Vale Grant Evans and Jan Schapper
It is with sadness that we share the passing of two great La Trobe alumni and scholars, Professor Grant Evans and Dr Jan Schapper.
Professor Grant Evans
Professor Grant Evans was widely regarded as one of the finest scholars on contemporary South-East Asian studies. He was one of the few academic specialists on Lao politics, society and history, anywhere in the world.
His academic career started at La Trobe University in the late 1960's where he was part of the founding cohort of students and a significant figure in the student protests and activism of the era. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1970 and earned a PhD in anthropology in 1984.
Grant was a senior research fellow in anthropology at the École Française d'Extrême-Orient, Vientiane, Laos, where he lived. He taught anthropology at the University of Hong Kong for many years.
During his career he authored several books, including The Politics of Ritual and Remembrance: Laos Since 1975, The Short History of Laos: The Land In Between and the Last Century of Lao Royalty: A Documentary History.
Dr Jan Schapper
Jan completed her Bachelor of Arts and Dip Ed degrees at La Trobe University in 1976. She pursued a career in secondary school teaching, followed by stints as a rehabilitation consultant, union organiser and in HIV/AIDs and health promotion.
In the mid-1990s she started her academic career at Monash University's Department of Management and made significant curriculum development contributions in the areas of business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
In 2010 Jan returned to La Trobe to take up a position as senior lecturer in the former Graduate School of Management. She said that her return to her alma mater had a 'wonderful circularity' to it.
Jan taught business ethics, and business in society as part of the La Trobe MBA, and was Director of Teaching and Learning in the Graduate School. Her passionate belief in social justice, especially on issues of poverty, gender equality, Indigenous land rights, and climate change, were central to her teaching ethos.
A gifted educator, Jan's unsurpassed teaching, mentoring and supervision skills had a profound and personal impact on all her students. Jan retired from La Trobe in 2013.