Arts medallists rated tops

Sep 19, 2002, vol. 25, no. 2
By Marianne Meadahl



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Their areas of expertise are diverse, but as researchers, teachers and mentors they have at least one thing in common. They are top-notch.

This year's recipients of the dean of arts medal for research, teaching and service focus on such fields as women and criminal justice, the works of early Canadian women writers, and the hormones and nervous systems of rats and mice.

Criminology professor Karlene Faith is considered one of the world's leading scholars in the areas of women and crime and the imprisonment of women, and has been internationally recognized for her research in the field.

Set to retire next year, she received the International Helen prize for Humanitarian Works in 2000, and a lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Criminology in the fall of 2001. For two decades, she has consistently received high student evaluations in both seminars and lectures. Much of her research has resulted in books, including her latest, The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten: Life Beyond the Cult (2001) on one of Charles Manson's followers.

English professor Carole Gerson's achievements in teaching, research and service have also spanned more than two decades. Recently elected to the prestigious Royal Society of Canada, she is a co-investigator on a $2.3 million five-year research project, begun in 2000, on the history of the book in Canada. Gerson, who also has an extensive service record within the department as well as in the academic community, has carried out extensive research on Canadian literary and publishing history, and is continuing with her work on early Canadian women writers. Her book on Pauline Johnson, Paddling Her Own Canoe: Times and Texts of E. Pauline Johnson (2000), co-written with Veronica Strong-Boag, earned the Raymond Klibansky prize. The two have just published a scholarly edition of Pauline Johnson's complete poems and selected prose, currently on display at the SFU bookstore.

In the six years he has been at SFU, associate psychology professor Neil Watson is noted for his quick success in obtaining funding (more than $300,000) to support his research, which focuses mainly on sexual differentiation of the nervous system and behavior in both animals and humans. Much of his activity has involved investigations into the effects of testosterone in the nervous systems of rats and mice. He recently began to study the effects of variations in serum hormone levels of cognitive functioning in humans.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to research, teaching and service within a broad disciplinary background of the faculty of arts. Recipients receive a silver medal and $500 research allowance.

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