Research Chairs

UFV is home to three accomplished Research Chair holders:

Dr. Lenore Newman

Canada Research Chair in Food Security & the Environment

  Dr. Lenore Newman

Dr. Lenore Newman was recently renewed as UFV's Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment. Since accepting the role of Canada Research Chair back in 2011, Lenore has been busy building a core of research activity focused on food security and agricultural issues.

She led the establishment of the Agriurban Research Centre at UFV, which is dedicated to the study of landscapes on the edge of major urban areas, with a focus on creating thriving agricultural regions within cities.

Lenore was awarded the UFV Research Excellence Award in 2015. UFV's Agriculture Centre for Excellence Director, Dr. Garry Fehr, shared how Lenore has the "ability to integrate complex theoretical concepts with contentious social issues of land development, food security, and food culture in ways that resonate with academia, local communities, industry, policy makers, non-governmental organizations and students". 

In 2014, Lenore was invited to join the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. She was also recognized by the Devorah Kahn Foundation for her work on farmers' markets, and by the Real Estate Foundation for leadership on the study of sustainable food systems. Lenore has built a network of scholars connected to research into agriurbia, and created opportunities for UFV undergraduate students to participate in applied research. 

"I strongly believe that we at UFV can excel at research relevant to this region that involves undergraduates directly," she says. "My undergrads get the kind of opportunities that would go to graduate students at other institutions. They work on projects, get published in partnership with faculty, do really solid research, and with that experience they get jobs."

Newman comes to UFV from Royal Roads University in Victoria, where she was an assistant professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability and head of the Master of Environmental Management program. Her research interests include food security; sustainable food systems/urban food systems; place, space, and urban nature; and urban spatial geography.

Newman holds a PhD and a master’s degree, both in environmental studies, from York University, and a BSc (honours) in physics and astronomy from the University of British Columbia. She has travelled extensively and developed a strong interest in sustainability partly as a result of those travels.

She says that there are three main threats to Canadian food sustainability: climate change, urban land pressures, and the disappearance of wild environments. As for what defines a Canadian cuisine, she says that it is based on wild foods and an enthusiastic integration of immigrant culture and foods.

It's not suprising that somebody as immersed as Lenore in the study of agriculture and food is a bit of a foodie. She recently completed a book on Canada's food culture titled Speaking in Cod Tongues: Exploring Canada's Cuisine. 

Although Lenore may put on an activist hat on occasion when advocating for the preservation of farmland, her opinions are always grounded in her research. "I am an academic first and foremost. My job, to borrow a phrase from the Quakers, is to speak truth to power. To quote the Dutch philosopher Erasmus: 'give light and the darkness will disappear.'" 

Dr. Irwin Cohen

RCMP Senior Research Chair in Crime Reduction

  Dr. Irwin Cohen

Dr. Irwin Cohen has taken up the role of RCMP Senior Research Chair in Crime Reduction at the University of the Fraser Valley, effective September 1, 2013.

Cohen has been at UFV for 10 years, first as a faculty member in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, then as director. He earned his doctorate in criminology at Simon Fraser University, and master’s degrees at both the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto.

The RCMP Senior Research Chair in Crime Reduction was created in 2006. The position is a partnership between UFV and the RCMP, and is designed to serve as a research resource for police departments throughout British Columbia. The holder of the chair works closely with E Division of the RCMP, which is the administrative home of the police force in BC. The chair also works closely with individual police detachments.

“We consult regularly with the RCMP at the administrative level, but in many ways, the work of this chair is designed to help police departments throughout B.C. with any research priorities they may have,” notes Cohen.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UFV puts a deliberate emphasis on being responsive to stakeholder and community demands and on involving undergraduate students in the many research projects that it takes on annually. The activities of the chair support both these priorities.

“One of the compelling aspects of this position is that you never can predict what amazing research projects you will become involved with because we are continually responding to requests from police organizations, public safety agencies, and student interests,” Cohen says. “In many other universities, faculty members can spend their entire careers narrowly focused on a very specific research area, but in the UFV School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, we take a deliberate generalist approach to research. This is reflected in the mandate of the chair to be of service to police detachments throughout BC to the benefit of all British Columbians.”

A major focus of the RCMP research chair is crime reduction. While all criminal justice efforts are at their core aimed at reducing crime, this policing model focuses on bringing all relevant stakeholders together to contribute to reducing crime, especially crimes perpetuated by chronic offenders.

“The crime reduction model acknowledges that many stakeholders have a role to play in creating a community-wide cohesive approach to addressing crime and safety,” says Cohen, citing social service agencies, health authorities, local and regional governments, and other public safety agencies, such as fire departments and paramedic services. “It also recognizes that we don’t have an endless capacity to expand policing resources, so it looks at ways to use the resources we have more efficiently. We’re embracing the idea that police should be less reactive, and more focused on using evidence-based empirical data to assist in preventing crime, and developing and implementing strategies that build on those things that police do well and establishing meaningful community partnerships to prevent and reduce crime.” Read more

  Dr. Hugh Brody

Dr. Hugh Brody

Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies

UFV's commitment to fostering research related to Aboriginal topics received a huge boost when the university was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).  The award allows UFV to build on existing interdisciplinary collaboration in various aspects of Aboriginal studies involving the departments of history, geography, anthropology, sociology, criminal justice, visual arts, and social work.

Professor Hugh Brody is leading an ambitious program of research on the role played by Aboriginal youth in the development of their communities. Brody's work in Aboriginal communities is helping to teach a new generation to do research for themselves and their communities - helping them to tell their own stories.

Brody's research includes a number of multidisciplinary and multimedia projects, including one with young Aboriginal people in the Fraser Valley. The work seeks to better understand how young men and women in Sto:lo communities define the value of their lives. As a comparative anthropologist, Hugh Brody's work has taken him around the globe. He has studied land use issues related to the Hai-kom Bushmen in Namibia, Africa; researched the economic impact of hydro projects on the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, and examined the social, economic and cultural losses due to resettlement of tribal communities in India. Read more

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