Award winner hopes to return to SFU

May 30, 2002, vol. 24, no. 3
By Howard Fluxgold

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Theresa Cowan (left) is leaving Simon Fraser University for graduate school in Alberta so that one day she may return to Burnaby Mountain.

“I'm leaving British Columbia to do my graduate work, to hopefully be more attractive as a future faculty candidate (at SFU),” says the English and women's studies major. She has won a Master's scholarship from University of Alberta where she will pursue her MA in English then study for her doctorate, likely at an eastern Canadian university.

Cowan, a published poet and performance artist, is winner of the Robert C. Brown award for outstanding academic achievement combined with outstanding leadership.

She first entered university 10 years go as a political science student at Carleton University. She eventually transferred to SFU where she switched majors and found a more congenial learning atmosphere. “The teaching at SFU has been uniformly remarkable, absolutely supportive and encouraging,” is how the 28-year-old describes her professors in the English and women's studies departments.

Cowan has a long list of academic accomplishments. During her undergraduate years, for example, she worked as a research assistant to adjunct English professor Katherine Patterson creating an online database of the letters of Harriet Martineau, which can be found by clicking here.

In April, she presented an academic paper at a British women writer's conference at the University of Wisconsin and has had another paper accepted for publication in the academic journal, Canadian Children's Literature.

For the past several years Cowan has been active in the university and west coast arts scene. She was a progammer and producer for CJSF, the university radio station, devoting much of her time to programming special days focused on minority themes such as Asian heritage and violence against women.

She is the editor and producer of Coastal tongue: Women in Spoken Word in Vancouver, a CD and documentary video project. She has also performed her poetry in a number of venues on the west coast and in Toronto.

Cowan plans to spend the summer moving to Edmonton, touring Europe and climbing a mountain in the Rockies - in her spare time.

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