Provost's Award in Engaged Scholarship

Provost's Engaged Scholar Award graphic

The Provost's Engaged Scholar Award celebrates outstanding scholarship, teaching and community engagement.

2019 recipients of the PESA - Denise Cloutier and Brent Mainprize

PESA recipients Dr. Denise Cloutier and Dr. Brent Mainprize with Vice-President Academic and Provost, Valerie Khuene and Executive Director of the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation, Laurene Sheilds.

2018 award recipients (centre) Dr. Jutta Gutberlet (geography) and Dr. Jim Tanaka (psychology) with Dr. Valerie Kuehne, Vice-President Academic and Provost (far right) and Dr. Norah McRae, Director OCUE (far left).

The 2017 award recipients

2017 award recipients with Vice-President Academic and Provost (far right) and AVP Academic Planning (far left). (From left to right) Drs. Wright, Walsh, Cullen, Benoit and Kuehne.

The 2016 award recipients

Dr. Valerie Kuehne (vice-president academic and provost, left) with the 2016 Provost Engaged Scholar Award recipients: Dr. Jessica Ball (child and youth care, centre) and Dr. John Lutz (history, right).

The 2015 award recipients

Dr. Valerie Kuehne (vice-president academic and provost, left) with the 2015 Provost Engaged Scholar Award recipients: Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater (psychology, centre) and Dr. Anne Marshall (education, right).

Nominations now being accepted for the 2020 Provost Award in Engaged Scholarship!

The Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost administers the Provost’s Award in Engaged Scholarship (PAES). This award celebrates the integration of outstanding UVic scholarship, teaching and community engagement. The title, Provost's Engaged Scholar, is awarded to tenured members of faculty who have achieved great distinction as community-engaged scholars. Recipients of the award receive a one-time award of $10,000 (at the beginning of their 5 year term) to support their community-engaged research and teaching.

Award Recipients


Dr. Denise Cloutier (Department of Geography)

As a passionate advocate and engaged scholar, health geographer Denise Cloutier’s ultimate goal is to support the quality of life of older adults.

As a geography professor and Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health researcher, Cloutier’s work has contributed to improvements in community and facility-based care—that is, shelter and services—so people can live as fully as possible as they age.

By engaging with long-term care residents, community-dwelling older adults, families, health authorities and other academic researchers, Cloutier has made a difference in the lives of many older adults. She has raised awareness and suggested improvements to long-term care facilities to support a greater sense of well-being and belonging.

Cloutier works tirelessly with her research teams and collaborators to interview older adults, family caregivers, nurses, licensed practical nurses and health care aids when she is evaluating programs. This includes addressing the care needs of vulnerable persons living in rural communities, those who are socially isolated, living with dementia, stroke-affected and those at the end of life. Her work shines the light on the importance of supporting compassionate, healthy and successful aging in our communities.


Dr. Brent Mainprize (School of Business)

For over 20 years, Mainprize has committed to meaningful scholarly engagement with Indigenous communities. He is passionate about leaving an enduring impact in the communities he works with—a vast network of reciprocal partnerships that spans the country.

Mainprize is honoured by the invitation to work in-community to build capacity and empower community members to pursue sustainable economic prosperity. His work focuses on education and training experiences that are co-designed with community partners and bridges Indigenous cultures and values, and non-Indigenous knowledge systems through the use of wise practices.

Indigenous youth are a key focus for Mainprize, who was asked by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres to co-design an experiential learning program to engage Indigenous youth in the economy. Over the next two and a half years, The Indigenous Youth 3C Challenge will be delivered to 1,000 Indigenous and Métis youth across BC.

Award Recipients


Dr. Jutta Gutberlet (Department of Geography)

2018 award recipients

Dr. Jutta Gutberlet (left)

For over 20 years, Gutberlet has passionately conducted community-engaged research with poverty-stricken communities in Brazil and in other countries; mostly in the southern hemisphere. As a community activist and engaged scholar, Gutberlet has gained the trust of some of the most vulnerable members of society and has partnered with them to create stronger communities.

Her waste diversion and recycling projects in São Paulo, Brazil, have been so successful that many recyclers have organized into cooperatives and networks and are engaged in municipal waste diversion programs. Organized selective waste collection has turned informal recycling into a valuable livelihood strategy and a way to provide for their families. Participatory action research with recycling cooperatives in the ABC region of Sao Paulo has supported the organization of a regional recycling network, an idea which has now inspired many other cooperatives to follow. The research has also influenced policy making, with many municipalities now recognizing the work of waste pickers and including organized recycling cooperatives in their local waste management programs.

In Victoria and Vancouver, Gutberlet and her team have conducted similar community-based research interventions with marginalized groups by studying the livelihoods of recyclers (locally known as “binners”) and finding solutions to poverty and homelessness. Importantly, this research has very strong links to climate change mitigation and resilient community building, helping reduce global environmental change.

Dr. Gutberlet's Research: 

Media Coverage:

Dr. Jim Tanaka (Department of Psychology)

2018 award recipients

Dr. Tanaka (right)

Tanaka, an internationally recognized expert on facial recognition, has devoted his career to improving the lives of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Research has shown that many people with ASD have difficulty recognizing faces and facial expressions, which can create difficulties in their everyday lives.

Through the UVic Centre for Autism Research, Technology and Education (CARTE), which he created, Tanaka and an innovative team made up of UVic faculty, students, community professionals and families are dedicated to the research and development of facial recognition tools for children and adults with ASD.

This work is supported by a range of hands-on outreach activities, successfully bridging research, education and community engagement.

By creating “different tools for different minds,” Tanaka and his team have improved the lives of thousands of individuals with ASD and their families.

Dr. Tanaka's Research: 

  • Different Minds Lab: website
  • Department of Psychology: profile
  • Faces of UVic Research: video
  • UVic expertise database: profile

Media Coverage:


Dr. Cecilia Benoit (Department of Sociology)

Dr. Benoit with Peers Victoria staff members.

Dr. Cecilia Benoit (right, sociology) joins Peers Victoria Executive Director Dr. Rachel Phillips (left) and Jennifer Smart (centre, Peers Health Support Worker) at Peers Victoria Resources Society to collaborate on research related to equitable health care for people in the sex industry. 

As a professor in the Department of Sociology and a scientist at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, Dr. Cecilia Benoit is a nationally recognized scholar whose research has illuminated the need for equitable health care for marginalized groups.

In addition to research focused on the occupation of midwifery and the organization of maternity care in Canada and internationally, Benoit has been involved in a variety of projects that investigate health inequities of Aboriginal women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, young people confronting health stigmas linked to obesity and asthma, street-involved youth in transition to adulthood, pregnant women and their families dealing with poverty as well as substance use and other challenges, and sex workers of different genders.

Benoit has pioneered a community-based participatory approach to study how stigma affects these groups and has developed sound ethical protocols to ensure confidentiality and anonymity. She is the author of more than 200 published articles, books, book chapters and government reports on the subject, and her research has had a significant impact on policies and programs, including: the legalization of midwifery and education for midwives in most regions of Canada; public funding of midwives' work; community outreach for Indigenous women; health care hubs for street-involved youth and disadvantaged pregnant women, and peer-led health and social services for sex workers.

 Dr. Benoit's research:

Media coverage: 

  • "Researcher honoured with Governor General's Award on gender equality" Times Colonist (October 20, 2016)
  • "Cecilia Benoit receives Governor General Award" Centre for Addictions Research BC (2016)
  • "Awards celebrate community Engagement" UVic Ring (March 2017)
  • "B.C. outreach group patnering with app developer to improve sex workers' safety" CTV News (November 8, 2017)
  • "Is sex work an occupational choice?" UVic Ring (February 2, 2017)
  • "Sex work an occupation of choice for some: UVic study" Times Colonist (February 10, 2017)
  • "Sex workers find community, shed stigma as health advocates" CBC News (November 15, 2017)

Dr. Jay Cullen (School of Earth and Ocean Science)

Dr. Cullen collecting water samples.

Dr. Jay Cullen (earth and ocean sciences) a 2017 recipient of the Provost's Engaged Scholar Award.

A professor of chemical oceanography and an international leader in marine biogeochemistry of trace metals, Dr. Jay Cullen has built a world-class marine geochemistry laboratory at UVic based on almost a million dollars in funding from the NSERC, CFI and other agencies.

Since joining the university in 2003, he has been involved in at-sea data collection through marine research cruises in all oceans of the world, and collaborates widely within Canada and internationally. In response to the scientific questions and public concerns of oceanic contamination from the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns, Cullen instigated and now leads a new marine radioactivity monitoring network called the Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (or InFORM) network.

This network brings together Canadian and American scientists, governmental and non-governmental organizations including: UVic, UBC, University of Ottawa, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, the U.S. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Vancouver Aquarium, David Suzuki Foundation, Raincoast Education Society, Surfrider Foundation, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, Georgia Strait Alliance and the Living Oceans Society.Through collaborations with these NGOs, more than 600 volunteer citizen scientists have been recruited, forming a vital component of the InFORM network.

Dr. Cullen's Research: 

Media coverage: 

  • "University of Victoria oceanographer Jay Cullen on Canadian astronaut shortlist" The Globe and Mail (February 2017)
  • "Awards celebrate community Engagement" UVic Ring (March 2017)
  • "Peak contamination levels from Fukushima off North America now known" UVic Ring (September 13, 2017)
  • "UVic scientist assesses contamination levels from Fukushima aftermath" Victoria News (September 13, 2107)
  • "Scientist claims contamination after Fukushima was never unsafe in north Pacific" CTV News (September 14, 2017)
  • "Japan's nuclear disaster didn't affect fish or human health: B.C. scientist" The Globe and Mail (September 14, 2017)
  • TV interview with Steve Paikin on The Agenda (Jan 30, 2018)
  • "SFU study concludes no adverse effects to B.C. coast from Fukushima" Vancouver Sun (March 11, 2018)

Dr. Andrea Walsh (Department of Anthropology)

Dr. Walsh with Mark Atleo reviewing childhood artwork created by Survivors of the Alberni Indian Residential School.

Dr. Andrea Walsh (right, anthropology) and Mark Atleo (left, Ahousaht First Nation) reviewing childhood art work created by Mark and other Survivors of the Alberni Indian Residential School. Andrea has been recognized for her work collaborating with Survivors to repatriate artwork created at residential schools in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Dr. Andrea Walsh is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology whose engagement with and respect for community is evident in all aspects of her scholarship.

As a visual anthropologist who specializes in 20th century and contemporary Aboriginal art and visual culture in Canada, Walsh’s research uses a decolonial framework to refigure relationships between Indigenous peoples and institutions.

She is the guiding force behind a movement to repatriate artwork created by Indigenous children in residential school to the artists and their families, and to honour these children’s experiences through the exhibition of this artwork in culturally appropriate and respectful ways—in the name of education and reconciliation.

For her work on this initiative, Walsh was named an honorary witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and last October, she received the BC Museums Association Award of Outstanding Merit.

Dr. Walsh's research:

Media coverage:

  • "Ideafest: The dark echoes of residential schools" Times Colonist (March 5, 2017)
  • "Awards celebrate community Engagement" UVic Ring (March 13, 2017)
  • "Residential school survivors share paintings, stories at the Canadian Museum of History" CBC News (September 13, 2017)
  • "Robert Amos: Art of innocence is dark times" Times Colonist (October 1, 2017)


Dr. Jessica Ball (School of Child and Youth Care)

Image of Dr. Jessica Ball

For more than 30 years, Dr. Jessica Ball has been renowned on campus as a scholar with an outstanding record of groundbreaking research topics and methods, research-inspired teaching and creative knowledge mobilization in the service of Indigenous and ethnic minority communities in Canada and around the world.

After joining UVic’s School of Child and Youth Care 20 years ago, Ball established the Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships program. Through community-university research partnerships, Ball studies how policies and social processes marginalize certain children and families as well as ways to promote more equitable opportunities for quality of life. She includes production of accessible print and digital media into all her projects so that research findings, in her words, “have legs” in communities and with policy makers.

Ball is well-known internationally as a leader in research, knowledge dissemination and policy work on multilingualism and gender equity in early childhood development. In Canada, she conducted the first and only study on the experiences, goals and needs of Indigenous fathers in Canada as part of a national SSHRC-funded study involving 50 community partners.

Dr. Ball's research:

  • School of Child and Youth Care: profile
  • Faces of UVic Research: video profile
  • Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships (ECDIP): website 

Media coverage:

  • "2016 Provost's Engaged Scholar recipients announced" UVic Ring (March 22, 2016)

Dr. John Lutz (Department of History)

Image of Dr. John Lutz

A professor of history at UVic since 1997, Dr. John Lutz is an expert in the study of Indigenous-settler relations in the Pacific Northwest and has played a lead role in digitization projects related to this period. He is widely recognized as an innovative contributor not only to community and archives-based research in the aforementioned areas but also to the fields of digital history, community mapping and oral history.

Lutz approaches his research from a decentered perspective by working closely with Indigenous communities to document Indigenous views of colonial events and to unpack the historical significance of communicative acts, language and events.

As the author of the award-winning Makuk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations, Lutz conducted more than 45 interviews and performed extensive archival research. The book is recognized as a significant resource for its perspective on how Canada’s Indigenous peoples fell from prosperity to poverty. As a participant in the Coasts Under Stress research initiative he worked with the Hartley Bay and Alert Bay communities and co-edited the volume Making and Moving Knowledge: Interdisciplinary and Community-based Research in a World on the Edge.

Dr. Lutz's research:

Media coverage:

  • "2016 Provost's Engaged Scholar recipients announced" UVic Ring (March 22, 2016)
  • "Ideafest: Analyzing disruption in the political world" Times Colonist (March 5, 2017)
  • "Universities host hundreds of events to mark Canada 150" UA/AU (June 5, 2017)
  • "New engagement map shows our community impact globally" UVic Ring (September 13, 2017)


Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater (Department of Psychology)

Image of Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater

Throughout an almost 30-year career, Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater has been internationally recognized for her work on child and youth well-being, with research on adolescent parenting, emerging adulthood, adolescent depression and the prevention of peer victimization in elementary school children.  

Leadbeater was instrumental in the development of the WITS (Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, Seek help) anti-bullying programs in schools. Leadbeater and her team worked collaboratively with teachers, school districts, communities and the WITS Programs Foundation (previously called Rock Solid Foundation) to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive training, tools and resources for the WITS programs. The programs are now available in French, and are being utilized across Canada and the US.

Dr. Leadbeater's research:

Media coverage:

  • "2015 Provost's Engaged Scholar Award recipients" UVic Ring (March 9, 2015)
  • "B.C. anti-bullying program 'WITS' receives top marks from Dalhousie researchers" CBC News (May 28, 2016)
  • "Changes and Challenges: A Decade of Observations of the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults in British Columbia” UVic Ring October 26, 2016)
  • "Victoria theatre creates dance-film for conflict resolution" CHEK NEWS (October 30, 2017)  
  • Live studio interview with Global News BC on bullying prevention and the WITS program (February 25, 2018)
  • "Expert says despite Pink Shirt Day, bullying rates still high in Canada" CHEK News (February 28, 2018)
  • Radio interview on Roundhouse Radio Vancouver on bullying, the WITS program and Pinkshirt day (February 28, 2018) 

Dr. Anne Marshall (Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies)

Image of Dr. Anne Marshall

A professor of counseling psychology since 1994, since 2008 Dr. Anne Marshall has also been the Director of UVic’s Centre for Youth & Society, which promotes the well-being of youth from diverse social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Her research work focuses on life and work transitions in youth and emerging adulthood, youth and family mental health, and cultural identity. She has placed a particular emphasis on working with groups that struggle with social, cultural, economic and political challenges such as small rural communities, Indigenous communities and marginalized youth.

Marshall’s research on Indigenous youth employment and cultural identity has been shared widely with academic audiences and communities, but it also led to a transformation in UVic’s counseling psychology programs. Her research laid the foundation for the new Indigenous Communities Counseling Psychology Program (ICCP)—a unique graduate program that incorporates Indigenous knowledge, research, and ways of sharing knowledge to promote healing.

Dr. Marshall's research:

Media coverage: 

  • "2015 Provost's Engaged Scholar Award recipients" UVic Ring (March 9, 2015)


Dr. Bernie Pauly (School of Nursing)

Dr. Bernie Pauly is an associate professor in the School of Nursing and a scientist at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Throughout her career as a professional nurse, researcher and teacher, she has focused on the challenges faced by people marginalized by substance use and homelessness. Her goal has been to generate quality research in partnership with government, community agencies and people who have experienced homelessness and substance use, to inform solutions that prevent the harms of these circumstances.

Over the past eight years, she has established strong research partnerships with local organizations such as the Victoria Cool Aid Society, the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, AIDS Vancouver Island, Society of Living Illicit Drug Users (SOLID), as well as health authorities and government. From streets to boardrooms, her research has contributed to improvements in housing, harm reduction and health care services. 

Dr. Pauly's research:

  • Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR): profile
  • Department of Nursing: profile
  • Faces of UVic Research: video
  • Equity Lens in Public Health (ELPH): profile

Media coverage:

  • "Inaugural Engaged Scholar Award recipients announced" UVic Ring (April 2014)
  • Radio interview "On the Island" on CBC Radio about about design of services for the supervised consumption site in Victoria (Dec 13, 2017)
  • "Are you experienced? Peer Counsellors wanted for Victoria drug consumption site" CBC News(December 13, 2017)
  • Radio interview with Adam Stirling on CFAX 1070 (starts at 3:10) about design of services for the supervised consumption site in Victoria (February 1, 2018) 
  • "Could Managed Consumption be a Better Form of Treatment for Alcoholism?" Pacific Standard (Feb 8, 2018)
  • "Radical harm reduction: coming out from under the radar" UVic Ring (February 19, 2018)
  • "'Made in Canada solution' for sever alcoholism comes out from under the radar" CBC News (February 20, 2018)
  • Radio interview on CFAX 1070 about CISUR’s national study of managed alcohol programs (Feb 20, 2018)
  • Radio interview on CFAX 1070 about the details of the BC budget announcement (February 2018)
  • Radio interview on Global News Radio 640 in Toronto about the Canadian Managed Alcohol Program Study (February 28, 2018)
  • "Canadian program providing daily doses of alcohol to heavy drinkers sparks envy" CTV News (February 28, 2018)
  • "Canadian program providing alcohol to heavy drinkers envied by Scotland" National Post (February 28, 2018)
  • "Damien Contandriopoulos, Bernie Pauly, Susan Duncan, Astrid Brousselle, Kelli L. Stajduhar: A health perspective on B.C.'s budget" Vancouver Sun (March 4, 2018)
  • "Comment: A healthy perspective on B.C.'s budget" Times Colonist (March 4, 2018)
  • "Harm-reduction programs help alcoholics one drink at a time" Times Colonist (March 11, 2018)

Dr. Val Napoleon (Indigenous Law Research Unit)

Dr. Val Napoleon is nationally and internationally known for her work with communities to research and rejuvenate Indigenous law. She established the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at UVic that, she said, “starts its research and work by taking Indigenous laws seriously as laws.” Napoleon, along with Hadley Friedland of the University of Alberta, developed an Indigenous law research methodology that was used by the national collaborative Accessing Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) project to analyze and synthesize public materials and oral stories within partner communities representing six Indigenous legal orders across Canada. For the AJR project, the ILRU collaborated with the Indigenous Bar Association and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and was funded by the Ontario Law Foundation.

Dr. Napoleon's research:

  • Faculty of Law: profile
  • Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU): website

Media coverage:

  • "Inaugural Engaged Scholar Award recipients announced" UVic Ring (April 2014)
  • "Hope for Indigenous Supreme Court justice swells as appointment recommendations loom" The Globe and Mail (October 22, 2017)
  • "Indigenous legal traditions" UVic video profile (November 29, 2017)
  • "Indigenous scholar Val Napoleon embraces disruption" The Globe and Mail  (January 1, 2018)
  • "Ian Mulgrew: Legal lions urge B.C. to adopt anti-SLAPP law" Vancouver Sun (February 7, 2018)
  • "Worlds first Indigenous law degree to be offered at UVic" UVic Ring (February 21, 2018)
  • Radio interview with Jason D'Souza on CBC "All Points West" about the join Indigenous law degree at UVic (February 21, 2018)
  • "New program a 'new beginning' at UVic for Indigenous law studies" Times Colonist (February 22, 2018)
  • "New Uvic program combines Indigenous and non-Indigenous law" Victoria News (February 22, 2018)
  • "UVic law students to study Canadian and Indigenous legal systems in new porgram" CBC News (February 22, 2018)
  • "Nation to Nation: Child welfare, Indigenous law and the border put under the spotlight" APTN National News (starts at 10:20) (February 23, 2018)
  • "UVic to offer world's first Indigenous law degree" CHECK News (February 24, 2018)
  • "First of its kind; UVic degree combines Indigenous, Canadian law" NEWS 1130 (February 25, 2018)
  • Video and profile shared by AJ+ on Facebook and Twitter as part of International Women's Day (March 8, 2018)
  • "University of Victoria to offer world's first degree program in Indigenous law" CBC Radio (March 18, 2018)