Picture this…York University, 2007. First summer of our SSHRC Knowledge Impact in Society grant and we run a KMb internship competition. We had 6 to hand out but the incredible demand made us find funding for an additional 6 allowing us to fund 12 interns.
Tammy Lowe (she was Tammy Miller back then) was one of the 12. Tammy Miller was an MA (Communications and Culture) student of Barbara Crow. Tammy’s KMb Internship was to undertake needs assessments and to understand and inform a communications strategy for Free The Children. Based on her MA class and thesis work Tammy undertook the research that informed a newly designed website.
That was then. This is now. Tammy Miller is now Tammy Lowe and she has recently been hired by the United Way of York Region as Campaign Manager. Her work with Free The Children and subsequent work with Blue Door Shelters (Youth Shelter, Newmarket), plus volunteer work with York’s KMb Unit, made her a perfect hire for UWYR.
Following in Tammy’s intern footprints are three new KMb interns. The UWYR-YorkU KMb Interns are a joint venture between two long standing friends and institutional partners. York University’s Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) and the United Way of York Region (UWYR) share a vision for a healthy and sustainable York Region. This vision supports public services delivered to York Region residents informed by evidence derived from research (very KMb!).
The UWYR Interns are working with the UWYR Community Engagement and Research Committee to facilitate research that addresses UWYR strategic directions and priorities. Findings of the research will help inform the planning and delivery of UWYR Strength Investments within communities of rapid growth. UWYR Priorities:
• helping youth grow up strong
• enabling individuals and families to achieve economic independence
• improving the well being of individuals and communities
The interns will:
1. Undertake a literature review focusing on the impact of growth and change on human services and various responses to address the impact.
2. Conduct social asset mapping in identified geographies of growth in York Region.
3. Identify, refine and pilot potential neighbourhood assessment tools for future consultation and engagement activities with residents, community groups, service providers and other key stakeholders.
Jessica Carriere is a grad student of Gerda Wekerle (FES). Her research interests pertain to the social aspects of city planning within major Canadian cities. Upon obtaining a Master of Science in Planning, she hopes to work in social planning and development at the municipal level – assisting in the creation of new policy-led strategies aimed at strengthening public involvement in decision making processes, and encouraging investment in social infrastructure.
Nausheen Quayyum is completing an M.A. in Development Studies at York University under the supervision of Ananya Mukherjee-Reed and Eduardo Canel. She has worked in the capacity of a Research Intern with various non-profit organizations including Research Initiatives Bangladesh (Dhaka), Human Rights Watch (Toronto) as well as with the Health and Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto (Toronto).
Silvia D’Addario worked under the supervision of Valerie Preston as a graduate researcher on the York Region Infrastructure Project. This project assessed the supply and demand of social infrastructure for three vulnerable populations- recent immigrants, low-income residents and seniors. Her doctoral studies explore the gendering and racializing intersections of work and residence for immigrants in suburban Toronto.
Collaborating on the KMb Intern experience is just one more way the UWYR and York U are working together to ensure that York U’s research is accessible to benefit the social and economic well being of York Region residents. As Daniele Zanotti, CEO of UWYR says, “For the United Way of York Region, knowledge mobilization is priceless.”