Dr. Hewson remembered as a committed lecturer in student-led panel
Carleton University launched the Dr. Marc Andrew Hewson Memorial Scholarship this month with a literature panel and award for the first recipient of the prize, named in honour of an English professor who taught at both Carleton and the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Hewson taught American literature and film studies at Carleton and the U of O and was a recognized Hemingway scholar. He passed away in December 2018, and the scholarship was established shortly afterwards in his memory.
Over the course of the event, Dr. Hewson’s talents as a lecturer, the respect he earned from his students, and his three-piece suits were fondly remembered. The scholarship ceremony opened with a panel discussing literature in a way that panel organizer and former U of O student Jaclyn Lyttle felt was “in keeping with his spirit.” Lyttle had worked as a TA for Dr. Hewson while at Carleton.
Lyttle wanted a panel that discussed books because that was what Dr. Hewson did best, she explained. She was also reluctant to reopen emotions nearly a year after his passing, instead wanting to focus on the powerful impact of his work on students.
“It had originated as a concept to raise funds for the scholarship,” Lyttle said. “What happened is that the scholarship became so successful so quickly that there was no longer a need to raise funds … I had already put some effort in, and we’ve already come up with the idea and it would be a good way to honour his memory, so we decided to go ahead with it just as a panel.”
The panellists included Lyttle, Brooke McDonald, another former student of his, and Eve Beauchamp, the vice-president (communications) of the Students’ Association of the Faculty of Arts (SAFA) at the U of O. U of O PhD candidate Patrick Williams was scheduled to speak but fell ill. The event was hosted by Carleton English professor Jodie Medd.
Although Lyttle only worked for Hewson for one term, he had a large impact on Lyttle’s own teaching style once she started working in academia.
“Marc had a huge impact on the approach that I brought to my teaching,” Lyttle said. “The impact he had on me in realizing how I wanted to teach was profound … I took so much inspiration from this person.”
What Lyttle wanted to drive home was Dr. Hewson’s commitment to teaching students, and while organizing the panel she was relieved to know that he had a similar impact on many other students. Despite being a part-time professor working at both universities, he made a lasting impact.
“He wasn’t a full-time tenured professor here or at the U of O, and it’s really impressive that someone who is part-timing at two spaces can be having such a profound impact and such a profound reputation at both universities,” said Lyttle.
Disclosure: Jacyln Lytle is a former managing editor (2011-12), features editor (2010-11), and arts & culture editor (2009-10) at the Fulcrum.