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:

Starting a Conversation with Lindsay Harris – Feb.15, 2019

11:30 -12:30 pm
Arts 368

Passionate Interests and Community Decision Making: Increasing Food Security in Kamloops, BC

Kamloops, BC is renowned for its community investment in food security – home to Canada’s oldest grassroots food policy council, it also has well-established municipal support for food security programs. Since its formation in 1995, the Kamloops Food Policy Council (KFPC) has collectively made decisions about the initiatives it values, including informal conversations over potlucks, strategic planning and participation in formal community consultation processes. These ongoing processes of deliberation reflect what Bruno Latour describes as the “passionate interests” of actors: intense attachments between members assembled around matters of concern that result in a reconceptualization of “value” as impromptu, mobile, and intransitive. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted with the KFPC since 2017, I situate the network’s decision-making and valuation practices in the broader historical context of agricultural disinvestment in the Kamloops region. As long-term economic and regulatory trends have eroded production and diversity in the sector, the priorities and interests of KFPC have grown more expansive despite the constraints that limit the possibilities of their work. I argue that, as members of the Kamloops food system network assemble around their urgent matters of concern, other “things” function as decision makers alongside them: past and current agricultural infrastructure, consultative planning documents, and indeed, the land itself. Though the network often takes up initiatives that fundamentally don’t compute (in terms of dollars or calories), they erode reliance on dispassionate calculation and render alternative processes of valuation transparent.

Lindsay Harris is a community-based researcher living, eating and gardening with her daughter and partner in Kamloops, BC. Her research interests are focused on grassroots decision-making, food security and rural development in the BC Interior.

Starting a Conversation with Sandra Fox – Jan. 24, 2019

The next Starting a Conversation will be hosted by Sandra Fox.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
12:30 to 1:30 pm
Arts 368

Indigenous Identity in Post-Secondary “Situations”

After working at Aboriginal Programs and Services at UBCO, I noticed how many of the Indigenous students I saw shared similar stories relating to their identities, and coming to post-secondary marked a shift in their understanding of themselves. I wanted to see how post-secondary was influencing Indigenous students and their identity, and what was and wasn’t working. But of course, this process has been about more than just research. Researching Indigenous identity meant confronting my own internal colonization and traumas head-on, causing a cascade of shifts in my personal life I never expected. As a result, my research process has been impacted, but it has all become part of my personal decolonizing journey, as well as my journey back to myself. Given my journey and how it has impacted my studies, and given the connections between my stories and those of the students, what can this institution do to better support Indigenous students?

Sandra Fox is xʷməθkʷəy̓əm but has lived most of her life as a guest in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx peoples. She is a mother to two young children and is currently working on her MA, exploring how Indigenous identity is influenced by experiences during post-secondary.

Starting a Conversation with Cath Cosgrave

Tuesday October 16
12:30 – 1:30 pm, Arts 368

Everyone is welcome to attend!

Engaging communities in rural health workforce retention research

Australia and Canada face significant challenges in achieving adequately staffed rural health services. Factors affecting retention of rural health professionals involve complex interactions of organisational, professional and psychosocial/personal factors and research has shown psychosocial/personal factors to be a major determinant of retention. Building on these findings, I have developed a ‘whole-of-person’(WoP) retention framework that is being trialled in partnership with two public-health services in rural Australia. The WoP framework lends itself to context specific retention interventions. This presentation focuses on community engagement, place-based issues and strategies being trialled to improve the social connection of newly-arrived
non-locals. The challenges and opportunities for rural communities to take an active role in addressing workforce shortages will be discussed. This presentation has broad relevance for rural
communities, government agencies, and health authorities interested in exploring innovative approaches to address health workforce shortages in rural communities.

Dr. Cath Cosgrave is a researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Cosgrave lives and works in rural Australia. Her research specialises in recruitment and retention of
nursing and allied health professionals. She researches in partnership with health and community services recently piloting whole-of-person approaches to recruitment and retention and brokering community-based solutions for meeting the needs of health professionals
living in rural towns. She is committed to improving the quality of rural health services and the level of health equity and social inclusion for people from vulnerable population groups, particularly those living with mental illness.