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.
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.
Dr. 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).
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.
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 focused 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.