Feb.29 Starting a Conversation with Fernanda Novoa – My community-based research journey: Navigating research, advocacy and allyship with the community of Mexican migrant agricultural workers in the Okanagan.

Thursday, February 29

12:00 noon to 1:00 pm (PST)

My research explores the experiences of Mexican migrant agricultural workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Okanagan. This community plays a vital role for ensuring Canadian food security; however, they experience numerous health inequities, many of which were exacerbated during the pandemic. In this conversation I will share my journey as a community-based researcher and my engagement in voluntary roles and advocacy efforts to build and nurture respectful and trusting relationships with the community. I will share challenges and lessons learned from navigating the roles of being a researcher and taking a stance of collaboration, solidarity and allyship.

Fernanda Novoa is a Mexican cis-gender woman. She recently completed her master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, under the supervision of Dr. Joan Bottorff. As an international medical doctor, advocate, and academic, Fernanda is dedicated to advancing health equity and social justice, particularly for migrants with vulnerable status in Canada.


Please join via Zoom:

Questions can be emailed to:

Jan.15 – CER Student Award Application Deadline

CER Student CER AWARD Announcement

Application Deadline: Monday, January 15, 2024 (at midnight) 

In recognition of ICER’s commitment to supporting students involved in community engaged research, we are awarding three $1000 scholarships in 2024.

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.

• 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 newsletterand social media.

Questions – please email Joanne at

Nov. 30 The big, scary what-If: What happens to your community engaged research (CER), if something happens to you?

Image of a banna peel, and text that reads The big, scary what if: what happens to your community engaged research, if something happens to you?


ICER is hosting a one hour discussion that explores the question: What happens to your Community Engaged Research, if something happens to you?

Thursday, Nov. 30

2:30 to 3:30 pm

Arts 368 or via Zoom

Please email to register either in-person or for the Zoom link.

While this topic is geared towards current faculty/researchers at UBC Okanagan, graduate students and community researchers are also welcome.

Topics and Speakers:

Christine Schreyer, Associate Professor, Anthropology, Acting Director ICER,

  • What motivated her to create an ‘academic executor’
  • Unanswered questions about the process
  • Invitation to join a working group

Michele Bjornson, FASS Administrative and Operations Manager: What happens at UBC Okanagan: And Administrator’s Perspective

  • UBC Property and IT timelines
  • The role of admin staff and the department head re your office
  • Top tips

Paige Hohmann, UBC Okanagan Archivist: What happens at UBC Okanagan Archives: Gifting

  • What can a pre-planned “gift-in-kind” look like?
  • How are real property gifts and intellectual property gifts different?
  • Copyright
  • Benefits and drawbacks of gifting archival materials when the donor is still living

Julia Norman, Lawyer, Pushor Mitchell LLP, Academic Estates: A Legal Perspective

  • Options for delegating an ‘academic executor’
  • Tax receipts for charitable gifts when they are associated with an estate

Nov.29 Starting a Conversation with Cara Basil: My Journey as an Indigenous Student Researcher: Partnering with Esk’etemc to Explore Esk’etemc Ways of Caring for One Another through Illness

Join us for the next Starting the Conversation with Cara Basil!

Photo of Cara Basil. Wednesday, Nov. 29

12:30 to 1:30 pm

Arts 368  in person, UBC Okanagan

or via Zoom (e-mail for the link


Research with Indigenous communities is a sacred journey and require meaningful partnerships that benefit the community. Graduate student Cara Basil will share her journey partnering with Esk’etemc, the lessons learned, and critical approaches taken along the way to receive knowledge in a good way. The findings from three talking circles will be shared by themes and the potential next steps to contributing to this growing area of research, palliative care for Indigenous Peoples.

Cara Basil is Secwepemc and grew up in her community of Bonaparte. In 2020, Cara started her Masters journey with a focus on palliative care for Indigenous Peoples and particularly First Nations. Outside of academia, Cara is a Planner and utilizes community-based principles and approaches in her work.

Cara received a ICER Student Community Engaged Research Award in 2023 to support her work.

Nov. 2 – Starting the Conversation* with Rachel McGraw

Relationships, respect, and listening in sociolinguistic research with Totonac communities in Mexico

Rachel McGraw, Sessional Lecturer CCGS, PhD Candidate in Linguistics University of Alberta

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

3:00 to 4:00 pm (pdt)

In Person: Arts 368 (ICER) or via Zoom. Please email: for the link


In this discussion I explore the importance of relationships for conducting sociolinguistic research with the Totonac communities of Ozelonacaxtla and Huehuetla, Puebla, Mexico. My research explores language vitality of Totonac and multilingualism in Totonac and Spanish. I understand language vitality as underlyingly ideological, which means in order to assess vitality, it is essential to talk to people and listen carefully to them. This focus on listening requires establishing and maintaining respectful relationships with people throughout the research process: respecting and engaging in community protocols and social networks, using flexible and responsive interview methods, analyzing and writing in a way that reflects and respects people’s voices, and theorizing language vitality through a community informed perspective. I consider the importance of listening for establishing respectful relationships and for practicing community engagement throughout the research process.


Rachel McGraw is a PhD Candidate and SSHRC Doctoral winner in Linguistics at the University of Alberta, and a sessional lecturer in Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous Revitalization in CCGS. Rachel has an MA in Spanish Applied Linguistics and has presented her research at a range of international conferences including the Canadian Anthropology Society, the American Anthropological Association, and the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

*Starting the Conversation is a speaker’s series hosted by the Institute for Community Engaged Research. The talks are meant to be more informal, and offer opportunities to think out loud, explore and exchange ideas.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

How to do Meaningful Work in times of Constant Crisis: Navigating Feelings of Guilt and Despair

Thursday Nov. 2nd
11:30 – 1:3o,
In person (Arts 368) and Zoom 

Join us for a conversation with people inside and outside Academia about all the feelings involved in doing Community Engaged Work in this era of constant crises. What does it mean to work with hope, care, effectiveness, and longevity? 

In the current context of climate change, wars, wildfires, racial injustice, anti-2SLGBTQAI+ violence and the rise of the right-wing, how do people engaged in social change for the common good (our planet) not become despondent? How does one navigate the often slow, or long-haul process of academia, writing, and policy and community work, with the sense of urgency and immediate action required to address the immediacy of issues? Is this even possible within an academic context?  Or a community context?

Join the students and panelists at the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) for a conversation that makes space for the often unacknowledged feelings of guilt, despair and hopelessness that one can experience in the process of doing academic and, or, community engaged research. 

For your information:

  • This event will be a two-hour roundtable with a mix of students, researchers and community partners in the room.
  • For those attending in person, there will be a soup lunch served (vegetarian).

Please register using this form: Registration link: 


Speakers will include:

Robyn Bunn

Robyn Bunn is the Community Service Learning Manager at UBC Okanagan, and completed her master’s in 2015. Throughout her time at UBC Okanagan, Robyn has been involved in social justice and community activism as a member of  Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (RAMA), Food not Bombs and various food and social justice causes. 

Mary Butterfield

Mary Butterfield is a Senior Advisor with the Clinical Trials team at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Prior to joining CIHR she worked for 10 years as a research facilitator, including 8 years at the UBC Okanagan campus. While at UBCO Mary was a member of ICER, sat on the VPR’s Research Advisory Committee, and taught for both the Faculty of Management and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and has been an occasional guest armchair-theorist on various UBCO research teams. Mary has 2 kids, makes a lot of kimchi, and is grateful every day to live as an uninvited guest in Syilx territory. 

Shelley Cook

Shelley has over 25 years of experience as a practitioner and senior administrator in the non-profit sector. She has worked extensively in program and community development in BC and Ontario. Prior to returning to university to complete her doctoral studies in 2014, Shelley was the Executive Director of John Howard Society in Kelowna, BC. Shelley has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC Okanagan. Her doctoral research examined the socio-spatial aspects of homelessness in the urban environment with focus on service and policy implications. 


Melissa Feddersen

Ms. Feddersen is the Manager for Campus Wellness and Education and has worked in youth health for over twenty years and is passionate about creating healthy community where we can all flourish. Current research and action interests include social wellbeing, food security, harm reduction and mental health. Melissa is the mother of two children, owner of a giant dog and big fan of black ink on blank journal pages.

Dennis Jasper

I graduated with a BSN in 2000 from Okanagan University College and worked for 12 years at KGH in mental health on the acute mental health unit and mental health ICU unit. In 2010 I started as a clinical teacher in mental health for the School of Nursing at UBC OkanaganIn 2011 I was hired as a Full time Lecturer and also started my MSN program here at the UBC Okanagan campusI graduated with my MSN in 2017While Lecturer I have developed our 2nd year Mental Health in Nursing course, its corresponding Mental Health clinical course, and the Advanced Mental Health elective course offered in 4th yearI also teach courses on Relational Practice for nurses focused on building effective, professional, and meaningful relationships with those we provide care for. 

Dr. Onyx Sloan Morgan

My research is most often conducted in partnership with and at the direction of communities. My positionality as a queer, non-binary white settler of Irish and Scottish ancestries steers my engagement. Having grown up on unceded Lekwungen territories, my research seeks to: 1) reveal the power dynamics at the core of inequitable and oppressive structures, and 2) foreground the resistive, transformative relationalities that communities enliven every day for more just and sustainable futures.

Onyx is an Assistant Professor in the Community, Culture, and Global Studies Department at UBC Okanagan, situated on ancestral and unceded Syilx Okanagan Nation territories.

Dr. Astrida Neimanis

Astrida Neimanis is a cultural theorist working at the intersection of feminism and environmental change. Her research focuses on bodies, water, and weather, and how they can help us reimagine justice, care, responsibility and relation in the time of climate catastrophe. Her most recent book, Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology is a call for humans to examine our relationships to oceans, watersheds, and other aquatic life forms from the perspective of our own primarily watery bodies, and our ecological, poetic, and political connections to other bodies of water. Additional research interests include theories and practice of interdisciplinarity, feminist epistemologies, intersectionality, multispecies justice, and everyday militarisms.

Astrida’s research practice includes collaborations with artists, writers, scientists, makers, educational institutions, and communities, often in the form of experimental public pedagogies. Her writing can be found in numerous academic journals and edited collections, artistic exhibitions and catalogues, and online media. Astrida joins UBCO after six years in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney on Gadigal Land, in Sydney, Australia.







Oct. 17 – CER Storytelling Series featuring Dr. Leyton Schnellert in Conversation with Dr. Christine Schreyer

Join us for the inaugural Community Engaged Research (CER) Storyteller session!

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023

Image contains the title CER Storyteller's Series, Dr. Leyton Schnellert, an image of a man with a white beard, blue shirt and windbreaker. The text reads 10:00 to 11:00 am, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, Arts 368 or via Zoom. At the bottom is a black stylized campfire between two beach chairs. The image has a light blue background.10:00 am to 11:00 am pst
Arts 368, UBC Okanagan, in person
Or via Zoom 

Staring in the fall of 2023, each semester, the director of the Institute for Community Engaged Research will invite a colleague to share about how they first became involved in Community Engaged Research (CER), what were the behind the scenes motivations, the challenges and their key learnings along the way.

Join Dr. Christine Schreyer, acting ICER Director as she speaks with Dr. Leyton Schnellert as the inaugural CER storyteller.



Dr. Leyton Schnellert is an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy and Eleanor Rix Professor of Rural Teacher Education. His scholarship attends to how teachers and teaching and learners and learning can mindfully embrace student diversity and inclusive education. Dr. Schnellert is the Pedagogy and Participation research cluster lead in UBC’s Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) and co-chair of BC’s Rural Education Advisory. His community-based collaborative work contributes a counterargument to top-down approaches that operate from deficit models, instead drawing from communities’ funds of knowledge to build participatory, place-conscious, and culturally sustaining practices. Dr. Schnellert has been a middle and secondary school classroom teacher and a learning resource teacher K-12. His books, films, and research articles are widely referenced in local, national, and international contexts.


We have capacity for 25 people to join us in Arts 368, and will have refreshments on hand. For those unable to join in person, we will share a Zoom link.

Please email: and indicate if you’re joining in person, and if you have any food allergies, or if you’re joining via Zoom.

We would also like to thank the Culture, Community and Global Studies for their support of these events.

Sept. 5 – ICER is hiring a URA Work Study Accessibility Assistant

Apply by Sept. 12, 2023

We’re excited to work with an undergraduate student to help us update our best practices re accessibility and knowledge mobilization!

Please email your resume and cover letter to:

CER 2023-24 Work Study: Accessibility Assistant

Wage: $20/hr

Hrs per wk: 12

NB: The Workstudy funding this year is designated for undergraduate students, not graduate students.


The ICER Accessibility Assistant will conduct an accessibility audit of the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) regarding best practices for ICER events, ICER communications, and will also establish new Web Content and social media accessibility guidelines.

The student’s time will be focused on the topic of accessibility and knowledge mobilization and how this is best applied at ICER.

For the Fall and Spring of 2023-4, the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) seeks a dynamic individual to become the ICER Accessibility Assistant to join the team to work on the creation of new online and social medial accessibility guidelines that are informed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) international standard, including WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, and WCAG 2.2 as well as addressing accessibility in current trends in best practices of hosting accessible events. We use the term accessibility here in two ways:

One, related to the Accessible Canada Act (2019) and British Columbia’s commitment to be barrier-free by 2024.

And accessibility in the sense of ensuring everyone has access to ICER events and communications, and to online publications, and that these publications in turn meet the needs of a variety of readers.

Added to this, the Okanagan Charter: An international charter for health promoting universities & colleges International Conference on Health Promoting Universities & Colleges (7th: 2015: Kelowna, (B.C.)) also notes in Call to Action 1, in section 1.5, UBCO aims “to support equitable access” and we see it as core to the values of ICER’s commitment to social justice. This position allows a student to work closely with the Director of ICER, and the ICER coordinator and will work specifically on the creation of guidelines related to accessibility in Knowledge mobilization activities (to ensure we are meeting WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, and WCAG 2.2 guidelines) as well as ensuring new trends in Open Access publishing are reflected in ICER practices re events, communications and publications.

ICER Accessibility Assistant will participate in ICER and team meetings and help draft internal deadlines and workflow processes. These might include: assisting with the creation of new formatting for communications that reflect accessibility in both print and digital media,

template designs, and informing best practices based on Open Access guidelines that have emerged in the past 24 months. ICER Accessibility Assistant will also participate in team meetings and help with communications, marketing, and event planning.

This is a dynamic role in which the ICER Accessibility Assistant can learn new skills related to Open Access policy, practices, and communications, engage in teamwork and collaboration, expand their personal goals and skills, and be integral to improving accessibility of both ICER communications and events.

Overall duties will include:

1. Researching and helping to implement current accessibility policies and best practices to ensure ICER is fulfilling its commitment to equity and accessibility to events and materials.

2. Assisting with the organizing and promotion of the ICER related events, and with the content creation for website, social media and newsletters with a view to ensuring best practices re accessibility (in person and virtual).


The job requires an individual with excellent communication and organizational skills no matter what their field of study. The student must be currently enrolled as a senior undergraduate student; have some previous experience with communications, design, research, and event planning. They should have a solid understanding of accessibility and inclusion issues and have a strong eagerness to work as part of a collaborative team (using various platforms from Workday, to Teams, to UBCO Outlook). They should have community-based research principles and objectives and be attentive to detail. And who is willing and eager to learn about Accessibility regulations and Open Access best practices.


Kelowna, British Columbia Canada

Contact Information

Christine Schreyer, Associate Professor (Anthropology),

Acting Director, Institute for Community Engaged Research

June 15th – Lunch and Livestream of the Partnering in Research Conference Keynote and Plenary

Teal blue background with the UBC Logo in white in the upper left corner. Horizontal lines in black, fushia and blue and white cascade down the rights side. The words Partnering in Research conference in the center.

The Institute for Community Engaged Research and The Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship, with support from the VPRI Office, UBC Okanagan, are delighted to host a lunch and livestream of the Partnering in Research Conference at UBC Vancouver, and organized by the UBC Knowledge Exchange and the UBC Community Engagement Office.

June 15th
9:15 am to 4:30 pm livestream in Arts 368, everyone is welcome to drop by for any or all of the plenary sessions
12:45 pm to 3:00 pm lunch, please register below
Arts 368, UBC Okanagan

Please note, that the livestream in ICER will present the plenary talks and panel discussions as listed below, and not the concurrent sessions listed on the conference agenda. 

The Partnering in Research conference taking place on June 15th in Vancouver will share examples of projects and challenges of community engaged research. Three ICER members are presenting (Drs. Heather Gainforth, Onyx Sloan Morgan and Paul van Donkelaar). We will have a  livestream available in ICER throughout the day. Please come and join us at any time.

During the day we will be providing ‘hotelling’. So, if you have work do, please do not feel obliged to watch the entire event, there will be workstations available in the Institutes so that you can dip in and out of the talks that you find most interesting.

We hope that you can join us for this in-person/virtual lunch event in ICER (Arts 368) on June 15th. Lunch is limited to 20 participants, so if you are interested in joining us, please register here by June 8.

Schedule of Livestreamed Talks:

9:15 — 9:40 am: Welcome and land acknowledgement + opening remarks from Elder Roberta Price, and Dr. Gage Averill (Professor, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver)

9:40 — 10:25 am:  Keynote talk with Dr. Heather Gainforth (ICORD Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan). Talk title: Meaningfully Engaging in Research: Advancing the Science and Practice of Research Partnerships.

11:40 — 12:25 pm: Keynote talk with Dr. Angela Kaida (Simon Fraser University Distinguished Professor and Scientific Director, CIHR Institute for Gender and Health), Azra Bhanji, Simon Fraser University and Juno Roche, Writer and Campaigner. “HIV Made Me Fabulous”: A Knowledge Mobilization Partnership using Film to Address Stigma and Advance Gender Equity in the HIV Response.

1:30 — 2:00 pm: Keynote talk with Dr. Byron White (University of North Carolina, Charlotte). Community Assets, Reciprocity, and Other ideas We Struggle to Believe.

2:00 – 2:50 pm: Partnerships Panel – Lessons Learned in Community University Engagement. Featuring two CUES projects  with moderator: Dr. Andrea Bundon (Assistant Professor, UBC School of Kinesiology) and panel participants: Theresa Morris (Binche Whut’en First Nation) in partnership with Onyx Sloan Morgan (UBC Faculty of Irving K. Barber, Arts and Social Science), and Geoff Sing (BC Brain Injury Association) in partnership with Julia Schmidt (UBC Faculty of Medicine) and Jasleen Grewal (UBC PhD Student).

4:00 — 4:30 pm: Closing reflections with Adina Spivak (Manager, Community, The Sarah McLachlan Foundation), Lerato Chondoma (Associate Director, UBC Indigenous Research Support Initiative) and Dr. Paul van Donkelaar (Associate VP Research, Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan)

Please contact with any questions about the event or directions.

Apr.4 – Starting a Conversation with Pegah Behroozi Nobar: Dispossession of Baha’is in Iran

Join PhD candidate Pegah Behroozi Nobar for the next Starting a Conversation

Tuesday, April 4
12:00 to 1:00 pm (PST)
Arts 368 | Zoom

E:mail: for the Zoom link

Abstract: The talk will highlight the struggles of the Baha’i community in Iran, with a pivotal focus on
dispossession of assets and properties belonging to the Baha’i community as a powerful
motive for corrupt and politically well-connected interest groups. The Baha’is in Iran are a
religious minority that have been targeted by the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran, as their
emergence in the 19th century was seen as a direct challenge to the monopoly of the Shi’a
clergy over the religious life of the country. The article uses the recent government attack on the
village of Roshankouh as a case study to highlight some of the material and political economic
dynamics behind the systematic attacks on the Baha’i community. The attack was carried out by
more than two hundred policemen and government functionaries from the ministry of Agricultural
Jihad, the Housing Foundation, and the Organization of Natural Resources, with the aim of
confiscating 20 hectares of agricultural land belonging to Baha’i farmers and demolishing six
homes belonging to them.

The talk explores the historical and ideological particularities of the animosity of the Islamic
Republic Regime of Iran against the Baha’is, while emphasizing that the experiences of the
Baha’is in Iran are part of the wider struggle for democracy and the full rights of citizenship that
all sectors of Iranian society are now engaged in. This Starting the Conversation draws attention
to the significance of this issue that has been overlooked by both Persian and English-language

Bio: As a member of Iran’s Baha’i minority community for over 30 years, Pegah Behroozi Nobar has
witnessed firsthand the struggles of this marginalized group. Despite being a young female
scholar, she was denid access to higher education and employment due to her faith. As a
result, Pegah completed her bachelor degree through an informal institution called Baha’i Institute for
Higher Education (BIHE). Now, she is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia

Pegah focuses her research on grassroots strategies for addressing the housing needs of Iran’s
urban poor. After the recent attacks on the Baha’i community in Roshankouh, she conducted
interviews with locals and analyzed Persian-language articles and news.