Carolyn Shields receives honorary doctorate from Laval University

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Professor Carolyn Shields is presented with an honorary degree by Sophie D'Amours of Laval University in Quebec.Carolyn Muriel Shields, professor of educational administration and leadership in the Wayne State University College of Education, recently received an honorary doctorate from Laval University in Quebec, Canada. She was awarded the honorary degree — the university’s highest honor — to emphasize the exceptional character of her academic and professional career in education. Sophie D'Amours, Ph.D. — who was elected the first female rector of Laval University in April — presented the degree to Shields during the graduation ceremonies that took place on Saturday, June 17, at the Desjardins-Laval University amphitheater-gymnasium.

“It is rare that someone from the field of education receives an honorary doctorate. I am so grateful to the administrators from Laval who nominated me and to all my colleagues in schools and universities around the world who have contributed to my thinking and supported my work,” said Shields. “Receiving this doctorate honoris causa and having the opportunity to speak (in French) to the graduates was the honor of my life. The ceremony was decorous and joyful, and the dinner was a true celebration of scholarship and friendship.” 

Laval University awards honorary doctorates to individuals whose influence is considered remarkable and exemplary in one of the spheres of activity of the university. Candidates are selected based on their professional contributions, personal achievements, and community involvement. The selection committee also considers individuals’ social role, relationships with the university, and relevance to the faculty or university. Recipients come from academia and from civil society in Quebec and around the world.

One of eight individuals to receive an honorary doctorate from Laval University this year, Shields is past president of the Canadian Association for Studies in Educational Administration and former Canadian representative to the Board of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management. She also worked for the University of British Columbia (UBC), serving as a department head, a member of the UBC senate, and founding director of the School Leadership Centre.

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