CSAHS Alumni Association Gives to Support Meaningful Learning Opportunities for Students

Posted: Jan 18, 2023

The most meaningful parts of being a student in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) are often the relationships built and the experiences had, and no one knows that better than CSAHS alumni. That’s why the CSAHS Alumni Association is proud to be making a donation of $20,000 towards the capital builds of Nokom’s House and Maplewoods Centre for Family Therapy and Child Psychology, helping to build meaningful relationships and learning opportunities for CSAHS students as well as support the local community.

“Experiential learning was the highlight of my own student experience, and we are thrilled to have a small part in creating those experiences for incoming CSAHS students,” said Johannah Brockie, Alumni Association President.

As the largest single donation the CSAHS Alumni Association board has made, this gift, in conjunction with a matching $5,000 per project contributed by CSAHS, has a combined impact of $30,000. The board was inspired to make this contribution by the college’s ground-breaking efforts to have an Indigenous land-based lab on campus and establish one of the University of Guelph’s largest community-facing centres.

We’re extremely grateful to the Alumni Association for their generous support of Nokom’s House and Maplewoods,” said Dr. Francesco Leri, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in CSAHS. “These projects are essential to CSAHS’s mission of research and teaching excellence by creating a dynamic space for Indigenous knowledge-sharing and connection and by establishing a state-of-the-art training facility for the next generation of mental health professionals.”

One project, Nokom’s House, aims to be a “grandmother-centered” space for research, community engagement, land-based activities and ceremony, built in the U of G Arboretum and based in Indigenous teachings and ways of knowing. With gardens, a sacred fire, ceremonial grounds and a granny’s cabin/research hub, Nokom’s House will be a dynamic place where students, staff, faculty and alumni can come together to share knowledge, build relationships and do work that contributes to truth, reconciliation and decolonization.

The other portion of the gift will go to the Maplewoods Centre for Family Therapy and Child Psychology, which plays an integral role in training new mental health professionals such as Couple and Family Therapists, Psychotherapists and Psychologists and supporting the mental health needs of the local community. Two CSAHS graduate programs have on-site clinics where students offer services to individuals and families and gain invaluable hands-on learning experience.

“We’re thrilled to be able to meaningfully support these projects through this donation and continued relationship,” said Brockie. “Maplewoods is providing our students with invaluable experiential learning opportunities, allowing them to gain practical and specialized experience that will help them become fabulous practitioners who support our local community. Nokom’s House is a profound, Indigenous-led project that will have a permanent home on campus. Through these projects students will have access to enriching opportunities that center relationship-building and Indigenous ways of knowing."

This gift contributes to the CSAHS Alumni Association’s mandate to build and strengthen student and alumni relationships, and the association is looking for new members who share these values. If you’re interested in joining the Alumni Association or would like to learn more, contact csahsaa@gmail.com.

To learn more about joining us in support of these initiatives, visit the funding webpages for Nokom’s House and Maplewoods Centre for Family Therapy and Child Psychology.


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