Service & Professional Contributions

Educational Leadership

I served as the Graduate Advisor in the School of Child and Youth Care from 2011-2012. From 2014-2019, I served as the Director of the School of Child and Youth Care. In this role I  assumed primary responsibility for the academic leadership of the School, including the promotion of excellence in research-inspired teaching, community-based scholarship, and the cultivation of a culture that supports student learning and success.

I have led the faculty in a number of strategic planning initiatives, which included the creation of an updated mission statement for our School:

I successfully chaired six faculty hiring committees. I  also led the School through a very successful external review process in June, 2018. Under my leadership, our School identified the following goals to guide our activities over the next three years (2018-2020):

  • Demonstrate our accomplishments as leaders and innovators in teaching, research and practice with children, youth, families and communities
  • Strengthen our reputation as a research and knowledge generating academic unit
  • Conduct a thorough review of the undergraduate and graduate curricula and commit to ongoing assessment to ensure its continued relevance and viability for all students
  • Develop clear, proactive policies and practices to recruit, retain and support racialized and Indigenous students, faculty and staff
  • Create mechanisms to regularly review and strengthen administrative processes, governance structures, and accountability mechanisms
  • Ensure we are working at full capacity across faculty, PEA, and CUPE sectors and ensure staffing resources are in proportion to current demand

As the Director, I  made it a priority to pursue the goals of de-colonization and social justice. This is exemplified by my support for limited and preferential faculty hires, land-based teachings, dedicated time on our faculty agendas to discussing de-colonization, assembling a repository of teaching resources on social justice, and through this Statement of Solidarity from 2017 SCYC statement of solidarity_November 6_2017_FINAL

As an educational leader who is committed to supporting the excellence of others, I place a strong emphasis on recognizing students’ accomplishments, which includes participating in graduation ceremonies, attending student awards presentations, and meeting regularly with undergraduate and graduate students. Towards this end,  I have participated in almost every convocation as part of  the academic procession since 2014 when I first became Director of the School. I have also successfully co-nominated Indigenous leader, Bill Mussell (Sto:lo) for an honorary doctorate. He was awarded this degree at the spring convocation ceremony in 2016.


Service and Professional Contributions

I was a founding co-editor, with Dr. Sibylle Artz of the international, interdisciplinary, open-access journal, International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies. This journal represents an important vehicle for child and youth care students, scholars and practitioners to share their knowledge and explore important issues in the field.  I also served as a co-editor of an academic blog, called the IJCYFS Review The blog is no longer active, but it did advance the goals of scholarship and praxis in Child and Youth Care by creating an experimental space for lively, critical and topical conversations related to the fields of childhood, youth, and family studies.

I have co-chaired two, Child and Youth Care in Action conferences (2008 and 2010). This represents a substantial service contribution and includes: assembling a diverse conference program committee with representation from students, faculty and staff; providing direction and leadership to the program committee to support the learning goals of the conference; creating a conference theme and developing clear criteria for inviting and adjudicating proposals; developing and promoting the conference program; hosting the two-day event which included designing and facilitating a pre-conference roundtable discussion; and co-editing a special conference issue in the International Journal of Child, Youth, and Family Studies.

In 2016,  my colleague Dr. Ed Connors and I were contracted by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to  support the AFN National Youth Council to prepare for their meeting with the federal Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, to discuss how to reduce suicide among First Nations youth through a life promotion perspective. We traveled to Ottawa to attend the meeting with the youth and the Health Minister on June 8 2016.  We carefully listened to the discussion and documented the proceedings.  Following the meeting, we were then contracted to work with the AFN Youth Council to write the Calls to Action on Life Promotion in First Nations Communities. AFN Youth Calls to Action on Life Promotion EN final

For the past several years I have provided consultation to Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Ministry for Children and Family Development regarding their youth suicide prevention policies, professional development efforts, and knowledge dissemination efforts. I have often served as a media spokesperson on issues related to suicide at their request and have also been the main contributor to their website on Preventing Youth Suicide

I provided expert advice and consultation to the BC Representative for Children and Family in the development of their 2012 report Honouring Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon: Make Their Voices Heard Now.

I was also a consultant and major contributor to the provincial reports, Looking for Something to Look Forward to: A Five Year Retrospective of Child and Youth Suicide in BC (2007), and the Review of Child and Youth Suicides 2008-2012, published by the Child Death Review Unit, BC Coroners Service. I also served as an expert witness in a BC Coroners Inquest (December 2010) into the suicide death of a young person who was an in-patient at Ledger House at the time of her death.

In 2007, I was appointed as a member of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Advisory Committee, Canadian Mental Health Commission. I served on this committee until 2011 and was a very active member on two of our funded projects: (1) Cultural Safety and (2) Ethical Framework. I contributed by writing documents, participating in data analysis, serving as a co-presenter at conferences and by providing ongoing consultation to the Chair, Mr. Bill Mussell.

I have been a tireless supporter of the NEED Crisis Line/NEED2 here in Victoria. I have offered a range of presentations for their Board, staff and volunteers and written several letters of support over the past few years. In 2007 I was awarded a special service award in recognition of my contributions.

In collaboration with students and colleagues at the University of Victoria and Camosun College I was  instrumental in championing the development of an Inter-Campus Suicide Prevention Action Group from 2005-2006. We hosted several meetings, conducted student focus groups, offered educational presentations, liaised with the Mental Health Task Force at the University of Victoria, and jointly sponsored annual suicide awareness events with our community partners.

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