Thanks, on the record

This week, I had a milestone worth sharing. It marks the next step in a long and extraordinary journey.

As the sun sets in Halifax, I like to look out my office window. When I look out, I see the McCain Building, where I started this journey in 2006, and did most of my undergrad. I am reminded of the many years of learning and events that have long come and gone and am reminded how lucky I am to teach here. In a globalized world, not many people have the privilege of working where they grew up, much less in academia.

Today, I received notice from Kim Brooks, President of Dalhousie University, stating that I have been recommended for promotion to Associate Professor and tenure, an indefinite appointment.

For academics, this marks a major hallmark and achievement. It’s an incredible privilege to be granted this honour. It’s also incredible to know that I am held in such high esteem by my colleagues, both in Halifax and in the international community. The honour further comes from the goodwill of my students and friends, who have all played a part in making this happen. Thank you!

For me though, it also marks something that might even be a bit different. In September, it will have been 17 years since I started here. Except for a brief stint at Queen’s, most of my professional life has been spent at Dalhousie, on this city block: in the McCain, the Goldberg, and the Rowe buildings. Sometimes I wonder what could have been if I had left. What could my life have been if I had taken a step down a different path?

These thoughts disappear when I am reminded why I committed to this path. Dalhousie has consistently delivered not just a good opportunity, but the best opportunity for me. I have received nothing but the utmost support from this community in pursuing seemingly strange adventures at the margins of disciplines. There is probably no other role that could so support a life in pursuit of strange research hobbies while pursuing a passion for equipping people to have life-changing education. Even more to see these things realized in others over decades.

I am extraordinarily privileged to have a job that is also a vocation, and life mission. Thank you, everyone, and I am looking forward to the decades to come!