CUFA BC Announces Recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Academics Awards

Created 29 February 2024 15:02

(For Immediate Release – Port Moody, BC, February 29, 2024) – The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Academics Awards:

  • Early in Career Award: Dr. Sean Irwin (Royal Roads University)
  • Ehor Boyanowsky Academic of the Year Award: Dr. Amy Parent, Noxs Ts’aawit (Simon Fraser University)
  • Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award: Dr. Francis Juanes (University of Victoria)

Every year since 1995, the CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards series has honoured faculty whose ideas contribute to the community beyond the academy and whose scholarship demonstrates the necessity and vitality of university-based research in the public interest. Research universities play a crucial role in the social, intellectual, and economic innovation of BC.

“Faculty engage in outstanding scholarship that contributes to new discoveries and creates new understandings of our experiences in the world,” says President Dr. Ken Christie. “The Distinguished Academics Awards give us the opportunity to recognize the valuable contributions of university research to our communities.”

Dr. Sean Irwin is the recipient of the Early in Career Award. Dr. Irwin is Associate Professor in the School of Business at Royal Roads University. He receives this award in recognition of his work on sustainable social and economic development in the Global South and working with communities to develop food systems in South America, and water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities in low-income countries in Africa. Dr. Irwin is principal investigator on a funded project on improving conditions of health care facilities in Malawi and he’s the co-principal investigator on the funded project “Fish for Life” in Bolivia.

Dr. Amy Parent, Noxs Ts’aawit is the recipient of the Ehor Boyanowsky Academic of the Year Award. Dr. Parent is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Indigenous Education & Governance in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She receives this award in recognition of her project “Raising Nisga’a Language, Sovereignty, and Land-Based Education Through Traditional Carving knowledge,” which successfully established an international precedent for the rematriation of the Ni’isjoohl memorial totem pole from Scotland. This project produced ground-breaking outcomes that are expanding the paradigm of Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous governance, decolonizing museum practices, enhancing partnerships for decolonization and reconciliation, and sharing research knowledge.

Dr. Francis Juanes is the recipient of the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award. Dr. Juanes is the Liber Ero Professor of Fisheries in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria. He receives this award in recognition of his life’s work conducting fundamental and innovative research in fisheries ecology. Dr. Juanes has transformed the way that scientists model fish population dynamics and he has pioneered research in soundscape ecology, establishing bioacoustics as a novel approach to ecosystem health. One of the primary contributions Dr. Juanes has made to the community is inspiring new generations of leaders and policymakers in the field of fisheries ecology.

Congratulations to the winners and all the nominees for these awards. The awards will be presented at a gala reception on May 1 at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC. For more information on the award winners and nominees, please visit www.cufa.bc.ca/awards.

For further information or comment please contact CUFA BC Executive Director Annabree Fairweather at 604-367-5856 or [email protected].


CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia.

CUFA BC celebrates over fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.