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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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UOIT professors investigating improvements to Canadian policies in education, corrections

New federal research awards to UOIT valued at more than $400,000

61 Charles Street Building at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's downtown Oshawa location.
61 Charles Street Building at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's downtown Oshawa location.

Two University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) researchers are recipients of new Insight Grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The SSHRC awards go to the research teams of Dr. Laura Pinto, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, and Dr. Carla Cesaroni, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.

Dr. Laura Pinto says efforts to improve educational outcomes in industrialized nations has turned on the promise of extensive policy reforms.

“The impact of multiple policies being in force simultaneously leaves educators with difficult choices on how to interpret and prioritize,” says Dr. Pinto. “Remarkably, researchers rarely study policies as a whole – instead, most researchers focus on single policy study in isolation of the bigger context.”

As the principal investigator of the new research project, Dr. Pinto will be working with Dr. Sue Winton of York University in Toronto, Ontario and Dr. Katina Pollock of Western University in London, Ontario to shed new light on how complex layers of education policy are interpreted, prioritized and executed in real-world contexts.

“Better policy enactment ought to result in direct improvements to the education system,” Dr. Pinto explains.

In the long term, governments will be able to apply research findings to improve policy processes in ways that strengthen Canada's capacity in education. The researchers will also be using a combination of familiar sociological research methods and refining emerging post-qualitative methods, in the hope that this will lead to advancements in the way that researchers across disciplines collect and interpret political data.

Dr. Pinto’s SSHRC Insight Grant is valued at $316,228 over five years.

Dr. Carla Cesaroni says there are compelling reasons for Canada to make changes to how it currently imprisons young adult inmates.

“Young prisoners are less able to cope with the stress of incarceration that their adult counterparts,” explains Dr. Cesaroni “Through the anxiety of being deprived of their families and social networks, young adults have generally been found to be involved in more disciplinary infractions, inmate-staff assaults and conflicts with others in prison. We are examining the need for a more age-appropriate correctional policy for young adults.”

Dr. Cesaroni will compare Canadian experiences with those of a group of young adults in the Scottish prison system where there are Young Offender Institutions for 18-to-21 year olds. Research findings will have significant implications for Canadian correctional policy and practice for young adults.

Dr. Cesaroni’s SSHRC Insight Grant is valued at $97,282 over three years.  

“Drs. Pinto and Cesaroni will be exploring important questions to advance our understanding of how governmental and institutional policies and practices impact on individuals and families in our communities,” said Dr. Michael Owen, UOIT Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International. “Their research aligns with UOIT’s Strategic Research Plan to create new knowledge and mobilize it for social and economic benefit. We look forward to their findings in the coming years.”