May 14, 2020 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Congratulations to Dr. Renée Soulodre-La France, Professor and Chair of the Department of History, on receiving the 2020 Hugh Mellon Excellence in Research Award and to Dr. Bharati Sethi, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, on receiving the 2020 Early Career Excellence in Research Award.

Dr. Soulodre-La France says she is “profoundly grateful” to receive the award, and “even more deeply honoured to be recognized by my distinguished nominators and our colleagues on the selection committee. I know how accomplished our colleagues at King’s are and it is a great privilege to be acknowledged in this way and to be counted among this group of consummate scholars.”

The Hugh Mellon Excellence in Research Award was established in 2015 in honour of Dr. Mellon, late Associate Professor of Political Science. It was a fitting tribute to our colleague and friend because of his strong and consistent advocacy for research and its dissemination at King’s. The award acknowledges scholars in various stages of their professional lives. It recognizes a colleague who has earned distinction for herself/himself and for King’s University College as a result of the outstanding characteristic and significance of their research.

Dr. Soulodre-La France says she “experienced a bittersweet sense of accomplishment” to win the award named after her late colleague. “He was a good citizen, committed to King’s, and is still deeply missed. Hugh Mellon was devoted to King’s as a place of knowledge creation and dissemination and worked consistently to help shift our culture so that our faculty’s remarkable research accomplishments would be acknowledged and celebrated,” she explained.  She added that she also believes there is a necessary connection between King’s vibrant research culture and our pedagogical mission.

Dr. Soulodre-La France has been on faculty at King’s since 2003. She teaches colonial and modern Latin American History and served as Associate Dean Academic from 2011-2016. She has participated in two International MCRI-SSHRC-funded Research Projects and is a Project Team member with the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies at Vanderbilt University. Her first book Región e imperio. El Tolima Grande y las Reformas Borbónicas en el siglo XVIII was published by the ICANH in Bogotá in 2004. Her research activities are dedicated to excavating the histories of peoples of African and indigenous origin in colonial Colombia during the 17th and 18th centuries.  She has published several articles and chapters, and three co-edited volumes reflecting her interests in the development of colonial societies and the integration of subaltern groups into colonial institutions.

Dr. Sethi says she is "delighted and truly honoured” to receive the Early Career Excellence in Research Award.

“I feel a sense of privilege to be included amongst outstanding early-career researchers at the College. As a community-engaged researcher, I strive to build and promote meaningful, equitable, and enduring university-community relationships through bidirectional community-academic interactions to address social, political, and economic inequities,” she says.

Dr. Sethi joined King’s College in 2015. She teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the School of Social Work. Her teaching areas include policy, community practice, and Transnational immigration social work.  Her scholarly trajectory is fuelled by her lived experiences as an immigrant to Canada from India. She is the author of 47 papers in refereed journals and five book chapters and is currently editing a book on understanding the refugee experience in the Canadian context with with Dr. Rick Csiernik, Professor in King’s School of Social Work, and Dr. Sepali Guruge of Ryerson University (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing). Her research program has earned her an impressive record of success with national research grants as well as several prestigious community and academic awards.

The Early Career Excellence in Research Award, established in 2019, recognizes outstanding scholarship and research significance for faculty members in the early stages of their careers.

“We have a vibrant research culture at King’s, with faculty and non-faculty actively creating and sharing knowledge. In the last year, colleagues at King’s published some 75 peer-reviewed articles, 13 books and edited books, 14 book chapters, as well as several cases and research briefs,” says Dr. Laura Melnyk Gribble, Associate Dean Academic and Research.

The King’s community usually gathers in at the King’s Research Publications Celebration in late March to highlight research successes. “We’ll figure out a way to celebrate these successes and to present Dr. Soulodre-La France and Dr. Sethi with their well-earned awards,” says Dr. Melnyk Gribble.