The Joys and Complications of Participatory Research

  • Kix Citton, Nanaimo Brain Injury Society; Kristen Hasse, Nursing; Bonnie Leung, Nursing; Priti Narayan, Geography; and Julia Schmidt, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
    Coach House, Green College, UBC, and livestreamed

    Thursday, November 3, 5-6:30pm
    in the series
    Democratizing Research and Teaching: Models for Action
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    In this session, Green College Leading Scholars ask: What’s the fuss about participatory research and why do we do it? What do we gain from sharing power with key partners, and why is it so hard? Although participatory research methods have a long and storied history in some disciplines they are emerging methods in others. Join this event to hear community members and researchers think aloud about their participatory research methods, experiences and innovations across disciplines.

    With over 25 years of working with mission-driven organizations in Canada and overseas, Kix Citton brings her passion for advocacy, innovation and collaboration to her role as Executive Director at the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society. When not in the office, you will find Kix in her garden, paddling with her dragon boat team or cycling the backroads of Vancouver Island with her husband.


    Kristen Hasse's research program centres on supporting older adults as they manage cancer, chronic disease and wellbeing, in domains of symptom science, self-management and technology-enabled interventions. She is committed to conducting her research with people with lived experience (often called patients, but not necessarily always accurate). She aims to partner with community groups that play an integral but often overlooked role in supporting seniors’ wellbeing. While her research is health focused, she is also interested in how older adults manage wellbeing and socialization as they age. She aims to leverage all the tools available to support older adults–not just healthcare resources but technologies and community services.

    Bonnie Leung is a nurse practitioner and a second year PhD student in the UBC School of Nursing. Her budding research interests include improving care for older adults and immigrants with cancer through community engagement and co-development of knowledge, clinical resources and patient-oriented tools with people affected by cancer.



    Priti Narayan's research and teaching interests center around urban processes and politics, particularly in South Asia. In her primary research project, she uses ethnographic and archival methods to investigate how residents negotiate with local politicians, bureaucrats, and activists to preserve citizenship in urban landscapes marked by violent, large-scale slum evictions. All aspects of her academic work are informed by her decade-long association and work with Pennurimai Iyakkam (“Women’s Rights Movement”), a 40-year-old organization that mobilizes female residents of urban poor settlements around the rights to land and housing and access to basic services in Tamil Nadu state, India.

    Julia Schmidt's research aims to understand and improve everyday life for people after brain injury. She is focused on areas including self-awareness, identity, roles and resiliency. She hopes to develop health delivery methods and programs to improve the experience and quality of life after brain injury, and build knowledge of the factors that facilitate engagement in life after brain injury.



    Much of research and teaching is designed and determined by a small group of people who are located within academic institutions. It is ironic that accessing and engaging in academic knowledge is a privilege afforded to only a few, when the overall goal is that research and teaching should be transformative to all of society. Participatory research and teaching takes us a step closer to challenging the status quo by decentering the role of the academic expert and democratizing knowledge production.

    How can we engage with students and community members in knowledge creation and dissemination? What role should learners and community members play in generating knowledge and research that informs curriculum and our understanding of the world? This series considers the practical and ethical aspects of community engagement as we research and teach matters of community interest. The organizers explore the intricacies of participatory research and teaching in a three-part series engaging researchers, community members and people with lived experience, with the goal to stimulate conversation and new ideas for research and teaching.

    Series Conveners: Sam Beswick, Law, UBC; Kristen Haase, Nursing, UBC; Priti Narayan, Geography, UBC; Julia Schmidt, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UBC; and Renren Yang, Asian Studies, UBC

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

November 3rd, 2022 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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Speaker Series Democratizing Research and Teaching: Models for Action
Short Title The Joys and Complications of Participatory Research
Speaker (new) Kix Citton, Nanaimo Brain Injury Society; Kristen Hasse, Nursing; Bonnie Leung, Nursing; Priti Narayan, Geography; and Julia Schmidt, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Short Speaker Kix Citton, Kristen Hasse, Bonnie Leung, Priti Narayan and Julia Schmidt
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