International Francophones the focus of new research chairs

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Marie-Hélène Chomienne

Marie-Hélène Chomienne, an Associate Professor and Clinical Investigator at the University of Ottawa Department of Family Medicine, a health care leader in the Francophone community, and a researcher at the Institut du Savoir Montfort at Hôpital Montfort, has been awarded the Chaire de recherche en francophonie internationale et santé de l’immigrant ou du réfugié d’Afrique francophone subsaharienne, an international Francophonie research chair that will focus on the health of immigrants and refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are pleased to grant a research chair to Professor Chomienne, who is known for her research into the health of minority groups, particularly the health of Francophones in minority language settings in Ontario,” said University of Ottawa Vice-President, Research Sylvain Charbonneau. “This research chair will complement the current work of the other Francophonie research chairs and allow us to train the next generation of top Francophone scientists based on the principles of equity and diversity,” he added.

Professor Chomienne has formed partnerships with African researchers to better understand the health needs of Francophones from Sub-Saharan Africa; she will examine what we know about the physical and mental health of immigrants and refugees from this part of the world who are currently living in Francophone countries.

She will also research the social determinants of health in these populations, such as sources of health care injustice and the strategies implemented by regional authorities to facilitate access to, and encourage the use of, health care. The goal of her research is to describe the state of physical and mental health of recent immigrants and refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa now living in Ontario, France, and Francophone Belgium, in order to provide them with appropriate health care.

The researcher, who is dedicated to providing clinical care and academic support within the international Francophone community, is also working on COVID-19 research projects, including one on the psychological effects of the pandemic on hospital cleaning staff and on access to mental health care.

New holders of the Francophone Mobility Chair

The Francophone Mobility Chairs are awarded to international researchers who are recognized as specialists in the Francophonie in various fields and who are conducting research at the University of Ottawa. Four new chairs have been awarded to the following researchers:

Éloïse Brezault is a professor of Francophone studies at Saint Lawrence University (USA). Her research, which will be conducted in collaboration with professors and students from a variety of institutions across the Francophonie, will study the formation of concepts of race and identity.

Professor Julia Ndibnu-Messina Ethé from the University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon) will explore bilingual and plurilingual teaching, as well as the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate the teaching of first and second languages at the elementary and high school levels, with the goal of strengthening the learner’s professional skills and their fluency in these languages.

Nicolas Peyre is a teacher and researcher in communications and information science from the Institut du Droit de l’Espace, des Territoires, de la Culture et de la Communication (IDETCOM) of the Université de Toulouse 1 Capitole (France). His research will examine diplomacy in Francophone diplomatic circles in Ottawa from a francophone perspective, and the globalization of the branding of France’s public museums within the Francophonie.

Denis Provencher, a professor of French and Francophone cultural studies and director of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Arizona (USA), will conduct research on the experiences of racialized or immigrant Francophones who are queer and living as a diaspora in Canada.

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