Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Media Advisory - Media Advisory- PhD-Community Initiative Capstone Event

Friday, April 16, 2021

The PhD-Community Initiative (PhD-CI) brings together PhD students from a variety of research fields into interdisciplinary teams to support organizations in the Kingston community by addressing a challenge of importance to them. This year, four teams worked exclusively with the City of Kingston on a series of projects related to the priorities of the Mayor’s Kingston Economic Recovery Team (KERT). You are invited to hear more about their findings and recommendations to help our Kingston community recover from the challenges that COVID-19 has caused. 


Monday, April 19, 4-6 pm


Virtual, please register online  


Team: Resilient Kingston

Emma Bozek (Education), Skylar Kovacs (English),Philip Simpson (Sport Psychology (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies), Nancy Fynn-Sackey (Public Health Sciences) Mentor: Jane Johnston

“The aim of our project is to encourage and study resilience during the pandemic by offering members of the community a chance to connect with one another and share their experiences and perspectives in online focus groups. Our participants discussed their perceptions of Kingston’s response to COVID-19, as well as topics related to making and maintaining social connections, adapting both personally and professionally, becoming more aware of privilege, and finding ways to safely engage with the community and its institutions during the pandemic.” 


Team: C5 Community COVID Concerns Communicated Consciously

Christine Mills (Aging and Health), James Hillman (Psychology), Nathan Holwell (Chemical Engineering) Co-mentor (and 2019-20 participant): Hannah Ascough (Global Development Studies) Mentor: Anne O'Riordan

“Through a survey completed by over 200 people in the Kingston area, our team investigated consumer habits and associated perceptions of risk during the pandemic and pre-pandemic. It is our hope that our findings will help Kingston businesses (and the City) to better understand the concerns of the community and provide responsive services and support.” 


Team: TRIADS - Training and Reskilling Individuals through Actionable Deliverables that are Sustainable

Navjit Gaurav (Rehabilitation Science), Igor Tadeu da Cunha (Chemistry), Trent Holmes (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) Mentor: Margo Paterson

"We are the TRIAD group, and our goal is to empower the Kingston arts and creative community through upskilling opportunities post COVID19. We did a literature search and conducted seven key informant interviews with local artists and faculty to determine the needs of the Kingston arts community. Our recommendations for the city is an entrepreneurial program containing mentorship, continuous engagement, and experiential learning, and we are excited to have presented this to the City of Kingston."


Team: Kingston Outreach Group (KOG)

Karolina Krzys (Psychology), Ryan Kilburn (Biology), Brandon Becher Nienhaus (Chemistry), Sherri Dutton (Public Health Sciences) Mentor: Connie Taylor

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to give back to the Kingston Community. Our team has been focused on finding ways to better understand and support individuals who are working and yet still living in poverty.”



The Queen’s PhD-Community Initiative launched in Fall 2016 as a means of fostering mutually-beneficial collaborations between Kingston organizations and interdisciplinary teams of PhD students mentored by Queen’s alumni and retirees. The program is part of the School of Graduate Studies’ Expanding Horizons professional development series. It offers an exceptional experience for students and partners organizations.


Julie Brown
Queen’s University Media Relations Officer