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Editor’s note

Collaboration for social good

Marta Samuel

Every day, news headlines alert us to the ongoing challenges facing humanity, from climate change and systemic racism to crumbling health-care systems and gender inequalities. Meeting these challenges calls for an overhaul in the way we think, plan and take action. It’s also a reminder that for progress to happen, we need to work together.

“It’s at these moments that all the obstacles seem to magically fall away,” says Natalie Cousineau, BSc 96. The alumna is the first woman to serve as chief of emergency medicine at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and has been on the front lines of emergency care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “Major crises really highlight the team aspect of emergency medicine. Everyone pulls together and focuses on what they do best.”

Cousineau is among the latest cohort named to Concordia’s Top 50 Under 50 Shaping Tomorrow. She and other inspiring graduates are helping to lead advances in health, the arts, business, technology and more. Each in their own way, our honourees demonstrate how success can be achieved when we collaborate as students and researchers, community partners and government, and grassroots organizations and corporations, big and small. 

Last month, President Graham Carr announced Concordia’s plans to provide every student with at least one experiential learning opportunity starting this fall. This ambitious goal — to ensure that tomorrow’s leaders can thrive in an increasingly multidisciplinary working environment — comes at a time when decisive action is most needed.

Through field schools, internships, case competitions and more, Concordia is working with internal and external partners to deliver a next-gen education. Together, they’ll help prepare students for a world that demands clever and innovative solutions to a range of issues, some of which we may not yet know exist.

As you read through the pages of this magazine, you’ll see how Concordians around the world, too, are rallying together — across disciplines at the institution and across sectors beyond the university’s walls — to share expertise and advance reforms for a better future.

Our cover feature examines how researchers and alumni are finding more sustainable ways to support energy use; our researchers in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies demonstrate how the arts can help us cope with grief; our Women and Leadership series features four inspiring Indigenous grads who are leading change in their communities and across the country; and our research spotlight highlights faculty members who are driving innovation through a multidisciplinary approach. These stories and more show how we can address urgent challenges through thoughtful collaborations — collaborations fostered by higher education.

Finally, while it may seem far away, Concordia’s 50th-anniversary celebrations are quickly approaching, kicking off in 2024. If you’re an alum of the university’s first years from 1974 and 1975, or were among the last graduating class of our founding institutions, we’d love for you to share your inspiring, funny or life-changing stories from your student days.

As we near the end of 2022, I wish you all the best in the months — and year — ahead.

Marta Samuel, GrDip 10
Editor, Concordia University Magazine

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