Posted on October 5, 2017 by Tia Lalani

Three first-year students and two faculty members received recognition at this year’s ceremony.

First-year students Anthony Lapierre, Sarah Hicks, and Joy Wang with Augustana Dean Allen Berger at the University of Alberta’s Celebrate! event.

Last Thursday, the University of Alberta community honoured the achievements of its faculty, students, and staff at the annual Celebrate! Teaching.Learning.Research event, with five members of the Augustana community among them.

Three of Augustana’s first-year students received the National Achievement Award, which recognizes top academic students who have come to the University of Alberta from a Canadian high school outside of the province. Sarah Hicks and Anthony Lapierre, both from Saskatchewan, and Joy Wang from British Columbia each received this scholarship, one of the most valuable and prestigious of all undergraduate scholarships offered by the University of Alberta, with only approximately 25 available each year.

Aside from our exceptional students, two faculty members were honoured at the Celebrate! Event. English professor Brandon Alakas received the Provost’s Award for Early Achievement of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes teaching excellence by academic staff within five years of their first university appointment. Professor Alakas began teaching at Augustana in 2014 and has since had a powerful impact on his students, as well as helped to develop new teaching-related initiatives, according to Alexander Carpenter, chair of the department of fine arts and humanities.

“Brandon’s colleagues celebrate his “nimbleness” in the classroom…his ability to foster and facilitate discussion is especially impressive, and his lectures [are] an artful balance of careful preparation and spontaneous engagement with the students,” Carpenter explains. “The students themselves remark upon his energy and “infectious enthusiasm” for his subject, and laud him for giving them the necessary guidance and skills to—in one student’s words—grow into “confident and capable” young scholars.”

Finally, English professor Roxanne Harde was recognized for receiving a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair scholarship, which will allow her to pursue her research on country music lyricists and the American Dream at Vanderbilt University next year. These prestigious awards are granted to exceptional and highly accomplished scholars in order to exemplify the power of international academic exchange, bridge cultural boundaries, and promote a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Congratulations Sarah, Anthony, Joy, Brandon, and Roxanne—thank you for your outstanding work and for inspiring the rest of the Augustana community to do the same.

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