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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
August 23, 2017
 
 
Canadian Excellence

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Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action

Laurier research centre offers community research internship program

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Sep 15/14

The Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action (CCRLA) is welcoming 13 undergraduate students to a new and exciting research internship program: the Student-Community Research Partnerships for Social Justice and Wellbeing (SCRP). During the 2014-15 academic year, small teams of student-interns will work closely with a community organization to design and implement a research study to address an identified need in Kitchener-Waterloo. 

“Laurier is a leader in innovative social and community based research, and we pride ourselves on providing exceptional research experiences to students at all stages of their academic careers,” said Abby Goodrum, vice president: research at Laurier. “These student research internships provide an outstanding opportunity for students to gain useful research skills while making a difference in our community.” 

This unique program is possible thanks to a new partnership between the CCRLA, the Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG) and the Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG). 

“Not only does this program and partnership enhance our capacity to offer undergraduate students high-level research experience, it is a natural fit with our mandate to take action for social change in our community,” said Katelyn Murray, LSPIRG’s administration and development director.

The internship encourages students to move beyond the walls of the university and gain hands-on community-based research experience in a real world setting. It is a rare opportunity for students at the undergraduate level to not only learn about, but also produce community-engaged scholarship. 

“This program is an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their university education by colliding professionally with community partners,” said Ginette Lafreniere, an associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work and director of SIRG.

Three local organizations each agreed to partner with a team of interns: House of Friendship’s Addiction Services Program; the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo Area (ACCKWA); and a collaborative between the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre’s Homelessness Advisory Group (HAG) and the STEP Home Participant Advisory Group (PAG). 

Interns with House of Friendship will investigate barriers experienced by the LGBTQ community in accessing substance abuse treatment services in Waterloo Region. The placement with ACCKWA will expose interns to the day-to-day operations of the agency, in addition to engaging them in program-specific research and evaluation activities. The students working with the HAG/PAG collective will pursue a small-scale research project looking at tenant experiences in rooming houses and associated health impacts.

Officially launched Sept. 13, interns will participate in an intensive orientation and training program to reflect on and discuss key concepts, methods and research issues common to participatory-action research. The internship concludes in April 2015, when interns will present their final reports to peers, faculty, and community partners at a celebration of achievement.

For more information about the SCRP internship program, please contact Sue Weare, CCRLA’s Associate Director, at ccrla@wlu.ca or call 519-884-0710 ext. 3494.

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