U of G Geography Professor Awarded for Mental Health Efforts

Dr. Kate Parizeau, a geography professor in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, has been recognized by the American Association of Geographers (AAG) for her work in raising awareness of mental health issues in her field.

Parizeau was named a co-recipient of the 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Award alongside colleagues Dr. Beverley Mullings of Queen’s University and Dr. Linda Peake of York University.

The award from the network of researchers, educators and practitioners honours geographers who have pioneered efforts or who actively participate to encourage a more diverse discipline.

The AAG noted that the collaborative work of Parizeau, Mullings and Peake “has increased the visibility of the mental health crisis within AAG and the North American academy.”

The AAG Diversity and Inclusion Committee said it was impressed by the trio’s “translation of informal, kitchen-table conversations with graduate students into highly organized efforts that foreground this pressing topic in scholarly journals and professional meetings.”

They have published widely on the topic in geographical journals and organized sessions at meetings in the U.S. and Canada. Their efforts resulted in the formation of the AAG Mental Health Task Force from 2015 to 2018 and an AAG Affinity Group on Mental Health in the Academy in 2019.

The AAG said: “The committee recognizes the long-standing and continuing work of Dr. Mullings, Dr. Parizeau and Dr. Peake as contributing to ideals of justice, equity and inclusion within geography.”

Parizeau is a professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics and a faculty advisory board member in U of G’s Community Engaged Scholarship Institute.

Her research examines the social context of waste and its management, including the waste management systems and individual-level waste behaviours and beliefs in diverse contexts.

Formal recognition of the awardees will occur at the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting in New York City during the AAG Awards Gala on Feb. 28, 2022.