Dr. Ljubicic’s distinctive approach to collaborative research has drawn many students to her team. She has demonstrated a clear commitment to the communities she partners with, and to the critical role of Indigenous self-determination in environmental research and governance.
Dr. Ljubicic treats her role as a mentor with this same principled dedication. Through all research stages – developing research methodologies, crafting proposals, prioritizing preliminary research, conducting community-engaged field work, analyzing research results with communities, and co-reporting on results at conferences with community members – Dr. Ljubicic takes every opportunity to guide her students in developing new skills as researchers, and in supporting the interests of northern partners. She emphasizes respect and reciprocity as integral to research methodologies, and has a highly inclusive approach, guiding her students through building collaborative partnerships with community members, as well as other researchers, and organizations.
Dr. Ljubicic’s students range from having just completed undergraduate degrees, to mature PhD students who have returned to school. She supervises her students across different time zones of Canada, from the Yukon to Newfoundland. Yet, despite the distance and age differences among her students, she has created a strong sense of community on her team.
What Dr. Ljubicic’s students say really distinguishes her as a great mentor is that she sees potential in everyone. She has a unique ability to see each person she works with each as an individual, believing that everyone has something to contribute to a project, while being able to hone in on where each may learn and develop new skills. This confidence in her students, as well as in community members new to research, has fostered many new community-driven research partnerships.
Theo Ikummaq from Igloolik, NU speaks at the Student Day Closing Ceremony and recounts the positive impact that Dr. Gita Ljubicic has had on his community.
Congratulations, Dr, Ljubicic, on being recognized for your tireless efforts to support students, community members, and many others in the research community who share your passion for community-driven environmental research!