The English Language Centre (ELC) is the winner of the Canadian Language Council’s (CLC) Lynn Howes Award for its Home Placement program. The annual award is presented for commitment and/or innovation in the delivery of quality programs and services. The Home Placement program, operated by the Division of Continuing Studies, provides English language students with the opportunity to live with local host families and learn more about Canadian culture while they study at UVic. It is administered by coordinators Sandra Partridge, Atarah Humphreys and Marc Bavin, with the support of secretary Angie Howlett. The program places between 1,000 to 1,500 students each year.

A new UVic law course that examines the gap between how animals and humans are treated by the legal system, created and taught by UVic law professor Maneesha Deckha, has been awarded the distinguished Animals and Society New Course Award from the Center for Respect of Life and Environment, an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States. “Animals, Culture and the Law,” explores whether animals should have legal rights, whether the law should recognize some other interests for animals and whether some animals are more equal than others. The Humane Society described the course as “notably the product of a highly creative scholar” and says the course approach and content “distinguish it from many other courses focusing on animals and the law.”

Dr. Hendrik Hoekstra (physics and astronomy) was recently honoured for his research on dark matter and dark energy and how they are distributed throughout the universe. Hoekstra was selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, an award designed to enhance the careers of the very best young North American faculty members in specified fields of science. Only 10 fellowships were awarded to Canadians in 2007. Hoekstra plays leading roles in a number of large international projects. One of these is the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope Legacy Survey, the largest survey of its kind, which will provide major advances in the amount and quality of information available on little-understood dark energy.

Linda Nicoll was recently recognized by ASAP (Association of Student Advancement Programs) as Outstanding Alumni Advisor in District 8. A large part of Nicoll’s job as manager of alumni programs involves building relationships with UVic students and overseeing alumni-supported student outreach programs. The award was presented Feb. 24 at the ASAP Districts 7 and 8 Conference in Boise, Idaho. At the conference, participating student groups also delivered a presentation on their best practices. The UVic Student Ambassador Association placed second for a presentation on its major fundraiser, diploma frames and flower sales at UVic convocation ceremonies.

Dr. Dean Karlen (physics and astronomy) has become the fourth UVic scientist named one of the world’s most “highly cited researchers” by Thomson ISI. The designation means Karlen’s research on particle physics has been extensively cited by other scientists in their publications. Citation is an important way to measure a researcher’s influence through time. Karlen is R.M. Pearce Chair of Physics at UVic and TRIUMF (the national subatomic physics lab in Vancouver). One of his major projects includes leading Canada’s participation in the next generation of physics experiments, the “International Linear Collider,” which smashes electrons, creating exotic new particles from pure energy. The university’s other three “highly cited researchers” are UVic president and plant physiologist/biochemist Dr. David Turpin, Dr. Don Vandenberg and Dr. Julio Navarro (both physics and astronomy).

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