FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 14, 2015
CAFA DISTINGUISHED ACADEMIC AWARDS, 2015
(EDMONTON) – The Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA), the provincial organization representing academic staff associations at the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Calgary, and Athabasca University, is pleased to announce the recipients of the CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards for 2015.
Dr. Lars Hallström, Professor of Political Studies in the Department of Social Sciences, Augustana Campus, with a joint appointment in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, at the University of Alberta, has been chosen to receive the 2015 CAFA Distinguished Academic Award.
Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, with a cross appointment in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the University of Alberta, is the recipient of this year’s CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award.
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 who, at an early stage of their careers, through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university.
“Through the annual CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards, now in their ninth year, the academic staff associations of Alberta’s four research-intensive universities celebrate the exceptional contributions made by our members, through their research, scholarly and creative activities, to the community beyond the academy,” notes Dr. Mark McCutcheon, President of CAFA. “This year CAFA is saluting the achievements of Dr. Lars Hallström and Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu, of the University of Alberta. On behalf of CAFA, I extend warmest congratulations to Dr. Hallström and Dr. Ogbogu.”
The 2015 CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards will be presented at a banquet at the Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, on Thursday, September 17, 2015.
For further information on this year’s Award recipients, please see the attached backgrounders.
John Nicholls, Executive Director, CAFA
Tel (780) 492-5630 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Backgrounder – 2015 CAFA Distinguished Academic Award
Dr. Lars K. Hallström, University of Alberta
Dr. Lars K. Hallström, Professor of Political Studies in the Department of Social Sciences, Augustana Campus, with a joint appointment in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, at the University of Alberta, has been chosen to receive the 2015 CAFA Distinguished Academic Award in recognition of his outstanding work with rural communities.
Before joining the University of Alberta, Dr. Hallström, who has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Purdue University, taught at St. Francis Xavier University, where he held a Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Governance and took a leadership role in establishing the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. In 2009, he was named the inaugural Director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) at the U of A’s Augustana Campus, located in Camrose. Under Dr. Hallström’s leadership, the ACSRC has developed a groundbreaking program connecting research and public policy-making in rural areas ‘by fostering constructive dialogue, promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and developing partnerships between the University of Alberta and rural communities in Alberta and beyond’.
Early in his tenure at ACSRC, Dr. Hallström convened what has been described as a landmark event for rural research in this country - a national conference of over 100 academic researchers and community partners to examine the full range of community-based planning, policy-making, community development and implementation initiatives across Canada. According to Allen Berger, the Dean of Augustana Campus, this conference ‘established the ACSRC as a critical resource for rural communities in Canada and sparked a wide range of rural community-based projects, outputs and partnerships’.
Working within the broad priority research areas of natural resource management, demographic change, and rural planning and policy, Dr. Hallström’s projects have ranged across a variety of different disciplines including, for example, community health, watershed management, and municipal governance. Working with rural communities and organizations, Dr. Hallström has succeeded in drawing together networks of researchers, across disciplines and across institutions, to address what Dean Berger describes as ‘some of the core social, political and environmental questions facing rural communities in Canada’.
It is Dr. Hallström’s passionate commitment to rural capacity-building and sustainability, through knowledge transfer and mobilization, which shines through all of his work. His accomplishments as a scholar, not least his impressive record of peer-reviewed and technical publications, have been matched by his success in developing new and productive connections between the academy and rural communities, which directly feed into rural policy-making and planning.
An exemplar of the engaged academic, whose research is having a real impact in the wider community, Dr. Hallström earlier this year received promotion and was named Professor of Political Studies, with a joint appointment in Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, at the University of Alberta.
Backgrounder – 2015 CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award
Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu, University of Alberta
Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu, an Assistant Professor cross-appointed in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, has been chosen to receive the CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award for 2015 in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of health law and policy.
Dr. Ogbogu, who received his Doctorate in Juridical Sciences from the University of Toronto in 2014, held research positions at the University of Alberta, University of Toronto, and University of Minnesota, prior to taking up a tenure-track appointment at the University of Alberta in 2013. Even at this very early stage in his career, his academic work, on a range of contemporary public policy issues such as vaccination, stem cell research, genetic testing, bio-banks, medical tourism, and research ethics, is being published in leading academic journals.
At the same time, however, as the Dean of Law notes, Dr. Ogbogu has also demonstrated ‘an acute awareness of the importance of health law issues to the public and had made consistent efforts to disseminate his finds to ensure that the broader community benefits directly from his expertise.’ Dr. Ogbogu’s work on vaccination issues, for example, has resulted in presentations to policy-makers in Ottawa, and garnered a good deal of attention in the media, where his ability to address complex issues in non-academic language accessible to a lay audience is highly valued.
A colleague has identified Dr. Ogbogu’s ‘gift for moving quickly between highly conceptual legal scholarship and more broadly-based practical policy work’. Under his leadership, a recent interdisciplinary research project funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, on the privacy challenges raised by cell-based research, has produced not only several academic papers in law journals, but also a multi-authored policy paper offering concrete recommendations aimed at both researchers and policy-makers.
To promote the wider discussion of topical health law matters, Dr. Ogbogu maintains a high-profile presence on social media, using Twitter and various blogs to reach diverse audiences. He has raised funds for, organized, and presented a number of ‘Philosopher Café events, open to the public, covering such hot-button issues as medical tourism, genetic engineering, and stem cell research.
In addition to the evidence of his exceptional promise as a scholar in the field of health law and policy, then, it is Dr. Ogbogu’s wholehearted engagement with the community beyond the university - with the general public, as well as with healthcare providers and policy-makers - which has so impressed those familiar with his work at this point in his academic career. As his Dean comments, Dr. Ogbogu’s committed outreach on health law policy issues ‘demonstrates his commitment to, and his understanding of, these matters as they apply to real people as well as how they might be resolved on a theoretical level.’