My research program, entitled School-based Intervention Research through Changes in Lifestyles & Environments (SIRCLE), focuses on school- and community-based strategies to promote healthy weights and prevent chronic diseases. My research aims to improve the overall health and well-being of families and communities by making the ‘healthy choice the easy choice’ where we live, work, learn and play.
Using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, my research evaluates the process, impact and outcome of school-based health promotion interventions, such as Comprehensive School Health (CSH). CSH is an internationally recognized framework that focuses on improving the whole school environment, which includes students’ educational outcomes as well as school health.
Through my research, I hope to enhance intervention implementation in order to have a greater impact and improved outcomes of eating habits, physical activity levels and healthy weights. New knowledge is used to strengthen and optimize implementation through a knowledge cycle of: 1) implementation; 2) conducting research and providing results back to communities; and 3) adapting interventions.
Embedded within the participatory approach of school-based health promotion is the incorporation of multiple stakeholder perspectives and expertise, which requires effective knowledge exchange. Knowledge exchange is an essential component of my research, and is a key factor in refining intervention development. As such, I collaborate with other researchers, policy makers and practitioners in both health and education throughout all stages of my work.
RD, Alberta Health Services (former Calgary Health and Capital Health Regions), 2008
PhD, University of Alberta, 2007
BSc (with Distinction), Indiana University, 2002
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, 2008
Health Research Studentship, Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, 2006
Doctoral Student Award in Nutrition Education and Communication, Danone Institute of Canada, 2003