The Office of the Vice-Dean Research established these awards to recognize the role of dedicated teaching, sustained and creative research and generous service to the community, the University and the Faculty of Law in strengthening our institution and raising our public profile.
Congratulations to our very deserving winners and to all of those who were nominated!
Here are our 2023 winners:
The Excellence in Teaching Award, French Common Law Program
Awarded to a full-time faculty member of the French Common Law Program who has demonstrated outstanding performance in teaching through the development of innovative teaching methods and programs, dedication to the student experience, etc.
The French Common Law Program is renowned for the quality of its teaching staff. It's not easy to stand out when you're part of such an exceptional peer group, but that's exactly what Professor François Larocque has managed to do in the 2022-2023 academic year. Students who have attended Professor Larocque's classes describe him as a very charismatic, patient, kind and erudite educator. They also point out that his courses are easy to follow, very clear and very organized, and that he makes the material fun, entertaining and exciting.
The Excellence in Teaching Award, English Common Law Program
Awarded to a full-time faculty member of the English Common Law Program who has demonstrated outstanding performance in teaching through the development of innovative teaching methods and programs, dedication to the student experience, etc.
Angela Cameron is an outstanding educator who fosters a dynamic and inclusive learning environment. She brings tremendous energy and innovation to the classroom, employing a variety of educational tools, such as problem-based learning and small group activities, which facilitate learning and stimulate students’ intellectual curiosity. Further, she has an impressive ability to make complex legal concepts accessible and to engage and inspire students. Angela genuinely cares about the well-being of her students and spends considerable time mentoring and supporting them throughout the course of their legal education.
The Ian Kerr Award for Excellence in Teaching
Awarded to a full-time, pre-tenure professor in either the French Common Law Program or the English Common Law Program who has demonstrated outstanding performance in teaching through the development of innovative teaching methods and programs, dedication to the student experience, etc.
Sylvia Rich teaches material candidly, in a way that engages and inspires students. She does not merely lecture to the class – she creates a warm and inviting classroom in which students learn through engaging with her questions and with fellow classmates. Dr. Rich speaks candidly about the readings, never seeming to be reciting from a script, but always bringing clarity, critical thought, and wisdom to facilitate discussions. She encourages students to develop their own perspectives about the law through critical discussion, genuine encouragement, and careful question-posing.
The Excellence in Teaching Award for Part-Time Professors
Awarded to a part-time professor in either the French Common Law Program or the English Common Law Program who has demonstrated outstanding performance in teaching through the development of innovative teaching methods and programs, dedication to the student experience, etc.
Benoît Girardin has taught the "Sports Law" course during the Common Law Section’s January intensive session on numerous occasions. A great expert in the field, with practical experience at both national and international levels, he is passionate about this area of law, a passion he passes on to his students. His teaching methods are many and varied: he lectures on a variety of aspects, brings in experts he has come to know well over the course of his long and rich career, and conducts arbitration simulations. On one occasion, he even organized a trip to Montreal for his class to meet with key players in the legal world, notably those working with the Montreal Canadiens.
The Excellence in Graduate Supervision Award
Awarded to a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and ability in supervising graduate students, whether at the Master’s or PhD level.
Vanessa Gruben has played a vital role in welcoming and supporting all graduate students in the health law specialty, year over year. She has welcomed them to the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, to her home for meals, and offered advice and mentorship to students beyond those she is supervising. She assists with finding supervisors for all health law graduate students, and participants annually in a graduate symposium with McGill that gives these students an opportunity to present their work and receive feedback. She works tirelessly for all graduate students within an important and prominent Centre at the Faculty.
The Excellence in Research Award
Awarded to a member of the faculty who has earned distinction as a result of the importance and exceptional characteristics of their research over the past seven years.
Jamie Liew is recognized as one of Canada’s leading voices in the field of immigration, refugee and citizenship law. She has worked to untangle Canada’s complex immigration system, breaking new ground to improve areas where Canada is failing vulnerable communities. She has opened up new vistas of research specialization, her impact is second to none, and her recent foray into novel writing has garnered her wide public attention and award recognition. Professor Liew has pioneered the specialized study of statelessness – a previously obscure and understudied area of immigration law. This kind of leadership, combined with her influence and creativity have helped to establish Jamie Liew as one of Canada’s most important emerging scholars in law research.
The Emerging Researcher Award
Awarded to a member of the faculty who has earned distinction as a result of the importance and exceptional characteristics of their research. At the time of nomination, the nominee must have completed at least two years, but no more than seven years as a full-time professor at the University of Ottawa or elsewhere.
Wolfgang Alschner is a world-renowned expert in international trade and foreign investment law. His work spans the fields of law, computer science and social sciences. In 2022, he became the new chairholder of the Hyman Soloway Chair in Business and Trade Law. He is also a researcher at the University of Ottawa's Centre Law, Technology and Society, and directs the uOttawa Legal Technology Lab, an innovative research centre dedicated to the integration of technologies in the field of law, which he launched in 2020.
The Greenberg Prize for Feminist Research
The Greenberg Prize recognizes the most significant article, book chapter or monograph published in the last 3 years (2021, 2022 or 2023) on women and the law.
Professor Stefanie Carsley’s article, “Surrogacy in Canada: Lawyers’ Experiences and Practices” marks a significant contribution to the legal writing on women and the law in Canada. It is a ground-breaking article which presents and explores results from qualitative interviews with twenty-six Canadian lawyers who advise and represent surrogates and intended parents. The interviews explore whether the concerns of many Canadian lawmakers and scholars about surrogacy arrangements are well-founded. These concerns include whether surrogates are ill-informed of their legal rights, whether contracts favour the intended parents’ interests and the possibility that surrogates will change their minds and will wish to keep the children they carry. Importantly, Professor Carsley concludes based on the interviews that while surrogates may be vulnerable, they may be afforded more protection and exercise greater agency and power than lawmakers and scholars often assume. Professor Carsley’s article reflects her curiosity to explore innovative research avenues and integrate the voices of those most affected by law and policy.
The Community Service Award
Presented annually to a member of the faculty (full- or part-time) or staff who has earned distinction as a result of outstanding service to the broader community through any or all of pro bono or volunteer work, media relations or other public service work.
Christiane Saad actively enhances the quality of the Faculty's visibility in a variety of ways. She engages in hands-on participation on boards of directors and non-profit organizations focused on access to justice; she takes part in public legal education and conferences on francophone perspectives on access to justice objectives; she demonstrates leadership in promoting Ontario's francophonie and diversity; and she developed the "Pitch" innovation project through which candidates collaborate with community members to propose solutions to an access to justice problem.
The Outstanding Staff Service Award
Presented annually to a member of the staff of the Common Law section who has earned distinction as a result of outstanding service to the Faculty or the University.
Tasha Simon is the Indigenous Program Specialist for the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. She goes out of her way to support Indigenous students both during her regular hours and outside of that whenever she is needed. She spends countless hours planning programs to help foster the Indigenous community within the Faculty of Law. These programs often encourage students to further their education through experiences such as clerking or doing a Master’s or a Ph.D. Additionally, she hosts events focused on teaching non-Indigenous students more about Indigenous peoples and Indigenous law.
The Nicole LaViolette Distinguished Service Faculty Award
Awarded to a member of the faculty who has earned distinction as a result of outstanding service to the Faculty or the University, in particular through committee work, administrative assignments or other forms of service not directly related to teaching or research.
Signa Daum Shanks, Aimée Craft, Angela Cameron and Anne Levesque
Signa Daum Shanks, Aimée Craft, Angela Cameron and Anne Levesque demonstrated exceptional commitment in establishing the Common Law Section’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 28. They each participated in teaching mandatory CTA course modules to all first-year students in 2023, in both the French and English Programs. Choosing to connect students directly with the unceded Anishinaabe-Algonquin territory on which the University of Ottawa is built, they chose to base their modules around the Seven Sacred Teachings. Using this framework, Professors Daum Shanks, Craft, Cameron and Levesque approached their lessons through understandings of truth, courage, and love, encouraging students to show humility and respect.