2022-23 Milestones: Innovation
Two new transdisciplinary professorship announced
This spring, our faculty was announced as the home faculty for an Azrieli Accelerator Professorship at UCalgary. This cutting-edge, transdisciplinary professorship will concentrate on co-morbidity in youth with chronic health issues and neurodevelopmental disabilities, in conjunction with advancements in the utilization of digital technology.
Another UCalgary Transdisciplinary Professorship will provide an innovative new position that should also be transformational. The new professor will assume a global leadership position in developing and propelling models for engagement, health-system navigation and peer support for children with mental health challenges and their families. Additionally, this fresh focus will incorporate social work's EDIA perspective while making a substantial contribution to transdisciplinary child health scholarship, transcending all disciplinary aspects of child mental health research at UCalgary.
Child and youth advocacy knowledge hub announced
In 2023, Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos and Dr. David Nicholas helped lead the creation of a new interdisciplinary centre aimed at effectively addressing the complex needs of children who have encountered abuse and their families. The Research and Knowledge Centre, a collaboration between Luna and the Faculty of Social Work, is dedicated to generating and integrating fresh evidence and knowledge concerning child maltreatment into daily practice. This centre is designed to support the multidisciplinary teams operating in Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CYACs) across Canada.
In this innovative community partnership, the research agenda will be jointly developed by front-line practitioners, researchers and the community. This collaborative approach informs policy, enhances practice and bolsters outcomes for children and families.
Campus Alberta partnership creates safety for Recovery on Campus
Drinking and substance use have long been unfortunate, yet implicitly endorsed aspects of post-secondary culture. Research indicates that alcohol and substance use can profoundly affect an individual's safety, health, wellness and productivity as students, researchers or workers.
For those in recovery from alcohol or other substance abuse, it can be incredibly challenging to avoid the pervasive presence of alcohol on campus. Social Work researcher Dr. Victoria Burns, who has grappled with her own recovery, took initiative and spearheaded the Recovery on Campus (ROC) initiative. This effort aims to establish safe spaces for those in recovery while also educating and raising awareness about the impact of alcohol and substance abuse, which is often accepted as a part of university life.
With government funding, ROC is active on the UCalgary campus and collaborates with all 26 post-secondary institutions in Alberta to develop tailored programs. The ROC team provides one-on-one mentorship, support, seed grants, educational programs, events, research and awards, including four $2,500 student scholarships. In 2022-23, ROC organized on-campus events including the Recovery Capital conference, which drew 2,000 attendees.