Kimberly Lopez, a professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, has received the 2020 Emerging Scholar Award from the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies (CALS).
The award is presented to an individual who has “generated and/or influenced new concepts and ideas, provided new insights, advanced innovative perspectives and approaches to research, and ultimately, had a significant impact in the way in which leisure is understood and plays out in the lives of Canadians.”
Lopez, who became a faculty member in January 2018, says, “To be recognized by colleagues and mentors, who continue to inspire me, is an incredible honour. This recognition encourages me to continue to seek new ways of critically reflecting on leisure and related concepts.”
One of her nomination letters noted that Lopez “draws on and integrates complex interdisciplinary theories and concepts to explore caring practices, culture change and leisure in the context of long-term care. As a social justice researcher, her research is playing a significant role in exposing oppressive and discriminatory care practices, providing a space for the creation and sharing of alternative narratives that privilege the voices of individuals most marginalised in those settings, and transforming caring practices – something rarely seen so early in an academic career.”
Lopez says, “Big picture, I see upstream approaches as a way to a just future. To me, this means encouraging Othered voices and students to take up space and teach towards resistance in our communities.
“Towards this, I try to reflect on ways we can care for self and Others (especially during times of personal and social disruption), what it means to dissolve boundaries between scholarly pursuits and community justice, and how radical approaches to anti-oppression can be taken up in the academy to make space for other ways of knowing and being.“
CALS will be presenting the award next year in Edmonton.