Profs honoured for community leadership

By Tara Sharpe

Hall and Gallagher. Photo: Gary McKinstry

A renowned nursing professor who has worked tirelessly to nurture age-friendly communities and an outstanding scholar who has devoted his career to building bridges between communities are this year’s winners of the University of Victoria Community Leadership Awards.

Dr. Elaine Gallagher—director of UVic’s Centre on Aging—is internationally recognized for her research on falls and injury prevention among older people.

Dr. Budd Hall—director of UVic’s Office of Community-Based Research (OCBR) and senior fellow in the university’s Centre for Global Studies—has worked on the development of educational methods that engage all members of the community including marginalized populations.

The two awards salute exemplary leadership in linking UVic with the wider community and enriching the social, cultural and economic life of our city. The university was well represented at the evening awards reception on Feb. 5 at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel. The numerous nominees affiliated with UVic included UVic neuropsychologist Dr. Holly Tuokko, UVic’s Director of Public Administration Dr. Evert Lindquist, recently retired Executive Director of UVic’s Centre for Non-Profit Management Gilda Good and past chair of the UVic Faculty of Business board of advisers David Schneider.

“It is a real honor to have my work with seniors recognized,” says Gallagher, who has headed UVic’s Centre on Aging for three years. “I hope this type of honor will inspire young people to consider a career in the field of aging.” For nearly two decades, Gallagher has devoted her research to understanding why seniors fall and how falling affects them—from shattered pride to fractured bones and long-term consequences.

Since 2005, Gallagher has served as a lead Canadian researcher for an international project on age-friendly communities: the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. As the world’s population ages, community programs must keep pace with changing needs, and Gallagher’s work in this specific area recently won her another award—the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC’s 2008 Career Achievement Award. A nursing professor, Gallagher was also named Researcher of the Year by the Canadian Association of Nurse Researchers in 2002.

Unaffordable housing, a challenge faced by many seniors, is also a common theme and priority subject for Hall (an education professor) and the OCBR, who are working to establish action-oriented research partnerships in the areas of homelessness, food security, sustainability and Aboriginal health. Hall has also worked with First Nations communities to build a place in UVic’s Faculty of Education for Aboriginal education that respects and supports Indigenous ways of teaching and learning.

“Our universities belong to everyone, and persons of all ages and every walk of life should feel at home and benefit from our universities,” says Hall. “I am grateful for the opportunities that Victoria and the University of Victoria have given me to support the many remarkable efforts to create a more just and sustainable Victoria.”

Hall is a key player with national and global partners and, whenever there is time outside these other endeavours, he can often be found enjoying another passion: he is also a poet.

Other 2009 honorees include: the Honourable Ted Hughes and Dr. Helen Hughes, this year’s recipients of Leadership Victoria’s Lifetime Achievement Award and both UVic honorary degree holders; UVic alumnus and Vancity Youth Award winner Ivan Watson, currently a member of UVic’s Alumni Association Board of Directors; and Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria award winner Trudi Brown, former UVic Chair of the Board of Governors and a Friend of UVic.

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