2018 in Review: Our Top Stories of the Year

A look back the most popular stories of 2018

Donna McKinnon - 20 December 2018

In a faculty as diverse, as engaged and as robust as ours, the storytelling possibilities are ridiculously rich - whether we are profiling groundbreaking research, marking the achievements of our distinguished faculty, students, staff and alumni, or cheering on our latest graduates.

Here then, are the stories that received the most attention from you, our audience, in 2018:

1. Deb Verhoeven appointed University of Alberta Canada 150 Research Chair
We were extremely pleased when the Government of Canada named Australian researcher Deb Verhoeven as its newest Canada 150 Research Chair - the 25th appointment across Canada and the first at the University of Alberta. She will join the Faculty of Arts in April, 2019 for a seven year joint-appointment with Women's and Gender Studies and Digital Humanities.

2. Avenue Magazine's 2018 Top 40 under 40
In November, Avenue Magazine released its celebrated list of Edmonton's Top 40 under 40! And, as always, our Faculty of Arts alumni are well-represented.

3. Once thriving Church of Scientology faces extinction, says sociologist Stephen Kent
Sociologist and cult tracker Stephen Kent has amassed one of the world's largest collections of testimonials and documents on Scientology. In this very popular Folio article, Kent discusses why this controversial belief system is doomed to fail.

4. Lise Gotell named new Landrex Distinguished Professor
Lise Gotell is a Women's and Gender Studies professor and a leading expert on sexual consent law in Canada. Through her research, advocacy and expert testimony, and now as a Landrex Distinguished Professor, Gotell is bridging the justice gap for survivors of sexual assault in Alberta.

5. Feeling Down? Try a Dose of Dog
Anthropologist Robert Losey unpacks the role of dogs in the long history of human physical and mental health development in this article he wrote for the Faculty of Arts' Barks in Arts event on January 15, 2018, otherwise known as Blue Monday, the (supposedly) most depressing day of the year.

6. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation awards scholarships to two Faculty of Arts doctoral studentsOn June 21, 2018, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation announced the recipients of the 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, naming two University of Alberta Faculty of Arts doctoral students, Billy-Ray Belcourt (English and Film Studies) and William Schultz (Sociology).

7. U of A student hopes her app will entice more people to try vegetarian dishes
Economics undergrad Hazel Foerstner is developing an app that lists vegetarian dishes in all local restaurants. She hopes that this innovative tool, which is set to launch by the end of the year, will entice more people to try vegetarian dishes when dining out.

8. Meet the Caulfields: a Family of Creatives
Art and science are often viewed in opposition to one another, but in the Caulfield family - Tim, Sean and Adam - these pursuits co-mingle in extraordinarily creative and collaborative ways!

9. Political Scientist Malinda S. Smith named 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow
On June 26, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation announced its 2018 research fellowships, naming Faculty of Arts' political scientist Malinda S. Smith to the distinguished roster of intellectuals in the humanities and social sciences whose "audacious and original" research projects are shaping the future of Canada and the world.

10. The Opioid Crisis in Canada's Prisons Part of a Larger Problem
Criminalizing the symptoms of addiction fails to address the underlying problems says University of Alberta Criminology PhD student Will Schultz, a former correctional officer (and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship recipient!)

And...rounding out the top 20:

11. The Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies a global community builder

12. Change for Good: New visual identity unveiled in the Faculty of Arts

13. Social justice champion Janine Brodie named to Order of Canada

14. Political Scientist Yasmeen Abu-Laban named Canada Research Chair

15. Kule Research Cluster Grants Announced

16. Paula Simons - Edmonton's Chief Chronicler and Champion

17. From the classroom to the constituency office, Navneet Gidda is putting her political science degree to work

18. A New Frontier of Literary Engagement: SpokenWeb's network of digitized audio recordings brings new life to Canada's literary heritage

19. Phantom, or the Opera: As of now, it's still a coin toss whether you'll eventually see Elise Noyes singing in either a Broadway musical or at the Metropolitan Opera

20. Lois Harder to helm Peter Lougheed Leadership College

Thank You and Happy Holidays from the Faculty of Arts!