Sandra Byers   2008 University Research Scholar Recipient

Professor Sandra Byers is an internationally-renowned expert on human sexuality, sexual health and intimate partner relationships.  Her research has garnered high acclaim at the national and international level.  Her commitment to social-action research has made a major contribution to how Canadian children and adolescents are educated about sexual behaviour and health.  In many respects she has been a pioneer in her field of research.  She is, in fact, credited with publishing the first empirical study on date rape which, in turn, led to a major reconceptualization of this serious social problem.

In addition, her research on sexual coercion, as well as on sexual functioning and satisfaction, has redefined how these important aspects of human adaptation are understood and measured.  Dr. Byers’ scholarly contributions have had a far-reaching impact.  Her textbook on human sexuality, with co-authors Janet Hyde and John DeLamater, is in its third edition and has been adopted widely by universities across Canada.

She was Founding Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, one of UNB’s premier research institutes.  She has been honoured by her her peers with election as a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, and of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex.  She has received distinguished service awards from the Canadian Sex Research Forum, and from the “Women and Psychology” section of the Canadian Psychological Association.

Dr. Byers has published some 75 refereed journal articles, 9 book chapters, 1 edited book, and 1 textbook, and she has made over 135 refereed conference presentations.  Much of this scholarly work has been coauthored with her graduate students, an example of the high premium she places on mentoring her students.

Sandi is widely sought after as an academic and public speaker.  She has often been invited to give presentations, colloquia, and workshops at universities across the country, and as far afield as China.  She has also given numerous interviews on national and regional radio and television.  Her work has often been cited in the popular media, and she is frequently invited to make presentations at community and health organizations.  in sum, Dr. Byers’ research has had a direct impact at every level—regional, national and international;  it is a model of knowledge transfer that has been forward thinking at the time of its inception.

Dr. Byers’ has been very successful in competing for external funding at both the national and provincial level, with total research funding that exceeds a million dollars, including four SSHRC and three Status of Women grants.

At the same time, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to student education—and to student research—supervising 15 doctoral students, 12 MA students and 15 Honours students, and serving on countless thesis and comprehensive committees.

Sandra Byers possesses all the qualities we attribute to excellence in faculty research, and she has achieved this standard of excellence while committing herself to her duties as departmental Chair, and before that as Director of Clinical Training.  In all respects she has demonstrated the exemplary leadership in research, teaching and service which makes her a professor “par excellence”— and which today makes her an outstanding University Research Scholar.

James Murray

Dean of the Faculty of Arts