Biographies of the Retirees 2020/2021

Carolyn Arnason

Dr. Carolyn Arnason is retiring in June 2021 after serving as a full-time faculty member in the Faculty of Music at Laurier since 1992. After completing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Manitoba, Carolyn graduated from the inaugural class of Laurier’s then brand-new Bachelor of Music Therapy program in 1988. She earned a Master of Social Work at Laurier in 1992, and a Doctor of Arts from New York University in 1998.

Carolyn is a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Music Therapist whose dynamic career at Laurier has left a profound mark on students and colleagues. She has contributed to the success of Laurier’s music therapy programs through her coordination of both the BMT and MMT programs over the years. A caring colleague, Carolyn has contributed tireless service within the university, serving for several years on the Laurier Senate in various committees and task groups and also as the Music Faculty representative for WLUFA.

As a clinician and educator, Carolyn’s passion is improvisation. Her sensitive and precise teaching has provided countless students with musical tools for facilitating rich experiences with future clients. Her teaching is informed by her own commitment to musical excellence. As a performer at Laurier, Carolyn performed two-piano improvisation concerts with Casey Sokol, as well as piano duet concerts with Boyd McDonald on modern piano and fortepiano.

Carolyn is a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery and also their current President-Elect. She facilitates imaginal listening and art making for adult clients through the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. In the community, Carolyn served for many years on the board for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, including as chair of its Education and Community Programs Committee. She also served as President of the Music Therapy Association of Ontario.

As a researcher, Carolyn is interested in arts-based performative inquiry, holistic musicianship, and improvisational music psychotherapy. She developed a reflexive theory of improvisation called Musical Transparency that explores intersections between use of self in music therapy and performance contexts. Her articles are published in Canadian, American and international journals and she has given papers and workshops at conferences throughout North America and Europe.

Submitted by Elizabeth Mitchell

Lea Caragata

Dr. Caragata has left an enduring mark on the Doctoral Program at the Faculty of Social Work where she took on a leadership role as the Associate Dean for many years, leading its most recent curriculum review. 

Dr. Caragata taught Social Policy and Community Development which built on her history of working in government and the non-profit sector that included community organizing and social housing policy development.  She has proficiently combined both her academic and research interests including her research, Lone Mothers: Building Social Inclusion, a longitudinal study across 3 Canadian cities informed by feminist and social-inclusion lenses.  This transformative work led to her book Not the Whole Story: Challenging the Single Mother Narrative that promotes public policy change, community development and highlights her participatory work. 

This academic work parallels her social activism and on-the-ground work, exemplified by her climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro raising funds for innovative programs for women in violent relationships, run by Outward Bound Canada.

Dr. Caragata has mentored many doctoral students. Driven by her curiosity, open-mindedness, and critical and thoughtful provocations, her students have developed under her supervision and mentorship. Many of them have gone on to hold academic positions or engage in grassroots advocacy and political activity.

Dr. Caragata  has been a strong defender of the FSW at Laurier and has mentored many junior faculty.  She has also been an intentional and effective advocate for research-based policy and decision-making grounded in social justice principles. Her astute and wise leadership will be missed.

Submitted by Cheryl-Anne Cait

Lamine Diallo

As a founding faculty member of the Leadership program, Dr. Lamine Diallo has guided the development and growth of Leadership education at Wilfrid Laurier for over 18 years. His integrity, humility, and humanity have taught us all a lot about what is means to be a good leader. His thoughtful consideration of opportunities, as well as colleagues’ goals and hopes, have helped craft the success of program and its faculty members. Through his engagement with with the Youth Leaders on Board program, undergraduate students have gained Board-level leadership experience. He also worked with numerous graduate students to foster their academic development. His student focused commitments have unfailingly supported the academic mission of the university and helped “develop future-ready people who will transform where they live, work, and continue to learn.”

His service commitments to the university have been wide and impactful. His appointment to Laurier’s EDI Strategic Planning Committee, allowed him to play a key role in shaping our institution’s understanding of the importance of equity and diversity. As a founding member of the Tshepo Institute for the Studies of Contemporary Africa, he helped build key relationships between WLU, the local community, and international partners.

On behalf of his Leadership colleagues, we wish Lamine a wonderful and engaging retirement and we thank him for his personal and professional legacy.

Submitted by Rosemary McGowan

Hugo De Marinis

Dr. Hugo De Marinis joined Laurier over two decades ago and since, he has become a valued and much-loved member of the Department of Languages and Literatures and the wider Laurier community. Dr. De Marinis’ role at the department level is multi-faceted: friend, colleague and mentor, Hugo has also taken on administrative roles, serving as Chair between 2013-2016. 

He is respected and admired by his colleagues for his collegiality and politically engaged scholarship in the intersections between testimonial studies and journalism. In recent years, he has been a regular collaborator to the Argentinian newspaper he co-founded, La quinta pata, addressing the social struggles and human rights issues that affect us. Dr. De Marinis’ outstanding scholarly achievements are many and varied. Of particular note, however, his 2013 Madre de Mendoza: vida de María Isabel Figueroa: a personal testimony about his mother and her courageous, tireless search for her daughter, kidnapped during the last civic-military dictatorship in Argentina of 1976 to 1983. His Mendoza montonera: memorias y sucesos en torno al gobierno de Alberto Martínez Baca published in 2005 speaks to the government of the Province of Mendoza which instigated these continued outbreaks of violence.  

Above all, Dr. De Marinis is loved by our students. A truly considerate professor who never fails to put students first and help them succeed. The passion and enthusiasm he brings to his classes and language are clear, and students respond to the challenges of the topics and texts he presents with great engagement. His lectures are enlivened by his great sense of humour, creating a learning environment in which even the most hesitant of speakers feel able to express themselves. Our students recognise in him an outstanding professor whose dedication to teaching is second to none. 

In the Department of Languages and Literatures, we are grateful for Hugo’s service, his wisdom, generosity, and humanity. We wish him well in his retirement and hope that retirement brings him opportunities to pursue old passions and discover many new ones.   

Submitted by Jane Newland

Maria DiCenzo

Since joining Laurier’s Department of English and Film Studies, Maria DiCenzo has been at the heart of departmental life, chairing numerous search, promotion and tenure committees, as well as regularly sitting on graduate supervisory committees, and twice serving as undergraduate advisor. Maria obtained her PhD in English from McMaster University in 1993, and began work as an assistant professor at Laurier in 1996. Maria’s research area focused on the emerging feminist movement during the interwar years in Britain, particularly in the areas of suffrage, political and experimental theatre and print media. She has a distinguished record in research and publication, comprising numerous grants, articles, conferences (delivered and organized), including significant volumes in her field: Feminist Media History: Suffrage, Periodicals and the Public Sphere (Palgrave), The Politics of Alternative Theatre in Britain, 1968-1990: The Case of 7:84 (Scotland) (Cambridge UP), and the 3-volume edited collection, Feminism and the Periodical Press, 1900-1918 (Routledge). Maria also contributed much over the years to Laurier and WLUFA, serving on the Joint Liaison and Pay Equity Committees, and being particularly active in mentoring her fellow faculty, both on the Mentorship Committee and her multiple stints as Woman’s Faculty Colleague. She was also very active in mentoring in a non-official capacity, as I can personally attest, having been hired by Maria, and guided through the various minefields of department life in my early years at Laurier. I know that Maria had a similar role in the lives of other faculty who were lucky enough to work with her. A true factotum, Maria was always up for lending her abilities and leadership to plugging whatever holes there were in the department in terms of pedagogy and administration and was an unflagging source of energy, sustaining departmental morale, humour and collegiality. She will be sorely missed.

Submitted by:  Tamas Dobozy

Rudy Eikelboom

Dr. Roelof (Rudy) Eikelboom joined the Department of Psychology at Laurier in 1994, and served as Chair of the Department for nine years (2009-2015; 2016-2019). An accomplished researcher, teacher and administrator, he provided consummate leadership for his many colleagues and staff and very generously mentored innumerable students, both graduate and undergraduate, producing the next generation of fine scientists and evidence-based thinkers. A dedicated member of the Laurier community, Rudy was as a long-serving member of Senate and many of its sub-committees, a member of several senior search committees, and a member of numerous other institutional- and Faculty-level committees. A supportive instructor, Rudy significantly contributed to both undergraduate and graduate teaching in the Department, teaching courses across the full range of class sizes from a few students to several hundred students, with a variety of pedagogies appropriate to the class size and learning outcomes. He taught advanced statistics and research methods, numerous biopsychology courses, and the introductory psychology courses. Rudy’s NSERC and Ontario Mental Health Foundation-funded research emphasized the study of motivation underpinning appetitive behaviours such as feeding and drinking, disorders of consumption for alcohol, drug, gambling, and food rewards, and the neuroendocrinology of behaviour. He produced peer-reviewed publications which were collectively cited 3600 times, with an H-index of 24, and with one exceptionally noteworthy paper which was cited almost 1500 times. An avid collector of books, art and music of all genres, a connoisseur of fine wine and supporter of the KW symphony, Rudy will have no trouble keeping himself busy in retirement. The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, and the institution as a whole, are indebted to Rudy for his dedication to leadership, his departmental and institutional citizenship, and his teaching and scholarly contributions to the advancement of science and education. Congratulations, Rudy, on a wonderful career!

Submitted by Bruce McKay

Vera Fesnak

Laurier has been the fortunate beneficiary of Vera’s talents for over 40 years and, in that time, her contributions to the success of the library, and the university, have been numerous, and significant. When Vera started with Laurier in 1977, she began developing proficiencies in many areas of the library, eventually discovering an affinity for enhancing resource and service delivery. Always one to rise to a challenge, Vera played a key role in establishing library collections for the Kitchener and Branford campuses, as well as championing the integration of digital delivery technologies to enhance resource access and delivery. Later, when Laurier entered into Ontario’s first library consortium with the University of Waterloo and Guelph University, Vera played a pivotal role in deploying the infrastructure and policies which enabled significant advances in the delivery of teaching and research materials for the Tri-University Group (TUG). Beginning in 2013, as the Head of the Copyright and Resource Delivery Services unit, Vera applied her considerable expertise to advance the library’s digital delivery strategies. In part, she was responsible for implementing the university’s first electronic reserves system, as well as international document sharing technologies, the centralization of copyright clearance services within the library, and enhanced delivery of print and electronic course packs. As an active partner in the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), Vera contributed her knowledge to advance Laurier’s role in the consortium’s Collaborative Future’s project, an ambitious five-year plan to establish a provincial-wide library system. This crowning achievement was realized in December of 2019, when Laurier joined 14 Ontario universities in going live on Omni, the province’s first shared library services platform. True to her passion and dedication, and despite the significant challenges presented by COVID-19, Vera has worked tirelessly throughout 2020 and 2021 to provide students and faculty with timely and consistent access to teaching and learning resources.

Vera’s humble nature belies her strength, determination, and a deep dedication to Laurier’s students and faculty. Throughout her career she has demonstrated vision, leadership, and the ability to realize the best in her staff and colleagues – whom she is quick to recognize for their hard work and support.

Most certainly, Vera’s legacy will be the foundations she has set, that will continue to evolve to nurture the success of Laurier’s students, faculty and staff well into the future.

We will miss you, but more so, we wish you health, happiness and contentment in your well-earned retirement.

Submitted by Gord Bertrand

Paul Freston

Paul Freston joined the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2009 with a cross-appointment as CIGI Chair in Religion and Politics in Global Contexts in the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor in the Religion and Culture Department of the Faculty of Arts. Hailing from England, he completed BA and MA degrees at Cambridge and MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool. After earning a PhD in Sociology from the University of Campinas in Brazil, he taught in Brazilian universities (including Universidade Federal de São Carlos since 1994). He became a leading researcher in the study of Pentecostalism in the Global South.

Fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he publishes widely on religion and politics, globalization, and evangelical movements around the world, with 8 monographs, 2 edited books, and over 100 articles and book chapters. He recently co-edited the Cambridge History of Religion in Latin America (2016).

At Laurier, Paul Freston taught graduate courses and advised students in MIPP, the MA program in Religon, Culture and Global Justice, and the Laurier-Waterloo Joint PhD Program in Religious Diversity in North America, as well as the PhD in Global Governance. Colleagues and graduate students appreciate his engagement as a willing conversation partner about all manner of topics related to global politics, society, culture, and religion.

Submitted by Jason Neelis

Amy Hamilton

Amy Hamilton began at Laurier in 1996. She received her Bachelor of Music/Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music from Indiana University and a Doctor of Music from Northwestern University. Amy has worked tirelessly as Coordinator of Winds, Brass, and Percussion, and is largely responsible for the Faculty of Music being a top destination for excellence in music studies for students across the globe.  

A renowned flute teacher, Amy wrote “the book” for advanced flute students, to improve their playing in a thoughtful, stress-free manner, to reach their full artistic potential, with her Effective Practice Strategies for the Advanced Flutist, published by The Avondale Press. Her students have received accolades for their excellent musicianship and formidable technique. 

Amy has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet of Canada, and has appeared in countless solo recitals and chamber concerts. Her recordings, Canadian Flute Quartets, with Quartet Laurier, Canadian Flute Duos, Canadian Music for Flute and Piano, and Tryptique with the Meridian Trio have all been received with high accolade, commending her musicianship as artistic and masterful. 

Amy has made a tremendous impact on faculty and students at Laurier over the decades and she will be leaving a big hole in the Faculty of Music. However, her fine work will fill other holes, with the legacy that she has left with us. 

Submitted by Jessica Kun

James Hamilton

Dr James Hamilton completed his doctoral thesis, Karst Geomorphology and Hydrogeology of the Northeastern Mackenzie Mountains, District of Mackenzie, N.W.T. in 1995 at McMaster University.  After a brief stint in consulting and contract teaching, he joined Geography and Environmental Studies at WLU in 2000. 

Dr Hamilton’s research is very applied as he worked with community groups and with not-for-profits organizations to restore flows in wetlands and streams in limestone terrain.  His favourite location was the Bruce Peninsula where he assisted in monitoring and managing streams for the health of the environment. 

James quickly became a beloved instructor for GG100* and then GG101 Introduction to Physical Geography as well as for most of the demanding lab courses in physical geography and methods in the department.  His greatest concern is for student learning and engagement and he taught his lectures with great care and facilitated interactive labs to ensure that the students truly understood the processes of study. 

His service to the department and the university will be sorely missed as he also held the post of Geography Undergraduate Advisor and of Environmental Studies Undergraduate Advisor for most of his time here.  He truly had an open-door policy and students knew that they could seek his advice at any time.  Often there were lineups of students waiting to speak to him for advice on their courses, their programs, and their lives. 

Submitted by:  Mary-Lou Byrne, Michael Imort and Susan Lankowski

Thomas Hueglin

Professor Thomas O. Hueglin begin his career at Laurier in 1985, coming to the department by way of the Universität Gallen in Switzerland (PhD), Universität Konstanz in Germany (Habilitation) and then Queen’s University, where he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow. Over the course of his 36 years with Political Science, he was visiting professor at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, the University of Western Australia and Darmstadt University, among others.

Thomas is a Political Theorist, and one of the foremost experts on Canadian and Comparative Federalism. He is known globally for his work on the German thinker Johannes Althusius. His 1999 manuscript Early Modern Concepts for a Late Modern World, which was the first English-language treatment of the early thinker, placed Althusius in the context of his times in order to explain his early ideas relating to federalism and why they continued to be relevant in the modern day. He is also the author of the text Classical Debates for the 21st Century: Rethinking Political Thought (University Toronto, 2008). His most recent book, Federalism in Canada, was published in 2021 and he is in currently writing a History of Federal Thought for Routledge’s Federalism and Decentralization Series. In all, he has written 11 books and dozens of journal articles and book chapters, published in German and English. His outstanding research was recognized by Laurier in 2009 when he was named University Research Professor. And, in 2020, Professor Hueglin received one of the highest honours that a scholar in his field can receive, the Publius: The Journal of Federalism Distinguished Scholar Award.

While keeping his feet firmly planted in the academic territory of political theory and federal thought, Thomas was quite concerned about how the ideas, structures and processes of federalism might be used to address modern policy and political challenges. He advised the Canadian Government in its Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and he produced a large body of policy-relevant (and much-cited) work on ‘treaty federalism’ as a way of building flexibility and accommodation into Canadian and European multi-level governance. In 1992, he was an UN-advisor in the attempt to draft a new constitution for Yemen in 2013.

His colleagues in the Political Science department certainly admire his research achievements, but treasure most his friendship and the key role he has played in the collegial and social life of the department. Always the first to invite a new colleague to dinner and to host departmental events at his home, he is the ultimate ‘renaissance man’ and the most charming of dinner companions, ready to offer keen insights into cooking, music, art, travel, literature, and of course politics. We are eagerly awaiting the end of the pandemic so we can once again share a glass of wine with Thomas and his partner Wyman. We wish him the best as he embarks on this new stage of his life.

Submitted by Andrea Brown

Shelly Jha

Shailendra (Shelly) Jha joined the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics in 1990.  Shelly has distinguished himself with his exemplary teaching skills and vast knowledge of theories and practice in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) field.  A notable characteristic of Shelly’s approach to teaching is adherence to very high standards while treating his students with due respect, patience, and compassion.  Many students and alumni cite his courses and his care about the quality of students’ education as their primary reasons for embarking on a career in SCM.  A true team player, Shelly is always willing to help, whether asked or not.  He has served the Business School in various capacities such as Operations & Decision Sciences (ODS) Area Coordinator, Associate MBA Program Director, Director of the Centre of Supply Chain Management and, most recently, as co-author of the new Master of Supply Chain Management program proposal. 

We were enriched by Shelly’s personification of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous phrase that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”  His forthright and insightful articulation of conflicting positions helped to sharpen our understanding of the issues at hand.  We were also enriched in having Shelly as an outspoken conscience of the ODS Area:  ever cognizant of fairness considerations, Shelly has been an invaluable contributor to the richness of our deliberations and decisions.

Our ODS Area family and the larger Lazaridis School family have benefitted greatly from Shelly’s generosity in willingly sharing the knowledge from his tireless efforts to keep abreast of the latest developments in business, SCM, and other fields.  To be selfish, we hope that retirement will not diminish Shelly’s thirst for knowledge and that he will continue to feed us brain candy from his eclectic range of interests: politics, science, history, and more, even from domains that may become of possible interest during his more leisurely days ahead.

Happy trails to Shelly: a friend and colleague who will be greatly missed.

Submitted by the Operations & Decision Sciences Area faculty

David Johnson

David has been at Laurier for 36 years. He has two distinct research interests: macroeconomics and education economics. His macroeconomics research was published in top journals and focussed on Canadian international debts, exchange rate determination, and Canadian monetary and fiscal policy. He co-authored multiple editions of two Macroeconomics textbooks, one with John Taylor and the other with Olivier Blanchard. His education work was published in a series of papers published in influential public policy outlets and in his ‘Signpost of Success’ book which was a finalist for both the Donner Prize and the Purvis Prize for best book on Canadian public policy. His education research used evidence of test scores and grades to analyze factors affecting student achievement in public schools and to identify the best-performing schools in Ontario, Alberta and BC. He was the Fulbright Visiting Scholar at UC, Santa Barbara in 2008, CD Howe Education Policy Scholar 2006-16 and he held visiting positions at University of Cambridge in 1998-9 and the NBER in 1991-2.  Within the Department of Economics he was the Research Centre Director in 2006-8 and the Graduate Director in 2009-11. As a University Senator he took a principled stand on contentious issues. David is a hockey player, rower, hiker and cross-country skier. He and his wife Susan (who is a labour economist in our Department) own a cottage in Northern Ontario. David, I have no doubt that the natural curiosity which allowed you to successfully convert from macroeconomics to education will allow you to walk, skate, ski or paddle into a new phase in your life with Susan by your side. Your life of leadership and purpose have been well and truly appreciated by your colleagues at Laurier. Thank you and Happy Retirement.

Submitted by:  Logan McLeod

Anne Kelly

Anne Kelly arrived at the Laurier Library in 2005 as one of the first Librarians to support the programs, faculty and students at our Brantford campus. Anne was a strong advocate for the creation of community for the then new campus at Brantford and loved being a one woman show during those two years.

Anne came to Librarianship later in life, after having served as a teacher of Geography and library skills in Switzerland. After completing her professional degree in Library Science in the early 1990s, Anne worked as a Children’s’ Librarian in public systems in Port Colborne and Niagara Falls, New York. With an expanding interest and growing skills in technology and library automation, Anne then went on to become a Librarian at Ferris State University in Michigan near Grand Rapids, where she lived in what she describes as her dream house (complete with horse carriage and chicken coop).

Anne later moved to the Waterloo campus in 2007 to become the Liaison Librarian for Education where she developed particularly close relationships with the Master of Education program students. Over her time at Waterloo, she provided support for faculty and students in many other Departments, including Sociology, Global Studies and Psychology. As a Liaison Librarian, Anne loved working with faculty to develop programs that advanced critical thinking and research skills among the students she served. She saw a need for outreach to students on behalf of the Library and organized many in-person events during orientation. She maintained a number of websites and blogs dedicated to promoting the Library and its rich resources and services to the Laurier community. Anne has maintained 20-year association with Church Libraries, and was an active supporter of the Church Library Association of Ontario.

Anne looks back most fondly on the many lasting relationships she has developed with the many faculty she has served with and especially for being able to make a difference in the lives of Laurier students. She will be fondly remembered and surely missed by her colleagues in the Library!

Submitted by Scott Gillies

Shelley McGill

Professor Shelley McGill retires from the Policy and Law Area of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics (Lazaridis School) at Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier).

Shelley McGill’s academic life has truly come full circle at Laurier. As an undergraduate student in Laurier’s BBA program, Shelley took BU 231 (Business Law) and it inspired her to go to law school at the University of Western Ontario. After being called to the Ontario bar, she earned an LLM at Osgoode Hall Law School and became the first female partner admitted by the Kitchener law firm of Sims Clement Eastman (now Miller Thomson). She was appointed a Deputy Judge of the Ontario Small Claims Court by the Rae government. She returned to Laurier to teach the very course that inspired her legal career – BU231 and has remained committed to that course throughout her assistant, associate and full professorships. She has also taught in the MBA and MIPP programs. Shelley is author of a popular undergraduate business law textbook, now in its 15th edition.

Shelley has also given back extensively to the University community.  She served on numerous Lazaridis and Laurier committees, providing a strong voice of experience and reason.  Over the past few years, Shelley occupied important administrative positions at the Lazaridis School seamlessly guiding program changes as BBA Director and providing outstanding leadership to faculty, staff and students as the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Business Programs during the constant change experienced as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As pandemic conditions required the rapid shift to online and remote teaching scenarios for the Spring 2020 term, Shelley proactively identified challenges, provided creative and workable solutions and led their smooth implementation all with her trademark calm demeanour.  

Shelley has provided significant service to her broader community, including serving as the President of the Canadian Academy of Legal Studies in Business.  An ardent consumer protectionist and access to justice researcher, Shelley’s legal research has taken her across North America, to Europe and the United Kingdom. Her work has been cited by Canadian and American legislative bodies and committees, law reform commissions, Courts of Appeal, and by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Submitted by John Banks

Charles Morrison

Charles Morrison began teaching in the Faculty of Music in 1987, and served as its fourth Dean from 1999 to 2010. His has published on the music of Ligeti, Schoenberg, and Bartók, including a notable lecture recital series on the String Quartets of Bartók with the Penderecki String Quartet, for whom Charles has been a tireless champion throughout his time at Laurier. More recently, his scholarship has shifted toward Musical Aesthetics, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; through that work, Charles has been deeply invested with Ontario’s Quality Council, and will continue to serve as an auditor for that organization.

Charles presided over a number of watershed moments for the Faculty during his tenure as Dean, including the establishment of the Master of Music Therapy program, the 2008/09 renovation of the Aird Building, and the launch of the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community in 2008, which eventually led to the launch of the Masters of Community Music.

The professional legacies he leaves behind will secure his place in Laurier’s history, however it is the personal legacy where his greatest mark will remain. Former students describe Charles as: empathetic, extremely caring, a supportive and generous mentor, understanding, and sincere. They go on: passionate, the most brilliant storyteller, and “a hoot!”  His impact has been no less profound on his colleagues. Charles has provided steady, fair, unimpeachable leadership for many years, approaching the most difficult jobs in the Faculty with the utmost care and respect. His impact will be felt for many years to come, as those who come after will surely be thinking back, seeking advice from our memories of how Charles would have responded. For all these legacies, we extend our profound thanks to Charles and wish him well in his next chapter.

Submitted by Kevin Swinden

Debra Nash-Chambers

Dr. Debra Nash-Chambers has been teaching at Laurier for sixteen years in the department of History, and in the North American Studies and Criminology programs. Although a social historian by training, her expertise is such that she has taught an incredibly wide range of courses during this time, covering topics as varied as constitutional law, family law, public history, crime, women and gender history, the radical 1960s, Canadian foreign policy, and the complex business, cultural and political relations between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Deb’s outstanding teaching skills and complete dedication to her students was rightly recognized in 2017 when she was the recipient of a Laurier Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence. She has regularly acted as a mentor to other Contract Teaching Faculty, as well as to the many students who have the pleasure to be in her classes, and she has been a wonderful colleague—warm, caring and supportive—to everyone in the programs where she has taught. She has also earned her retirement!

Submitted by Darren Mulloy

Roger Sarty

Roger joined Laurier in 2004 after a long and illustrious career as a public historian. After earning his MA in history at Duke University, in 1981 Roger joined the Directorate of History and Heritage at the Department of National Defence. Over the next seventeen years, he worked on the Official History of the Royal Canadian Air Force and was the senior historian in charge of the Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy, both important, exacting multivolume histories. Simultaneously, while working as a historian in the public sector, he was also awarded a PhD in History from the University of Toronto—a rare accomplishment which speaks to Roger’s boundless energy and enthusiasm for history.  

In 1998, Roger began a second career at the Canadian War Museum where he served as Head of Exhibition Development and Historical Research Division and later as Deputy Director of the museum from 2001-2003. In these positions, Roger played an instrumental part of the small team of historians that developed plans for a reimagined national war museum in Ottawa. This was a major achievement, one which brought him Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee Medal in 2002, but it was also fraught with political and bureaucratic perils—an experience which, fortunately for Roger’s students and colleagues, has provided countless anecdotes to be skillfully deployed to contextualize (or at least soften) the often bewildering administrative idiosyncrasies of university life at Laurier. 

In 2004, I was an undergraduate student in History 341 when Roger came to Laurier to give his “job talk” for a new military history position in the Department of History. My classmates and I were immediately awed by Roger’s lecture style: his sense of humour, frankness, and willingness to engage with tough ideas in a jovial, collegial way have since becomes hallmarks of his approach to the classroom. I remember us saying to each other when we left the lecture hall that day: “I hope he gets the job…that was great.” And as Roger’s teaching evaluations and reputation reveal, that has been a sentiment shared by his students ever since. Over the next seventeen years, Roger became a true mentor to a generation of scholars, supervising dozens of MA and PhD students, many of whom have won national awards, gold medals, and gone on to forge their own careers in academia, the public service, or private sector. 

All his former students owe Roger, and his heavy but thoughtful editorial pen, an enormous debt of gratitude. He is always willing to spend time helping students unpick a problem, to improve their writing, or to simply chat and get to know one another as colleagues. This soft but deft approach to mentorship is a difficult art, but one that Roger seems to intuitively understand.  

That Roger was such a dedicated teacher makes his research record all the more impressive: he has authored more than nine books and countless articles on Canadian naval and military history, many of which have won major national awards. His books are the best type of history: accessible, readable, but thoroughly researched and closely argued. His style and attention to form undoubtedly arises from an encyclopedic knowledge of Canadian military historiography and the personalities that have shaped the field. It is not surprising, then, that Roger also edited two peer-reviewed journals, Canadian Military History and the Northern Mariner, for the better part of a decade, an area in which he was able to combine both his tact for mentorship and editorial direction with his eye for good scholarship. 

Suffice it to say, Roger’s immense accomplishments and his good-natured sense of humour have made him a legend in field of Canadian military. Although he is retiring, there is no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the field he has been so instrumental in sustaining here in Canada. 

Submitted by Mark Humphries 

Pierre Siklos

Pierre has been at Laurier for 41 years. He specializes in macroeconomics with an emphasis on the study of inflation, central banks, and financial markets.  His distinguished research career features the publication of 138 journal articles, 15 books and 46 book chapters, a Best Paper Award at the Asian Financial Association Conference and a Top 12 Google Scholar Ranking of Laurier Faculty with over 6800 cites. His expertise has been sought around the globe as evidenced by visiting appointments and/or consulting and professional activities at places such as the Bank of Japan, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, IMF, Deutsche Bundesbank, Princeton University, UC San Diego, Stanford University, CD Howe, Czech National Bank, Bank of Finland and the World Bank. He was Laurier’s University Research Professor in 2000-01, Director of the Viessmann European Research Centre in 2005-14, Senior CIGI Fellow in 2008-09, and MABE Director in 1996-97. He taught in the undergraduate, MABE and MIPP programs and participated in BSIA governance. Pierre speaks Spanish, albeit not fluently and is reputed to have some poker playing skills. His career took him to over 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa but not Latin America where people speak Spanish and countries occasionally struggle with inflation and financial markets.  So Pierre, might I be so bold as to suggest a retirement business plan in which you use your academic expertise and limited Spanish to assist Latin American countries in wrestling inflation to the ground and your high stakes poker skills in getting the best deal for countries negotiating debt restructuring with so called ‘vulture firms’. Let me know if you need any help. Pierre your life of leadership and purpose have been well and truly appreciated by your colleagues at Laurier. Thank you and Happy Retirement.

Submitted by Logan McLeod

Yasmine Shamsie

Dr. Yasmine Shamsie joined the Department of Political Science in 2003 after careers in journalism and the NGO sector. Yasmine’s early stint at the CBC was followed by several years of advocacy in Nicaragua. She worked as a policy analyst for the Jesuit Centre and, later, as a research analyst for CRIES (Regional Coordination of Economic and Social Research on Central America and the Caribbean). In that latter capacity, she co-led a multi-year international project on how structural adjustment policies were affecting women in the informal sector. Upon her return to Canada, she enrolled at York University to explore her passion for Latin American politics from an academic perspective.

Yasmine is an expert on democracy promotion and economic development in Central America and the Caribbean. She has published extensively on the political and economic impacts of international interventions. Particularly close to her heart is Haiti, where she has done extensive field work over the years. Her work has appeared in journals such as Third World QuarterlyThe Journal of Haitian StudiesGlobal GovernanceCivil WarsReview of International Political EconomyCanadian Foreign Policy, and Latin American Research Review, among others. She is the co-editor of Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State (Waterloo: CIGI & Wilfrid Laurier University, 2006) and Whose Canada? Continental Integration, Fortress North America and the Corporate Agenda (Montreal, Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007). Yasmine has been a consultant for the United Nations; NGOs including the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) and the North-South Institute; and the Canadian government, frequently invited to write policy briefs on issues related to democratization and development in Haiti. She has also been invited to give testimony before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Yasmine brought her journalism skills to the department, notably with her successful lobbying for an ‘Oprah’ microphone so she could wander amongst her students asking probing questions and emcee department student/alumni networking events. She served as Graduate and Undergraduate Advisor.  For the past seven years, she taught two sections of our very large first-year class, exposing hundreds of students and scores of teaching and instructional assistants to her deep knowledge of and enthusiasm for global politics. Her exuberance and humour have made her a treasured colleague and instructor. We wish her all the best for this next chapter and will ensure she remains part of our Department Baseball Committee.

Submitted by Andrea Brown

Scott Slocombe

Dr Scott Slocombe joined the Department of Geography in 1989 while completing his doctoral thesis on Complexity, Change and Uncertainty in Environmental Planning: From the Great Lakes to the Kluane/Wrangells in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Waterloo. 

Dr Slocombe’s research interests include integrated land, water, and resource management; ecosystem-based management, regional planning, sustainability, protected areas, and environmental policy and planning. His geographic focus was on rural and northern, resource-based regions, spanning western and northern Canada, northern Ontario, Australia, Russia, and Scandinavia. He conducted field research and led training activities in environmental studies and ecology, including logistics, in western and northern Canada, United States, Australia, Siberia, Venezuela, Cuba, Italy, and Morocco. He was the inaugural Dr. John McMurry Research Chair in Environmental Geography from 2009 to 2016. He published more than 60 refereed publications and over 90 unrefereed journals and reports and contributed to more than 100 conference papers.

Scott contributed greatly to the development of the department, first as one of the founders of the Environmental Studies program and then as a proponent of the importance of the name change to Geography and Environmental Studies.  During his years at Wilfrid Laurier, he taught most of the students who majored in Environmental Studies, especially during the early years of the program.

Dr Slocombe was honoured as an appointee to The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Commission on Ecosystem Management in 2015, the World Commission on Protected Areas in 1994 and was a member of the Commission on Environmental Strategy and Planning from 1991 to 1997.

Submitted by Mary-Lou Byrne, Michael Imort and Susan Lankowski

Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart joined Wilfrid Laurier University in 2007. She has been an active faculty member in both the Department of Criminology and the Human Rights & Human Diversity program in Brantford following a meaningful career as a practitioner in the prevention of violence against women and children.

Catherine has written technical reports, developed prevention programs for school boards, and provided multiple training sessions to educators and criminal justice professionals on interventions around sexual abuse. A life-long theatre enthusiast, Catherine produced a play early in her career that educated children about sexual abuse. The play ran for many years in schools throughout Toronto and across Canada.

Her academic research and teaching has focused on women, victimology, violence against women and children, sexual abuse/assault, and disability. She has published in the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, The Journal of Child Sexual AbuseFeminist Criminology, and Applied Linguistics.

Throughout her time at Laurier, Catherine stayed true to her conviction that research must be meaningful with a direct impact on women and children. She has put a tremendous amount of time and energy building community connections in Brantford to ensure that her research has tangible social outcomes. She also worked with the university community to develop its Prevention of Sexual Violence Policy.

In the classroom, students have expressed appreciation for the real life examples woven through Catherine’s lectures and for the practical implications of the course material. Catherine’s door has always been open to students in need of guidance and support.

For these, and for her many other contributions to the university, we extend our thanks and best wishes to Dr. Catherine Stewart for a wonderful and fulfilling retirement.

Submitted by Stacey Wilson-Forsberg

Eliana Suarez

Dr. Suarez’s social work practice has been in the area of community based mental health and violence against women.  Dr. Suarez was born and grew up in Peru and she considers herself a ‘peace and human rights advocate.’  Her place of birth, practice experience and interests in gender based violence have guided her research work in Peru, illustrated by a SSHRC-funded project that blends her research and academic interests with her practice.  This project involved the development and evaluation of a community advised preventative approach towards sexual violence in Ayacucho, Peru.  Supported by CIHR, Dr. Suarez has also looked at youth concern and priorities for HIV/STI’s in Peru as well as a recent-CIHR funded project investigating help seeking and resilience of members of the police service in Ontario.

Dr. Suarez as been actively involved in taking on leadership roles in the FSW as Associate Dean of the MSW Program and also as Chair of our Part-time Appointment Committee.  She has been an exemplary mentor for our MSW students in their research, chairing and co-chairing the research work of multiple MSW thesis students. Dr. Suarez also has contributed actively to the development of the International Social Work program and Graduate Diploma, including teaching the International Social Work Research course that is required in that program.

Dr. Suarez is known for her jovial personality, warmth and overall support of the Faculty of Social Work.

Submitted by Cherly-Anne Cait

John Triggs

Stratigraphy, the earth’s natural and cultural layers that make up an archaeological deposit and when revealed during excavation tell the story of the past. Similarly, the contributions of John Triggs, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies reveal a long and illustrious career spanning over forty-one years of exceptional research and teaching in the field of historical archaeology.

John became interested in archaeology at a young age, eventually going on to study at the University of Toronto. As an undergraduate working at a Paleolithic rockshelter in France John realized the importance and complexities of stratigraphy in archaeological excavation and dating methods that would eventually help to define his research focus. As a graduate student, John would join an expedition to Jordan as the teams stratigrapher and eventual go on to complete his seminal doctorate, “Matrix Seriation: A Method for Phasing a Multilinear Stratigraphic Sequence” in 1998.

Prior to arriving at Wilfrid Laurier University, John continued to hone his skills becoming involved in various archaeological projects and wearing different hats including; Field Archaeologist with Parks Canada, Field Director for the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Instructor and Material Culturalist for the Toronto Board of Education, Director of Public Archaeology with the Waterloo County Board of Education, and Field Supervisor for an Earthwatch expedition to Bermuda. He followed this by becoming Director of Archaeology at Dundurn Castle and a partner in Historic Horizon Inc. a heritage firm responsible for over 60 cultural resource management projects across Ontario.

In 1991, John became an undergraduate instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University teaching courses in Historical, Industrial, and Analytical Archaeology, as well as Archaeological Field Methods. He followed this becoming an Assistant Professor in 2000 and an Associate Professor in 2004 and eventually Chair of the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies (AHS) from 2010-2019. During this time John crafted an approach that combined teaching and research in which he successfully led countless field schools in Ontario and Bermuda providing important experiential opportunities to numerous WLU students and making him the most respected of mentors.

Over the course of his thirty-one years as a member of AHS, John has influenced an entire generation of undergraduates to become archaeologists, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers and graduate work in archaeology in all parts of the world.

Submitted by Bonnie Glencross

Colleen Willard-Holt

Dr. Colleen Willard-Holt served the Laurier Faculty of Education as dean for 10 years from 2008-2019. During this instrumental time in its development the Faculty significantly expanded, including a doubling of the size of the Bachelor of Education program, development of a Master of Education and Minor in Education, and in collaboration with Global Studies, the development of the Bachelor of Arts in International Education Studies program.

Colleen’s research and teaching focused on special education, particularly with children who are gifted. Her PhD (Purdue), Master of Science in Education (Johns Hopkins), and Bachelors degree (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) all had a focus in this field. She taught in K-12 settings for 10 years before a post-secondary career which included 15 years of appointments at Penn State University. Colleen has published many books, refereed journal articles, and book chapters that address how teachers can support gifted students in schools.

Colleen was greatly appreciated in the Faculty of Education where she nurtured strong partnerships with five local school boards, fostered a culture of exemplary teaching, collaboration, and research, and represented the Faculty within the university, and with external groups, including the Ontario College of Teachers and the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Colleen was an exemplary leader who led by example. She taught in the Minor in Education, Bachelor of Education, Master of Education, and International Education Studies program. She worked hard to ensure that the Faculty of Education was a welcoming space. She founded the Laurier Enriched Academic Program (LEAP; camps for gifted and highly able children and youth) and the Laurier Accelerated UNlimited CHallenge (LAUNCH; a more challenging program for children and youth identified as gifted). She contributed to Laurier in many ways including being a founding member of Laurier’s Centre for Women in Science and serving on the Gendered Violence Task Force. She has served on more than 30 university-level committees and task forces.

Colleen’s accomplishments are many but what is perhaps not always recognized through these accomplishments is what the faculty and staff that worked with her on a daily basis saw: Colleen was a caring dean who worked hard to remove obstacles which enabled faculty and staff to best complete their work. Colleen was fierce in her support of the faculty and staff.  She wanted the very best for the Faculty of Education and was an especially strong role model in that regard.  Colleen’s proverbial door was always open for discussion and debate, and her passion for education always guided those discussions.  Her leadership was key to shaping the Faculty of Education, and her influence will be long-lasting. 

Submitted by The Faculty of Education APC

Suzanne Zeller

Suzanne Zeller joined the Laurier history department in 1987, scarcely a year after completing her doctorate in Canadian history at the University of Toronto. She instantly became an integral member of a small but ambitious department, in a small but ambitious liberal arts university that was intent on revitalizing its Canadian history offerings. Arts faculties across the land were then vying to hire fresh new scholars with the interdisciplinary skills and interests making their way through the humanities and social sciences.  Suzanne’s research record, especially the publication of her doctoral work that year, amply qualified her to meet those objectives. Inventing Canada: Early Victorian Science and the Idea of a Transcontinental Nation (UTP; reissued MQUP, 2012), was, and remains, a seminal study, deemed a “classic” even by its first reviewers. Detailing the complex and interconnected scientific ideas and practices that linked a seemingly disparate group of Victorian businessmen, scientists, professionals and politicians, and inspired their conceptualization of the nation-state that would be Canada, her work was immediately lauded for its originality and scope. Inventing Canada effectively introduced the “new history of science” to Canadian scholars and students.  An inaugural historical examination of the relationship of nature, the environment, and nation-building, it is unarguably the first study in Canadian environmental history. This is especially noteworthy in that it appeared some twenty years before that subject area became an important component of contemporary historiography.  

Closer to home and the real daily work of professors, she taught large pre-Confederation Canada survey courses when these were required for Honours History students, and since; she designed seminars, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, on the histories of nature, environment, animals, scientific and technological ideas and developments in Canada; she created, coordinated and taught in the Minor Programme in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (HPS). Intended to inform undergraduates in both the humanities and the sciences about the foundational ideas and developments in science, it is one of the few cross-disciplinary programmes to persist in that challenge. She also helped to lay the groundwork for the Tri-University Graduate Programme in History (with Guelph and Waterloo), one of the few successful joint graduate programmes in Canada.

Suzanne’s record of service, to the profession, to the university and to larger academic bodies, is also exemplary. She was instrumental in the organizational and professional development of the history of Canadian science and technology, participating in founding the Canadian Science and Technology Historical (1980), and its journal, Scientia Canadensis, for which she continues to do editorial service.  She served on the board of the Canadian Historical Association, the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies, the Ontario Graduate Scholarships programme, the SSHRC, and chaired many of those with her characteristic clear thinking and attention to detail. The wider dissemination of her scholarship is evidenced in her many publications and conference presentations outside Canada, as well as her involvement in prestigious international and transnational research initiatives. She was a principal investigator in the BOREAS (Histories from the North: Environments, Movements, Narratives) Program under the aegis of the European Science Foundation, working on a collaborative project that aimed to develop a comparative international history of twentieth-century Arctic science.

The Laurier that Suzanne Zeller entered as her professional career began in the late 1980s was a very different world than the Laurier from which she is retiring in 2021. The discipline of history, and the profession itself, have likewise changed, as invariably happens with successive generations and the evolution of enticing new subject areas and methods. These, too, are historical developments. Where Suzanne Zeller is concerned, what remains constant is her commitment to her own scholarship and to the wider discipline, both of which have so influenced the shape of things in Laurier history for more than thirty years. Along with her integrity and sense of justice, these are the constants that will illuminate her next chapter.

Submitted by Cindy Comacchio

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