E. Dianne Looker
E. Dianne Looker is professor emerita at Acadia University and Mount Saint Vincent University, in Nova Scotia. She has been passionate about research her whole career, since being an undergraduate student at Carleton University, graduating in 1967 (BA Sociology). She went on to pursue research at the University of Waterloo (MA, 1971) and McMaster University (PhD, 1977). She was appointed to Acadia’s sociology department in 1975, and to a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair at Mount Saint Vincent University in 2005, formally retiring in 2012.
Looker has served on many committees internal and external to the university. She co-chaired the Atlantic Research Data Centre, which gives researchers access to restricted Statistics Canada data, where she actively participated in the Canadian Research Data Centre Network coordinating committee. Looker has advised national organizations including Industry Canada; Statistics Canada; Employment and Social Development Canada; the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. She undertakes contract work, such as analyses for the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies’ annual reports.
Her research has focused on youth, particularly rural youth and their transitions to adulthood. An important part of that involved research on youth’s educational pathways. Looker presented a virtual keynote address to the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada, in Saskatoon March 2021. She has received numerous grants and contracts to pursue her research, and has extensive publications in both books and peer reviewed journals. Looker is a champion of small universities, and of insitutions in rural settings. She is also aware of the important role older but still active academics can play, as researchers in their own right, and as supports and mentors for younger scholars. In these ways, the expertise of older researchers can be harnessed to enhance the quality of social sciences and humanities research in Canada.
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