Brock professor receives prestigious academic honour


Canada's top academic body has elected Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies Jennifer Rowsell to its inaugural College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Canada’s top academic body has elected Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies Jennifer Rowsell to its inaugural College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Rowsell will now be able to share her research – and connect with others doing similar work – on a national scale as one of the newest members of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

The RSC announced the College’s inaugural cohort of 91 members – including Rowsell – Sept. 16.

“This is an important moment in the history of the Royal Society of Canada,” said RSC President Graham Bell. “The College is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of leaders.”

Bell added, “Together, the members of the College will be in a position to provide guidance on issues of importance to Canadians, and to promote Canadian achievements in the arts, humanities and sciences around the world.”

Rowsell’s research focuses on what children know, how they know it and how they express this knowledge through new technologies in and out of the classroom.

In addition to being a Canada Research Chair, Rowsell is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and director of Brock’s Centre for Research in Multiliteracies and the Brock Reading Clinic. She conducts her research – focused largely on “21st Century ways of thinking and composing” – in classrooms and across age groups.

Roswell’s research ranges from the use of iPads and videogames as teaching tools in the classroom to incorporating the arts into literacy training and curricula.

“My research argues that current and future definitions, frameworks and theories of literacy have to change if we are to equip students with the skills and competencies that they need for work and life,” she notes.

Rowsell says she looks forward to meeting colleagues conducting similar research and establishing community, provincial and national connections.

“This recognition flags the importance of reimagining literacy in a digital and media age,” says Rowsell. “Canada can leverage itself as a trail blazer with frameworks and curricula more in line with modern forms of composition.”

“We’re excited and honoured to be represented in the first cohort of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists,” says Brock University President and Vice Chancellor Jack Lightstone.

“Jennifer Rowsell personifies Brock University’s success in being an agile, creative community partner, forging new paths, and responding to the needs of those around us.”

When it was calling for nominations for the inaugural cohort late last year, the RSC explained that the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists has three goals:

• to provide “a forum for highly talented individuals to collaborate across disciplines and thereby to create new synergies in Canadian intellectual life”
• to “capture and celebrate the rapidly evolving intellectual landscape of Canada, which now embraces a diversity of disciplines, languages, cultures and ethnicities unimagined when the Royal Society of Canada was founded”
• to “recognize and promote emerging Canadian scholars, artists and scientists at national and international levels”

The Royal Society of Canada: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada was established in 1882 as the senior Canadian collegium of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists. The primary objective of the society is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the natural and social sciences.

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