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Professor Michael Dennis’ new book, The Full Employment Horizon in 20th-Century America: The Movement for Economic Democracy has just been published by Bloomsbury. A historian of working-class movements, race, political economy, and social protest in the American experience, Dennis explores the dissent, policy debate and popular mobilization that defined the campaign for full employment between 1930-1970. Dennis argues that this campaign was inextricably connected to the movement for economic democracy.

Through a ‘bottom-up’ approach, Dennis shows how social movements reshaped the idea of full employment, expanded democratic parameters, and offered a means of liberating workers across the racial and ethnic spectrum. Throughout eight interesting chapters, the book notes how the hard-fought campaign for full employment intersected with other movements – such as women’s liberation and civil rights – to expand the horizon of economic emancipation.

Importantly, The Full Employment Horizon demonstrates how the inequalities and inherent tensions within American capitalism ensured that the social vision of full employment would continually challenge the assertion that business-led growth automatically generated employment for all.

The Canada Research Chair program has just publicized an investment of $195 million for 259 new and renewed Chairs to attract global talent and increases diversity. Acadia University is pleased to announce that Professor Lesley Frank (Sociology) is our newest Tier II chair in “Food, Health, and Social Justice.” An outstanding scholar, Dr. Frank’s research has established family and early childhood food insecurity as an urgent nutrition, health, and social equity problem in Canada requiring enhanced monitoring, further research, and national action.

Published in both Canadian and leading international food studies journals, Dr. Frank is also a leader in disseminating research and policy analysis among the general public and has authored the Nova Scotia Child and Family Poverty Report Card for twenty years (the most downloaded report of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative – NS). Recently, Dr. Frank’s book Out of Milk:  Infant Food Insecurity in a Rich Nation, was published by the University of British Columbia Press and is now available in paperback.

Honoured to be awarded a Tier II Canada Research Chair, Dr. Frank notes that it is “an exciting opportunity to build on the excellent work already happening at Acadia across faculties related for food and health inequalities.” Importantly, she is now positioned to “work collaboratively with new and longstanding partners on transformative solutions to families and childhood food insecurity.” Acadia’s Dean of Research, Dr. Anna Redden, was equally excited, noting that the Canada Research Chair program “helps universities like Acadia build research capacity and retain exceptional internationally recognized scholars like Professor Frank.”

Acadia’s Dr. Tanya Surette (Counsellor Education) has been awarded a prestigious New Health Investigator Grant from Research Nova Scotia (RNS) for her project “Resilience and impairment: A study of factors supporting counsellor development and career longevity”. Valued at $99, 906 over two years, the funding will help Surette investigate the important problem of compassion fatigue among Nova Scotia’s counselling professionals.

While compassion fatigue can affect counsellors in different ways (e.g. depression & anxiety), it can also hinder their ability to provide the most effective and therapeutic services possible to their clients, resulting in potentially negative social, psychological and economic outcomes for individual service users. Yet, while compassion fatigue is a serious problem affecting many mental health practitioners, it is not an inevitable outcome of professional counselling and, in fact, many demonstrate a high level of resilience in this demanding but rewarding field.

Despite the way it develops over time, compassion fatigue and resilience are typically studied in single moments of time, capturing present levels of distress or wellness. Dr. Surette’s study will take a developmental approach to better understand the progression of compassion fatigue and resilience amongst counselling practitioners. Tools such as video journal diaries, narrative interviews, artistic exploration, and mental health screening assessments will be employed to follow counselling graduate students from preservice, through their education, internship, and into their early careers. The results of this study will add to the existing literature as well as inform counsellor educators, supervisors, managers, and individual practitioners on ways to support the development of sustainable counselling practices.

Research Nova scotia has provided over 2 million dollars in research funding to early career researchers who are working in areas that align with the province’s health research priorities. You can read about all the recipients on the RNS website.

Dr. Mark Malloy, Acadia University’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems has contributed to an important study that was recently published in one of the world’s leading scholarly journals, Science. The study notes the tremendous effect that climate change is having on Arctic animal behavior as some species are changing everything from spring migration to reproduction times.

Read about the team and their fascinating study on the website of the CBC or in the Globe & Mail.

The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has just announced that Acadia Psychology Professors, Dr. Anne-Sophie Champod and Dr. Daniel Lametti, have been awarded $371,012 through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) toward a $927,533 project to construct and equip the Acadia University Centre for Neuroscience and Cognitive Health.

This critical CFI funding has been matched by Research Nova Scotia (RNS) funding support of $371,014 and will serve to meet a high priority health focus area of the province of Nova Scotia. The Centre will be an invaluable asset for the Department of Psychology and the Acadia community at large. The project will  involve major renovations in the lower level of Horton Hall to create an open and shared research space to facilitate interaction between students, faculty, and outside researchers, and to house new cutting-edge neuroscience equipment currently unavailable in the region (including functional neuroimaging, biological motion tracking, and non-invasive brain stimulation).

The new Centre will support innovative and high-impact research programs that will advance the knowledge of the neural mechanisms that underlie cognitive and motor functions in healthy individuals, how these mechanisms are altered with learning or by disease, and how they respond to various interventions.

The Acadia University Centre for Neuroscience and Cognitive Health will create an environment in which Drs Champod, Lametti, and their colleagues can collaborate on projects involving a range of healthy populations and patient groups with important implications for the understanding and treatment of various health conditions (e.g., for stroke recovery and speech therapy).  It will also significantly increase the breadth of training and opportunities they can offer students in the fields of cognitive and clinical neuroscience and will enable and inspire future discovery as well as faculty and student recruitment.

This prestigious funding is an important moment for Acadia University as it expands the institution’s research capacity. An elated Dean of Research & Graduate Studies, Dr. Anna Redden, notes that the centre is aligned with Acadia’s Strategic Research Plan, and “will help the school retain and recruit faculty and create a much-needed anchor facility in the Department of Psychology to impact the academic unit well into the future.” “Importantly,” Redden adds, the Centre “will provide tremendous momentum for a neuroscience research cluster at Acadia that collaborates with internal researchers and external organizations both at home and abroad to collectively address critical challenges in brain science.”

Through CFI, the Government of Canada is giving more than $96 million in funding to support 377 new research infrastructure projects at 55 institutions from coast to coast. This total includes more than $22 million under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund to assist institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

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