reputation for excellence in faculty research and on our well-known commitment to intensive teaching. Graduate Studies is thus not an island unto itself; it is intimately connected to Trent's research mission and to our delivery of an excellent undergraduate education.”

Dr. Sangster (B.A. Honours Trent, M.A. and Ph.D. McMaster) joined the History Department at Trent in 1984. She is a prolific and well-respected scholar, having published five single-authored books and edited or co-edited several more. She has been recognized for her research accomplishments with numerous awards and fellowships, including being appointed to the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Sangster has held a Killam Research Fellowship, the Pathy Visiting Professorship at Princeton, and a Fulbright Chair at Duke University. She has taught a large number of History and Women’s Studies students at Trent, and she has supervised graduate students in the Frost Centre programs. Dr. Sangster has served as chair of the History Department, chair of the Women’s Studies program, and director of the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies. Under Dr. Sangster’s leadership, the joint Ph.D. program with Carleton University in Canadian Studies was initiated.

Dr. Sangster has been honoured with both the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Trent University Distinguished Researcher Award.

“The choice of Joan as the next dean of graduate studies and head of Traill College is an excellent one. I am confident that Joan’s research accomplishments, her passion for teaching, and her administrative experiences will serve Trent and graduate students well over her four-year term,” said Dr. Mark Parnis, Acting Provost and Vice-President Academic and Acting Dean of Arts and Science at Trent University.

Dr. Sangster has replaced former Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Douglas Evans. Dr. Evans was acknowledged by all graduate students and faculty who are involved in graduate education at Trent for his leadership and hard work over the last six years.  “Among his many accomplishments has been a significant growth in new graduate programs and in the number of graduate students at Trent,” says Dr. Parnis.  “Doug has positioned Trent well for further growth in graduate programs and has also overseen the transition of Traill College from an undergraduate college to a primarily graduate college, housing six of Trent’s Humanities graduate programs.  His service to the community has been greatly appreciated.”

Graduate Studies at Trent University is distinguished by research excellence across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Currently offering 14 programs at both the masters and doctoral levels, Trent is renowned for creating and building some of Canada’s most exciting and groundbreaking graduate programs. In September, two new programs will be offered: a Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies and a Master of Arts or Master of Science in Psychology. Graduate students at Trent also have access to a college dedicated primarily to graduate studies. Located in downtown Peterborough, Catharine Parr Traill College is a hub of activity for all graduate students. For more information about Graduate Studies at Trent, visit

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For more information, please contact:
Dr. Joan Sangster, Dean of Graduate Studies and Head of Traill College, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7936