Laurier professors inducted into The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

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Among the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists’ 70 new members inducted this year will be Wilfrid Laurier University professors Dr. Jennifer Baltzer and Dr. Shohini Ghose. The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists is a part of the Royal Society of Canada, a publicly-organized academic institution whose objective, as stated on their webpage, is to “promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the natural and social sciences.”

The College in particular brings together accomplished, early-career researchers from different areas of expertise in order to foster an interdisciplinary, wide-reaching research community.

Both professors from Laurier were excited to be brought on as new members of the College.

“It’s a huge recognition and it’s a great opportunity,” Dr. Shohini Ghose, professor of physics and computer science and one of the two new members from Laurier said.

Ghose performs research on cutting-edge topics in quantum physics, but in addition to that, does work to address gender issues in science.

“I’m really excited to have the research I’ve been pursuing recognized in that way,” Jennifer Baltzer, associate professor, biology and the other new member from Laurier said.

Baltzer works as a forest ecologist. A lot of the research she does focuses on the way that climate change affects forests.

“We attempt to identify those who are working faculty members that we think would be competitive in this process, and then we approach them and see if they’re prepared to allow their names to go forward”

Both professors were excited at the opportunities that the college could provide to broaden their areas of inquiry.

And specifically, they were excited at the opportunity membership in the college could provide for networking and interdisciplinary collaboration.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to connect with a network of amazing scholars and artists and people outside of my own field,” Ghose said. “I know that part of it is networking and engaging with other members.”

“Talking to some colleagues who are members of the college, they’ve been offered some pretty exciting opportunities to work with different people on the international stage about really societally-relevant issues, so I’m really excited about having that opportunity,” Baltzer said.

Other previously inducted members from Laurier include Alison Blay-Palmer, associate professor and CIGI chair in sustainable food systems, Alison Mountz, professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration and Anne Wilson, professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology.

Membership in the college lasts for seven years, and a maximum of 100 new members are inducted each year.

Baltzer and Ghose had first been recognized as potential inductees to the college by staff at Laurier.

“We attempt to identify those who are working faculty members that we think would be competitive in this process, and then we approach them and see if they’re prepared to allow their names to go forward,” said Robert Gordon, vice-president: research at Laurier.

“One of the roles that we play in the office of research services, but certainly other parts of the university, is to demonstrate the quality and the exceptional capacity that our faculty have,” Gordon said.

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