Community Research and Hands-on Learning Celebrated at Trent

March 27, 2019

Trent Community Research Centre projects showcase student achievement and career-enhancing learning opportunities

Trent Community Research Centre project showcase

Over 40 undergraduate students, 22 research projects and 20 local community agencies –March 25 was a day to celebrate community-based research at Trent as students gathered to showcase their work with local municipalities, social service agencies, environmental organizations, and community interest groups.

The event featured a welcome address by Andy Mitchell, deputy warden of Peterborough County and mayor of Selwyn Township, Tom Phillips, director of Co-op, Careers, and Experiential Learning at Trent, and Chief Scott Gilbert, Peterborough Police Service.

The community-based research projects are facilitated and supported by Trent Community Research Centre (TCRC), which connects Trent students with local community groups and organizations. This arrangement provides students the opportunity to earn academic credit while producing applied research that responds to the needs of Peterborough and the surrounding communities. Participating students represent a wide range of academic disciplines and support a diverse collection of community partners including the New Canadians Centre, Human Service and Justice Coordinating Committee, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough Family Health Team, Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, GreenUP and YES Shelter for Youth and Families.

Trent students Samantha Groulx and Raquel Maset completed their project at the Peterborough Police Service (PPS), researching and identifying the gap between PPS and the citizens they serve using data collected from the Canadian Census on Peterborough and the surrounding areas.

“It was a great partnership and the data is helpful as the Peterborough Police Service plans for its future, recognizing the importance of being representative and staying connected to the community we serve,” said Chief Gilbert who hosted the two students this past semester. “The students worked very hard and it is great to have an external perspective on this data that highlights where we currently are and where we need to go in order to properly serve the community that entrusts in our police service.”

“We hope this project provides insight into the Peterborough community and the Peterborough Police Service members,” said Ms. Groulx. “We felt very lucky to have this opportunity to work directly with Chief Gilbert.”

Each year, the TCRC recognizes students whose work demonstrates exceptional commitment to their research, and projects that make the most significant contribution to the community.  This year’s award recipients included:

  • Innovative Presentation: Oral Presentation: Presented to the student(s) who have demonstrated highly effective communication and presentation skills in the oral delivery of their presentation.
    • Sponsor: Peterborough County, and the Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee
    • Presented by Peterborough County Deputy Warden, Andy Mitchell
    • Winner: Tonya-Leah Watts, Indigenous Studies student for her project titled Exploring Indigenous Perspectives and Experiences of the Healthcare System at PRHC
       
  • Innovative Presentation: Poster Presentation: Presented to the student(s) who have demonstrated highly effective communication and presentation skills in the design of their research poster.
    • Sponsor: Peterborough County, and the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee.
    • Presented by Peterborough Police Service Chief Scott Gilbert
    • Winners: Marina Taskovic, Carly Davenport, and Matt Dutry, Environmental Science students for their project Documenting How Peterborough Activities Align With the AMO Best Practices in Local Food Guide for Municipalities
       
  • Provost Award for Academic Achievement in a Community Setting: Awarded to the project that best demonstrates rigorous community-based research practices to produce results of particularly high academic merit.
    • Sponsor: Trent University Office of the Provost & Vice-President Academic
    • Presented by Dr. Jackie Muldoon, provost & vice-president academic
    • Winner: Marissa Taylor, a Sociology student for her project Peer Support Networks for Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Peterborough
       
  • Community Impact Award: Presented to the project that shows clear engagement with community needs and interests, and illustrates the principles of a community-first approach to research work, creating the potential for significant impact within the community.
  • Sponsors: CUPE Local 3908 and OPSEU Local 365
  • Presented by Charmaine Rodrick OPSEU Local 365
  • Winners: Samantha Groulx, and Raquel Maset for their project Researching and identifying the gap between PPS and the citizens they serve using data collected from the Canadian Census on Peterborough and the surrounding areas

Learn more about experiential learning and community-based research at Trent.