Inaugural visit of Canadian Ambassador

12.02.2024. / news / Int. Cooperation

H.E. Mrs. Jessica E. Blitt, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Croatia, visited the University of Rijeka Rectorate on Monday, February 12, 2024, accompanied by Mrs. Ida Mahečić Bajović, Political Relations, Public Affairs and Media Relations Officer at the Embassy. Madam Ambassador was greeted by the UNIRI Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić Samaržija, Ph.D., and Vice-rector for Studies, Students and QA, Prof. Marta Žuvić, Ph.D.

Ambassador Blitt expressed her satisfaction with the cooperation with the University so far, especially with last year’s International Summer Institute entitled ”Sexual and Gender-based Violence Prevention in Education: Internationalizing Theory and Effective Practice”, organized by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, Center for Advanced Studies of Southeast Europe of the University of Rijeka and the City of Rijeka, with the support of the Embassy of Canada to Croatia and Kosovo.

Petra Sapun Kurtin, Chair of the Croatian-Canadian Academic Network and assistant at the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka, announced the conference set to be held in June in Rijeka and organized by the alumni network of the University of Alberta. Bringing together various experts from Central Europe who visited Canada through the fellowship program of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta, the conference will focus on the issue of crises and their interpretation from different points of view.

Since Madam Ambassador holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Peace and Conflict Studies, Rector Prijić Samaržija presented the work and results of the Peace and Conflict Research Center of the University of Rijeka, which successfully revitalized the School of Peace through various activities (workshops, films, talks with peacemakers), a special association designed and led by the late Franjo Starčević, an internationally respected and recognized peacemaker from Mrkopalj.

The meeting also served as an opportunity to discuss the upcoming ”Women Who are Changing Science: Driving Bold Research in Canada and Croatia” conference, organized by the Embassy of Canada and other partners to connect and empower women in science. The conference brings together leading Canadian and Croatian scientists whose ground-breaking research has contributed to the advancement of scientific excellence in Canada and Croatia. So far, the discussions have been moderated by a well-known Croatian molecular biologist living and working in Canada, Professor Igor Štagljar, who became a member of the UNIRI International Science Council in May last year. Thanks to Prof. Štagljar, this year’s conference will partly take place in Rijeka.

This is Ambassador Blitt’s first visit to Rijeka, and during her stay in Rijeka, she met with the mayor and numerous other officials who happily watched this year’s International Carnival Parade, the peak of carnival festivities and activities in the Kvarner region.

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