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UNB launches program connecting students and NB businesses for COVID-19 relief

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jun 18, 2020

Category: myUNB , UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick is pleased to announce the launch of Catalyst, a program designed to support communities as they adapt to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catalyst will give New Brunswick businesses access to some of UNB’s brightest and most talented students for assistance in immediate COVID-19 recovery and long-term strategy development.

Through this program, businesses will submit projects related to COVID-19 recovery, and students will work in interdisciplinary consulting groups with UNB faculty members and researchers to respond to those needs. With support from the Province of New Brunswick, students will be hired by the Catalyst program, providing expertise at no cost to partnering businesses.

Students will help support businesses through immediate and long-term challenges related to COVID-19 recovery, including:

  • The complexity of COVID-19 responses;
  • Post-pandemic economic recovery; and
  • Opportunities for innovative responses to current and future challenges

Although New Brunswick is among the top performers on the continent in addressing COVID-19, local businesses have still had to adapt quickly to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. Many businesses have struggled with online orders and curbside pickups, process changes and changes in order volumes.

“Catalyst provides students with a unique opportunity to gain experiential learning experience while contributing to some of our community’s most pressing needs,” says Dr. Sarah King, director of UNB’s Office of Experiential Education. “Students will connect their academic knowledge and skills to create real change and get the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers and some of UNB’s exceptional faculty members.”

“This program is an excellent opportunity for UNB to engage with and support the province in the post-pandemic recovery,” says Dr. Paul Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice-chancellor. “We are committed to providing experiential educational programs that will help our students thrive outside the classroom to respond to the ever-changing needs of our communities and make a difference in the world.”

To learn more about how students and businesses can participate in the Catalyst program, see unb.ca/catalyst. The deadline for business applications is June 26.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Rob Blanchard/UNB