On May 13, 2020, Sarah Parish successfully defended her Master of Science in Rural Planning and Development thesis! Sarah’s research examined the role of agritourism as a solution to rural revitalization in Regional Municipality of Durham’s three northern townships: Brock, Scugog, and Uxbridge.
Rural Studies student Brady Reid was awarded the prestigious Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral. Brady began his studies in September 2019 with the Global Minerals Local Communities project where he intends to undertake research with Indigenous partners being impacted by mining activities associated with Ring of Fire developments in northern Ontario under the supervision of Drs. Sheri Longboat and Nicolas Brunet.
This spring Dr. Wayne Caldwell and MSc students Elise Geschiere and Regan Zink are undertaking research examining municipal capacity as it relates to rural and agri-food issues; the project is funded by the Greenbelt Foundation. A thriving agricultural sector in Ontario is dependent upon a knowledgeable and supportive municipal sector.
Dr. Chowdhury was elected as the Secretary of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE). He was inducted as the Secretary of the new AIAEE board during a business meeting held in April 2020.
Dr. Chowdhury has been collaborating with the University of Alberta and the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, to undertake participatory action research on technology stewardship― a model for strengthening change leadership role for adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within any kind of community of practice. The model focuses on developing competencies of the Technology Stewards for facilitating and demonstrating change leadership in the adoption and use of low-cost digital technologies for communications, training, and knowledge transfer.
As a second-year student in the Rural Planning and Development program, Lou Helps has been working on his master's thesis about the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). For this project, he has been visiting migrant workers in their home communities in central Mexico to talk about their experiences working and living on Canadian farms. SAWP workers come to Canada for anywhere between six weeks and eight months of the year to fill seasonal positions in the agricultural sector.
2019 was a successful year for Rural Planning Development graduate students and faculty! The 2019 Rural Planning and Development Annual Report overviews the current graduate students, faculty members, and research activities. A few key highlights from the 2019 annual report include:
As a second year student in the MSc in Rural Planning and Development program, Chirag has been part of a research team, under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Brunet, that looks to understand how community driven approaches related to fishing are used to strengthen local governance systems in First Nations communities along the Great Lakes in Ontario. Chirag has been working with multiple First Nations partners in gaining an understanding of fishing practice and governance within their communities.
Brady Reid, PhD in Rural Studies student, recently published an article in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods entitled: “Positionality and Research: “Two-Eyed Seeing” With a Rural Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaw Community”. The article originated as the second chapter of Reid’s master’s thesis and shares insights emerging from the project presented for researchers engaged with Indigenous communities or collaborators.
Koren's hometown is Brampton, Ontario and is currently a second-year student in the Rural Planning and Development program where her research interests are in digital connectivity as the main driver for rural economic development. Since entering this program, she has always found the planning discipline to be interesting from a regional perspective and in the future would like to contribute to her community by finding a career related to regional planning.