Dr. Arja Vainio-Mattila joins CBU from Huron University College, London, Ontario where she currently holds an appointment as an Associate Professor of Global Development Studies and a Docent of Development Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her academic interests focus on connections between higher education and community development.
Dr. Vainio-Mattila has a specific interest in building mutually beneficial connections between marginalized, indigenous communities and universities. She has pursued her interests on the ground as a Project Director of a Canadian International Development Agency- Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (CIDA-AUCC) funded project in Tanzania for the past six years. “I am interested in how universities take on changing expectations in society, and how they continue to provide a critical, mindful perspective on our local and global worlds. I believe that small universities have a particular strength in their ability to engage with the increasingly interdisciplinary challenges our society faces, and in forming lasting relationships that bring together diverse partners,” says Dr. Vainio-Mattila.
“We are extremely pleased to have an individual with Dr. Vainio-Mattila’s academic and global learning expertise joining Cape Breton University,” states President David Wheeler. “Arja’s background and academic experience links exceptionally well with the CBU’s desire and capacity to provide innovative programming and social science research. As Dean of the largest and most diverse school of study at CBU, she will work closely with academic colleagues to enhance research/inquiry based teaching, broader experiential opportunities for students, increased student and faculty mobility and interdisciplinary offering in all levels of study.”
Arja Vainio-Mattila adds, “I was born in Finland and have studied, worked and lived in most Anglophone African countries, as well as several places in Europe and Asia and am excited to join what is an obviously vibrant community at CBU in a very appealing location.”
Dr. Vainio-Mattila will begin her term as Dean on July 1, 2014.
Follow Dr. Vainio-Mattila on Twitter: @arjavm