FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 15, 2008
CAFA DISTINGUISHED ACADEMIC AWARDS, 2008
EDMONTON – The Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA), the provincial organization representing academic staff associations at the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, and Athabasca University, is pleased to announce that Dr. Claude Couture, a professor at Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta has been chosen to receive the CAFA Distinguished Academic Award for 2008. Dr. Diane Conrad, from the Department of Secondary Education, University of Alberta, is the recipient of this year’s CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award.
The Awards will be presented at a dinner in Edmonton, on Thursday, September 18, 2008.
The CAFA Distinguished Academic Award recognizes academic staff members who through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university.
The CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award recognizes academic staff members at an early stage of their careers who through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university.
The annual Awards are specifically designed to honour excellence and raise awareness of the many ways in which the work of university academic staff serves the wider community.
“The recipients of the CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards are being honoured by their peers,” noted Linda Bonneville, President of CAFA. “I’m delighted that we are able to recognize in this way the extraordinary contributions our colleagues make, through their research, scholarly, and creative activities at our universities, to the wider community beyond the academy. The work of Dr. Claude Couture and Dr. Diane Conrad, the CAFA Distinguished Academic Award recipients for 2008, is exemplary in this respect, and worthy of celebration.”
John Nicholls, Executive Director, CAFA
Tel (780) 492-5630 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Claude Couture
Dr. Claude Couture, Professor of Social Sciences and Canadian Studies at Campus Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta, receives the 2008 CAFA Distinguished Academic Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the wider community beyond the university during a distinguished career as a scholar and teacher. Since taking up his appointment in 1988, at what was then known as Faculté Saint- Jean, Claude Couture has made a crucial contribution to the development of a culture of research and scholarship at this unique Francophone component of the U of A – through his own wide-ranging and dynamic research program, his award-winning teaching grounded in research, and his leading role in the creation of the Faculté’s Centre for Canadian Studies, which in 2006 was expanded to become the U of A’s bilingual Institute for Canadian Studies/Institut d’études canadiennes, with a mandate to promote teaching, research, publication and service/citizenship activities in the field.
As the Dean of CSJ comments, “The motto of the Institute’s most visible activity, the Louis Desrochers Lectures Series, ‘Connecting Canadians,’ represents magnificently Dr. Couture’s objectives and impact on the community.” Claude Couture has worked tirelessly to develop the public profile of the Canadian Studies program, attracting to it ‘a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary team of established and rising scholars’ and presenting a series of colloquia, workshops, and conferences on a variety of themes. He also edits the highly-regarded Revue internationale d’études canadiennes/International Journal of Canadian Studies.
Addressing the themes of multiculturalism, nationalism and identity, and often breaking new ground, Dr. Couture’s own research, resulting in eight books and dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters, has received national and international acclaim. He has been described as ‘CSJ’s most visible scholar’ through his many radio and TV interviews, and his articles in newspapers such as Le Devoir and Le Franco.
Among his many distinctions, Dr. Couture was awarded a Killam Professorship at the U of A for 2007-08; the 2006 Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Professorship (at the Jackson School, University of Washington) in 2004-05. He is currently Principal Investigator on a SSHRC-funded project to analyze the political and social impacts of social sciences research in Canada.
Dr. Diane Conrad
Dr. Diane Conrad, who took up her initial appointment at the University of Alberta in 2004, is being recognized with this year’s CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award for the remarkable contribution she has made to the community outside the university through her academic research and innovative work on the potential of popular or ‘applied’ theatre to transform the lives of ‘at risk’ youth.
Dr. Conrad, who is currently Associate Professor of Drama/Theatre Education in the Department of Secondary Education, based her PhD thesis on a participatory theatre project she conducted with a group of high school students, which encouraged them “to explore their experiences around issues they identified as relevant to their lives, including experiences deemed at risk.” Subsequently, Dr. Conrad’s program of research has focused on the use of popular theatre to help incarcerated youth, the majority of whom of are Aboriginal youth, whose choices and behaviours have proved detrimental to their lives, by offering them imaginative possibilities to “express, better understand and question their experiences, and begin looking for alternative responses or options for change.” Dr. Conrad’s groundbreaking work with incarcerated youth received national attention in 2006, when she was awarded the Aurora Prize of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which “recognizes an outstanding new researcher who is building a reputation for exciting and original research in the social sciences or humanities.”
As a colleague has commented, “Dr. Conrad underpins her research and teaching with a passion for social justice.” Her ongoing work in the community continues to centre on the problems of marginalized youth, and she is lead researcher on a proposed interdisciplinary project with iHuman Youth Society, “Digital art video narratives of youth addictions and resiliency,” exploring innovative ways to address youth addictions. Dr. Conrad also has received a major grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Leader’s Opportunity Fund for a project to develop an interdisciplinary arts-based research facility in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. According to the Dean of Education, this multimedia facility, now under construction, “will offer opportunities for further collaborative research initiatives across the campus and with the community.”