LEF Award Summary for 2021-2022

A photograph of Evadne Kelly

Countering Eugenics in Education

Evadne Kelly - $ 50,000

Our project creates a new online course entitled "Countering Eugenics in Education" to address learning challenges in decolonization, anti-racism, and accessibility in institutions of higher education. Our project is innovative in that we address histories of Ontario educational institutions producing and disseminating oppressive knowledge and trace those histories to present day inequities and work to counter them in both our course design process and outcome. Eugenics (a faulty pseudo-science focused on human betterment through heredity) created the conditions for dehumanization and devaluing difference. It spawned policies and practices that targeted Indigenous, Black, and other racialized populations, disabled, poor, and LGBTQ+ people through institutional confinement, restrictive marriage and immigration laws, and coercive sterilization. Our course will address this history and legacy by offering learning opportunities through an accessible, interactive, ebook, in part, as a response to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) and the Huronia Settlement and Liberal Government Apology (2013) and to foster social justice broadly in higher education.

A photograph of Julie Vale

Engineering for Social Justice

Julie Vale - $40,850

The engineering profession has significant power over others, exercised by allocating resources, opportunities, risks, and harms to different social groups. Ideologies that pose a barrier to integrating social justice concepts are common in the profession; for example, in the technical–social duality mindset, the technical and social domains are separate, with technical dimensions more highly valued. The purpose of this project is to better incorporate social justice into the engineering curriculum by developing and implementing experiential, community engaged modules and instructional approaches. The modules will involve diverse community and stakeholder groups, with planned consultation with Indigenous, Black, incarcerated, and differently abled communities. The learning enhancements enabled by this project will support student recruitment, retention and engagement. They will equip students to appreciate and more fully evaluate the social dimensions of problems and to apply their expertise to enhance the capabilities of humans whose challenges receive little emphasis.

A photograph of Michael Massa

Development of At-Home Labs for First Year Physics

Michael Massa - $23,500

The purpose of this project is to develop a suite of laboratory activities and associated equipment for first-year physics courses, that will enable students to conduct at-home physics experiments. With a combination custom home-lab-kits and found-materials, smart-phone sensors and online simulations, our goal is to provide a hands-on experience that uses an everyday context to reinforce student learning. This design promotes the inclusion of students who have restricted access to campus; plus, students will be afforded greater flexibility to conduct their learning where and when best suits their individual needs. The at-home labs will be designed initially for our Physics for Life Sciences courses, reaching >1500 students each semester, with the possibility of expanding to other introductory courses. The LEF grant will enable us to build a virtual lab space that complements our on-campus facilities, and ultimately provide a versatile learning experience for our students using the best of both worlds.

A photograph of Joannah O'Hatnick

Thriving in Action

Joannah O'Hatnick - $16,350

McLaughlin Library’s Learning Services and Student Wellness are pleased to collaborate on bringing Thriving in Action to University of Guelph students. Thriving in Action, an initiative developed at Ryerson University, is a a holistic, student-centred, evidence-based, collaborative program which addresses both the academic and wellness needs of students. The program combines strategies and content from positive psychology, mindfulness, learning, and pedagogy. Students learn tangible strategies to help them enhance their academic skills and to help them build their coping and resilience skills. This program can assist the university in meeting the complex well-being and academic needs of students by expanding staff capacity to support students and by integrating effective interventions for student well-being. The LEF grant will enable us to assess the program’s effectiveness and lay the groundwork for a sustainable long-term program.

A photograph of Tiffany Durzi

OVC Power Podcasts

Tiffany Durzi - $10,866

The purpose of this project is for the veterinarians at the Ontario Veterinary College Primary Healthcare Center (OVC PHC) to create, develop, host, produce, and share veterinary clinical podcasts to help support primary care veterinary education via an accessible and inclusive learning technology. These 15–20-minute power podcasts will address specific clinical questions and will enrich the learning experience of our veterinary undergraduate students. The podcasts will also serve to promote the vision of the OVC PHC on a local, provincial, national, and international level, which is to be world leaders in companion animal veterinary primary care. The main target audience will be students at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in phases one through four. However, OVC veterinary alumni, OVC staff, veterinary paraprofessionals (registered veterinary technicians, veterinary staff), University of Guelph undergraduates, pre-veterinary students, international students, international veterinarians, and other lifelong learners may also be interested given the inclusivity and free access of this modern technology.