CONNECT Program Components

Identification

  • identification and recruitment of potential new Canadianists
  • orientation to contemporary Canadian public policy issues and Canada-U.S. relations and the opportunity to directly engage with leading academic and government officials involved in the study of Canada in the United States
  • mentoring, on an individually tailored basis, for new Canadianists

CONNECT identifies prospective new Canadianists studying/teaching at American colleges and universities, concentrating on advanced graduate students, junior faculty members who have recently entered the profession, and mid-career scholars seeking to undertake research on Canada and increase the amount of Canadian content in their undergraduate and graduate courses.

Recruitment

CONNECT utilizes some thirty different national and regional sources as it seeks to identify potential new Canadianists each year. Typically, the program annually identifies a total pool of some 600 prospective Canadianists. After three rounds of screening, roughly 75-100 individuals are selected and placed in the mentoring program. All 75-100 candidates are contacted and then electronically mailed a CONNECT folder which contains a variety of professional development material including a listing of all Canadian Studies programs across the United States, a listing of all Canadian Consular/Embassy academic relations officers with contact information, Canadian Studies journal opportunities for publishing, and a listing, with contact information, of all Canadian Studies associations in the U.S. In addition, all candidates are invited to apply for selection to the annual seminar run by CONNECT.

Orientation

20 new Canadianists are annually selected (from the list of 75-100 candidates) to participate in a week-long CONNECT training seminar. The seminar, convened in Ottawa, provides participants with a thorough policy grounding in the political, economic and social realities of contemporary Canada.

The CONNECT seminar is also designed to introduce and to engage participants with leading representatives from Canadian Studies associations (the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, U.S. regional associations and the International Council for Canadian Studies) foundations (the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) and government (the United States Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada) for the purpose of familiarizing new Canadianists with current curriculum, scholarly and professional development opportunities.

Mentoring

The CONNECT mentoring program for new Canadianists is distinguished by a proactive, supportive and sustained approach.

All new Canadianists in the United States are placed on an individualized mentoring track. Participants in the mentoring program are contacted and provided twice-yearly with an individually tailored dossier specifically suited to their academic background, scholarly interests, and professional development. Through this approach, new Canadianists receive regular updates of scholarly developments in their respective Canadian Studies discipline, as well as announcements of appropriate grant opportunities, seminars, symposiums and colloquiums.

CONNECT also works with new Canadianists to facilitate networking with the executive council of A.C.S.U.S. and the respective U.S. regional Canadian Studies association (based on the geographic location of the individual), with key academics in their respective discipline, in the United States and Canada, and with academic relations and public affairs officers at the Canadian Embassy and applicable Consulate. This mentoring process identifies individuals as they progress in their career, who are qualified and willing to make important service contributions to Canadian Studies associations in the U.S.

Testimonials

Thank You!

"Thank you for CONNECT. What an amazing opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed the event from start to finish.... I consider myself very honored to be a part of your project, which I think is top-notch in every way. I get the feeling that the connections we made are going to last a lifetime."--Timothy Pasch, Doctoral Candidate, University of Washington

An Amazing Introduction to Canada

"I wanted to write and let you know that I just learned I received the Canadian Embassy Graduate Student Fellowship, and so I will be heading off to Ottawa and Montreal in April, and Toronto in May and June! Thank you so much for your help in 'connecting' me to this opportunity, and for the amazing introduction to Canada."--Rebecca Hamlin, Doctoral Candidate, University of California - Berkeley

CONNECT Is Vital to the Future of Canada-U.S. Relations

"[T]here is a vacuum in the American educational system as it relates to Canada; and as a participant of CONNECT, I intend to contribute and promote the exchange of ideas and dialogue needed to learn and know more about Canadian Studies... More importantly, I want to encourage our schools and institutions of higher learning to implement a curriculum that includes Canada... CONNECT's mission and efforts are vital to the future of the Canada-U.S. relationship."--Donna Briggins, Doctoral Candidate, Clark Atlanta University

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about the CONNECT program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Christopher Kirkey
Executive Director, CONNECT
Director, Center for the Study of Canada
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
E-mail: Christopher.kirkey@plattsburgh.edu
Phone: (518) 564-2086
Fax: (518) 564-2112

Center for the Study of Canada
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
133 Court St.,
Plattsburgh, NY 12901