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Red Deer Polytechnic expanding its research capacity with child advocacy centre and other partners

‘It’s an expanding field and a growth area,’ said Dr. Alison Jeppesen

Red Deer Polytechnic is expanding research with community partners, including starting a new project with the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.

“It’s an expanding field and a growth area,” said Dr. Alison Jeppesen, associate dean of teaching learning and research at the RDP.

With the advocacy centre relocating this summer to a new building on the RDP campus, where the supportive living community, Bethany CollegesSide, is also located, “we are well situated to look at a variety of issues that plague society and we are making partnerships so we can work towards a better society,” Jeppesen added.

Three Red Deer Polytechnic instructors — Drs. Stephen Brown and Jamie Prowse-Turner in psychology and Dr. Jones Adjei in sociology — will be establishing research plans in collaboration with staff at the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.

Jeppesen said several different research questions are under consideration, including what are some of the root causes of child abuse, and are there better practice models the advocacy centre can use to improve the kind of care that’s offered to help kids overcome trauma?

Two fourth-year Bachelor of Science nursing students are also working with Jeppesen and the research team to complete a literature review examining the current state of research into child advocacy and gaps in the research landscape.

Planning for next year is underway, said Jeppeson, who noted the research will seek to address questions related to child abuse and interventions “to better the lives of Central Albertans and all Canadians.”

“This builds on a long history at RDP in which faculty, across disciplines, have worked with community partners to apply their expertise to real-world solutions,” she added.

Among the many other projects happening at RDP are: research into identifying local bats in light of the fatal threat of white-nose syndrome; camera monitoring to discover the prevalence and severity of winter tick infestations in moose habitat in Elk Island Provincial Park; best practices for teaching nursing to students from multicultural backgrounds; and preparing a training module for service providers who work with immigrants that are victims of domestic violence.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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