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Kim and Rob NelsonKim and Rob Nelson will both receive awards at today's Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, which happens to fall on their 14th anniversary. Photo by Hagen Nelson.

Award winning researchers to be recognized on wedding anniversary

Today is an especially rewarding one for Kim and Rob Nelson.

Besides taking home a pair of awards at today’s annual Celebration of Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, the two professors are celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary.

“It’s just really a happy coincidence that we would both win an award in the same year, and that we would be getting it on our anniversary,” said Kim Nelson, a filmmaker and professor in the School for Arts and Creative Innovation.

Every year, the university spotlights accomplishments and achievements of faculty to pay tribute to those who have received significant awards and honours for their research or creative activity. 

Nelson will be receiving an award as an emerging scholar. A documentary filmmaker, she has shot and directed a number of pieces including Berliner, an illuminating feature length film about the struggles of women of Turkish descent living in Germany’s capital.

She’s currently editing a film that documents the work of her husband Rob Nelson, a history professor whose research focuses on how such countries as Germany, Russia, Canada and Argentina colonized their inner borderlands. The film examines how Max Sering, a student at the University of Strasbourg, came to Canada in 1883 at the request of Chancellor Otto Van Von Bismarck to learn more about how Canada was colonizing the west, and specifically how some of the ideas he brought back to Germany eventually planted the seeds for Nazi expansionism.

Rob Nelson, who is receiving a mid-career researcher award, said it’s important to note that both he and his wife are being recognized for work they had done previously on separate projects, but added it’s extremely gratifying to be collaborating together on a project now that they’re both very passionate about.

“It’s wonderful,” Kim said of the acknowledgement. “These awards recognize both research and creativity, and I’m very interested in both. It’s a great thing to be recognized like this.”

The campus community is invited to the Celebration of Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity sponsored by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, today—Tuesday, March 18—from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Vanier Hall’s Winclare A room.