Research Assistant (WP8)
Contessa Small (Ph.D.) is a folklorist, cultural heritage consultant, and researcher specializing in Newfoundland folklore, narrative, and occupational folklife. She is a Research Assistant with the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) and the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research, Memorial University. Her current research explores return-to-work challenges for injured/ill maritime workers in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada—supporting OFI’s research project Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures (FOCI) Work Package 8 (Comparative Studies of Return to Work after Work Injury or Illness: Challenges for Marine Workers in BC and Atlantic Canada), and a national research project partnership headquartered at the University of Ottawa called Policy and Practice in Return-to-Work After a Work Injury. Contessa has worked as a print and radio journalist (CBC Radio), university instructor, museum curator, and municipal heritage and arts coordinator creating and implementing projects and programming which foster engagement with, and raise awareness of, traditional culture and community arts. Her commitment to creating awareness about women’s occupational roles and traditional culture won her the Woman of the Year Award (Corner Brook Status of Women Council) and the Carillon Trophy for 1st Place for Best Feature Story (Better Newspapers Competition, Canadian Community Newspapers Association). She is also a creative writer, and a musician and singer with Newfoundland folk songs being her favourite genre to sing. Contessa is a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies (Memorial), and a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, the Graduate Students’ Union Award for Excellence in Research (Memorial) and folklore awards including the David Buchan Graduate Research Award in Folklore, the Maurice J. Burke Memorial Scholarship, the Mary A. Griffiths Memorial Bursary for Folklore Field Research, and the W.W. Newell Prize (American Folklore Society).