News

Dr. Jennifer Pettit, appointed interim Dean of Faculty of Arts, Mount Royal University

August 11, 2017 — Dr. Lesley Brown, Provost and Vice-President, Academic of Mount Royal University announced Dr. Jennifer Pettit will serve as the interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

A search to fill the position permanently will commence shortly.

Over the past 20 years, Pettit has established a track record of excellence at Mount Royal University and the Faculty of Arts. Until recently, Pettit served as the Chair of Humanities and she has also held several other leadership positions including Vice-Speaker of General Faculties Council, Speaker of Chairs’ Assembly, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty Negotiations Committee.

As a professor, Pettit has taught early North American history with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples, education and policy. Her teaching is informed by her scholarly focus on industrial schools, which were the forerunner to the residential school system in Canada.

Pettit's expertise in this area, her service on a number of Indigenization-related committees and experience as President of the Canadian Historical Association’s Indigenous History Group is invaluable as we continue to work toward Indigenizing our academy in keeping with our strategic priorities.

Pettit also has a research interest in inquiry-based learning and digital history.

Her research in these fields has been funded by a number of research grants from agencies such as SSHRC and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and have resulted in awards such as the MERLOT Classic Award for History and the prestigious Pierre Berton Award. Most recently, Pettit was the co-recipient of a SSHRC LOI Partnership Grant for a project entitled “Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future,” the goal of which is to improve how Canadian history is taught at all levels.

As an advocate for experiential and service learning, Pettit has taught a Treaty 7 field course in southern Alberta, a European WWI course, as well as a cross-Canada bus tour. The advisory work she and her students have done with institutions such as the Calgary Public Library, Heritage Park Historical Village, and the Fort Whoop-Up historical society, epitomizes the strong link the Faculty of Arts continues to develop with the wider community.

Pettit’s commitment to undergraduate education is recognized through teaching awards, including four Teaching Excellence Awards from the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University, two Distinguished Faculty Awards, an Award for Teaching Innovation from the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculty Association, and a teaching-related research project she was involved with was recently shortlisted for a SSHRC Impact Connections Award.