Dr. Ottilia Chareka: In Memoriam

The Faculty of Education mourns the loss of Dr. Ottilia Chareka who passed away tragically on March 16, 2011. We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to members of her family. At the time of her death, she held the position of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at St. Francis Xavier University. During her tenure at the university Ottilia taught a variety of courses in the Bachelor of Education and Master of Education programs. She was a driving force in the implementation of the part-time Bachelor of Education program for African Nova Scotian learners and the Mi'kmaw Kinamatnewey School Improvement program. She also served as secretary of the St. Francis Xavier University Senate. She was the mother of five wonderful girls, Missy, Patience, Patricia, Primrose, and Prisca.


Ottilia came from Zimbabwe where she had completed her teacher education training. She obtained a Diploma in Advanced Undergraduate Studies (Social Studies) in 1993 and M.Ed. in 1994 from the University of New Brunswick. She returned to Zimbabwe where she taught Geography and Commerce at junior and high school level. She later joined Morgan ZINTEC Teachers' College as a lecturer in the department of Social Studies. She came back to Canada in May, 2001 to pursue her doctoral studies and worked as a research assistant for the Spirit of Democracy Project. Her research interests were in multicultural education, citizenship education, migration and integration of immigrants, global education, inclusive practices, and research methods. Her PhD research focused on democratic participation of recent African immigrants and native-born Canadians and implications for Canadian citizenship and multicultural education.


Beyond Ottilia's work with the university, she was a role model for the community at large. Ottilia supported her parents and extended family in Zimbabwe and assisted her siblings in furthering their educational and career goals. In the community, she found time to serve on the School Advisory Council and supported a variety of community causes.

A wake will be held at C.L. Curry's Funeral home on Saturday March 19th from 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. A memorial service will be held in honor of Ottilia's life on Sunday at 2pm at the University Chapel. A Memorial Fund For the Children of Ottilia Chareka has been set up at the Bergengren Credit Union.


Watch a short video of Ottilia here.