Excellence Awards 2019-2020

The Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding research, teaching and community outreach in the Faculty of Social Sciences. This year, 2020, marks the 22nd awards celebration for the social sciences. Please join us in congratulating the 2019-2020 Excellence Award recipients.

Guoguang Wu

Research Excellence Award: Guoguang Wu, political science

A professor in the Department of Political Science, and concurrently a professor in Department of History and China Research Chair at the Centre for Asian Pacific Initiatives, Guoguang Wu is one of the top scholars of Chinese politics in the world. Moreover, he has a remarkably wide breadth of expertise: it is difficult to find an aspect of Chinese domestic or foreign policy that he has not analyzed. With a career defined by illuminating and critiquing the inner working of the Chinese political system, Guoguang truly deserves commendation for his outstanding research contributions.

Felix Pretis

Early Career Research Award: Felix Pretis, economics

Despite only having joined the Department of Economics in 2018, Felix Pretis has already established himself as a leader in research examining economics and climate change. His cutting-edge work spans the divide between understanding the economic impacts and drivers of climate change on the one hand, and how feedback between economic activity and climate take place on the other. Felix’s accomplishments at this early stage of his career strongly suggest a very bright future and make him most deserving of this award.


Teaching Excellence Award: Simon Glezos, political science

Since his appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, Simon has consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching and a passionate commitment to furthering the university's goals regarding diversity and inclusivity in the classroom. Simon’s work has not only furthered the goals of diversity and inclusivity at UVic, but has set the standard in Canada for indigenizing and decolonizing the teaching of political theory. His students note that he is genuinely interested in student perspectives and their success, provides extensive feedback to students and is highly effective in stimulating student participation and discussion. Simon’s devotion to teaching and student supervision is truly exceptional, and he is most deserving of the 2020 Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.

Darcy Mathews

Early Career Teaching Excellence Award: Darcy Mathews, environmental studies

Darcy Mathews is an assistant professor in the School of Environmental Studies. Since joining the school in 2016, Darcy has established himself as one of the strongest teachers in a unit that prides itself on excellent teaching. Darcy successfully integrates research and active learning opportunities into his teaching. His ethnoecological approach to research includes sharing his rich relationships with local First Nations with his classes. This includes inviting elders and knowledge keepers to lecture in his classes as well as offering his fourth year field methods class as a partnership with the Songhees nation.  Darcy is a model teacher who has already made crucial contributions to the success of the school’s teaching programs. He is most deserving of the 2020 Early Career Teaching Excellent Award.

Brian Thom

Outstanding Community Outreach Award: Brian Thom, anthropology

As an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Brian Thom specializes in issues of Indigenous territory, knowledge, and governance, community engagement. Internationally recognized for his ethnographic mapping expertise, Thom is also known for research that is deeply engaged in community-driven efforts by Indigenous people to resolve title and rights claims and to support self-determination. Thom exemplifies true and meaningful community-engaged scholarship and is most deserving of the 2020 Outstanding Community Outreach Award.

Lansdowne scholars 2020-2023

In addition, please welcome the new Lansdowne scholars for the 2020-2023 term.

Ann Stahl

The Distinguished Lansdowne Fellow Award: Ann Stahl, anthropology

Ann has made unique and profound contributions to the field of African archaeology. As an anthropologist and archaeologist, she has worked for decades collaboratively with students and community to learn about the daily life in West Africa and how it has been shaped by global connections. The Distinguished Lansdowne Fellow Award was established for researchers in the Faculty of Social Sciences in recognition of outstanding contributions to scholarship in any field of Social Sciences and who are recognized as world leaders in their fields.
Min Zhou

The Early Career Lansdowne Scholar Award: Min Zhou, sociology

Min is scholar who studies forms of global social change. His numerous publications build upon one another to form a research program that addresses key challenges in today’s global society. Min will explore emerging trends and new challenges, such as his new project on China’s massive internal migration. The Early Career Lansdowne Scholar Award was established for early career researchers and is meant to accelerate the careers of exceptional emerging researchers, who are acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to be international leaders in their field.