Excellence in research is its own reward, but the MacEwan community takes great pride in acknowledging our researchers with the annual Distinguished Research Award. 



Past recipients

Sandy Jung, Interim Associate Dean, Research

Professor, Psychology
Interim Associate Dean, Research

PhD (Victoria), MA (Lakehead), B.Sc. (UBC), RPsych (AB)

7-257, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Sandy Jung is a Board of Governors Research Chair and a professor in the Department of Psychology. She regularly teaches abnormal psychology, forensic psychology and senior courses in clinical and forensic psychology topics. She supervises honours and advanced research students at MacEwan.

Prior to her current academic position, Dr. Jung was a forensic psychologist at a forensic outpatient clinic in Edmonton. At MacEwan, she maintains an active research program and has numerous peer-reviewed publications in the field of forensic psychology. She often co-authors papers with her students and collaborators from forensic mental health, law enforcement and other academic institutions. Her research focuses on the prevention of sexual, intimate partner and general violence.

Dr. Jung is an assistant adjunct professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Alberta and the chair of the Criminal Justice Psychology section of the Canadian Psychological Association. 

Christopher Striemer, 2020

Associate Professor, Psychology

PhD (Waterloo), MA (Waterloo), BA Hons. (Saskatchewan)

6-384, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Dr. Christopher Striemer completed his undergraduate training at the University of Saskatchewan in 2001. He then worked as an EEG/ERP research assistant at Dalhousie University from 2002–2003. He received first his Masters and then his PhD in Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, completing his graduate studies in 2008. From 2008–2011, Dr. Striemer was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Brain and Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario.

Patricia (Tricia) Lirette, 2019

Associate Professor
Chair, Department of Human Services and Early Learning

PhD (Alberta)

7-154K, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Patricia Lirette is a faculty member in the Early Learning and Child Care Program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She holds a PhD in Educational Policy Studies, a MEd in Adult Education and a BSc in Human Ecology from the University of Alberta. She began her post-secondary education at MacEwan University with an Early Childhood Development Diploma.

She is interested in early learning and child care policy and the image of the young child in policy. Her dissertation research was entitled The Social Organization of Child Care in Alberta: An institutional ethnography. She has travelled twice to Reggio Emilia, Italy home of the world renowned system of municipal preschools and continues to wrestle with the provocations and implications that arose from these tours and to help others make meaning of the Reggio philosophy in our own context. She is deeply interested in exploring images of the child in public policy.

She was the chair of the annual MacEwan Child Care Conference from 1995 to 2010. In January 2012, she received a 25 year long service award from MacEwan University.

Recently she has been a research team member and a steering committee member of the Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Provincial Curriculum Framework Development Project.

Prior to joining the ELCC faculty, she was the executive director of a nonprofit child care centre and was an educator in a variety of settings serving preschool and school age children and their families.

Shelley Boulianne, 2017

Associate Professor, Sociology

PhD (Wisconsin-Madison), MA (Alberta), BA (Alberta)

6-394, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Shelley Boulianne studies citizens' engagement in civic and political life. She has published several meta-analysis projects and systematic reviews about the role of digital media in political participation. Her research has since expanded to understand a variety of factors that influence patterns of civic and political participation. She is interested in citizens' participation in boycotts, petitions, marches and demonstrations, public consultation exercises, and political talk.

Robert Hilts, 2016

Professor, Chemistry

PhD (Victoria)

5-123, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Robert Hilts obtained his PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Victoria in the Fall of 1988. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Martin Cowie at the University of Alberta from 1988 to 1991 on bisphosphine complexes of transition-metals. Subsequently, from 1991 to 1995, he conducted research on PNS rings systems with Dr. Tris Chivers at the University of Calgary. After teaching first-year chemistry at Red Deer College from 1995 to 1996, he joined the instructor ranks at Grant MacEwan Community College in the Fall of 1996, and he has been teaching and conducting research at MacEwan ever since.

Dr. Hilts is currently involved in a collaborative analysis of the Tagish Lake meteorite, which is presently housed in a cold curation and handling facility at the U of A. The goal of the research on the meteorite is to shed light on the conditions that existed very shortly after our solar system was formed and provide some insight into how life began on the Earth some 3.5 billion years ago.

Allan Gilliland, 2015

Assistant Professor, Department of Music
Head, Composition
Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

PhD (Edinburgh)

11-421, Allard Hall
11110 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Gilliland is one of Canada’s busiest composers. He has written music for solo instruments, orchestra, choir, brass quintet, wind ensemble, big band, film, television and theatre. His music has been performed by ensembles and soloists from around the world and recorded on over 20 CDs.

From 1999‐2004, Gilliland was composer-in-residence with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He has also been composer-in-residence at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario and the Strata New Music Festival in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 2002, his orchestral work On the Shoulders of Giants took first prize at the prestigious Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Centara New Music Festival Composers Competition. In 2012, his CD O Music was nominated for two Western Canadian Music Awards and won for Best Classical Composition. Allan has also won composition contests sponsored by Pro Coro Canada and the Alberta Band Association as well as first place in the Jean Coulthard Competition for Composers and the Lydia Pals Composers Competition.

Gilliland holds a diploma in Jazz Studies (trumpet) from Humber College, a Bachelor of Music degree in performance and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Composition from the University of Edinburgh. He has taught at the University of Alberta, the University of Edinburgh, Red Deer College and MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta , Canada where he is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications.

Award namesake

For 20 years, Dr. Sherrill J. Brown taught in the Early Learning and Child Care program at MacEwan University. As well as bringing her passion for children and education to her students, she worked in the community, supporting young children and their families across the province. She was instrumental in developing Alberta’s accreditation model for child care in 2005.

From 2006 to 2009, as MacEwan’s Research Officer, Sherrill supported faculty across all programs in their research efforts. Her own research focused on the early childhood community. She was particularly interested in the connection between play and learning and literacy, the role of empathy in children’s development and developing a cross-disciplinary model for play.

The inaugural Sherrill Brown Distinguished Research Award was presented in 2015.