2022 REACH Awards

Science, Medical Sciences, Humanities, Engineering, Human and Social Development, Social Sciences

Recognizing research and teaching excellence

The REACH Awards honour the extraordinary teachers and researchers who lead the way in dynamic learning and make a vital impact at UVic, in the classroom and beyond.

“These awards celebrate faculty and graduate students who are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and creative activity. This year’s distinguished honourees are game changers in their fields—they are leaders creating true and lasting impact through their innovative learning experiences for our students, and their research empowers and supports change in our community and beyond. Congratulations to the award recipients and nominees and thank for your passion and commitment.”

—UVic President and Vice-Chancellor Kevin Hall, PhD

The REACH Awards will be celebrated at an in-person ceremony on Feb. 16, hosted by President Kevin Hall, VP Research and Innovation Lisa Kalynchuk and Acting Deputy Provost Helga Hallgrímsdóttir.

Recipients of the Provost’s Advocacy and Activism Awards will also be honoured. Event is by invitation only. Please contact for details. You can also watch a livestream of the event.

2022 REACH Award recipients

Excellence in research awards

David H. Turpin Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research: James Young

Silver Medal for Excellence in Research: Marie-Ève Tremblay

Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization: Janelle Jenstad

Award for Excellence in Creativity and Artistic Expression: Chase Joynt

Award for Excellence in Research Partnerships: Zuomin Dong, Bruce Paterson

Excellence in teaching awards

Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership: Rebecca Gagan

Gilian Sherwin Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching: Michael Reed

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision and Mentorship: Fraser Hof

Andy Farquharson Teaching Excellence Awards for Graduate Students: Claude Beaupré, Hannah Brown, Shervin Shameli Derakhshan  

Provost's Advocacy and Activism Awards in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Provost’s Advocacy and Activism Awards in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel, Marilou Gagnon

Excellence in research awards

David H. Turpin Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research

Dr. James Young
Professor | Department of Philosophy

Dr. James Young. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Service

Like a composer layering instruments, riffs and notes into a score, James Young grapples with fundamental philosophical issues while illuminating broad contemporary social and political concerns.

He is a world authority on philosophical issues in cultural appropriation, the philosophy of music and the view that fine arts contribute to knowledge.

Engaging with material and scholars from fine arts, anthropology, psychology, politics, literature and law, he deftly demonstrates how reflection on philosophical issues can advance both academic and public debate.

A true scholar, James follows arguments regardless of where they might lead, bounded not by popular opinion but by the harmonies of rigorous intellectual debate, curiosity and creativity.

Silver Medal for Excellence in Research

Dr. Marie-Ève Tremblay
Associate professor | Division of Medical Studies

Dr. Marie-Eve Tremblay. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Ève Tremblay has sparked a paradigm shift in what we know and how we look at microglia in the healthy brain. She has revealed that these immune cells are crucial for brain development, activity and plasticity, as well as learning, memory, behaviour and cognition.

She has also discovered the dark microglia, which we now know are linked to pathological changes in the brain across neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease conditions.

Ève is studying how these cells help the brain adapt to challenges like chronic stress, sleep disturbances, unhealthy diets and infection, forming an important link between environmental risk factors and genetic vulnerabilities throughout our lives.

Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization

Dr. Janelle Jenstad
Professor | Department of English

Janelle Jenstad. Hannah Brown. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Janelle Jenstad’s Map of Early Modern London is a pre-eminent example of creativity, vision, reach, commitment to knowledge mobilization and, thus, impact.

The map’s layers of linked documents and data let us think about Shakespeare’s London as a place of physical, social, emotional and economic connections, like our own cities.

No other project had done this before, and no other project does it as well. Two hundred thousand visitors from nearly 140 countries visit 7.7 million pages every year. Janelle has set the standard for rigorous scholarship and at the same time created a worldwide go-to site for students, teachers, researchers, genealogists, writers and historians.

Award for Excellence in Creativity and Artistic Expression

Dr. Chase Joynt
Assistant professor | Department of Gender Studies

Chase Joynt

Chase Joynt, one of the most outstanding artist-scholars working on issues of trans representation today, is redefining documentary and trans scholarship.

His films, including most recently Framing Agnes, seamlessly blend cinema and media, gender and feminist studies, trans studies and queer theory. They have been shown at venues and festivals around the world, including Cannes and Sundance.

His work is consistently received with acclaim. By addressing conflicting and contentious historical subjects with courage and creativity, Chase’s publications and films animate, inform and shape the contemporary moment in the academy and amongst the global public. 

Award for Excellence in Research Partnerships

Dr. Zuomin Dong
Professor | Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Zuomin Dong. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Bruce Paterson
Director Naval Architecture, Engineering | BC Ferries

Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services 

Zuomin Dong and Bruce Paterson are mixing it up for smoother sailing. To eliminate strict diesel dependence, Zuomin’s partnership with BC Ferries has identified hybrid technological pathways and—crucially—how best to harness them for the most powerful and reliable combinations of shore-supplied electricity, natural gas, hydrogen and battery electric storage.

Managing these hybrid systems is complex, relying on detailed knowledge of ship operations as well as computer algorithms to design and then control the propulsion system for peak efficiencies. Through this innovative partnership, Zuomin’s instrumentation and simulations have charted a course for BC Ferries in the pursuit of cleaner, greener operations.

Excellence in teaching awards

Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership

Rebecca Gagan
Professor | Department of English

Rebecca Gagan
Photo credit: Chorong Kim

Rebecca Gagan is an innovative and compassionate instructor, who approaches teaching as a labour of love. Students value how her teaching practices affect their holistic learning experience and resonate for years to come.

Rebecca adds an element of inclusivity and engagement to each of her classes—from presenting group projects in a circle to hosting evening movie screenings. Colleagues say that she “meets students where they are.”

Acknowledging that the pandemic learning environment was difficult for many students, Gagan designed UVic Bounce, a resource of videos, blogs, social media and podcasts to help students feel less alone in their challenges and to further de- stigmatize conversations about mental health and academic struggle.

Gilian Sherwin Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Michael Reed
Sessional lecturer | Medieval Studies Program

Dr. Michael Reed. Photo Credit: UVic photo services

Michael Reed is a distinguished scholar/teacher who contributes to multiple degree programs across faculties at UVic. He creates safe and engaging learning spaces, weaving interdisciplinarity into his teaching of philosophy, art, archaeology and literature.

An instructor at UVic since 2016, he began as a sessional lecturer who quickly built a strong reputation among students as a result of his engaging demeanor. His teaching is dialectical, emphasizing discussion and critical reflection.

He excelled in the digital learning environment, incorporating virtual site visits and discussion into online lectures, creating innovative and impactful learning experiences.

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision and Mentorship

Dr. Fraser Hof
Professor | Department of Chemistry

Fraser Hof. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Fraser Hof is an enthusiastic and empowering supervisor and graduate advisor. He has supervised 16 graduate students and served on almost 40 student committees and 10 external examiner committees, as well as serving as Canada Research Chair of Supramolecular and Medicinal Chemistry.

His students feel empowered and supported as owners of their own research, with friendly challenges to “prove him wrong” through experiment.

Encouraging students to learn by doing and to find the lessons hidden even in “failed” experiments has driven discoveries in areas ranging from cancer therapies to drug sensors.

His students have won Canadian and international awards and have gone on to careers that are personally and professionally satisfying. He supports his students not just as scientists but also as individuals and independent thinkers.

Andy Farquharson Teaching Excellence Awards for Graduate Students

Claude Beaupré
PhD student | Department of Political Science

Claude Beaupre

Claude Beaupré is committed to student-centred learning and is highly curious about different instructional strategies. She focuses her time designing tutorial exercises that link concepts to broader academic skills and offers high levels of feedback throughout the term.

Claude makes time for each student through a flexible office hour structure and extracurricular writing support, ensuring support beyond the classroom.

Hannah Brown
PhD student | Department of Anthropology

Hannah Brown. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Hannah Brown integrates the scholarship of teaching and learning into their work with students through continuous feedback mechanisms.

A graduate of the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education graduate certificate (LATHE), they helped to create an exam-marking rubric as well as integrate informal surveys throughout the course.

Students commented on Hannah’s ability to adapt the course to student feedback, exhibiting care while creating an accessible learning experience. 

Shervin Shameli Derakhshan 
PhD student | Department of Civil Engineering

Shervin Shameli Derakhshan. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Shervin Shameli Derakhshan is patient, approachable and encouraging in his interactions with students and colleagues.

He has a methodical style of instruction: breaking down concepts into smaller examples and then encouraging active experimentation.

He continues to increase his skillset as an instructor, and mentored other teaching assistants as a teaching assistant consultant for his department. He integrates research into his teachings and is not afraid to ask for help or adapt his teaching to student needs.

Provost’s Advocacy and Activism Awards in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel
Professor | Indigenous Studies Program

Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel is an internationally recognized Indigenous activist scholar whose research, teaching, supervision and community engagement are guided by the concept of working together for the benefit of all.

The heart of his work is grounded in Indigenous communities and experiences, reflecting his commitment to removing institutional barriers for students and ensuring that what happens at the university has meaning and impact far beyond the classroom.

He has mentored numerous Indigenous students in scholarly advocacy over the past two decades and facilitated their connections locally, nationally and internationally. He has actively supported the self-determination of Indigenous nations through both research and grassroots activism.

Dr. Marilou Gagnon
Professor | School of Nursing

Dr. Marilou Gagnon.Photo Credi: UVic Photo Service

Marilou Gagnon is known nationally and internationally for her advocacy and ability to bring nurses together to advocate on issues related to HIV, harm reduction, drug policy and health.

Her scholarship seeks to address gaps in knowledge that have the potential to inform public debate and policies, while also advancing the rights and the health of marginalized communities.

She has received several awards for her advocacy and activism in HIV and harm reduction nursing, including the Hero Nurse Award, Leadership in Political Action Award and Outstanding Advocate Award. She actively participates in debates in her fields, writes for media, engages policymakers and uses her voice to speak truth to power.


In this story

Keywords: award, teaching, research, arts, anthropology, languages and linguistics, psychology, chemistry, history, politics, community, administrative, student life

People: Rebecca Gagan, Marilou Gagnon, Michael Reed, Fraser Hof, James Young, Marie-Ève Tremblay, Janelle Jenstad, Chase Joynt, Zuomin Dong, Bruce Paterson, Claude Beaupré, Hannah Brown, Shervin Shameli Derakhshan, Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel, Marilou Gagnon, Kevin Hall, Lisa Kalynchuk, Helga Hallgrímsdóttir

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