February 22, 2022 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Students in a unique experiential history course at King’s University College at Western University have been awarded the prestigious Juno Beach Centre Fellowship. Members of the upper-year course, The World Wars in History, Memory, and Reconciliation, will receive $5,000 to assist with their research work. As well, the students’ research will be incorporated into displays at the Juno Beach Centre (JBC) in France.  

“The Juno Beach Centre Association is proud to award the 2021/2022 Juno Beach Centre Fellowship to an exceptional group of students from King’s University College in London, Ontario. The 17 students have spent this academic year uncovering the personal stories of those involved in the Dieppe Raid (1942) and the D-Day landings (1944) along with the ensuing Battle of Normandy. It is thrilling to see the Juno story gain new life via the research efforts of these young historians at King’s University College – many of whom are the same age as those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our sovereignty,” says Don Cooper, President, the Juno Beach Centre Association. 

The course has been running since 2020, as designed by Dr. Graham Broad, Associate Professor of History at King’s and Katrina Pasierbek ’12, PhD candidate in History and King’s alumna. Both have extensive backgrounds in world war history. Dr. Broad has published two books, One in a Thousand: the Life and Death of Captain Eddie McKay, Royal Flying Corps and A Small Price to Pay: Consumer Culture on the Canadian Home Front, 1939-1945, which align with his teaching goals of helping students see the local connections to the world wars. A public historian, Professor Pasierbek has extensive experiences as a battlefield guide and as a member of international research teams who study the caves beneath the Western Front. 

“The JBC is an important Canadian historical institution and we’re proud to be their partners. The Department of History at King’s puts a premium on small-group, active approaches to teaching and learning. The fellowship offers the class unparalleled opportunities to conduct historical research with present-day impact,” says Dr. Broad.  

The exhibit, From Dieppe to Juno: Exceptional Destinies, at the Juno Beach Centre in France is part of a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. Displayed in the lobby of the Centre, it will feature 10 profiles, and be free for anyone to see this spring and runs until 2023. The King’s students are also doing research for other aspects of the museum displays as part of the Faces of Canada Today permanent exhibition, which is slated to open in 2024 on the 80th anniversary of D-Day.   

“These stories are not merely the lives of individuals. They testify to the incredible diversity of experiences, journeys, and steadfast commitment to complete victory over Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Their memory lives on through recognition and commemorations over the past eight decades, their stories passed on through their descendants and their communities,” says Alex Fitzgerald-Black, Executive Director of the Juno Beach Centre Association.  

“The 2022 Juno Beach Centre Fellowship has afforded our students an extraordinary opportunity to engage with the complexities and challenges of public history. By contributing research to the JBC’s forthcoming exhibitions, our students have gained firsthand experience into the intricacies and limitations of writing historical narratives for an international audience. We are very grateful for the JBC’s continued support in offering these experiential learning opportunities to our students,” adds Pasierbek.   

The King’s students hope to travel to the Juno Beach Centre as part of the experiential learning course. In the meantime, they are broadening their understanding of the war experience and gaining an emotional backdrop through their research of the personal stories of those who were at Dieppe and Juno.

Follow the students' work via social media: Twitter @history_kings #JunoFellowship and Instagram @kingswarhistory. The Juno Beach Centre Podcast is at http://www.junobeach.org/podcast/ and Juno Beach Centre social media: 

Facebook: @JunoBeachCentre Twitter: @JunoBeachCentre Instagram: @junobeachcentre 

For more information about History at King’s, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/history/. For more information about the Juno Beach Centre Fellowship, please visit https://www.junobeach.org/?s=fellowship 

Student Quotes: 

“The research we conducted in conjunction with the Juno Beach Centre provided an opportunity few undergraduates are afforded – to engage with primary archival sources, build relationships as burgeoning public historians in training, and see that work come to fruition with a preeminent institution. There is an inherent distance imposed when working with secondary sources, but our class is very close knit as we share stories of triumph, tragedy, and remembrance – the past has become personal. Our extensive research into the Canadian experience of the world wars has engendered a close relationship with our subjects, one that could not have been forged without the support of the Juno Beach Centre. It is the pride of my undergraduate career to receive this Fellowship alongside my classmates.” 

Kristen Jeanveau, fourth-year major in History, King’s University College 

“It has been an honour and a privilege to carry out research on behalf of the Juno Beach Centre, a sentiment I know is held by myself and my fellow colleagues. The ability to apply our honed skills as ever-developing historians, and to contribute our collective work to the wider world, has demonstrated to me what history is all about – to educate and inform. To engage with primary and secondary sources for the benefit, not just for our own knowledge, but to further a greater understanding of the Canadian Experience, will forever impart a sense of pride. It is through this opportunity with the Juno Beach Centre that the legacy of Canada can continue to evolve and grow; and for us to be a part of that process will forever be remembered.” 

Cal Klooster, fourth year double major in History and English, King’s University College  

About the Juno Beach Centre 

The Juno Beach Centre was established in 2003 as a permanent memorial to all Canadians who were part of the Allied victory in the Second World War, and to preserve this legacy for future generations through education. The Centre in Normandy, France, pays homage to the nearly 45,000 Canadians who died during the war, including some 5,500 during the Battle of Normandy and 381 on D-Day. Fifteen years and more than 1,000,000 visitors later, the Centre has been designated a site of national historic significance to Canada. It is owned and operated by the Juno Beach Centre Association, a charitable organization based in Ontario, which also runs educational and commemorative programming across Canada.