This year TRU School of Social Work and Human Services set a new record for bringing 8 social work students to share their research and interact with other students across Canada at the Canadian Association for Social Work Education Conference (CASWE). Usually, Schools of Social Work across Canada send up to 2 students to represent them at the National level. However, due to exceptional activism, strong research preparation and financial support from the TRUSU Conference Grant, five TRU students were selected to share their research with social work educators across Canada and three other TRU students joined them to learn about innovations in social work education across Canada. Together with 5 faculty members many of whom presented their research at the conference, TRU was visible at every conference event.
Here is a photo report on some of the many events both TRU students and faculty participated at the CASWE 2018 Conference in Regina.
On the first photo the annual TRU dinner celebration where Faculty and Students shared a meal together. Unfortunately, Dr. Bala Nikku and Dr. Silvia Straka were unable to join and one of the students, Jenna Skokberg, left earlier but the rest of the faculty Dr. Wendy Hulko, Dr. Rebecca Sanford, Dr. Sasha Kondrashov as well as the Dean of Academic Partnership & Development from Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Tim Dueck and 7 students stayed till the end.
TRU students and faculty in addition to attending all conference events also visited the Justice for Our Stolen Children protest camp on the lawn in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and show support to the protesters by listening to their stories and participating in the camp evening activities. Both TRU students and faculty shared their research during multiple oral presentations. TRU students, Catherine and Carmen, completed a comprehensive literature review and offered a number of recommendations on harm reduction strategy for BC fentanyl crises during the harm reduction roundtable organized by the Social Policy and Advocacy Committee.
Graduating TRU students, Teresa and Jessica, attended the Disability Caucus and presented their research on transportation options for disabled people in Kamloops
Jenna and I had a pleasant discussion with the dean of University of Calgary, Dr. Jackie Sieppert, about the upcoming 2020 International Social Work Conference that will be held in Calgary and hope we will have a strong TRU international presence there too.
Students and faculty supported each other during presentations. I was extremely happy to see such a welcoming crowd during my presentation on the unique Social Policy assignment I use to inspire students in Canadian Social Policy course. Special thanks to the EDSW Associate Dean Dr. Jane Hewes and Director of the School of Social Work from Dalhousie University Dr. Judy McDonald for your presence.
Overall, I had a lot of fun and hope we will be able to bring even more students from TRU to 2019 CASWE conference at UBC Vancouver. Having an experience sharing knowledge and being part of the National social work movement opens new doors for many TRU students in preparing them for the professional career. TRU Faculty of Education and Social Work, School of Social Work and Human Services always takes a leading role in driving social work student research that will benefit the development of social work education in Canada and around the world.
Here are some more fun photos from the CASWE 2018 conference
As next year I took an additional role for being a CASWE member of the nomination committee, after having experience at the EDSW nomination committee, I will keep inspiring more TRU students to attend CASWE and share their exceptional research with others. See you in Vancouver!
Sasha Kondrashov, PhD