GPRC Students Present Research on Parliament Hill
Monday, March 19th, 2018
After months of work on a research initiative focused on addressing mental health challenges in the community, three GPRC students were rewarded for their efforts with a trip to Ottawa and a chance to participate in a national research conference.
Demica Pusch, Anwar Tuhl and Brittany Cowen attended Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)’s Accelerating Innovation through Applied Research symposium in Ottawa on February 12-13, 2018. Along with fellow psychology student Kara Witow, the three GPRC psychology majors received funding in the form of the GRPC Undergraduate Student Research Award last May to develop community-based research projects tackling complex social issues. These awards were made possible by SSHRC funding received by Dr. Connie Korpan, psychology instructor and research mentor to the students.
One of the projects, entitled Mental Health Needs of Adolescents and Available School-Based Resources in a Remote Rural Community developed by Tuhl and Pusch, was accepted to be displayed at the Student Innovation Showcase on Parliament Hill. The showcase consisted of a poster session featuring student work in a variety of disciplines from colleges across Canada. It was well attended by cabinet ministers, members of parliament, directors of funding agencies, administrators and academics at colleges and institutes spanning the nation. “It was definitely a humbling experience,” said Tuhl. “We got the chance to meet many intelligent and inspiring people, and we were honoured to hear ideas and suggestions.” The students’ research focused on identifying issues that could impact adolescent mental health and addressing challenges adolescents may face when it comes to accessing help.
Tuhl and Pusch’s project involved conducting survey research with high school students and teachers in the community with the support of the associated school boards. “We are grateful for their participation,” said Korpan. “They showed true commitment to effecting change for their students and contributing positively to the research community. This research could not have been completed without the consideration of the school boards and the support of the administrators, teachers and support staff.”
Having completed the first phase of their research, Tuhl and Pusch are excited about the future. Follow-up studies will continue this line of research, possibly extending the work into the greater community. CICan’s Director of Canadian Partnerships David Kelly commended the students for their work, saying they should consider submitting another proposal for follow-up research to provide additional insight into this important and timely topic and adding, “GPRC was well represented in Ottawa today.”