“The Association of Early Polar Career Researchers Canada and the ArcticNet Student Association look to recognize a mentor who has contributed significantly over a period of several years to the mentoring and fostering of polar early career researchers in Canada.” Source
Taken from the nomination letter initiated by Megan Sheremata, PhD Candidate Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences University of Toronto Scarborough, to the ArticNet Student Association on why doctoral and masters students nominated Dr. Gita Ljubicic for this award:
“Many of us sought Dr. Ljubicic as our supervisor because of her distinctive approach to collaborative environmental research, in which she demonstrates a clear commitment to the communities she partners with. Dr. Ljubicic embodies the principles of respect and reciprocity in her work as a researcher, and is passionate about the value of Inuit knowledge and Inuit self-determination in environmental research and governance.
Dr. Ljubicic treats her role as our mentor with this same principled dedication. Through all the stages of our work – developing research methodologies, crafting proposals, prioritizing preliminary research, engaging in field work, and sharing the results of our work with communities – Dr. Ljubicic takes every opportunity to guide us in developing our skills as researchers while supporting the interests of our northern research partners. She emphasizes principles of respect, patience, and dedication as integral to Indigenous research methodologies. And she has a highly inclusive approach, guiding us through building collaborative partnerships with community members, other researchers and organizations working with northern Indigenous communities.
Dr. Ljubicic’s students range from just completing undergraduate degrees to mature PhD students who have returned to school. She manages students across different time zones of Canada, from the Yukon to Newfoundland, and has established channels of communication among us to facilitate the sharing of ideas to create a strong sense of community in our lab.
What distinguishes Dr. Ljubicic as a great mentor is that she sees potential in everyone. She has a unique ability to see us each as individuals, believing that everyone has something to contribute to a project, while identifying where each of us have a need to learn and develop our skills. As the next generation of researchers collaborating with northern Indigenous communities, she has given us essential tools and competencies to help us listen and work meaningfully with our northern partners”.
Below are specific examples of the mentorship experiences Dr. Ljubicic has provided her students.
“Dr. Ljubicic has enabled me to work directly with Indigenous wildlife management bodies, private sector stakeholders, caribou management practitioners, and wildlife researchers. She has fostered my leadership and communication skills – emphasizing principles of respect, patience, and passion as integral to Indigenous research methodologies. Dr. Ljubicic is facilitating a visit to Gjoa Haven this fall, where I will report on my research results and explore next steps in my studies. These formative learning opportunities have inspired me to continue in Arctic research following the completion of my MSc.”
Emmelie Paquette, MSc. Candidate, Carleton University
“A long-time advocate of ethical and respectful research relationships with Inuit, Dr. Ljubicic is a founding member of the Carleton University Institute on the Ethics of Research with Indigenous Peoples and continues to work on the organizing committee for the 5-day summer course. Dr. Ljubicic directed funds so I could attend the course in 2016. It was a profound, life-changing experience that has influenced a fundamental shift in my approach to research.”
Katherine Wilson, PhD Candidate, Memorial University
“As a mid-career PhD student, Dr. Ljubicic has given me close mentorship while helping me make the most of the skills I already have. She gave me a leading role in writing a successful tri-council proposal collaboratively with her research partners. She’s also mentored me in leading community research trips independently, in analyzing research results collaboratively with communities, and in co-reporting on results with community partners at major conferences. Through these experiences, Dr. Ljubicic has taught me so much, most notably about listening as an active practice that’s part of every aspect of the research process.”
Megan Sheremata, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto
“Dr. Ljubicic has created a cohort of students with varied interests and research projects, and has nurtured us as a group so that we have other students to connect with along the way. This is something that happens organically in the physical sciences, where everyone is working on different parts of a larger project, but I think it’s harder to do among a group of social scientists all working on very different things – especially at different locations across the country.”
Alison Perrin, PhD Student, Carleton University
“Dr. Ljubicic has provided me with the opportunity to attend three conferences in my first year of working with her and has also supported preliminary research travel on two separate occasions thus far. These events and trips have been crucial in my development as a student and have greatly enhanced my approach to conducting meaningful research.”
Lauren Watts, MA Candidate, Carleton University
“Dr. Ljubicic’s mentorship has focused on exploring research questions in a manner that enables communities’ stories to emerge. This has helped me to see my research not as a question, but as peoples’ stories that need to be told. In the context of my work with participatory mapping in Inuit knowledge research, viewing the research as a story has served to create more applicable research that has significance to communities.”
Alex Depaiva, recent MA graduate, Carleton University
Congratulations Dr. Gita Ljubicic!