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Director appointed

Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo appointed director of the Labrador Institute

Campus and Community

By Jennifer Batten

The search committee for the director of the Labrador Institute has completed its work and recommended Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo for the position.

Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, has accepted the recommendation for the appointment, which is effective Sept. 15, 2016.

Community-engaged social scientist

Dr. Cunsolo comes to Memorial from Cape Breton University where she is currently a Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Healthy Communities and an associate professor of community health in the Nursing Department, cross-appointed with Indigenous Studies.

For more than 10 years, Dr. Cunsolo has been working with Indigenous communities and leaders across Canada on a variety of community-led and community-identified research initiatives in the areas of health, environment and culture, including in Labrador.

She is a community-engaged social science and health researcher with extensive experience in teaching and research in the areas of social, environmental, and cultural determinants of Indigenous health, intercultural learning and dialogue, capacity development, environmental ethics, university-community partnerships, reconciliation and decolonization, and the social justice implications of social, environmental, and health inequality.

Connection and collaboration

“The Labrador Institute continues to expand its connection with the local community, with growth in curriculum development and an increasing number of Memorial faculty, visiting scholars, master’s and doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows leading research activities there,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic). “Dr. Cunsolo’s success with community-based participatory research, and her focus on collaboration with Indigenous communities and regions across Canada and the Circumpolar North will enable her to guide the continued development of Memorial’s work and collaborations in Labrador.”

Dr. Cunsolo holds a PhD from the University of Guelph and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McGill University in the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group.

Dr. Golfman acknowledges the work of Dr. Martha MacDonald who has served as interim director since November 2015.

“I extend my sincere thanks to Dr. MacDonald for her leadership during the transition between permanent directors at the Labrador Institute,” said Dr. Golfman.

The Labrador Institute’s mission is to bring the needs and interests of Labradorians to the university and to facilitate actions that will bring the capacities of the university to bear on these needs and interests.


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