Western researchers Jacquelyn Burkell and Kevin Shoemaker have been re-appointed as Acting Associate Vice-Presidents (Research) for another year, effective July 1. The appointments were approved by the Senior Policy and Operations Committee of Western’s Board of Governors.
“Kevin and Jacquie have done a terrific job in being part of the Western Research office and we’re delighted that they have agreed to stay on in an acting role,” said Sarah Prichard, Acting Vice-President (Research).
Prichard said the two will continue to be a tremendous resource to faculty, as well as a key support to Lesley Rigg, who begins her role as Vice-President (Research) on Aug. 1.
“The continuity they bring will be important to the university’s research community,” Prichard said.
In the fall, a committee will be launched to select Associate Vice-Presidents (Research) beyond the acting roles.
Burkell, an Information and Media Studies professor, has led significant outreach over the last year in helping faculty members in social sciences and humanities conduct research. She has reviewed and helped amplify several Western research centres.
As COVID-19 emerged as a pandemic, Burkell spearheaded the Western Undergraduate Summer Research Internship program to create experiential-learning opportunities and summer employment for undergraduates.
Shoemaker, a Kinesiology professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Integrative Physiology of Exercise and Health, has taken on reviews of Western’s research institutes. He also led the launch and implementation of the Research Western Catalyst Grant: Surviving Pandemics program, a $1-million university investment in faculty conducting interdisciplinary research to examine various facets of COVID-19 research.
Burkell and Shoemaker have helped faculty, students and staff work together to integrate research into every facet of scholarship and have cultivated many ways Western can excel at research and support researchers, Prichard said.
“More than anything, I would say they have both been a key part of outreach and support from the Vice-President (Research) through to the university community,” Prichard said.