Si has supervised and supported many graduate students across a variety of disciplines. Below you can explore a sample of some of her students - who they are and what they studied. All documents listed below can be found at the UNBC Library.
|Name and Program||Thesis Title||Year Completed|
|Maria Orcherton||Exploring Casma Valley geographical kinship: mapping the landscape of identity||2012|
|Alan Huggett||Journey through the wilds: an autoethnography of the Camp Trapping experience||2012|
|Randene Wejr||HIV+ aboriginal women speak of experience and strength in a northern context||2011|
|Inderpal Paula K. Sandhu Chahal|
|Canadian-born Sikh daughters: experiencing life through a mixture of cultural influences||2011|
MA Gender Studies
|'WWOOFING' BC: An autoethnography||2011|
|Wendy Flanagan||Cultural studies: the silenced or courageously loud sister of social work||2011|
|Glenn N. Beach||Storying youth's experiences of coerced or voluntary residential substance abuse treatment: a narrative research project||2010|
|Adult living with type 1 diabetes, reflections of their youth: a phenomenological study||2010|
|Anglophone Canadian-born working-class women in eldercare||2010|
MA Gender Studies
|Voices and visions: transformative creativity in a northern context||2010|
|Journey's of disorientation and dislocation: women/invisible dis/ability in and out of social work. A transdisciplinary exploration||2010|
|Routes to transcendence: disordered eating, substance abuse and self-injury in young women||2009|
|Northern social work: how are northern social workers creative?||2008|
|Transition houses: safety, security and compassion||2008|
|Nicole M. Hemstad-Leete|
|Rainbow Families: Cross-Cultural Adoption and the Best Interests of the Child||2007|
|M. Christina Rodrigues||Community Network Building to Impact Policy and Improve the Lives of Northern British Columbia Women||2004|
|Becoming Authentic Allies with First Nations People||2004|
|Women with Developmental Disabilities and Sexual Abuse: An Analysis of the (Draft) Practice Guidelines for Part 3 of the Adult Guardianship Act||2003|
|Letting the Light In: Universal Screening for Women in Abuse in a Northern Care Setting||2003|
MA Gender Studies
|Toward Body Recovery - Hertorical poetry-tellings within feminist and ecological feminist narratives||2003|
|Tomas Jeffery Talbot|
|Honoring Strength: Overcoming Addiction Identities||2003|
|Chereylynne Greenard-Smith||Women Escaping Abuse in Northern British Columbia: Attributes and Resources that Make the Most Difference||2002|
Below is a list of Si's past graduate students, with an abstract of their work. Going through these abstracts is a good way to learn about the research Si and her graduates work on.
Exploring Casma Valley geographical kinship : mapping the landscape of identity
by Maria Orcherton 2012
Social work as a profession historically advocates that communities deserve self-determination, cultural sustainability, and social justice. In light of these considerations, this research examines the social, cultural, and spiritual planting practices of the Casma people of North Peru regarding their native Apichu/Kumara/Camote (A/K/C) or sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.). For Indigenous/Mestizo families A/K/C represent the symbolic reflection in the preservation of communal knowledge, rituals, languages, traditions and teaching and learning practices mainly as a way of protecting community-base customs regarding autonomy, empowerment, self-determination, modernity, and cultural sustainability. Sadly, traditional planting practices, rituals, and ceremonies are becoming extinct. In this regard, Lundy (2008) critically states that many developing countries must adhere to imposed structural adjustment programs. This external pressure requires Indigenous/Mestizo farmers to turn their best agricultural lands over to export crops to pay off their national debt, causing unsustainable practices, land degradation and erosion, as well as setbacks in social-welfare delivery to vulnerable groups. An important consideration is also the preservation of their communal (traditional) knowledge. Prado (2007) emphasizes the importance of social work within community adaptation strategies to Climate Change (CC). Viewed thus, the sustainability embedded in the revitalization of A/K/C, traditional "ways of knowing” can also be considered as one of the adaptation strategies to help Indigenous/Mestizo communities to become resilient to the impacts of CC. Undoubtedly, urgent solutions are needed that are both effective and respectful of the cultural context and local knowledge in which they will be applied. As a result, this research was framed within the following qualitative methodologies: using community case study, with a purposive sampling with six (families) participants. Data was gathered through informal conversations, oral narratives, and open-ended participant (field) observations. Upon my observations, I argue that enhancing these traditional “ways of knowing” is a way to support the Indigenous solidarity, which is integral to the future of these communities.
Journey through the wilds : an autoethnography of the Camp Trapping experience
by Alan Huggett 2012
Using an autoethnographic method the author explores key issues in his experience working at Camp Trapping, a wilderness based group care programme for male young offenders situated in central British Columbia. Personal experiences, as well as interview quotes from staff members and adult graduates of the programme, are used to highlight social, political and practice aspects of working in such a setting. Key concepts reflected upon are the presence or absence of continual compassionate care, factors associated with youth crime, masculinity, wilderness programming, group care settings, and the punitive turn in social welfare and corrections approaches in Canada. These concepts are looked at in a broad social context as well as how programme delivery is affected on a personal level. The author asserts that Camp Trapping provides marginalized youth a unique experience that encourages pro-social personal development. The Camp Trapping experience also contributes to the author’s personal and professional development.
HIV+ aboriginal women speak of experience and strength in a northern context
by Randene Wejr
Aboriginal women living with HIV in the North have a unique perspective regarding helpful and useful services as well as painful experience concerning gaps in services. This research examines the responses of eight Aboriginal women in this regard and, additionally, invites them to identify life factors, which have been particular sources of strength. Using an open interview method via snowball sampling, the women were asked about services they found most helpful, resources that they thought were missing and to identify personal strengths contributing to their optimism and survival. A systematic thematic analysis of the interviews resulted in five major themes: support, resources, identity, northern obstacles and strengths. The analysis also illuminated the reality that the women feel very supported and cared for by existing services that have proven to be incredibly valuable to their everyday lives. Follow up recommendations include: maintaining and increasing crucial services, continuing to lobby for increased funding, adding courses specific to HIV and AIDS to schools of social work curriculum and highlighting the realities of living with HIV and AIDS in a northern context.
Canadian-born Sikh daughters: experiencing life through a mixture of cultural influences
by Inderpal Paula K. Sandhu Chahal
Canadian ideas about individualism and equality between genders can be stressful for immigrants and their children. This study took a conceptual view of eight Canadian-born Sikh daughters of Punjabi immigrant parents living in Prince George with particular emphasis on how the mixture of cultural influences affected their behavioural patterns and well-being. The purpose of this study was to reveal the lived experiences of these first-generation women, shedding light related to topics of familial, social, and cultural expectations. In 2008, a qualitative approach was utilized to explore the attitudes of these eight Sikh women. Using a phenomenological paradigm, this study aimed to discover, understand and describe these women’s lived experiences. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Although there is no one story, there were similarities amongst the women. Themes of external influences, psychological factors, emotional effects, and positive attitudes and beliefs emerged.
'Wwoofing' BC : an autoethnography
by Agata Skorecka
‘Wwoofing’ BC: An Autoethnography is an exploratory study centering around the experiences of 8 women ‘Wwoofers’ (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) and 11 WWOOF hosts in British Columbia, Canada. The project uses semi-structured in-depth interviews as well as autoethnographic, ethnographic, visual and photo elicitation methods to relate issues of sustainability, health-wellness, gender, feminism-femininity, organic farming, caring, activism, protest, tourism and community. I suggest that Wwoofing provides a respite-sanctuary space for women and WWOOF hosts. Within this space, women Wwoofers and WWOOF hosts are able to witness, analyze and resist social structures as well as create unique friendships and presentations of gender-identity-self.
Cultural studies : the silenced or courageously loud sister of social work
by Wendy Flanagan 2011
The purpose of this thesis was to explore if the continuation of the work of the legendary Jane Addams and Dorothy Livesay could be witnessed in the theoretical pedagogy of cultural studies and structural social work. My journey, which incorporated over 100 years of text, allowed me to look for indicators of possible patterns in authorship exploring the his/story and her/story of cultural studies and social work. This research further explored the identifiable indications of explicit overlap between cultural studies and social work in the course descriptions and outlines of 17 accredited Master of Social Work programs in Canadian universities.
Storying youth's experiences of coerced or voluntary residential substance abuse treatment : a narrative research project
by Glenn N. Beach 2010
The focus of this research is to examine the lived experiences of adolescents who voluntarily attended, or who were coerced to attend, a residential substance abuse treatment program. The intention of the research is to provide further context into understanding the lived experience of attending an adolescent treatment program. Minimal literature and research into the experiences of voluntarily or being coerced to attend treatment has been presented in the discourse on this topic. Therefore, this research will represent an exploration into further understanding these experiences in broader, yet more detailed terms. The research involved interviewing 8 adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 who were attending a residential substance abuse program. Adolescents described experiencing both internal and external pressure to attend treatment. Internal and external experiences occurred in both a temporal and locality context revealing valuable insight into the lived experience of being coerced or voluntarily attending residential substance abuse treatment.
Adult living with type 1 diabetes, reflections of their youth: a phenomenological study
by Laura Nordin
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic medical condition. Effective illness management requires numerous, continuous self-care procedures to ensure a healthy life free of complications. This study asks, what do adults with type 1 diabetes recall about living with a chronic health condition during their youth? By interviewing adults about the different types of relationships and the experiences they had in their youth, the research examines if relationships influence diabetes self-care. Using a phenomenological approached called the Vancouver School of Phenomenology, the researcher drew themes from nine participant interviews. These include: diabetes knowledge, the impacts of diabetes, constructive and deconstructive factors in relationships, and self-awareness and identity in youth and adults with type 1 diabetes. In the sample, this particular composition of participants displayed characteristics that were not consistent with the majority of literature findings regarding persons living with type 1 diabetes. As a result, the data in this study revealed that relationships, and being highly motivated, organized, capable, cognitively intact and functional within the realities of daily life plays a critical role in diabetes self-care and this role changes and evolves over time.
Anglophone Canadian-born working-class women in eldercare
This practicum report explains my work experience in a long-term care facility under the supervision of a social worker at Extendicare Bayview in Toronto, Ontario. The primary feature of this report is to gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges of living in a long-term care home, specifically for white Anglophone Canadian-born working-class women. This report features three interviews with three women of the above noted ethnicity and background in an effort to determine what helps make their experiences in long-term care positive, as well as what hinders their well-being. With their written consent, this information was obtained by conducting informal interviews as well as by communicating with residents, their families, and staff and by performing social work duties under the social worker’s supervision. Pertinent conversations were preserved in a journal kept only by me. It was concluded, based on my interviews, that loss of independence and limited privacy hindered the well-being of these residents, while activities performed in the home helped their well-being. Recommendations for social work practice with the elderly conclude this report.
Voices and visions: transformative creativity in a northern context
by Dahne Harding
This thesis is an arts-based, qualitative examination of the phenomenological reality of individuals who practically and/or theoretically live on the edge of society in Prince George, British Columbia. The primary group consists of homeless women living in an emergency shelter in downtown Prince George, British Columbia and grew to include students and social justice activists. Though the primary discussion is centered on the women from the shelter, quotes and contributions from the other groups are included to highlight some of the common threads. The research project is an investigation of the potential of art as a powerful mechanism for theorizing about the structures of oppression which mediate everyday experiences; however, it also became apparent that there was a connection between the creative process, feminine solidarity, and healing while creating a model for community arts-based research that can contribute positively to the individuals, agencies, and research institutions who participate.
Journeys of disorientation and dislocation: women/invisible dis/ability in and out of social work. A transdisciplinary exploration
by Jorge Kelly
Research question: Please describe your experience of invisible illness/ dis/ ability and what this has meant to you both professionally and personally. This is a qualitative, exploratory study in which six women (including myself) who work/have worked within the social work profession, responded to the research question employing an online-email method. I developed a variety of "self-monitoring" questions to assist the process. These questions were designed to be used as conversational prompts only if necessary, and to make up for absence of face-to-face contact. The participants were found using a snowball sample. This research is an exploration of female social workers' experiences with invisible illness/dis/abilty. Specifically, the study explores the intersections and subjectivity of a variety of women's oppressions, including socialization, media/body image, sexual identity, and aging in relation to the effects of gender violence and women's health, sense of well being, and social worker retention in rural, isolated, and northern communities. Gender violence will be understood to include a continuum of violence extending from economic coercion to outright physical abuse. I explored the possibilities (and potential linkages) that there may or may not be a relationship between women's previous experiences of marginalization and oppression, including trauma, abuse, neglect, poverty, and abandonment, which might increase the likelihood of further such experiences within a social work setting, and that gender violence is contrary to social worker retention, specifically in rural, isolated, and northern communities ...This may include that women position or allow themselves to be positioned in social work environments paradoxically to re-encounter such situations that would not likely be experienced in other non-caring, or traditionally "male" professions. Our choices are shaped by our structural contexts and vice versa. Our choices are also influenced by subconscious and subtle dynamics. More specifically, in this initial exploratory research, I am interested to know how becoming invisibly ill impacts women's overall existence, working environments/work relationships, and how these women maneuvered through the various systems. Please note that the dynamics I am exploring in my research are not limited to women. I have personal knowledge of male workers who have experienced situations of violence and abandonment. Male workers who experience illness/disability frequently feel "impotent" and often are feminized within the agency hierarchies, left effectively powerless and alone. However, this is not the focus of my research study and shall be for another researcher to explore in more depth. But I am curious to know if men with histories of trauma/oppression are also inclined to become social workers and if so, do they experience similar circumstances? And if not, might they instead be disposed towards positions of promotion and leadership (and non-caring professions)? All sorts of women have known in their daily lives the low self-esteem that is attendant upon cultural depreciation, the humiliation of sexual objectification, the troubled relationship to a socially inferiorized body, the confusions and even the anguish that come in the wake of incompatible social definitions of womanhood; women of all kinds and colors have endured not only the overt, but also the disguised and covert attacks of a misogynist society.
Routes to transcendence: disordered eating, substance abuse and self-injury in young women
by Maria McKay
The purpose of this research was to explore the intersections between disordered eating, substance abuse, and self-injury among young women. In this thesis, I attempted to illuminate convergences and divergences between the experiences of young women who have struggled with these three problems, in the interest of shedding light on contributing factors, as well as possible barriers, to recovery and wellness. Throughout the research process, the focus was on the women's thoughts, feelings, and meaning-making. Inquiry into past trauma and abuse was deliberately omitted in order to focus on the behaviours as adaptations rather than symptoms of pathology. Nine women ages 21 to 27 were interviewed; all were university students. Experience of the three behaviours varied, as did experience of therapeutic intervention. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to yield eight themes and seven sub-themes. The most pervasive of these was the theme of ambivalence, which functions on multiple levels and appears to constitute a significant barrier to help-seeking and recovery. Other themes included identity; body image; stigma; learning the behaviours; function and strategy of behaviours; choice; and recovery.
Northern social work: how are northern social workers creative? by Jillien Humphrey
My research focus is twofold. First, I summarize concepts and discussions regarding creativity and its relevance to social work. Second, I explore how these creative concepts are lived out in the practice of six female social workers in northern British Columbia. The findings of the study show that social workers in the north engage in creative social work practice and that a scarcity of resources can create creative opportunities for social work as well as inhibit creativity. The findings also show that northern social workers engage in very creative, metaphoric, transdiscipline, and innovative social work practices. In addition the participants had "aha" moments of being aware of their own creative practice and the ripple effect that can occur with individual acts of social work. Lastly the findings show that self-disclosure is an important part of social work when working with Aboriginal populations.
Transition houses: safety, security and compassion by Amanda Alexander
The purpose of this research is to examine service efficacy in northern British Columbian transition houses. My research will attempt to examine what services women have found valuable to making their lives safe, what services could be offered to improve the quality of service provision in transition houses, and any recommendations for change that women have for service providers. Eight women were interviewed in a northern community in order to identify which services were most helpful to themselves and their children. A thematic analysis was applied to the data which yielded five main themes of importance: safety, support, creative service delivery, internal challenges, and external influences. From the analysis, it is evident that women find the transition house a valuable service, one that has assisted them in their healing journey.
Rainbow Families: Cross- Cultural Adoption And The Best Interests Of The Child
by Nicole M. Hemstad-Leete
Adoption is a process where people who are not biologically related to each other come together to create a family. When parents adopt children whose ethnicity is other then the parents, this is known across-cultural adoption. There are many people who believe the culture and ethnicity are the most important factors in determining whether children should be adopted, stating that children should only be adopted into families who share the same ethnicity and culture. Cross-cultural adoption can and does create families and is one such alternative the presents an option which provides permanency for children. It is in the child’s best interest to be raised in a family rather than in foster care. Borrowing from the grounded theory approach,using snowball sampling, comparative data, ethnography and thematic analysis, this study will examine the experiences of families formed through cross-cultural adoption. As a parent to four children who joined my family through cross-cultural adoption, my lived experiences are woven throughout the thesis through the process of auto-ethnography. Final analysis confirms that cross-cultural adoption can and does work when children are encouraged to learn about their culture and ethnicity,are taught to be proud of their heritage and history, and have been encouraged to hold themselves in high regard.
Community Network Building to Impact Policy and Improve the Lives of Northern British Columbian Women
by M.Christina Rodrigues
This is a practicum report. It is about my experience as a practicum student at Northern FIRE1: The Centre for Women's Health Research at the University of Northern British Columbia, working on a project funded by Status of Women Canada, entitled Women North, between May 3 and August 30, 2002. In this report, I discuss my interest in health and the importance of focusing on the health and wellness of women, especially women living in the northern, rural, and remote communities of British Columbia. I describe the practicum setting and my practicum experience. Most importantly, I discuss the implications for social work practice and make some practical recommendations. Intertwined with this, I review the theories that guided my practice, the policies that impacted the project's development, and the practice issues that arose from my practicum experience.
Becoming Authentic Allies with First Nations People
by Charles Alexander (Chuck) Fraser
This project examines ways for social workers to be effective when working with First Nations people in their respective villages, and specifically in the areas of child welfare and community development. My aim is to give insight to social workers willing to practice anti-oppressive social work, as authentic allies with Aboriginal people. This approach incorporates the theoretical perspectives of structural social work practice, as well as becoming aware of the importance of the Aboriginal World Views to First Nations people in their struggles for self-determination and self-government. This retrospective modified case study allowed the researcher to reflect on his personal experiences and then compare this experience with relevant literature pertaining to the field of structural social work. This qualitative project was also guided by a Cultural Studies approach, in the way of a performance auto ethnography, which values subjective experiences such as poetry, lived experiences, and quotes from valued Elders and other important First Nation's voices. This case study of Yekooche First Nation's Community Transformation Plan, allowed me to assist the community in developing empowering generalist social work approaches designed so that the residents of Yekooche could take responsibility for child welfare and community development. This project is an example of how anti-oppressive structural social work, coupled with an appreciation for Aboriginal World Views, can be beneficial to First Nations people in their attempts to prevent children from being taken away from their villages, in relocating others. And brining them home to awaiting families, community, and culture
Women with Developmental Disabilities and Sexual Abuse: An Analysis of the (Draft) Practice Guidelines for Part 3 of the Adult Guardianship Act
by Heather Aase
This modified case study project critically explores the issues of women with developmental disabilities and sexual abuse and analyzes the (Draft) Ministry of Children and Family Development Practice Guidelines (policy) developed in response to the Adult Guardianship Act (Part 3) Support and Assistance to Abused and Neglected Adults (the Act). This project is grounded in a comprehensive review of the literature relating to women with disabilities and abuse. The development of the Act and policy are explored in both historical and contemporary contexts. It has been estimated that women with disabilities risk of abuse ranges from one and a half to five times greater than women without disabilities of similar age. This project with posit that negative assumptions and beliefs play a major role in socially constructed myths and stereotypes that act to negate women with disabilities. The root causes of society's negative attitude towards people with disabilities are a subscription to the medical model of disability and, more generally, capitalist society which inherently devalues people with developmental disabilities. This project seeks to analyze the Act through the framework of a social model of disability. A social model of disability contends that disability is the outcome of social arrangements which work to limit the activities of people with impairments by erecting social barriers. The policy does not address major structural barriers individuals with disabilities face. For instance, poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and unemployment. The policy does however, help to create awareness of the issue of abuse among women with disabilities and additionally. Their right to self-determination. Finally, the Act acknowledges that abuse is a community problem through the creation of Community Response Networks which may help to alleviate the abuse through education and ultimately societal change.
Letting the Light In: Universal Screening for Women Abuse in a Northern Care Setting
by Paula Hunter
Given that substantial numbers of abused women seek health care services and given the negative impact abuse has on women, children and communities at large, the health care sector as a vital role to play ion addressing violence against women. However, due to a combination of personal, institutional and ideological factors, the needs of abused women are often overlooked in the health care encounter. This is troubling because the hospital emergency room represents a significant point of entry for abused women to receive treatment, support and safety. For those living in northern, rural and remote communities, the hospital may be the only source of assistance available to women experiencing violence. This case study critically explores the implications of adopting a health care policy knowing as “universal screening” for use in a northern, rural or remote health care setting. It is argued that with appropriate training and education, health care providers can use the screening process to go beyond simply inquiring about abuse and treating the physical symptom to paving the way to women's empowerment. The main goals of screening from an empowerment perspective are listening with empathy; providing support and validation; offering appropriate treatment, information and referrals; and reassuring women that the violence is not their fault. Most notably, this project asserts that developing a critical consciousness about the complex interplay between the personal, social and political aspects of woman abuse is a necessary component of empowerment practice. With this knowledge, rather than feeling that they need to fix the problem, health care providers will recognize that women are the best judges of their own circumstances.
Towards Body-recovery: herstorical poetry-tellings within feminist and ecological feminist narratives
by Maria Walther
This thesis presents an exploratory effort in the local-global ecological feminist quest to further stimulate debate of ways in which we-women, within our selves and the eco-social context of our communities, may acknowledge and honor biologically anchored gender difference. As such it is premised on the recognition of women's biological difference as a further building block towards a cross-cultural feminist understanding and appreciation of all our unique, diverse, uncountainable identities in this world-earth-home. The thesis is written in the hope that we may, out of this honoring of biological differences and its ecological/sociological effects, collectively move beyond multiple oppressions towards cross-cultural alliances in efforts to redefine the human journey of life on this planet. I thank all those women who have come before me and passed on their empowering legacy of strength and hope. Set within and ecological feminist framework, this inquiry into Western cultural body politics and its effects on women is a multi-layered collage of intermingling textual analysis. Creative writing and herstorical testimonies. Contextually appropriate poetry treads through the textual montage, linking the writer's personal experiences into the larger frame of women's experiences as evidenced in local and global feminist research. Through this unconventional format I hope to offer readers new paths of entry into the debate. In summary then, the thesis explores how women-we can acknowledge our material bodies in ways that are affirming, celebratory, liberating and lead towards new expressions of self determination – an embodied self-determination which moves from personal body validation towards collective herstorical awareness of the stark socio-ecological consequences contained in Western masculinity devaluation /exploitation of women's bodies in corporate global politics.
Honoring Strength: Overcoming Addiction Identities
by Thomas Jeffery Talbot
This thesis explores how some people manage their relationship with/without alcohol in ways that do not seem to harmonize with status quo discussions of alcohol abuse and recovery. My question was: How do the experiences and needs of those overcoming addiction independently of a 12-step/ disease- model culture impact social work practice? This qualitative study explores experiences of seven “outsider” participants. Two quit drinking completely without the help of addiction therapy or self-help groups; the remaining five participants reclaimed a manageable relationship with alcohol after years of dedication to 12- step programs. The participants’ experiences are explored using a social constructionist cultural model. Issues regarding the political context of addiction counseling are explored reflecting my 20 years experience in this field, and my implications including assessment and resource development for social work practitioners are discussed.
Women Escaping Abuse in Northern British Columbia: Attributes and Resources That Make the Most Difference
by Cherylynne Greenard-Smith
Northern rural living and abuse of women are two topics that have been the focus of research in recent decades. Feminist scholars have examined many aspects of the realities of woman abuse, as well as the difficulties inherent in leaving an abuser who is an intimate partner. Researchers in northern Canada have uncovered many realities of northern rural living, including isolation, the lack of available services and close knit nature of communities. To date, little study has examined the intersection of two issues, namely, examining the complexities of escaping abuse that occurs in rural and remote northern Canada. This descriptive research study employs a feminist perspective in thematic analysis of interview data that was complied from discussions with nine key informants. The goal of this study is to listen to the truths of the key informants who spoke about their experiences working with women accessing transition house services.