University of the Fraser Valley

Dr. Martha Dow receives Distinguished Contribution award in San Diego

Dr. Martha Dow receives Distinguished Contribution award in San Diego

CHASI director Martha Dow with the Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Praxis Award that she received at the Pacific Sociological Association Conference in San Diego.

Dr. Martha Dow, director of UFV’s Community Health and Social Innovation Hub (CHASI), received a prestigious award from the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA) during a recent trip to San Diego. Dow and a team from CHASI travelled to California in late March for the PSA Conference, where Dow was recognized with the Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Praxis Award.

According to the PSA website, the award goes to a person in the Pacific region whose “work has made a positive impact on social and organizational institutions, improved organizational performance, contributed to community betterment, and/or eased human suffering.”

Dow was nominated by the CHASI team (led by colleague Ekatarina Marenkov), who wrote about the pivotal role Dow has played in the creation and development of CHASI since 2020.

“Under her leadership, CHASI has emerged as a dynamic, innovative, and multi-disciplinary hub for community-engaged researchers, health and social service professionals, and students, providing a platform to develop responses to public policy issues and to foster collaboration among various stakeholders,” Marenkov wrote. “Her vision for CHASI as a space for out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration has led to the successful implementation of numerous impactful projects that have significantly contributed to community betterment.”

Marenkov described Dow as a fierce advocate for marginalized people. The CHASI team has collaborated on research projects such as the creation of a nation-wide wellness manual for Indigenous firefighters, a hospice volunteer curriculum, an asset-gap analysis of food insecurity in the city of Abbotsford, and a project concerning the advancement of Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association’s (ARJAA) referral system.

“These projects are testaments to Dr. Dow’s unwavering commitment to addressing pressing social issues and her ability to translate sociological research into tangible, real-world solutions,” Marenkov noted. “CHASI students and staff agree that Dow has molded CHASI into a perfect ecosystem for UFV students to contribute to research and flourish.”

Dow said she was honoured to receive the Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Praxis Award and credited her CHASI team.

“To have the work that we do in CHASI recognized with this individual award is deeply satisfying as I believe community-driven research that centres on student experience should be the lifeblood of our university.”