Two History professors honoured at Spring Convocation

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Two professors from the Department of History will be recognized for their achievements at the Convocation ceremony this morning, Wednesday 10 June. Warmest congratulations to Professors Mitchinson and Kroeker; the Department of History is privileged to have two such outstanding scholars and teachers as members.

Professor Wendy Mitchinson will be given the title Distinguished Professor EmeritaMitchinson has had a long and distinguished career at the University. Since her arrival in the history department in 1985, she has become one of the leading scholars in Canadian gender and medical history with nearly 40 articles and book chapters, and seven books, including Canadian Women: A History, the first and only textbook on the history of women in Canada. Her monographGiving Birth in Canada: 1900-1950 won the Jason A. Hannah Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. She closed out her career as Canada Research Chair in Gender and Medical History.

Beyond her extraordinary teaching and research, she has been an active citizen in both the University and the profession, sitting on important departmental and university committees and serving for three years as the English language editor of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.

Greta Kroeker will be presented with the Distinguished Teacher Award. An associate professor in the Department of History, Kroeker joined the University of Waterloo in 2007. Kroeker goes beyond the expected levels of an instructor by creating a “learning environment all its own,” as one alumnus describes it. She uses her own enthusiasm, humour, and deep understanding of the content to encourage students to work at what they are learning. As one graduate student shares, “Dr. Kroeker encouraged me to continue to pursue my studies in history, thereby greatly impacting and influencing my own learning”.  By acting as a mentor and a motivator, Kroeker allows students to “feel safe and secure in their learning environment”, and dedicates many hours to supporting them. Innovating courses that students with an outside perspective may view as content-heavy is another way Kroeker goes beyond the realms of teaching. By structuring tutorials and assigning group projects that encourage creativity, students are able to develop “‘out of the box’ thinking when presenting research information”, which is an aspect an alumnus appreciated. As her fellow colleague explains, “Dr. Kroeker personally builds a compelling case for higher education, linking practical skills with intellectual achievement”.

From the Daily Bulletin.