Andrea O’Reilly of York University’s school of women’s studies has won CAUT’s Sarah Shorten Award.
Andrea O’Reilly, an associate professor of women’s studies at York University and founder of the Association for Research on Mothering, has received CAUT’s 2010 Sarah Shorten Award
for significant contributions to promoting the advancement of women in Canada’s universities and colleges.
Hailed as a pioneer of modern motherhood studies, O’Reilly has worked tirelessly over a 30-year academic career to expose the systemic exclusion of maternal experience from scholarship. She created the first university course in Canada on mothering and her work has been largely credited with putting mothering studies on the map.
She has received several prestigious awards and fellowships and numerous SSHRC grants. She is the author and editor of several books on mothering-related topics, including the first encyclopedia on motherhood. She has also founded a critically acclaimed journal and a peer-reviewed scholarly press, launched a museum and an international consortium of scholars and is a sought after speaker at conferences and events in Canada and around the world. She has most recently started the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.
O’Reilly’s impact on women was highlighted over and over again in the many letters received from colleagues and students in support of her award nomination.
Writers noted her love of ideas and her willingness to share and praised her committed, inspirational and wise mentoring to sustain women’s participation in the academy.
One colleague said in validation: “You need only meet Andrea O’Reilly once to experience her genuine warmth and inspiring confidence, as well as her inclusive energy, one that is bent on demystifying the academy and convinces you that ‘If I can do it, you can too, and here is how we begin.’”
CAUT executive director James Turk said the award acknowledges what O’Reilly is well known and respected for in Canada and internationally: “illustrious scholar, outstanding researcher, prolific writer, a role model, devoted mentor and activist. She is a most deserving recipient of the Sarah Shorten Award for her many efforts on behalf of women.”