Dr. Kate Scarth named Chair in L.M. Montgomery Studies and Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture

The chair will focus on L.M.M. outreach and teaching the core courses in UPEI’s new program
Friday, September 22, 2017
Dr. Kate Scarth is UPEI’s Chair in L.M. Montgomery Studies and Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture

UPEI today introduced Dr. Kate Scarth as the inaugural Chair in L.M. Montgomery Studies and Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture. As chair, Dr. Scarth will create public engagement activities centred on the life and writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery. She will also teach and develop the core courses in the Faculty of the Arts’ newest program: Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture (ACLC).

“A commitment to community-university engagement and collaboration is one of the most exciting parts of this brand-new position,” said Dr. Scarth. “Community-university partnerships will take many forms from connecting students to projects around PEI, where they gain practical skills and add value to community organizations, to working with the Island’s Montgomery sites to enhance the tourism and cultural heritage sectors.”

The ACLC program is a new interdisciplinary four-year Bachelor of Arts or seven-course minor program. It connects the communication skills and leadership training of a liberal arts education to successful post-graduation employment. Technical skills, work-integrated learning, and career-related mentoring are key components of the program’s design. The ACLC program has a simple, tight structure to facilitate easy combination with other majors and minors.

“Students will learn to explicitly articulate the valuable skills and experiences they’re gaining from their Arts courses, as well as learn skills, like website and graphic design, they wouldn’t get from a traditional Arts program. They then get to practice these skills in real-world projects, including Montgomery-related ones,” said Dr. Scarth.

“Dr. Scarth is a wonderful addition to our ACLC team,” said Dr. Lisa Chilton, associate professor of history at UPEI and director of the ACLC program. “We are delighted that her energy, expertise, and passion for teaching will be at the centre of this new, important program.”

The chair will also help focus UPEI’s resources and scholarship on Lucy Maud Montgomery studies. Dr. Scarth aims to make UPEI a PEI hub for pilgrims seeking information and experiences related to the Island’s literary icon.

“The L.M. Montgomery Institute promotes research into, and informed celebration of, the life, works, culture, and influence of Montgomery,” said Dr. Philip Smith, chair of the L. M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI). “With Dr. Scarth’s leadership, we will strengthen existing partnerships with Montgomery sites and initiatives on the Island and beyond, and create new ways to engage with those touched by Montgomery and her works at home and around the world.”

As chair, Dr. Scarth also sits on the committees for the LMMI and its biannual conference. She is particularly excited by the enthusiasm from Montgomery scholars for next summer’s conference, which already has more than 90 submissions for research presentations.

“The Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute and the Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture program are unique and signature facets of the university that will benefit greatly from Dr. Scarth’s creative and innovative approaches to teaching and scholarship,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour, vice-president academic and research at UPEI. “We are delighted that she has joined us.”

Dr. Scarth is a distinguished scholar, whose research focuses on English and Canadian literature written from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. She is particularly interested in fiction about urbanism and the environment. Her book, Romantic Suburbs: Fashion, Sensibility, and Greater London, is under contract with the University of Toronto Press. She is also leading a digital humanities, public engagement project, which includes a mobile app and website supporting a literary walking tour of Halifax, Nova Scotia, featuring Montgomery’s life and works set in the city.

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island. UPEI is located on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.

Dave Atkinson
Research Communications Officer
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