The University of Winnipeg



Six outstanding faculty and staff to be honoured at Spring Convocation

Top row left to right: Peggy Day in front of a red background; Christopher Wiebe in front of a red background; Ross Stokke in front of a red background. Bottom row left to right: Xiao-Yuan Dong in front of a red background; James Christie with his face resting on his hand with red background; Stephanie Rozzi in front of a red background.

Top row, from left: Dr. Peggy L. Day, Dr. Christopher Wiebe, and Dr. Ross Stokke. Bottom row, from left: Dr. Xiao-yuan Dong, Dr. James Christie, and Stephanie Rozzi.

The University of Winnipeg is proud to honour six outstanding faculty and staff members—Dr. Peggy Day, Dr. Xiao-yuan Dong, Dr. James Christie, Dr. Ross Stokke, Dr. Christopher Wiebe, and Stephanie Rozzi—during our 124th Convocation on Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14.

Dr. Peggy L. Day, Professor Emerita

Dr. Peggy L. Day has served UWinnipeg for over three decades as a scholar, teacher, and administrator. She is renowned for her brilliance, for her thoughtful engagements in her field, and for her administrative acumen.

Dr. Day completed her PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University in 1986. She was one of the first scholars to engage in feminist historical study of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

Her recent research examines primary and secondary material on the internees of the Second World War Japanese POW and internment camp at Batu Lintang, in present-day Malaysian Borneo.

As a teacher, Dr. Day has helped generations of students, including several who went on to do graduate work. Dr. Day was also equally dedicated to mentoring and supporting junior academics in the department.

As Chair of the Department of Religion and Culture for over 15 years, she changed the shape of the curriculum and made significant contributions to university governance.

Dr. Xiao-yuan Dong, Professor Emerita

Since arriving at UWinnipeg in 1993, Dr. Xiao-yuan Dong established herself as a leading expert on China’s economic transformation and its gender implications. Her work has helped promote gender responsive policy-making in China.

Over the last two decades, she has mentored young Chinese female economists through the Chinese Women Economists Research Training Program at the China Centre for Economic Research, a program she co-founded with Zhao Yaohui of Peking University. 

Dr. Dong created an undergraduate course on gender and the economy as well as a chapter on gender issues for a graduate-level course at UWinnipeg, all while actively participating in its governance.

Her equity work was recognized by the Canadian Women Economics Committee with the Sylvia Ostry Award for furthering the status of women in economics through achievement and mentorship.

Dr. Dong is a widely cited, highly accomplished researcher. In 2006, her research earned her UWinnipeg’s Erica and Arnold Rogers Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.

Dr. James Christie, Professor Emeritus

Dr. Rev. James Christie has been an outstanding educator, researcher, and mentor, inspiring students and colleagues through his passion for academia in the field of theology for over 30 years.

His years of service as an educator show a passion for teaching, academic excellence, and a genuine concern for his students’ success. His work has left an indelible impression on generations of students and colleagues.

Dr. Christie’s devotion to his work and impact as Dean and Professor in the Faculty of Theology, Acting Dean of Global College, and co-founder of the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy, has resonated beyond the university campus.

His groundbreaking research as an editor, contributor, and peer reviewer in several prestigious journals further solidifies his reputation as a leading expert in dialogue theology and world ecumenism.

Dr. Christie has been an invaluable ambassador for UWinnipeg. His membership and service on various boards and committees earned him UWinnipeg’s Clarence Atchison Award for Community Service in 2008. This includes serving the G8 Religious Leaders Summit, G20 Interfaith Forum Advisory Board, United Church of Canada, and Umunna Igbo Association of Manitoba.

Dr. Ross Stokke, Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Ross Stokke has been teaching university mathematics for over 20 years. He teaches some of the most difficult courses and gets glowing student reviews, with nearly 100 per cent satisfactory ratings on all his student evaluations of teaching. 

His leadership and initiative have improved the student programming in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He played a major role in the creation of an open-access online pre-calculus review workshop for introductory calculus courses. He helped develop several new courses, one of which helps prepare students for challenging upper-level theoretical math courses.

He is vice-president of the non-profit Archimedes Math Schools, which offers low-cost, after-school math lessons for children. He developed many of their math resources, which focus on math skills and enrichment activities. Each year, he delivers math-interest lessons on topics that include the four-colour theorem and the notion of infinity.

He has also participated in other math-related initiatives, such as the Math Readiness Workshops at the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, the Kangaroo Math Contest, and the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium.

“Ross is an outstanding teacher and is highly deserving of this award,” said Dr. Narad Rampersad, Chair, Mathematics and Statistics.

Dr. Christopher Wiebe, Erica and Arnold Rogers Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship

Dr. Christopher Wiebe is a quantum material scientist who began his university career at UWinnipeg with a BSc in Physics and Chemistry. He returned to UWinnipeg in 2009 as a Professor of Chemistry, and is one of the department’s most accomplished members.

He has an impressive research and teaching career and an international reputation in physical chemistry, neutron scattering, and complex magnetism. He is recognized for his leadership in crystal growth, crystallography, and bulk property measurements.

Dr. Wiebe has over $60 million in research funding to date, including an NSERC Discovery Grant and a one $1 million CFI grant. He also became a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Quantum Materials Discovery.

Many of the materials he designs have profound technological applications. One of his specialties—high temperature superconductivity—could change the world, much like the silicon revolution did.

He has produced over 130 publications in top-quality journals. He was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Fellow of the Quantum Materials division of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Dr. Wiebe built a research program at UWinnipeg with a number of exceptional students. His mentorship is commendable and has led to many successful research careers.

Stephanie Rozzi, Stars of Spence Street Prize

Stephanie Rozzi has worked with thousands of students at UWinnipeg, and has offered her time, care, and creativity to each one.

Her main focus has been academic advising and recognition of prior learning for adult learners. Rozzi has served this important group of students with diligence and dedication for 20 years.

She organizes, hosts and facilitates the annual Adult Learner Orientation at the start of each fall term, where she shares knowledge, builds connections, and arranges for speakers to share important information, relevant to the unique experiences of adult learners.

Rozzi consistently demonstrates a remarkable blend of empathy and leadership, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for both students and staff. She trains new staff in Academic and Career Services and helps new colleagues in their roles.

She has been recognized for her contributions to UWinnipeg’s PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition) policies, and is a tireless advocate for Military PLAR candidates.

She quietly pursues the vision of making a university education fully accessible to adult learners and those who are looking to be recognized by the University for what they already know and do.

In recognition of exceptional service, achievement, and distinction, The University of Winnipeg presents a variety of awards to deserving members of the University and wider community at our Convocation ceremonies. Learn more about our 124th Convocation.

Media Contact