By Resha Damania
Two graduates from the marketing research and business intelligence program, found themselves on the cover of the September issue of a nationally-circulated magazine for conducting a study that had never been done before.
The study, which ran from January 2014 to May 2014, revealed that 20 per cent of practioners and educators across Canada did not have the necessary technology needed to succeed at work and a mere 13 per cent of respondents were using social work related software.
Asif Khan and Thais Saito participated in the applied research project, spearheaded by Lisa Shaw-Verhoek, professor of the social service worker program at Perth campus, that investigated the use of technology in workplaces and classrooms across Canada. The project was supported by the Association of College Educators in Social Services and Social Service Work (ACESS), where Shaw-Verhoek is a co-chair, Kerry Milford, manager of applied research and innovation at the Perth Campus and a study team from different colleges in Canada.
These results were presented to the Association of Canadian Community Colleges conference in Ottawa in May 2014 and the annual ACESS conference in Alberta in June 2014.
“It made me sad because the results showed a high level of poverty among Social Service Worker students in Canada. But I was excited at the same time because we did a survey that produced important data that had never before been collected in Canada,” said Shaw-Verhoek.
“They were really happy with our results,” said Saito. “They are now talking about doing another stage of the survey which would have a more localized focus.”
The two graduates acknowledged a great part of their success to Nancy Johansen, program co-ordinator of the MRBI program and Sarah Mary Abbott, an MRBI alumni, who provided them with guidance and mentorship throughout the project.
“They did a good job,” said Johansen. “I am very proud of them.”
The graduates were pleasantly surprised on seeing their faces on the magazine cover.
“I’m really happy,” said Khan.
“I had previously submitted some of my articles to journals but journals are not putting your face on the cover,” he laughed.
Khan is currently working on a research project for the government while Saito, who had been working three jobs at the time of the project, is taking a break.