Top international scientists tie research to student experience at uOttawa

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

OTTAWA, September 18, 2012 — International research at the University of Ottawa is in full swing as top scientists and researchers from around the world will visit the campus throughout the year  as part of the Distinguished Visiting Researcher Program (DVRP).

The program is managed by the Office of International Research and aims to foster close partnerships between researchers at the University of Ottawa and prominent international researchers to tackle major projects—all in line with the Destination 20/20 strategic plan, which focuses on internationalization, the student experience, bilingualism and research excellence. As international leaders in their fields, the visiting scientists will also enrich the academic experience of students by sharing insights and expertise with them firsthand.

The awardees for the 2012-2013 competition include the following distinguished researchers:

Professor Grace Davie
Department of Sociology and Philosophy, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Professor Grace Davie is world renowned for her research in the field of sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on patterns of religion in Europe and on comparative views of welfare, religion and society in the United States and Europe. Professor Davie will participate in an intensive research project on religious diversity, and she will present a public lecture, a research workshop and a graduate seminar for the benefit of the local research community. During her stay, Professor Davie will be hosted by Professor Lori Beaman, who holds a Canada Research Chair in the Contextualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada at the University of Ottawa.

Professor Diane Debinski
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, United States
Professor Diane Debinski is a world-leading conservation biologist with a remarkable academic record. Professor Debinski and Professor Jeremy Kerr from the Department of Biology plan to develop a research partnership using butterflies as bioindicators of climate change in North America. Following a five-year project in her own institution, Professor Debinski will also bring with her a secondary area of expertise in the field of recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering.

Professor Aline Gohard-Radenkovic
Département de plurilinguisme et des langues étrangères, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Professor Aline Gohard-Radenkovic is a leading expert in social and intercultural dimensions of communication in a plurilingual context, second language learning and immersion pedagogy. As a visiting researcher, Professor Gohard-Radenkovic will work with Hélène Knoerr, Alysse Weinberg and other researchers at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute, as well as with professors at the Faculty of Education. Her activities will contribute to the existing expertise of the University of Ottawa in models of university immersion programs.

Professor Wendy Mayer
Centre for Early Christian Studies, Australian Catholic University, Australia
Professor Wendy Mayer is an outstanding researcher whose expertise in religious conflict and the conceptualization of “madness” has contributed to the understanding of spirituality and values in the Late Antique Christianity. Professor Mayer will work closely with Professor Karin Schlapbach and her colleagues at the Department of Classics and Religious Studies, which is becoming noteworthy as a major centre for Greco-Roman research. During her stay, Professor Mayer will give talks and hold seminars that will be of interest not only to scholars in the Faculty of Arts and at the University of Ottawa, but also to colleagues from Saint Paul and Carleton universities.

Doctor Cindy Meston
Department of Psychology, University of Texas in Austin, United States
Dr. Cindy Meston is the world’s expert on the influence of hormones, monoamines and sociocultural factors contributing to female sexuality. Her partnership with Dr. Paul Fedoroff at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR) will facilitate a novel intersection of two robust research programs to investigate criminal and non-criminal female sexuality. Also known as an outstanding public lecturer, Dr. Meston will be involved in speaking events and seminars for the benefit of the student community, supported by the IMHR Forensic Research Unit and the Sexual Behaviours Clinic.

Professor Donn Tilson
School of Communication, University of Miami, United States
Professor Donn Tilson has distinguished himself on a global scale in the field of public relations, with a special interest in issues of diversity and multicultural dialogue. His visit on campus will not only contribute to a fruitful partnership with Professor Isaac Nahon-Saferty on the topic of cultural dialogue, but also include both a host of courses for undergraduate and graduate students at the Department of Communication and a set of activities that will enhance the international positioning of the University of Ottawa’s Public Relations program.

University of Ottawa faculty members interested in hosting distinguished scholars are invited to consult the 2013-2014 program guidelines available on the Office of International Research website.

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. It is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region’s economic development.

Office of International Research:
Tel.: (613) 562-5397

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