Awards event with hosts facing audience

Awards

The Faculty of Arts presents each year the Awards of Excellence to recognize outstanding students, professors, and graduates of the Faculty of Arts.

Professor of the Year Award

Adele Reinhartz

Adele Reinhartz

Adele Reinhartz is a professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies. Her main areas of research are the history and literature of ancient Judaism and Christianity, and Bible and film. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Befriending the Beloved Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John (2001), Scripture on the Silver Screen (Westminster John Knox, 2003), Jesus of Hollywood (Oxford, 2007), Caiaphas the High Priest (2011), and Bible and Cinema: An Introduction (second edition, Routledge, 2022).

Professor Reinhartz has been a member of the Institutes of Advanced Studies at Princeton and in Jerusalem, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School (1999), Yale Divinity School (2010), Boston College (2015-2017), and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (2022). She was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada in 2005 and into the Academy for Jewish Research in 2014.  She has served as general editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, the flagship journal of the Society of Biblical Literature, and was president of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2020. In 2021, she received the Konrad Adenauer Research Prize, awarded to one Canadian researcher annually by the Humboldt Foundation (Germany).

Distinguished Teaching Award 2022

This award is presented to a regular professor and a part-time professor in the Faculty of Arts who has excelled in teaching and has made a significant contribution to enriching their students’ university experience.

 

Elena Valenzuela

Elena Valenzuela

Elena Valenzuela is a specialist in linguistics and bilingual language acquisition. Her research studies the processes underlying the development of second and heritage languages. Her main focus is to understand the mental and cognitive processes that guide language learning by examining language acquisition in multilingual contexts. Recently, she has begun to explore creativity and gamification in language learning.

Since her arrival at the University of Ottawa in 2009, Professor Valenzuela has been co-director of the Language Acquisition Research Lab, where she trains and mentors students in research and project management. She is currently the director of the Spanish Graduate Program as well as director of the Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Social Innovation microprogram, which she helped create at the Faculty of Arts. Over the past six years, she has carved out an entrepreneurship niche at the Faculty of Arts. Together with a colleague in the Faculty of Social Sciences, she created a cross-faculty minor in social impact that will allow students across the University to gain expertise and experience in entrepreneurial activities that aim to create sustainable and socially oriented businesses. Professor Valenzuela has an excellent ability to connect and engage students through problem-based teaching methods, making the material relatable and helping students develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Izabel Barsive

Izabel Barsive

Izabel Barsive is an independent filmmaker and multimedia artist. Her company, Barsive Productions, is based in Ottawa and specializes in documentaries and dance videos.

 She has taught part time at the Department of Communication of the University of Ottawa since 2005 and at the UOF, as well as at various Francophone high schools and abroad. A trained occupational therapist, she hosts media arts workshops for individuals with special needs at the Digital Arts Resource Centre (formerly Saw Video), where she also regularly serves as a mentor, in addition to working with various local artists and Canadian Francophone artists.

 Her danse videos have received support from various arts councils in Canada and have been presented a many local, national, and international festivals. Her audiovisual and photographic works have also been showcased in art galleries and at various arts events.

 She is currently exploring the topic of the environment and the fragility of existence by way of experimental videos created on a smart phone and other media.

 Izabel Barsive has received several awards for her videography. She has also been invited to serve on several juries, including for the Ontario Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Ottawa Arts Council, the Gémeaux Awards and SAW Video (DARC).

Support Staff Award of Excellence 2022

Sophie Desjardins

Sophie Desjardins

Sophie Desjardins earned a BSc at the University of Ottawa in 2021 and is currently completing a BA.

Before joining the Faculty of Arts, Sophie supported the academic community while working as an information officer for Housing and Residence Life. In 2020, she joined the Department of Communications as an administrative officer and navigated the numerous challenges brought forward by the pandemic.

Since then, Sophie has continued to support the various academic and administrative needs of the Faculty of Arts as the senior administrative officer overseeing the administration of the Department of Communication, School of Information Studies, and Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies.

Chantal Forget

Chantal Forget

Chantal Forget, who had always dreamed of working at the University of Ottawa, started at Morisset Library in December 1991. After 10 years, she found herself a new position at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), which finally allowed her to interact directly with students. There she found not only a new team, but also a family, which explains why she still works at the OLBI some 20 years later.

These years have amply confirmed that she made the right choice. Many people have had a positive influence on her life, and she feels she has repaid them in kind. 

Excellence in Studies 2022

Languages and literature

Jessica Ehlers

Jessica Ehlers

This spring, Jessica Ehlers is graduating from the University of Ottawa with a major in French as a second language and a minor in history. During her studies, Jessica not only improved her French language skills but also explored issues related to Francophone populations, including linguistic insecurity. Jessica’s studies also allowed her to volunteer as a French-language news journalist for the community radio station, CHUO FM.

After working as an instructional designer and online tutor for Francophone and Anglophone students across Canada, Jessica has become more interested in how technology can be used to support learners of French as a second language. She hopes to continue to explore the application of technology for this purpose at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in September.

Alexandra Charland Froment

Alexandra Charland Froment

Alexandra has loved writing since she was a child. One of her short stories won a competition when she was in CEGEP and was subsequently published by Vents d’Ouest. During her time in CEGEP, she took up German and Spanish, which spurred her love of languages.

At university, she combined her two areas of interest by completing a double major in Lettres françaises and second-language teaching. Next year she will start a master’s degree in world literatures and cultures.

Fine and Performing Arts

Emily Hou

Emily Hou

Emily Hou is a 20-year-old piano student. On the Dean’s List, she is completing her BMus in piano performance with David Jalbert (Carson Becke, winter 2022). She is honoured and humbled to receive this year’s Award of Excellence in Performing Arts.

Emily started piano studies at age 5. Her notable achievements include first-place standing in the 2018 Crescendo International Music Competition at Carnegie Hall, NYC, and participation in their international summer exchange in Germany and Belgium. In 2021, Emily earned her Royal Conservatory of Music Licentiate Diploma. Her talents were also praised by Canadian composer Vincent Ho: the Juno nominee’s features Emily’s recording of “Reflections in the Water”.

Emily is vice-president of academic affairs on ADÉMSA and was recently elected president for 2022-2023. She also volunteers at local senior residences.  Emily intends to pursue graduate studies, participate in competitions, and continue to hone her skills to realize her dream of becoming a concert pianist and university professor.

 

Yupeng Chen

Yupeng Chen

Yupeng Chen is passionate about the social sciences and humanities; she specializes in integrating interdisciplinary approaches in her research. She is currently pursuing an honours bachelor’s degree in geography and her research interests focus on ethnic minorities and migration, environmental sustainability, tourism, and heritage conservation. Yupeng is also very interested in education and is always willing to share her knowledge and experiences.

Since 2020, Yupeng has been a member of the International Conference on Canadian, Chinese, and African Sustainable Urbanization (ICCCASU), a forum organized by UN-Habitat, where she supports various key projects. In early 2022, Yupeng  also began work as a research assistant in an FP/Earth project sponsored by the Population Institute (PI) that aims to explore the links between family planning and environmental sustainability. During her three years of university, Yupeng has been involved in the community, contributing some 230 hours of volunteer work, for which she received uoGlobal certification and various scholarships.

As an international student, Yupeng particularly appreciates the natural beauty and cultural diversity  of Canada. The University of Ottawa has not only honed her academic skills, but also broadened her international perspectives, allowing her to truly become a citizen of the world. This summer, Yupeng will participate in an international exchange to the United Kingdom before embarking on graduate studies.

Olivia Adams

Olivia Adams

Olivia is a pianist, researcher, and music teacher. She holds an MA in music and feminist studies from the University of Ottawa and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Western University.

She received a SSHRC grant for her MA research in 2020. Olivia works as a piano teacher and also lectures at universities and educational organizations in Canada and the US. She is a leading researcher on gender and music in Canadian music conservatories and in October 2021, she released her first book, Loud and Clear: A Guide to Levelled Piano Music by Women Composers, which focused on the music of female BIPOC composers. Olivia has written for Canadian Music Teacher Magazine, Opus, and the book Hands-On Piano. She is passionate about championing equity in the music studio, writing curriculum, and increasing inclusionary practices in music. Olivia will begin a PhD in music and education at the University of Ottawa this fall.

Katharina Hermann

Katharina Hermann

Katharina is graduating with a Bachelor of Music (piano). Her previous studies in Germany include two years of harpsichord performance at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne and medical training at the University of Cologne and Charité, Berlin, where she obtained her medical degree in 2012. She completed her dissertation in medicine at University of Cologne. After her studies, Katharina started training in pathology in Berlin before moving to Canada.
At the University of Ottawa, she was able to not only further her knowledge of music, but also combine her dual professional background in a research project on the transferability of pedagogical approaches from music to medical education.
After graduation, Katharina hopes to continue working and collaborating as a pianist, while also combining her knowledge of music and medicine professionally.

Anne Hamels

Anne Hamels

Anne Hamels is completing an honours degree in theatre as a member of the first cohort of the acting conservatory program at University of Ottawa. She acts, directs, writes, and performs. For Anne, theatre is a playground in which we seek to understand the world.  

She is a member of Les Frivoles, a collective of playwrights who are Department of Theatre students at the University of Ottawa . In 2021, her staging of The Coven won the Best of Fest Award and the Public Choice Award at the Youth Infringement Festival. Anne recently participated in Zones Théâtrales, in a living installation called La petite maison [the little house], as well as in several academic productions, the latest of which was Ceux qui se sont évaporés by Rébecca Désraspe.  

She is very committed to social justice and wants to help democratize art by creating a performance space where everyone is welcome. 

Humanities

Jennifer Constant

Jennifer Constant

Jennifer is completing a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications with special emphasis on professional writing. Her main research interest has been to understand how workers build a sense a belonging to their organization, not unlike the one Jennifer feels towards the University of Ottawa. During her undergraduate studies, Jennifer immersed herself in the student community, gaining a deep passion for student governance, student issues, and institutional communications, and learning how all of these can influence a student’s sense of self.

Jennifer graduates as the president of the Communications Student Association, where she has had the honour of representing one of the most dynamic student bodies on campus.

Her next adventure takes her to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to start a career in strategic human resources and people management, a placement she secured thanks to her two-and-a-half-year FSWEP term.

Carlos Rivas Plata

Carlos Rivas Plata

Carlos is graduating with a joint honours bachelor’s degree in communication and sociology. Originally from Lima, Peru, he grew up with a strong flair for Latin dance and music, along with a passion for travelling and discovering new ways of experiencing life.

  During his studies, he was president of the University of Ottawa Salsa Club during the 2019-2020 academic year, through which he was able to give people from all over the world a taste of Latin American culture, where meaning is largely constructed through music and dance. Indeed, he finds cultural expression to be the doorway to the humanist dimension of life, guided by the comprehension of social actions above all, as advanced by numerous sociological theories.

Since 2020, he has produced and choreographed dance video creations, mainly framed as rhythmic interventions in public spaces that bridge the modern and the traditional, the global and the local, inviting us to feel and rethink our postmodern lives via the performing arts. His intention for the future is to embark on new, exciting, intercultural projects in the field of the arts, culture, and communications. 

Charlotte Perrault

Charlotte Perrault

Charlotte is completing an honours bachelor’s degree in communications focusing on strategic communication and digital design. Hailing from British Columbia, she enrolled in the University of Ottawa to study French in a place where Canada’s two official languages coexist.

During the second, third, and fourth years of her program, she participated in the Jeux franco-canadiens de la communication, an interuniversity competition that allowed her to explore various disciplines related to her field of study. This experience awakened a genuine love of advertising; her team won the silver medal in the advertising pitch event in 2022.

In addition, Charlotte served as the director of Francophone affairs in the Communications Student’s Association over the past year. She currently works as a copywriter for an ad agency and aims to earn a graduate degree in management, focusing on marketing, media, and branding.

Maya Helal

Maya Helal

Maya will be completing her bachelor’s this summer, with a major in communications and a minor in French. She enjoys the interpersonal aspect of communication, which has helped her both professionally and personally.

Maya has complimented her education with various professional experiences in the government, second language teaching and sales. She also enjoys volunteering and giving back to her community.

When she graduates, Maya plans to take some time off to travel and explore different cultures before pursuing a career as an educator. She intends to continue her studies at uOttawa, in the Faculty of Education.

Alexi Thibault Jutra

Alexi Thibault Jutra

Alexi is completing a bachelor’s degree in history, with a CO-OP option that has allowed him to delve deep into Canada’s military history. More broadly, his work experience during his time at university has made him want to pursue archival science, library studies, and information management. He looks forward to soon starting a master’s degree in information science at the University of Ottawa.

During his studies, Alexi also became a member of the Youth Advisory Council of Library and Archives Canada. His love of archives led him to become involved in the National Network of Archives and Libraries in Official Language Minority Communities and in the Archives à voix haute des deux rives de l’Outaouais, a group dedicated to preserving the archival history of communities on both sides of the Ottawa river.

He has always lived in Gatineau, and as a nature fan who loves fresh air, he enjoys spending time in Gatineau Park, where he recently took up birding.

 

Zoé Plouffe

Zoé Plouffe

Zoé completed a dual major in art history and history. Her goal: to have a career conserving and restoring art and cultural property. The extensive background she gained during her experience-laden journey at uOttawa confirmed her interest in material culture and multidisciplinary research. In 2019, Zoé contributed to a research project in medieval studies as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). In summer 2021, she took part in archeological digs in the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, in collaboration with the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. She’s undoubtedly one of the rare Department of Visual Arts students to have aced many chemistry courses, which are prerequisites for graduate studies in art conservation. A singer-songwriter on the side, Zoé has worked with organizations dedicated to heritage and culture in the Outaouais, which introduced her to art education, archives science and museology. This fall, she will start a certificate program in visual arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal. After spending four years studying the arts from a critical perspective, she’s excited to put the theory she’s learned into practice.

Past laureates