Leadership and academic fellows

Dr. Rob Moir, the institute’s director, is supported by an advisory board which includes UNB faculty members as well as representatives of the Saint John community.

Academic fellows of the Institute include any faculty member currently holding a full-time or part-time teaching position at UNB who is also engaged with the research, teaching and community outreach activities of the Institute.

Community fellows may also be appointed if their interests and experiences complement those of the Institute.

Academic fellows

Dr. Moir is a Professor of Economics and currently the Director of the UCSI. His research focuses on the role of cooperation in the economy. He has used game theory methodology to examine environmental issues, market structure, governance, strategy framing, public good provision, gambling, economic measurement, happiness, and community economic development.

Chris Baker

Dr. Chris Baker is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science.

Dr. Best is a Professor of Psychology. Her research focuses on a range of topics including health-related topics such as addictions, personality, and life satisfaction, research methodology, diagrammatic reasoning, history of graph use in science, and learning and technology.

Mary Ann Campbell

Dr. Campbell is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. Her research examines the development and enhancement of the application of evidence-based strategies in criminal justice settings and contexts, including in the areas of police psychology, crime prevention, and criminal risk reduction, and intervention services. She is an invited member of the Government of New Brunswick's Roundtable on Crime Prevention and Public Safety, which informed this province's strategy on crime prevention and reduction.

Dr. Chalmers is an Associate Professor of Sociology. She is currently working on a study on the province of New Brunswick’s policies around school closings and consolidations.

Dr. Emin Civi is a Professor in the Faculty of Business. He specializes in marketing and international business. He is recognized by numerous University, Regional and National awards for his teaching and educational leadership. He is interested in increasing students opportunities for experiential learning. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Saint John Newcomers Center (SJMNRC) and an active community volunteer.

Baba Das

Baba Das (Das, Alekhya) is the Research Associate of the Government of New Brunswick’s Healthy Seniors Pilot Project, Participatory Arts for Older Adults, a partnership between the Faculty of Business and social enterprise Art4Life. Dr Das is the lead implementor and is investigating the impact of art-oriented living on health of seniors in Saint John. Previously, Dr. Das held a NBHRF and CIHR-SPOR-MSSU postdoctoral fellowship and researched innovative preventions of domestic violence in New Brunswick and substance use disorders among women in Saint John.

Dr. Keith Dewar is a Professor in the Faculty of Business. His interest areas include heritage management, sustainable and environmental management and culinary tourism. In 2018, he was honoured with the International Conference on Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award for his research and service to the profession.

Dr. Downes is a Professor of Communication Studies and the current Chair of the Department of Social Science at UNB Saint John. His research interests include D.I.Y. culture and handmade electronic musical technology and the role of intellectual property in the regulation of cultural industries and popular culture.

Daniel J. Dutton is an Assistant Professor in Community Health & Epidemiology at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick. His current research falls into three general categories: social epidemiology, health economics, and applied policy. Most of his work is quantitative, utilizing large data sets and modeling strategies from economics and epidemiology. Currently, his work focuses on homelessness, housing, and governmental policy.

Dr. Everitt is a Professor of Political Science. Her research focuses on political and community engagement with a specific interest in the role that identity plays in representation and participation. She is a member of several Boards of Directors of Arts organizations in Saint John and actively involved in the local community.

Dr. Fleet is an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Student Relations with the Faculty of Business. In this role he oversees the Faculty of Business’ Co-op program and other experiential learning opportunities for students. He works with local businesses to create real-world “laboratory” projects, and counsels new entrepreneurs in their business start-ups and with local organizations such as the YMCA to assess their impact on the community.

Dr. Folster is an Honorary Research Associate in the Faculty of Business. She spent nine years working in government, as a policy analyst at the Canadian International Development Agency, and then for the Government of New Brunswick on tourism sector development and cultural policy. She has also conducted research and policy evaluations for various international organizations and is particularly interested in economic development policy and planning.

Dr. Jeffrey is a Professor of Political Science. She examines issues of nationalism, global human rights, the welfare state, and gender and politics. Her past research has focused on the local and international sex-trade as well as Canadian prostitution policy. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for AIDS Saint John.

Beth Keyes

Dr. Keyes is a Senior Teaching Associate and Coordinator of the BA/BEd program at UNB Saint John. She has an extensive background in both Neuropsychology and Special Education that inform her current research interests. With her specialized training in the area of Learning Disabilities and Inclusive Service Provision Models, Dr. Keyes works closely with local school boards and is often invited to speak at local and provincial workshops and conferences, and also serves on many University and Community-based committees.

J.P. Lewis

Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor of Political Science. His major research interests are in cabinet government and citizenship education, with a focus on Canada.

Wenmei Li is a part-time instructor and a Research Associate in the Faculty of Business and works within the Bachelor of Applied Management Hospitality and Tourism program. She is presently researching World Heritage Site brand recognition and has interest in culinary, image literacy and uran tourism as well as town planning.

Murray Littlejohn is a senior instructor in the Department of Humanities and Languages.

Robert MacKinnon is a Professor of Geography at the University of New Brunswick. He served as Vice-President of The University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus from 2008-19 and Dean of Arts for the Saint John campus from 2001 to 2008. His teaching and research interests include: the geography of Atlantic Canada, urban geography and historical geography. He is a member of the board of directors of the New Brunswick Medical Education Foundation, a Governor of Rothesay Netherwood School, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Dr. Marquis is a Professor of History and specializes in Canadian history, urban history (including the history of Saint John), criminal justice history, the history of alcohol and drugs and the history of popular culture. His recent book Truth and Honour: The Death of Richard Oland and the Trial of Dennis Oland, was named as a finalist for Canada’s National Business Book Award in 2017.

Hepzibah Muñoz-Martínez

Dr. Muñoz-Martínez is an Associate Professor of Political Science. She is a strong advocate of experiential, team and community-based teaching in her courses and has her students involved in local policy projects and human rights awareness campaigns.

Dr. Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences. His research focus is on community development, health care access for vulnerable populations (including inner city, LGBTQ+, New Comer and First Nations), harm reduction, and nursing education. He is actively involved in community-based research and employs community service-learning models in his teaching. Dan serves on the boards of RECAP in Saint John and the Community Health Nurses of Canada as New Brunswick’s nursing representative and works with several other community organizations in Saint John.

Dr. Rinehart is a Professor of Marketing in the Faculty of Business and is the Director of the MBA program at UNB Saint John. Her research and teaching engage with issues of relevance to the local community. She is a founding member of Women for 50%, and serves as chair of the RPC Science and Technology, is an executive member of Elementary Literacy and is a Director with the Port of Saint John. Between 2012 and 2016 she served as deputy mayor of the City of Saint John.

Dr. Watson is an Associate Professor of Economics, specializing in health and labour economics. His recent research examines the impact of inequality of opportunity on educational aspirations, the Indigenous wage gap, and authoritarianism.

Dr. Weissman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and has been studying homelessness, housing and social policy in Canadian and US cities since 1999. He looks at the provisions that make a range of housing models, from Housing First to Intentional Homeless Communities, feasible in the context of widespread homelessness in North American cities. Dr. Weissman argues that making room for alternative housing is a type of harm reduction with many health benefits. He currently leads multi-sited research on post-secondary student homelessness in several cities across Canada.

Dr. Woodhall-Melnik is an Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her research explores employment and housing as social determinants of physical and mental health, addiction and concurrent disorders. In addition, her work investigates the effectiveness of publicly funded rehousing and housing loss prevention interventions on health and housing outcomes, employment and income.

Graduate and post-graduate fellows

IDST PhD Student

Milad Pira

Milad Pira holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on addressing community challenges through the digitalization and smartness lens. Milad is the former postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University. He is currently an instructor at the Faculty of Business and a Community Outreach Coordinator at the UCSI.

Caitlin Grogan is a master's candidate in the Interdisciplinary Studies program. Caitlin's research focuses on housing, social inclusion, and health. She is currently researching the inclusion and health impacts of co-housing models for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Saint John.

Purdy Crawford/TD Bank Postdoctoral Fellow

Mikael Hellstrom is a former recipient of the Purdy Crawford and TD Bank Postdoctoral Fellow with the Urban and Community Studies Institute. Recently completing a study on refugee settlement in New Brunswick, his research focuses on immigrant and settlement and he currently working with a research collaboration on immigrant retention in Greater Saint John.

Politics MA Student

Duyen Nguyen


IDST PhD Student

Courtney Pyrke (they/them) is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at UNB. As a professional librarian, Courtney is interested in the impacts that misinformation and predatory publishing has had on society. They are researching how students are learning Information Literacy skills during high school education in New Brunswick and how the resulting level of preparedness for university level research impacts academic success and mental health (library/information anxiety).