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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
October 26, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Community Psychology Faculty Profiles

The Community Psychology area at Laurier has seven primary faculty members. A brief overview of each of their research programs is provided below. For more information about particular faculty members, click on a photo to be directed to the individual’s personal faculty webpage.


Colleen Loomis
Associate Professor
cloomis [at]

My research team studies psychological sense of community. We conduct quasi-experimental, correlational, and observational studies to further our understanding of the factors that influence involvement in one or more geographical and relational communities, including virtual (online) communities. A central aspect in our studies is examining how one’s psychological sense of community interacts with identity development and with places of learning situated in multicultural contexts: schools, adult education programs, alternative learning communities, and early childhood development programs such as Better Beginnings Better Futures. 


Terry Mitchell
Associate Professor
CP Program Coordinator
tmitchell [at]

My research is in the area of Aboriginal health with a focus on colonial trauma, psychosocial-spiritual wellness, and social justice.  I will be working with students and community members on research that addresses issues of resilience and resistance in the face of racial and gendered structures of oppression. My counselling practice and earlier research is in the area of women’s health and adult healing from child sexual abuse. I have a background in community based research for health promotion and psychosocial wellness in the area of chronic disease (cancer and CVD).  I am committed to community engaged scholarship and the use of mixed methods. I look forward to mentoring students in any of these areas of action research. 


Geoff Nelson
gnelson [at]

My research and action interests in Community Psychology have been focused on two areas: prevention and community mental health. With regard to the first area, I have been involved in the creation and evaluation of community-based programs designed to promote the well-being and prevent problems for vulnerable children and families. In the area of community mental health, I have been active in research, advocacy, and policy regarding housing, self-help, and community supports for people with serious mental illness. Underlying the work in both of these areas is an emphasis on working in partnership with disadvantaged people, participatory action research approaches using both quantitative and qualitative methods, and value-based critical perspectives that challenge the status quo and that are oriented towards social change. 




Manuel Riemer
Assistant Professor
mriemer [at]

My research team engages with the intersections of environment, community and justice through research, action, and collaboration. With our research we seek to generate empirical and practical knowledge that informs community-based efforts to the mitigation and adaptation of environmental problems, such as global climate change, and fair and equitable distribution of environmental benefits. We conduct our research and action with an awareness of and value for environmental justice. We support local environmental organizations and programs in conducting evaluations, planning and implanting events, and with strategic planning and program development as well as grant writing. We participate in and facilitate regional, provincial, national, and international efforts of collaboration and networking in order to create pro-environmental transformative change at multiple levels. I am also interested in program evaluation, organizational change, and the long-term sustainability of social programs. 



Robb Travers
Assistant Professor
rtravers [at]

My research team maintains an active community-based research program that seeks to understand HIV ‘risk behaviours' in broader social context and the development and impact of interventions at various levels (individual, community, and structural/societal). I am also interested in factors that impede emotional well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth as well as people living with HIV/AIDS. I am an advocate for community-based research approaches as a tool of community empowerment and social change. 


Richard Walsh-Bowers
rwalshbowers [at]

My principal interests are in the critical history, ethics, and philosophy of scientific and professional psychology. In my approach to psychology I include spirituality and religion. Given that community psychology is a branch of psychology, I apply my critical historical and philosophical framework to the theory and practice of community psychology. Three areas of community application in which I have deep interest and some experience are spiritual and religious development, collective drama and popular theatre, and electoral politics.