Dr. Barbara Neis of the Department of Sociology was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal at a recent ceremony. She was nominated by Gerry Rogers, member of the House of Assembly for St. John’s centre.
In her remarks at the ceremony, Ms. Rogers cited Dr. Neis’ commitment to collaborative research projects that are closely tied to the desire to improve conditions for workers and communities.
“She is committed to the idea that if you want to research people’s lives and work, you must involve them in decisions about what is important to look at and what practical knowledge will result,” said Ms. Rogers.
Since receiving her doctorate in 1988, Dr. Neis has been involved in research on the relationships between work, environment and heath and communities, primarily in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
She is a University Research Professor and co-director of the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the principal investigator on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance (CURRA) and project director for On the Move: Employment-Related Geographic Mobility in the Canadian Context Partnership, funded by SSHRC, the Research & Development Corporation and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Researchers on the CURRA project work with the communities of western Newfoundland on initiatives to address the decline of the fishery. These initiatives include fishery tourism and the domestic marketing of local fish. CURRA recently sponsored the Fishing for the Future Film Festival (www.fishingforthefuturefilmfestival.ca), which was founded by Dr. Neis.
“I always feel any prize that is given to me is really a prize given to all of the staff at SafetyNet, on the Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance and in the Office of Research; to my colleagues who carry out much of the research we fund; to the graduate students who bring so much richness, fresh insight and dedication to the work; to the steering committee member representatives from communities, government, unions and industry who help us design our research, disseminate results and formulate recommendations; and to the many, many research participants without whose participation the research so many of us do would be impossible,” said Dr. Neis.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada. It serves to honour Canadians who have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada.
Dr. Neis has co-edited eight books and special journal issues, and co-authored more than 90 journal articles and book chapters. Among her honours she has been awarded a Trudeau Fellowship, Memorial University’s President's Award for Outstanding Research, the Atlantic Centre of Excellence in Women's Health Leadership Award and the Margaret Lowe Benston Award for combining research and activism. Dr. Neis is a former council member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.