Sheridan Awarded Three SSHRC Social Innovation Grants

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Sheridan Awarded Three SSHRC Social Innovation Grants
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The Honourable Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science, today announced the second round of grants from the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF). Sheridan received funding for three social innovation projects as part of this initiative, valued at a total of approximately $654,000 over three years.

Dr. Kirsten Madsen, professor in Sheridan’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, received $240,000 over three years to further the emerging research on bullying among older adults. Dr. Madsen’s research will focus on better understanding these issues, especially from an Ontario perspective, among a diverse population. The project partners Sheridan and its Centre for Elder Research with Elder Abuse Ontario, a provincial, non-profit organization focused on creating an Ontario where all seniors feel safe and respected. The goals of the project are to collect data on the prevalence and nature of senior-to-senior bullying in the Ontario context, and then use this data to create a resource package outlining best practices for seniors and those working with seniors to stop bullying.

John Helliker, Director of Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre, received $240,000 over two years to develop best practices for using virtual reality to foster global citizenship. A series of virtual reality experiences will be created in partnership with social issue organizations (e.g., climate change, drunk driving, bullying). Collaborators include Sheridan and other academic researchers as well as industry partners including Huffpost RYOT, Legend3D and SK Films. The project is based on Virtual Reality’s ability to allow the viewer to walk in someone else’s shoes, developing increased empathy and commitment to social action.

Dr. Michael McNamara and Dr. Sara Cumming from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences received approximately $174,000 for their project entitled “The Community Ideas Factory”. The project aims to leverage Sheridan’s creativity and research expertise as well as its creative spaces in support of the Oakville Community Foundation’s efforts to implement and execute actions to address its four key Vital Signs issues; namely, the equity gap, access to affordable housing, inclusivity, and mental health. Dr. McNamara, a Professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking, and Dr. Cumming, a Professor of Sociology, will lead an interdisciplinary team of Sheridan student researchers, artists, and faculty in helping the Oakville Community Foundation engage its stakeholders in a series of Creative Problem-Solving facilitations in order to produce plans for new, creative, and fundable projects that align with and advance work on the four Vital Signs issues.

“At Sheridan, we are committed to fostering a culture of Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities (SRCA) within our community,” said Dr. Mary Preece, Sheridan’s Provost and Vice President Academic. “The three projects that have received SSHRC support all embody our SRCA philosophy, which embraces multi-faceted approaches to the advancement of knowledge and innovation.”

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