Challenging the Way we Understand the World with New Research and Innovation Trends at Trent - Summer 2020 Edition
A Letter from the Vice President, Research and Innovation
From research that's bolstering the global response to COVID-19, to offering expertise and expert commentary, Trent University has responded and risen to the challenge of the pandemic.
In this issue of Trent Breakthroughs: The COVID-19 Edition, learn more about innovative and timely research taking place at the University, including how our leading faculty are working to develop faster COVID-19 testing results as well as gain insight into vaccine hesitancy as we move towards mass inoculation.
This issue also outlines the many ways our experts are making headlines, offering insight into some of the unintended effects of COVID-19, such as quarantine fatigue, the future of Zoom classrooms and exploring new dynamics presented by COVID-19 for decades-long challenges in food and farming. You can also read more about the popular new Trent Talks series. This interactive video series provides engaging discussion on today's most pressing topics including discussing and combating racism and how to sustain the positive environmental changes brought about by quarantine, after the pandemic is over.
As always, Trent continues to challenge the way we think, whether it's in times of an unprecedented pandemic or in the future as we shift into a post-COVID world.
Enjoy this special issue and stay well,
Dr. Neil Emery
Vice-President, Research and Innovation
Examining the Pandemic
To inform the societal response to COVID-19 and future infectious diseases, Trent has mobilized funding to invest in nine research projects that will contribute to our holistic understanding of the pandemic and how to mitigate its impact. Here's a sample of research projects currently underway.
Emerging technologies promise to help us test COVID-19 samples more quickly and ensure we have a better understanding of the extent of future outbreaks. Trent Forensic Science researcher Dr. Sanela Martic is helping develop a benchtop testing method that can provide information in minutes and may be used without specialized training.
As the world moves towards a mass vaccination program for COVID-19, Trent's Dr. Kelly McGuire knows that a section of the broader public is already questioning the vaccine before it comes into being. Her research explores the specific dynamics of vaccine hesitancy, and the history behind it, so that we may be in a stronger position to reach those who are hesitant when the time comes to inoculate
Much of the world's food system was already in crisis before getting pummeled by COVID-19. Trent School of the Environment's Dr. Michael Classens explores how the pandemic has changed the dynamics of the food system from immediate impacts to long-term implications.
While COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to the health of older people, social-distancing measures meant to protect them can be just as damaging. While older people in rural areas are traditionally supported by volunteers, a team of researchers with the Trent Centre for Aging & Society is exploring how the pandemic has significantly limited the ability of volunteers to support older community members.
Trent Talks: Dialogue and Discussion for a Rapidly Changing World
Timely, reliable information is more critical than ever in our rapidly changing world. Trent University has responded with a unique offering - an interactive video series offering thought-provoking conversation from faculty and alumni experts about some of today's most pressing topics including how to combat racism, sustaining positive environmental changes in a post-COVID world and emotional wellbeing in uncertain times. These curated talks are presented in two integrated video formats: a moderated Q&A, hosted by Trent chancellor, Dr. Stephen Stohn '66, featuring viewer-submitted questions; as well as a 10-minute mini-lecture by a stand-alone faculty expert. Watch all past episodes and join us for an upcoming topic.
Making Headlines: Media Buzz for Trent Researchers
COVID-19 is changing many aspects of our life, from how we learn to how we grieve. Trent experts are more in demand than ever as our communities try to keep pace. Check out the latest headlines featuring our leading researchers and professors.
CBC Ontario Morning
Dr. Laura Summerfeldt, a clinical psychologist at Trent University, discusses 'quarantine fatigue' - our response to the long period of risk and isolation we've experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.
After moving classes online to maintain social distancing, Trent Durham GTA History professor Dr. Robert Wright reflects on his experience teaching via Zoom and all of the ways that post-secondary institutions are continuing to deliver exceptional learning experiences in the face of a global pandemic.
Social work can't and shouldn't stop because of a pandemic. Trent's Dr. Marina Morgenshtern shares the ways that Trent Social Work students are using ingenuity in delivering pandemic-related services, such as telephone counselling and compiling essential resources.
Historian of medicine Dr. Kevin Siena shares his insight into funerals in times of a pandemic, looking to regulations during English plagues and how it relates to COVID-19. He explores what people can do, and have already done, to protect this time-honoured tradition.
CBC Ontario Morning
Many exhausted and frustrated parents gave up on their children's at-home learning this spring. That's OK, according to Dr. Cathy Bruce, dean of Education, who says parents should prioritize wellness by focusing on board games, puzzles or a game of cards to stimulate our kids' brains.
The Headlines Continue