With a B.A. in sociology and a growing interest in sociocultural anthropology, Connie chose to do graduate studies Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri), because it housed both disciplines in a single department. When Connie arrived in St. Louis (from Boston), she found the city too quiet and too small. So, moving to rural Cape Breton, to do dissertation research on the Acadians, was quite a change, though the experience was exciting and the people's warmth proved unforgettable. She acquired more than an M.A. and Ph.D. at Washington University, since it is where she met her husband and favorite colleague, John. After teaching part-time at UCCB (then "little X") for a year, she joined the full-time faculty.
Specialty areas: political economy, poverty and inequality, work, organizational culture, community economic development, applied anthropology, North America.
Community service: Connie has served Planned Parenthood, locally and provincially, and is an active member of Sydney's Italian Cultural Association. She contributes work to UCCB's Community Economic Development Institute, and sits as a member of its board. She has been President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Atlantic Association of Sociologists and Anthropologists, editor of City and Society for the Society of Urban Anthropology, book review editor for two Canadian journals in her field, and Anthropology Editor for the Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. She is currently a member of a strategic-grants adjudication committee for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Research: Connie's dissertation concerns the process of making a living in a Acadian community in the context of the wider economy, from its 19th century roots through the period of Point Tupper industrial development. She has since done research on volunteer work, organizational culture, and the media – some of which involved observation and interviewing in the local area. She is currently studying community economic development philosophies and activities in Cape Breton. Her work appears in professional journals and books, including Rock in a Stream, a collection co-edited with John deRoche and published through Memorial University's Institute of Social and Economic Research. She has recently undertaken a number of applied research projects – for example, evaluating an adult educational program – on her own and with others, including John deRoche.
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