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April 27, 2017
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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Laurier professor receives Royal Society of Canada award

Sep 6/13| For Immediate Release


Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, Professor of Global Studies
Faculty of Arts
519-884-0710 ext. 2780 or


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications and Public Affairs
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights and a professor of Global Studies at Laurier and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, is the 2013 recipient of the Sir John William Dawson Medal awarded by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). The award recognizes important academic contributions in multiple domains or interdisciplinary research.

Howard-Hassmann is an expert in the field of international human rights, including women’s and children’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, retrospective justice, globalization and human rights, economic human rights and comparative genocide studies. Originally educated as a sociologist, she is one of the first scholars to approach the study of human rights from a social science perspective. She has written numerous articles, papers and books, including Compassionate Canadians: Civic Leaders Discuss Human Rights, Reparations to Africa and Can Globalization Promote Human Rights?, and has been a RSC fellow since 1993.

"We are thrilled at Laurier that Dr. Howard-Hassmann has been recognized with the Sir John Williams Dawson Medal,” said Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost. “Rhoda is well known at Laurier and internationally for her outstanding scholarship, outreach activities and mentorship of students and the award by the RSC affirms her strong contributions to her field.”

Howard-Hassmann’s latest research project is on state-induced famine. She is studying violations of the right to food in Zimbabwe and North Korea, as well as how government policies in Venezuela affect its food supply, and the impact of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories on Palestinians’ right to food.

“I am delighted to receive this award, which recognizes the interdisciplinary path I have taken since the late 1970s, incorporating political science, sociology, history, law, and sometimes philosophy and economics into my analyses of Canadian and international human rights,” said Howard-Hassmann.

As Canada’s oldest council of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists, the RSC promotes learning and research in the arts, humanities and natural and social sciences. The Sir John William Dawson Medal is awarded biennially in honour of the organization’s first president, renowned for his great versatility.

Howard-Hassmann will receive her award Nov. 16 at a ceremony in Banff, Alberta, as part of the RSC’s annual symposium.


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