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York University
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Toronto, Ontario
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Chair of Glendon’s Hispanic Studies Next Associate Principal Academic and Research

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<p>Earlier this year, Glendon principal Kenneth McRoberts announced that professor Jerzy Kowal, currently Chair of Glendon&rsquo;s Hispanic Studies Department, has agreed to succeed Fran&ccedil;oise Mougeon as Associate Principal Academic &amp; Research. <br /><br />&ldquo;Professor Kowal&rsquo;s term will start on July 1, 2011 for a period of three years&rdquo;, said McRoberts. &ldquo;Jerzy brings a broad range of experience to the position. He has chaired the Hispanic Studies department for several years now. Beyond that, he has been chair of a wide range of committees from Faculty Council committees to tenure and promotion adjudication committees. I know that he has earned the clear confidence of his colleagues. I also know that he will discharge the responsibilities of Associate Principal with great success. Over the years, we have been most fortunate in the quality of individuals who have agreed to serve as Associate Principal Academic &amp; Research.&rdquo;</p>
<p><img style="float: right;" src="http://monglendon.yorku.ca/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/imagemanager/files/2011/may/may_4/sm.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="288" /><span class="image_caption">Right: Jerzy Kowal</span><br /><br />Kowal came from Ryerson University in 2003 to join Glendon&rsquo;s Department of Hispanic Studies as an assistant professor, and also assumed the role of coordinator of the Spanish Language Program. It is interesting to note that the Hispanic Studies Department was created in 1987, under the directorship of professor Caridad Silva, by splitting from the French Studies Department, where Spanish had only been offered as a minor. In fact, a separate Hispanic Studies Department exists in only two other Canadian universities besides Glendon: McGill in Montreal and Dalhousie in Halifax. <br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;My reason for coming to this college was that, unlike at other universities, at Glendon you join the entire academic community, rather than just teaching a course&rdquo;, explained Kowal. &ldquo;This has many benefits. It enables you to feel part of your entire department and the campus as a whole, providing you with the opportunity to develop the bigger picture.&rdquo; Kowal added that even the physical locations of professors&rsquo; offices, which are not segregated by department but interspersed, allow you to meet members of other departments and to take part in their activities. &ldquo;This is how you can become a real community.&rdquo;<br /><br />Kowal also chose to come to Glendon, because on this campus he could work and live in several languages. He has found its liberal arts environment &ndash; the gallery, the theatre, the musical performances, the literary readings &ndash; very enjoyable and enriching. The faculty club&rsquo;s welcoming environment also enables him to meet other faculty members on an informal basis.&nbsp; <br />&nbsp; <br />Kowal spoke about the uniqueness of Glendon&rsquo;s student population, who come to the college because of their dedication to the study of languages. He also praised the beauty of the campus and its ideal environment for study and research. <br /><br />&ldquo;New technologies enhancing the teaching of linguistics were just emerging when I arrived [at Glendon], an auspicious moment offering opportunities for developing my research in this field.&rdquo; In many ways, Kowal was ahead of his time, exploring new techniques and creating interactive exercises, which provide immediate feedback to professors and students, as well as the possibility of learning Spanish at various levels. Working with new technologies also fulfilled a previously stated objective of his department.<br /><br />Kowal&rsquo;s opportunity to explore administrative responsibilities came during the 2005-2006 academic year, when he served in the role of acting Chair of Hispanic Studies, becoming Chair in 2007 and working closely with Fran&ccedil;oise Mougeon, then acting Associate Principal Academic and Research. This experience provided him with a valuable learning opportunity and the knowledge that they could collaborate fruitfully and in harmony.<br /><br />As for taking on the new responsibility of Associate Principal Academic and Research, Kowal hopes to make a contribution to Glendon&rsquo;s academic development, in particular to the <a href="http://gl.yorku.ca/monglendon.nsf/e3601b9ee83d44c1852577c300675487/6634c8c906525e0985257402006ed1a8?OpenDocument" target="_blank">Centre of Excellence for French-Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education</a>, a designation received by Glendon from the Ontario government in 2008. Kowal also hopes to become better acquainted with Glendon&rsquo;s academic endeavours as a whole and to be able to promote its progress.<br /><br />&ldquo;Building on the outstanding achievements of the Glendon faculty, I will work to further expand the college&rsquo;s bilingual reality and enhance the offerings in Spanish. I also hope to make this campus more prominent on the local, national and international levels. We need to raise awareness of the research accomplished here, as well as to promote specializations which could attract the media, the Francophone milieu and future students.&rdquo; Kowal&rsquo;s vision includes a re-examination of Glendon&rsquo;s electronic public image, in order to enhance the college&rsquo;s branding. He is also planning to review the content of Glendon&rsquo;s BA degree programs, with a view to evaluating Glendon&rsquo;s place in Canada&rsquo;s academic setting, including its level of technology.<br /><br />Kowal feels confident that taking over the functions from the current Associate Principal will be a smooth transition. &ldquo;Fran&ccedil;oise&rsquo;s modus operandi is inspiring and a model for my new role. The new position will also provide me with the opportunity to give back to Glendon and to continue with my close relationships with other faculty members, but from a different perspective. I am very open to new ideas and prefer to work collaboratively at every level. My new role promises to be a very positive one, given that all of us at Glendon have the same goal: that of looking after the well-being of this wonderful institution and of promoting its success.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />Jerzy Kowal holds a B.A. in French Linguistics and a Masters in Romance Linguistics from the Universit&eacute; de Montr&eacute;al, as well as a PhD in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Toronto. He is an associate professor of Spanish Linguistics and Chair of Glendon&rsquo;s Hispanic Studies Department since 2007. Since 2003, he has been Glendon&rsquo;s Spanish language program coordinator and departmental webmaster on an ongoing basis. He has also served as Acting Chair of Glendon&rsquo;s Department of Hispanic Studies from 2005 to 2006.<br /><br />Jerzy Kowal specializes in the use of technologies in foreign language teaching and in Canadian and Asian Hispanism. He has extensively published in the field of the myths and reality of Spanish grammar. Among his numerous publications, his most recent work in this field, <em>Spanish Consecutio Temporum: Myths and Reality</em>, appeared in Lincom GmbH (Munich, 2007), and an article &ldquo;La elecci&oacute;n del modo subjuntivo en las subordinadas nominales&rdquo; appeared in Ling&uuml;&iacute;stica espa&ntilde;ola actual 29:1 (Madrid, 2007). In addition to publications and research, Kowal is an active member of various scholarly associations. He is also the creator of the Glendon Internet site for Spanish language courses (<a href="http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/hispanicstudies/hola/" target="_blank"><em>&iexcl;Hola!</em></a>). Currently, he is working on a Spanish textbook for French-speaking students and on a book on the myths of Spanish stem-changing verbs. Kowal&rsquo;s other research interests cover the fields of Spanish medieval literature and medieval theatre, and the sacred music of the Missions. <br /><br /><em>Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny</em></p>

Published on May 4, 2011