Social Innovation at George Brown
For our faculty and researchers, the community is an extension of the classroom.
Announcing the SSHRC—CCISF Projects
The pilot program of the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), will provide $15 million over three years in support of social innovation research projects at colleges and polytechnics. This pilot initiative will connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations. The fund aims to enable colleges to increase their capacity to work with communities, with the goal of developing partnerships that foster social innovation in areas such as education, integration of vulnerable populations, health and community development.
Community Guide to Cancer Nutrition
Faculty: Amy Symington
Summary: This project is a collaboration between George Brown College and the Gilda’s Club of Greater Toronto to research, test and produce a comprehensive, informative and accessible handbook on cancer nutrition. The nutrition guide will be equipped with health – promoting recipes that could be used by Gilda’s Clubs and cancer care affiliates nationwide as a model for running similar health –promoting, and socially and emotionally supportive supper clubs. This research will be conducted in George Brown College’s Chef School. The finished product will be an evidence-based guide that contains research on health –promoting foods for persons with cancer, 80 large quantity recipes complete with photos and nutrition facts tables, a list of necessary pantry items and kitchen equipment, important culinary skills, and tips on how to run a successful supper club program.
Partner Organization: Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto
Generating Success for Farm to School Programs
Faculty: Gary Hoyer
Summary: This project is a collaboration between George Brown College, Sustain Ontario, Ontario Edible Education Network and Farm to Cafeteria Canada to provide support to all stakeholders who work to build and improve Farm to School programs. The project will determine best practices, fidelity features and provide concrete examples that will entice stakeholders to implement or expand Farm to School programs. This research will be conducted in George Brown College’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism. George Brown, in partnership with Sustain Ontario (SO) and Farm to Cafeteria Canada will determine best practices, fidelity features and provide concrete examples that will entice stakeholders to implement or expand Farm to School programs.
Partner Organizations: Sustain Ontario, Ontario Edible Education Network; and Farm to Cafeteria Canada
Job Talks: Innovative Study and Website for Recruitment in the Skilled Trades
Faculty: Jonathan Callegher
Summary: This project is a collaboration between George Brown College, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Skills Ontario and Q. I. Value Systems to pursue innovative research to respond to identified gaps in information and communication about the trades. This research will be conducted in George Brown College’s Centre for Business. Through a national survey, recorded interviews and an interactive website called “Job Talks” the project will mobilize a new understanding of tradespeople by allowing the public to interact with the research findings, view videos of passionate tradespeople, and access career information.
Partner Organizations: the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Skills Ontario and Q.I. Value Systems
Adaptive Clothing for persons living with hemi-paresis
Faculty: Milan Shahani
Summary: The project is a collaboration between George Brown College and the University of Toronto to explore wellness through innovative technology, allowing stroke survivors with hemiplegia to reintegrate into society. Commonly caused by stroke, hemiparesis is weakness (or complete paralysis in its most severe form) of the entire left or right side of the body. The project will undertake the research, design, and development of prototypes for a line of adaptive clothing, which will include outerwear, innerwear and lingerie.
Partner Organization: University of Toronto
The Early Childhood Cognitive Sensitivity Training Study
Faculty: Zeenat Janmohamed
Summary: This project is an innovative collaboration between George Brown College, the City of Toronto’s Children’s Services Division and the Atkinson Centre at University of Toronto. The research will respond to current challenges in delivering consistent, effective cognitively sensitive care in Early Childhood Education (ECE) contexts in the City of Toronto. The goal of the study is to develop and test an innovative model of professional learning developed by educators at George Brown College to improve the cognitive sensitivity skills of ECE.
Partners Organizations: University of Toronto and the City of Toronto Children’s Services Division
Improving Health Numeracy in Health Science Students and Professionals Through an Online Instrument
Faculty: Taras Gula
Summary: This is a collaborative project between George Brown College and McMaster University utilizing an action research approach to conceptualize health numeracy and to act on that conceptualization by translating it into learning content for an on-line learning instrument to be developed. The research to be conducted in the Centre for Health and Community Services has the ultimate goal to improve numeracy for health sciences students and professionals.
Partner: McMaster University
Faculty: Przemyslaw Pawluk
Summary: This is a collaborative project between George Brown College, Teaching English as a Second Language Toronto, Literacy Nipissing and Development Made Simple to build upon the potential of mobile learning to promote and support literacy training. The research to be conducted in the Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology will develop a set of design principles for an effective mobile learning literacy solution that will address low literacy skills among Canadian adult first and second language English learners, and equip them with the language and digital literacy skills needed to thrive in Canadian communities and workplaces. Based on these principles, a prototype of an effective mobile learning solution will be produced.
Partners: Teaching English as a Second Language Toronto, Literacy Nipissing, and Development Made Simple.
Project Title: Partnership for Applied Research to Support the Development and Evaluation of the Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities Network (PSDNet)
Principal investigator: Charles Anyinam
Department: Centre for Health Sciences
Award total: $239,561.00
The Post-secondary Students with Disabilities Network (PSDNet) is a partnership-based, applied research program to promote the empowerment and personal development of post-secondary education (PSE) students with disabilities across Ontario primarily via the creation of an evidenced-based, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliant, website that uniquely mobilizes the potential of online and mobile social media technology. Community Partners: The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS); Nipissing University; the University of Ontario Institute of Ontario.
Project Title: Co-designing On-line Tools for Engagement and Holistic Crisis Planning with Diverse Youth Groups in the Region of Peel
Principal investigator: Elise Hodson
Department: Centre for Arts and Design
Award total: $239,678.00
This 3-year project aims to increase understanding of the potential for new interactive technologies, social networks and modes of communication to support crisis planning for marginalized youth and their support networks, resulting in an interactive, client-centered crisis planning tool designed for web and mobile platforms. Community Partners: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH); CoDesign; the Peel Service Collaborative (PSC); Loughborough University/Design School in the UK
Project Title: From Margins to Center through Education: Integrating Victims of Torture and Political Oppression
Principal investigator: Jaswant Kaur Bajwa
Department: Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies
Award total: $240,000
This 2-year project to establish innovative outreach for people seeking to integrate into Canadian society following experiences of torture and war. It is a community-based participatory action study to determine the specific needs, barriers, and expectations of victims of torture pursuing higher education; the creation of a workshop and course curriculum that addresses the higher education needs and goals of victims of torture; and the pilot implementation and evaluation of an educational program designed to address the needs of victims of torture. Community Partners: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH); the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT)
Project Title: Toys or Tools? Using Tablet Computers for Open-Ended Literacy Learning
Principal investigator: Monica McGlynn-Stewart
Department: Centre for Community Services and Early Childhood
Award total: $212,661.00
This 3-year project addresses the complexity of literacy teaching in 21st Century early learning classrooms, drawing on three bodies of literature – literacy, digital technology, and teacher development—to allow educators to provide an innovative learning environment for their students while exploring digital technology applications that allow for active, creative, and open-ended literacy learning. Community Partners: Peel District School Board