U of L social scientists net SSHRC awards worth nearly $440,000


University of Lethbridge graduate students and faculty members will tackle a variety of research projects thanks to funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

“The U of L’s success rate with Insight Development Grants was very positive, higher than the national average and continues our momentum,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, vice-president (research). “Our social scientists and humanities researchers are conducting leading-edge research and I heartily commend them for their efforts.”

U of L researchers received six Insight Development Grants. Dr. Robert LeBlanc (education) will examine how immigrant teens in a rural Alberta meatpacking town learn the forms and meanings of stylized speech. Dr. Glenda Bonifacio (women & gender studies) will study how the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines has affected foreign disaster aid and gender equality following Haiyan, the 2013 super typhoon. Dr. Rhiannon MacDonnell Mesler (Dhillon School of Business, Calgary campus) will look at how consumer identities can divide and unite in an increasingly polarized world. Dr. Paige Pope (kinesiology & physical education) will compare the effectiveness of various messages designed to reduce sedentary behaviour in older adults.

Other researchers receiving Insight Development Grants include Drs. Fangfang Li (psychology) and Noëlle Gunst-Leca (psychology). As well, Dr. Inge Genee (modern languages), co-applicant on a University of Alberta-based project called 21st century tools for Indigenous languages, received a Partnership Grant.

Dr. Carly Adams, a Board of Governors Research Chair (Tier II) and a kinesiology & physical education professor, and Dr. Darren Aoki (BA ’90), a professor in world history at the University of Plymouth and adjunct professor in history at the U of L, received an Insight Grant for their Transforming Canadian Nikkei oral history project. This grant allows them to continue exploring the cultural and social history of Canadian Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) in southern Alberta from 1950 to the 21st century in partnership with the Galt Museum & Archives, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden and the Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge and Area.

Along with the faculty members who received awards, several U of L graduate students received SSHRC funding, including master’s students Jennifer Chernishenko, Margaret Ingram, Quinn Johnsson, Mary Siever, Michelle Sylvestre and Jaisie Walker and doctoral student Serena Visser.

Chernishenko will delve into how girls’ mindsets—whether growth oriented or fixed— affects their sense of belonging and participation in sports. Siever is studying the reasons why parenting and mothering, in particular, receive minimal support in post-secondary study. Sylvestre will examine how social issues and context get transferred into the medical world and how that’s connected to today’s consumption of pharmaceuticals. Visser will explore the impact institutional norms and practices within the mental health system have for trans and gender-diverse people.