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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 05 | Mar. 8, 2001

Humanities, science scholars earn Killams

Recipients will be recognized at Chan Centre gala tonight

by Hilary Thomson staff writer

The nature of personality in early Greeks is the focus of research for Prof. Shirley Sullivan, one of 10 UBC Killam Research Prize winners who will be recognized at Celebrate the Stars, a gala event to be held this evening at the Chan Centre as part of Research Awareness Week.

The $5,000 individual prizes are equally divided between arts and sciences disciplines.

"I am honoured to have my work recognized," says Sullivan, a faculty member in the Dept. of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies since 1972. "In the humanities particularly, one wonders if one's work is making an impact. It's gratifying to have the commitment to research acknowledged."

Sullivan studies the cognitive process and its relationship to personality as described in poetry, literature, philosophy and drama of the Archaic Age (750-450 BCE).

The early Greeks' view of personality has similarities to eastern thought, she says, in that the self was understood to be compartmentalized into a variety of faculties such as insight, emotion or decision-making that could operate independently and simultaneously with no single integrated psyche. Sullivan has studied how this view gradually evolved to match our current understanding of self and personality which was first described by Plato.

When she started her research and first understood the many elements that comprise the early Greek notion of psyche, Sullivan admits she was a little alarmed at the work that lay before her.

"I thought `this is going to take my whole life' -- and it has," she says, adding that she has never tired of her subject and that colleagues' support and research achievements have provided a model of encouragement.

The UBC alumna has written five books on her subject and says the Killam prize will allow her to study abroad, preferably at Oxford. She is currently studying Euripides' play The Hippolytus, looking at how differences in the way characters make decisions contribute to conflict and tragedy.

Other UBC Killam Research Prize recipients are: Fine Arts Prof. John O'Brian; Psychology Prof. Eric Eich; Psychology Assoc. Prof. David Geoffrey Hall; Computer Science Prof. David Kirkpatrick; Computer Science Prof. Alan Mackworth; Chemical Engineering Prof. James Piret; Anatomy Prof. Joanne Weinberg; Geography Prof. Graeme Wynn: and Statistics Prof. James Zidek.

Also announced are the Izaac Walton Killam Memorial Fellowships. The fellowships top up faculty salaries by up to $15,000 during sabbatical leaves. Scholars also receive a $3,000 grant for research and travel expenses.

Recipients are: Sociology Assoc. Prof. Dawn Currie; History Assoc. Prof. Caroline Ford; Geography Prof. Derek Gregory; Statistics Assoc. Prof. Paul Gustafson; Psychology Assoc. Prof. D. Geoffrey Hall; Biotechnology Prof. Wilfred Jefferies; Asian Studies Assoc. Prof. Ross King; Physics and Astronomy Assoc. Prof. Janis McKenna; Law Asst. Prof. Judith Mosoff; Physics and Astronomy Asst. Prof. Douglas Scott.

See also: Researchers among latest stars to shine


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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