Retirees 2021/2022

Anthony Atkinson

Anthony Atkinson (Tony)’s contribution to the advancement of the accounting profession and education over the past four decades have been outstanding and inspirational. Tony held a professional teaching position in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business & Economics. He also is Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo. Tony earned a Bachelor of Commerce and M.B.A. degrees from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial administration from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Atkinson is a fellow (FCPA) of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) and has written or coauthored three texts, five monographs on management accounting practice, a volume of management accounting standards for CMA Ontario (now CPA Ontario), and more than 35 articles on performance measurement and costing. In 1989, the Canadian Academic Accounting Association awarded Atkinson the Haim Falk Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Accounting Thought. He has served on the editorial boards of two professional and five academic journals and is a past editor of the Journal of Management Accounting Research. Tony also served as a member of the Canadian government’s Cost Standards Advisory Committee, for which he developed the costing principles it now requires of government contractors.

During Tony’s time at Laurier, he was a valuable contributor to the Accounting Area as well as a mentor to junior faculty. He provided guidance around course planning, teaching, and learning assessments as well as navigating the administrative aspects of coordinating large classes. He strived to continuously improve the courses that he was responsible for. Tony loved writing new practice problems which he believes are a fundamental aspect to learning how and why to practice managerial accounting. Tony expected and encouraged everyone to do their best, and he had the same expectations of himself. He has strong core values of equity and fairness that he applied infallibly with students and colleagues. Tony’s kindness, consideration, and empathy for others were prevalent in all interactions with him and made everyone feel included. Tony always had great stories to tell that both his students and his colleagues loved hearing. His wise counsel, kindness, wit, and dry humour will be greatly missed. Thank you/Merci, Tony.

Submitted by Eve Lamargot

Cynthia Comacchio

Awarding-winning historian and teacher, Dr. Cynthia Comacchio was a member of Laurier’s History Department for more than thirty years. She taught Canadian history and courses focused on the history of family, gender, education, and biography to thousands of undergraduate students. Graduate students came to work with Cindy because she was one of the first historians to study the lives of previously marginalized historic actors: mothers, babies, children, and adolescents. Cindy’s scholarship, most notably her three books, The Infinite Bonds of Family: Domesticity in English Canada, 1850-1940 (UTP, 1999), ‘Nations are Built of Babies:’ Saving Ontario’s Mothers and Children, 1900-40 (MQUP, 1993), and The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada (WLUP, 2006) interrogate the dogma and realities behind shifting concepts of ‘ideal’ families and ‘normal’ childhoods. Her work often offers a child’s eye perspective of growing up and argues that the changing conditions of childhood since Confederation are reflective of the Canadian state’s nation building aims. In collaboration with colleagues at the Laurier Centre for Military and Strategic Disarmament Studies, Cindy also pursued SSHRC funded research examining the devastating impact the Great War had on families. Since 2005, Cindy has been a series editor with Wilfrid Laurier University Press. She is also the co-editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies and served on the editorial board of multiple scholarly journals. A great mentor to many students and colleagues, she is a recipient of the University Teaching Award and Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar Award.

Submitted by Tarah Brookfield

William Hockley

Dr. William Hockley will retire July 1, 2022 after 33 years of service to Laurier. Dr. Hockley received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1980. Prior to joining Laurier in 1989, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and the University of Toronto, and a research associate at the University of Toronto. Dr. Hockley joined the Laurier Psychology Department in 1989 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992 and Professor in 1998. Dr. Hockely is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Psychonomic Society, and a Fellow and Past-President of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science. Throughout his career at Laurier he has been an actively engaged member of the Cognitive Neuroscience area of the Department, and is widely known to be a popular and highly regarded instructor of courses in his field.  Broadly speaking, Dr. Hockley’s research program has focused on issues related to human memory and attention. More specific research topics include recognition decision processes, contributions of familiarity and recollection to memory performance, memory for associations, effects of context, and directed or intentional forgetting.  Dr. Hockley has published extensively on these topics, with over 60 journal articles, 9 chapters in edited volumes, and 1 co-edited book to his credit. His work has been supported continuously by research grants from NSERC since 1990 and he has supervised many doctoral, masters, and undergraduate students. Dr. Hockley’s scholarly work has had a major impact on our understanding of human memory – it has appeared in top tier journals in the field and is widely cited by cognitive scientists. As further recognition of his accomplishments, the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology is publishing a special issue on “Human memory: Celebrating the career of Professor William E. Hockley” in September 2022.

Submitted by Roger Buehler

Susan Johnson

Associate Professor of Economics

Susan Johnson had a long career as a university teacher beginning at age 23 leading, for three years, first year economics classes at Harvard University. She was an outstanding instructor at Harvard and for two years led the training at instructor boot camp for the new instructors each year in August. Susan then taught fulltime at Carleton University from 1983 to 1985 and parttime at the University of Guelph and at Wilfrid Laurier from 1985 to 2000. In 2000, she joined the Department of Economics as an assistant professor.  Susan was an enthusiastic, careful, clear instructor over all these years, much admired and respected by her students. She introduced the use of experiments in teaching microeconomics at Laurier.  Susan experienced a series of strokes in 2011 that forced her to go on long term disability from 2011 to 2022. Losing the ability to teach despite every effort to return to work was heartbreaking to her.  

She completed her PhD at McMaster University in 2000.  She had the honour of her father (a retired McMaster Professor of Economics) hooding her at the graduation ceremony with her husband and children present, a surprise arranged by the President of McMaster and her mother. She received her MA from the University of Western Ontario and her BA from Victoria College at the University of Toronto where she won the gold medal in Economics.

Susan did significant research in her field:  empirical studies of industrial relations. She won the 2002 Vanderkamp Prize for the best paper in Canadian Public Policy for her study of changes in union density in Canada.  One of her thesis papers, published in the Economic Journal, showed that legal differences in union formation methods, card signatures compared to secret ballot votes, used to certify new unions had a significant impact on the success rate of union formation. Her other major work, published in Industrial and Labor Relations, the leading industrial relations journal in North America, focused on the importance of first contract arbitration in the success of a union achieving a first contract with employers. Both papers had substantial policy impact. Her illness cut short an important research career where many more contributions would have been made.

Susan’s courage and determination to build a life after her strokes is an inspiration to all who know her, her Laurier, McMaster and Waterloo colleagues and many others beyond the university community.

Submitted by David Johnson

Terry Mitchell

Dr. Terry Mitchell retired in September 2021 after 18 years of service to Laurier. Dr. Mitchell received her PhD in Community Psychology from the Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in 1993. Prior to joining Laurier, she worked as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University and as a social scientist with the Sunnybrook and Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Mitchell joined the Laurier Psychology Department in 2003 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and Full Professor in 2016. She has held an appointment as a faculty member in the Balsillie School of International Affairs from 2016 until her retirement.  Dr. Mitchell is now Professor Emeritus in Psychology. Dr. Mitchell has been a highly productive scholar funded by external grants from numerous agencies including SSHRC, CIHR, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and Global Water Futures. Dr. Mitchell’s work has focused on the impacts of colonial trauma and the internationalization of Indigenous rights, and she has published extensively on these topics, in the form of articles, book chapters, technical reports, and policy briefs. Across her career, Dr. Mitchell has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to working with Indigenous peoples and Settler populations on Indigenous rights. Her doctoral dissertation “Old Wounds: New Beginnings: Challenging the Missionary Paradigm in Native-White Relations” was based on her work with First Nations in the Yukon. With First Nations in Prince Edward Island, she developed Aboriginal Survivors for Healing, a center for survivors of residential schools funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. She has also worked as a visiting scholar at the Institute of Indigenous Studies at the Universidad de La Frontera, in Chile. Her recent work with the Centre for International Governance Innovation has focused on policy transformation to advance the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Submitted by Roger Buehler

Nicola Newton

Dr. Nicola Newton retired December 31, 2021 after six and a half years of service in the Department of Psychology with plans to move back to New Zealand. Dr. Newton earned her MA and PhD degrees at the University of Michigan. Prior to her time at Laurier, she held academic positions at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Youngstown State University.  Dr. Newton joined the Psychology Department in 2015 as an Assistant ProfProfessor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019.  Dr. Newton was an active and productive scholar in the Developmental Psychology area and her research was funded by external grants from SSHRC and the John Templeton Foundation. Her research interests include: lifespan development; life transitions; the influence of social roles on personality; aging and well-being; midlife personality development; life path choices and their outcomes in later life. Much of her recent research is focused on older women and their search for identity and purpose. She is currently the Principle Investigator of a SSHRC Insight Grant for a project that examines “Identity and Purpose in Life among Older Women”. In her time at Laurier, Dr. Newton published 16 articles in refereed journals, numerous book chapters and encyclopedia entries, and delivered refereed conference presentations all over North America and abroad.  Her work has appeared in top-tier journals including Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Psychology and Aging, and Journal of Personality. One project close to her heart is a forthcoming book that she has co-edited entitled “Reflections from Pioneering Women in Psychology” that contains career reflections from leading women across all areas of psychology. Since her retirement Dr. Newton continues to supervise students as an Adjunct Faculty member, for which the department is grateful.

Submitted by Roger Buehler

Stephen Preece

Wilfrid Laurier University (1993-2022)

Having spent formative years growing up in Vancouver, Stephen Preece jumped at the opportunity to return to Canada after graduating with a PhD from The Ohio State University.  Laurier offered an academic setting that valued a balanced approach to teaching, research and service.  

Stephen taught in the Policy Area, initially emphasizing international business, as well as the social side of management.  Mid-career, his research moved towards arts management (theatre, music, dance, opera) where he balanced his passion for the arts with a desire to improve the practice of managing cultural organizations.  Stephen served for several years on the editorial board of the International Journal of Arts Management, and established himself as one of Canada’s leading scholars in the area. 

In 2011, Stephen applied his theoretical knowledge of arts management to establish the Grand River Jazz Society, a not-for-profit organization operating The Jazz Room in UpTown Waterloo.  Ten years later, this music venue was still functioning as one of Canada’s top venues for professional jazz music with Stephen operating as volunteer President since inception. 

Evolving with the rapidly emerging start-up ecosystem in Waterloo Region, Stephen took an active role in teaching Entrepreneurship in the later years of his career, serving as Director of the Schlegel Center for Entrepreneurship from 2014-2017.  

After 30 years as faculty in the School of Business and Economics, Stephen retires at the age of 60 to pursue further interests in music, arts and culture in the community. 

Submitted by John Banks

Brian Tanguay

Professor Brian Tanguay began teaching at Laurier in 1988. Prior to joining our Political Science Department, he taught at Trent University, University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. After completing his BA in French and Political Science at McMaster University, Brian spent a year in France as a lecturer in English at the Université de Paris X – Nanterre and a student at the Institut d’études Politiques. When he returned to Canada, he pursued a Ph.D. in Political Science at Carleton University, graduating in 1990. In 2010, he was a visiting scholar in the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His international experience and bilingualism have informed his perspective on democracy and politics in fundamental ways.

Throughout his 34 years of teaching and research at Laurier, Brian has made critical and lasting contributions to Canadian and international political science communities. His deep understanding of Canadian, and especially Québécois, political scenes is notable. Brian has been a sought-after expert on electoral reform, having worked for the Law Commission of Canada as the lead author of Voting Counts: Electoral Reform for Canada, a 200-page report submitted to the federal Minister of Justice in 2004. Brian is also known for his expertise on the role of political parties in liberal democracies. In 2002, his ongoing interest in social democracy and the transformations of the New Democratic Party and Parti Québécois in Canada led to a memorable presentation at the European Consortium for Political Research held in Copenhagen. His profound knowledge of Quebec society, culture, and political identity has enriched the learning experience of generations of students at Laurier, and Brian’s commitment to his students and love for teaching have been constant and notable. The North American Studies Program and Political Science Department are thrilled to have him continue teaching his popular Quebec Politics class and his seminar on Political Parties for as long as he is willing. 

Brian’s research publications have had national impact, and through his frequent media commentaries for French- and English-language media and participation in government policy discussions he has connected his academic research with contemporary public policy debates.  In collaboration with Alain-G. Gagnon he co-edited Democracy with Justice (1992, McGill-Queen’s University Press), which explored themes important to the late political scientist Khayyam Zev Paltiel, formerly of Carleton University, and Canadian Parties in Transition, first published in 1988 and now in its 4th edition. Brian has also published widely in academic journals. In 1990-91, he and departmental colleague Barry Kay drafted a research report on the election activities of interest groups for the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing (the Lortie Commission). Further, in 1995 he was invited to comment on the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada’s draft report to Parliament and in 1999, he appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to discuss Globalization and the Transformation of Political Parties in Canada. In 2005, following on his Law Commission work, Brian was invited to appear as an expert witness before select committees of both the Ontario and Quebec provincial governments to comment on proposed legislation on electoral reform. While his work advising and consulting with governments was quite rewarding, he was less thrilled about having to wear a suit while doing it. 

Brian served two terms as Political Science Chair, leading the department through key program changes, and playing central roles in developing the Canadian Studies Program, which he later helped transform into the North American Studies Program, and our Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science, which later became our current Masters in Applied Politics (MAP). Under his leadership, many new faculty members were brought into the departmental fold, and he made sure that each felt welcomed and valued. Brian was a fierce advocate for the department, always ready with a “bring it on!” when pushing for our interests. 

Brian Tanguay is a cherished member of both Political Science and North American Studies, and his colleagues look forward to many more years of friendship and sharing of beers at Ethels.

Submitted by Andrea Brown

Alan Whiteside

Alan Whiteside, OBE, came to Waterloo in 2012 as the CIGI Chair in Global Health Policy, and following the conclusion of the position he continued as a Laurier faculty member cross-appointed to the School of International Politics and Government (SIPG) at the Balsillie School of International Affairs until his recent retirement.

During his time at the BSIA, Alan continued to pursue his long-standing engagement in issues of global public health, most notably related to HIV and AIDS and including a second edition of his HIV and AIDS: A Very Short Introduction published by Oxford University Press. At the Balsillie School, Alan was known to be a regular, fearless (and often blunt!) participant in Council discussions, at a time when the School was undergoing significant changes and renewal. 

Then we all were dislocated by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Alan’s expertise and experience were translated into an important regular blog with analysis of data from Canada and around the world – a blog that for its readers became a very welcome weekly dose of sanity and balance in a time of great uncertainty.

Today, Alan – now enjoying retirement in the UK, despite Boris Johnson – continues to write his personal blog as (in his description) an “applied academic and explorer of ideas”.  A recent piece reflected very poignantly on his work and experiences in Ukraine during 1997-2001, in light of the February invasion of that country by Russia. Typically for Alan, his final observations are direct and plain, but I will leave that for any interested reader to find. Enjoy your retirement, and keep up with the daily walking, Alan.

Submitted by Alistair Edgar

Randall Wigle

Professor, Department of Economics and School of International Policy and Governance

Randy joined Laurier’s Department of Economics 34 years ago, with prior stopovers at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Western Ontario. He quickly established his research career that morphed from computable general equilibrium trade modelling into environmental policy and climate change. Indeed, his first paper on the topic, “The International Incidence of Carbon Taxes”, published in 1991 was an early contribution to what was clearly a significant global policy issue. His more recent research explored how multiple distortions in the combined markets for electric vehicles and gasoline meant that second-best policies such as subsidizing EVs become a part of the optimal policy mix, rather than simply relying on a carbon tax. For the past 15 years, he has spent most of his time in the School of International Policy and Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Randy has been a “heart and soul” contributor to the economics stream for the Masters of International Public Policy (MIPP), where he took on the difficult task of teaching highly technical topics to an interdisciplinary group of students. Randy guided a good number of new students from initial high anxiety to relative comfort and confidence thanks to his teaching style. This made a real difference, as students were able to use those skill sets at the beginning of their professional career paths. His impending arrival at faculty meetings was typically announced with a clicking sound from his fancy cycling shoes, followed by his appearance in full (sometimes quite garish) cycling gear. But this was always accompanied by a broad grin. At the BSIA/CIGI building, Randy also made sure it was built with a good changing room for any avid cyclists arriving at work (he may have been the only person using that room for that purpose!). Always a stickler for proper meeting procedures, colleagues could always rely on a prompt motion to adjourn (just imagine how much potential wasted time was avoided).

Submitted by Christine Neill

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