McDaniel to head Prentice Institute

Dr. Susan McDaniel is coming back to Alberta, and it is only the lure of the University of Lethbridge's Prentice Institute that could bring her home.

The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy, a unique research institute housed at the University of Lethbridge, has appointed McDaniel as its director. Internationally recognized as a sociology researcher and demographics expert, McDaniel is the latest high profile researcher to target the U of L as a preferred destination, further enhancing its credentials as an emerging comprehensive university.

"Dr. McDaniel's appointment shows that the U of L is maturing as a leading comprehensive research university," says Vice-President Academic and Provost, Dr. Andy Hakin. "Dr. McDaniel will be attracting people and resources to the Institute that will have direct benefits for our undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, research and community outreach."

The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy was established in late 2006, when John Prentice, a Calmar, Alta., based agri-business entrepreneur, with his wife, Connie, donated $8.25 million to the U of L - the largest private philanthropic gift the U of L has received in its 40-year history.

"Dr. McDaniel is our first Endowed Chair from the Prentice Institute's investment and is the realization of the Prentice family's desire to develop the Institute as a world leader in global population research," adds Hakin.

The Prentice Institute was founded to promote the research of big-picture issues relating to global population change and demographics, among other topics.

McDaniel is a former Alberta resident who was most recently a senior scholar at the Institute of Public and International Affairs and Professor of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah.

She joins the University of Lethbridge formally on July 1, 2009 as a Professor in the Department of Sociology in addition to her five-year appointment as Prentice Institute Director. As well as being heavily involved in research, graduate education and research leadership as Director of the Prentice Institute, Dr. McDaniel will also contribute to the undergraduate teaching program at the University.

"The pull for me to consider this position is that our research focus will be global," says McDaniel. "I welcome the opportunity to conduct collaborative research with colleagues on campus and also plan to attract masters, doctoral and post-doctoral level researchers to Lethbridge to explore the key themes of the Prentice Institute."

McDaniel added that she plans to engage the local and regional community in projects that help explain the Institute's purpose and the relevance of the research that the Institute will be conducting.

McDaniel's extensive research, publishing and teaching record reflect her varied interests and research on demographic aging, generational relations, family change and the social impacts of technology.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the recipient of many research and teaching awards, including the University Cup by the University of Alberta for a stellar record of excellence in both research and teaching.