Trent Centre for Community-Based Education and Local Partners Showcase and Award Student Research


First-annual Community Innovation Forum brings students, local non-profits, government and businesses together

Friday, March 25, 2011, Peterborough

On March 24, 2010, the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education (TCCBE), the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster and Fleming College’s School of Business, Computing and Hospitality collaborated with Bell Canada and a number of community partners to mount the first-annual Community Innovation Forum: “Knowledge in Action” and showcase awards at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club.

The forum was an opportunity for students from both Trent University and Fleming College to highlight the results of applied projects with local not-for-profits, government and private companies, and to participate in panel discussions aimed at fostering commercial and social innovation within the Peterborough area.

The big winner of the day was Bianca Bell, who won the Community-Based Research and Innovative Presentation Awards for her project entitled “Promotion Plan for a No-Sweat Policy at Trent University”, hosted by the Ontario Public Research Interest Group - Peterborough. Ms. Bell, a fourth-year student in the Politics Program at Trent, said that the applied nature of the project appealed to her and ultimately served to deepen her interest in fair-trade issues. “The event today was important because it gave me a chance to explain my work to many different people and showed me that I do know what I’m talking about,” said Ms. Bell.

Fourth-year Business Administration student at Trent, Louise Eggleton, was on hand to present her project on the history of the Jacquard loom (the first to use punch-card technology to speed up production) and its connections to modern-day computing. Ms. Eggleton worked closely with Lang Pioneer Village where one of the looms is currently being held, to develop educational materials for their display. According to Ms. Eggleton, the option of participating in an applied research project through the TCCBE appealed to her for its tangible results. “What I like about this is that it is hands-on; people will use this afterwards. It’s not going to collect dust. People will walk into Lang and look at exhibits and my work will be reflected there.”

Rebecca Whelan, a former Fleming College student with the Museum and Curatorship program, now completing her degree at Trent in Canadian Studies, researched social media in a museum setting in partnership with the Peterborough Museum and Archives. According to Ms. Whelan, whose Twitter Guidebook for the Museum will be released shortly, social media is an important new tool for museums and archives, as well as libraries. “Social media such as Facebook and Twitter give you more options to communicate with your followers as opposed to a website where the information is mostly static,” she explained. Ms. Whelan’s project was runner-up for the Innovative Presentation Award for the project poster that demonstrated creativity and imagination to catch people’s attention and share research results in an interesting and engaging way.

Other award winners included Alexandra Trotter and Melissa Lentini, who won a Community-Based Research (CBR) Award for their project “Social Marketing Barriers to Litterless Lunches”, hosted by Peterborough Green-Up. Mary Dirmeitis was runner-up for the CBR Award for her project “Research on Services for Immigrant Businesses,” hosted by the New Canadians Centre and Maryam Monsef won an Innovative Presentation Award for her project “Red Pashmina: From Passion to Action”, hosted by the Red Pashmina Project.

While this is the first year for the Innovation Forum, it is the outgrowth of three separate yet similar events that have been held in previous years by the TCCBE, Fleming College, and the Innovation Cluster. According to Todd Barr, executive director of the TCCBE, the three organizations opted to collaborate this year to expand the event, combining Fleming’s and TCCBE’s showcases and awards ceremonies and the Innovation Cluster’s discussion panels. “Ultimately we hoped to give greater exposure to the students,” he explained, adding, “I think it has been really interesting to bring the College and University together at a ground level, especially under the umbrella of community engagement.”


For more information, please contact: Todd Barr, executive director, Trent Centre For Community-Based Education, 705-743-0523 ext. 24,