Research Chairs

UFV is home to four accomplished Research Chair holders:

Dr. Lenore Newman

Canada Research Chair in Food Security & the Environment

  Dr. Lenore Newman

The University of the Fraser Valley has a new federally funded researcher on campus. Dr. Lenore Newman was recently appointed Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment and joins the Geography department at UFV.

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.

As part of her appointment, Newman will be investigating Canada’s foodways, or how food defines Canadians and their culture. She will also be looking at environmental and social threats to food sustainability. The location of UFV in rural zone at the edge of a growing metropolis provides a perfect living laboratory for her research.

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.

Newman will be crossing the country finding “foods of locality”, talking to food producers and chefs, and recording her research through film and still photography, along with other methods.

She will also be looking at the Fraser Valley and its connection to food production and the competing demands of agriculture, urbanization, and the wilderness needed to sustain wild foods such as B.C. salmon. She says that the collapse of a food source affects a region in many ways. Read more

Dr. Newman is the 2014 receipient of the Devorah Kahn Award for Leadership in Food Security, presented annually by the Vancouver Farmers Market Society.  See 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

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. Amandeep Sandhu

BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada-India Business & Economic Development

Dr. Amandeep Sandhu

Dr. Amandeep Sandhu has been named the University of the Fraser Valley’s new BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada–India Business and Economic Development. He took up his post on July 1. This research chair is housed at the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at UFV. Sandhu will also be a faculty member in the UFV School of Business. He replaces DJ Sandhu, who previously served as chair.

The research chair’s mandate is to help local businesses capitalize on opportunities in India by providing market intelligence and advice.

The provincially funded Leading Edge Endowment Fund, which is managed by the BC Innovation Council, provided $1.25 million in support to fund this research chair, which was established in 2007. A further matching of $1.25 million was contributed by hundreds of individuals, companies, and organizations throughout the Fraser Valley and beyond.

“UFV welcomes Dr. Sandhu — we are very fortunate to have someone with such a strong academic and applied background appointed to the chair position,” said Dr. Adrienne Chan, AVP of Research at UFV.

Dr. Sandhu is also welcomed by the UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies’ community advisory committee.

“It was with great pleasure that I learned of Amandeep Sandhu’s appointment as the Canada–India Innovation Chair. I believe he is fully suited for this position and will make an excellent team member. We wish Dr. Sandhu the best of luck as he advances in his role, and the committee looks forward to working with him,” said Ken Uppal, chair of the Indo-Canadian community advisory committee at the UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies.

With a passion for community and its relationship with commerce, Sandhu brings four years of experience as an assistant professor in the department of sociology with Philadelphia’s Temple University, along with a lengthy academic resumé.

He holds a PhD (sociology with global studies emphasis) from the University of California (2008), and a BA from UBC (1999).

Before Temple University, Sandhu taught sociology at the University of California. A native of India, he moved to Canada at the age of 20, and now speaks four languages (Punjabi, Hindi, Arabic, and English).

Research has taken Sandhu to India several times since 2006, helping him understand the interconnectivity of global flows of capital, infrastructure, information, and labour.

“Basically that is how the world works today,” he explains. “It combines economy and society.”

Implementing that knowledge will be of key importance in his new position, in which Sandhu expects to succeed thanks in part to UFV’s existing external relationships locally, provincially, and in India. He will also work closely with the community of scholars within UFV who have long-term and deeply rooted relationships with India.

“These are the relationships in this modern world that we need,” he explains.

Noting that UFV’s size was one of many benefits that attracted him to the position, Sandhu looks forward to growing the university’s partnerships here at home, and abroad.

“(UFV’s size) provides a much more healthy sense of what you’re doing and of your work. It provides for a more intimate setting,” he says. “It provides for me to be on the ground doing research while continuing my work in India and throughout this community. It’s not just the beginning of something new; it’s building on what’s already here.”

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