Congratulations Dr. Jyoti Gondek!

Oct 21 2021

The Canadian Sociological Association congratulates our colleague and recipient of The Angus Reid Practitioner / Applied Sociology Award (2013 and 2016) on being elected as the Mayor of Calgary, Alberta!

University of Calgary

Dr. Harry H. Hiller and Dr. Fiona Nelson

The Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary is delighted to announce that one of its own graduates was elected as Mayor of the City of Calgary on October 18, 2021.

Jyoti Gondek is the first woman ever to be elected as Mayor of the City of Calgary, and she is the first woman of colour ever to be elected as Mayor of a major city in Canada. What is more is that, to our knowledge, she is the first sociologist ever to be elected as Mayor of a major city, at least in Canada, if not in North America. Jyoti readily identifies with the professional designation of “sociologist” and has been repeatedly identified in the local, national, and international media as a sociologist, and particularly an “urban sociologist”. From a professional point of view, this is a landmark development for all of us in the discipline of sociology.

Jyoti’s M.A. (2003) was in the field of organizational sociology, with her thesis linking corporate stakeholder relations with issues of corporate responsibility (supervised by Bill Zwerman). Her Ph.D. was in urban sociology and her dissertation examined hybrid urban-rural spaces on the edges of cities where conflicts occurred over spatial meanings and controversial land use changes (supervised by Harry Hiller).

In recognition of her growing impact and contribution in applying sociology within the community, even as a doctoral student, Jyoti was awarded the Angus Reid Applied Sociology Student Award by the Canadian Sociology Association (CSA) in 2013. But as it became even clearer that Jyoti was channelling a unique path in the field of applied sociology, particularly because of her community service as well as contributions through a consulting company which she established, the CSA granted her the Angus Reid Applied Sociology Practitioners Award in 2016.

After the formal completion of her graduate work, Dr. Gondek was appointed as the first Director of the University of Calgary’s Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies, a position she held for three years. Because of her many contributions to community organizations, it was no surprise that Dr. Gondek was elected to City Council in 2017. Among the many roles she filled was serving as Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development. All this activity served as excellent preparation for being elected and serving as Mayor.

Politics is a significant challenge at the best of times, but we wish Sociologist Jyoti Gondek all the best in her new challenge!


Sarah Rieger (CBC News. October 18, 2021)

Jyoti Gondek elected as Calgary's mayor — and the first woman to hold that role

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