Long-serving Humanities faculty and staff honoured

Long service award recipients

One thing is certain: the trees are much taller since Rosa Stewart started teaching at UVic three decades ago.

The assistant teaching professor in Hispanic and Italian Studies was among 14 faculty members and staff who were honoured recently with Long Service Recognition awards at the University Club for 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service at UVic.

Stewart, who also teaches with Continuing Studies and has volunteered for the UVic Speakers Bureau for 16 years, says she still enjoys coming to work. First-year Spanish is her favourite course to teach.

“I love what I do,” she says. “I get in front of students and I feel energized. Their presence brings out the best in me.”

Since she has joined UVic, Stewart says there are more buildings—the site of what is now the David Strong building was a field—and more people, including many more international students.

“And that trees are bigger. I kid you not. We don’t think about that.”

Stewart is the longest-serving member of the department although departmental secretary Donna Fleming has spent longer at UVic—35 years to be exact. Fleming has been at the helm of Hispanic and Italian Studies administrative duties for 20 years. Over the years, she has worked across departments including chemistry, co-operative education, health information science, and international affairs.

She left UVic twice, once to travel and another time to take an opportunity in the private sector. Besides watching the number of buildings double, Fleming says computers have been the biggest change she has experienced. When she first worked in the co-op office, for example, the rolodex was the organizational technology of the day.

“I had a rolodex with index cards showing the name and information of every co-op student on campus,” she says. “I also had cards for every co-op employer with contact information and a list of every student who had worked for them. Try doing that today.”

Hiroko Noro was another long-serving UVic faculty member honoured recently. The Department of Pacific and Asian Studies associate professor first came to UVic at age 33, which posed some challenges for her.

“I looked quite young. My students thought I was one of them,” she says.

After graduating from the University of Toronto, Noro was offered a teaching position at UVic, but always thought she would return to her birth country, Japan.

“I came to Canada 35 years ago. I had no plan on staying here,” she says. “This is my first and last real job.”

Noro started teaching at the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies when it opened, at the height of the Japanese language boom. Her initial years focused on language teaching, but Noro expanded into sociolinguistics, with a particular interest in the role of language in shaping one’s identity.

“I enjoy all the courses I teach,” she says. “I really enjoy upper level language courses. I have met many talented and hardworking students.”

Noro says the university’s focus has shifted from research to a more balanced approach.

“Right now it’s the ideal direction, from my perspective, which universities are heading toward, a good balance between research and teaching.”

Other Humanities faculty members and staff honoured include:

- Angus Taylor, Philosophy (35 years)

- Karen Hickton, History (30 years)

- Lisa Surridge, English (25 years)

- Sheila Rabillard, English (25 years)

- Lynne Marks, History (25 years)

- Laurel Bowman, Greek and Roman Studies (25 years)

- Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Linguistics (25 years)

- Hua Lin, Linguistics (25 years)

- Peter Golz, Germanic and Slavic Studies (25 years)

- Michael Bodden, Pacific and Asian Studies (25 years)

- Stewart Arneil, Humanities Computing and Media Centre (25 years)