UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 2 | Jan.
CanLit, zoology expert earn UBC's top honour
Duo named University Killam Professors
by Michelle Cook staff writer
An English Professor who helped to develop Canadian and Commonwealth
literatures into recognized fields of academic study and a zoologist
who studies how animals survive extreme environmental conditions
have been named this year's University Killam Professors, the highest
honour bestowed by UBC on its faculty.
The designation recognizes the university's most exceptional faculty
members who have distinguished themselves in teaching, scholarly
activity and service.
English Prof. William New is an internationally recognized expert
on Canadian and Commonwealth literary traditions whose interest
in these fields of study began as an undergraduate student in Education
at UBC. He was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in
1986 and winner of the B.C. Faculty Association's Career Achievement
Award in 2001.
"It has been an exciting field to be involved in," says New, who
joined the English Dept. in 1965. "It has led to contact with people
worldwide, as well to significant changes in how these large bodies
of work are viewed. It's important to have recovered that sense
of respect for ourselves that comes with developing respect for
New's research interests include exploring representations of space
and place in Canadian writing and examining the variety of "englishes"
used in different cultures and their relation to literary studies.
In addition to writing six books of poetry, New has published 10
scholarly books, more than 100 articles, and edited 28 reference
works and anthologies including an encyclopedia of literature in
Canada, scheduled for release this April.
Zoology Prof. Peter Hochachka is considered one of Canada's most
distinguished biology scholars.
Since joining UBC in 1966, Hochachka's research has focused on
how animals survive extreme environmental conditions such as high
altitudes in an effort to understand what happens to the human body
when it is deprived of normal levels of oxygen.
His discoveries have attracted worldwide attention.
Named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and a fellow of
the Royal Society in 1983, Hochachka's numerous other awards and
honours include the Canada Council Killam Memorial Prize in Science
and the Natural Sciences and Engineering gold medal.
As a teacher and researcher, Hochachka views his greatest achievement
as the training of graduate students.
"I have received no greater reward than the metamorphosis of a
keen, young graduate student into an equally keen, well-honed quality
scientist, often out-competing me for research funding or opportunities,"
"There is also no greater positive reinforcement for one's research
than moments of discovery and insight and when this is shared with
a graduate student, it's all the more rewarding."
University Killam Professors continue to teach in their disciplines
with reduced duties, are administratively responsible to the president
and meet as a group with the president at least annually to discuss
plans for advancing the goals of the university.
They are also expected to contribute to the overall intellectual
life of the university and to serve as academic ambassadors.
Previously earning the distinction were Dr. Patricia Baird, Roy
Daniells, Kalevi Holsti, Peter Larkin, Charles McDowell, Michael
Shaw, and Michael Smith.