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Congratulations 2021 FASS Dean’s Medal Recipients

September 21, 2021

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) is pleased to congratulate the 2021 recipients of the FASS Dean's Medals.

Dean's Medals are given in recognition of academic excellence in research, teaching, and service, with an emphasis on significant contributions while in position in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at SFU.

Dr. Nicolas Schmitt

Dr. Nicolas Schmitt is a professor from SFU’s Department of Economics. He joined the department in 1990 and has been Associate Chair and Chair of the Department, as well as a member of several committees and boards at the university level and beyond.

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Originally from Switzerland, Schmitt completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Lausanne and his PhD at the University of Toronto. He held faculty positions at Laval University, Western University and at the University of Geneva, and visiting positions at several universities around the world.

Schmitt teaches courses in international economics including the breadth course, “The World Economy.” Created in the 1990s, this course was entirely re-designed a few years ago to reflect the different phases of globalization since the pre-industrial revolution.

Schmitt’s research projects have been supported by more than 20 research grants over the years, and focus on international economics and industrial organization, often at the intersection of the two fields. Two themes dominate his research: the mechanisms through which firms adjust and respond to new environments, whether technological or induced by government policies, especially trade liberalization policies, and the causes and consequences of the international mobility of workers.

The overarching theme of his contributions about firm adjustments is to show that trade liberalization policies rarely bring the ‘gains from trade’ that they are often claimed to have unless other policies, such as competition policies, are brought to the fore.

Schmitt’s research has been published in top field and general. In 2012, the Canadian Economics Association awarded Schmitt and co-author Dominique M. Gross the John Vanderkamp Prize for their article, “Temporary Foreign Workers and Regional Labour Market Disparities” published in Canadian Public Policy.

Schmitt’s current research investigates how the role of firm inventory sheds light on transmission mechanisms and evaluates why the impact of new tariffs on imports and prices are much smaller and slower than suggested by existing approaches.

Dr. Jennifer Wong

Dr. Jennifer Wong is an Associate Professor from SFU’s School of Criminology. Her research interests lie primarily in crime prevention and intervention, particularly in relation to evidence-based programs and crime control policy. She holds a PhD in Policy Analysis from the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California, and an MA in Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University.

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Wong is an applied researcher who is primarily interested in the development of knowledge that is useful to the public, practitioners, and policymakers about best practices for preventing crime. Her work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including Criminal Justice and Behavior, Crime and Delinquency, Trauma, Violence & Abuse, the Journal of Experimental Criminology, and the Journal of Criminal Justice.

She has extensive experience planning, managing, and conducting program evaluations, including but not limited to evaluating 12 intimate partner violence prevention programs operating throughout BC and designing a pilot evaluation to provide free legal advising to survivors of sexual assault. Currently, she is leading an evaluation of the high school component of BC’s End Gang Life project, (part of a Surrey gang prevention program) and an evaluation of the SFU Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office campaign activities and workshops.

In her work to help determine best practices in prevention and intervention programs, she has completed close to 100 systematic reviews and meta-analyses. These include topics such as dating violence prevention, street gangs, halfway houses, restorative justice, electronic monitoring, and school-based bullying prevention. She has been the lead or co-applicant on 17 public and private research grants/contracts since 2008.

Wong is an outstanding teacher and mentor. In addition to regularly teaching courses in criminal behaviour, research methods, criminal justice policy and program evaluation, 84% of her journal articles were written with her students as co-authors.

She is highly engaged member of the School of Criminology who has served as the Associate Director of Research since 2017 and on numerous administrative committees at the university. She has been on the board of the Western Society of Criminology since 2017, has refereed 91 journal manuscripts and 3 SSHRC Insight Grant proposals, and is a member of the editorial board for Crime & Delinquency. And she’s served as a consultant for organizations such as Odd Squad Production Society, Ending Violence Association of BC, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, and The Safety Lab in Cape Town.

Dr. Jodi Viljoen

Dr. Jodi Viljoen is a professor from SFU’s Department of Psychology. WIth an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from SFU, Viljoen’s research is aimed at improving services for adolescents in the justice system. Many adolescents engage in risky or illegal behaviour, and Viljoen’s work is aimed at developing appropriate interventions so that they can successfully resist criminal behaviour.

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In addition to authoring 97 journal articles and chapters, 8 guides, and 21 reports, Viljoen has contributed over 200 conference presentations, 55 invited talks, and held $4,270,183 in funding from agencies such as SSHRC, CIHR, and MSFHR.

She received the American Psychology-Law Society’s Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Contributions in 2010 and held a Career Investigator Award from MSFHR from 2007 to 2014. In 2020, Viljoen was named to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars.

Her research has gained national and international uptake. Her collaboration to develop a way to assess risk factors and strengths in adolescents in the justice system has been implemented in at least 10 countries, and translated into four languages, with two additional translations underway. In addition, British Columbia’s Ministry of Children and Family Development adopted Viljoen’s treatment-planning guide throughout the province (Viljoen et al., 2019). This guide is now used to plan treatment for each adolescent on probation (2,000 adolescents per year).

Viljoen is also a model teacher and mentor. She is known to incorporate a number of innovations, such as the use of virtual reality, in the her undergraduate and graduate courses. She has served on 48 MA and PhD committees and her excellence in teaching and graduate supervision earned her the SFU Dean of Graduate Studies Award for Excellence in Supervision in 2018. Her undergraduate students have earned awards and pursued graduate studies at top universities and all her graduate students have earned tri-council funding during their studies.

Viljoen is as dedicated to her administrative work as her research and teaching, and has served on over 35 committees within the Department of Psychology, SFU, and the wider academic community. Her service includes contributions to the Tenure and Promotions Committees for SFU’s Department of Psychology and School of Criminology and her work as Area Coordinator for the Law and Forensic Psychology Program (ranked as one of the top law-forensic programs in North America). Focusing on issues of diversity, she co-chairs with Dr. Michael Schmitt the Department of Psychology’s Indigenous Reconciliation Committee and serves on the Minority Affairs Committee for the American Psychology-Law Society. In addition to being an Elected Member-at-Large for the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Service, Viljoen has volunteered over 2,000 hours for partnership projects with mental health and justice agencies and has trained over 800 professionals in the field.