The Community Health and Social Innovation Hub (CHASI) at the University of the Fraser Valley was honoured to welcome Minister Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s Deputy Premier and Solicitor General, into the Hub on November 14. He was joined by long-time friend of CHASI Pam Alexis, Minister of Agriculture and Food.
“We want to know that all of our hard work isn’t sitting on a shelf gathering dust,” said CHASI research assistant Carlanna Thompson. “So this was a great opportunity to present our projects, and to see that they can really have an impact.”
Led by the Hub’s student research assistants, the team used the opportunity to share a number of projects with the ministers, including recent work related to gang prevention, restorative justice practices, and youth crime trends. This was followed by a stimulating discussion of public safety initiatives, including a look at why students do or do not pursue careers in policing.
Research assistant Ekaterina Marenkov added “it’s not every undergraduate student that has the chance to meet with senior government officials to present their research and ask difficult questions. The Ministers’ visit gave us a chance for some face-to-face time with people able to make real change in our communities.”
For students, the learning potential was also a highlight of the visit. “As a student it’s an amazing experience to present at this level. This experience will be valuable to all of us as we continue our studies and pursue our varied career paths,” said research assistant Miranda Erickson.
UFV’s Vice-President, Community Engagement, Susan Mide Kiss also joined the visit. “It was a valuable opportunity for Ministers Farnworth and Alexis to learn more about the depth and breadth of community engaged research led by CHASI’s researchers and student researchers,” said Mide Kiss. “It was an honour to listen, learn and recognize the impact of CHASI – throughout the Fraser Valley and BC.”
This visit was a significant affirmation of the value and impact of the research and community engagement model employed by CHASI.
“Our team greatly appreciated the ministers making time to visit us and hear about our work,” said CHASI director Dr. Martha Dow. “We look forward to an ongoing discussion about the ways CHASI can collaborate with B.C.’s provincial government on critical issues impacting individual and community perceptions of safety.”