Faculty awards recognize research looking forward, back

A trio of researchers in Brock’s Faculty of Social Sciences is being recognized for their work to advance their respective fields.

Assistant Professors of Child and Youth Studies Naomi Andrews and Chelsea Jones are joint recipients of the 2021 Faculty of Social Sciences Early Career Researcher Award, while Professor Robert Dimand in the Department of Economics has been named the Faculty’s 2021 Distinguished Researcher.

Jones, who describes her work as deeply engaged in disabled, deaf, mad and crip-informed arts-based research methods, recently worked with Re·Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph and the British Council Canada to publish “Relaxed Performance: Exploring University-based Training Across Fashion, Theatre, and Choir,” soon to be turned into an online training module.

“We came out of this research with new ideas for how to make university pedagogy more accessible — or, to borrow the community term, to ‘relax’ pedagogy by changing classroom norms to reflect the anticipation of and desire for difference,” she says. “It’s a way of challenging pedagogical best practices to engage with embodied difference and to respond to audiences historically excluded by universities — that is, disabled, deaf, Black, brown and Indigenous folks, among others.”

Jones says she was surprised and delighted to receive the award.

“All of my research is community-based, and we work really hard to make sure that it is accessible and that we never settle for just inclusion. The focus has to be on vibrant and critical ways of learning from and alongside difference,” she says. “An award like this signals that the University understands the importance of collaborative access as a research ethic, and as something that’s only possible with and by disabled people.”

Jones and Andrews both emphasize that it is a privilege to work with wonderful colleagues and students.

“Research is always a collaborative process for me, and I’m so fortunate to work with wonderful teams of people,” says Andrews, who recently formed an interdisciplinary research group with Tony Volk and Ann Farrell in Child and Youth Studies and Psychology’s Drew Dane called BRAVE: Brock Research on Aggression and Victimization Experiences.

In her current research, Andrews explores how young people experience and conceptualize teasing and the impact it can have on social, academic and psychological functioning. Also, in partnership with Toronto not-for-profit Mothercraft, she’s examining programs serving vulnerable families and a new intervention for women experiencing partner violence.

Andrews, whose goal is for her research to have meaningful implications for decreasing children and youth’s involvement in problem behaviours and promoting healthy relationships, says she was honoured to receive the award.

“I’m still a relatively new faculty member, so I’ve been working hard for the past few years to grow my lab here at Brock,” she says. “I’m grateful to be recognized for my research, but also incredibly grateful to the many other researchers and collaborators whom I’ve been fortunate to work with.”

Dimand expressed delight at being recognized for his research, which was previously recognized at Brock with the Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence in 2002 and the Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award in 2016.

Like Jones and Andrews, Dimand — whose teaching, mentorship and support of students with disabilities have also been recognized with Brock awards —acknowledges his community of scholars.

“I am grateful for the University’s support since I joined Brock in 1987, for the opportunity to work with co-authors at Brock and elsewhere, and for the stimulus of both teaching students and learning from and with them,” he says.

Dimand’s most recent books include The Routledge Handbook of the History of Women’s Economic Thought, co-edited with Kirsten Madden, The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes, co-edited with Harald Hagemann and Irving Fisher for Palgrave Macmillan’s Great Thinkers in Economics series.

He is currently writing a history of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale University, his alma mater, where he was been both a Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow.

“Many Cowles Foundation researchers have won Nobel Prizes, including William Nordhaus and James Tobin,” says Dimand. “Tobin, who won in 1981, was my dissertation adviser long ago and I wrote a book about him in 2014. I also took a graduate course in macroeconomics from Nordhaus, who won in 2018 for his work on environmental economics and global climate change, so the project is quite meaningful to me.”

Dean Ingrid Makus was thrilled to celebrate the exceptional researchers and recognize their accomplishments.

“The contributions of Drs. Dimand, Andrews and Jones not only have enormous impact in their respective fields but also help distinguish our Faculty and Brock University as a hub of exciting and impactful scholarship,” says Makus. “I offer my hearty congratulations.”

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