Category: Research and Funding

Spring 2022 Associate Dean’s Graduate Student Thesis Award recipients

Congratulations to Master’s students Willow Iorga and Bill Cook on being selected as the two  recipients of the Spring 2022 Associate Dean’s Graduate Student Thesis Award!

The Faculty of Education Associate Dean’s Graduate Student Thesis Award was established in 2021 to recognize outstanding academic performance of thesis-based graduate students (Masters and PhD) in Education.

This $2,000 award is granted to a student in a graduate program in the Faculty of Education who has exemplified academic excellence and research ability, demonstrated leadership ability and/or university/community involvement, and whose thesis was deemed meritorious by the Examining Committee.

De/colonising Educational Relationships

During 2020 and 2021, Dr. Fatima Pirbhai-Illich (University of Regina) and Dr. Fran Martin (University of Exeter) led a series of seminars on
“De/colonising Educational Relationships” and conducted research at the University of Exeter with grants received from the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education, the Centre of Educational Research, Collaboration, and Development (CERCD), the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education, and the Centre for Social Mobility.

The seminars were provided in two formats: As a weekend virtual retreat at the University of Regina on November 6 and 7, 2021, and as a series of monthly seminars at the University of Exeter. The topics covered for each university reflect the different audiences and contexts. For those interested in how the ideas were adapted for these specific contexts and audiences, visit the CERCD YouTube channel: Click here

Inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow Incentive Award recipient announced

Award announcement: Dr. Needal Ghadi has been awarded the inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow Incentive Award in the Faculty of Education. Dr. Christine Massing, who has co-published with Dr. Ghadi on four refereed journal articles, will serve as his Postdoctoral Fellow supervisor.
 
Dr. Ghadi completed his Ph.D. in the Faculty of Education in 2020 with the supervision of Dr. Andrea Sterzuk. Given his outstanding academic performance, the Faculty of Education nominated him for the Governor General Academic Gold Medal and he was the recipient of the Associate Dean’s Graduate Students Thesis Award in 2021. He has co-published six journal articles and presented locally, nationally, and internationally.
 
According to Dr. Ghadi his doctoral study, “documented the intersections between language learning and capital of Syrian men living in Regina; finding that their established identities were eroded or altered due to the loss of their linguistic capital.”
 
As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Ghadi will extend his doctoral work to study the impact of COVID-19 on the language learning of adult Syrians in urban and rural Saskatchewan.

Study informs services and supports for South Central Saskatchewan newcomers

With the considerable increase in Saskatchewan’s ethnocultural diversity, understanding newcomer resettlement and integration processes in local rural and smaller urban communities is critical to the development of services and supports that will contribute to newcomer success, to the benefit of both local communities and the newcomers who reside in them.

To fill in current gaps in understanding, a University of Regina research team partnered with Prairie Skies Integration Network (PSIN) to conduct a local study entitled, “Immigrant Settlement and Community-Newcomer Integration in South Central Saskatchewan: A Local Data-Based Study.” The team consisted of Dr. Miguel Sanchez (Principal Investigator, Faculty of Social Work), Dr. Christine Massing (Co-Lead, Faculty of Education), Dr. Daniel Kikulwe (Faculty of Social Work, York University), Dr. Oluwasegun Hassan, (Saskatchewan Health Authority), Dr. Jérôme Melançon, (La Cité universitaire francophone), Lucrécia Raquel Fuhrmann (Ph.D. Candidate,
Faculty of Education) and Stephen Davis, (Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Education).

The research team set out to study the accessibility of the following five key topics that have been determined to contribute to successful immigrant resettlement and newcomer integration: education, employment, health and wellness, housing, and transportation. What follows is a summary of the educational findings of this study.

The literature confirms that further education allows newcomers to mobilize their existing resources, re-establish their credentials, develop connections, participate fully in the Canadian workplace, and integrate into their new society. For increasing income and employment rates, the research establishes the value of attaining a Canadian post-secondary education.

However, newcomers can find the transition into the Canadian educational system challenging; the system is especially difficult for those living outside of the urban areas due to lack of opportunities. Some newcomers emphasized the need for additional supports for understanding the Canadian system as well as their need to feel a sense of belonging in the system.

Challenges to navigating the education system and accessing further education. The researchers found, “Nearly one-third of survey respondents indicated that ‘knowing English’ was a pathway to further education.” Learning the Language was identified as a “a significant challenge” that must be overcome for newcomers to access further education and employment and thereby to successfully integrate. This study found that several challenges affect language learning including: access to training (which is limited by the lack of transportation, time due to family commitments, and classes tailored to newcomers’ specific needs); age at the time of migration (several participants of the study felt that coming to Canada when they were school aged facilitated their learning of English); and confidence to take risks and speak to others in the new language (opportunities to practice are necessary for learning language.) Access to minority language training, such as French education in Saskatchewan was said to be “especially challenging.”

Other factors related to education and affecting integration include the major challenge of having foreign degrees and credentials recognized. In addition, a lack of childcare and the prohibitive costs of education were identified as challenges associated with attaining further education. Lack of access to childcare had a higher impact on the ability of women to further their education. The cost of education for students who come to Canada on an international student visa is prohibitive, with fees over two times higher than fees for domestic students. Supports offered in educational institutions including educators, staff, and settlement workers were much appreciated by study participants. Recommendations are summarized in the following chart:

Watch for the full report which will be published at https://psinetwork.ca/

Spring 2022 Education News

Click image to access the animated copy of Education News.

In this issue:
A note from the Dean….. 3
Change maker: Tranforming schools and society….. 4
Alumna envisions schools as environments of empowerment….. 10
Why become a teacher? To be a role model….. 16
Alumnus positively influencing change….. 20
Le Bac student helping to preserve Indigenous languages….. 22
Teaching hard truths in a positive way: Kâsinamakewin….. 24
De/colonising Educational Relationships….. 29
Study informs services and supports for South Central Saskatchewan newcomers….. 30
Equity, diversity, and inclusion research partnership agreement announced….. 32
Successful defences….. 34
Funding and awards….. 35
Published research….. 36
New book….. 38
Long service recognition….. 38
New staff|New position….. 39
Student fundraising….. 40

Immigrant Settlement and Community-Newcomer Integration in South Central Saskatchewan study

Congratulations to this group of researchers including #UREdu‘s Dr. Christine Massing and doctoral candidates Stephen Davis and Lucrécia Fuhrmann. The study “Immigrant Settlement and Community-Newcomer Integration in South Central Saskatchewan: A Local Data-Based Study” received $19, 982 from Prairie Skies Integration Network – Moose Jaw Region’s LIP.

Successful defense | Dr. Donna Swapp

Congratulations to Dr. Donna Swapp, who successfully defended her dissertation “School Principals’ Work in Grenada” on Monday, March 21, 2022 from Western University.

Supervisor: Dr. Katina Pollock, Western University
External: Dr. Kirk Anderson, Memorial University
Internal Examiners (Western University): Dr. Gus Riveros (Faculty of Education); Dr. Suzanne Majhanovich (Faculty of Education); Dr. Yasaman Rafat (Modern Languages & Cultures)
Chair of the defense (Western University): Dr. Betty Anne Younker (Faculty of Music)

Donna’s thesis has been nominated for the Cecile DePass Award for best doctoral thesis by a student from the Caribbean and for the the Canadian Association for the Studies of Educational Administration (CASEA) Thomas B. Greenfield Dissertation Award, presented to the author of the best doctoral dissertation in educational administration and leadership completed in a Canadian university during the previous year.

Funding Announcement | Dr. Nathalie Reid

Congratulations to Dr. Nathalie Reid, Director of the Child Trauma Research Centre, who has received a SHRF grant of $9,960 for her project, “Building a Facilitator Community to Create a Microcredential in Trauma-Informed/Sensitive Pedagogies and Practices in Support of Educator and Student Mental Health.”

The research on Adverse Childhood Experiences has highlighted the importance of approaching education with an understanding of the physiological, social, emotional, spiritual, and academic impacts of trauma and adversity on our students, including the impact of the residential school system, poverty and systemic barriers in our society. Findings from the University of Regina’s Drs. Jerome Cranston and Nathalie Reid point to educators’ desire for guidance in relation to trauma-informed practices. Recognizing the need for knowledge sharing and professional development that encompasses both Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of knowing, the Child Trauma Research Centre and Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Professional Learning have partnered to create a Saskatchewan-based and delivered microcredential in trauma-informed/sensitive pedagogies and practices.” Source: Nine projects aimed at advancing reconciliation in Saskatchewan funded in Research Connections

Funding Announcement | Dr. Anna-Leah King

Congratulations to Dr. Anna-Leah King who is part of a CIHR-funded team that is researching “Takohpinawasowin: Knowledge Keepers’ Stories of Traditional Birthing and Child-Rearing Practices.” The team also includes Dr. Brenda Green (principal investigator), Dr. Kathleen O’Reilly, Dr. Elizabeth Cooper, Dr. Cassandra J. Opikokew Wajuntah, Colleen Strongarm (Touchwood Agency Tribal Council), and Debbie Vey (midwife). The project is based at Touchwood Agency Tribal Council and has been granted $512,546 over 4 years.

In the News:

Researchers and elders receive hefty grant to study birthing and child rearing | Eagle Feather News
takohpinawasowin: Indigenous Elders’ Stories of Traditional Birthing and Child-Rearing Practices | Newswire
FNUniv, UofR and FHQTC awarded a $512,546, 4-year CIHR Project Grant |FNUniv 
Research project studying traditional Indigenous birthing, child-rearing | LeaderPost