TCRC to be formally integrated into Trent University

For more than twenty years the Trent Community Research Centre, and its predecessor, the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education, have worked in partnership with Trent University to create a unique community-based research and education program that has contributed to community organizations and experiential learning opportunities for students in the City, and County, of Peterborough.

As of July 1, 2018, the Trent Community Research Centre (TCRC) will be formally integrated into Trent University. With this transition into the University, the TCRC will be able to expand its relationships in the community by increasing the opportunities for students to engage in high-quality research that will address issues community organizations are facing. This transition builds on the longstanding relationship between the TCRC and Trent University in responding to the needs of our community.

As part of Trent University, community-based research will continue to be done under the Trent Community Research Centre name, and the contact information for the TCRC will remain the same (www.trentcentre.ca, info@trentcentre.ca, 705-748-1093). TCRC representatives will continue to have input into the overall direction of community-based research being undertaken at Trent.

The Trent Community Research Centre looks forward to strengthening and expanding its relationships in the community. Through its projects, the TCRC will continue to support local organizations and provide meaningful community-based research opportunities for Trent students.

For more information, please contact Kate Gennings, communications and media relations officer, Trent University: (705) 748 – 1093, ext. 6180 or email kateweersink@trentu.ca.

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Upcoming Webinar: Making Connections, Building Relationships

Upcoming Webinar: Making Connections, Building Relationships

How community and campus-based brokers facilitate community-based research opportunities for students

Please join members of the TCRC team for this webinar on best practices for facilitating community-based research projects for university students.

We will share our experiences as an independent non-profit organization brokering CBR opportunities for students, and representatives from McMaster University will discuss how they approach the work as a centre working within the university.

The webinar, presented in partnership with CFICE, is April 26 2018 from 1 pm to 2 pm.  It’s free, so feel free to join us!

For more information, and to register, click here.

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Community-based research experience leads to employment for Melissa Hunt

Former TCRC student Melissa Hunt has a new job, and she says her experience doing community-based research with the TCRC is what made her feel qualified to take on the position.

Melissa is the new Project Assistant with A Way Home Peterborough, an organization dedicated to ending youth homelessness in Peterborough. Melissa became invested in the issue of youth homelessness while doing her community-based research project in the 2016/2017 school year. Her project, hosted by the YES Shelter for Youth and Families, examined best practices for transitional housing for youth in communities like Peterborough.

Melissa’s CBR project studied transitional housing for youth.

“Without the experience gained through the community-based research project, I don’t know that I would have felt prepared to take on this role,” Melissa says. “It really has been a culmination of great advisers and educators running alongside opportunity to get involved in the community.”

Melissa will be helping A Way Home Peterborough to achieve its goal of reducing youth homelessness in Peterborough by 25% by 2021.

In the 2017/2018 school year, A Way Home Peterborough hosted its own TCRC community-based research project: Kasandra Tancorre studied how to best manage host home programs for youth at risk of becoming homeless.

Congratulations to Melissa and best of luck!

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Students present their research at the TCRC’s annual Celebration of Community Research

Almost fifty students presented their community-based research projects to peers, faculty, host organizations, and other community members at the TCRC’s annual Celebration of Community Research on March 27, 2018. These projects have engaged with crucial research questions being asked by the Peterborough community right now, and they are an inspiring example of what collaborative community research can accomplish.

Congratulations to all of the students who presented projects!

The Celebration was also a chance to give out our year-end awards to students who have done exceptional work in their community-based research projects. We were pleased to present the following awards:

Academic Achievement in a Community Setting Award

Awarded to the project that best demonstrates rigorous community-based research practices to produce results of particularly high academic merit. Sponsored by the Trent University School for the Study of Canada and the Trent University Faculty Association.

FIRST PRIZE – Lillian Hamlin (Turtle Admission Records Analysis and Analyzing Injury Mitigation Measures)

RUNNER UP – Nhu Nguyen (Records Analysis of Outcomes From Peterborough Community Support Court)

Lilian Hamlin

Nhu Nguyen

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. Sponsored by CUPE Local 3908 and Literacy Central Ontario South.

FIRST PRIZE – Shannon Shillinglaw and Kathleen Walker (Exploring Attitudes of Local Businesses in Relation to Disability, Accessibility, and Inclusion)

FIRST PRIZE – Kasandra Tancorre (Best Practices in the Development of Host Homes and Respite Care for Youth)

Shannon Shillinglaw and Kathleen Walker

Kasandra Tancorre

Innovative Presentation Award

Presented to the student(s) who have demonstrated highly effective communication and presentation skills in the design of their poster. Judges looked for high standards of poster design and information presentation, effective and imaginative use of space, and communication of research process and results. Sponsored by the Trent University Centre for Teaching and Learning and the Workforce Development Board.

FIRST PRIZE – Jennifer Boesche (How Much Can We Grow? An Analysis of Community Food Production in Peterborough, Part One)

RUNNER UP – Abby Sparling (How Much Can We Grow? An Analysis of Community Food Production in Peterborough, Part Two) 

Jennifer Boesche

Abby Sparling

 

 

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Maddy Macnab defends Master’s thesis on early history of New Canadians Centre

Maddy Macnab has successfully defended her thesis on the early history of the New Canadians Centre (NCC).

Macnab’s project, which was arranged through the Trent Community Research Centre, is the first to formally document the founding and early history of the NCC. Macnab’s work will help to preserve this important story in Peterborough’s history.

The NCC was founded in 1979 as a group of volunteers supporting Vietnamese refugees. It has now grown to serve over 800 new Canadians every year, including many newcomers from Syria.

“It has always been important to me to be engaged with the community where I’m living, and to put my energies back into that community,” Macnab said of her project in 2017.

Macnab’s defense was on January 23, 2018, and it was passed with no revisions.

Congratulations to Maddy!

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TCRC projects looking for solutions to Peterborough’s housing crisis

Housing is a major theme of the Trent Community Research Centre’s work this year, with five of our community-based research projects exploring issues related to the housing crisis in Peterborough and the surrounding area.

Eight Trent University students are working on the five projects, exploring topics like post-incarceration accommodation, best practices for youth respite homes, and the success of the City of Peterborough’s rent supplement program. These students are earning academic credit while studying a real challenge facing the Peterborough community, and they’re even helping to generate possible solutions.

Kasandra Tancorre, a Forensic Science and Anthropology major, is studying the best practices for establishing host-homes for youth experiencing homelessness for A Way Home Peterborough, an organization with the goal of reducing youth homelessness in Peterborough by 25% by 2021. Tancorre was drawn to the project because she has volunteered at the Youth Emergency Shelter before.

“I felt that this project had the potential to really make an impact with Peterborough youth,” Tancorre said of her decision to take on the project. “I was really drawn to the preventative strategies that A Way Home Peterborough was looking to implement to help youth prior to them entering the shelter system.”

Two of the housing projects are being completed for the regional Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC). Carissa McPhee (Forensics and Psychology) is studying how to better accommodate the housing needs of provincial offenders when they are released from prison. Craig Rutherford is also a Forensics major; his project for the HSJCC is researching how to better alleviate local landlords’ concerns about renting to marginalized populations, and how to mitigate the risk they face in doing so.

Sabrina Bailey is a Forensics student who has partnered with the City of Peterborough for her community-based research project. Her research is helping the City to evaluate its rent supplement program, which subsidizes housing costs for people living with low incomes.

Lastly, four Psychology students (Natalie Jennings, Laurel Pirrie, Kara Rutherford, and Amy Smith) are conducting surveys and focus groups on behalf of Abbeyfield Lakefield to assess the need and interest for communal senior housing in Lakefield.

“The TCRC supports research that responds to important questions the Peterborough community is asking,” said John Marris, executive director of the Trent Community Research Centre. “Homelessness is one of the most pressing challenges our community is facing right now, so it’s no surprise that community groups are asking us to develop projects related to housing. Peterborough needs creative solutions to its housing crisis, and we hope our students’ research will help develop these solutions.”

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TCRC quarterly report (Sept 1 – Nov 30 2017)

The TCRC has released its quarterly report for the period from September 1 to November 30, 2017. Highlights from this quarter include the start of 24 new community-based research projects by 37 new students, on behalf of 21 community organizations.

To read the report, click here.

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TCRC student presents project results at provincial HSJCC conference

Callum Stanford presented the results of his 2016/2017 community-based research project at the bi-annual conference of the Provincial Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee in Toronto on November 20, 2017.

“Getting to present my research in front of numerous professionals was very exciting,” Stanford said, adding that he was happy to “represent Trent University and the TCRC proudly and showcase some of the great research that comes from the Centre.”

Stanford’s project, which he completed for the regional chapter of the HSJCC, studied the operations of Situation Tables in Northumberland, City of Kawartha Lakes, and Peterborough. Situation Tables are initiatives which connect multiple social service and justice agencies in a community so they can meet to plan collaborative responses to individuals facing acute risk or imminent harm.

Stanford’s research explored the history, working practices, and provincial guidelines for Situation Tables, and also analyzed data recorded by the regional Situation Tables to identify trends in their operations. Lastly, Stanford conducted interviews and surveys with Situation Table participants to identify opportunities to improve the initiative.

Situation Tables are a relatively new approach to delivering social services, making Stanford’s research extremely topical. His project has drawn interest from agencies across Canada. “To think that my research may assist in future Situation Table research is quite exciting. I put a significant amount of effort into my research and to have it recognized in this manner makes the time and dedication all worth it.”

“Getting to present at the HSJCC bi-annual conference is a competitive process,” said John Marris, executive director of the TCRC and Stanford’s project coordinator. “That Callum was invited speaks to the high quality of his work, and to the valuable opportunity of doing community-based research as part of your undergraduate degree.”

To learn more about Stanford’s project, click here.

 

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TCRC students studying the yields of local food gardens

How much food is being grown in community gardens and back yard gardens in Peterborough? And what impact does that produce have on food security and community well-being? Two student researchers at the Trent Community Research Centre are studying these questions on behalf of Nourish Peterborough, a local community food initiative.

Abigail Sparling

Abigail Sparling, an Environmental Studies major, and Jennifer Boesche, an Environmental Resource Science major, are working on two discrete community-based research projects – Sparling is studying the yields of local community gardens and Boesche is focussing on back yard and sidewalk gardens.

Sparling says she was drawn to her project because of the way it “confronts a lot of the issues I deal with in my program, like food security, and the social, economic, and environmental aspects of community food production.”

“It seemed like a project I could really sink my teeth into,” Sparling says. “I thought it would be a really good opportunity to get some experience doing hands-on research.”

A significant part of the project will involve developing a system that Nourish can use in the future to measure and weigh the yields of gardens in Peterborough.

“These projects will help us determine the impact local gardens have, not only on food security in Peterborough, but also on the city’s economic and environmental health,” says Jill Bishop, the Community Food Cultivator at Nourish. Bishop says that with this information, Nourish will be able to better advocate for and give support to local gardeners.

Sparling has volunteered in community gardens since she was in high school, and she is looking forward to contributing to the local food movement in Peterborough through her community-based research project. “Community gardens are hubs for people to get together,” she says. “When people can get together to share knowledge around growing food it creates a deeper sense of community.”

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TCRC releases 2016/17 Annual Report

The Trent Community Research Centre is pleased to release its Annual Report for the 2016/17 year (June 1 2016 – May 31 2017). You can read the report here.

This year the TCRC supported 44 community-based research projects and one community service learning project. We worked with 139 students to help them deliver high quality research to 30 different community organizations.

In the Annual Report you can learn more about the projects we supported in the 2016/17 year. You will also find comments from our students and community partners about the impact doing community-based research through the TCRC has had on them and their work. Enjoy!

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