University of the Fraser Valley

CHASI researchers presenting at San Diego conference

CHASI researchers presenting at San Diego conference

CHASI team members (left to right): Lynsie Pratt, Miranda Erickson, Frankie Fowle (not attending PSA), Jeff Mijo-Burch, Chelsea Klassen, Mara Penner, Martha Dow, Imran Tatla, and Carlanna Thompson, with Ekaterina Marenkov lying down in front.

UFV’s Community Health and Social Innovation (CHASI) Hub is sending several presenters to the Pacific Sociological Association annual conference in March. The gathering takes place Mar 21-24 in San Diego with the theme of Ties that Bind: Social Space and Social Permissiveness.

CHASI research assistant Ekaterina Marenkov is making two presentations. One is titled, Advancing Food Equity in Abbotsford: Building a Resilient Food System. This report aims to present a comprehensive analysis of factors related to household food security in Abbotsford, focusing on the economic, social, cultural, demographic, and environmental context, as well as local food systems and related food policies.

Marenkov’s other presentation is Rising Together: Reimagining the Referral System of the ARJAA (Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association).

She looks forward to the experience.

“I am thrilled about the upcoming opportunity to showcase the impactful projects I’ve been apart of at CHASI,” she says. “The chance to present work alongside my brilliant colleagues is truly exciting, and I’m delighted that we’ll all have a platform to share our insights and celebrate our achievements together.”

Miranda Erickson, Carlanna Thompson, and Lynsie Pratt are also presenting.

Thompson’s work focuses on colonial barriers to accessing Indigenous information. In 2022, CHASI reached a research agreement with Old Massett Village Council of Haida Gwaii in BC. On behalf of that community, CHASI located, accessed, and collected the records of Haida children who were sent to residential schools across Western Canada.

Dr. Martha Dow, CHASI director, along with Chelsea Klassen, lead researcher, Imran Tatla, researcher, and Jeff Mijo-Burch, communications and design specialist, are making two presentations.

One is titled, ‘The co-option of Space in the Face of Resistance,’ discussing the repeated vandalism/theft of pride flags, and the challenges of institutional responses, campus activism, and the fundamental role of universities as sites of contestation.

The other is a look at CHASI itself and how other institutions might reflect on the model’s successes as they develop their own student-centric and community driven knowledge mobilization model.

“PSA’s enthusiastic celebration of undergraduate research should serve as a template for other conferences, and it is our privilege to have such a big group attending from CHASI,” Dow says. “The opportunity for our students, recent grads and staff to share our work and CHASI’s innovative model of student and community engagement is incredibly exciting. To do it in a time when universities are having to reflect on and protect their core mission is not lost on any of us.”

For more info on the PSA conference, visit

For more on CHASI, visit or follow them on social media at @ufvchasihub.