CEL Grant recipients

CEL Grants support the redesign of courses that incorporate a community-engaged approach into curriculum.

Anthropology student Matthew McDonough looks on as museum visitor Leah Hiscock listens to his sound composition.

2018 grant recipients from left: Donna Feir, Ruth Young, Rhianna Nagel, Charlotte Schallie, Daniela Damian, Elizabeth Vibert, Allison Benner, Annabel Howard and David Leach. Missing from photo: Rebecca Gagan, Lisa Surridge, Kathy Sanford and Lisa Mort-Putland.

Dr. Wise (right, theatre) with "A Queer Trial" director Matthew Payne (left) and THEA 311 students at a dress rehearsal for the site-specific community play "A Queer Trial." Dr. Wise developed THEA 311 with the support of a CEL Grant.

Dr. Charlotte Schallié (Germanic and Slavic studies) engaging with students at Victoria High School during a Holocaust education outreach event as part of her CEL Grant.

Anthropology of Sound (ANTH 303) project team with with a permanent listening station developed through a CEL Grant in Century Hall at the Royal BC Museum.

Students from ANTH 303 (fall 2017) will create sound compositions to accompany artifacts at the Royal BC Museum as part of Dr. Boudreault-Fournier's CEL Grant project "Listening to the RBCM."

2017 CEL Grant recipients from left: Dr. John Lutz (history), Dr. Karena Shaw (environmental studies), Deborah Curran (Environmental Law Centre), Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier (anthropology) and Dr. Bruce Ravelli (sociology).

UVic THEA 311 students performing a free site-specific play in Bastion Square. Over 350 people attended and were able to learn about Victoria's colonial history and minority populations in 1860.

About the Community-Engaged Learning Grant 

UVic has a long history of community engagement and the university’s strategic framework makes a commitment to integrating teaching, learning, research and civic engagement across the disciplines to benefit our external communities—locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

To support these goals, the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) administers the Community-Engaged Learning Grant (CEL Grant) with funds provided by the Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost. The CEL Grant provides funding to faculty members and academic units seeking to develop or redesign courses or programs to incorporate community-engaged opportunities into curricula.

Interested in applying for a grant? Learn more about eligibility, the application process and recipient commitments.

Grant Recipients and Projects


Dennis Hore (chemistry) and Arkady Futerman (coop)

Community Engaged Research Experience for Science Undergraduates: This project seeks to develop a framework by which science undergraduate students can work on research projects together with community partners, including a fraction of their time spent on-site. We already have a model in place for advertising, recruiting students, and performing the evaluation of such graded and non-graded projects at all levels. We now wish to incorporate projects that originate and take place outside of UVic, and develop some gidelines that are attractive and sustainable to the students, supervising faculty, and community partners.

Iain McKechnie (Archaeology) and Denis St. Claire

Tseshaht Community Participation in 2019 UVic Archaeological field school: This project aims to support First Nation community participation in the 2019 archaeology field school in Tseshaht territory in Barkley Sound. We seek funds to compensate the labour of camp cook Wanda Robinson and hire a Tseshaht research assistant and contribute support towards community visits via boat from Port Alberni to the Broken Group Islands.

Carmen Rodriguez de France (Indigenous education) and Jennifer van de Pol (AGGV)

Drawing Possibility: Learning about ourselves through the arts: Through a collaboration between the Department of Indigenous Education and the extension program at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, student teachers enrolled in the course IED 373 (ELTELNIWT and Indigenous Education) will contribute to promoting and increasing the awareness of the importance of art as an expression of self, culture, and the environment. The Art Gallery will work with two local Indigenous artists to deliver hands-on workshops in schools, which will be co-facilitated and supported by predominantly non-Indigenous student teachers.


Kathy Sanford (curriculum and instruction) Lisa Mort-Putland (Volunteer Victoria)

Community-Engaged Learning Networking Opportunities: Creation of a series of workshops, resources (handbook, short videos) and networking opportunities, in collaboration with community members, directed towards supporting university instructors/program developers interested in including a community-based, service learning, or other type of experiential component to their course or program. The workshops are developed in response to 1) faculty requests for support and 2) community feedback on CEL experiences.

Jordan Stanger-Ross (history)

Canada’s Internment Era: A Field School: This project seeks support to ensure that a new community-engaged field school experience, which will launch in July 2019, is economically accessible for UVIC students. Developed collaboratively with the Nikkei National Museum, the Vancouver Japanese Language School, and in-service teachers—and within the larger community-engaged networks of the Landscapes of Injustice project—the field school offers students an opportunity to learn Canada’s internment history in the sites where it happened and alongside members of the Japanese-Canadian community.

Audrey Yap (philosophy)

Conceptions of Justice and Engaged Pedagogy: Many who work for social justice note the importance of engaging with people who are placed very differently in society than we are. Our understandings of justice are shaped by interactions with institutions responsible for it, such as the carceral system. By reading works on justice and just societies together, inmates at Wilkinson Jail and upper-year UVic undergraduates will each get the chance to gain some different perspectives on how these ideas look for others.


Dr. Daniela Damian (computer science)

Re-Design for CEL Sustainability: Scaling up a critical skill software engineering course in collaboration with Victoria software industry: The project redesigns a core course in UVic’s Bachelor of Software Engineering program. The course teaches the critical skills of business analysis, software requirements management, project estimation, and teamwork in significant engagement with the local software industry, but is challenged due to the dramatic increase of CS enrollments. The redesign will allow a much larger number of students to learn in collaboration with the local community and the community to leverage the expertise and student skill from UVic.

Project lead: Dr. Daniela Damian (computer science)

Dr. Donna Feir (economics)

Supporting Reconciliation through Community-Engaged Learning: Developing a community-led project for students in economics: This project will lay the foundations for on-going relationship building between Esquimalt First Nation and the Department of Economics. A community member from Esquimalt Nation will be hired to compile foundational information on the programs and policies relevant for the economic context of Esquimalt that students will use for course projects. Upon completion of the course, the projects will be presented to the Nation for their use. Student community visits and initial meetings that follow local protocol will also be supported.

Project lead: Dr. Donna Feir (economics)

Project team member: Ruth Young (Coordinator, Indigenous Learning Centre)

Rebecca Gagan (English)

The Humanities in Action: Undergraduate community-engagement course: This project aims to develop a course that will prepare students in the Humanities for the transition to professional careers in their communities. Students will spend 40 hours working for a community organization and undertake a major research project on this organization's behalf. Students will develop the capacity to articulate and reflect upon the value of Humanities competencies in the workplace and the community. The course will be a 300-level Humanities (HUMA) course work 1.5 credits and run collaboratively with Co-op and Career, which will assist with community placements. We envisage a first offering to 24 students and hope to make this into an annual course that will be integral to our delivery of Humanities programming.

Project lead: Rebecca Gagan (English)

Project team members: Dr. Allison Benner (Co-op Coordinator, Co-op and Career) and Dr. Lisa Surridge (Associate Dean Academic, Humanities)

David Leach (writing)

AGGV Community Creative Writing Studio: Workshops for high school students will be held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV) and led by second-year graduate students. They will offer learning experiences for both student groups, as well as the opportunity to bring youth into Victoria’s principle gallery space and to introduce them to UVic’s Fine Art Faculty. Workshops will be based on a broadly applicable resource pack (to be developed), focused on developing reflective practice, personal effectiveness, interpersonal effectiveness, and communication.

Project lead: David Leach (writing)

Project team member: Annabel Howard (writing)

Dr. Kathy Sanford (curriculum and instruction)

Lessons to action! Community and Campus Creating Meaningful Experiential Learning Opportunities: Creation of a series of workshops and associated resource materials, in collaboration with community members, directed towards supporting university instructors interested in including a community-based, service learning, or other type of experiential component to their course or program. The workshops are developed in response to 1) faculty requests for support and 2) community feedback on CEL experiences.

Project lead: Dr. Kathy Sanford (curriculum and instruction) 

Project team members: Rhianna Nagel (Social Sciences CEL Coordinator) and Lisa Mort-Putland (Executive Director, Volunteer Victoria)

Dr. Elizabeth Vibert (history)

Acting Otherwise: Material memory of historical injustice and community resistance: The pilot module will guide students to understand, through concrete material objects, the small-scale, everyday historical acts and processes that can lead to massive human rights violations like the Holocaust and Apartheid. Working with UVic undergraduate and graduate students, we will deliver a module on historical injustice and opportunities for ‘acting otherwise,’ to students at Victoria High School in Spring Term 2019.

Project lead: Dr. Elizabeth Vibert (history)

Project team member: Dr. Charlotte Schallié (Germanic and Slavic Studies)


Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier (anthropology)

Students in ANTH 303

Students in ANTH 303, fall 2017.

RBCM sound station

Members of the “Listening to the RBCM” CEL Grant team, with a permanent listening station in Century Hall at the Royal BC Museum. This listening station houses soundscapes that accompany objects on exhibit at the museum. From left: Lydia Toorenburgh (project coordinator and playlist designer, anthropology), Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier (assistant professor, anthropology) Mark McIntyre (teaching assistant, anthropology).

Listening to the RBCM: Support and development of an ongoing partnership between the Royal BC Museum and Anthropology of Sound (ANTH 303). Students create original sound compositions to accompany permanent exhibits at the museum. The project includes the creation of one playlist and two permanent listening stations at the museum.

Media Coverage

Deborah Curran (Environmental Law Centre)

Environmental Law Clinic Evaluation and Renewal: The Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) at UVic is the oldest law clinic in Canada with an environmental advocacy focus. Operating for over 20 years, students and supervising faculty/lawyers enhance the legal capacity of First Nations and community organizations across BC to improve and protect their environment. Instructors have provided largely the same experience to students for the past decade. Innovations in legal practice, integration of Indigenous rights, potential for involving other UVic students, and shifting client and student needs mandates the evaluation and refurbishment of the ELC as an integral clinically-based, experiential learning course in the Faculty of Law. 

Dr. John Lutz (history)

The UVic-Community Mapping Collaboratory (UVic CMC) Curriculum Project: Creation of community-based participatory mapping classroom resources, instructor’s manual and online platform (uvic.ca/mapping) to showcase student projects. Integration of resources in new class On this Spot: Putting Historical Events on the Map (HSTR 370).

Dr. Bruce Ravelli (sociology)

CEL Research Assistant & Community Success Liaison: Development of CEL course materials and resources as well as systems for developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with community partners. Integration of resources in two courses: Issues in Contemporary Sociology: Applied Sociology through Community Engagement (SOCI 438) and Honours Seminar (SOCI 499).

Dr. Karena Shaw (environmental studies)

Responding Critically to Colonization: Development of community-based understanding of the political ecology of traditional Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ territories—to bring more accountable ways of being in these territories. Students will: 1) contribute to a curricular resource for place-based studies and 2) contribute to building a Community Toolshed for restoring traditional plants on campus, inspired by Songhees leadership (especially Cheryl Bryce).


Dr. Sandra Hundza (exercise science, physical and health education)

Sandra Hundza

Dr. Sandra Hundza

Community-engaged learning in the School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education: Hundza developed Community Practicum Experience (EPHE 490) to include practical work experience for students in a supervised health/kinesiology work setting. Student outcomes include gaining an introductory understanding of the patient-practitioner relationship and the process of assessment, treatment and follow-up throughout recovery. The course ran as a pilot during summer 2017.

Dr. Jordan Stanger-Ross (history)

Jordan Stanger-Ross

Dr. Jordan Stanger Ross. Photo: Chorong Kim 

Course redesign for: HSTR 329B: Race and Ethnicity in Canada since 1900: Stanger-Ross redeveloped Race and Ethnicity in Canada since 1900 (HIST 329B) in collaboration with graduate student Kaitlin Findlay and course instructor Dr. Georgia Sitara. HIST 329B provided students with an opportunity to conduct research that was featured in podcasts developed for a public history project. The redeveloped course ran in spring 2017 and culminated with outstanding podcasts presented at The Landscapes of Injustice Spring Institute Public Day. Landscapes of Injustice is a seven-year multi-partner research project exploring the forced dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s.

Project information:

Dr. George Tzanetakis (computer science)

George Tzanetakis

Dr. George Tzanetakis

Expanding the reach of the UVic Music Information Retrieval course: Tzanetakis redeveloped UVic Music Retrieval Techniques (CSC 475/575) to include the participation of local industry experts as guest lecturers. The redesigned course also includes automatic assessment and personalized background learning. Grant funds allowed Tzanetakis to work with an online course provider to produce higher quality online lectures. The revised course will be offered fall 2018.

Dr. Jennifer Wise (theatre)

Jennifer Wise

Dr. Jennifer Wise in Bastion Square with THEA 311 students warming up during a dress rehearsal for A Queer Trial.

Site-specific Community Play Project: Redevelopment of THEA 311. The production of A Queer Trial is the culmination of the student’s work in THEA 311 and incorporates the research and knowledge of members of BC’s Indigenous, LGBTQ2, Jewish, Black, and legal communities. Students take on key creative and production roles in A Queer Trial, from acting and singing to dramaturgy and historical research, from musical direction and choreography to costume design.

About A Queer Trial
In 1860, two successive Victoria juries effectively acquitted an openly gay man of sodomy charges, the first jury preferring to spend a night in jail themselves sooner than agree on a guilty verdict. The production is a culmination of THEA 311, a course about creating site-specific theatre, directed by UVic theatre alumnus Matthew Payne, who is also the Artistic Producer of Theatre SKAM. UVic theatre students dramatically reenact this surprisingly inspiring event from Victoria’s early colonial history—on the very site where it occurred.

Learn more and watch a short documentary produced by THEA 311 students about this site-specific play project.

Media Coverage


Dr. Jacquie Green and Kirsten Mikkelsen (social work)

School of Social Work, Indigenous Specialization. Redesign of Indigenous Specialization course, SOCW 391 “Indigenous Approaches to Healing"

Ryan Hilperts (environmental studies)

School of Environmental Studies Capstone Class and the Redfish School of Change.

David Leach (writing)

Re-imagining Our Future Together: Digital storytelling as a bridge between campus and civic culture.

Dr. Charlotte Schallié (Germanic and Slavic studies)

This project focused on Teaching the Holocaust through Graphic Novels and involved students and teachers at Victoria High School and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Dr. Schallié's graduate student, Chorong Kim, filmed an award-winning 20-minute documentary, Readers of the Holocaust, about the project.


Dr. Cameron Owens (geography)

Support for all Geography courses with special focus on: GEOG 209 Resource Management, GEOG 219 Geography of BC, GEOG 353 Coastal and Marine Resources, GEOG 355 Coastal Communities and GEOG 453 Consilience Field School.