About the Research Initiative
The purpose of the Research Initiative is to deepen our understanding of well-being and well-becoming in the context of school education and of ways in which such understanding can be reflected and enacted in practice and policy. Through its work, the Research Initiative wants to contribute to a productive public discourse on the role of well-being and well-becoming in school education.
Lesley Eblie Trudel has been successfully involved in public education for over thirty years. She has held positions ranging from instructional to administrative, working with diverse populations in both urban and rural settings. Lesley was most recently an Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Manitoba, Canada. In January 2019, she joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg as an Assistant Professor of Inclusive Education. Lesley is a collaborative leader and interdisciplinary researcher, with a keen interest in organizational learning and systemic change as it pertains to diverse educational communities.
Thomas Falkenberg is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. His current research focuses on sustainable well-being more generally and well-being and well-becoming in schools in particular. He is the editor or co-editor of a number of books, including Indigenous Perspectives on Education for Well-Being in Canada and the Handbook of Canadian Research in Initial Teacher Education.
Sarah Hannan is an Assistant Professor of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba. She earned her D.Phil. from Oxford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Ethics in Society. Sarah works within contemporary moral and political philosophy. She has published on the morality of procreation and parenting, children’s rights, and the value of childhood (Theory and Research in Education, Journal of Applied Philosophy, and Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy).
Cameron is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Prior to coming to the University of Manitoba, Cameron served as an adjunct professor at Niagara University’s Ontario Campus. His academic and research interests are situated in K-12 school leadership and program evaluation, with a specific focus on the work and wellbeing of school principals. Cameron’s work can be found in both academic and practitioner-focused publications.
Rebeca Heringer is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and sessional instructor at the University of Winnipeg. Her main research focuses are philosophy of education, well-being and well-becoming, anti-racist education, anti-oppressive research methodologies, hermeneutic phenomenology, and internationalization of higher education. Besides her previous formal experience as an English teacher in Brazil, Rebeca has worked with diverse minority groups in Kenya, Brazil, Hungary and Canada.
Jeannie Kerr is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg. Her research is concerned with understanding the ways that programs of teacher education can prepare future educators to engage complexity, uncertainty and diversity so as to address local and global inequities that form part of working in education. Jeannie’s academic work is committed to decolonial theory and practice in teacher education, addressing inequalities in K-12 schooling, and collaboratively repairing and renewing relations in Canadian society.
Heather Krepski is currently a doctoral candidate and sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Her research interest lies in the area of student well-being in schools. She also explores topics within foundations in education (sociology and philosophy of education), cross-cultural education, assessment and evaluation, and research methods in education. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways and to what degree student data are valued or practically applied in the decision making process in Manitoba. Previously, Heather spent five years teaching at the high school level in the Toronto District School Board.
Graham W. Lea is an Assistant Professor of drama education and language and literacy in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Previously he served as an assistant professor at the National Institute of Education / Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He completed a SSHRC Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Prince Edward Island which examined narrative and teacher identity. While completing his PhD, Graham was a Vanier Doctoral Fellow the University of British Columbia. Graham has taught in secondary and post-secondary settings around the world including in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya as part of Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER). His research has received awards from organizations including the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, the Canadian Association for Teacher Education, and the Arts Researchers and Teachers Society. Graham’s recent research-based theatre production Contact!Unload examines experiences of veterans transitioning to civilian life. It has been performed across Canada and in London where it was shared with audiences including HRH Prince Harry. Graham has published and presented widely and is co-editor, with Dr. George Belliveau, of the book Research-based Theatre: An Artistic Methodology published by Intellect in 2016.
Michael is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg. Prior to the University of Winnipeg, Michael served as an Educational Developer with the Centre for the Advancement for Teaching and Learning and as a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Michael was also an educator in the inner city of Surrey, British Columbia for 10 years. His research interests include curricular ecoliteracy integration, education for sustainability, sustainable well-being in schools, and outdoor education. His PhD research explored the link between outdoor education and student well-being.
Grace Ukasoanya received a PhD from the Counsellor Education Program at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Grace, a former Fulbright scholar, is currently an assistant professor with the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Manitoba. She conducts research in the areas of counselor training (national and international), student well-being, well-being context in schools and training for competency in student well-being service delivery. She is also a two-time Carnegie fellow with focus on counselor training and well-being in military contexts.
Jennifer Watt is an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba who focuses on language and literacy, teacher education, and wellbeing and well-becoming. Graduating with her PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2017, Jennifer was the recipient of a Distinguished Dissertation Award for her work on developing life writing practices for teachers in all stages of their careers to engage with vulnerability, discomfort, mindfulness, and compassion. Jen brings to this research initiative a passion for exploring how flourishing literacy in and out of schools can contribute to a sense of students’ wellbeing and well-becoming.