June 2, 2022Print | PDF
Two Wilfrid Laurier University professors, Christine Neill from the Department of Economics and Renée MacPhee from the Departments of Kinesiology & Physical Education and Health Sciences, are being recognized with the university’s Faculty Awards for Service Excellence and Community Engagement.
The award recognizes full-time faculty and librarians who, in addition to their teaching and scholarship, are leaders in service to the community and/or university. The selection committee, made up of the provost and vice-president: academic, the university librarian and deans from faculties across the university, looks for individuals whose service contributes to the university’s mission, vision and academic plan and enhances teaching, scholarship, and public influence.
“I am very pleased to see that Christine Neill and Renée MacPhee have been recognized for their service to the Laurier community,” says Tony Vannelli, provost and vice-president: academic. “Their contributions to community-building and commitment to the university’s mission is inspiring.”
Prior to joining Laurier in 2005, Neill worked as a teaching/research assistant at the University of Toronto, and previously as a senior research officer for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia. She first joined Laurier in 2005 as a lecturer and gained tenure in 2012.
Neill obtained her PhD in Economics from the University of Toronto and has received several grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council during her years at Laurier.
Her contributions to the Department of Economics include being an ongoing community builder, especially during the last two years of the pandemic, by creating socially distanced gatherings to encourage connection. She remains dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion, having served as women’s faculty colleague since 2019, providing women faculty with a supportive community and advocacy. Outside of the university, she has been involved with the Canadian Women’s Economics Network since 2007, representing her dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion beyond the university community.
She has been involved with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Senate for several years and remains committed to strengthening and supporting university leadership. She has been a member of several committees on campus, including the Research Review Committee, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Community of Practice, and the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) Governance Committee.
Outside of the university, Neill’s research has been an influential voice in the world of policy relating to post-secondary education finance. She has been called to share her expertise for various outlets including the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Finances of the Nation, the C.D. Howe Institute, and the Globe and Mail. In the wider community, she has remained steadfast in her commitment to her work on student financial aid, arguing for the elimination of tax credits that prevent students from receiving better financial aid.
“She has a strong sense of the public good nature of the university’s mission,” wrote Professor of Economics Tracy Snodden in a letter of support for Neill’s nomination. “This commitment to informing and encouraging understanding of economic issues for the community at large is admirable.”
MacPhee has been an integral part of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Laurier since 2004 and was cross-appointed to the Department of Health Sciences in 2009.
She has a PhD in Health Studies and Gerontology from the University of Waterloo, and multiple certificates in University Teaching, Adult Education, and Gerontology. She has received many awards for her contributions to the health community, including the Canadian Institute for Public Safety and Research (CIPRST) Founders Award and the Ontario Prehospital Advanced Life Support (OPALS) Research Award.
Much of MacPhee’s community leadership is in her relationship with the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) and the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC), both of whom she has worked with for over 15 years. She is an actively engaged researcher who includes paramedics on her research teams and is a tireless advocate for the paramedic profession. She has dedicated much of her efforts to exploring emerging and future states of paramedicine in Canada and is currently preparing to lead the first ever national study on violence against paramedics. She is also a co-inventor of the Ottawa Paramedic Physical Abilities Test (OPPAT). She was the first civilian to receive the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada Award in 2018 for her significant contributions to the mental health and wellness of Paramedics.
“Dr. MacPhee has been a dedicated, experienced researcher for the Paramedic Community and has contributed countless hours of research to projects that assist our paramedic community,” wrote Randy Mellow, Past President, Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, in a letter of support. “(Her) contributions to the paramedic community are truly unparalleled.” MacPhee continues to be the Executive Director of the OPPAT Program at Laurier and is a founding member and scientific director for the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research and Treatment.
MacPhee will receive her award at the June 14 convocation ceremony at Laurier’s Waterloo campus. Neill will receive her award at Laurier’s fall convocation in Waterloo.