I have built on my experience in community-based participatory research, school health, qualitative methods, and implementation science to develop a novel research program SIRCLE: Settings-based Intervention Research through Changes in Lifestyles & Environments. SIRCLE focuses on the holistic assessment of school- and community-based strategies to prevent chronic diseases, reduce health inequalities, and promote Mino Bimaadiziwin (the way of a good life). My research program is unique in evaluating the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of school- and community-based health promotion interventions and aims to improve the overall health and well-being of families and communities. Using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, my research evaluates the process, impact, and outcomes of health promotion interventions. Through my research, I enhance implementation in order to have a greater impact and improved health outcomes. 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- and community-based health promotion is the incorporation of multiple stakeholder perspectives and expertise, which requires effective knowledge translation. Knowledge translation is an essential component of my research, and is a key factor in refining intervention development. As such, I collaborate with other researchers, policymakers and practitioners in both health and education throughout all stages of my work.
PDF, Health Promotion and Socio-behavioural Sciences, University of Alberta, 2010
RD, Alberta Health Services (former Calgary Health and Capital Health Regions), 2008
PhD, Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Alberta, 2007
BSc (with Distinction), Nutrition Science (Biology/Psychology), Indiana University, 2002
CIHR/WCHRI New Investigator in Maternal, Reproductive, Child and Youth Health, CIHR/WCHRI, 2017-2020
2017 Dear Professor Award (acknowledges promotion of mental health amongst students), University of Alberta Compliments Student Group, 2017
Advisor of the Year, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 2015
Small Class Instructor of the Year, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 2013
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
chronic disease prevention
community based research
child and youth health