September 13, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

London, ON- King’s University College congratulates Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, elected as a Member to the prestigious Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, in recognition of her research as an emerging, young, scholar. The Royal Society of Canada is the highest recognized membership for scholars in Arts, Humanities and Sciences in our country.

Dr. Birnbaum is cross-appointed at King’s as a Professor in the School of Social Work at and in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Childhood and Social Institutions program. She has a unique set of qualifications which intersect the world of Social Work and Law as a Ph.D in Social Work and a Master of Law recipient. Her work examines the integration of theory, research and practice as it relates to Canadian children who are experiencing separation and divorce. Her research explores and influences policies defining the role that children can, and should, have within social and legal structures. “Her influential interdisciplinary scholarship has had a marked impact on institutions and individual lives,” says Dr. David Sylvester, King’s Principal. “Dr. Rachel Birnbaum has bridged the worlds of social work and law in academics and in policy formation. She is a remarkable advocate for those without a voice in our justice system. A talented, productive and relevant researcher, Dr. Birnbaum exemplifies academic excellence in the world of social work and justice for children. Her dedication and passion has created positive change for our society while being a model of the Royal Society of Canada’s ideal of interdisciplinary scholarship.”

Dr. Birnbaum’s influential publication “One Judge for One Family…” from the Canadian
Journal of Family Law has had a marked impact on the ways in which high conflict families
make their way through court proceedings. Her work on The Voice of the Child in
Separation/Divorce Mediations… was quoted in a very well-known and highly cited case that
addressed children’s rights and their participation in proceedings.

In 2016, Dr. Birnbaum was recognized by her colleagues at King’s University College with the Hugh Mellon Research Award. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award. She has been a professor at King’s since 2002.

King’s salutes Dr. Birnbaum in this one-minute highlight video of her research.

Dr. Peter Jaffee, Academic Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children, credits Professor Birnbaum’s work for its deep commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration amongst legal and mental health professionals. Due to her advanced academic standing in both law and social work, she has provided important research that will assist children and families in crisis in the justice system.

Her work is widely cited and presented at international conferences which has provided an
impact in Canada and around the world. Professor Birnbaum has presented her innovative studies and policy ideas across Canada, Europe, the US and Australia. She has been asked to present workshops and major addresses to government and professional groups including the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General, Law Association Conferences, and the Association of Family and Conciliations Courts.

Dr. Birnbaum recently received a Canadian Department of Justice Grant, which
involves a broad range of community collaboration, to hold a symposium in Ottawa for family
justice stakeholders and has been funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, Views of the Child Reports.

Dr. Birnbaum will be inducted as a Royal Society Member in Kingston, Ontario in November 2016. Dr. Sauro Camiletti, Vice-Principal and Academic Dean, will join Dr. Birnbaum at the ceremony. Dr. Birnbaum is the first female Member or Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada from King’s University College. She joins her colleagues, Dr. Paul Werstine (Fellow) and Dr. Roberto Ventresca and Dr. Antonio Calcagno (Members) in this esteemed honor.

King's is a publicly-funded Catholic post-secondary institution founded in 1954. King’s provides general and honors degree programs in the liberal arts, social sciences, business, and a master's degree in social work. Institutionally-autonomous, King’s is academically-affiliated with Western University. King’s is open to students of all faith backgrounds, with its community centered on the principles of social justice and the education of the whole person.

For more information please contact:
Jane Antoniak
Manager, Communications & Media Relations
King’s University College
519-433-3491 x 4384