Category Research spotlights

New Book: Furscience – A Decade of Psychological Research on the Furry Fandom

Dr. Courtney Plante, co-author of the new book, Furscience – A Decade of Psychological Research on the Furry Fandom, embarked on a remarkable research journey spanning over a decade, dedicated to unraveling the complexities of the furry fandom. With a focus on understanding this often-misunderstood community, they have explored the struggles and resilience of its members. Their aim is multifaceted: to enlighten parents of furries, to correct sensationalized media narratives, to combat politicized fear-mongering, and to foster self-awareness within the community itself.

Drawing from over 15 years of involvement within the furry community, the book brings an insider’s perspective to the forefront, addressing pertinent concerns and bridging the gap between insiders and outsiders. Witnessing the community’s embrace of their work has been immensely gratifying, especially when it equips furries with resources to counteract stigma.

Having been a member of the furry community for over 15 years, Courtney Plante has gained invaluable insights into the most pertinent questions and concerns within the community. This extensive experience has also played a crucial role in addressing concerns from within the furry community about potential sensationalism and inaccuracies in outsider perspectives. Dr. Plante finds great satisfaction in the positive feedback their work has received from the community. Moreover, the opportunity to place their book into the hands of those who can benefit the most from the research, particularly in combatting stigma directed towards the community, has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Despite the challenge of consolidating years of research, the pandemic surprisingly provided an opportunity to focus on compiling their findings. Among global pandemic chaos, the project served as a welcome distraction and a testament to the strong spirit of the community. Witnessing furries’ excitement upon accessing the comprehensive research has been the ultimate reward.

“One of the biggest challenges of this research has been knowing when to finally sit down and compile everything in one place. We’ve been wanting to turn our research into a book for five or six years now but finding the time to do so—especially since our research is still continuing and producing new results every few months—has been difficult. When the pandemic hit, we found ourselves with a windfall of free time, given that there were no in-person conventions at which to conduct research, and so we were able to do the bulk of the writing (it was, mercifully, one of the few things to help us get through the pandemic, a much-needed distraction from global events). The most rewarding part has been getting to see the excitement in furries’ eyes when they realize they can get their hands on this research in one convenient place, to have access to all this information about their community, and finally have something to defend themselves with against media-driven narratives and broader societal misconceptions.”

The book stands as a testament to Dr. Plante’s dedication and commitment to shedding light on the furry fandom. Furscience-A Decade of Psychological Research on the Furry Fandom is now available for free download on their website,, and purchasable at the cost of printing on Amazon.

Research Week 2024 Abstracts

Dr. Art Babayants 

“Le Besoin d’être mal-armé”: The Joy of Multilingual Theatre 

Despite the growing presence of multilingual theatre in large Canadian multicultural cities, research on stage multilingualism in Canada remains at the nascent stage. Using the Practice as Research methodology, my artistic research looks at stage multilingualism that does not use translation. Specifically, it focuses on multilingual actors, multilingual dramaturgy, and multilingual audiences. The artistic practice at the centre of the study involved 25 professional and amateur performers, both mono- and multilingual, who were engaged in a six-week creation period of devising scenes in their dominant, non-dominant, and unfamiliar languages.  

Using Sara Ahmed’s queer phenomenology (2006), my study conceptualizes untranslated stage multilingualism as a queer object, which has the potential to cause re-orientation (or queering) of the subject, especially a monolingual subject. It also investigates how and why multilingual actors and audiences may choose to challenge dominant monolingual frameworks. Additionally, I suggest that multilingual dramaturgy is essentially a typer of “diversity work” (Ahmed 2014), which can confront the dominant monolingualism (English only or French only) of mainstream theatre.   


Dr. Tavis Smith 

Policy vs. Practice in Sport and Climate Change: The Perspectives of Key Actors in Global Sport and International Development 

In recent years, the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) movement has grown in both size and scale; it is now comprised of a diverse body of organizations, including private, public and nongovernmental, that all leverage the “power of sport” in various ways. Most recently, SDP has been directly connected to sustainable development, prioritizing environmental awareness, protection, and remediation strategies that can help stem the tide of climate change. A recent policy brief from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), for example, noted that sport can play a key role in raising awareness of and influencing behaviours towards climate action, making it a ‘low-cost’ and ‘high-impact solution’ to the climate crisis. Overall, however, and despite policies in place connecting sport to sustainable development, the environment and climate change are rarely acknowledged within SDP activity and even when they are, it is unclear how such policies are implemented. This raises the following question: how are the climate crisis and the relationships between sport and sustainable development understood and operationalized (or not) by key SDP stakeholders? To address the question, we draw on interviews with SDP policy-makers and practitioners living and working in the Global South to gauge the place of the environment and climate change in their everyday SDP policy-making, programming and practices. The data demonstrates that while SDP stakeholders recognize the urgency of the climate crisis, the need for action, and the policy agenda linking sport to sustainable development, significant barriers still prevent consistent climate action within SDP. 


Dr. Rachid Hedjam and Ameer Ahmed Khan 

Progressive Learning: a New Paradigm of Artificial Intelligence Learning 

The talk centres around a research project operating within the broader field of artificial intelligence (AI), with a specific focus on deep learning (DL). It explores various AI learning paradigms while emphasizing Progressive learning, one of our research interests at BU. The distinctive aspect of the research lies in its methodology, which seeks to imitate human intelligence in terms of autonomous learning. Our hypothesis is that humans begin learning with simple tasks, gradually progressing to more complex ones. This premise inspires a novel methodology aimed at narrowing the gap between artificial and human intelligence. The learning scenario mirrors human learning, where a nature-inspired search algorithm (Agent 1) assumes the role of an adult with higher knowledge, and a DL model (Agent 2) plays the part of a baby with initial knowledge. In this simulated environment, Agent 1 (adult) selects tasks featuring varying numbers of object categories and presents them to Agent 2 (baby). The baby then classifies objects in the given task into different categories. The adult assesses the baby’s performance and, based on the accuracy of object classification and recognition, generates more complex tasks with a higher number of object categories. These tasks are then reintroduced to the baby for the next stage of task learning until achieving a satisfactory level of performance. Hence, the primary objective is to automate this learning concept to develop autonomous Artificial Intelligence capable of exhibiting human-like behavior. 


Dr. Jessica Prioletta  

Sexuality Education in Kindergarten: A Critical Analysis of Quebec Teachers’ Views and Practices 

Sexuality education is still not widely implemented in early childhood education, and when it is, it is often done so in limited ways (Balter et al., 2021). However, according to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), access to comprehensive sexuality education is a child’s right. In 2018, le Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur introduced optional sexuality content at the kindergarten level. Given the recent availability of sexuality content for kindergarten students, this FRQSC-funded study sought to examine Quebec teachers’ perceptions on and practices for sexuality education in kindergarten. Drawing on a critical theoretical framework and on data collected through semi-structured interviews and classroom observations, this presentation outlines the findings of this study. Specifically, while sexuality education was viewed favorably by teachers and as important for young learners, I discuss how narrow views of young children limited the ways in which sexuality education was implemented in the kindergarten classroom. 


Dr. Linda Morra 

Jane Rule and The Body Politic: Imagining the Futures of LGBTIQ+ Communities 

In the 1970s, in support of the Toronto-based queer liberation magazine, The Body Politic (1971-1987), lesbian novelist and activist Jane Rule (1931-2007) began to write under a column provocatively titled, “So’s Your Grandmother.” One contribution to the column, titled “Why I Write for the Body Politic,” followed the historic raid of the magazine’s offices by the Metropolitan and Provincial police in 1977. In this article, she made plain her troubling and troubled avowals of inclusion, representation, and participation in the magazine’s activism; this perspective seemed to hold to a monolithic understanding of sexual liberation that others believed effected the erasure of more particular (and often lesbian) concerns, and to a sense of belonging that, as it involved struggling to access frameworks of national belonging, was also arguably predicated on a singular notion of sexuality and race. Rule anticipated and embraced the plurality of the LGBTIQ+ community, while negotiating her literary career and protecting her commitments to the gay and lesbian, feminist, and writing communities as they self-identified at the time. This talk will address how Rule carefully navigated her place in the cultural, socio-political, and literary imaginary of which she believed she was a part—even when and if she was not seen in reciprocal terms; her imagined sense of community anticipated, even if problematically, the reaches and valences of an emergent LGBTIQ+ community.  


Dr. Vicki Chartrand, Trevor Coulombe (Master’s Student) & Josiane Tremblay-Ross (Master’s Student) 

Picturing Sustainable Cities: A Comparative Photovoice Study in Montreal 

In 2021, Statistics Canada reported that 73.7% of Canadians resided in large urban centers, a trend showing continued growth, particularly in Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) with populations over 100,000. Simultaneously, climate change has proven to be one of, if not the most, significant, threats to urban populations worldwide. As a result of both factors, environmental issues, such as equitable access to green spaces, noise pollution, heat island effects, and poor water and air quality, continue to proliferate. Montreal is at the forefront of tackling these urban sustainability challenges, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% and expand green spaces. However, there is a notable lack of comprehensive understanding about how eco-policies affect the everyday lives of citizens, and even less clarity exists on the local-level perspectives and experiences of individuals in cities adapting to ecological and climate challenges. This research project aims to fill this gap by exploring community perceptions of Montreal’s green initiatives under the Sustainable Montreal Plan 2016-2020 and the City of Montreal’s Vision 2030. Using Photovoice methodology, a participatory approach that combines photography with narrative, this research will compare two neighbourhoods in Montreal. Over two months, participants will be introduced to Photovoice, equipped with cameras to capture images of environmental resources or hazards impacting their lives, and then discuss their photo narratives. The resulting photo narratives will visually and textually represent how its citizens experience Montreal’s sustainability efforts. This approach encourages critical dialogue between policymakers and citizens and will promote ecological participation. 

“There has been an outpouring of initiatives regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (MMIWG2S+) by their loved ones and families, all at the grassroots level. Through these initiatives’ strong focus on connections and relationality, we can see that they answer a need for solutions to the ongoing colonial violence that go beyond the general expectations asked of the Canadian government. In fact, this points to a clear problem in leaving the Canadian government to be in charge of addressing colonial violence. Based in community engaged scholarship and from the standpoint of a White scholar inspired by Indigenous methodology, my research will build on Dr. Vicki Chartrand’s publicly available 500+ Indigenous Grassroots Resource Collection in collaboration with the Unearthing Justices Partnership, focusing on three types of MMIWG2S+ initiatives, namely walks, marches, and the creation of monuments. I will explore in depth the relationality involved in these initiatives through the analysis of documents such as news articles and Facebook pages. Through this exploration, I will look at the multitude of ways these initiatives contribute to building and caring for the connections between people, as well as between people and land, and how this approach to relationality fulfills needs that are required in addressing the core of colonial violence.” 


Dr. Juan Francisco Núñez 

Collaborative Work in Value Chains: Lessons Learned From a Vehicle Manufacturing Triad 

Collaborative work between dissimilar organizations is a phenomenon of great relevance for Supply Chain Management studies. The abilities and resources that firms possess and exchange to support interorganizational work have, for several years, aroused the interest of academics and practitioners. There are recurring questions surrounding inter-firm collaboration: Does collaboration pay off? Are there winners and losers? Can collaboration result in superior performance? Drawing on relational dynamics’ theory, we present evidence of inter-firm collaboration collected in a value chain: an Original Equipment Manufacturer, a Third-Party Logistics service provider, and First-Tier suppliers. The objective is to shed light on the ways collaboration contributes to the performance of the studied manufacturing triad. Results suggest that inter-firm collaboration translates into operational and relational performance. Operational performance stems as simplified processes and transactions, accuracy of financial projections, cost containment, and economies of scale. Relational performance conveys into knowledge sharing, knowledge enhancement, complexity reduction, and value appropriation. 


Dr. Russell Butler 

Unlocking Neuroanatomy: Insights from Long-Term Consumer-Grade Wearables Monitoring 

Consumer-grade wearables have the potential to revolutionize modern medicine by providing continuous and long-term biometrics at the population scale. In particular, features of the photoplethysmography (PPG) and accelerometer signals have been linked to a wide range of diseases and disorders, showing promise for detection of early warning signs of cerebral and cardiovascular disorder. However, we still lack a basic understanding of how long-term PPG recording features are linked to anatomical and functional variability across a healthy population. To address this, we acquired long-term (1 month) PPG recording as well as functional and structural MRI in a sample (n=52) of healthy young adults. We find that individuals with higher heartrate variability (HRV) have both increased gray matter volume and thickness across the brain. Individuals with a faster heartrate, however, had reduced gray matter volume and thickness. We also defined a ‘sleep quality index’ based on the accelerometer recordings at night, finding reduced gray matter volume and thickness in individuals with poor sleep quality. Finally, overall ‘activity levels’ derived from the smartwatch accelerometer were associated with reduced gray matter volume across most of the brain. To our knowledge this is the first study showing that it is possible to infer features of an individual’s neuroanatomy based solely on signals acquired from consumer-grade wearables, and important step towards individualized medicine based on continuous monitoring of an individual’s heartrate and activity patterns over time. 


Dr. Sarah McGinnis 

Educational Accountability: A Case Study of the Creation, Implementation and Cancellation of the Math Proficiency Test in Ontario, Canada 

This thesis examines the evolution of the Math Proficiency Test (MPT), a large-scale teacher certification test in Ontario Canada that was initiated in 2019 and was cancelled due to a court challenge in 2021. Designed as a large-scale computer-based evaluation for prospective teachers, the MPT focused on mathematical content knowledge and pedagogy. The study uses a mixed methods research design to explore the creation, implementation, and cancellation of the MPT. Because of the complexity surrounding the MPT a case study method is used to look at the test within a bounded timeframe. Using a case study model, complex relationships between seven educational accountabilities (bureaucratic/ administrative, legal, market, moral, performance, political, and professional) are analyzed. Through document analysis, surveys, and interviews, the multiple views from connected stakeholders are examined. These include teacher candidates, professors at Faculties of Education, politicians, and others. This study brings a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted issues of implementing a large-scale teacher certification exam. The findings also address the inherent conflicts and overlaps in educational accountabilities. Ultimately, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of the complexity of educational accountability. 


Dr. Courtney Plante 

Letters from Equestria: Fan Communities and Resilience 

“Anime, Star Wars, My Little Pony… Are these trivial hobbies for those with too much idle time, or are they a framework for community-building, social support, and resilience? Let Dr. Courtney Plante, a social psychologist and a fan himself, walk you through the sometimes weird, but endlessly fascinating world of psychological research on fan communities.” 


Dr. Hamsa Gururaj 

Applying a Person-Oriented Approach to Study Workplace Aggression: Implications for Emotional Well-being 

To date, most studies on workplace aggression have focused on the frequency with little or no attention directed toward the severity of these behaviours (Aquino & Tau, 2009; Hershcovis, 2011). Considering both the frequency and severity of aggression and using a person-oriented approach with a broad sample of 200 employees across several sectors, we identified four victim subgroups sharing similar configurations of frequency and severity of aggression: high-high (high levels of frequency and severity; 15%), moderate-moderate (moderate levels of frequency and severity; 15%), high-low (high frequency but low severity; 26.5%), and low-low (lowest levels of frequency and severity; 43%). Further, we examined the relationship between victim groups, social demographics, and victim disposition. The results showed that women, young, and lower-tenured employees are at risk of belonging to the high-high victim group. In addition, employees with high negative affect and psychopathy traits are at risk of belonging to the high-high victim group. Drawing upon learned helplessness theory, we examined whether victim groups differed concerning internalizing problems. Results suggest that high-high group victims experienced the highest anxiety, loss of confidence, and social dysfunction, whereas low-low group members experienced the lowest levels. 


Dr. Jade Savage 

Beyond Surveillance Data: Exploring the Full Potential of the eTick Platform. 

Since the launch of its public interface in the province of Québec in 2017, the eTick web platform has expanded its coverage across Canada and accumulated about fifty thousand georeferenced tick records (and associated images) in its public database. As with most monitoring programs, the scientific value of the eTick surveillance data set increases over time and it has now reached enough maturity to be integrated in various regional and national research initiatives studying the rapidly evolving distribution of ticks in Canada. eTick, however, has more to offer than just a large set of data points updated in real-time. The ever-growing image database can be used for training and developing new identification tools. The platform can also be used to communicate with users and recruit targeted specimens and/or study participants, and, along with the social media branch of the project, to create and disseminate new material for education and prevention. In this presentation we will showcase selected research, training, and service initiatives linked to eTick and explore opportunities for new applications and collaborations. 


Joanne Pattison-Meek 

High School Students’ Perceptions of Student Teachers and the Teaching Practicum 

The teaching practicum is a significant component of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs in preparing student teachers for classroom teaching (Kitchen & Petrarca, 2016). Field experiences presumably offer sound pedagogical learning, so much so that Darling-Hammond and Baratz-Snowden (2005) refer to them as “the most pervasive pedagogy in teacher education” (p. 42). Despite the prevalence of the teaching practicum in ITE programs across the globe, the ways classroom students experience practicum is not a common focus of scholarship. Given that classroom students are implicated in the teaching practicum by virtue of their presence in a student teacher’s classroom, they presumably experience practice teaching in ways that differ from the student teacher, the mentor teacher, and the university/faculty supervisor (Pattison-Meek, 2024). This research talk will share the results of a qualitative study drawing on student group interviews in the province of Quebec. High school students (n=57) were asked to share their perceptions and understandings of the teaching practicum as members of recent courses that had hosted a student teacher. Student participants reported feeling both sympathy and empathy toward their student teachers. Thematically, sympathy describes participants expressed understanding that it is likely challenging for student teachers to fill the role of an experienced teacher. Empathy is a theme that describes students’ feelings of connection to student teachers, based on their perception that they, like them, are also students – and therefore support student teachers’ success because they see themselves reflected as fellow learners. Classroom students also shared that they could play a role in the development of student teachers’ professional learning. 


Dr. Julia Ros Cuellar 

Building Policy Coherence for Food Systems Transformation: the Case of Quebec 

Food systems are relevant in international sustainability discussions due to their dual nature: they are fundamental for survival, and at the same time, one of the major drivers of climate change, land-use change, and biodiversity loss. Therefore, their transformation is imperative (Springmann et al., 2018). This “requires novel approaches for envisaging and realizing radically progressive yet attainable futures” (Valencia et al., 2022) which help to balance out dystopian narratives, and facilitate dialogue and participatory research. An integral transformation of food systems needs to engage with changing the institutional landscape, the sets of norms values, and relations between public, private, and organized society stakeholders, thereby contributing to more coherent arrangements and policies supporting systemic transformation (Häbel & Hakala, 2021). A coherent institutional landscape should engage with a collectively constructed normative baseline, so the policies respond to sustainability challenges, including the ones faced by the stakeholders from the farm to the fork. Hence, we present a research project that aims to identify: 1) challenges presented by the institutional landscape for sustainability transformations in food systems through policy coherence analysis and 2) leverage points for sustainability transitions using participatory scenario-building tools. We propose a novel analytical framework by integrating Geels’ Multilevel Perspective model (MLP, 2011) with participatory scenario building (namely, three horizons framework) and policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD). MLP allows understanding of the system dynamics of food systems; Three Horizons helps us to build participatory scenarios identifying leverage points and normative sustainable futures and PCSD identifies constraints that farmers face due to a misalignment of policies with sustainable transformation and the. We apply this analytical framework in a case study in Quebec, notable in Canada for its organic food consumption, extensive organic land management, and policies promoting sustainable food systems research and education (Bardati, forthcoming). We seek to contribute to a deeper understanding of systems transformation and pinpoint crucial policy opportunities for food systems transformation 


Dr. Tshidi Thaane 

Mindfulness-Based South African Indigenous Dance as Adjunct Therapy for Anxiety: A Pilot Study  

An increasing number of university students are experiencing anxiety, while resources to help them remain scarce. One of the approaches to ameliorate mental health challenges and to enhance wellbeing, which has not been adequately explored in this population, is dance/movement therapy (DMT). DMT is based on the empirically supported assertion that body and mind are inseparable and in constant reciprocal interaction. DMT employs specific methods and exercises, but it seems that simply learning dance and moving with others in harmony can have positive effects on cardiovascular, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. Thus, we decided to evaluate the effects of learning Indigenous South African Dance (Indlamu), alone or in combination with mindfulness exercises, on anxiety and life satisfaction. We opted to combine dance with mindfulness because of the relatively well-documented benefits of mindfulness on anxiety. We hypothesize that adding mindfulness to dance intervention will have augmented benefits on the alleviation of anxiety compared to dance alone and that both active conditions (dance and dance plus mindfulness) will be superior to the control group on the waitlist. 


Dr. Fabian Clarvijo 

Association of Visuo-Motor and Performance Indicators in Baseball Batters 

Visuo-motor skills (VMS) are critical to successfully execute interceptive motor skills such as baseball batting. Identifying VMS contribution to the execution of baseball skills at the high-performance level provides relevant information to support talent selection and development. However, the association between VMS and batting performance in baseball players remain unclear because of limited evidence and contradictory results. Specifically, some studies have revealed that VMS predict better batting performance in game statistics. Conversely, other set of results revealed that performance in batting task is not affected within certain values of induced visual impairment. Therefore, the aim of this project is to explore the association between a full spectrum of visuo-motor variables and a set of performance indicators of baseball batting. Forty-five highly trained male baseball players aged 17.25 years old on average (SD = 1.0), and 11.15 years of baseball practice on average (SD = 2.4), underwent a thorough battery of generic optometric and visuo-motor tests under standardized conditions. Twenty-two variables of VMS were selected and associated to performance indicators such as game statistics, coaches’ rankings, players’ position, years of practice and age.  Results revealed significant associations in only 27 (8.77 %) of the 308 comparisons between VMS and batting performance variables. In conclusion, this study reinforces the limited relation between VMS evaluated by generic tests and batting performance.  


Dr. Weixiang Yu 

Watching Massive Black Holes Devour with the Most Sensitive Eye on Earth 

For every massive galaxy in our Universe, there is a massive black hole residing at its centre. Instead of remaining dormant, some of these massive black holes can devour matter up to ten times the mass of our Sun each year. The upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), to be conducted at the Rubin Observatory in Chile, will allow us to observe tens of millions of hungry massive black holes consuming matter over a period of 10 years. Using data from LSST, I will investigate how the appetite of these black holes’ changes with their mass and environment, and examine what insights these correlations can provide into the fundamental laws of physics under extreme gravitational conditions. 


Benjamin Tabah (Master’s Student) 

Death Drama 

Can a theatre production exploring the panhuman themes of death and dying promote understanding, dialogue, and a more open attitude towards end of life? This is a question that I am exploring in a multi-disciplinary individualized masters in humanities using the methodology of artistic practice as research, which involves using the creation of art as a method of generating new knowledge and insights. This presentation will include a staged reading of an excerpt of an early draft of a new play and a short description of the master’s program being pursued.  

Don’t miss the play’s reading by: Dr. Gregory Brophy, Jenn Cianca, Jamie Crooks, Mary Harvey and Benjamin Tabah 


Daniela Villegas Martinez MSc (Class of 2019) 

Beyond the Incubator: My NICU Research Experience 

Thanks to Research Week in 2016, I gained knowledge on how to embark on my journey in the research field. Eight years later, I find myself working at one of Canada’s most prominent pediatric hospitals. Graduating in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Biochemistry, followed by a Master’s degree in Medical Physiology, laid a strong foundation for my current role in conducting research at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, specifically in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In my presentation, I will elucidate the processes involved in NICU research, including the various types of projects we undertake, our target population, and the significance of our research endeavors in this critical area. Additionally, I would like to share with students interested in research how to gain valuable experience in the field and emphasize the importance of acquiring this experience prior to graduation. 

Meet Dr. Juan Francisco Núñez: A Harmonious Symbiosis Between Industry and Academia

Dr. Juan Francisco Núñez

Dr. Juan Francisco Núñez was drawn to Bishop’s University (B.U.) because of its range of advantages for aspiring academics. One of just three English-language universities in Quebec, B.U. offers a unique educational setting that attracted him: Dr. Núñez especially highlights the campus’s intimate size, which allows personalized learning experiences through small class sizes and cultivates strong student-teacher relationships. The diverse student body at B.U. also enhances classroom dynamics by bringing together individuals from varied backgrounds and nationalities, creating the perfect dynamic learning environment he was looking for.

At Bishop’s, Dr. Núñez intends to expand the applied research in sustainability, covering diverse areas such as sustainable food value chains, green manufacturing/production, collaborative business models, and responsible consumption. His vision for sustainability research spans multiple disciplines, including sustainable food value chains, green manufacturing, and responsible consumption, offering promising avenues for future exploration.

His academic journey has been driven by a longstanding fascination with organizational dynamics, particularly within the realm of inter-firm interactions. This passion led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international trade, followed by a Master’s degree in administration, followed by doctoral studies in business administration. Balancing work responsibilities alongside his PhD studies provided him with invaluable insights across various domains, including transportation, quality standards, certifications, supply chain management, procurement, and sustainability, thereby laying the groundwork for his interdisciplinary research interests.

Currently, Dr. Núñez is engaged in two distinct research streams. The first stream focuses on exploring the balance between sustainable and lean operations, shedding light on the challenges faced by corporations in adopting environmentally friendly manufacturing practices. This collaborative effort involves researchers from both Canada and Brazil, aiming to bridge international perspectives. The second stream is in its early stages and aims to optimize food distribution to support sustainable agriculture, food security, and traceability. This endeavour entails collaboration with a multitude of partners, including private corporations, non-profit organizations, and crop producers.

The future is promising for Dr. Núñez, given the unique dimensions of his research topics, particularly within the topics of agriculture and food business. The significance of his research in these areas is unmistakable, given the pivotal role of food in human survival, health, and economic development. His work on efficient food distribution, sustainable operations, and food systems traceability addresses critical issues within academic and professional spheres alike, promising impactful contributions to society at large.

Joannie St-Germain M.Sc. (she/her/elle)
Research Officer
Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Graduate Student Numa Karolinski: Thermodynamics and scalar-tensor gravity

Numa Karolinski

Numa Karolinski, a graduate student at Bishop’s University, is engaged in a research project under the supervision of Professor Valerio Faraoni of the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Numa’s research stems from a lifelong passion for theoretical physics, particularly astrophysics and cosmology. This fascination naturally drew him to the first-order thermodynamics of scalar-tensor gravity, which aims to explain gravitational phenomena. He now explores the potential of scalar-tensor gravity to be described as an imperfect fluid and by the Tolman-Ehrenfest criterion, which argues that temperature is not constant in space but varies depending on spacetime metric.

Employing analytical solutions and mathematical programming, Numa’s work contributes to understanding cosmological details by offering an alternative theory to gravity, something that has been sought after for decades. Discovering such a theory would be of immense value to physicists, given the tension between General Relativity and the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Additionally, Numa hopes to address the mysteries of the accelerated expansion of space as well as inflation, via the link between scalar fields and cosmological phenomena.

Numa plans to become a physics professor and will thus pursue a physics Ph.D. in Canada after his time at Bishop’s. He hopes to be able to use his academic position to advocate for causes important to him as he progresses in the academic world.

Signatures of Massive Black Hole Merger Host Galaxies from Cosmological Simulations: Unique Galaxy Morphologies in Imaging

Jaeden Bardati, John J. Ruan, Daryl Haggard, and Michael Tremmel

Signatures of Massive Black Hole Merger Host Galaxies

The recent detection of ripples in space-time called gravitational waves from the merger of two small black holes was a breakthrough discovery that led to the award of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Over the next decade, gravitational wave experiments are expected to also detect the mergers of more massive black holes, such as the massive black holes at the centres of galaxies. As galaxies such as the Milky Way grow over cosmic time through mergers with other galaxies, we also expect their central massive black holes to merge due to gravity, generating gravitational waves. When we detect the gravitational waves from a massive black hole merger, identifying the host galaxy in the sky with telescopes will enable a first look at the environment around the merging black holes. However, gravitational wave detectors have poor spatial resolution, and can only localize the massive black hole merger to a large region of the sky in which there lies many galaxies: how do we identify the exact galaxy hosting the massive black hole merger detected by gravitational waves?

A recent manuscript published in The Astrophysical Journal by Jaeden Bardati (BU ‘23, now PhD student in physics at Caltech) under the supervision of Prof. John Ruan in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Bishop’s aims to answer this question. They propose that the host galaxies of merging massive black holes may have unique shapes, which can be used to identify the exact host galaxy. To understand these unique shapes, they analyzed a cosmological simulation, in which they used supercomputers to simulate the formation and evolution of galaxies in a large volume of the Universe, based on the laws of physics. They selected galaxies in the simulation that host massive black hole mergers and generated synthetic telescope images by computing the expected light from stars in each galaxy. The figure below shows examples of synthetic images of three galaxies from the simulation hosting massive black hole mergers (top row), as well as three similar galaxies from a control sample without massive black hole merger for comparison (bottom row). They measured and studied the shapes of these galaxies using machine-learning techniques. The key finding is that galaxies with massive black hole mergers have more prominent bulges, which are the massive spherical clumps of stars at the centres of galaxies. This bulge component of galaxies is thought to be produced by galaxy mergers. Since these galaxy mergers also lead to massive black hole mergers, the prominent bulges in galaxies naturally act as signposts for massive black hole mergers detected in gravitational waves.

In the coming years, gravitational wave experiments are expected to make the first detection of a massive black hole merger at the centre of a galaxy. When this landmark discovery occurs, teams of astronomers will use telescopes to identify the host galaxy (in part through their prominent bulges based on this study) and investigate the properties of the merger. These frontier multi-messenger observations that combine the ‘cosmic messengers’ of gravitational waves and light promise to unveil the mysterious origin of massive black holes in the early Universe, and their growth over cosmic time.

Connection Grant 2023 with Sunny Man Chu Lau and Collaborators

Project: Language-friendly schools: Research-based linguistically and culturally inclusive equitable education practices.

Congratulations to Sunny Lau, co-investigator, along with colleagues Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman from the University of Toronto serving as the Principal Investigator, as well as Rahat Zaidi from the University of Alberta and Margaret Early from University of British Columbia on receiving the 2023 Connection Grant!

The Connection project aims to advance the use of inclusive and equitable language practices while disseminating research-validated pedagogy cultivated through the Language Friendly School initiative. Language Friendly Schools are committed to implementing a comprehensive approach that integrates evidence-based practices to promote linguistic and cultural inclusion. Presently, the global network of Language Friendly Schools comprises 35 institutions across four continents, including Indigenous, public, and private schools, as well as those situated in refugee camps.

Through the awarded grant, the team will organize a two-day conference for practitioners and the public to showcase exemplary inclusive language practices at the macro (school community), meso (school), and micro (classroom) levels. These practices will be drawn from the experiences and recommendations of educators affiliated with Canada’s five Language Friendly schools. Subsequently, the conference will be followed by a half-day meeting involving a core group of participants, including ministry and school board personnel and researchers. During this session, attendees will reflect on challenges identified in the conference, reflect on their research and experiential knowledge, and develop a strategic plan for advancing linguistic and cultural inclusion within the Canadian education system.

Dr. Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman

Dr. Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman,
OISE/University of Toronto

Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau, Bishop’s University

Tri-Agency – Master’s Scholarships Recipients for 2023-24

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies is thrilled to announce recipients of the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s as well as the Indigenous Scholars Award from the federal agencies for Bishop’s University for the 2023-24 school year.

For the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Bishop’s University was allocated a quota of two (2) for the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s. The recipients for 2023-24 are:

  • Sophie Bass, M.A. in Educational Studies under the joint supervision of Dr. Dawn Wiseman (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Mitchell McLarnon (McGill University).
  • Josiane Tremblay-Ross, Individualized M.A. in Sociology and Justice under the joint supervision of Dr. Vicki Chartrand (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Alex Miltsov (Bishop’s University).

For the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Bishop’s University was allocated a quota of one (1). The recipient for 2023-24 is:

  • Jared Derek Sparr, Individualized M.Sc. in Biology under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Bergeron (Bishop’s University).

For the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Indigenous Scholars Award:

  • Megan Legare, Individualized M.A. in Psychology and Program Evaluation under the joint supervision of Dr. Heather Lawford (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Vicki Chartrand (Bishop’s University).

For the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Black Scholars Award:

  • Kyra Simons, Individualized M.A. in Psychology under the joint supervision of Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Adrianna Mendrek (Bishop’s University).


Exploring the Impacts of Visual Arts on Student Engagement and Self-Efficacy

Sophie Bass

Sophie Bass, M.A. in Educational Studies under the joint supervision of Dr. Dawn Wiseman (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Mitchell McLarnon (McGill University).

The purpose of Sophie’s research is to describe and analyze the impacts that visual arts have on student engagement and self-efficacy at the elementary school level. Using aspects of arts-based educational research (ABER; Barone & Eisner, 2011) as her methodology, her study fuses artmaking and qualitative research strategies to gather student insights on the value of visual arts as it relates to their level of educational engagement and self-efficacy. This is the first study in Quebec that explores the beneficial nature of visual arts education from the perspective of student engagement and self-efficacy. Findings will be especially useful to teachers working with students who are disengaged from school, and students who are struggling with the current structure of Quebec schools that, ultimately, lead them to dropping out. Sophie received her B.A. in Educational Studies and B.Ed. from Bishop’s University. She has been an elementary school teacher for ten years and is currently working at Vision School, a private trilingual elementary school in Sherbrooke.


Comparative Thematic Analysis of Community-Based Approaches to Justice, Self-Determination, and Sovereignty

Josiane Tremblay-Ross

Josiane Tremblay-Ross, Individualized M.A. in Sociology and Justice under the joint supervision of Dr. Vicki Chartrand (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Alex Miltsov (Bishop’s University).

As conceptualized in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, justice is traditionally conceived of as something that only resides in the hands of the state or the criminal justice system. The inquiry’s final report contains 231 Calls for Justice that must be enacted in the many areas of life, broad yet interconnected, from which the violence against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA (MMIWG2S+) people is born. To broadly address the violence, justice needs to be understood as far more than a state response. As justice is so often conflated with the justice system, so is sovereignty frequently understood as synonymous with the state. From the premise that justice is inextricable from practices of self-determination and sovereignty, Josiane’s research will build on Dr. Chartrand’s publicly available 500+ Indigenous Grassroots Resource Collection to reconsider practices of justice, self-determination, and sovereignty through a comparative thematic analysis of the strategies enacted in Indigenous grassroots initiatives for MMIWG2S+ people. Josiane Tremblay-Ross is a Master’s student under the supervision of Dr. Vicki Chartrand and Dr. Alex Miltsov in the Department of Sociology at Bishop’s University, from which she also completed her Honours in Sociology in 2022.


Bioaccumulation and Physiological/Behavioral Effects of a Common Pesticide Mix on Pond Snails

Jared Derek Sparr

Jared Derek Sparr, Individualized M.Sc. in Biology under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Bergeron (Bishop’s University).

Modern farming and crop varieties heavily rely upon various agrochemicals that can accumulate in soil, water, and living organisms. Chemicals often also mix when entering a natural waterway due to agricultural runoff. Mixtures are generally more toxic than individual chemicals and can have unpredictable effects. Predators, parasites, and competitors can all receive exposure and accumulate chemicals through the ingestion of contaminated prey. To account for these components in an experiment designed to test the toxicity of a pesticide mixture, the focus must be placed on simple trophic interactions utilizing well-studied model organisms (such as the Great Pond Snail (Lymnaea stagnalis)) for a complete understanding of biological responses. Our experimental design includes outdoor mesocosms (enclosed pond environments) containing both pond snails and their food (microbial/algal communities that form a pond biofilm) to assess chronic (28 days) toxicity of a seven-compound common pesticide mix found in water surrounding corn/soybean farms of Quebec. Snails will be measured for growth, bioaccumulation, enzyme activity, protein composition, explorative behaviour, and reaction time. The potential of ecosystem recovery will also be assessed by evaluating low concentrations. This design aims to properly assess the environmental toxicity of these compounds and complement water survey data from the Ministère de l’environnement et de la lutte aux changements climatiques (MELCC) in southern Quebec. Results from this project will be directly translated to end user agronomists through the Réseau Québécois de recherche en agriculture durable (RQRAD) with evidence of the benefits of changing agricultural practices.


Engaging Indigenous Youth Using a Generativity Lens

Megan Legare

Megan Legare, Individualized M.A. in Psychology and Program Evaluation under the joint supervision of Dr. Heather Lawford (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Vicki Chartrand (Bishop’s University).

Megan Legare is Kanien’kehá: ka and her family has ties to Kahnawake. Her Indigenous identity informed a lot of her work in the last few years. She completed her undergrad in Psychology in 2022 at Bishop’s University with a Minor in Criminology, in addition to completing an honours. All of Megan’s research since her honours has been focused on Indigenous ways of knowing and amplifying Indigenous voices. Her supervisors, Dr. Heather Lawford and Dr. Vicki Chartrand, have been with her since her honours. Megan is currently working on multiple projects that focus on Indigenous youth, decolonizing spaces and generativity (leaving a legacy of the self behind by working with the next generation). With the Students Commission of Canada, she co-created the content for a conference on youth generativity and reconciliation, which is a central piece of her Master’s thesis. The conference centers on Indigenous voices and knowledge to discuss generativity and reconciliation. Megan’s projects focus on centring Indigenous youth voices and their experience at this conference. She is interested in understanding the relationship Indigenous youth have to Indigenous ways of knowing, in addition to youth generativity in the context of reconciliation. Lastly, decolonizing spaces is an important part of Megan’s work. Outside of her work in research, Megan has been delivering truth and reconciliation workshops across Canada and has been interning at the Justice Exchange Center. Megan hopes that her work can empower Indigenous youth voices and accurately represents them, to foster change.


Children’s perceptions of an art-based intervention on their mental health and well-being

Kyra Simons

Kyra Simons, Individualized M.Sc. in Psychology under the joint supervision of Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise (Bishop’s University) and Dr. Adrianna Mendrek (Bishop’s University).

The individualized program has allowed Kyra and her supervisors to create a degree that aligns with Kyra’s post-graduate plans. She has learned about art therapy and positive psychology through her courses, gained quantitative and qualitative research experience, presented at various international conferences, and led numerous guest lectures over the first year of her degree. Kyra’s master’s research focuses on the effects of art-based interventions on the mental health and well-being of children. Conducting this work has solidified Kyra’s passion for community-based research, as she has worked directly alongside a local after-school program to design this study. In addition to this project, she has additional research experience in positive psychology and eco-anxiety. Currently, Kyra is analyzing the data for her master’s thesis, and writing an article on her work in positive psychology that she aims to publish. Kyra hopes to pursue a PhD in cultural psychology following the completion of her master’s degree.

FRQ Summer-Internship Scholarship with Elisa Philibert: Creating Resources to Support Parents’ Conversations on Sexuality Education with their Young Children

Elisa Philibert

“My goal is to spread awareness surrounding sexuality.”

Elisa Philibert’s research aims to understand and improve sex education in the demographic of young children (aged 3 to 8 years old). Working with Dr. Jessica Prioletta, they first focused on how teachers were currently implementing the sexuality education program in schools. While researching the topic and looking into the academic literature on the subject, they noticed that the “parents” factor was always named as a barrier that prevented teachers from implementing courses about sexuality. The goal of Elisa’s research is thus to find ways to support teachers… by supporting parents!

Currently, Elisa is looking into how parents’ comfort levels in teaching sexuality to their own children can grow if they are provided with resources, training, and information on the subject. She was motivated to remove the discomfort surrounding sex education by finding ways to make parents comfortable with the topics of sexuality and encounters in a home setting as well as a school setting.

The idea of researching sexuality in young children came mainly from a desire to add to the academic literature tackling the myth of childhood innocence that often creates perceptions that children should not be exposed to sex education or would be “shocked” if they were to find out about their own bodies. The existing literature had been focused on parents teaching their teenagers about sexuality, but Elisa noticed little was available on educating the younger children. Moreover, most of the research on sexuality education of parents to young children does not provide ways of addressing the discomfort that has been found among parents.

Therefore, Elisa’s research contributes to the existing academic debate by addressing new ways of approaching the topic by putting the theory into action. The main objective is to cooperate with parents to create positive and inclusive resources that can help them support their young children by opening conversations on anatomy, consent, gender and sexual orientation.

Elisa gathered and created resources such as books and activities to put together a research-curated resources kit. She has 10 English-speaking parent participants from the Lennoxville / Sherbrooke area who have children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old. In the first phase, she interviewed them to understand their sex education background, what education they received as children and what subjects they were already talking about with their own children. In the second phase, Elisa provided them with group training and each parent received a box of resources that they had 1 month and a half to use at home with their children. In the final phase, parents brought back the boxes and participated in group interviews during which they provided feedback on the boxes and explained if and how it helped them address the topic of sex education with their own children.

Elisa is now analyzing the data and identifying recurring themes that parents touched on, as well as seeing how having the box tool kit and prior training helped.

After Bishop’s, Elisa plans to pursue a Master’s degree and would love to someday work with organizations that spread awareness surrounding sexuality.

Joannie St-Germain M.Sc.
Research Officer
Office of Research and Graduate Studies

FRQ Summer-Internship Scholarship with Jasmine Piché

Using art is a beautiful way to express and discover oneself.

Jasmine Piché is a fourth year undergraduate student in the Psychology program.

Jasmine Piché

The focus of Jasmine’s summer research internship was centered around art-based intervention programs designed, by Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, for elementary students. The project investigates a diverse range of mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpting, and engaging practices like meditation and mindfulness, movement and dance therapy, and literature tailored for children. The study extends further to encompass areas such as positive psychology, philosophy tailored to children, outdoor-based activities, and the principles of self-determination theory. By investigating this multifaceted approach, the research seeks to uncover the potential benefits of these interventions in fostering creativity, emotional well-being, and personal growth among young learners. Jasmine chose this research topic from her love of working with children and the fascination that comes with them. The notion of art as an educative medium, particularly for children, further fueled her interest. Exploring how art-based interventions can nurture young minds, foster personal growth, and provide an alternative means of education became a compelling drive for her research interest.

The primary objectives and research questions driving the study revolve around several key areas: 1) explore the impact of art-based intervention programs on the mental health and overall well-being of elementary students, 2) seek to investigate children’s perceptions of art-based activities and 3) address the acceptability and feasibility of implementing such art-based programs within an educational context. By addressing these objectives and research questions, the study aims to shed light on the multifaceted benefits and implications of art-based interventions for elementary students. Dr. Malboeuf-Hurtubise’s research methodology uses a qualitative approach to incorporate elements of a mixed-methods strategy. Following each art-based session throughout the study, focus groups enabled a collective exploration of the experiences and insights gained by the elementary students. Additionally, individual interviews will be conducted with the children, allowing for a more in-depth understanding of their personal journeys and the impact of the art-based interventions on their well-being and development.

This research project contributes to the existing knowledge by acknowledging that art-based interventions can foster creativity and facilitate emotional expression among children, and this study offers a new perspective by examining the adaptation of such interventions specifically within a school setting. By focusing on the integration of art-based activities into the curriculum, the research advances our understanding of how these interventions can be effectively implemented as a structured educational tool. Moreover, the project explores which artistic medium holds the greatest appeal and efficacy for children, and one of the distinct contributions of this research lies in its exploration of adapting art-based interventions for children with various special needs, including learning disabilities and language impairments. By customizing these interventions to accommodate diverse learning profiles, the study contributes to a more inclusive and holistic approach to education and therapy.

This research project provided Jasmine with a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with children from diverse backgrounds. By working directly with children and observing the effects of these interventions, she applied the theoretical knowledge learned during her undergraduate program to real-world scenarios. Jasmine plans to pursue a path in clinical psychology: “I am considering the possibility of obtaining a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. in this field. My aim is to advance my knowledge and expertise in clinical psychology, with a particular focus on providing therapeutic interventions and support to individuals facing mental health challenges.”

Individualized Master’s with Rebecca Benyk, Bishop’s Graduate 2023: Impact of Injuries on Undergraduate Athletes’ Socioemotional Well-being, Coping Skills, and Athletic Identity

Rebecca Benyk

My professional interests lie in conducting research and engaging in clinical work pertaining to sport, exercise psychology, health psychology, as well as concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

Recently graduated with distinction from Bishop’s in June 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Honours) & Business, Rebecca will be starting a Master of Science program in the fall of 2023. During her undergraduate studies, Rebecca decided to embark on an Honours project with Dr. Emma Green that focused on the student-athletes’ socioemotional well-being, athletic identity, and coping skills. To gain a wide range of response data, the project utilized an online survey that asked participants for demographic information, athletic identity, psychological wellness at the time of the injury, and self-perception. The recruitment of the participants was achieved by an online survey, which collected over 450 responses in less than three weeks. This was achieved through social media outreach along with presentations to Sports Studies and Psychology classes on campus to further share the research. During the Winter 2023 semester, Rebecca had the opportunity to present her research at the Bishop’s University Congress of Sports Studies in addition to the Bishop’s University Research Week poster session.

At graduation, Rebecca received the Dr. Shannon Gadbois Prize for Psychological Research, which is awarded annually to two graduating Psychology students who wrote the best Honours dissertations. Her Master’s project will be a continuation from the findings of her undergraduate Honours Thesis. The aim of the project is to learn more about the differences between specific sports and injuries and how those factors, as well as individual and community support, affect the recovery process. Therefore, one of the questions Rebecca is asking during her research is if there are any significant differences between individual and team sports. Other questions include if specific coping mechanisms (e.g., emotion-focused versus problem-focused coping) play a role in protecting student-athletes’ well-being following an injury, how specific community support systems may influence the recovery process, and the roles of coaches, physiotherapists, teammates, etc. and their impact on the student-athletes’ post-morbid trajectory. This research will combine quantitative and qualitative methods via online data collection from student-athletes, as well as in-depth interviews to collect more detailed perspectives and knowledge. Furthermore, during her degree, she will be engaging in a practicum within a rehabilitative therapy setting to further understand and gain insight into the role of injury and recovery in individuals’ well-being and outcomes.

Being a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, the prospect of attending a Canadian university had always been a viable option for Rebecca. During her third year of high school, the realization dawned on her that urban and large campus environments did not align well with her personal preferences. Having decided against attending a larger school, her family remembered a conversation with a Bishop’s representative at an International University Fair near Rebecca’s hometown of Chicago. While visiting the Bishop’s campus, the magical architecture, smaller class sizes, and the professors’ unwavering commitment to student success immediately captivated her. As an individual who arrived from Chicago with no connections, the undergraduate experience at Bishop’s surpassed all of Rebecca’s expectations, and she feels a deep gratitude towards friends, colleagues, and the university for providing her with a warm environment to fit in and multiple growth opportunities.

While pursuing a Master’s degree at Bishop’s was not her initial plan, the anticipation to embark on this new journey remains exciting, especially with the presence of two trusted mentor professors, the Psychology Department, and B.U. as a whole. Dr. Emma Green, who served as a trusted mentor and supervisor throughout Rebecca’s undergraduate Honours Thesis process, will oversee the master’s degree program. Rebecca acknowledges that her accomplishments would not have been possible without Dr. Green’s invaluable guidance and support, for which she is immensely grateful. Additionally, Rebecca expresses deep appreciation for Dr. Joel Montanez, a highly regarded professor with whom she had the pleasure of studying Health Psychology I and II in the past year. Rebecca is honoured by Dr. Montanez’s eagerness to collaborate on this project and believes that his expertise will bring significant value. Rebecca looks forward to working closely with these professors and will do her best to make them both exceptionally proud. The Individualized Master’s program at Bishop’s offers the flexibility to adapt the curriculum to personal needs and aspirations. Firmly believing that everything happens for a reason, the continuation of her journey at Bishop’s and knowing that the time spent at this esteemed institution is far from over brings her immense happiness. She aspires to cultivate personal growth and further enhance her capabilities as an active member of the academic and research community. Her research endeavors are focused on making a positive impact on the student-athlete experience and providing valuable insights into the multifaceted aspects of their injury recovery process.

Following the completion of her Master’s degree, Rebecca envisions pursuing a PhD in either Clinical or Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Sports Psychology and her ultimate career goal is to become a Sports Psychologist. She wants to work closely with athletes and competitive teams, drawing from her background as a Team USA synchronized figure skater. Rebecca intends to provide comprehensive support to athletes through individual sessions, addressing concerns such as motivation, performance anxiety, and the challenges associated with returning to sports after an injury. Moreover, she aims to facilitate group sessions encompassing team building, resolution of interpersonal conflicts, and fostering mindset shifts. Recognizing the significance of mental health in athletes, Rebecca strongly believes in its parallel importance with physical well-being and advocates for its protection. Therefore, her professional interests lie in conducting research and engaging in clinical work pertaining to sport and exercise psychology, health psychology, as well as concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Within these domains, she is particularly intrigued by topics concerning rehabilitation and recovery from injuries, and she seeks to contribute meaningful advancements in these areas.

Rebecca received the Brenda Caruso Collegiate Scholarship, sponsored by the Chicago Figure Skating Club, every year of her undergraduate studies. She was also recently granted the Graduate Entrance Scholarship from Bishop’s University.

Joannie St-Germain M.Sc.
Research Officer
Office of Research and Graduate Studies
819-822-9600 ext. 2242