Brescia Honours Distinguished Faculty at 2015 Baccalaureate and Convocation

News Release
June 16, 2015

London, ON – On June 14th and 15th over 600 Brescia faculty, staff, and graduates, along with their families and friends gathered for Brescia’s annual Baccalaureate and Convocation ceremonies. These special ceremonies not only celebrated Brescia’s Class of 2015, but also honoured three of its distinguished faculty; Sister Mary Frances Dorschell was granted Professor Emerita status; Professor Melissa Jean was named the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Teaching; and Dr. James Doelman was named the recipient of the inaugural Award for Excellence in Research.

After three decades of outstanding academic service at Brescia, Sister Mary Frances Dorschell, an Ursuline Sister of the Chatham Union, has been granted the status of Professor Emerita. Sister Mary Frances Dorschell holds a B.A. in History and Latin from Western University, an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature from the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in French from Western. Since her arrival as Dean of Students at Brescia in 1982, she has modeled true pedagogical leadership. Teaching all levels of French language and Literature, she served as Chair of Modern Languages at Brescia for over two decades, and was active in developing the Major in French for Teaching and the Volunteer Teacher Program.  Sister Mary Frances Dorschell has dedicated her career at Brescia to her passion for French–language pedagogy, and has been instrumental in building Brescia’s stellar reputation for preparing and professionalizing future French teachers. In addition to a number of peer–reviewed articles and translations, Sister Mary Frances Dorschell is the author of a definitive work on the influence of Thérèse of Lisieux on the French author, Georges Bernanos. Among the many accolades she has attained over her years at Brescia, Sister Mary Frances Dorschell received Brescia’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002 and was honoured with a Living Leadership Award in 2013.

Known by her students and colleagues as a committed and passionate teacher, Professor Melissa Jean, of the Division of Social Sciences, Management and Organizational Studies since 2005, is the holder of Brescia’s 2015-16 Award for Excellence in Teaching. Teaching core business and accounting courses, Professor Jean consistently challenges her students and holds them to a high academic standard. Her approaches to teaching and mentoring are incredibly compelling: she works tirelessly to establish connections with each student, making the classroom experience personally meaningful for that student. Within her 10 years at Brescia, she has developed new courses and aided in the development of new programs to serve students and connect them to their professional lives after graduation. Professor Jean has served as the Chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Brescia since 2013, and has been on the Dean’s Honor Roll of Teaching every year since she joined the Brescia faculty.

Dr. James Doelman, a faculty member of Brescia’s Department of English since 2001, was named the holder of the inaugural Award for Excellence in Research for 2015-16. This new award was established in 2014 by the Office of the Vice-Principal and Academic Dean, with the objective to recognize outstanding research and scholarly accomplishments of a Brescia faculty member. Dr. Doelman’s major research specialization is in the areas of 16th and 17th century English literature, and secondary area is in 18th century English literature. Dr. Doelman is consistently committed to unearthing new discoveries and shedding light on previously unknown Early Modern Literary works.  His work in this area is described as “rare, innovative and changing the way in which we understand poets and poetry of the English Renaissance in the most foundational way.” Dr. Doelman has worked extensively on digitizing manuscripts from the Early Modern period, which has increased accessibility to these works for students and scholars alike.  His passion has inspired and engaged students, who he has successfully trained and mentored in manuscript editing and paleography. He has held many internal research grants at Brescia and was awarded a five-year research grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (2003-2008) for his research on epigrams in early modern England. Dr. Doelman has a strong publication record of single-authored, peer-reviewed, and refereed articles, including three books. He is currently completing another book, The Epigram in England: 1590-1640, based on his research, which will be published later this year by Manchester University Press. Dr. Doelman also served as an Associate Editor of the online journal, Early Modern Literary Studies, and was very instrumental in the development of the journal.

Dr. Donna Rogers, Vice-Principal and Academic Dean, recognizes these tremendous achievements, stating, “We are incredibly proud of our faculty and we are so pleased to recognize their outstanding accomplishments. Their commitment to excellence in their research, teaching and student-centred approach is inspiring. Our three honorees wholly align with Brescia’s mission and demonstrate what it means to lead with wisdom, justice, and compassion in a changing world. ”


For more information please contact Caitlin Core, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer at 519-432-8353, ext. 28280 or at  Brescia University College, Canada’s only women’s university, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,275 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Media Centre at