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Dr. Irene Novaczek New Director of Institute of Island Studies

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UPEI is pleased to announce that Dr. Irene Novaczek of Breadalbane, PEI has been appointed as the new Director of the Institute of Island Studies. She brings to this position a rich international experience in marine science, coastal resources management, and community development on small islands. Dr. Novaczek replaces Jane Ledwell who has taken a position with the PEI Council on the Status of Women.

Dr. Richard Kurial, Dean of Arts at UPEI, commented: "Under the leadership of Harry Baglole, the founding director, the Institute achieved a strong local and international reputation. Jane Ledwell built on the Institute's reputation for excellence and helped establish our unique Master's Program in Island Studies, which now involves 22 graduate students. In the past year, Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino was installed as Canada Research Chair in Island Studies. With the addition of Dr. Novaczek to the team, we anticipate continued growth, development, and success for Island Studies at UPEI."

Novaczek is known locally as an active citizen involved with environmental and social justice issues, and internationally as a marine scientist and community development practitioner. She has lived and worked on islands most of her life, in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. She recently worked with Pacific Islands researchers to document gender issues in small-scale fisheries. A book entitled, "Pacific Voices: Equity and Sustainability in South Pacific Fisheries," edited jointly by Dr. Novaczek, Dr. Jean Mitchell of UPEI, and Dr. Joeli Veitayaki of the University of the South Pacific, will be published later this year.

The mandates of the Institute of Island Studies include the promotion of research and policy analysis, and the linking of the university to the wider Island community. "This process of research, analysis and public engagement helps ensure that we understand, appreciate and conserve what makes our own island special," notes Novaczek, "while selecting development paths that are life- affirming and sustainable. The Institute also communicates and collaborates with island-based researchers all over the world, a process that helps us to learn and benefit from the experience of other islands while sharing our own expertise."

The Institute will mark its 20th anniversary this year and Dr. Novaczek points out that "this is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of island artists, historians, scientists and other researchers, not only those on campus but also those active in the wider community." She adds that, "by taking time to note our accomplishments and our potential, we consolidate the base from which to launch new initiatives that will maintain the Institute as a relevant and progressive partner in public policy development on PEI."

Contact

Anne McCallum
Media Relations and Communications

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