Distinguished Researchers

Word art embedded in a globe

More than 650 professors across 21 Departments & Schools in LA&PS are recognized by their peers in Canada and around the world for their transformative research and progressive scholarship. They are leading experts in their fields, advancing knowledge and engaging our students, as well as the wider community on issues of social, political, economic and cultural significance.

Awards and Recognitions

Our faculty members' exemplary research is recognized through a variety of prestigious awards and recognitions:

LA&PS Research Awards

LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research

The LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research, Creativity or Scholarship were launched in 2014 to recognize the exemplary work of our faculty members, the impact of their work on academic and social communities, and their commitment to engaging students.

2019 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research:


Nirupama Agrawal

Nirupama Agrawal

Chris Chapman, School of Social Work
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor Chapman's work expands the field of disability research by shedding light on important social issues and assessing the interlocking oppression that exists between them. With several journal articles, a co-authored book, and a co-authored play, Chapman tackles these topics head-on.

Niruapama Agrawal, School of Administrative Studies
Established Researcher Category
Professor Agrawal is a founding member of the Disaster & Emergency Management program, and an accomplished researcher in her field, with two books, several articles across 18 peer-reviewed journals, and many other pieces co-published with graduate students.

Shobna Nijhawan, Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics
Established Researcher Category
Professor Nijhawan is lauded for her work on South Asian literatures and languages, as well as gender, feminist, and women's studies - offering quality, quantity, scope, and breadth. Her writing credits included two monographs and several book chapters.

Carmela Murdocca, Department of Sociology
Distinction in Social Justice Research
Professor Murdocca's research focuses on the sociology of law, race and gender to shed light on various injustices. Her in-depth analysis of criminalization, racial violence, and social exclusion experienced by racialized and Indigenous people in Canada is thought-provoking and informative.

Read the full story on the 2019 LA&PS awards.

2018 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research:

Photo of Jennifer B. Korosi

Jennifer Korosi

Jennifer Korosi, Department of Geography
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor Korosi is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of limnology, paleo-limnology, and bio-geochemistry. She is also an expert in ecosystem change, including pollutant tracking and aquatic environments.

Miriam Smith, Department of Social Science
Established Researcher Category
Professor Smith is known for her expertise in comparative politics and political science. She has also had a significant influence on the theoretical approach associated with historical institutionalism, LGBTQ+ political mobilization in
Canada and the US, and the study of civil society and social movements.

Read the full story on the 2018 LA&PS awards.

2017 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research:

Research Award Winners

Joan Judge, Luin Goldring, and Alice MacLachlan

Sylwia Chrostowska, Department of Humanities
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor Chrostowska is widely recognized by her peers for successfully straddling the divide between academic writing and literature.

Alice MacLachlan, Department of Philosophy
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor MacLachlan was is described by her peers as a brilliant research leader. She is also well known as a thought leader in ethics, feminist philosophy and the role of apology in establishing trust.

Joan Judge, Department of History
Established Researcher Category
One of the most respected scholars of modern Chinese history and culture, Professor Judge has influenced an entire generation of historians.

Research Award Winners

Hassan Qudrat-Ullah

Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, School of Administrative Studies
Established Researcher Category
A highly prolific researcher in the field of decision sciences and system dynamics approach, Professor Hassan Qudrat-Ullah is skilled at mobilizing resources to establish his own innovative research niche.

Luin Goldring, Department of Sociology
Social Justice Research Category
Professor Goldring is the winner of the biennial LA&PS Award in Social Justice Research. Known for her ground-breaking work on the experiences of migrant workers in Canada, she exemplifies the spirit of social justice.

Read the full story on the 2017 LA&PS awards.

2016 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research:


Jonathan Edmondson

Jonathan Edmondson, Department of History Chair, received the LA&PS Award for Distinction in Research, Creativity or Scholarship in the Established Researcher category. He is world-renowned as an expert on the Roman Empire, Roman inscriptions and Roman social history. His body of work, as well as his strong commitment to sharing his research, has shed light on the Roman world for scholars, students and the public.

“I’m excited about my research on the Roman Empire, especially Roman Spain, because it’s given me access to a range of new monuments with inscriptions, previously unpublished, that have the potential to throw new light on the impact of Rome on Indigenous societies,” said Edmondson. “Although people have been studying the Roman Empire for centuries, we can always pose new questions about, and gain fresh insights into, the Roman world.”

Boyd Cothran

Boyd Cochran

Boyd Cothran, a history professor, was honoured in the Emerging Researcher category. He will be presented with his award in the Winter 2017 semester. Since earning his PhD four years ago, he has achieved an outstanding record of scholarly research in the growing field of Indigenous history. His work, shared in both academic and public venues, is reframing the U.S. narrative and places Indigenous history at its centre.

“What excites me the most about the growing field of Indigenous history is how we are rewriting the history of North America by reclaiming the central role Indigenous peoples have played in the development of our shared society,” said Cothran. “For too long, historians wrote histories of North America that ignored Indigenous people, denying them a history and by extension a future. Indigenous history is an exciting field because every day it seems like there are new stories being discovered and new perspectives on old subjects being shared.”

Read full story on the 2016 awards.

2015 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research:

Research Award WinnersSean Kheraj, Department of History
Emerging Researcher Category
Dr. Sean Kheraj is being recognized in the Emerging Researcher category for his inspiring scholarship and his academic and public reach. Since defending his dissertation in 2008, he has been exceptionally productive, innovative and dynamic as a Canadian environmental historian. Read More

Jimmy Huang, School of Information Technology
Established Researcher Category
Dr. Jimmy Huang, Director of the School of Information Technology, is known for his expertise and creativity in the quickly changing fields of information retrieval and big data analytics with complex structures. Since 2003 Professor Huang has had a remarkable publication record of over 170 papers in the most respected journals and top-tier conferences in information technology. Read More

Lesley Jacobs, Department of Political Science, Department of Social Science
Established Researcher Category
Dr. Lesley Jacobs is recognized nationally and internationally for his interdisciplinary research in the fields of law, socio-legal studies, social science and political science. His areas of expertise include international trade, human rights, race relations, and law and political theory. Read More

Eric Mykhalovskiy, Department of Sociology
Distinction in Social Justice Research
This is the first year that we are presenting the Award for Social Justice Research in LA&PS. This new award acknowledges an academic career that exceeds expectations, while making substantial contributions that advance social justice in any form. Dr. Eric Mykhalovskiy is the winner of the inaugural Social Justice Research Award for his research in the sociology of health and healthcare. Read More

2014 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 LA&PS Awards for Distinction in Research:

Professor Linda Peake

Linda Peake, Department of Social Science
Established Researcher Category

Our first winner in the Established Researcher category is Linda Peake, professor in the department of social science and director of York University’s City Institute.

Peake describes herself as a critical human geographer, exploring the feminist geographies of gender, race and sexuality, particularly as they relate to the global south. Over the past 30 years she and her graduate students have worked extensively with grassroots organizations in Guyana, conducting research aimed at improving the lives of local women.

Professor Lesley WoodLesley Wood, Department of Sociology
Emerging Researcher Category

Wood’s research marries theory with social activism, examining the complex dynamics of social movements through a variety of lenses.  Wood’s research has included surveying G20 protesters in the thick of a demonstration, interviewing activists about their organizational and strategic choices, studying the impact of policing on protest and examining the characteristics of the U.S. anti-war movement.

Wood’s research marries theory with social activism, examining the complex dynamics of social movements through a variety of lenses.  Wood’s research has included surveying G20 protesters in the thick of a demonstration, interviewing activists about their organizational and strategic choices, studying the impact of policing on protest and examining the characteristics of the U.S. anti-war movement.

Read more about Linda Peake and Lesley Wood on pages 12-13 of our LA&PS 2013/14 Year in Review.

York Research Chairs

Kristin Andrews Kristin Andrews, Department of Philosophy, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Animal Minds. Her interests are in animal and child social cognition and moral development. She has worked with dolphins in Hawaii and orangutans in Borneo. Her research area is in the philosophy of psychology. Her first book, Do Apes Read Minds?, was published by MIT Press in 2012. She is in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Department of Philosophy.

Isabella BakkerIsabella Bakker, Department of Political Science, received a Tier 1 York Research Chair in Global Economic Governance, Gender and Human Rights. Bakker’s research places a critical lens on global economic policy and governance practices. She is also examining reproductive healthcare, education, and welfare policies, in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis with the central aim of supporting the development of progressive, human-centred economic theories and policies.

Jacob Beck

Jacob Beck, Department of Philosophy, is a Tier 2 VISTA York Research Chair in Philosophy of Visual Perception. Beck's research interests include the study of mental representation and consciousness from an empirically informed philosophical perspective. Most of his current research centres on three issues: the format of mental representation, the perception–cognition boundary, and how consciousness and representation interrelate.

Jimmy HuangJimmy Huang, School of Information Technology, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Big Data Analytics. His research focuses on the areas of information retrieval, big data and their applications to the web and medical healthcare. The objective of his research program is to overcome limitations of existing information retrieval methods and to formally develop a new retrieval paradigm called context-sensitive and task-aware information search for big data.

Lesley Jacobs

Lesley Jacobs, Institute for Social Research, was awarded a Tier 1 York Research Chair in Human Rights and Access to Justice to  focus his research on establishing an innovative Access to Justice Research Lab, which will serve as an incubator for the most significant primary empirical research on access to justice in Canada.


Fuyuki KurasawaFuyuki Kurasawa, Department of Sociology, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Global Digital Citizenship. His research will examine how the rise of digital culture is enabling laypeople and experts to collaborate in tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems. Kurasawa will also examine how new technologies are reshaping practices of creation, evaluation, and dissemination of knowledge about such global problems.


Uzo Anucha, School of Social Work, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity. Her research is conceptualized as a community dialogue centred on equitable collaborations with community stakeholders. She is the Provincial Academic Director of the Youth Research and Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX), a multi-million investment by the Ontario government. YouthREX is an innovative knowledge hub that makes research evidence and evaluation practices accessible to Ontario’s youth sector through capacity building, knowledge exchange and evaluation leadership.

York Research Leaders

York University President and VPRI acknowledge research leaders

Each spring, the President and the Vice-President Research & Innovation of York University take the opportunity to acknowledge York’s research leaders, and recognize the remarkable achievements of York’s community over the previous year. See below for LA&PS researchers who have received this accolade.

2019 Research Leaders

Name Department Award
Ali Asgary School of Administrative Studies Bronze Innovative Management Award at the 2019 Institute of Public Administration of Canada's 71st annual conference.
James Carley Department of English Gold Medal from the Bibliographical Society of London.He is the author of more than 75 published articles and books and is the first Canadian to be awarded this medal.
Carl Ehrlich Department of History / Depatment of Humanities Canadian Jewish Literary Award (holocaust category) for his editing of a book by his late parents, Leonard H. and Edith Ehrlich: Choices Under Duress of the Holocaust: Benjamin Murmelstein and the Fate of Viennese Jewry Volume I: Vienna (Texas Tech University Press, 2018). The book chronicles the harrowing decisions Jewish communal leaders in Austria were forced to make while under Nazi occupation.
Caroline Shenaz Hossein Department of Social Science Won the International Association for Feminist Economics’ Suraj Mal & Shyama Devi Agarwal Book Prize in 2019 for her book Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power and Violence in the Black Americas, raising important issues for development finance, not only in the Caribbean but also globally.
Marin Litoiu School of Information Technology Most Influential Paper Award from CASCON for research on cloud computing that was published ten years ago.
Michael Kater Department of History Won a Canadian Jewish Literary Award (scholarship category) for his book: Culture in Nazi Germany (Yale University Press, 2019), exploring the ways in which modernism in music, expressionism in film, and the Bauhaus in design and architecture were manifestations of the arts and culture of Germany’s Weimar Republic before the Nazis came to power.
J.J. McMurtry Department of Social Science Received the Merit Award of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions to teaching and research on co-operatives, both in Canada and internationally.
Adriano Solis School of Administrative Studies Bronze Innovative Management Award at the 2019 Institute of Public Administration of Canada's 71st annual conference
Jesse Thistle Department of Equity Studies Best-selling memoir From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way (Simon & Schuster, 2019).
Recognitions include The Walrus' Ten Canadian Authors on the Best Books of 2019 and Toronto Life's Most Influential List. The book also ranked #3 on Indigo's Best Books of 2019 list.

2018 Research Leaders

Name Department Award
Marin Litoiu School of Information Technology Collaborative Research and Training Experience grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Parbudyal Singh School of Human Resources Management Distinguished Human Resources Professional Award from the Human Resources (HR) Professionals Association

York Distinguished Research Professors

Distinguished Research Professors

Year Faculty Department
2018 Bernard Lightman Humanities
2017 Jonathan Edmondson History
2014 Isabella Bakker Political Science
2011 Nicholas Rogers History
2010 Patricia Armstrong Sociology
2009 Sheila Embleton Languages, Literatures & Linguistics
2006 Stephen Gill Political Science
1997 Paul Lovejoy History

Distinguished Research Professors Emeritus

Year Faculty Department
2005 Stuart Shanker Psychology
2001 H. Vivian Nelles History
2001 Reginald Whitaker Political Science
2000 James Carley English
1999 Michael Herren Humanities
1999 Leo Panitch Political Science
1998 Lorraine Code Philosophy
1994 Jack Granatstein History
1993 Ian Jarvie Philosophy
1992 Michael Kater History
1992 Gareth Morgan Administrative Studies
1989 John Bosher History
1984 Jerome Ch’en History
1983 John O’Neill Sociology

President's Research Awards

2019 Award Winners

Julia Creet

Julia Creet

Julia Creet, Department of English
President's Research Impact Award
Professor Creet was selected for this award as a reflection of her research on digital privacy, data mining, genealogy, and memory. She has produced both traditional research outputs and edited essay collection, as well as innovative contributions including a workshop on genealogy and genetics, and a documentary film titled, "Datamining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family."

Deanne Williams

Deanne Williams

Deanne Williams, Department of English
President's Research Excellence Award
Professor Williams was selected for this award as a reflection for her accomplishments in medieval and Shakespeare studies. She is the author of several groundbreaking monographs that have had a notable impact in these fields, and is a strong contributor to York University's intellectual life as well - serving on a number of committees in the Department of English and proving students with experiential learning opportunities.

Read full story on the 2019 President's Research Awards.

Canada Research Chairs

Rosemary Coombe

Law, Communications and Culture, Tier 1

Rosemary CoombeResearch
Coombe's work focuses on the global intersection of intellectual property, cultural heritage and human rights with an emphasis on indigenous peoples and sustainable development.

Leah Vosko

Political Economy of Gender and Work, Tier 1

Leah VoskoResearch
Vosko conducts research on labour market insecurity in Canada and internationally with attention to social relations of gender and citizenship. Her current work focuses on employment standards enforcement and access to labour rights and protections among temporary migrant workers. She is director of the Gender and Work Database, the Comparative Perspectives on Precarious Employment Database, and the Employment Standards Database.

Christopher Kyriakides

Citizenship, Social Justice, and Ethno-Racialization, Tier 2

Christopher KyriakidesResearch
Kyriakides' “Racialized Reception Contexts” research program focuses on configurations of racialization in relation to the meaning of East/West, South/North and the articulations of racism and nationalism in the reception of refugees in Europe, North America and the Middle East. The initial five-country analysis of Canada, the United States, Italy, Greece and Jordan will examine the extent to which policy instruments and media discourse related to the global refugee crisis negatively impacts racialized communities in each reception context.

Ethel Tungohan

Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism, Tier 2

Professor Ethel Tungohan

Tungohan analyzes discourses that have underpinned the Canadian government’s policies towards temporary foreign workers from 1973 until 2017 and the nature of these policies and their effects on different groups of temporary foreign workers. She also examines the range of migrant workers’ social movement activities that have emerged as a response, in particular, to anti-migrant discourses and policies.

Regina Rini

Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition, Tier 2

Rini’s research focuses on how people in democratic societies justify their social beliefs to one another. Her work analyzes research from the social sciences, especially cognitive science and sociology, to draw conclusions about how public debate currently works. She also investigates philosophical questions about what it means to improve public debate in a diverse society, exploring connections between public discourse and personal moral agency.


Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

Year Faculty Department
2019 Jonathan Edmondson History
2018 Wenona Giles Anthropology
2018 Joan Judge History
2017 Lesley A. Jacobs Social Science
2017 David McNab Equity Studies
2017 Marcel Martel History
2015 Marie-Christine Pioffet French Studies
2015 Leah Vosko Political Science
2014 Priscilla Uppal English
2013 Adrian Shubert History
2011 Pat Armstrong Sociology
2011 Isabella Bakker Political Science
2011 Bernard Lightman History
2010 Sheila Embleton Languages, Literatures & Linguistics
2003 Stephen Gill Political Science
1989 Paul E. Lovejoy History

Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, Emeriti

2017 Richard C. Hoffman History
2013 Bettina Bradbury History and Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies
2005 Lorraine Code Philosophy
2004 John Saul Political Science
1999 Michael Herren Humanities
1997 Hédi Bouraoui French Studies
1995 Bryan Massum Geography
1994 Leo Panitch Political Science
1993 Irving M. Abella History
1993 Joseph Agassi Philosophy
1992 Robert Cox Political Science
1989 James Gibson Geography
1989 Evelyn Kallen Anthropology
1989 Frances Henry Anthropology
1988 Michael Kater History
1985 John O'Neill Sociology
1982 Jack Granatstein History
1982 John Warkentin Geography
1981 Jerome Ch'en History
1976 John Bosher History

Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars

Year Faculty Department
2017 Deanne Williams English
2016 Rachel Koopmans History
2015 Kristin Andrews Philosophy
2015 Fuyuki Kurasawa Sociology

Trudeau Fellows

Isabella BakkerPolitical scientist, York Research Chair and Distinguished Research Professor Isabella Bakker received York University’s first Trudeau Fellowship in 2009 for her work in feminist and critical political economy. Her research addresses the effects macroeconomic policies have on equitable, socially just and sustainable development, as well as on human rights. Her work connects fundamental economic policies and forces to the economics of daily life to show how people and communities reproduce and sustain themselves in an increasingly privatized capitalist global economy.

Haideh MoghissiHaideh Moghissi, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Equity Studies, received the Trudeau Fellowship in 2011 for her work as a leading international scholar of gender, women and Islam. Born and raised in Iran, she was a founder of the Iranian National Union of Women. Her body of research has been consistently informed by her commitment to meaningful, sustainable change and to social justice and gender democracy in the Middle East. She has led several international collaborative research projects on the interacting elements that define the increasing tensions between self-identified Muslim migrants and their new countries.

Guggenheim Fellowship

2019 Award Winner

Michael Helm

Michael Helm

Michael Helm, Department of English
Professor Helm was awarded with a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019 for his exceptional achievements in the field of fiction, and was one of two York professors chosen to receive the accolade from a group of close to 3,000 applicants during the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation's 95th competition. He is the author of four novels - all of which were national or international award finalists - as well as personal essay and writing on fiction, poetry, and visual arts. His work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Tin HouseLiterary PubThe Millions, and Brick, where he serves as an editor.

Read full story on York University's Guggenheim Fellowship winners.

Order of Canada

2019 Award Winner

Hédi Bouraoui - Order of CanadaHédi Bouraoui, Department of French Studies
Professor Bouraoui was formally invested as a member of the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in 2019, receiving recognition for his tremendous body of work and tireless advocacy for French-language literature. He is the former Chair of French Studies, and has authored 20 books of poetry, 15 novels, and several volumes of literary criticism throughout his career.

Read full story on Prof. Bouraoui's prestigious Order of Canada recognition.

SSHRC Impact Awards

Department of Politics professor Leah Vosko was recognized for excellence in research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and was the recipient of their prestigious Impact Award (Insight Category) in 2019. She is an internationally renowned social scientist. Having overseen numerous path-breaking research projects, her contributions to scholarly knowledge, networks, and learning tools have made lasting impacts within academe. She is the author of numerous books, articles, chapters, and technical reports, in addition to several edited scholarly volumes. Read the full story here.

Carla Lipsig-Mummé, professor of Work and Labour Studies was recognized for excellence in research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2018. Lipsig-Mummé is the recipient of the SSHRC’s prestigious Impact Award (Partnership Category). She is principal investigator of the “Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change” project, which brings together 56 individual researchers and 25 partner organizations and unions in seven countries. Its groundbreaking work has been recognized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Read the full story here.

York University researcher and professor Susan McGrath

School of Social Work professor Susan McGrath was recognized for excellence in research with the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Impact Award in 2015. McGrath’s innovative work in leading the Refugee Research Network has resulted in a successful research partnership that works to improve the well-being of refugee and forced migrants. McGrath received the Partnership Award, which is given to a partnership that, through mutual cooperation and shared intellectual leadership and resources, has demonstrated impact and influence both within and beyond the social sciences and humanities. Read the full story here.

Killam Fellowships

Adrian Shubert

History Professor Adrian Shubert was awarded a 2015 Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts for his research on Baldomero Espartero, a Spaniard who went from poverty and obscurity to being offered the Spanish throne. Shubert was the first York Professor in almost a decade to win a Killam Research Fellowship. Read the full story here.


Photo of Deanne WilliamsEnglish Professor Deanne Williams was awarded a 2018 Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts, to undertake the first ever study devoted to the history of the girl actor from the Middle Ages to the English Revolution. Read the full story here.