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Social Work - Student Works

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    Student experience and reactions to online learning on Facebook: a content analysis of remote learning issues during COVID-19
    (2023) Vallee, Kasandra; Symbaluk, Diane
    This study examined the complications of remote learning experienced by MacEwan University students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Content analyses of 125 comments to a Facebook post about remote learning revealed 5 key themes including: work overload, professor issues, disorganized system, burnout, and a concern with fees. The most prevalent themes were work overload (35.2% of comments) and professor issues (28.0%). Further analyses showed that students were most challenged by weekly assignments and readings occurring in all of their classes simultaneously. This study sheds insight into student experiences with at-home learning and suggests instructors need to modify their approaches to remote learning practices to ensure the workload is not beyond the capacities of what students would typically experience in person.
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    BIPOC community contributions in volunteerism and civic engagement
    (2023) Williams, Cheryl; Shaughnessy, Vicki; Ouedraogo, Valerie
    The purpose of this project is to challenge the lack of representation and acknowledgement in the nonprofit sector, related to helping from the BIPOC community. Dominant discourse and ideology through a neoliberal, western cultural lens highlights deficit-based constructs when it comes to community engagement with BIPOC folks. Through Photovoice and storytelling, we can challenge this deficit-based perspective with positive examples of BIPOC people contributing to community through volunteerism and civic engagement. Volunteer Alberta posted a call for Photovoice submissions through social media and Volunteer Connector, an online volunteer hub. We requested photos from BIPOC community members representing what it means to them to gift their time and energy to helping community either through formal or informal activities. We then asked participants to describe what the photo is depicting, and what is important to them about the image they submitted. Interviews were conducted with 3 participants. Interviews were transcribed and coded for common themes that appeared amongst the participants in relation to their experiences of helping community. Findings demonstrated BIPOC folks are in fact very engaged civically and socially. This suggests more can be done in the nonprofit sector to acknowledge and represent the valuable contributions of BIPOC community members.
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    Global practices to global mindedness : utilizing reflexivity and cultural relevance as paths towards a global indigenization of international social work practice
    (2023) Ociepka-Mengel, Eva; Heuft, Samantha; Ouedraogo, Valerie
    The importance of the decolonization of social work curriculum around the world has increased in the past 10 years. Due to its strong colonial legacy, social work education, practice, and research are called to break free from Eurocentric western value based theories and methods of practices in the social work profession. Our poster focuses on the concept of global mindedness and reflexivity as the results of a scoping literature review about the development of concepts and related culturally grounded practices in the field of International Social Work in Germany and Canada. Our poster presents the nature and scope of International Social Work in both countries in the context of internationalization, globalization, and indigenization. The purpose of our poster is to explore Indigenous Beading as an example to articulate mindedness-reflexivity as locally and culturally relevant practices to Indigenization in the context of International Social Work. Our poster will discuss how practices around the world and existence of global indigeneity that is not essentialized but rather contextualized to be relevant on a micro and macro level of practices can enhance the decolonization of International Social Work practice.
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    Afrocentric knowledge within the context of social work education and practice
    (2023) Moallim, Nafisa; Osadjere, Precious; Ouedraogo, Valerie
    Our poster examines the results of a scoping literature review and seminal works search related to the existing knowledge on the inclusion of Afrocentric paradigms within Social Work and African/Black studies disciplines. It presents the firsthand findings about identity development and ”Africanness” related to knowledge gathered through an ongoing research project on Afrocentricity and Social Work. Our poster’s purpose is to highlight the necessity to implement the recommendation of the United Nations People of African Descent decade which is a concrete inclusion of Afrocentric education within Social Work discipline in particular, and in higher education. It uplifts People of African descent’ contributions to sciences and community well-being over centuries of a true world history. As two first-generation African Canadian graduate students, this study allowed us to explore the spaces we occupy within graduate studies focus on Eurocentric frameworks. Our poster, therefore, discusses the intersecting identities that have shaped our lives, by allowing us to dissect the theories and empirical evidence surrounding Afrocentricity and Social Work.
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    Research reflections: student experiences of a systematic literature review on social care strategies for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (2022) Baluyot, Beverly Michel; Azulai, Anna
    There is currently no research that synthesizes, analyzes, and evaluates studies that looked into social care strategies in geriatric residential care settings in Canada. Funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), this systematic review aims to examine emerging evidence on social care strategies in residential care since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will identify current research gaps to provide recommendations for social workers and other professionals on future directions for social care for older adults, living in residential care settings. Conducting a systematic review requires time management, teamwork, and effective communication skills. Systematic reviews also follow a distinct and rigorous process. The presentation will focus on our experiences and learning as undergraduate research assistants in conducting a systematic literature review. We will also provide a status report of the research progress since August 2021.
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    Voices of international students: growth, strengths, and challenges at MacEwan University
    (2020) Samad, Fatima; Dhungel, Rita
    This study aims to explore and gain a better understanding of the experiences of international students at MacEwan University of Edmonton using both qualitative and quantitative approaches through surveys and focus groups. This study will gain more insight into the different barriers faced by international students on both micro and macro levels, their experiences integrating themselves into a new culture, and details on their employment situations, financial situations, sense of well-being, and rationale in choosing MacEwan University of Edmonton. This study will also touch on what more MacEwan University can do to enhance this experience, both academically and personally for international students based on participant feedback.
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    Recruiting challenges and students’ involvement in a project to understand civic engagement of aging Asian immigrants in Edmonton
    (2018) Lamichhane, Bhupendra; Tong, Hongmei
    Supporting aging immigrants to fully engage in mainstream social and political life is a significant challenge for policy makers, service providers, and communities in Canada. Asian immigrants constitute the largest majority of immigrants in Canada over decades. A contextualized understanding of civic participation in aging Asian immigrants is of critical importance to support broad, active aging and social integration goals. Based on the research rationale, objectives and gaps identified in the literature review, this study will present a research project that aims to explore civic participation of aging immigrants from Asia, specifically China, India, and Philippines, living in Edmonton, Alberta. This research draws on the Civic Voluntarism Model and on Bourdieu's Theory of Practice, which views civic participation as a multi-dimensional concept influenced by individual social positions, family and community, and historical, cultural, political, and societal factors. Mixed methods research will be adopted, and will involve in-depth interviews with aging immigrants, focus group with immigrant and Canadian-born older adults, and a survey of aging immigrant participants in focus groups. This presentation will overview the research project and identify the multiple challenges in recruiting targeted participants from different ethnic groups in the initial stage and strategies adopted to solve these challenges. This presentation will inform future directions and approaches in the research of diverse ethnic aging immigrants. This presentation will also contribute to research method education and training for in undergraduate students at teaching-focused universities.
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    Reflections on lessons learned : a journey of discovery
    (2017) Zwede, Faven; Escoto, Daisy; Adam, Lula; Jaroslawski, Natasha; Degefu, Sosina; Ouedraogo, Valerie
    Attending the Interdisciplinary Dialogue on the Global Refugee Crisis in relation to our Bachelor of Social Work course on Intercultural Practice started us on our journey of discovery and learning. It brought the headline news of refugees, settlement, and crisis to our door steps. It changed us from observers to participants in trying to understand the issue and finding solutions. We wanted to learn more and explore further. In this presentation, we wanted to share our journey of discovery from why we participated in the forums and what we learned about the Global Refugee Crisis to how we viewed things as social work students. We hoped to link the lessons we learned to our personal lives and academic lives as well as to our ongoing growing professional identity. Our goal is to continue the dialogue on Global Refugee Crisis, by putting ourselves in the role of active actors of social change. As future social workers and as responsible members of humanity, we will endeavor to continue to learn, reflect and above all to be agents of change to make this world a place where the well-beings and dignity of everyone is ensured.