As a York University graduate, a volunteer at York’s KM Unit, and the husband of the Director of the Office of Research Services & Knowledge Exchange at York, I have become quite familiar with the world of knowledge mobilization. David and I have been together for over fourteen years, and I’ve seen him grow personally and professionally from a post-doc research fellow to managing the business side of science, innovation and knowledge transfer at the university level.
More importantly, I’m proud and inspired to have witnessed the initiative of my husband in helping build the KM Unit at York (along with a great KM team), developing ResearchImpact – Canada’s knowledge mobilization network. David’s keen interest and involvement has taken KM from an early “pet project” of interest several years ago to participating and contributing today at both the national and international levels of knowledge brokering and policy making.
It was David’s initial, personal conversations we shared about KM that sparked my own interests in the variety of methods in which research and knowledge is exchanged, co-produced and practically applied between researchers and research-users. In fact, before graduating, one of my own research projects focused on the extent to which York University’s Department of Psychology has embodied KM.
I am a graduate of York’s Department of Psychology. After graduation – as a continuation of my own interest in knowledge mobilization – I began providing volunteer support at York’s KM Unit. To avoid any scrutiny of favouritism or conflict of interest, David placed me under the excellent and professional supervision of KM Unit Manager, Michael Johnny (I challenge you to try and find a clear profile headshot of him on the internet anywhere – either not wearing sunglasses or blinking!)
I am exclusively reporting to him as a volunteer. I have helped with the successful development and delivery of the annual KM Expo following the excellent lead of Knowledge Mobilization Officer Krista Jensen.
This is where some of you might remember me from the KM Expo last year, or from attending some of the KTE Communities of Practice meetings. I’ve also provided some support around key areas of data analysis for the ResearchImpact project. It was an enjoyable opportunity to join the KM Unit for a business trip to the University of Victoria earlier this year and present data at a ResearchImpact meeting (read the blog post here).
It’s a great privilege to have met such esteemed international and local mobilizers – from both university and community sectors – such as Angie Hart and Kim Aumann from the University of Brighton’s Community University Partnership Program; Stan Shapson, York’s Vice-President of Research & Innovation; Jane Gibson, Director of Knowledge Transfer and Exchange at the Institute for Work & Health; and Daniele Zanotti, CEO of United Way of York Region.
I’m looking forward to volunteering and participating in KM Expo 2010, hoping to see many of you again while networking with many more people within the KM community.
And remember; keep talking to your husband, wife, partner, girlfriend or boyfriend about KM because – sometimes when you marry a mobilizer, you can become a mobilizer too!