Trent University has announced the recipients of the 2023 teaching and research awards, with two esteemed professors among the honorees: Dr. Hugh Elton, professor of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, recipient of the Distinguished Research Award, and Dr. Elizabeth Russell, associate professor of Psychology and director for the Trent Centre for Aging and Society (TCAS), recipient of the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“Each year, the teaching and research awards provide us an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of some of our amazing faculty members – and the ways that they shape Trent as an institution that is known for critical thought, engaging dialogue and interdisciplinarity,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor. “On behalf of the entire Trent community, I would like to congratulate Dr. Elton, Dr. Russell, and all faculty winners on their awards – as the latest accolades in their accomplishment-rich careers."
Professors Elton and Russell, along with all 2022/23 faculty award recipients, will be honoured at the Celebration of Faculty Excellence in Teaching & Research in-person and live-streamed at Trent University on May 3, 2023. In addition to the Distinguished Research Award and Symons Teaching Award, other awards include: Awards for Educational Leadership and Innovation, Early Career Researcher Awards, Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance, Award for Excellence in Online Teaching and the CUPE 3908-1 Award for Excellence in Teaching.
A full list of the awards and recipients follows:
Distinguished Research Award: Dr. Hugh Elton, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Celebrating a full career of internationally recognized intellectual contributions, the Distinguished Research Award is the highest honour conferred by the University for research and scholarly activity.
Professor Elton is an internationally renowned scholar in Roman military history and the political and cultural history of the Late Roman Empire. With research focused on the Eastern Frontier (cultural and political boundary covering a large part of Central Asia), Prof. Elton has contributed extensively to our knowledge of the development and impact of the Empire Frontier in the area we now know as Türkiye.
Over his career, Prof. Elton has published three monographs and five co-edited collections with highly regarded scholars in his field, as well as over 60 refereed articles. Since 2020 his publication record continues to flourish with eight published refereed articles, seven more in press, and another monograph.
One nominator highlighted, “Whether measured by volume, by quality, or by the impact he has had on other scholars, Prof. Elton’s research contributions are extraordinary.”
The impact of Prof. Elton’s work is simultaneously precise and wide-ranging. His influence spans time as well as place. Recognition for his work was buoyed by many letters from colleagues around the world. As an active lecturer since 1993 and member of the Ancient Greek & Roman Studies program at Trent since 2006, he has also significantly contributed to the training of highly qualified personnel through mentorship and research guidance, leading his students to many and varied successful careers.
Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Elizabeth Russell, Psychology
The Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching, named in honour of Trent’s founding president Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, recognizes faculty and staff members who encourage learning, offer unique experiences to their students, challenge them to do their best work, and inspire them to learn.
Professor Russell is well known for demonstrating a passion for teaching, and for her dedication to mentorship, inspiring students to do their best work. One nominator highlighted, “Never in my academic career have I seen such a commitment, on a professor’s part, to ensuring their students have everything they need to succeed.”
Professor Russell incorporates active learning strategies, authentic assessment forms, and interactive experiential learning into all her courses. Through her role as director of the Trent Centre for Aging and Society, Dr. Russell has led the creation of the TCAS Knowledge Mobilization Hub, a platform to share academic, aging-based research with non-academic audiences, and also the Master’s in Interdisciplinary Aging Studies, a new graduate program which, in true Trent fashion, brings together academic research with hands-on, experiential learning.
She makes a point of getting to know each student by name and maintains a focus on student wellness. According to one nominator: “Dr. Russell’s concern for students should be the standard by which all others operate.”
Early Career Researcher Awards
Recognizes promising, early career Trent University researchers and is designed to help accelerate early-stage career faculty in building strong research programs of consequence.
Dr. Jenn Cole, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies and Gender & Social Justice: Professor Cole’s impressive program of research—supported by external grants from the Ontario Arts Council and Social Science and Humanities Research Council—is focused on Indigenous performance and gender and community engagement. Her work has led to a unique combination of artistic expression and academic outputs. Her already extensive publication record includes a peer-reviewed monograph, peer-reviewed journal articles, and a list of widely accessible articles and creative works crafted for the community.
Dr. Kimberly Ritchie, Trent/Fleming School of Nursing: The strength of Professor Ritchie’s research program stems from her blend of expertise in mental health, trauma, aging, and healthcare work. With a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, she is supporting trauma-informed organizational practices for healthcare workers. She is also the principal investigator on a project studying the mental health and well-being of veterans. Prof. Ritchie is also affiliated with McMaster University's Trauma and Recovery Unit, further demonstrating considerable involvement in advancing both knowledge and practice in public mental health and trauma.
Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation
Recognizes faculty and staff who make a distinctive impact through their educational leadership and innovation in teaching and learning.
Dr. Jennifer Newton, Anthropology: As an assistant professor with the department of Anthropology, Professor Newton is known for her extraordinary innovation at the course and department levels. Dr. Newton has worked diligently to create innovative and equitable learning experiences for anthropology students across both campuses, developing unique opportunities and teaching materials for the Durham lab.
Dr. Kirk Hillsley, Biology: An assistant professor in the department of Biology, Professor Hillsley is recognized for his pedagogical innovations at the course and department levels. Prof. Hillsley led efforts to create an introductory course for non-science majors and has also been a leader in the development of best practices for online courses within the biology department.
Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance
Recognizes teaching assistants who excel at encouraging learning in workshop, tutorial, seminar, laboratory, or field settings.
William Kim, Environmental and Life Sciences: William Kim, a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental and Life Sciences and a teaching assistant in biology, is championed for his exceptional support for students’ learning. Both students and faculty recognize how Kim goes above and beyond to foster student success.
Award for Excellence in Online Teaching
Recognizes instructors who have demonstrated a passion for, and commitment to, online teaching and who have implemented effective approaches to fostering active learning and student involvement.
Dr. Erick Laming, Sociology: An assistant professor of Criminology in the department of Sociology, Professor Laming supports student learning by using a variety of teaching materials to foster multiple modes of student engagement. Professor Laming makes accessibility a priority in his pedagogical approach.
CUPE 3908-1 Award for Excellence in Teaching
Recognizes contract faculty who have a strong, positive impact on students’ learning.
Dr. Mary-Claire Buell, Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences: As a course instructor in Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences and soon-to-be assistant professor in the Trent School of the Environment and Forensic Science, Professor Buell encourages and supports students’ curiosity and responds quickly and actively to students’ needs. Concepts of equity are successfully built into her course design and materials.
“At Trent University, researchers continue to demonstrate an exceptional level of research activity and a keen commitment to their work, which is truly inspiring,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice president of Research & Innovation. “The range and depth of scholarly activity has garnered global attention, making a profound impact on our understanding of the world and one another. The Trent community extends heartfelt congratulations to all the award recipients on these well-deserved recognitions of achievement.”
"This year's award recipients exemplify not only excellence and innovation in their teaching but they also reveal a capacity to inspire students not only to succeed, but to extend their learning beyond the classroom, " added Dr. Fergal O'Hagan, associate dean of Teaching and Learning at Trent. "We are humbled by their tireless efforts, and celebrate their dedication to student learning, their lasting impact, and the value teaching holds within the institution."
Learn more about the Celebration of Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Research, including more details about the awards and current and past recipients.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org