Professor Emeritus of Canadian Studies and English Robert Thacker was recently awarded the Donner Medal at the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) biennial meeting in Washington, D.C. The Donner Medal in Canadian Studies is presented biennially for distinguished achievement, scholarship, and program innovation in Canadian Studies in the United States. The recipient must be active in and make contributions to teaching, scholarship, administration, or public affairs. Thacker has been a member since the 1980s and attributes his success to his recent book publication about Alice Munro titled Alice Munro’s Late Style published by Bloomsbury Academic in London.
Associate Professor and Chair of the Canadian Studies Department Neil Forkey accepted the medal on Thacker’s behalf. Forkey and Frank P. Piskor Professor in Canadian Studies Joseph Jockel participated in the ACSUS meeting Nov. 16-19. Jockel contributed to a roundtable discussion on the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Forkey presented a paper based on his research into grassroots environmental groups in the St. Lawrence River watershed. He also moderated a panel on Canadian environmental issues, and presided over the business meeting of the Middle Atlantic and New England Council for Canadian Studies.
Thacker says he is “edified and humbled by this award, which has previously gone to colleagues I consider mentors as well as friends. In many ways too, this is a recognition of St. Lawrence University, where a succession of presidents and deans made it possible for Canadian Studies to thrive and, in myriad ways, fostered my ongoing scholarship. Without the university’s deep support, I could not have become Alice Munro’s biographer nor done many other things as a teacher and a scholar. I am so very grateful.”