Trent University Announces 2015 Roberta Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies

July 7, 2015

Dr. Rafico Ruiz to join Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies in August for two year term

Continuing a tradition of bringing outstanding scholars to Trent University, the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies has announced the appointment of Dr. Rafico Ruiz as the 2015-2017 Roberta Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies.

"Since its inception, the Bondar Fellowship has brought young emerging scholars to Trent who have inspired students and bolstered faculty research,” said Dr. John Milloy, director of the Frost Centre. “With the appointment with our latest Bondar Fellow, Dr. Ruiz, that remarkable record will continue. I welcome the contributions he will make to our Canadianist community of scholars here at Trent.”

Dr. Ruiz will begin his two years as the Roberta Bondar fellow in August, during which he will work closely with Dr. Stephen Bocking in the Environmental and Resource Studies program. Dr. Ruiz will also deliver public lectures, as well as a new senior undergraduate course relating to northern studies that will be of interest to students in a wide range of degree programs.

"I'm delighted to be the Frost Centre's 2015 Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies,” said Dr. Ruiz. “My research project, The Satellites of Iceberg Alley: Emergent Natural Resources, will extend a long and exciting tradition at Trent of pursuing questions of northern concern that push disciplinary boundaries and challenge our understanding of the stakes of richly site-specific regions like the Canadian Subarctic and Arctic.“

Dr. Ruiz, who holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies and the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University, comes at the study of the North with a humanities background. His research tells the story of how under increasingly widespread conditions of water scarcity, various corporate and state actors are turning to North Atlantic icebergs as a potential water source to address a future with fewer and more expensive sources of water. 

The Roberta Bondar Fellowship in Northern and Polar Studies is a postdoctoral teaching and research award. The fellowship is intended to bring a northern scholar to Trent for the period of two academic years. The fellowship named in honour of Dr. Roberta Bondar, renowned space scientist, neurologist, astronaut and former Trent University chancellor, is intended to foster interest in Northern Studies at Trent, and is based in the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies.

Dr. Ruiz is the fourth Bondar Fellow. The inaugural fellow was Dr. Derek Mueller, Trent alumnus and renowned polar scientist. The second fellow was Dr. Scott Heyes, a northern researcher specializing in Indigenous concepts of landscape and architecture and the third fellow was Dr. Allice Legat, a researcher who has done extensive work with Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories.

For more information contact:
Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or