- CUPE Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013-2014)
Mr. Purcell has taught a wide range of biological anthropology courses at Trent since 2006, working at both the Peterborough and Oshawa campuses. His research focuses on the biology of poverty, epidemiology, and the design of evolution-informed public health interventions. In his teaching, Mr. Purcell explores how evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives can be applied to understanding contemporary human health problems and behavior.
Mr. Purcell’s students praise the effort he puts into providing them with feedback, saying that the communication and inquiry skills fostered in his courses will serve them well in their other studies and beyond the institution's walls.
“I am extremely honoured to receive this recognition and award,” Mr. Purcell said, adding that Trent provides the right kind of environment to encourage outstanding teaching. “Credit for this award must also be shared with the many engaged and enthusiastic Trent students I have had the pleasure to work with and who have provided much inspiration over the years.” Mr. Purcell also offered heartfelt gratitude to colleagues in the Department of Anthropology for their strong support and assistance.
In addition to teaching at Trent, Mr. Purcell credits his long-standing work with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto for providing him with inspiration in the classroom. Currently working with the Emergency Department at CAMH, his previous research focused on the design and implementation of public health interventions aimed at reducing harm and risk in the community. Mr. Purcell and his wife, Kelly, live on a farm near Omemee, Ontario, and are currently researching sustainable farming practices and food production.