Prof’s own prize rewards excellence in course on humane animal studies

Three Brock University students are the inaugural winners of a new academic award created by a professor who is using her own book royalties to help fund the prize.

Kata Boric, Cydney Cronk and Rebecca Hadfield have been awarded the Promise Prize for Top Achievement in the Study of Animals at Work after achieving the highest grades in the course ‘Animals at Work’, which challenges students to think deeply and differently about people, animals and the future of work.

The course, believed to be the only one of its kind, is taught by Labour Studies associate professor Kendra Coulter, whose research into the treatment of animals at farms and other workplaces has made headlines across Canada and internationally.

Last year Coulter published her latest book, Animals, Work, and the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity, and used its royalties to help establish the prize. She says her course leads students to explore professions that advocate for the promotion of humane jobs to protect animals and the environment, and she created the award “to recognize particularly strong students’ accomplishments and to encourage scholarship in this important but nascent field of study.”

Boric said the course leads students to understand political, sociological and economic theory in new and different ways.

Cydney Cronk

Cydney Cronk

“Professor Coulter helps students realize the intersectional oppressions experienced by all workers, human and non-human,” said Boric, “and how our actions, or lack thereof, have repercussions on the environment and all living things.”

Boric graduated earlier this month with a double major in Political Science and Labour Studies (Honours). As part of Brock’s collaborative program, she will attend George Brown College in September for post-graduate certification in Human Resource Management and Labour Studies.

Cronk graduated this spring with a BA (Honours) in Sociology and will return to Brock in September to start a Master’s in Critical Sociology.

Hadfield will be returning to Brock in September to continue working on a BA in Philosophy.

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