2020 Cohort of the PhD in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues

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Introducing the 2020 Cohort of the PhD in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues

In 2020, Saint Paul University welcomed 10 students into its new doctorate in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues.

The new doctoral program is a unique opportunity for students to take an interdisciplinary approach to researching, understanding and tackling contemporary social issues.

The first cohort includes candidates from various professional and academic backgrounds. Below, they share their research objectives in their own words.

Kehinde Akintola

My doctoral research seeks to critically examine how the Canadian legal framework and its corresponding international legal instruments can enhance equitable social justice in Canada while bearing in mind the challenging contemporary social issues that exist. Ultimately, my PhD thesis intends to provide an empirical foundation for future research on legal jurisprudence as a viable tool for social justice in Canada.

Gabriel Bergeron

The ranking of human rights creates roadblocks for organizations that are trying to resolve conflicts involving their employees. It is a complex issue that is greatly influenced by internal and external factors such as the emotional aspect of those involved in the conflict, the context in which the conflict evolves and, in many cases, the concept of “white fragility” as described by Robin DiAngelo. (This concept of fragility may not be unique to white people; it can occur with anyone who is in a position of power.) In addition, intersectionality makes it more difficult to find concrete solutions that can be useful in the workplace. My research, as part of my work in a union-employer, will attempt to provide these concrete solutions that can be implemented to help the organization to modernize.

Gethro Borgelyn

As a Doctor of Medicine, I want to understand the human body beyond just physiology. I wish to explore a more global vision of the person, a being with their own agency and will. In my doctorate, I seek to build on my previous research which profiled women victims of violence, their abusers and the characteristics of the violence suffered. In my current research, I hope to create and evaluate an interdisciplinary, person-centered and holistic system of care and support for victims of gender-based violence in the current migratory context.

Jennifer Bruce

My research is situated within the theories of organizational development, social change and disability justice. My research will focus on disability and inclusion organizations and how the organizational context (practices, processes and relationships) shapes the ability and potential to achieve their desired social transformation.

Marquis Bureau

In my research, I study how a spiritual and community-based organization founders’ source of leadership influences leader engagement and leadership practices. I also seek to determine how it is possible to support the development of this organization’s leadership during a period of transition that challenges the founders’ source of leadership.

Sylvie Cardinal

Work occupies a central place in our lives. And yet our relationship with it is often contentious and for many people, work is no longer meaningful. How can we restore meaning to work, and what meaning do we want to give it? Although up to now we have emphasized the importance of boundaries between people’s various activities in the world, could this loss of meaning be inviting us today to see the individual as a whole and not split between these different roles and their personal and working lives?

Marisa Casagrande

The title of my research is “Morally formative places in asocial and divided times: Synodality and the renewal of a missionary Church.” The purpose of my research is to better understand the principles involved in advancing a missional ecclesiology of synodality, and to assess the practical implications of these processes for the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, for the renewal of the Church, and for the common good.

Ernesto Cordero

A company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) goal is to establish its human, social, environmental and economic linkages. The primary purpose of CSR is to contribute in a meaningful way to the needs of society. Its shared value in a new reality and collaboration, even with its most prominent competitors, is increasingly prevalent. Likewise, it becomes systemic and significant in all industries and sectors. My dissertation features three closely linked essays in interdisciplinary on contemporary social issues associated with the aspect of CSR practices of the country’s extractive sector, and their influences and implications to the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the concerned sectors.

Andrei Davedianov

My research is devoted to the critical analysis of the reasons, methods, and results of Methodist social action and its intersection with public policy. The subject of my work is an evaluation of the practical approaches of the Methodist social activity in different political, cultural, economical, and religious contexts.

Christopher Tan

The focal point of my research is the extent of access to the judicial system for ethnic minority groups through community dispute resolution. Using an interdisciplinary approach, I am interested in seeing which factors drive the success of community mediation and, at the same time, which factors hinder its progress. The research intends to use the City of Ottawa – a community that has been experiencing significant changes in its social makeup over the past few decades – as a case study.