2015 Provost’s Engaged Scholar Award recipients

Education, Social Sciences

- Joanne McGachie

Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater (psychology) and Dr. Anne Marshall (education) have been named the 2015 recipients of the Provost’s Engaged Scholar Award.

This is the second year for the annual awards program, which celebrates the integration of outstanding scholarship, inspired teaching and real-life, community engagement. It recognizes tenured members of faculty who have achieved great distinction as community engaged scholars.

Acting VP Academic and Provost Valerie Kuehne congratulated the recipients of the award. “Bonnie Leadbeater and Anne Marshall epitomize what it is to be a community-engaged scholar at UVic,” she said. “They are each passionate leaders in integrating research, service and community partnerships which result in concrete, meaningful actions that lead to positive societal change.”

This year’s awards were presented at an IdeaFest session on Mar. 3. Prior to the announcement of the award recipients, nursing researcher Dr. Bernie Pauly and law professor Dr. Val Napoleon—last year’s awardees—each shared some of their experiences in community-engaged research.

Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater

Throughout an almost 30-year career, Leadbeater has been internationally recognized for her work on child and youth well-being, with research on adolescent parenting, emerging adulthood, adolescent depression and the prevention of peer victimization in elementary school children.  

Leadbeater was instrumental in the development of the WITS (Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, Seek help) anti-bullying programs in schools. Leadbeater and her team worked collaboratively with teachers, school districts, communities and the Rock Solid Foundation (the charity that supports WITS) to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive training, tools and resources for the WITS programs. The programs are now available in French, and are being utilized across Canada and the US.

Leadbeater’s community partnerships have also addressed critical societal issues and supported the development of policies aimed at supporting healthy youth. For example, she worked with Vancouver Island’s chief medical officer to develop a bylaw banning the use of tanning salons for Victoria youth; and consulted with the BC ministries of health and children and family development to create a framework for the assessment of well-being in children and youth.

In nominating her for this award, Drs. Stephen Lindsay and Elizabeth Brimacombe of the Psychology department noted: “Dr. Leadbeater is a remarkable scholar who has made tremendous contributions to the safety and well-being of youth and our society. Her work has had profound and widespread impact on youth across the country.”

Dr. Anne Marshall

A professor of counselling psychology since 1994, since 2008 Marshall has also been the Director of UVic’s Centre for Youth & Society, which promotes the well-being of youth from diverse social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Her research work focuses on life and work transitions in youth and emerging adulthood, youth and family mental health, and cultural identity. She has placed a particular emphasis on working with groups that struggle with social, cultural, economic and political challenges such as small rural communities, Indigenous communities and marginalized youth.

Marshall’s research on Indigenous youth employment and cultural identity has been shared widely with academic audiences and communities, but it also led to a transformation in UVic’s counselling psychology programs. Her research laid the foundation for the new Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology Program (ICCP)—a unique graduate program that incorporates Indigenous knowledge, research, and ways of sharing knowledge to promote healing.

Marshall also worked with a corrections counsellor and youth in prison to create a graphic novel, In and Out, exploring successful transitions from custody to a more healthy, productive life. The novel garnered significant academic and media attention across the country. With funding from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Marshall also worked with Indigenous post-secondary students to gather stories and strategies about survivor resistance to the residential school system. The findings were then transformed by Indigenous post-secondary students into digital stories that were presented to the TRC and have been incorporated into school curricula.

Her work is always guided by her commitment to community engagement and relationship building. As she is fond of telling her students: “community engagement is an orientation. It is about how you do research from the first day … not an afterthought.”

The two recipients will be conferred the title of University of Victoria Engaged Scholar, which will be held for a period of 5 years and may be renewed after that time. They will also each receive a one-time award of $10,000 to support their research, teaching and community involvement.


In this story

Keywords: award, psychology, education, bullying, teaching, youth, community

People: Bonnie Leadbeater, Anne Marshall

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