Mount Allison’s Dr. Susie Andrews elected to the RSC 2022 College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
SACKVILLE, NB – Dr. Susan (Susie) Andrews, Mount Allison University associate professor of Religious Studies, has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s (RSC) College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. The national announcement was made by the RSC on Sept. 6.
“I am deeply honoured to be named to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars,” says Andrews. “The RSC’s commitment to enlivening innovative, interdisciplinary research within and for Canadian communities particularly excites me. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from the organization and its members.”
Mount Allison University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau says Andrews is a fitting choice for the RSC’s College of New Scholars.
“Susie’s research portfolio and energetic engagement in both the classroom and our community are shining examples of interdisciplinary scholarship and bringing ideas to action,” says Boudreau. “Her membership into the RSC’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists is well-deserved. On behalf of the entire Mount Allison community, I wish to congratulate her on this latest honour and look forward to hearing about next projects and collaborations.”
Over the course of her career, Andrews has incorporated community engagement in her classes and research, both locally and abroad. This has included several projects related to literacies and early childhood education.
In 2021 and 2022, with the support of Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative (CEWIL), Andrews partnered with Sackville Playschool, a NB Designated Early Learning Centre, and Salem Elementary school exploring materials from the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) in local classrooms and undertook a study investigating if and how the picture books we read reflect the diversity of our local community. During the same period, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation support saw Andrews and colleague Dr. Carla VanBeselaere together with community partners and Mount Allison University students launch the Together Time intergenerational literacies program as part of their ongoing research into the local literacies landscape.
“Over the last two years, my students and I have been fortunate to undertake research on issues of representation in children’s literature and local library collections in partnership with early childhood educators, intergenerational literacy practitioners, librarians, government experts, and other stakeholders in our region,” says Andrews. “It has also been an extraordinary privilege to work with these community partners and Canadian Museum of History colleagues to bring the incredible CMH History Boxes to life on our campus and in schools in our rural region.”
A scholar of East Asian religions and narrative, Andrews is recognized internationally for her research on the ways storytelling matters for the formation of identity and empathy in diverse communities. With funding from organizations such as BDK Canada and the From the Ground Up project, she has initiated student fieldwork in Canada, the United States, China, and Japan. From studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in Henan to producing drone footage of northern Taiwan’s sacred landscape, Andrews relishes the opportunity to learn onsite with her students.
Her diverse research program investigates religious storytelling in different settings such as seventh-century villages encircling China’s Mount Wutai (Wutai shan 五臺山), the Heian capital of Chōnen’s 奝然 (938–1016) lifetime, contemporary hubs of early learning in the Kansai 関西 region, and even the Canadian Maritimes. Most recently, Andrews published a pair of articles exploring the earliest histories of religious practice at Mount Wutai, one of the most significant sacred centers in East Asia, and, together with Jinhua Chen and Kuan Guang, The Transnational Cult of Mount Wutai. The latter work explores the ways this individual place mattered to humans around the globe over fifteen centuries.
A Mount Allison graduate, Andrews is also the recipient of multiple awards including the Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award in 2021 — Mount Allison’s highest teaching honour — and a 2022 Paul Paré Award, recognizing excellence in research and scholarship
Andrews joins Mount Allison colleagues research professors Dr. Christl Verduyn (Canadian Studies), Thaddeus Holownia (Fine Arts), Herménégilde Chiasson (alumnus and previous Artist-in-Residence, Fine Arts), and physics professor Dr. David Hornidge who was named to the Royal Society of Canada’s inaugural cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists in 2014.
Founded in 1882, the RSC comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences, and The College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. The RSC recognizes excellence, advises the government and the larger society, and promotes a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world. The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, part of the Royal Society of Canada, is the country’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership.
Watch more about Andrews’ partnership to bring items form the Canadian Museum of History to Sackville schools on CBC (June 2022): https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/history-boxes-mount-allison-university-sackville-salem-susie-andrews-1.6472240