Shelley McKellar named as Faculty Scholar

March 19, 2019

Shelley McKellar, Associate Professor, Department of History

Shelley McKellar, Associate Professor in the Department of History, has been named as one of Western University’s 2019 Faculty Scholars.

McKellar is known internationally as one of Canada’s leading experts in the history of medicine and is a specialist in the history of surgery, medical technologies, and the material culture of medicine. She is also a prominent public historian and the co-director of the Medical Artifact Collection at Western University.

McKellar is joint appointed between the Department of History and the Department of Surgery in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, which have distinct ways of conducting scholarship; McKellar has excelled in these distinct research and teaching cultures.

“I'm thrilled to be named a Faculty Scholar! Thrilled, delighted and touched to receive this honour; it's lovely to be acknowledged this way at a university teeming with productive scholars,” said McKellar. “I am grateful to Western for this recognition of my research and teaching activities at this point in my career. It's also a shout-out to my colleagues in the History Department for their continuous support and encouragement of my various activities.”

The Faculty Scholar award recognized significant scholarly achievements in teaching and research.
McKellar has made significant contributions to teaching at Western, and has an exceptional record of teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. She has designed several innovative courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, for both medical and history students. She has received the UWO Fellowship in Teaching Innovation award, secured a place on the USC Teaching Honour Roll, and been sought out by the Teaching Support Center to participate in the Teaching Master Class, Assessment Series and other teaching programs.

“For me, I am energized by teaching and by research in a way that is intertwined. I am lucky since the topics and themes discussed in my classes overlap with my various research interests, from disease outbreaks to medical instruments. So it's less a balance, and more a way of sustained engagement,” said McKellar. “And I do plan at least two extended research trips each year, often coinciding with conferences, typically spring-summer, to study museum collections and archival documents. Always great fun to explore historical records and medical artifacts located throughout the country!”

Professor McKellar is internationally known for her work in the history of surgery. She has written two surgical history monographs: Artificial Hearts: The Allure and Ambivalence of a Controversial Medical Technology, and Surgical Limits: The Life of Gordon Murray. Professor McKellar is also forging a place as a leading scholar in the history of medical technology and the material culture of medicine.

Established in 2005, the Faculty Scholars Award recognizes significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Nominated by faculty deans and selected by the Faculty Selection committee chaired by the Provost, the recipients have an international presence in their discipline and are considered all-round scholars. Winners hold the title “Faculty Scholar” for two years and receive $7,000 each year for scholarly activities, as well as receiving a citation.