Nominations are being sought for the 2023 Donner Medal in Canadian Studies. Please submit nominations by October 1st, 2023 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Donner Medal in Canadian Studies is presented biennially by The Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) for distinguished achievement, scholarship and program innovation in the area of Canadian Studies in the United States.
The recipient is selected by a committee of members of the Association after nominations have been publicly solicited. Nominees can include a person in any field who has made a significant contribution to Canadian studies in the United States during a reasonable period of residence in the U.S., even if no longer a resident. Current officers of ACSUS are ineligible for consideration. The primary criterion for selection is contribution to Canadian studies in the United States. The recipient shall have been active in and made contributions in at least one of the following categories: teaching, scholarship, administration, public affairs.
The recipient of the Donner Medal for 2023 is Stephen Hornsby
Originally from southern England, Stephen Hornsby received his M.A. from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He began his Canadian Studies career at the Centre of Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 1984, and then joined the University of Maine in 1987. For twenty-seven years, he served as director of the Canadian-American Center, a federally-funded National Resource Center on Canada. He has published and co-edited several prize-winning books, including Surveyors of Empire: Samuel Holland, J.F.W. Des Barres, and the Making of the Atlantic Neptune (2011), which received the Pierre Savard Award from the International Council for Canadian Studies. His latest book, Cod Coasts: Cultural Landscapes of the Cod Fishery from Cape Cod to Labrador, is in press.
The recipient of the Donner Medal for 2021 is Robert Thacker
Robert W. Thacker joined the St. Lawrence University faculty in 1983 as the second member of the Canadian Studies program. He was also a member of the English department and taught a broad range of courses. As a scholar, Thacker has made significant contributions to Canadian literature and studies and to the literature of the North American West, Willa Cather, and especially Alice Munro. Thacker’s Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives: A Biography (2005) is a fine example of his work. He served many years as Editor of The American Review of Canadian Studies, edited ten volumes on aspects of his subjects, and for a decade was the Executive Secretary of the Western Literature Association. Beyond his three books, Thacker is the author of over 70 scholarly articles and numerous review essays, short reviews, notes, and other published contributions. He retired from St. Lawrence University in 2018.
The recipient of the Donner Medal for 2019 is Dr. Mildred Schwartz.
Mildred A. Schwartz is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a Visiting Scholar at New York University. Professor Schwartz has published five books, among her book length list of publications, which deal with aspects of Canadian Politics. Three of the books, Political Parties and the Canadian Social Structure with F.C. Engelmann, Public Opinion and Canadian Identity, and Politics and Territory: The Sociology of Regional Persistence in Canada, were examples of cutting edge breakthrough research which has influenced several generations of Canadian scholars. Additionally, Professor Schwartz has authored more than thirty articles or chapters that deal with various dimensions of parties and the political process in Canada.
The recipient of the Donner Medal for 2017 is Dr. Myrna Delson-Karan.
As a professor of French at a number of universities in New York and in Texas, Professor Delson-Karan exposed her many students to the richness of Quebec literature and to the multidisciplinary study of Canadian culture and society. Similarly, at an impressive number of association meetings and conference events, she exposed American colleagues and graduate students across the country to the voices of over 100 Quebec authors reading from a broad range of their works. This remarkable contribution to the field is a hallmark of Myrna’s personal dedication to the promotion of French-Canadian literature and a tribute to her organizing skills.
Myrna has made many positive contributions to fund-raising efforts, even in the most challenging of times, on behalf of ACSUS and ACQS. Her numerous connections with both federal and provincial officials in Canada and Quebec are noteworthy and long-standing, which has benefited both organizations in a variety of ways.
Dr. Myrna Delson-Karan has earned her reputation as an indefatigable promoter, contributor to, and admirer of Canadian studies by bringing people together and helping to provide outstanding opportunities for the study and advancement of Canadian studies across the United States.
Update (July 2017): Sadly, Myrna Delson-Karan passed away June 23rd. See the entry under the "News" tab for details. Fortunately, her husband David and daughter Debbie joined us in Las Vegas to accept the Medal on her behalf.
The recipient of the Donner Medal for 2015 is Professor (Emeritus) Mark Kasoff, Bowling Green State University.
Through teaching, scholarship, and program development, Mark has focused on the importance of the Canada-US economic relationship. He created the North Country Economic Research Center at SUNY Potsdam to demonstrate the benefits of trade and direct investment on both sides of the border. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses about Canada and published articles, book chapters, and monographs. With Patrick James (our 2013 Donner Medalist), he co-edited Canadian Studies in the New Millennium, now in its second edition and widely used as an undergraduate text.
Mark was the founding director of the Canadian Studies Center at BGSU, focusing on the Ohio-Canada economic relationship. He served as the Editor of The American Review of Canadian Studies, and as an ACSUS counselor. He was visiting faculty at the National Security Seminar, Canadian Forces College. He has taught Canadian Studies at Willamette University and helped the University of Oregon develop a Canadian Studies program. Mark received a 20/20 Vision Award from ACSUS and a Certificate of Merit from the International Council of Canadian Studies.
Patrick James is Dornsife Dean’s Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California (PhD, University of Maryland, College Park).
James specializes in comparative and international politics. His interests at the international level include the causes, processes and consequences of conflict, crisis and war. With regard to domestic politics, his interests focus on Canada, most notably with respect to the constitutional dilemma. James is the author or editor of 22 books and over 120 articles and book chapters. Among his honors and awards are the Louise Dyer Peace Fellowship from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Milton R. Merrill Chair from Political Science at Utah State University, the Lady Davis Professorship of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Thomas Enders Professorship in Canadian Studies at the University of Calgary, the Senior Scholar award from the Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC, the Eaton Lectureship at Queen’s University in Belfast, the Quincy Wright Scholar Award from the Midwest International Studies Association (ISA), the Beijing Foreign Studies University Eminent Scholar and the Eccles Professor of the British Library. He is a past president of the Midwest ISA and the Iowa Conference of Political Scientists. James has been Distinguished Scholar in Foreign Policy Analysis for the ISA, 2006-07, and Distinguished Scholar in Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration for ISA, 2009-10. He served as President, 2007-09, of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, and Vice-President (2008-09) of the ISA. He is serving President of the International Council for Canadian Studies for 2011-13. James also served a five-year term as Editor of International Studies Quarterly.
George T. Sulzner was awarded the 2011 Donner Medal in Canadan Studies.
George Sulzner has been one of the most important contributors to the success of Canadian Studies in the United States. His service as a scholar and teacher on the subject of Canada has been, for decades, outstanding, as evidenced by the dozens of influential publications in this field that he has authored, throughout his career. His work as a mentor to other Canadian studies scholars (including myself) has been instrumental in guiding careers in this area. He has served as an active member and elected officer, in several capacities, of ACSUS and other organizations that are dedicated to Canadian Studies. That service has included President of the Middle Atlantic and New England Council for Canadian Studies [MANECCS] and, of course, President of ACSUS. His contributions to his discipline have been so sustained and exemplary that the George Sulzner International Fund (which provides financial assistance to Master’s level Public Policy and Administration students pursuing unpaid or low-paying internships) was created by the University of Massachusetts in his honor.
However, his tenure as president of ACSUS, while notable in itself, rose above the normal accomplishment of service to Canadian studies. He bolstered the organization’s finances, led the effort to sustain governmental funding for Canadian studies, promoted the cause of attracting new membership, and inspired his colleagues, nationally and internationally, to renew their commitment to this interdisciplinary endeavor.
Donald K. Alper was awarded the 2007 Donner Medal in Canadian Studies
Dr. Donald K. Alper, Director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University since 1993, is renowned in for his advancement of Canadian Studies in the United States. He continues to build bridges between the two nations through his personal, professional and academic achievements in outreach, research, publication and service. Besides his directorship of the Canadian Studies program at WWU, Don Alper is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Border Policy Research Institute. Under Alper’s direction and in their totality, the programs have had enormous national impact on educational directives, governmental policy, business practices and international relations. He is the recipient of three Merit Awards as well as a Retention/Recruitment Award at Western for excellence in teaching and the time he devotes to working directly with students. Most recently, he was instrumental in making Western the new home of the American Review of Canadian Studies (ARCS).
Alper is also an important advocate for Canadian Studies on a broader scale. Early on, he began to build a body of publications in Canadian Studies that, just since 2000, include books, refereed articles, articles in edited volumes, book and manuscript reviews, proceedings, and conference papers. He has led the Association for Canadian Studies in the US as councilor, committee chair, and two-term vice president and two-term president. He has presided over the Western Canadian Studies Association, and served as a member of the Executive Council for the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium since 1987. He is an active member of several editorial boards, including ARCS. BC Studies:The British Columbia Quarterly, and Journal for Borderland Studies, and has often been invited aboard special commissions since first being appointed to the Special Expertise Advisory Group on Canadian National Policy to Mr. Robert L. Wenman, Member of Parliament, in 1976. Don Alper’s informed opinion is regularly sought by education, business and government organizations as well as local, state and national media from both sides of the border.
The Donner Medal in Canadian Studies is presented biennially by The Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) for distinguished achievement, scholarship and program innovation in the area of Canadian Studies in the US.
The recipient is selected by a committee of members of the Association (appointed by the president of the organization), including some with a knowledge of the development of Canadian studies in the US., after nominations have been publicly solicited. Nominees can include a person in any field who has made a significant contribution to Canadian studies in the United States during a reasonable period of residence in the U.S., even if no longer a resident. Current officers of ACSUS are ineligible for consideration.The primary criterion for selection is contribution to Canadian studies in the US. The recipient shall have been active in and made contributions in at least one of the following categories: teaching, scholarship, administration, public affairs.
The award itself is made possible through the interest and support of the William H. Donner Foundation of New York City. In 1975 the Donner Foundation made a grant to ACSUS to fund the designing and striking of several medals to be known as “The Donner Medal in Canadian Studies.”
The medal was designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt, a distinguished Canadian sculptor and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Past Winners of the Donner Medal in Canadian Studies
1975 Richard Preston
1977 Russell Nye
1979 Alice Steward
1981 Edward J. Miles
1983 Victor Howard
Rufus Z. Smith
1985 Marion Salinger
1987 Gerard Rutan
Annette Baker Fox
1989 Robin Winks
William Diebold, Jr.
1991 Mary Jean Green
Charles F. Doran
1993 William Metcalfe
1995 Peter Karl Kresl
Richard Beach >joint
1997 Norm London
1999 Robert Monahan
2001 Victor Konrad
2003 Lee Briscoe Thompson
2005 Karen Gould
2007 Donald Alper
2009 No award given
2011 George Sulzner
2013 Patrick James
2015 Mark Kasoff
2017 Myrna Delson-Karan
2019 Mildred Schwartz
2021 Robert Thacker