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Student research experience enriches student learning

August 16, 2019

In the Winter term of 2019, Sheridan students Terri Neufeld (Social Service Worker-Gerontology program from the Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies [FAHCS]) and Katrina Chahal (Social Service Worker program) were hired to work on a new research project that aims to support and prepare social service workers to better serve immigrant women who experience domestic violence through the development of educational tools. "Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities" is a collaboration between FAHCS Professors, Dr. Ferzana Chaze and Dr. Bethany Osborne, Ms. Archana Medhekar from the Archana Medhekar Law Office, and Dr. Purnima George, from Ryerson University.

This research project used closed legal case documentation from real-life situations of immigrant women who had experienced domestic violence. During their involvement in this project as work study research assistants, both Katrina and Terri created case study drafts from the legal case files. The final product based on these case studies has the potential to be used in social service and social work classrooms, ultimately helping students to better plan culturally relevant and sensitive approaches and interactions for complex cases in the field. Katrina and Terri found the process of this research study to be educational as well as having an emotional impact, and they provided important testimonials that shine a light on their overall experience.

"Our work study students have taken their experiences and insight from this project and developed impactful educational tools that will hopefully allow for better understanding of the unique vulnerabilities of immigrant women experiencing domestic violence," – Dr. Ferzana Chaze & Dr. Bethany Osborne.