Department of Health and Society welcomes you to its 2021-2022 Research Seminar Series
Research Seminars are online from 12:00pm-1:00pm on Zoom at: https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/4891901344
For more information go to https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/healthsociety/seminar-series
Art collection explores experiences of the COVID pandemic
March 11th marked the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic. At that time, the virus had been detected in more than 100 countries, including Canada, disrupting the lives of many. To capture the UTSC community’s experience of the pandemic, the UTSC Library is launching a new digital collection. The UTSC Library’s COVID Creative Digital Collection is a public collection of creative works by students, faculty, and staff. The collection captures the pandemic’s impact on our lives and the ways we coped and made meaning of this profound disruption. Read the full story here.
No-Sew Fashion and Performance workshop with Sky Cubacub - March 8, 7-8 p.m.
Hands-on workshop by Sky Cubacub inviting participants to reimagine their wardrobe through a no-sew method and accessibility lens. Register here.
#CripRitual Panel Discussion: Repetition and Pace - March 17, 1-2 p.m.
A conversation about repetition and pace in relation to experiences of disability and ableism with artists from the exhibition #CripRitual. Register here.
UTSC OVPRI Celebration of Research Excellence Lecture Series #4 - Improving Accessibility of Reproductive Health Care for Women with Disabilities with Professor Hilary Brown - March 2, 2022, 10-11 a.m.
Despite calls from the World Health Organization and United Nations for more inclusive health care strategies, women with disabilities report being under-served in reproductive health care settings. In this talk, Dr. Brown will discuss pregnancy-related outcomes and health care experiences of women with disabilities in Ontario, with implications for creation of accessible reproductive health care services. Register here.
Black Health Studies Network providing opportunities and resources for Black students
Scoping out opportunities and charting out the next step in a career post-graduation is a daunting task for most students. But for Black students, making the connections that lead to success can often be even more difficult. 4th year student Tatyana Graham heads up the Black Health Studies Network, an organization that aims to provide a space for Black students in Health Studies to network, receive career advice, and learn about opportunities for research. Read the full story.
Outstanding student awarded DHS Black Student Excellence Award
The Department of Health and Society is pleased to announce the winner of our first Black Student Excellence Award. Third Year Bsc Neuroscience and Health Policy student Abigail Ralph was the recipient of the $600 prize, which is awarded to a student based on academic excellence and community involvement. Read the full report.
2022 UTSC Undergraduate Research and Creative Forum
The UTSC Library and the Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation are proud sponsors of the Undergraduate Research & Creative Forum (URCF). The URCF is a competitive, adjudicated event that provides an opportunity for talented University of Toronto Scarborough undergraduate students to display their scholarly and creative activities to a faculty, student and community audience, while competing for cash prizes. All UTSC undergraduate students from any major and all academic levels of study are eligible to present their work in one of two presentation streams: Creative Project or Research Project.
The Forum focuses on knowledge translation, which refers to the translation of research findings into knowledge available to others beyond academia. In the context of a creative project this will involve the student describing their creative process to the audience in order to give the audience insights into the work of creative professionals. Further information on application criteria can be found here as well as the Frequently Asked Questions. Students have until February 17, 2022 to complete their submission proposal form.
Summer Job Blitz 2022
Meet with employer reps and learn about a wide range of summer 2022 opportunities through our two networking nights, virtual recruitment hall, and more!
BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY Employer Networking Night
Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 5:00-7:00pm EST via Zoom
You'll get a chance to network with reps from: Procter & Gamble, CIBC, BMO, Interac, CGI, FLIPP, Restaurant Brands International, SSENSE, Cognizant, SOTI.
Spaces are limited. Registration required. Sign up via https://clnx.utoronto.ca/events.htm?evtId=38250
Open to students from all three UofT campuses, all programs, all years of study.
ARTS & SCIENCE, GOVERNMENT, CAMPS & NON-PROFIT Employer Networking Night
Thursday, January 20, 2022, 5:00-7:00pm EST via Zoom
You'll get a chance to network with reps from: Government of Canada, Blue Jays Foundation, KPMG, Metrolinx, City of Toronto, Tropicana Community Services, Moorelands Kids, Camp Tournesol, EastRidge Church, Skillo Marketing.
Spaces are limited. Registration required. Sign up via https://clnx.utoronto.ca/events.htm?evtId=38251
Open to students from all three UofT campuses, all programs, all years of study.
Plus our Virtual Recruitment Hall running Jan 18-Feb 27 featuring 20+ employers, summer job workshop, networking prep session and more.
Hosted by the UTSC Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC). Full details at https://bit/ly/summerjobblitz2022
UTSC scholars investigate barriers to healthcare in Africa
Scholars from University of Toronto Scarborough at the Global Health & Innovation Lab have released a series of reports assessing the conditions that make or break healthcare initiatives in African countries, and providing guidance for the successful rollout and scaling of such initiatives, looking at examples such as maternal health programs, vaccination programs, and health technology. A further article examined scaling up social franchises relating to food security. Read the full story.
Have you uploaded your proof of vaccination to UCheck yet? If not, you are at risk of being de-enrolled from your winter 2022 courses. It is your responsibility to upload proof as soon as possible. Failing to do so can impact progression through your program, future course selection, current & future OSAP funding, renewable scholarships based on course load, and study permits (Int’l students). If you upload proof of vaccination after you are removed, there is no guarantee you will be able to re-enroll in your original courses. Upload proof of vaccination here.
Congratulations to The Resemblage Project on AVA 2021 Commendation
A multimedia project led by UTSC Department of Health and Society Associate Professor Andrea Charise has won acclaim in the AVA 2021 awards, an award that recognises film and digital projects that deal with issues around ageing. The Resemblage Project won a high commendation in the Multimodal category of The Ageing and Visual Anthropology Award (AVA 2021). The award is for the best anthropological works which through the employment of visual methods address the issues surrounding ageing and the life course in creative ways, offering new modes of engagement and understanding. Read the full story
UTSC graduates support the development of Malaria Case Study
Two graduates the Department of Health and Society have collaborated on a new case study to help students understand the determinants of malaria, explore the mechanisms of popular malaria tests, and attempt to address and solve barriers relating to malaria outbreaks within Sub-Saharan Africa. Mona Jarrah, who graduated UTSC in 2019 with a double major in Neuroscience and Population Health and is now studying for a Masters in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Shawana Rahman, a 2020 graduate with a double major in Population Science and Human Biology, who is currently working toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at University of Toronto Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing developed the study alongside DHS Assistant Professor Obidimma Ezezika. The case study “A Fatal Bite: Investigating a Malaria Outbreak in Sub-Saharan Africa,” was published by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Read more here.
Friends of MSF Speakers Event
Looking to know more about Medecins Sans Frontieres organisation and what is it like to be a medical assistant to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare? Do you have any questions relating to your career path and want first-hand guidance from a medical professional? Or you would like to support medical humanitarian assistance to save lives and ease the suffering of people in crisis situations? Come join us in Friends of MSF’s first Q&A webinar session featuring guest speaker Dr. Saleem Kaseem! Dr. Saleem Kaseem is a graduate of UofT and a practicing cardiologist. Dr. Saleem Kaseem will be joining us on November 29th at 4:00pm the event is not limited to students of the UofT community and thus everyone is encouraged to attend. Make sure to register through the link below and mark your calendars so we can send you the ZOOM link. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeTfpyvWpCNyf5YPMTmJMcmew0k2BrfV2gRgonIVmuA-q9b-Q/viewform?usp=sf_link
How Long Can We Play? Sports Aging: The Quest to Prolong Athletic Mortality - Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated talked to DHS Chair Michelle Silver about athletes and ageing. Read the full article.
The Resemblage Project nominated for Ageing and Visual Anthropology Award 2021
The Resemblage Project, an intergenerational digital storytelling project led by Department of Health and Society Associate Professor Andrea Charise, has been announced as a finalist in the Multimodal category of the Ageing and Visual Anthropology Award (AVA) 2021. The Resemblage Project is a a multimedia “text” that uses digital storytelling to imaginatively explore what it means to grow older in Scarborough. The AVA Award is a collaborative effort of the EASA’s Age and Generations Network, Association for Gerontology, Aging and the Life Course and EASA’s Visual Anthropology Network. To learn more about the Award, click here.
UTSC OVPRI Research Faculty Awards Session
The UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal Research & Innovation is hosting a virtual Research Faculty Awards Session on November 24th from 10-11am. This session will provide information on identifying awards opportunities for all career stages, preparing award dossiers, as well as institutional supports and resources for developing strong nominations. Participants will learn from colleagues who have been successful with integrating awards and honours in their research careers. Panelists include Professor Irena Creed, Vice-Principal Research & Innovation, and Professor Hilary Brown, Associate Chair Research, Department of Health & Society. Register now
Place Making at UTSC
Friday, November 19th, 10am-11:30am - A virtual session hosted by the co-chairs of the UTSC Sub-committee on Place Making, Kelly Crawford, Assistant Director, Indigenous Initiatives, and Nicholas Spence, Assistant Director, Department of Health and Society. The interactive virtual session will explore the importance of place from an Indigenous perspective – First Nations, Métis and Inuit. In addition, participants will hear about plans for renaming pathways on campus, as well as asked to contribute to the naming process of the MW building. Register here to reserve your spot: Place Making at UTSC Session. The link and instructions will be sent by email to registrants.
'It's really difficult for mothers to figure out what to do’: Greater clarity needed on antidepressant use during pregnancy
Those planning pregnancy are struggling to weigh the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication based on how research is currently being presented, say researchers at U of T and Women’s College Hospital. In a new editorial, Professors Hilary Brown and Simone Vigod argue that pregnant mothers need greater clarity because they are navigating the issue based on findings from individual studies that focus on a single outcome (like preterm birth, child autism or academic outcomes) associated with taking antidepressants. Read the full story here.
Orienting Toward Possibility: Girls and Bisexuality at School
By Laura Mamo, PhD, Jessica Fields, PhD, Jen Gilbert, PhD, David Pereira, Phd - While many more high school girls identify as bisexual than as lesbian, queer, or other marginalized sexual identities, girls who identify as bisexual remain peripheral to sexuality research and to many sexual health education programs. A new article from UTSC Health and Society Professor Jessica Fields and her colleagues at the Beyond Bullying Project aims to explore the work the identity “bisexual” and the category “bisexuality” accomplish for girls when claimed for themselves or another or put into circulation in High Schools. The article considers the range of meanings and identifications mobilized by bisexuality and, drawing on insights of critical narrative intervention aims to promote the potential of new approaches to sexual health education and social belonging. Read the full article.
Graduate School Seminar
On October 20th, HSSA, Health and Society Student Association, hosts an online seminar on Graduate School. This is an opportunity to learn about the process and also get some answers to questions about Grad School. This event also has two special guests speakers, Dr. Michelle Silver and Dr. Nicholas Spence. If you have any questions or just curious about the process of Graduate School, here's your chance!
UTSC Health and Society Assistant Professor Notisha Massaquoi and Peter A. Newman, Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, in partnership with Toronto Public Health and several community-based agencies, have launched the VOICES (Vaccine Outreach Integrating Community Engagement and Science) project. The initiative is aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the pandemic experience of racialized sexual and gender minorities and the complex factors associated with vaccination decision-making in this group. They’ll ultimately share this knowledge with government, policymakers and community leaders in hopes of both improving pandemic responses and enhancing vaccination rates. Read the full report here.
The #SafeHandsSafeHearts study aims to explore COVID-19 related challenges, and provide information and support to diverse LGBTQ+ people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The study is co-led by Prof. Peter A. Newman, PhD and Notisha Massaquoi, PhD from the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, and Women's Health in Women's Hands Community Health Centre. The study includes a survey and 3 sessions of online peer counseling to provide information and support. Applicants will receive $30 for completing each of the 3 online sessions and 2 brief follow-up surveys (total $150). Read more here.
Higher levels of organic pollutants found inside homes located near natural gas wells: UTSC study
A new University of Toronto Scarborough study led by Department of Health and Society Professor Élyse Caron-Beaudoin has found that those living close to natural gas wells are exposed to higher levels of certain organic pollutants in their homes. The study looked at levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the air and drinking water in homes of pregnant women living in a region of northeastern British Columbia. Read more here.
Insight on two courses being offered this academic year. HLTC04 and HLTC47 are both engaging courses that delve into your society:
Ahead of the federal election on September 20, Health and Society Professor Notisha Massaquoi spoke with CNN's Paula Newton about Canada's increasingly polarized politics, and the strain COVID-19 has placed on racialized communities. You can read the full article here.
Health Studies Alumna Emily Chan featured in University of Toronto Magazine
Department of Health and Society alumna Emily Chan is featured in the cover story of the Spring 2021 University of Toronto Magazine. Chan, who completed her BSc in 2019, is now pursuing a master's degree at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. The article, about U of T's efforts to increase accessibility notes that achieving true accessibility requires a shift in perspective; it means recognizing and eliminating ableism in all its forms. As Chan explains in the article, while she has learned to advocate for herself, not all students have the capacity or energy to speak up. Read the full article here.
The Centre for Global Disability Studies (CGDS) is a new research centre established in 2020 and housed at University of Toronto Scarborough. CGDS supports transdisciplinary research in disability studies and promotes a transnational, anticolonial approach to advancing the field of disability studies, with a strong commitment to interdependence, accessibility, and disability justice. The Centre will promote disability studies and disability justice by starting critical conversations, holding events, and providing funding for research activities and events. CGDS members include faculty, researchers, graduate students, and staff across the three campuses of the University of Toronto. DHS professor Dr. Cassandra Hartblay is the Centre's Director.
Alzheimer’s Society UTSC, in collaboration with the @pnda_utsc, is hosting a virtual Academic Research Panel! Join us for opportunities to network with fellow students & tune in for our special guest speaker’s presentation, Dr. Joel Watts!
Dr. Watts is a current PI at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at UofT. His focus involves developing mouse and cellular models that can help us better study neurodegenerative diseases so that novel therapies can be developed! 🧠 Join is for the Academic Research Panel on March 31st - April 1st to learn more about Dr. Watts’s incredible research and journey though his presentation!
DHS Acting Chair and Prof. Michelle Silver will take part in Looking Back and Looking Forward: A Conversation on Japan and Canada’s Ageing Societies, a webinar featuring Prof. Hiroko Akiyama of the University of Tokyo. Prof. Akiyama will present her research on the ageing society, and will be be joined by Prof. Margarita Estevez-Abe (University of Toronto) and Prof. Silver for discussions following the presentation. Use the zoom registration link to sign up for the seminar.
This project, through the means of storytelling, offers students who have a lived experience of Blackness the opportunity to look at how they see the world, and celebrate the Black communities they make up.
We will take a five-month-long journey of self-reflection, healing, celebration, and implementation – showing that greatness and excellence is found in all aspects of Black life. Students will also have an opportunity to work with Black high school students, and help start the journey of telling their stories and changing their communities. Watch the video here!
Professor Michelle Pannor Silver has been appointed Acting Chair of the Department of Health and Society. Department of Health and Society Chari, Professor Jessica Fields, has been appointed Interim Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity & Success in the Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean.
The Department of Health and Society will hold a number of Research Seminars throughout the year. The talks will be hosted on Zoom on select Mondays from 12:00 - 1:15. Click here for a full schedule and to sign up to receive the Zoom link via email.
All are welcome.
Miss a seminar? You can watch past seminars on our Youtube channel!
This past summer, UofT students, Kiran Nabi, Omer Jamal, Ranie Ahmed, and Waleed Ishak were awarded UofT’s COVID-19 Student Engagement Award. Under the supervision of Dr. Nida Mustafa, these students conducted a research project which shed light on the importance of racial equity in the fight against COVID-19. The goal of the project was to explain why collecting race-based COVID-19 data is so important in ensuring an equitable response to the current pandemic. Research shows that black communities are disproportionately affected by food insecurity, low-income and unstable housing in Canada (Gardezi et. Al 2008). During this pandemic, these present health disparities were further exacerbated and produced greater negative health outcomes for the black community. These student researchers, therefore, felt it was their responsibility to gather data that would help vulnerable communities respond accordingly to the virus. The research solely focused on Black communities in the GTA, and various community health centres were contacted to share their insights through interviews and podcasts.
Top row (left to right): Ranie Ahmed, Omer Jamal, Waleed Ishak
Bottom row (left to right): Kiran Nabi, Dr. Nida Mustafa
The findings from the research project can be found on the website, “http://covid19racialequity.com”. From their analysis, the student researchers found that a “one size fits all” response is not appropriate in this pandemic. Particular communities, including black communities, are more vulnerable due to greater risk of living with low income, food insecurity and unstable housing. Temporary funding and support will not lessen the systemic social and economic disadvantages these communities already face. Therefore, greater attention needs to be paid to ensure equity. The entire research project can be found on the above website (including podcasts, interviews, a research poster, and an infographic flyer). The student researchers really hope you have a look!
Conducting research during the pandemic has presented challenges both for faculty and for students for whom research assistantships and internships provide valuable experience. Faculty in the department of Health and Society have responded with creativity and flexibility, finding ways to continue to provide students with the opportunity to be involved in research, even from a distance.
Health and Society professor Dr. Laura Bisaillon’s current project is an example of how researchers have adapted their work to benefit scholarship, social change, and students. Dr. Bisaillon’s project was part of the University of Toronto’s Jackman Scholars-in-Residence (SiR) program. Typically, participating students would live in residence at one of the University’s campuses for four weeks in May while working on faculty projects. Due to the pandemic, on-campus research and residence were impossible in May. So, six SiR who worked on Dr. Bisaillon’s research project from May to July found creative ways to collaborate from India, China, Costa Rica, Vancouver and Toronto – using Discord, a group chatting network originally built for gamers.
Dr. Bisaillon’s project, Making Medical Inadmissibility in Canadian Immigration Law Visible: Drawing, Filming and Telling Ethnographic Stories, unpacks the logic behind federal immigration law that excludes people with chronic illness and disability from permanently settling in Canada. According to Jessica Ye, one of the SiR, the goal is “to show how medical inadmissibility and the institutional structures which support it harm people in very real ways. This barrier to entry, to residency, to citizenship, is nothing short of unethical.” A central contribution is telling stories from the standpoint of people affected by medical inadmissibility. Dr. Bisaillon explains, “scholarship anchored in the relevancies of people with first-hand experience with medical inadmissibility is highly desirable for its transformative promise.”
The SiR used stories told by persons affected by medical inadmissibility from Dr. Bisaillon’s scholarly work and forthcoming book to mobilize their own creative work, producing an animated documentary film. A graphic novel with the University of Toronto’s ethnoGRAPHIC Series is the group’s next undertaking.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the SiR experience was a valuable one for the students. Zihan Yi, a recent graduate from the University of Toronto’s St. George campus’s Art History program, described the chance to work on the project as a “once in a lifetime experience,” and Aida Radoncic, who also graduated recently from the St. George campus with majors in Art History and Anthropology explained that “working on this project as a group has highlighted how we, both as academics and artists, had to adapt and create new ways of approaching collaborative work virtually.” The partnership was also valuable for Dr. Bisaillon: “They are among the most curious students I have ever met at the University of Toronto. The experience was brilliant.”
From left to right, top to bottom: Ujwal Mantha, Laura Bisaillon, Zihan Yi, Ze Xi (Jessica) Ye, Ke Er (Amy) Zhang, Aida Radoncic, and Tania Montoya
The Department of Health and Society (formerly ICHS) has been profiled in the University of Toronto Scarborough's online magazine, the UTSC Commons. The article, The future of innovation means casting a wider net — Bringing disciplines together to explore the big questions, highlights how the diverse and innovative approaches to health research at ICHS come together to change the conversation about what it means to study and teach about health.
Congratulations to Health and Society Teaching Assistant Nida Mustafa! Nida is the recipient of the Teaching Assistant's Training Program TA Teaching Excellence Award for 2020. Nida is a PhD candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences. Her doctoral research explores women's lived-experiences of chronic pain at the intersection of culture, gender and immigration. Here is what Nida had say about her outstanding work at ICHS:
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society presents the UTSC International Health Film Series and Expo, featuring four film screenings and guest speakers from across the University and the community. Screenings take place each Tuesday evening in March, from 6-9 pm. Screenings are free and pizza will be served. Please click here for more information.
Professor Cassandra Hartblay appeared in episode 2.1 of the podcast Contra* talking with Aimi Hamraie, from Vanderbilt University and disability dance performance artist Alice Sheppard about how disability culture and design practices shape contemporary disability art. The podcast and transcript are available here.
Professor Laura Bisaillon's narrative photo exhibit, titled “What does Forced Immobility Look and Feel Like? Being Young and Defiant in Eritrea,” hangs at the Yorkville Public Library until the end of October, 2019. The exhibition was covered in a story by the Toronto Star.
ICHS has launched a new website menu! Check out our new & improved program descriptions, student resources and FAQ pages. And make sure to update your browser bookmarks with our new URL (https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/healthsociety/)!
In the summer of 2019, ICHS bids farewell to our interim director, Holly Wardlow, and welcomes Jessica Fields as the new director of ICHS!