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Introducing the 2021 Cohort of the PhD in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues

The PhD in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues is a unique opportunity for students to take an interdisciplinary approach to researching, understanding and tackling contemporary social issues.

The 2021 cohort includes candidates from various professional and academic backgrounds. Below, they share their research objectives in their own words.

Image of Lyna Mourad

Lyna Mourad 

My research is at the intersection of practical theology and psychology. It deals with the issue of reconciliation between the Catholic community and Indigenous peoples and focuses on the theme of church members’ inner transformation as a way to reconciliation. This reconciliation would be achieved through the creation of a close relationship between body, heart and mind.

This project specifically aims to study the spiritual approach of a Catholic congregation in Quebec and its influence on the psychological sphere, which would have a direct impact on the congregants’ attitudes and behaviors towards Indigenous Peoples.

Image of Paul Mcloughlin

Paul Mcloughlin

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue of moral distress in health care workers. According to CH Rushton in Cultivating Moral Resilience, moral distress reflects the anguish experienced in response to moral harms, wrongs, or failures and is often accompanied by the feeling that one’s integrity has been compromised. On the other hand, moral resilience is the ability to respond constructively to the distress and adversity caused by ethically complex situations. In my research, I will use an interdisciplinary approach to understand how individuals can derive meaning from moral distress and how health care workers can develop moral resilience.

Image of Shakhawat Hossain

Shakhawat Hossain

Healthcare is one of the most significant basic needs that may be repeatedly required throughout a person’s life. In an ideal situation, the physician makes clinical decisions that are ethical and serve the patient's best interest. However, conflicts of interest exist due to health service-related business models. In my research, I will conduct an ethical analysis of clinical practice, with a focus on the relationship between ethical decision-making and treatment cost to suggest a compatible health policy that can ensure quality health care at a reasonable price.

Image of Dale Nikkel

Dale Nikkel

COVID-19 has inspired significant reflection regarding ethical challenges and moral tension in the health care sector. Considering this difficult ethical environment, my research focuses on the complex intersection of values and ethical/moral decision-making for health care professionals facing ethical dilemmas and moral tensions in their practice and the implications for resiliency and wellbeing. Themes for the research include the development of ethical capacity for discernment, the fostering of holistic ethical and spiritual reflection, the assessment of possible systemic approaches to discernment, and the integration of educational models to help develop competency.

Image of Martin Rochon

Martin Rochon

My research focuses on establishing clearly measurable strategies for concurrently mitigating social isolation in students and seniors. With my research, I seek to create more impactful social strategies that harnesses limited community and social program funding. I am pursuing this goal through the creation, improvement, and expansion of intergenerational programs.

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