Four professors have received Insight Development Grants totaling $230,402 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Dr. Tony Tremblay, English Language and Literature, Dr. Erin Fredericks, Sociology, Dr. Clive Baldwin, Social Work, and Dr. Michelle Lafrance, Psychology, will all have their research funded through this program.

Dr. Michael Dawson, Associate Vice-President (Research), said the grants are a reflection of the quality research conducted at St. Thomas.

“These grants reflect the wide range of first-rate research undertaken here at STU—research that addresses many of our society’s most pressing issues and that provides an ideal learning environment for our students.”

Dr. Tony Tremblay – English Language and Literature
 Dr. Tremblay’s research will seek to understand why New Brunswick has been characterized as being “backward” in public narratives.

The notion of the province’s backwardness was popularized by T.C. Haliburton’s Sam Slick and seconded by Maclean’s Magazine in 1926. Tremblay plans to formulate a language-focused research apparatus to analyze these narratives of backwardness. He will consider the objectives and effects of advancing backwardness as a dominant narrative, as well as what is being repeated, omitted, and assumed within the accounts. In locating sources and crossing disciplines to optimize the analysis of sources and characteristics, he hopes to shed light on the histories, values, and social conditioning the stories reflect.

Dr. Erin Fredericks – Sociology
Dr. Fredericks’s research will explore strategies for empowering queer, trans, and Two-spirit youth in North America to imagine their futures.

Due to the effects of heteronormativity and cisnormativity, the lives of queer, trans, and Two-spirit youth have been described as unliveable. Evidence suggests these youth face high rates of negative life events, including suicide and suicidal ideation. Fredericks will combine theoretical conceptualizations of queer futures with community and arts-based methods to engage queer, trans, and Two-spirit youth to create written, spoken, and visual accounts of their liveable futures.

The research will be published in four manuscripts that engage academic audiences studying queer, trans, and Two-spirit youth experiences, social work practice, and arts-based methodologies that empower marginalized youth.

Dr. Clive Baldwin – Social Work
Dr. Baldwin’s work will focus on understanding the lived experience of those who join or practice in new religious movements and alternative spiritualities.

Members of these groups often face intolerance and discrimination when they speak publically about their beliefs. Baldwin will bring together work on narrative, spiritual identity, and new religious movements and alternative spiritualities to explore their commonalities and differences, narrative construction, and the barriers and opportunities for involving them in interfaith dialogue. He hopes to reduce their perception as social problems, and enhance social work and other helping professions in their work of promoting social inclusion.

Dr. Michelle Lafrance – Psychology
Dr. Lafrance’s project will explore the experiences of informal caregivers in New Brunswick. Informal caregivers—individuals who provide unpaid care to family members, neighbors, and friends—make up a large portion of those who provide care work in Canadaers. Lafrance will focus on those providing care to older adults to expand on the understanding of caregiving in Canada through two distinct facets of the population—language (Anglophone/Francophone) and geographical location (urban/rural).

New Brunswick has one of the oldest populations in Canada, and Dr. Lafrance aims to deepen the understanding of caregiver resilience through her research by incorporating the intersecting influences of the individual, social, cultural, organizational, political, and ideological context of their lives.