Three Laurier professors elected as fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

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Three Laurier professors have been elected as fellows of the prestigious Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for their research in various fields, including political science, mathematical and physical science and arts and humanities.

Eleanor Ty, Phelim Boyle and Rianne Mahon will be inducted into the society at a ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 22, as fellows in the RSC advise governments, non-governmental organizations, and the general public on different topics of interest. These scholars are also mentors in developing scholars.

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“I’m really honoured by it – and a bit overwhelmed. My husband put it on Facebook and I’ve had so many good wishes from all over the place. It’s terrific that there are three of us from Laurier – bigger and more ‘prestigious’ universities got fewer – and across different disciplines. It is great to be recognized for one’s scholarly achievements but I am also looking forward to working with the society to give back to society,” said Rianne Mahon, a professor in the department of political science at Laurier as well as the Balsillie School of International Affairs, focusing in research on comparative social policy and gendered global governance, in an email statement.

“Today I went to the Royal Society offices at the suggestion of the woman coordinating the process and learned a lot about the induction process, which will take place at the Chateau Laurier on November 22. It’s a bit like convocation plus, without the gowns!”

Mahon has been elected to the RSC’s academy of social science, as she has done ground-breaking research in the area of comparative childcare politics and policy, looking at childcare and parental leave as social policy.

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Eleanor Ty, elected to the academy of arts and humanities, is an English and film studies professor at Laurier as well as the graduate program coordinator, being Laurier faculty since 1991.

“I was ecstatic about receiving this honour, it’s been a while coming because even though the news was announced now I had to help with the nomination process and suggest people who could write letters for me. So in a way it isn’t a total surprise but it’s been years of hard work to lead up to this, but I was certainly really happy to hear about it,” Ty said.

“The best thing is the validation of my research and the area that I work in because I think it makes it feel worthwhile, that the 20 years that I’ve been working on this literature and establishing the field had made an impact and that people recognize it.”

Ty’s research in Asian Canadian studies acknowledges the dislocation of this minority in a way that both empowers and constrains them, as well as the pressures young Asian North Americans they feel to fit into standardized ideals.

“I think it would be great to have more publicity on a diverse group of writers, writers as well as filmmakers as well as artists who are put into terms as a visible minority, in Canada we celebrate the Margaret Attwood’s and those sort of people but there are a lot of other writers who deserve recognition so I hope that being a member of the Royal Society of Canada I can create more publicity and events for the public for these types of scholars, artists and creators,” Ty said.

“Laurier has been growing as a research university, but this is also a validation of the institution as well as the individual. It’s been a real privilege for me to research and teach at Laurier as they’ve allowed me to do the kind of research I wanted even though that may not have been an established area in English, I think that I’m very lucky to be working here.”

Photo by, Sidney MacDonald

Phelim Boyle is currently a faculty member of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics, researching the areas of hedge funds, structured products, investments and Ponzi schemes. Boyle has been elected into the RSC’s academy of science in the division of mathematical and physical science.

Thanks to his introduction of the Monte Carlo simulation-based method for valuing derivative securities in financial markets, as his primary research is in managing risk in insurance and finance, Boyle has changed the way financial institutions worldwide assess risk management in contracts. Boyle could not be reached for comment.

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