- CERi Programs
- Ethics of CER
- CER Network
- Jessie Williams joins CERi Advisory Board
- Recap: Remaking the Table Series Launch
- Recap: Recognizing and Negotiating Community/Researcher Relations
- CERi Fellow's research unmasks the impact of COVID-19 on families of children with autism
- CERi Special Research Associate Kari Grain Speaks with Am Johal for Below the Radar
- Lyana Patrick on Decolonial Planning and Community Health for Below the Radar
- Tips for Virtual Exchange and Engaging Partners Online
- Meet Jackie Wong, Community Strategic Initiatives Associate
- Announcing Lyana Patrick as CERi Researcher-in-Residence
- Faranak Farzan on Neuroengineering and Brain Plasticity for Below the Radar
- Why Money Matters in CER
- Unlock Your Research Impact: Upcoming Lunch and Learn Series
- Introducing CERi's Fall 2020 Faculty-Student Research Projects
- Uplifting Black Youth: Jackie Obungah on Her Podcast Series with Below the Radar
- MindMap: BC's LGBTQ2-affirming Mental Health Service Finder Tool
- Meet Our Fall 2020 Graduate Fellows
- 'We are Community': CERi Partners with the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
- 3 Questions with Researcher-in-Residence Dr. Enda Brophy
- 3 Questions with Researcher-in-Residence Dr. Angela Kaida
- Recap: Distanced Community-Based Research Panel
- 3 Questions with Researcher-in-Residence Dr. Nick Blomley
- CERi Welcomes Three Researchers-in-Residence
- Research in the Service of Community
- Meet CERi’s first Graduate Fellows
- CERi Partners with Karen Jamieson Dance
- Below The Radar: Social Transformation — with Tara Mahoney
- Below The Radar: Community-Engaged Research — with Stuart Poyntz & Joanna Habdank
- Recap: CERi 312 Launch
- Participedia-CERi Summer School
- Upcoming Events
Meet CERi’s first Graduate Fellows
In May CERi welcomed four SFU students to our inaugural Graduate Fellowship Pilot Program, each with unique expertise and perspective but all with one common goal: creating positive, informed impact with local communities.
For Kacia Tolsma, that means learning how connecting people to green space and to each other, can influence social resilience, manage the impacts of climate change, and strengthen individual autonomy at the regional scale.
"I’ve been interested in engaging with communities about green infrastructure since beginning my master’s degree, but needed the tools offered by CERi to guide me," said Tolsma, a second-year graduate student in the SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management (Planning) who is currently working with the Adaptation to Climate Change Team at SFU.
“I was directed to the CERi fellowship by two people very influential to my academic career, indicating the immense value of this program.”
I was directed to the CERi fellowship by two people very influential to my academic career, indicating the immense value of this program.
The four-month long program aims to deepen knowledge about community-engaged research (CER) practices through a combination of mentorship, peer learning and professional development. This includes workshops that explore areas such as methods, ethics, building equitable relationships with community and knowledge mobilization taught by CERi team members, SFU faculty and guest speakers.
“I first learned about [community engaged research] in a research methods class,” said Aphrodite Bouikidis, a master’s student in SFU’s Urban Studies program. "I completed an MA more than 10 years ago, but I don’t remember hearing about this approach at all. It resonated with me, because I value community engagement and collaboration in my work, and I want my research to be useful for communities, and to contribute to action and better policies."
Part of the focus of the Graduate Fellowship Program is to help students understand the different types of research approaches, including community-based research, participatory action research, and rapid assessment, response and evaluation, depending on how goals and outcomes are conceptualized. However, they are consistent in that they all strive to promote principles of participation, social transformation and finding a balance between research and actions.
Bouikidis is focused on the role of social-purpose spaces and facilities in community resilience, and how these spaces are used during an emergency, something that is particularly relevant as communities grapple with the reality of how COVID-19 has changed relationships with urban settings.
“We see huge government investment packages emerging right now for pandemic response and economic recovery, and this happens after every major disaster. I hope my research also contributes to how we can invest more in our community facilities, as critical spaces for cohesion and resilience.”
I hope my research also contributes to how we can invest more in our community facilities, as critical spaces for cohesion and resilience.
Similarly, Aman Chandi, who is also a master’s student in Urban Studies at SFU, learned about CER through one of her teachers, Dr. Tiffany Muller-Myrdhal. Chandi is interested in using participatory action research to examine how grassroots projects function as spaces of citizenship practice in which members can transform neglected space according to their interests, engage in leadership and decision-making activities and articulate collective identities.
“I want my research to be useful to the grassroots groups in Newton (in Surrey) therefore it is very important that I work with and for the communities to identify problems and solutions … to collaborate with these communities to co-create more inclusive, accessible and equitable place-based solutions.”
I want my research to be useful to the grassroots groups in Newton (in Surrey) therefore it is very important that I work with and for the communities to identify problems and solutions.
In particular, she wants to examine how this process contests dominant capitalist relations and exists to promote cooperative relations through collective ownership.
Vanessa Fong, a PhD student in the Experimental Developmental Psychology program at Simon Fraser University, is focused on patient-oriented work. Her research examines quality of life issues in culturally diverse families raising children with Autism Spectrum Disorder from a patient-oriented framework.
One of her goals is to collaborate with hard-to-reach communities in setting priorities and disseminating research findings to help reduce disparities in terms of health outcomes and access to services. “I hope that my research can help create a greater sense of inclusion where community members feel empowered in their role to impact change and shape policies that ultimately impact them,” said Fong.
I hope that my research can help create a greater sense of inclusion where community members feel empowered in their role to impact change and shape policies that ultimately impact them.
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