Announcing the inaugural Institute for Community Engaged Research Community Grant

The Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) is awarding two $2,500 grants in 2021 to encourage community organizations to conduct Community Engaged Research (CER).

The purpose of the grant is to support community organizations to undertake a research project in collaboration with members of ICER. Our hope is that the grant will help to answer questions that are of importance, and build closer ties between the Okanagan community and ICER members.

For the purposes of this grant, CER is understood to be:
– Research that is done collaboratively between community partners and researchers;
– That the research question is of importance to, and impacts the wellbeing of the community; and
– That the research results are shared with the community.

For examples of community engaged research, please visit the ICER website

Application Deadline: Thursday, January 7, 2021 (midnight)

– Applicants must be a community organization with a bank account in their name;
– They must be based in and do their work in the Okanagan Region;
– Propose a project that aligns with the principles of CER outlined above; and
– Must work with an ICER member or ICER affiliated student (and the commitment to this project must be confirmed by that individual)

Following the completion of their research project, recipients will present at ICER’s lunchtime discussion series to share their research process and findings. The names of the recipients will be published in the ICER newsletter and social media.

The application is online.

Questions may be directed to:

Dec. 2 – Starting a Conversation with Norah Bowman: Mapping Whiteness and White Supremacy on Unceded Syilx Territory in the Central Okanagan.


As a result over a century of colonial policies, laws, and practices, the Okanagan Valley has become a cultural space in which whiteness is associated with regional citizenship. By regional citizenship, I mean the Okanagan associations of valley land-ownership, access to local capital, and participation in leisure and pleasure culture. In my recent research on land use in the valley, I have found repeated examples of the presence of BIPOC in the Okanagan Valley. Farmers, families, and workers from China, Japan, Jamaica and India have been part of Okanagan valley
settler culture for over 100 years. As well, this land is the unceded home of the Syilx Okanagan Indigenous people, whose knowledge and cultural contributions should form the idea of regional

So why do people say “Kelowna is so white”? What is the effect of this kind of statement? And how can we trouble it? One idea I have is mapping the movement, presence, forced relocation, and cultural and economic contributions of BIPOC in this valley, and seeing how Central Okanagan Whiteness is a result of purposeful white supremacist culture. Let’s talk!

Norah Bowman, PhD, is a professor at Okanagan College. She is Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies and teaches English Lit as well as Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies. Norah is a school board trustee in school district 23. Her book of poetry and prose about Okanagan Mountain will be published with Caitlin Press in 2021.

Join us for the next talk in ICER’s Starting a Conversation series on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 from 12 noon to 1pm. This presentation will be via Zoom.
To register, please e-mail: by Dec. 2 at 10 am.

Nov. 15 – Starting a Conversation with Liam King: Digital Wellness Project for Young Indigenous Men

Digital Wellness Project for Young Indigenous Men

The identity of young Indigenous men is extremely important to their ability to live happy and healthy lives. However, little is known about how young Indigenous men use digital media to develop their identity and the impacts this has on health and wellness.

This project seeks to bring together young Indigenous men in a community-based participatory project to understand the ways that digital media may be influencing their identity, health and wellness. We will be co-researching with a small group (~6) of young Indigenous men (<30 years old) who are undergraduates at UBC Okanagan to empower these men to create and answer questions related to their digital media use, identity, and health and wellness. The knowledge created from this project will be used to create future Indigenous Digital Wellness projects that seek to promote the development of positive identities within Indigenous youth.

This is a CIHR-funded project being run in partnership with Aboriginal Programs and Services Center at UBC Okanagan.

Liam R. King, BSc., is a Cree-Metis scholar currently completing his MSc., specializing in Indigenous Health and Wellness. Liam’s research interests include community-based participatory research with young Indigenous people’s and investigating the intersections of digital media, Indigenous identity, gender, health and wellness.

Liam is also one of three recipients of the 2020 Institute for Community Engaged Research Scholarship.

To register, please email: by 11:00 am Nov. 18.

ICER Student Scholarship Deadline Jan.13, 2021

The online application for the Institute for Community Engaged Research is now open.
In recognition of ICER’s commitment to supporting students involved in community engaged research, we are awarding three $1000 scholarships in 2021.

The scholarships offer financial support to current UBC Okanagan graduate, or in exceptional circumstances, undergraduate, students. The recipients should be actively involved in community engaged research projects or activities, and have a community partner.

The purpose of the scholarship is to assist with supporting research and building closer ties with the community.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 (midnight)

• Applicants must be students of UBC Okanagan;
• Graduate, or in exceptional circumstances undergraduate, students; and
• Actively involved in community engaged research.

Following the completion of their research, scholarship recipients are invited to present their research at a ‘Starting the Conversation’ – ICER’s brown bag discussion series. And their names will be published in the ICER newsletter and social media.

To access the scholarship, please click on this link.

March 4, Relax-a-cucha 2020: Literacies Writ Large

Relax-a-cucha 2020: Literacies Writ Large (It’s more than ready & writing!)

Join us for an informative and engaging evening that explores aspects of literacies not often thought about.

The speakers have been asked to present 12 visual slides that highlight an aspect of literacy other than reading and writing. Each speaker will have 7 minutes to speak to their slides as they introduce the audience to new ways of thinking about literacies that help us navigate the world.

This is a free event, however registration is required and will be capped at 100 people. There will be opportunities for socializing and refreshments.


The Art of Visiting
Vanessa Mitchell, Aboriginal Lead & Program Manager of Journey to Aboriginal Cultural Safety Program, Aboriginal Health, Interior Health

Developing Digital Literacy in 2020: Kinetic Learners & the Modern Public Library
Chris Stephenson, Kelowna Head Librarian, Okanagan Regional Library

A Probably Not Boring Introduction to Answering Research Questions with Math
Zakary Draper, MA, PhD student Psychology at UBCO

Over 100 Genders?! Queer & Trans* Literacy
Jey Benoit, Harm Reduction Educator, Living Positive Resource Centre

 How Emojis Make Us Feel
Dr. Christine Schreyer, UBCO

Designing for Accessibility and Inclusion: Presenting for Everyone
Meghan Currie, Inclusive Technology Lab Coordinator at UBCO

Space Matters! Inequality and Spaces of/in the City
Dr. Shelley Cook, Health System Impact Fellow at UBCO

Engaging in Mental Health Literacies
Dennis Jasper, UBCO School of Nursing

Please register for this free event @


Nov. 26, 2019, Got Game(s)? A Knowledge Mobilization Workshop

The next workshop in our Knowledge Mobilization series is: Got Game(s)?
Want to learn how to use games to share your research? Need a fun way to engage new audiences or explore community topics?
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019

Arts and Science 460

This is an introduction to thinking about how to use games as a knowledge mobilization tool. We are delighted to have four facilitators with various experiences with game theory and development, in both digital games and board games.


Dr. Bowen Hui, Computer Sciences, UBC Okanagan
Dr. Christine Schreyer, Community, Culture and Global Studies, UBC Okanagan
Mr. Jamie Stuart, Okanagan Regional Library – Kelowna
Dr. Miles Thorogood, Creative Studies, UBC Okanagan


9:00 to 9:20 Welcome and ice-breaker
9:20 to 9:35: Dr. Miles Thorogood, Game Theory & Locative Media (digital media applied to real places)
9:35 to 9:50: Dr. Christine Schreyer, Language Learning and Board Games
9:50 to 10:05: Dr. Bowen Hui, Game Structure and Design
10:05 to 10:20: Mr. Jamie Stuart, Narrative and Fun in (Board) Game Design
10:20 to 10:30: Break

After the break, participants will be divided into 4 groups. Each group will have the chance to attend a workshop with each facilitator and have the chance to brainstorm and learn about common challenges of game design. Feel free to bring your own ideas.

Facilitated Workshops:
* How to make locative media games
* Considering space and sequential design in different forms of games
* Role of narrative in game design
* Gamificaiton of research

10:30: to 11:00: Rotation 1
11:00 to 11:30: Rotation 2
11:30 to 12:00 Rotation 3
12:00 to 12:30 Rotation 4
12:30 to 1:00 Lunch provided (Please email with any dietary needs).

This event is free of charge.

The workshop has space for 40 participants with 15 spots reserved for graduate students, 10 spots for community members, and 15 spots for UBC Okanagan faculty and staff.

Workshop participants will also receive a list of resources.

Questions: Please email

Registration is free.

Nov. 5, Starting a Conversation with Zak Draper


Childminders in the Okanagan have expressed concerns about young children’s dependence on, and overuse of, screen-based media including smartphones, tablets, television, and videogames. We attempted to quantify relationships between different types of technology use (i.e., device, amount, weekday and weekend use) and indicators of both parent and child psychological wellbeing.
Participants (N = 456) were Okanagan parents with at least one child between the ages of 2–5. They reported on their technology use as well as the technology use of their young children and responded to measures of psychological wellbeing for both themselves and their children. We will present results showing the self-reported frequency of various types of technology use amongst families with young children, and whether there are benefits to wellbeing for families who impose a “no screen time” rule, or for families who restrict screen time based on Canadian Paediatric Society recommendations.

Zak Draper, MA, is a PhD student in Psychological Science. His research includes the development and testing of statistical procedures used to test hypotheses, with the goal of increasing confidence in statistical inferences; he also examines the role of technology use in families, with the goal of identifying potential harms and benefits of technology use in families with young children. Zak received an Institute of Community Engaged Research in 2019 to support his research.

Arts 368, ICER
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

October 17, 2019, Starting a Conversation with Kerry Rempel

Looking Under the Hood: Strategic Ambiguity in Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations are pervasive forces for social improvement in Canada and beyond. These organizations are deliberate and focused on the change they want to see in the world. They signal their intent through strategy.

Change is messy, stakeholders are demanding, and the operating environments of these organizations are uncertain. To compensate for this, organizations have adapted by creating strategic plans and objectives that are ambiguous. Through the use of multiple case studies of different nonprofits, I will explore the extent to which their nonprofit boards engage in sense-making activities that serve not only to create strategy, but also to clarify the ambiguity of those strategies for the staff challenged to implement them.

Through this research I hope to develop a model that can be used by nonprofit boards to look beyond the creation of the strategy… to lift the hood and consider the engine that drives the organization forward.


Kerry Rempel is a PhD Student at UBC-Okanagan focused on NonProfit Boards and how they create strategy. She is a Co-Lead for the joint UBC-O/Okanagan College research team focused on homelessness research in the Okanagan and has co-published several case studies focused on social enterprise. In her spare time, she is the Department Chair for the Faculty of Business at Okanagan College and is one of 3 faculty leads for the Scotiabank Centre for NonProfit Excellence.

Kerry is active in the local Nonprofit sector locally, and has served on several boards, funding panels, and advisory groups. She also works directly with the NonProfit sector in the areas of strategy and operations where she has been supporting groups for over 15 years.


Starting a Conversation

This brown-bag lunch series hosts informal conversations with local and visiting scholars. Everyone is welcome! Email: with questions or suggestions for future speakers.

Sept.17.19 – Starting a Conversation with Dr. Rahon D’Souza –


Dr. D’Souza is a visiting scholar from Kyoto University. Please join us for an informal talk with Dr. D’Souza about Research Methodologies
in Environmental History / Humanities. This event is open to everyone.
His PhD was awarded from the Centre for Historical Studies (Jawaharlal Nehru University). He was elected General Secretary of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union (1989-90), on the political platform of the All India Student’s Federation. He is the author of Drowned and Dammed: Colonial Capitalism and Flood control in Eastern India (2006) and the joint editor of The British Empire and the Natural World: Environmental Encounters in South Asia (2011). He has also edited the Environment, Technology and Development: Critical and Subversive essays (2012) for the Economic and Political Weekly Series. His research interests and publications cover themes in environmental history, political ecology, sustainable development and modern technology.


2019-20 Workstudy: Community and Knowledge Mobilizer. Deadline Sept. 13

The Institute for Community Engaged Research is hiring a Research Assistant for 2019-20!

Deadline: Sept. 13, 2019
Job Title: Community and Knowledge Mobilizer
Job Description
The community and knowledge mobilizer will work with The Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) faculty, staff and community members under the direction of the Institute director and coordinator. Their work will cover two areas:
1) Co-creating, organizing and facilitating four knowledge mobilization workshops over the 2019-20 academic terms. Participants will be from both the university and the Okanagan community. The workshops will provide innovative and creative tools and strategies for knowledge sharing and include research conducted at UBCO and in the community.

2) Co-design a strategy for fostering relationships between the student body, the Okanagan community and ICER. The new graduate theme – Community Engagement, Social Change and Equity, the Institute presents an opportunity for ICER to take a central role as a hub for those studying and working in this theme on campus. The work study student will help facilitate these linkages by coordinating of research talks, workshops, networking events etc..

Overall duties will include:
Developing and enhancing relationships with students and other ICER members
Working with students to articulate their needs re space, mentorship and support
Working with faculty and partners in the community to facilitate research relationships
Assisting with content creation, organization and facilitation of four knowledge mobilization workshops over the 2018-19 period

The student must be currently enrolled as either a senior undergraduate or graduate student; have some previous experience with knowledge translation and mobilization activities; or have skills which can be used in knowledge mobilization activities: i.e. games, improv, or video editing etc. They should have strong communication and event planning skills, and be aware of community-based research principles and objectives.

Desired Skills
Communication community engaged research facilitation skills Event Planning knowledge mobilization active listening creative skills Community Outreach Organization

Kelowna, British Columbia Canada

Hourly wage

To apply, please submit your cover letter and resume to: