A Mount Allison University professor and author is among the latest inductees named to the Order of Canada.
Christl Verduyn is being inducted “for her contributions to Canadian studies, notably as a professor and author, and for her commitment to making Canadian literature accessible to a broader audience,” Gov. Gen. Julie Payette announced last week.
Verduyn, who has been teaching English and Canadian studies at Mount Allison University for more than a decade, said she is honoured to receive this appointment.
“It’s such a unique moment, it’s so exciting,” she said on Friday.
Payette released the latest round of appointments to the Order last Friday, Dec. 29, a list that includes 86 members, 35 officers, and four companions. Verduyn was appointed as a member.
Verduyn said she was a bit awed by all of the outstanding Canadians who were among the latest inductees, including influential individuals who have been leading the way on Indigenous, Acadian and women’s issues in the country.
“It feels very humbling to be named alongside all of these people. It doesn’t actually feel real.”
– Christl Verduyn
Verduyn, who serves as the director of Mount Allison’s Centre of Canadian Studies, has taught and published on a variety of topics related to Canadian literature and Canadian studies throughout her 35-plus years of teaching.
She said receiving an honour such as this reflects on the “people in your life around you and the ones you’ve been fortunate to work with.”
Before joining the faculty at Mount Allison in 2006, Verduyn taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she was also director of Canadian studies; at Trent University, where she was founding chair of women’s studies; and at Queen’s University, where she was chair of Canadian studies following the completion of her Ph. D. at the University of Ottawa.
Verduyn has taught a wide variety of courses in Canadian literature, Canadian studies, and women’s studies, from feminist, postmodern, and post-colonial writing and theories, to “ethnic or racial minority or multicultural” writing, and special topic courses on selected authors and issues.
She has published books, special issues of journals, articles, and reviews in these areas, and has been an active participant in and organizer of conferences in them as well. Her research has been supported over the years by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities.
Verduyn is recipient of the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching (1996), the Governor General’s International Award for Canadian Studies in 2006, and Mount Allison University’s Paul Paré Award for excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, service, and outreach (2012).
The Order of Canada, established in 1967, is one of the country’s highest civilian honours, which recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society and Verduyn said that’s what makes the appointment so special for her.
“It’s for right across the spectrum, for people from all walks of life,” she said. “It’s such a swath of Canadians that it just seems really special.”
Verduyn joins her husband Robert Campbell as a member of the Order of Canada, who was appointed in 2016 for his contributions to academia, as an authority on postal services and as president of Mount Allison University.
The latest recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held sometime in 2018.