York hosts inaugural symposium on the scholarship of engagement




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More than 80 people attended York’s first symposium on the scholarship of engagement, which took place on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the Ignat Kaneff Building on York’s Keele campus.

The Scholarship of Socially Engaged Research Symposium highlighted the academic and social benefits of engaged research. The event brought together faculty and students, non-academic partners and knowledge brokers from three universities. The group listened to a diverse array of presentations, discussed trends and experiences and worked together to create new knowledge about topics related to knowledge mobilization. Some of the topics discussed dealt with more effective community-campus collaborations and partnerships, knowledge mobilization practices, methods of engaged scholarship and the social benefits arising from better research-informed public policy decisions and social programming.

symposium_stephen_gaetzStephen Gaetz addresses symposium participants

“York is a recognized leader in knowledge mobilization and community-engaged research,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “The Scholarship of Socially Engaged Research is one of the five areas of strategic opportunity identified in York’s new Strategic Research Plan, and we are pleased to work together with our partners in the community, other universities, government and industry to advance knowledge in these areas.”

The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, sent a written greeting recognizing the symposium, which was read as part of the opening remarks.

The symposium, funded by a Connection Grant from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, was co-hosted by Stephen Gaetz, professor in the Faculty of Education; David Phipps, executive director of research & information services; and Jane Wedlock, knowledge mobilization officer for the United Way York Region.

symposium_speakerPaul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, was one of the keynote speakers at the symposium

“York University is recognized for its national and international leadership in community-engaged scholarship and innovative knowledge mobilization practices. This symposium highlights our scholarship in these areas in order to enhance our understanding of how to enrich the impact of research in terms of policy, practice and collaborative methods,” said Gaetz.

Keynote speakers for the symposium were: Geri Briggs, co-manager of Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE), who is the co-lead of the project’s knowledge mobilization hub and the director of the Canadian Alliance for Community-Service Learning; Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; and Edward Jackson, professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University and the principal investigator of the CFICE project, a SSHRC-funded partnership initiative co-managed by the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University and the Canadian Alliance for Community-Service Learning.

Twelve of the papers presented at the symposium were reviewed by a committee of four faculty members, one postdoctoral fellow and one doctoral student from York University. Seven of the papers have been forwarded to Scholarly and Research Communication, an Open Access peer-reviewed journal, for inclusion in its special knowledge mobilization edition.

To learn more, visit the Scholarship of Socially Engaged Research website.