Award for Excellence in Research

The Brescia University College Award for Excellence in Research is presented by the Office of the Vice-Principal & Academic Dean to recognize the outstanding research and scholarly accomplishments of a Brescia faculty member. The award recipient is honoured at the Brescia Baccalaureate Ceremony in June as the Brescia Excellence in Research Professor (for the award year), and is invited to give a talk on their research during the award year. A call for nominations is announced each year in January. Please refer to the following documents for more information:


2017 Brescia Excellence in Research Professor
Dr. Dominick Grace, School of Humanities

Dr. Dominick Grace, a faculty member in the School of Humanities, is the holder of Brescia’s Award for Excellence in Research for 2017.

Dr. Grace holds an Honors B.A. in English and Theatre from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree and Ph.D from Western University. Beginning his research trajectory as a medievalist specializing in Chaucer studies, Dr. Grace’s research interests have now broadened to encompass comics/graphic novels, contemporary Canadian science fiction and television. Because of his passion and active research, he is often characterized as being “amongst the top tier of scholars working in these areas.”

Senior Canadian and international scholars have commended Dr. Grace for his extensive range and diversity of work and its important contribution to preserving and understanding cultural worlds that can be ephemeral. One scholar applauded Dr. Grace for his efforts in helping to “make visible to comics scholars and serious comics readers just how important Canada has been to the history of comics, and how different the trajectory of comics has been in Canada.”

Dr. Grace has a strong publication record of single-authored, peer-reviewed and refereed articles, as well as dozens of scholarly and popular culture reviews. Since 2013, he has been the author of one monograph, The Science Fiction of Phyllis Gotlieb: A Critical Reading (2015) and co-editor of three Conversations volumes for the University Press of Mississippi, with three additional co-edited volumes in press.


2016 Brescia Excellence in Research Professor
Dr. Sharareh Hekmat, School of Food & Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Sharareh Hekmat, a faculty member in the School of Food & Nutritional Sciences, is the holder of Brescia’s Award for Excellence in Research for 2016-17.

Internationally recognized for her research, she has dedicated more than 25 years to investigating the benefits of probiotic yogurts. Dr. Hekmat and her research collaborators from Brescia and Western University have received numerous grants to conduct various clinical trials among patients who suffer from conditions such as IBD, HIV/AIDS and seasonal allergies.

In 2011, Dr. Hekmat received the Dean’s Award of Excellence-Team Award from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, which recognizes exceptional achievement by a team in areas including research, education, administration, innovation and public service. In 2015, she received the Founding Contributions to Western Heads East Award and was honoured at the Africa-Western Collaboration Day at Western University hosted by Western International, Western Heads East (WHE), The Africa Institute and a number of African community organizations. Dr. Hekmat’s collaborators state that they have been “very fortunate to have had her knowledge of nutrition science and probiotics.”

In addition to her innovative research, Dr. Hekmat’s teaching is as equally outstanding, having trained and mentored numerous Brescia students, who have gone on to successful careers and professional programs in related fields. Over and above preparing them for their future careers, her students have described her teaching as “outstanding,” “warm” and “inspiring.”


DSC_9215_J Doelman2015 Brescia Excellence in Research Professor
Dr. James Doelman, English, School of Humanities

Dr. James Doelman, a faculty member of Brescia’s Department of English since 2001, was named the holder of the inaugural Award for Excellence in Research for 2015. This new award was established in 2014 by the Office of the Vice-Principal and Academic Dean, with the objective to recognize outstanding research and scholarly accomplishments of a Brescia faculty member. Dr. Doelman’s major research specialization is in the areas of 16th and 17th century English literature, and secondary area is in 18th century English literature. Dr. Doelman is consistently committed to unearthing new discoveries and shedding light on previously unknown Early Modern Literary works.  His work in this area is described as “rare, innovative and changing the way in which we understand poets and poetry of the English Renaissance in the most foundational way.” Dr. Doelman has worked extensively on digitizing manuscripts from the Early Modern period, which has increased accessibility to these works for students and scholars alike.  His passion has inspired and engaged students, who he has successfully trained and mentored in manuscript editing and paleography. He has held many internal research grants at Brescia and was awarded a five-year research grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (2003-2008) for his research on epigrams in early modern England. Dr. Doelman has a strong publication record of single-authored, peer-reviewed, and refereed articles, including three books. He is currently completing another book, The Epigram in England: 1590-1640, based on his research, which will be published later this year by Manchester University Press. Dr. Doelman also served as an Associate Editor of the online journal, Early Modern Literary Studies, and was very instrumental in the development of the journal.