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Event to Highlight Largest Investment by Canada in Scholarly Canada-Focused Program in U.S.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Oct. 22, 2009) -- Prominent academic and government officials from Canada and the United States will meet on Monday, Oct. 26, at the Center for the Study of Canada, SUNY Plattsburgh, to announce the renewal of the nationally acclaimed CONNECT program. Launched in 2003 as a collaborative effort between the Center for the Study of Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the renewal of CONNECT -- subject annually to the availability of funds and ongoing positive performance results of the program -- represents the single largest cumulative investment by the Government of Canada in a scholarly program dedicated to promoting research, teaching and professional development on Canada in the United States.

CONNECT, a comprehensive outreach initiative designed to promote the growth, development and institutionalization of Canadian Studies in the United States, is headquartered at the Center for the Study of Canada and led by Executive Director Dr. Christopher Kirkey. The program, widely regarded as the most important effort on record in the United States for identifying, orienting and mentoring prospective new scholars interested in Canada and Canada-U.S. issues, seeks out doctoral candidates and junior professors at American colleges and universities who demonstrate the potential for sustained long-term academic engagement on Canada.

"CONNECT has truly delivered remarkable results. Nearly 500 new scholars in some 66 academic disciplines throughout the United States are now engaged, as never before, on Canada-focused research initiatives, undergraduate and graduate teaching and a wide-range of professional development activities," said Kirkey. "The CONNECT program successfully provides an unparalleled platform for identifying, encouraging and most importantly sustaining new generations of Canadianists in the United States."

The press conference will begin at noon and last approximately 30 minutes, to be immediately followed by lunch. Speakers will include:

  • Christopher Kirkey, executive director, CONNECT and director, Center for the Study of Canada, SUNY Plattsburgh.
  • John Ettling, president, SUNY Plattsburgh.
  • Jean Labrie, deputy director, International Academic Programs, International Education and Youth Division, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada.
  • Michael Hawes, executive director, the Canada - U.S. Fulbright Program.
  • Daniel Kolundzic, political and economic relations officer, Consulate General of Canada, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Andre Senecal, co-founder of CONNECT, and Quebec studies professor, University of Vermont, Burlington.
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