Joannie Halas named professor emerita
Joannie Halas has achieved the rank of professor emerita.
The title is one of the University of Manitoba’s highest honours. Individuals are selected on their distinguished service to administrative leadership, teaching, research, creative and scholarly works and service.
Throughout her 21 year career at the University of Manitoba, Halas [B.PE/82] provided leadership to the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management in many ways. However, beyond her administrative appointments, she provided extensive and exemplary leadership through her community-based research, teaching, and service. She created networks and partnerships in the areas of Physical Health Education (PHE) and culturally relevant pedagogies.
As a scholar and educational leader, Halas is known for her rigorous critique of dominant and often oppressive practices in PHE. She was one of the first voices in PHE to analyze and publish research on the impacts of whiteness and white privilege in the field of PHE. The use of community-based research methods helped Dr. Halas established important and enduring relationships with underserved inner-city communities and Indigenous communities.
Through partnerships, Halas co-founded two novel and impactful community-based pathway-programs: the Rec and Read Indigenous Youth Mentorship Program and the Sport, Physical Activity, and Recreation in the Community (SPARC) Certificate program.
Halas’ record of excellence in the area of teaching and graduate student supervision is impressive. She has mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, serving as the primary graduate thesis advisor for 15 MA and PhD students. She served on the advisory committee of 20 additional graduate students. For two decades, she employed and mentored an average 20 students per year as part of her Rec and Read Mentorship project, her Race and Diversity in Canadian Faculties of PE study, and her PE for Aboriginal Youth study, among others.
Students’ appreciation for Halas’ teaching excellence was recognized through the University of Manitoba Student Teacher’s Recognition Award, which she received three times (2010, 2016 and 2019). From her peers, Halas’ teaching brilliance was recognized with the University of Manitoba Merit Award for Teaching in 2009. This merit award for teaching complimented her Merit Award for Service (2004) and the Merit Award for Combined Research, Teaching and Service she received in 2018.
“The fact that Dr. Halas has been awarded University of Manitoba Merit Awards in all categories offered, as well as the University of Manitoba Community Outreach Award in both 2003 and 2016, surprises no one in the [Faculty],” said Doug Brown, dean, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management.
“Joannie challenges people to think bigger, and co-conspire in societal endeavours that honour the history of Turtle Island, the contemporary landscape, and the hopes of a more equitable future,” said Amy Carpenter, a one-time graduate student of Halas’ and now a teacher at Maples Collegiate.
“As a former grad student of Joannie’s and now lifelong friend, I can say whole heartedly she has helped me to step into my work and positionality as an Indigenous person, and hold high the responsibilities I have to my community.”
Halas retired in 2020.