Our second online graduation happened yesterday afternoon, and was a proper delight. Great to see students in their mortarboards, some together on patios, some at their day jobs, all laughing and celebrating together. Especially proud of Krysta Sutton who was nominated by her MES peers to be valedictorian. She and Megan Fuller, MREM valedictorian, did us absolutely proud, leaving us feeling both cockle-warmed and chuckle-full. Bless Brenda and her Powerpoint skills for a silly and sweet event all around.
Congratulations to Dr. Bernard Soubry who successfully defended his PhD remotely to Oxford this morning. His dissertation is titled, Towards Taking Farmers Seriously: Contributions of farmer knowledge to food systems adaptation to climate change. He phoned me afterward and said he was going to go make doughnuts to celebrate. That’s a COVID celebration if I’ve ever heard of one.
I’m delighted by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), which I learned today is investing heavily into my research programme. Current ResNet MES student Emily Wells got a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters, as well as incoming ResNet MES student Elizabeth Bray. Incoming MES student Samantha Howard has also won a SSHRC scholarship to work on my coastal adaptation/climax thinking research, and my four-year solo SSHRC Insight Grant on that topic was also successful. Thanks, SSHRC! I didn’t mean those things I said about you last year.
Exciting news today that Environmental Science Honours student Samantha Howard won one of the two inaugural Margaret R. Crickard Scholarships that celebrate the academic achievement and community involvement of International Development Studies (IDS) students (one of her majors). Very well deserved!
It is that time of year again, but this time with a difference. I’m saying “Hello” to new students coming into our MES and MREM programs, and “Goodbye” to some heading off (like Krysta, above), and “Welcome back” to those returning from internships or fieldwork. I’m also saying a lot of “you’re still muted”, and perhaps more often having it said to me, as most of the above is happening online. I have a tepid relationship with much online technology, but right now I’m mostly grateful for it: the internet will allow us to continue doing what we love, working with students, despite a global pandemic. Occasionally, the internet also throws up a happy surprise, despite my shunning of Facebook, like the photo below, one of a few that landed in my inbox from an old university friend, of a Spring Break trip to Graceland in Memphis 25 years ago. So, “Hello, Welcome back, Goodbye” and, by the way, “You’re still muted.” Don’t worry, we’ll get the hang of it.