Cape Breton University Honours Research and Teaching Excellence

Cape Breton University celebrated research and teaching excellence during an appreciation reception held earlier this month, honouring 11 people who received awards from 2020-2022. This included the presentation of the inaugural Margaret Dechman Community Engaged Research Champion Award, which invited nominations from within CBU and the broader community, seeking to identify those supporting social goals as well as academic research. The first recipient of this special award is Janet Bickerton, registered nurse and co-director of the Ally Centre in Cape Breton. This legacy award honours the late Dr. Margaret Dechman, who was not only a sociology professor at CBU, but well-known as a champion for social justice, a tireless advocate for the socially excluded and a compassionate neighbour who recognized people’s humanity.

Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Vice-President, Academic and Research, says the celebration recognized those dedicated to teaching and research, who continued to thrive despite challenges over the past three years.

“We are proud of those recognized for their commitment to education and research, who responded to challenges with new innovative teaching methods and research pursuits,” says Dr. Brann-Barrett. “While we highlight these CBU award recipients, we celebrate all educators for their resilience.”

CBU’s other internal awards include the President’s Award for Research Excellence, the President’s Award for a Rising Researcher, Instructional Leadership Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award.

President and Vice-Chancellor David C. Dingwall commended the honourees, offering words of appreciation and respect.

“You are inspiring, world-class and exceptional researchers, educators and ambassadors,” he shared. “Your commitment to excellence in your work does not go unnoticed and Cape Breton University is honoured to celebrate your incredible achievements.”

Congratulations to the honourees!


Margaret Dechman Community-Engaged Research Champion Award

2022 Janet Bickerton (2022)


President’s Award for a Rising Researcher

Dr. Xu Zhang (2020)

Dr. Bettina Callary (2021)

Dr. Stephanie Gilbert (2022)

Dr. Pablo Santos-Iglesias (2022)


President’s Award for Excellence in Research

Dr. Margaret Dechman (2021)

Dr. Martin Mkandawire (2022)


Instructional Leadership Award

Dr. Jason Loxton (2020)

Dr. Geoff Lee-Dadswell (2021)

Dr. Rob Power (2021)


Distinguished Teaching Award

Dr. Rubina (Ruby) Ramji (2021)