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Source: University of New Brunswick - Fredericton


October 24, 2006

Biologist William Seabrook and historian Gillian Thompson have joined the ranks of professors emeriti at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. They received the honorary emeritus designation at fall Convocation, Oct. 19, in recognition of their distinguished careers.

The professor emeritus distinction is awarded only to retired faculty members. Criteria for the honorary rank include teaching performance of exceptional merit, extensive research and publication of unusually high quality, creative contributions to the administration and development of the university, and a record of professional conduct that indicates fair and ethical treatment of students and other members of the academic community.

William Seabrook was the first to develop the study of insect neurophysiology and sensory physiology in Canada. His work resulted in practical benefits for industry, including alternative methods of controlling pest populations, which in turn allowed for a reduction in the use of pesticides.

Dr. Seabrook successfully brought his findings into the classroom and had a profound impact on generations of students. During his 33-year career at UNB, he taught 28 different courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and was sought after as supervisor. Dr. Seabrook was a true mentor and played a pivotal role in shaping many young lives.

He was the driving force behind UNB’s acquisition of the first scanning electron microscope in Eastern Canada and attracted a career total of $4.2 million in support of his research and his students.

A former dean of graduate studies and research, Dr. Seabrook has an exceptional record of university and professional service.

Recognized internationally, he is an elected Fellow of the Entomological Society of Canada. His legacy is large and his impact on generations of students is enviable.

Gillian Thompson is a distinguished social historian of early modern Europe. Her work on the Jesuit religious order in 18th century France has revised our understanding of Church history and set the suppression of the French Jesuits into the larger history of modern political and religious persecutions.

Throughout her career at UNB from 1972 to 2005, Dr. Thompson participated actively in university affairs. She served terms as Resident Fellow and department chair, and, at various times, held membership on the Board of Governors, the Senate, the Executive Committee of the Graduate School, and many advisory and search committees.

Dr. Thompson co-authored the first Status of Women Report at UNBF, served as chairperson of the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women at UNB, acted as adviser to the president on the status of women, and was as co-founder and long-time supporter of the Women Studies Program.

A natural facilitator who prefers consensus to confrontation and example to exhortation, she has provided outstanding service to the university in tirelessly promoting the cause of gender equity and respect for the rights of all.

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