Past Award Recipients

The recipients of the UBC Emeritus College Award for Excellence in Innovative and Creative Endeavours display excellence in their engagement in innovative research, artistic creation, or new applications of previous research.


UBC Students working in Sicily

Roger Wilson - Professor Emeritus of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies (2014)

"Prof. Wilson is a prolific author, and has made numerous significant scholarly contributions, particularly to aspects of Roman rural life, the late Roman and early Byzantine transformation of settlements, and the archaeology of the Roman provinces. He is, in fact, the world’s leading expert on Roman Sicily, and it is here that he has made a remarkable impact."

"As an indefatigable scholar, Prof. Wilson has made an outstanding contribution to the ancient history of Sicily in just the last few years alone, as an emeritus — this is in addition, of course, to his earlier work. His innovative investigation of a hitherto unknown Roman luxury villa, owned by a high-ranking horse breeder, at Gerace in Sicily has given us more knowledge about late Roman social, economic, and cultural connections on the island than we have ever had. It is astounding that since 2014, he has published 60 papers, reviews and books, in leading journals and with distinguished publishing companies, with several more accepted and in press!"

"He has continued to take on new projects and to accept invitations to speak or contribute to volumes. More importantly he has continued to train students in the archaeological field by taking them to work on his sites and he has continued to make new and fresh research contributions to our knowledge of the lived experience of the inhabitants of Roman Sicily."

Please find a video of the Awards Ceremony on May 17, 2023.

Please visit the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies website for more information on Dr. Wilson's work.


Diana Lary - Professor Emerita of History (2007)

"As a committed scholar who has continued to publish and present her work and as an advisor and mentor to those studying or wishing to understand China from a deeply humane and compassionate perspective, always built on a foundation of solid research, Dr. Diana Lary is a worthy candidate for the Emeritus College Award."

"Diana’s newest book [China’s Grandmothers] will effectively create a research field that did not exist until now.”

"Dr. Lary has been a model public intellectual, a compassionate and judicious historian who takes seriously her responsibility to inform the public."

"Professor Lary has remained an active and highly engaged scholar and commentator after her retirement in 2007, continuing to publish and speak extensively in various national and international forums on Chinese current and historical events. Her work focuses on war, trauma, suffering, military history, migration, and Canada-China and Canada-Hong Kong relations, combining a compassionate sympathy and critical eye to bring new perspectives to difficult topics."

Please find a video of the Awards Ceremony on May 4, 2022.

Please visit the Department of History website for more information on Dr. Lary's work.


James (Jim) Zidek - Professor Emeritus of Statistics (2005) - Inaugural recipient of this award

"Dr. Zidek is an internationally recognized leader, indeed, a pioneer, in the development of methodology for the analysis of spatial and spatio-temporal data with application to health and the environment, and he has continued that work since becoming Emeritus."

"Prof. Zidek is not only a leader in statistical methodology and its application but has been at the forefront of engaging with policy makers, industry and business providing an exemplar of how scientists can be involved at the heart of decision-making processes outside of academic.”

Since retirement, Dr. Zidek has developed new statistical theory and methods to manage the production of Canadian wood products and statistical methods for the analysis of animal movement, with a special focus on marine mammals. 

Dr. Zidek was selected for his dedication to the development and application of statistical methodology and his profound impact by bringing data-driven solutions in areas such as air pollution, health risk assessment and the optimal management and preservation of national resources.

Please find a video of the Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2021 and the Seminar on Emeriti Serving the Community on June 9, 2021 by clicking on the links.

Please visit the Department of Statistics website for more information on Dr. Zidek's work.