Message from the Dean

Marcel Mérette

In 2012, when, for the first time in its history, the Faculty of Social Sciences was gathered under one roof in Vanier Hall and the FSS building, we articulated a dream that was partially inspired by the architecture of these two buildings: to become a genuine laboratory for ideas. Five years later, here we are, living the dream every day. So let’s look back and take stock of some of our achievements.

More than ever, whether in our schools, departments, institutes, research centres or labs, our Faculty fosters an interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching that rises to meet the complex challenges of our time.

Even as undergraduates, our students benefit from the Faculty’s longstanding tradition of promoting and conducting research at the earliest stages of university training. Our professors work hard to bring their subject matter to life, both in class and in the field.

Once again, over the past year, our professors and researchers have raised the bar by obtaining their share of research grants and by publishing scientific articles in prestigious publications, all while supervising many graduate students.

Our latest vice-dean, who is in charge of internationalization and governance, has boosted the Faculty’s international profile, in terms of both recruitment and research. This is quite timely, given that international opportunities for experiential learning are very popular with students.

As for our faculty members, not only are they innovative, they also distinguish themselves by their engagement. Our professors generously gave of their time to participate in flagship events, such as the Ontario Universities Fair, the fall and spring Open Houses, and the FSS Welcome Week activities. I am deeply grateful for their efforts; they are redefining what it means to learn and collaborate in an ever-changing social and technological environment.

The same is true for our students, many of whom proudly serve as volunteers, both locally and abroad, and choose to enrich their student experience by applying their newly acquired knowledge to serve others.

One of the highlights of the past year occurred in April 2017, when the University hosted the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai. Both were awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of their dedication to the cause of education and gender equality, a cause that the Faculty and its members hold dear.

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