There's an inspiring story behind every community engagement collaboration. Impact stories explore the vital impact our students, faculty and staff are making with a diverse range of community partners in Canada and abroad.
This past summer, Nicole Mandryk saw her learning come to life when she spent four months as a summer camp assistant with Mary’s Farm and Sanctuary near Goldstream Park. The psychology and Indigenous studies student dove into her role with her heart open, and found inspiration in the people she met along the way.
During the spring of 2015 I completed my second work term as a facilities supervisor intern for the Salvation Army Victoria Citadel. The Salvation Army was founded in London, England in 1865 and began its work in Canada in 1882 … The church facility where I worked was built in 1998 with the goal of being able to facilitate the community along with being a place of worship. The facility contains a gymnasium, kitchen, sanctuary and three rooms varying in size which can all be rented for the use of the renter’s choice. The Victoria Citadel Facilities Department is a practical ministry that strives to maintain the Victoria Citadel, its contents and its property in the best physical condition possible … [It] provides the facility, church members and facility renters with the utmost respect, full attention, care and appropriate help.
David Gu has made a habit of squeezing every last drop from new experiences. So when the health information science student was paired with Island Health during the 2014 “Co-op Student for a Day” contest, he didn’t hesitate to make it count.
The contest gives students the opportunity to shadow a co-op employer organization for a day to learn what it’s like to take part in co-op. Gu gave it his all, and it paid off—he later landed a co-op work term and a part-time contract with the same organization.
With Victoria’s changing climate of wetter winters and more frequent, more intense storms, rain gardens will play an increasingly important role in keeping our water clean and managing the flow of rain in our community.
For this reason, the City of Victoria has partnered with environmental studies master’s student Catherine Orr to find better ways of managing our city’s rainwater. Working under the supervision of Dr. Valentin Schaefer in UVic’s Department of Environmental Studies, Orr has constructed a rain garden on the campus of Victoria’s Oak and Orca Bioregional School.
Students help Our Place
It isn’t easy serving over 1,200 meals per day on a tight budget. This is the dilemma that the Our Place Society finds itself in as it reaches out to Victoria’s most vulnerable population.
This fall, Our Place contacted UVic for assistance and UVic's Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization (RPKM) connected them with Heather Ranson, Gustavson School of Business Associate Teaching Professor and Associate Director at UVic’s Centre for Social & Sustainable Innovation (CSSI). Ranson’s service management students were ready and eager to help Our Place make the most of its resources.
For seniors who are no longer able to drive, there remain few viable options for transportation. And while the James Bay Community Project (JBCP) is trying to help by offering free rides to important medical appointments, there currently aren’t enough volunteer drivers to meet the community’s high demand.
This issue is the driving force behind the partnership between the JBCP and UVic’s Institute on Aging and Lifelong health (IALH) (formerly Centre on Aging).
Carmel Chamberlain, of UVic’s School of Public Health and Social Policy, knows full well the healing potential and importance of having a network of different types of support during times of struggle. This is especially true when the safety and happiness of one’s family is on the line.
Carmel has been on both sides of the United Way’s efforts, both accessing United Way funded programs and services, and recently working with United Way as a Loaned Representative during the 2014 Greater Victoria fundraising campaign. Loaned Representatives (or LRs as they are affectionately known) are employees “loaned” to United Way Greater Victoria by their employers to assist with the annual United Way fundraising campaign. UVic sponsors at least one LR every year, and a close friend and colleague made Carmel aware of the position.
Thousands of British Columbians living with dementia and other challenging conditions will benefit from innovative new technologies being developed by CanAssist at the University of Victoria.
Prototypes of several technologies aimed at helping people stay in their homes for as long as safely possible were demonstrated May 11 during a funding announcement by BC Minister of Health Terry Lake.
One technology, the “wandering deterrent system,” uses computer screens that flash personalized video messages to discourage a person from leaving the house late at night—a fairly common occurrence among those with dementia.
Imagine a world where you could be criminally charged for merely looking suspicious, or speeding down the road on a horse. This was reality for Victorians living in the 1870s.
Thanks to a unique collaboration between the University of Victoria, the Victoria Genealogical Society and the Victoria Police Historical Society, these charges are being preserved for future generations.