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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.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

FED project summaries

Ami Mamolo Diana Petrarca Janette Hughes Jennifer Laffier
Supervisor name:  Ami Mamolo, PhD
Project title:  Transformative Technologies for Mathematics Teacher Education

Summary of research project:  The project will investigate uses of transformative technologies in teacher education programs, specifically ones that focus on learning mathematics. Of interest is what technologies are used by instructors and for what purposes, what is the nature of their transformative properties for math learning, and what experiences or supports are necessary for teacher educators who are learning to introduce such technologies in their practice.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  Responsibilities will include searching, organizing, and managing research articles relevant for the project, as well as developing annotated bibliographies and contributing to literature reviews. The student will work collaboratively with members of the research team as well as independently on assigned tasks.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Background in math preferred (major / minor / electives).
  • Experience with computer programming preferred.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Critical thinker, attention to detail.
  • Competent in MS Office.
  • Background in education preferred.
  • Clear communicator, ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally.
  • Minimum grades B+.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Conducting advanced literature searches.
  • Compiling and developing bibliographies.
  • Assisting in the development of literature reviews.

Available Awards:  Ontario Tech STAR Award

Supervisor name:  Diana Petrarca, PhD
Project title:  Fostering and assessing students’ creativity and critical thinking skills in higher education and teacher education

Summary of research project:  This project is part of a larger research project coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). OECD is an international organization that aims to build and improve policies that advance prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. The overarching objective of this project is to make more visible and tangible what it means to teach, learn and make progress in these skills in higher education. Specifically, this study explores how critical thinking and creativity is infused into teaching and learning in higher education.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  Responsibilities include: Assistance with data collection and organization, transcription, administrative responsibilities.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Minimum GPA of 3.7.
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Able to work with minimal supervision.
  • Willing to learn new skills.
  • Feels comfortable using technology.
  • Communicates clearly and accurately in written form.
  • Flexible and responsible.
  • Takes initiative, trouble-shoots.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Ability to work with a team.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • How to code data.
  • How to use project-specific software.

Available Awards: Ontario Tech STAR Award

Supervisor name:  Janette Hughes, PhD
Project title:  The Development of Global Competencies for K-12 Education

Summary of research project:  This research will explore optimal uses of emerging technologies in teacher education and professional development and the specific impacts of technology-intensive pedagogy on teacher preparation and practice.


  1. Identify key supports for the development of six commonly recognized global competencies for K-12 education:
  • Critical thinking
  • Innovation
  • Self-direction
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Global citizenship
  1. Design and evaluate inclusive STEAM-based teacher education/development programs that foster these six competencies

Student responsibilities/tasks:  The student will participate as part of the research team in the design of a national survey and work collaboratively with other Lab team members to define the global competencies and develop program rubrics for use with preservice teachers. They will prepare annotated bibliographies and a literature review related to 2-3 of the six competencies, with a focus on global citizenship.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • B.Ed. (in progress, preferred).
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written).
  • Digital literacy skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills (collaborative, supportive).
  • Able to work independently with team support.
  • Some knowledge of survey development an asset.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Survey design and development.
  • Rubric development.
  • Writing an effective literature review for publication.
  • Writing an effective conference proposal.
  • Disseminating research (for final showcase).

Available Awards:  Ontario Tech STAR Award

Supervisor name:  Jennifer Laffier, PhD
Project title:  Exploring mental health in the digital age: Community concerns and resources

Summary of research project:  The Mental health in the Digital Age Lab is a virtual research hub in the Faculty of Education led by Dr. Jennifer Laffier. The lab’s focus is to explore how technology is affecting mental health and how we can promote digital wellness. The aim for 2021 is to grow the lab’s outreach by developing partnerships, conduct research on community mental health needs, and provide supports during and after the pandemic. Summer research activities include:

  1. Conduct environmental scans of potential partners and digital wellness programs;
  2. Develop surveys related to community mental health needs and pandemic concerns; and
  3. Develop evidence based webinars, resources, and educational tools.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  1. Conduct environmental scans: a. potential partners, b. digital wellness models and resources, and c. pandemic related supports.
  2. Assist in systematic review of mental health in the digital age-challenges and opportunities.
  3. Assist in developing data collection tools- online surveys, feedback forms, webinar polls.
  4. Assist in setting up community webinars.
  5. Assist in developing evidence-based educational tools and community supports.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Faculty of Education student familiar with teaching online and educational technology tools.
  • Experience in conducting environmental scans, literature reviews, or systematic reviews.
  • Experience with Zoom platform.
  • Experience with creating websites and webinars.
  • Research writing experience.
  • Mental health or psychology education background.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Develop knowledge and skills to conduct environmental scans, systematic reviews, and literature reviews for research.
  • Learn to develop websites, educational webinars, and tech-based presentations.
  • Develop skills for critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and innovation.
  • Develop knowledge and skills to conduct research- REB processes, data collection, data analysis, and reporting findings.
  • Develop an understanding of action based research and evidence-based practices to support and empower communities.

Available Awards:  Ontario Tech STAR Award