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Featured Student Research

RDC Student ResearchStudents at Red Deer College engage in applied research and practical learning across our programs. These types of projects are interesting, hands-on and relevant to what students will see in the real world. 

By collaborating with faculty and community partners, students elevate their research and communication skills. By  studying relevant topics of interest to them, students gain applied knowledge that they can transfer to their future goals. 

Depending on the course or program, students may engage in learning with their classmates through community-based or capstone projects, or they may undertake an independent research project with the support of a supervising instructor. 

researchscholarshipoffice [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (Contact us) if you are a student who is interested in learning more about research at RDC or if you have a project idea. 

Want to see examples of student research? See the featured projects and classes with research opportunities listed below or visit the RDC Digital Repository, which showcases scholarly, research and creative works undertaken by RDC students, faculty and staff. All students, whether current RDC students or high school students, are welcome to attend research-related events to speak with faculty and staff and learn more. 

Featured Student Projects

Agora Student Conference and Journal
The Agora Undergraduate Conference showcases student work completed in Humanities and Social Sciences, Social Work, and Justice Studies classes, bringing together RDC's diverse community in celebration of student excellence. Students have the opportunity to share the results of their coursework with a public audience. 

Proudly Presented by RDC’s Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Work Programmes  


17th Annual Undergraduate Conference 

 March 19-20, 2021 



Opening Reception: Friday, March 19: 6:00 pm 7:30 pm 


Conference Saturday, March 20: 

Session 1: 11:00-12:15 am 

Lunch Break 12:15-12:45 

Agora Faculty Roundtable: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm 

Session 2: 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm 

Session 3: 4:00–5:15 pm 




Please see here for a welcome message from Dr. Jacqueline Cowan, Agora Co-Chair: 


Agora Journal Launch 2020 & Agora Conference Opening Reception 2021 

Friday March 19 from 6:00-7:30 pm 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 922 7081 5125 

Passcode: 762030 

Tech Troubleshooter: Irina Sheridan — rdcagorafour [at] gmail [dot] com  

Tech Troubleshooter: Andrew Hansen — rdcagoraone [at] gmail [dot] com 

Please join us as we celebrate Agora authors and conference presenters at our reception! 


Agora Art Exhibit 2021 

To view incredible student art, please visit: 

This Exhibition will be online from March 20 – 27th, 2021 



Please log in to your panel in a timely fashion. Zoom rooms will open at the times listed below. We invite open, considerate, and engaged conversations. The last 15 minutes of each panel are reserved for a Q&A. We encourage audience members and panelists to ask questions and to do so in a supportive fashion. We are all here to learn and grow! 

When you join the Zoom room, please turn off your mic until you plan to speak. 

Presenters: please turn on your mic and camera* while you are presenting and/or answering questions. You are welcome to turn these features off when you are not speaking.  

Audience members: to ask a question, you can either turn on your mic and camera* or type it in the chat section. 

*Panels will be attended by students, faculty, family, and other members of the general public. Your privacy is important. If you do not wish to turn on your camera or if there are minors present in the room with you, please use only your mic and/or the chat section. Turning on your camera is not mandatory. 


The Agora Conference will take place in Zoom Rooms. To join the Zoom Room as a presenter, audience member, or faculty moderator, please do the following: 

  1. Identify the panel you’d like to attend 
  2. Click on or Copy and Paste the “Zoom link” just before the panel start time. Type in the password and join the room. 
  3. You are welcome to turn on your camera when you enter the room, but please only turn on the mic when you plan to speak. Turn your mic off at all other times. 
  4. You can change your name and specify your pronouns (if needed) 
  5. Take note of the Tech Troubleshooters’s name and email. They are here to help you resolve technical issues. 


Zoom Tutorials: 

Zoom Basics (Login, Camera/Mic, and Chat)

How to Share Screen (Presenters only)

How to Change Name

There will be a tech troubleshooter in each Zoom room. Their emails are listed below. You can email them for more help if you are experiencing technical difficulties. 

We know that technology can fail at the most inopportune times. Please be patient with panelists, moderators, audience members, and yourself should you experience technological difficulties. 


SESSION 1: 11:00 am- 12:15 pm 

Panel 1: Resilient Identities 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 972 9856 4005 

Passcode: 394690 

Moderator: Carlen Lavigne, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Andrew Hansen — rdcagoraone [at] gmail [dot] com 

Elizabeth H. Fleming, “We’re on the road”: An Analysis of the Methods of Naziism in Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves” 

Sarah Orcutt, “National Identity in Alberta: Similarity, Difference, and Regional Tensions Among Canadians” 

Aisha Abdul Hamid, “The Internalization and Justification of Islamophobia in the Modern World” 


Panel 2: Aging & Digital Technologies 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 968 7603 1043 

Passcode: 903314 

Moderator: Reiko Yeap, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Erykah Brown — rdcagoratwo [at] gmail [dot] com 

Amy Erlandson, “Children's Screen Time, Self-Control and Well-Being: What Do Parents Think?” 

Sydney Cherniak, “Reward Type and Cultural Influences: Delaying Gratification in the Interest of Others”  

Kassandra Burk, “Patient Attitudes and Experiences with Virtual Healthcare Services”  


Panel 3: Smashing Gender Norms  

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 913 2813 2485 

Passcode: 887105  

Moderator: Jacqueline Cowan, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Irina Sheridan — rdcagorafour [at] gmail [dot] com  

Melissa Morris, “Virtue or Value: Analyzing the Significance of the Homosocial Relationship Between Bassanio and Antonio in The Merchant of Venice”  

Starla Fifield, “Power Above Gender: How Lady Macbeth Shapes Perceptions of Political Power” 

Melissa Morris, “Exploring the Importance of Hyper-Femininity in The Railway Children” 


Panel 4: Applied Ethics & Future Problems  

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 944 4856 7327 

Passcode: 715684 

Moderator: Dan Haas, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: William Langille  — rdcagorathree [at] gmail [dot] com  

Andrew Schultz, “Human Value and Capital Punishment” 

Brianne Campbell, “Artificial Intelligence and Moral Rights” 

Mari Marcellus, “The Preceptor (a short story)” 

Rachel Francis, “Perspectives from Time Traveling Criminologists” 


LUNCH BREAK 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm 


AGORA FACULTY ROUNDTABLE: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm 

Topic: Emerging Technology and the Human Condition 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 955 5786 2315 

Passcode: 250847 

Moderators: Andrew Hansen and Caitlin Clayton 

Tech Troubleshooter: William Langille  — rdcagorathree [at] gmail [dot] com (subject: Agora%20Faculty%20Roundtable%20tech%20troubles) (  )

Stephen Brown, PhD (Pyschology)

Roger Davis, PhD (English) 

Larry Steinbrenner, PhD (Anthropology) 

Dan Whiteside, MA (Communications and AVFX) 

Jolene Wright, MSW, BSW, RSW (Social Work) 


SESSION 2: 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm 


Panel 5: Voices from the Margins 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 937 8118 5183 

Passcode: 517218 

Moderator: Choon-Lee Chai, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Andrew Schultz — rdcagoraone [at] gmail [dot] com 

Sarah Waddell and Jace LeBlanc, “Exposing Gender Representation: A Critical Study of Canadian Social Work”   

Sarah Orcutt, “Research with Local Communities: An Overview of Photovoice and its Use in a Local Research Project Aimed at Improving the Settlement Experiences of Recent Immigrants in Central Alberta” 

Avery Warner, “The Effectiveness and Accessibility of Social Programs for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence in Smaller City Environments” 


Panel 6: Sounds of the Past 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 938 3604 8278 

Passcode: 205761 

Moderator: Carlen Lavigne, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Erykah Brown — rdcagoratwo [at] gmail [dot] com 

Loni Mounkes, “Resurgence of An Old Medium in the Digital Age: The Vinyl Record” 

Ana Saskowski, “Music Television of the 80's and 90's: "You'll Never Look at Music the Same Way Again!"  


Panel 7: The Aging Process & its Traumas 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 947 9457 0820 

Passcode: 682315 

Moderator:  Shannah Dutrisac, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Irina Sheridan — rdcagorafour [at] gmail [dot] com  

Mckenna Causey, “Attachment and Developmental Trauma: Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences” 

Chloe Hoppus, “Positive Aging and Resilience in the Context of COVID-19” 

Logan Mulrooney, “Aging as a Social and Individual Process”  


Panel 8: Cultural Genocide in Fact & Fiction 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 936 4913 8355 

Passcode: 582105 

Moderator: Anomi Bearden, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter:  William Langille  — rdcagorathree [at] gmail [dot] com  


Chelsey Stanyer, “Thematic Analysis of Intergenerational Trauma Narratives in Medicine Walk and Rhymes for Young Ghouls” 

Claire Stange, “Survival in the Arctic - How the Franklin Expedition Perished so Quickly While the Netsilik Have Survived There for Centuries”   

Elizabeth H. Fleming, “‘[T]hen, you will finally understand’: Art and Representation in Marilyn Dumont’s The Pemmican Eaters” 


SESSION 3: 4:00 pm –5:15 pm 


Panel 9: The Role of Psychology in the Past and in Pop Culture  

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 996 8054 1841 

Passcode: 911819

Moderator: Shannah Dutrisac, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Andrew Schultz — rdcagoraone [at] gmail [dot] com 

Rachel Francis, “Ted Bundy: Manipulation, Narcissism, and Aggression Explained”  

Kayla Charchun, “Abnormal Behavior in Lars and the Real Girl: An In-Depth Look at Schizoid Personality Disorder” 

Brennan Kerr, “Themes of Human Sexuality in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” 

Irina Sheridan, “Humanity’s Original Therapists?: Shamanism as a Primordial Science of the Mind” 


Panel 10: Gender and Work  

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 921 9315 0374 

Passcode: 145146 

Moderator: Choon-Lee Chai, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: Erykah Brown — rdcagoratwo [at] gmail [dot] com 

Kindra Duthie-Woodford, “Early Prisoner Release due to Covid-19: What are People’s Opinions and Can those Opinions be Changed?” 

Jaime Goudreau-Riopel, “I Can Be Anything, Barbie Girl” 

Graham Holloway, “The Effect of the Wage Gap on the Modern Woman” 

Erin Odell, Nova Pelchat, Katie Plant, Mckynlee Prescesky and Rhys Pugatschew, “Guaranteed Annual Income” 


Panel 11: Why We Love Our Pets 

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 970 5365 3421 

Passcode: 443593 

Moderator: Anomi Bearden, PhD 

Tech Troubleshooter: William Langille  — rdcagorathree [at] gmail [dot] com 

Amanda Eggleton, “Animal Communication” 

Kiara Skye, “Effects of Pet Ownership on Loneliness, Coping, and Well-Being during COVID-19” 

Amy Erlandson and Mindy Alton, “A Pet's Impact on Human Relationships”


Agora Student Art Exhibition: 

William L. Armstrong, “Galactic Indifference” (2021) 

Jayde T. Baumgartner, “James Portrait” (2020) 

Kolby Bargholz, “Portrait of Frank Stella” (2021) 

Daniel Jonathan Cullum, “You Came Here to Remind Me I'm Still Here” (2021) 

Lucas Deary, “The Final Bastion” and “The Goth-Punk” (2021) 

Rebecca M. Eyre, “The Corner of Laurie and Wood” (2020) 

Azriel Handa, “Love's Rebellion March,” (2021) 

Anthony Hoffman, “My Saturday” (2020) 

Heather Jesson and Nikki Portelance, “Techno Sapiens Takeover” (2020) 

Reanna Kornelson, “Under Study” (2021) 

Bethany M. Miller, “The Overwhelming” (2021) 

Yvonne Moorhouse, “Springtime 2021” (2021) 

Dee Orriss, “Warrior Priest Power Armor” (2020) 

Kelsey Robinson, “Streelight and Façade” (2021) 

Emily J. Tworek, “Rayla” (2021) 

Rin Wilson and Eli Young, “Neutralize My Alkalis” (2020) 

Beverly Zwart, “Bioprint Donor” (2021) 


Thank you for joining us for our Agora Conference 2021! 

Please see here for some closing remarks from Dr. Stéphane D. Perreault, Agora Co-Chair.



Student Members: 

Erykah Brown 

Kassandra Burk 

Brenan Fuiten 

Andrew Hansen 

Zach Johanntges 

Andrew Schultz 


Tech Troubleshooters: 

Erykah Brown 

Andrew Hansen 

Andrew Schultz 

Irina Sheridan 

William Langille 


Faculty and Staff Members: 


Marnie Blair, MFA (Creative Arts) 

Stephen Brown, PhD (Psychology) 

Eduard Baidaus, PhD (History) 

Jacqueline Cowan, PhD (English) 

Dan Haas, PhD (Philosophy) 

Sarah Hunt (Program Assistant) 

Robin Lambert, MFA (Creative Arts) 

Stéphane D. Perreault, PhD (History) 

Dan Whiteside, MA (Communications and AVFX) 

Jolene Wright, MSW, BSW, RSW (Social Work) 

Reiko Yeap, PhD (Psychology) 

Agora Journal

The Agora Journal, inaugurated over a decade ago by Heather Marcovitch, PhD (English), publishes outstanding work presented at the Agora Conference. Through the journal, student editors, under faculty supervision, receive applied instruction and experience in building professional relationships with authors, fact-checking, and copyediting. Over the course of the spring and summer months, editors work diligently alongside their conference authors to prepare student papers for publication. The Agora Journal also publishes a sister journal that showcases the work of students who are recipients of RDC's Student Writer Awards. This includes awards for Research Papers, Analytical Papers, and Creative Work, all of which have been adjudicated by a team of RDC faculty. Both of these journals are traditionally printed in beautiful hard copies with original cover art designed by RDC student artists. 

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Agora Journal committee has opted to move these publications online. You can find both the Agora Conference Proceedings and the Student Writer Awards papers in RDC's new digital repository.


The Effectiveness and Accessibility of Social Programs for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence in Smaller City Environments

Student researcher: Avery Warner

Faculty supervisor: Jones Adjei, PhD

The purpose of this study is to identify whether the existing social programs for women experiencing domestic violence are effective and accessible within a smaller city context. It also seeks to assess the struggles of service providers who work with these women. Participants will speak about their experiences working with women experiencing domestic violence and how their organization approaches these types of situations. Participants will also be asked to speak about the type of awareness that they themselves and their organization do about domestic violence as well as whether they are able to see an impact based on these efforts.

National Identity in Alberta: Similarity, Difference, and Regional Tensions Among Canadians

Student researcher: Sarah Orcutt

Faculty supervisor: Jones Adjei, PhD

The purpose of this study is to explore Albertans’ national, provincial, and regional identities. Participants of this study will be asked to discuss their feelings of belonging and identification to and with the nation, province, and region (Western Canada) in which they live. Participants will also be asked what individuals in each of these territorial categories have in common and/or what might differentiate Albertans from Canadians or Western Canadians from Albertans concerning the content of these identifications. The data obtained from this study will be analysed for important and shared themes among participants and will contribute to existing but limited scholarship concerning Albertans’ identities.

Equine-Assisted Therapy to Reduce Young Offender Recidivism: Can Introducing Indigenous Approaches Increase This Method's Effectiveness?

Student researcher: Shelley St. Germaine

Faculty supervisor: Krista Robson, PhD

 This research project uses an in-depth review of several types of literature to identify the factors that reduce young offenders' recidivism rates. Attention will be placed on locating programs that build upon physical, social life and communication skills, personal growth in behavioral and emotional responses, and the adaptive healing of the young offenders and their spirits.

 There appear to be many valuable elements that Indigenous approaches can teach us, which may add to an equine-assisted therapy program's effectiveness: such as healing the young offenders as a whole person rather than as simple pieces. Therefore, the project will also look at the possible alignment of equine-assisted therapy with Indigenous approaches to rehabilitation.  

A psychologist/EAT facilitator and persons working in the correction system and within local Indigenous communities will be consulted and their assistance with interpreting the scoping review will be sought.

Patient Experience with Virtual Healthcare: A Secondary Data Analysis and Survey Development

Student researcher: Kassandra Burk

Faculty supervisor: Reiko Yeap, PhD

Virtual care is the way in which patients interact remotely with healthcare professionals. To understand patients’ experiences and perceptions of virtual and in-person care, this two-part study involves secondary data analysis of the COVID-19 Impact Survey conducted by the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) and the development of a survey to explore the perceptions and attitudes toward virtual care of patients within the Red Deer and Grand Prairie Primary Care Network.

Positive Aging and Resilience in the Context of Covid-19

Student researcher: Chloe Hoppus

Faculty supervisor: Greg Wells, PhD

The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges faced by older individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include the coping strategies individuals have implemented to cope with these challenges, as well as the effectiveness of the coping strategies used. The objective of this study is to gain insight into positive-coping and resiliency in older adults, particularly in how they help individuals find a sense of meaning and positive growth in the face of adversity.

The Effects of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic on Coping and Well-Being

Student researcher: Kiara Walter

Faculty supervisor: Anomi Bearden, PhD

The intent of this study is to explore the effects of the social isolation felt during the Covid-19 pandemic on an individual’s ability to cope and their well-being. Participants are invited to complete an online survey designed to measure loneliness, coping, depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as some demographic questions.

Early Prisoner Release Due to COVID-19: What are People’s Opinions, and Can Those Opinions be Changed?

Student researcher: Kindra Duthie-Woodford

Faculty supervisor: Stephen Brown, PhD

This research aims to examine Canadian's opinions regarding the early release of prisoners due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whether these opinions can be changed via educational intervention. We seek to examine whether these opinions are positive or negative and the sources by which individuals are receiving information on this issue. Additionally, we inspect whether victimization has an influence on these opinions.

A Survey of Microbial Communities Associated with Common Objects on Red Deer College Campus 

Student researchers: Lucy Byron & Sara Sylvestre 

Faculty supervisor: Cyrus Taheri, PhD 

The diversity of culturable microbial communities associated with common objects on Red Deer College campus were analyzed using plate culture on CHROMagar Orientation medium. Seven replicates of ten different objects were swabbed. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were constructed based on colony morphology. Over 30,000 colonies were isolated belonging to 64 different OTUs. The relative abundance of OTUs associated with different objects was compared using different statistical analysis tools such as Multi-Response Permutation Procedure (MRPP). 

The Effects of Ginger, Honey, Garlic and Cinnamon Extracts on Microbial Growth  

Student researchers: Jessie Thompson & Amy Jin 

Faculty supervisor: Cyrus Taheri, PhD 

The goal of this research was to study the antimicrobial effects of natural food extracts including ginger, honey, garlic and cinnamon on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Spread plates of three microbial species on TSA were prepared under aseptic conditions. Food extracts and sterile distilled water (control) were added to 5 mm paper discs placed on agar medium. Plates were incubated at 37 °C and the inhibition zones were measured after 48 h. Garlic showed antimicrobial effect on E. coli and S. aureus but not on S. cerevisiae. Honey and cinnamon showed no antimicrobial effect.  Further research is warranted to better understanding the effects of garlic’s active ingredients on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria at cellular level. 

Classes with Research Opportunities

BIOL 399 - Biology Research Opportunity Program 

This course provides students with the opportunity to work on research projects under the supervision of Biology faculty members. For example, for the last several years instructors Ryan Butler, Sandra MacDougall, and Sally Stuart have been working with students on a project involving collecting hairs from different bears at the Innisfail Discovery Wildlife Park, sorting them and analyzing them for levels of cortisol. The levels of cortisol are an indirect measurement of stress and, since cortisol can accumulate in the hair, it gives researchers information about long term stress levels in these animals. The project has recently expanded to measure the cortisol levels in the hairs of RDC students as an indirect measurement of stress levels of students at different times in the academic year. 

EDPS 445 – Issues in Middle Years Education  

The purpose of this course is to help students critically examine and develop an understanding of a variety of issues and policies affecting Middle Years education. Students conduct research as a way for them to go deeper with their learning, specifically in an area of contemporary topics that has implications for teachers and students.   

Contact Us

RDC Main Campus 

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Main Phone: 403.342.3400
Toll-free: 1.888.732.4630 (in Canada only)
Email: inquire [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca

RDC Main Campus Location
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Red Deer, Alberta | T4N 5H5