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InvitationNB student spotlight: Meet the students measuring New Brunswickers’ pride in their province

Author: NB-IRDT Staff

Posted on Feb 27, 2023

Category: DataNB

Kevin Lauren Abraham, Pape Oumar Diop, Daniel Moody and Kate Saaedi

What is InvitationNB?

InvitationNB is a Future GNB research stream focused on revitalizing tourism in New Brunswick. Led by the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, the student team spent Summer 2022 contributing to GNB’s vision to showcase New Brunswick as the best place to visit, the best place to live, and ultimately the top vacation destination within Atlantic Canada.

The team began their summer by determining that New Brunswick’s tourism industry makes up only 1.8% of the province’s GDP, which is lower than the national average. This finding launched a significant theory that guided the rest of their work: The assumption that if people visiting or living in New Brunswick have a negative view of the province, this could create a “negative destination brand” that in turn affects tourist visitation rates and total tourism contribution to GDP.

InvitationNB sought to understand “Pride of Place” across all regions of the province – considering which experiences impact pride in our province’s heritage, arts, culture, and overall quality of life. To do this, they conducted an online survey that assessed positive and negative opinions/sentiments connected to the province. The survey was distributed through government networks and received responses from hundreds of people living throughout New Brunswick.

So, what elements make New Brunswickers most and least proud of their communities? You can see a snapshot of the team’s findings in their research infographic. More details are available in their Atlantic Student Research Journal article.

Meet the 2022 InvitationNB team

Kevin Lauren Abraham – InvitationNB Communications Coordinator

Kevin Lauren Abraham is in his second year at the University of New Brunswick, where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with hopes to major in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Kevin is currently working on an active start-up project that helps students move to residences off-campus – a service that helps students settle down comfortably, from start to finish. He enjoys networking with up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the province and discussing the potential of multiple business ideas. Apart from the business side of things, Kevin is always on the move and enjoys staying active and collecting shoes, currency and multiple other collectibles. He is an active representative for the international community at UNB.

Pape Oumar Diop – InvitationNB Researcher

Pape Oumar Diop is a dynamic and ambitious fourth year student majoring in biology at the Université de Moncton. After graduating, he hopes to work as a public servant in New Brunswick, in a field he’s passionate about -- biology research and knowledge transfer. In his free time, Pape likes to spend time with friends playing sports, especially football.

Daniel Moody – InvitationNB Researcher

Daniel Moody is in his fourth year at the University of Alberta, where he is completing a Bachelor of Management degree. Upon graduation, he intends to continue his academic and athletic endeavors with the Men’s Hockey team while pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, golfing and coaching youth athletes from across the province of New Brunswick.

Kate Saaedi – InvitationNB Researcher

Kate Saeedi is in the final year of her Master’s degree in Education at the University of New Brunswick. After graduation, Kate plans on pursuing her PhD to contribute to the academic world with her future research. She hopes to help to improve future educational leadership practices and increase the importance of Emotional Intelligence among educators. Kate likes reading, hiking, travelling, learning new languages and spending time with her family.

What is Pathways to Professions (P2P)?

Each summer, NB-IRDT hosts cohorts of student research teams as part of its Pathways to Professions (P2P) experiential learning program. For 13 weeks, these students work on New Brunswick-relevant projects while attending a full curriculum of professional skills workshops. In 2022, NB-IRDT launched a new partnership with the Government of New Brunswick's Future GNBAvenir GNB program to host P2P students working on government research projects – allowing the program to grow in both size and reach. Now that the 2022 program has ended, we are excited to share our students’ projects and their findings in our student spotlight series.