Yorkville University recently awarded a total of $28,000 in Support for Scholarly Activities Funding (SSAF) to Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology faculty.
Created in 2019, SSAF grants are designed to encourage both full- and part-time faculty members to exercise their scholarly expertise and interests outside the classroom by providing funding to help them cover the costs of creative and scholarly activities and research.
This semester’s winning applications from Yorkville’s Faculty of Behavioural Sciences include the following projects and activities:
1) Dr. Sofia Georgiadou’s Experiences of Othering Among YU Students: Exploring a Community of Belonging
This mixed-method study will explore, via qualitative interviews and an online survey, Yorkville University students’ perceptions and experiences of representing the “other” instead of the “standard.”
Georgiadou and her co-investigators – Master of Education professor Dr. Andree Robinson-Neal, MACP student Mandira Aich and Master of Education in Adult Education graduate Rev. Sadekie Lyttle-Forbes – will inquire about times when students experienced a sense of “othering” and separation from their learning community, as well as times when they experienced their Yorkville learning communities as culturally inclusive. Furthermore, the concept of cultural inclusivity, as perceived by the Yorkville student community, will be explored using an intersectionality lens.
The results of the survey, Georgiadou said, will inform the Yorkville University community about its students’ diverse needs, as well as their experiences of both inclusion and othering at the school.
“The students’ voice and insights will help identify ways to continue developing an environment of inclusive excellence, equity, and respect for all YU students of diverse backgrounds,” she said.
“We hope the findings will inform current and future decisions about supporting a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant campus community within all YU programs. Students’ responses will help provide meaningful awareness around needs concerning diversity, equity and inclusion so that they can be considered for DEI strategic planning.”
Georgiadou added that she and her co-investigators were “incredibly moved” by Yorkville’s Scholarly Activity Funding support for their project.
“We know deep in our hearts that this is an important project to carry out and we are grateful for our SSAF funding,” she said. “We are elated and looking forward to starting with recruitment for the survey portion of our study.”
2) Dr. Kimber Shelton’s Worthiness, Womanness, Blackness: Empowering Black Women in Therapy virtual conference
This virtual conference, which is being planned and developed by Shelton, will take place over two days, with multiple workshops and events.
The ultimate hope, Shelton said, is to inspire mental health professionals’ self-reflection, build their culturally competent knowledge and skills, and validate and destigmatize therapy for Black women, so that mental health providers will walk away from the conference feeling more confident in their abilities to meet the needs of Black women clients.
The aim of the Worthiness, Womanness, Blackness – Empowering Black Women in Therapy Conference is to bring together mental health professionals from across the U.S. and Canada who are committed to improving the mental health services provided to Black women.
Shelton, who recently released Handbook on Counseling African American Women: Psychological Symptoms, Treatments, and Case Studies, said she’s honoured to have received Yorkville’s Support for Scholarly Activity Funding (SSAF) in support of the conference.
“Because of this funding, we are able to plan and provide a conference that includes well-recognized speakers and experts, provide professional development hours to mental health professionals, and offer free registration to MACP and DCP faculty and students,” she said, noting that she plans to hold the conference virtually from July 21 -22.
3) Dr. Karyn Delichte’s Institutional Responses to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) – The Development of New Power and Control Wheels
In 1999, Dr. James Ptacek conducted courtroom evaluations of protection order cases in domestic violence situations. From his observations, he revised the Duluth Model Power and Control Wheel to identify ways that judges mirror the tactics used by abusers.
This proposed research activity will review the recent literature, online news stories, and social media posts that form public records to update the Judicial wheel and to create wheels that reflect other potentially oppressive encounters intimate partner violence victims may have with police and mental health providers.
The goal, Delichte said, is to replicate and extend the work of Ptacek to develop specific models of coercion and oppression that can be validated through questionnaires and interviews with victims of intimate partner violence.
“As a practicing clinical psychologist and adjunct faculty member, I believe I have an obligation to contribute to the field of psychology and the body of literature we turn to repeatedly to guide our professional work,” she said.
“To have the support of YU in this endeavour not only allows me to pursue my ongoing research interest in the area of intimate partner violence (IPV), it provides the necessary tools to elevate the knowledge on this pervasive social problem. I am grateful for the opportunity that YU is providing.”
SSAF support, Delichte added, also reflects the importance of faculty and student collaboration.
“I was fortunate to become involved in various research projects during my time as an undergraduate and graduate student,” she said. “It is my hope this funding will provide a spark that ignites student interest in research and provide the hands-on experience to help them move forward in this field.”
4) Dr. Erin Pannell’s Sandplay as a Diagnostic Tool for Early Diagnosis of Children and Adolescents
This survey regarding therapists’ observations and experiences of Sandplay with children ages eight to 12 will be prepared and sent to members of the Association for Play Therapy and Sandplay Therapists of America using Survey Monkey.
Once respondents return the survey, questionnaires and therapist responses will be divided by state and reviewed, analyzed, and coded to determine if the information may be generalized.
Pannell said she was “very excited” to receive Yorkville’s support for the project – the first step in filling the gap in providing early diagnosis and intervention for children and adolescents who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.
“Currently, assessments, and ultimately diagnosis, rely on parents and teachers to report a child’s behaviours, but this is from their perspective, where bias may interfere with their responses,” Pannell said.
“By creating a diagnostic manual for counsellors and psychologists, children and adolescents will be able to have their own voice rather than rely on others to speak for them.”
Types of Projects & Activities Supported Under SSAF Funding
Yorkville’s full- and part-time faculty members are eligible to apply for financial support for their scholarly activities via SSAF funding for projects and activities related to an array of different types of scholarship, including:
- Scholarship of discovery: Discipline-based original research that creates new or advances existing knowledge
- Scholarship of integration: Synthesis of information and scholarship across a discipline or a topic within a discipline
- Scholarship of application/engagement: Application of scholarly expertise within or outside the university
- Scholarship of teaching and learning/pedagogy: Systematic study of and application of expertise to the teaching and learning process
According to Yorkville’s Vice President of Academic Services, Dr. John Crossley, Yorkville has so far held three rounds of Support of Scholarly Activity Funding since the program launched in 2019 – each one attracting more and more applications.
“In the most recent round of funding, the university provided just over $120,000 to support 20 projects,” he said, noting that the funding has supported at least two films, several books, many journal articles and conference presentations, and at least one conference.
“Many of the projects supported relate directly to teaching and learning, which reinforces the primary mission of Yorkville University. It has been enormously rewarding to discover how many of our colleagues have such important scholarly contributions to make.”