Criminal Justice Students at the United Nations and Western Society of Criminology

Recently Amanda McCormick, UFV Criminology and Criminal Justice Director, travelled to New York with BA (Criminal Justice) student Lauren Kempers and Master of Arts (Criminal Justice) student Caleigh West to present at the United Nations 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Amanda and the students presented their research project on increasing women’s access to civil protective orders in domestic violence. They gained valuable feedback from the event organizers, the International Police Executive Symposium (IPES) and the Women’s United Nations Resource Network. Subsequently they were also invited to attend and present at the IPES session in Belgrade this summer 2019.

During their trip, they also met with a colleague from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice who gave them a tour of the campus and the opportunity to present in a Master’s class as guest lecturers on the Canadian Criminal Justice System, which generated a lot of interest and discussion.

Additionally, four UFV graduate students and one undergraduate student went to the recent Western Society of Criminology conference in Honolulu where they delivered compelling presentations.

Mapping Ancient Flood Deposits in the Langley Bog: A Student Research Program

Dr. Jonathan Hughes, UFV Associate Professor, Geography and the Environment, 2018 

“When I first got to UFV in 2006, retiring professor, Don Tunstall, had left this box of Kodachromes on my desk,” says UFV associate professor Dr. Jonathan Hughes, a bio-geographer and paleoecologist in the department of Geography and the Environment.

First used in the 1930s, a Kodachrome is a 35 mm slide used for professional colour photography. “I started looking through them thinking these are kind of interesting” says Hughes. Hughes discovered that the Kodachrome slides had originally come from a local farmer during the 1948 flood, who had recorded images and field notes of damaged properties in the Matsqui and Hatzic areas.

Having a paleoecological interest (the study of interactions between organisms and/or organisms and their environments) and having studied the evidence of ancient earthquakes, the idea of ancient floods appealed to Hughes. “I thought there should be a sediment signature here, so I contacted Metro Vancouver Parks” says Hughes.

Hughes has since been developing a research program in conjunction with Metro Vancouver Parks and, with the help of his students, has begun to map ancient flood deposits preserved in the Langley Bog, which contain approximately 5000 years of flood history. “There would be more records except there’s been lots of loss of wetland habitat through development, hence the need to restore” says Hughes.

“I take students in there with the intent to collect data that would be informative to the managers associated with Metro Vancouver Parks” he says. Third and fourth year students enrolled in Hughes’ soils, wetlands and paleoecology courses are given the opportunity to carry out field work at Sumas Mountain and Derby Reach Regional Park. There, the students collect, compare and share data from different sites, bring the data back to the lab for processing and write individual reports.

“The students really like it because it’s tangible” says Hughes. Last winter, Hughes received a request from Metro Vancouver Parks to develop a restoration plan for the bog. Students were able to use the data they collected, along with case studies, to write a recommendation on what tools to use during their restoration efforts.

Hughes courses are applicable, local and provide community outreach for students. Many of Hughes students have gone on to work with government agencies (including Metro Vancouver Parks, the Fraser Valley Regional District and the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition), environmental consulting companies, and not-for-profits, as well, many students have been accepted into graduate programs.

To watch Dr. Jonathan Hughes’ short video interview, click on the link: [Jonathan Hughes short video]

 

To watch Dr. Jonathan Hughes’ full video interview, click on the link: [Jonathan Hughes full video interview]

Minister of Multiculturalism, Official Languages and La Francophonie for a Weekend

Raymond Kobes, BA, French Major & Business Minor, 2018 

“I went to Victoria for University Model Parliament” says Raymond Kobes. It was there in January 2018, that the UFV French alumnus and member of Universities Model Parliament was selected to be the Minister of Multiculturalism, Official Languages and La Francophonie for a weekend.

“Basically when you go to Model Parliament, it’s as if Ottawa was postponed and you were actually in Ottawa as the official representatives and members of parliament” says Kobes. Over the course of the weekend, Kobes was responsible for three portfolios: Multiculturalism, Official Languages and the French culture.

In this role, Kobes was expected to field questions by the opposition regarding certain bills that related to his area. “It was really neat because there were so many different opinions and different world views… but when it came down to it, we were all there for a common goal of learning how to get involved in the political world and how we can best make a better Canada” he says.

To be an effective member of parliament, Kobes recommends becoming a good orator because a large part of the job will include giving speeches and asking or responding to questions from either side of the House of Commons. He also recommends becoming bilingual. “The best part about [being a Minister] was that I got to use my French in the House… and got to share with other people why those things are important” says Kobes.

Growing up in Abbotsford, Kobes was drawn to politics at an early age and dreamed of one day becoming a member of parliament. “I look forward to my future in politics, hopefully, as a member of parliament in the future and a lot of that has to do with my education here at the University of the Fraser Valley” says Kobes.

Kobes graduated this June 2018 from UFV. He is set to teach French for one year at Credo Christian High School in Langley starting September 2018, and then plans to become heavily involved in the Canadian federal election in 2019.

To watch Raymond’s short video interview, click on the link: https://bit.ly/2NloL72

To watch Raymond’s full video interview, click on the link: https://bit.ly/2mr2vx2

Helping high school students navigate racial identity

Helping high school students navigate racial identity

 

Anecia Gill, Sociology BA 2017

By creating an anti-racism mentorship workshop that she intends to deliver at Abbotsford high schools this fall, Anecia Gill was able to combine her passions for social theory and her hometown.

Gill’s family has lived in Abbotsford for over 100 years and she feels a strong connection to this place. She is also drawn to sociology thanks to her mother, who took a degree in the same field and had all of her old textbooks on the family bookshelf. Gill completed her own Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at UFV this spring and in her final year she created the workshop in a directed study with Dr. Katherine Watson.

Inspired by critical race theory (DuBois, Fanon), which outlines the complexities of non-white racial identity, she wanted to help young people in Abbotsford navigate this complicated terrain.

“The root of this is the racism they face,” she says. “I’m hoping that I can help explain . . . and legitimize their experiences so that they can better understand themselves and how they fit within society.” Gill notes that when people have theoretical knowledge and vocabulary, they can better articulate their experiences and advocate for themselves within their communities.

Schools, she says, have had a long history acting as gatekeepers for legitimate knowledge, so offering an after-school workshop that attempts to critique power structures seemed like the ideal place. Her intention is for the program to help decolonize and validate non-white identity by legitimizing and supporting the lived realities of non-white students, in particular, Indo-Canadian youth, whom the program targets.

She admits that she can’t teach high school students the ins and outs of critical race theory in five days, but she wants to spark their interest. And in doing so, she hopes to give youth some helpful tools to understand and negotiate their racial identity.

For a taste of what students will learn, check out Gill’s course outline:

Day one: Cultural hegemony and power knowledge – Gramsci and Foucault

Day two: Critical Race Theory – Du Bois and Fanon

Day three: Brown experiences of racism – Said

Day four: Intersectionality of race and gender: a critique of imperialist feminism

Day five: Wrap-up discussion