Bibby earns CAFA award

He's broken down popular culture myths, authored best-selling books and always found a way to engage a broad audience. The University of Lethbridge's Dr. Reginald Bibby is one of the most well known academics in the country. Recently, he was honoured by the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA) with the CAFA Distinguished Academic Award for 2009.

The CAFA Distinguished Academic Award recognizes academic staff members who through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university.

"The recipients of the CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards are being honoured by their peers," notes Linda Bonneville, President of CAFA.

"Through these awards, we wish to recognize and highlight exceptional contributions made by our colleagues, through their research, scholarly and creative activities, to the wider community beyond the academy."

Bibby, who holds a Board of Governors Research Chair in Sociology at the U of L, has been monitoring and analyzing Canadian social trends and attitudes since the mid-1970s through a series of periodic nationwide surveys of adults and teens.

This groundbreaking and often-cited body of research, developed in his 12 books, as well as numerous refereed journal articles and monographs, has generated a wealth of pioneering and historic data on social issues, intergroup relations, religion, and quality of life in Canada, and has earned Dr. Bibby a well-deserved reputation among his colleagues as 'the academic's academic.'

Never content to address his findings solely to other academics, however, Bibby, in the words of his department chair, has reached out "regularly, willingly, and with a purpose" to engage with a wider, non-academic audience.

To quote another of his colleagues, Bibby "has contributed conspicuously to the popular understanding of social trends in Canada while writing the most careful, prescient, and sophisticated sociological analyses of religion, youth and demographic change in Canadian society."

More than 140,000 copies of Dr. Bibby's books have been sold to date. The latest, entitled The Emerging Millennials: How Canada's Newest Generation is Responding to Change & Choice, was released in April 2009.

The 2009 CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards were presented at a banquet in Edmonton, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009.