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UNB announces new education awards in honour of late dean Ann Sherman

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 23, 2020

Category: UNB Fredericton

Students in the University of New Brunswick’s faculty of education have the opportunity to carry on the legacy of the faculty’s late dean Dr. Ann Sherman, thanks to a generous commitment of $400,000 from the John and Judy Bragg Family Foundation in support of early childhood education.

The gift supports the annual awarding of four undergraduate Dr. Ann Sherman Scholarships in Early Childhood Education, valued at $5,000 each; two Dr. Ann Sherman Graduate Fellowships valued at $10,000 each; and an annual professional development fund of $10,000 for educators in the field. In acknowledgement of Ann’s deep respect for Indigenous peoples, preference will be given to Indigenous students for one of the scholarships and one of the fellowships each year.

Dr. Ann Sherman was a beloved national leader in early childhood education and Indigenous education in Canada. She spearheaded the early steps in establishing UNB’s new online bachelor of education in early childhood education program, a ground-breaking online-only initiative that is unique in eastern Canada. She led UNB’s Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action Committee and helped create New Brunswick’s first Indigenous course curriculum in 1994. Ann Sherman died in 2017, the same year she was honoured with a lifetime membership in the Association of Canadian Deans of Education.

A virtual celebration of the gift from the John and Judy Bragg Family Foundation, held on Monday, Nov. 23, also celebrated the influence of Ann Sherman’s life and legacy.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, who is the namesake of a previous gift to UNB by John and Judy Bragg in honour of initiatives in Indigenous education, said that Ann Sherman had a huge influence on him. “Ann’s contribution to education is legendary,” Mr. Martin said. He recalled hours spent in her office on UNB’s Fredericton campus, gaining insights and understanding from her into issues surrounding Indigenous education. “I miss her tremendously.”

UNB’s president and vice-chancellor Dr. Paul Mazerolle thanked the John and Judy Bragg Family Foundation for their generosity and spoke of the importance of Ann Sherman to UNB and to Canadian education. “Ann stood for the best that education can offer, and she firmly believed that the most important thing is to encourage a love of learning from an early age,” Dr. Mazerolle said. “She lives on in a very real way, in the programs she helped develop and the enthusiasm for education that she encouraged.

“Ann Sherman modelled Piluwitahasuwawsuwakon (a Wolastoqey word gifted to UNB by Opolahsomuwehs, Elder Imelda Perley), which means ‘allowing your thinking to change so that action will follow in a good way toward truth,' and considering and sharing other world views, histories and practices,” added Dr. Mazerolle.

Established in 1785, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is Canada’s oldest English-language university and New Brunswick’s only comprehensive university. UNB's mission is to inspire and educate people to become problem solvers and leaders in the world, undertake research that addresses societal and scientific challenges, and engage with partners to build a more just, sustainable and inclusive world. With more than 75 undergraduate and graduate programs across its Fredericton and Saint John campuses, UNB serves over 10,000 students from more than 100 countries. A full 50 per cent of high school applicants receive scholarships. UNB is responsible for 70 per cent of all publicly funded research in the province of New Brunswick and attracts $39 million in external research funding annually.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Joy Cummings/UNB Photo