Aman Ahluwalia-CameronDoctoral student Aman Ahluwalia-Cameron is part of a team examining the experiences of social workers who provide care to people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Social workers caring for people living with Borderline Personality Disorder focus of study

A study by a trio of UWindsor researchers will examine clinical experiences of social workers who provide care to people living with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

The first of its kind in Canada, the project received a Partnership Engage grant of $24,975 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Professors Adrian Guta and Elizabeth Donnelly and doctoral candidate Aman Ahluwalia-Cameron of the School of Social Work have partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex.

BPD is a mental health diagnosis characterized by intense and rapid changes in mood, complex diagnostic criteria, and limited treatment options. Persons living with BPD can experience considerable challenges with social integration, and significant social costs, such as difficulty maintaining personal and professional relationships. BPD is considered one of the most stigmatized mental health diagnoses. According to the literature, individuals living with BPD are often labelled by healthcare practitioners as attention-seeking or manipulative.

“These kinds of labels are very harmful to individuals,” says Ahluwalia-Cameron. “Previous research indicates that many healthcare and social service providers hold some sort of stigma towards those living with BPD, but social workers have yet to be studied.”

In Ontario, there are more than 18,000 social workers in the healthcare system, the third-largest profession after physicians and nurses.

“The goal of this research is to speak to social workers about their experiences of providing care as they are quite often the front-line mental health care providers in our healthcare system,” Ahluwalia-Cameron says. “I hope to speak to social workers who practise in ways that challenge these beliefs.”

Ahluwalia-Cameron has a decade of clinical experience as a social worker with clients diagnosed with BPD. This experiential knowledge has been the impetus for her doctoral work focusing on provider-based stigma.

“People living with BPD are part of a high-risk population, without a lot of accessible treatment options in the community, she says. “With this project, we hope to address gaps at the practice, policy and system levels within the context of social work practice.”

Currently Ahluwalia-Cameron is conducting pilot interviews with a sample of social workers.

“What I’ve found with the pilot study is social workers are extremely motivated to help with this research,” she says.

Ideally Ahluwalia-Cameron would do all interviews in person, but due to COVID-19, she has been conducting pilot interviews remotely, which she says took some adjustment but has worked well.

“We hope to interview 30 social workers and 15 people with lived experience.”

The researchers hope to connect with persons living with BPD with the facilitation of social workers at CMHA-WE.

“I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from Dr. Guta and all my committee members to secure the funding for this project,” Ahluwalia-Cameron says.

In addition to the funding provided by SSHRC, the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will provide a cash contribution of $2,000 to support Ahluwalia-Cameron in presenting her work at a future research conference.

banner promoting Remote and Online Experiential LearningA new webpage offers faculty resources for remote and online experiential learning.

Resources available to help move experiential learning online

A webpage launched by the Office of the Executive Director, Experiential Learning, in conjunction with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Office of Open Learning (OOL), provides faculty with resources for remote and online experiential learning.

With the move to primarily online delivery of fall 2020 courses, the opportunities for face to face experiential learning (EL) are extremely limited, says Judy Bornais, executive director of the Office of Experiential Learning, “but it is still possible to provide students with valuable experiential learning experiences in an alternative environment.”

To help faculty create successful online experiential learning activities, the Remote and Online Experiential Learning webpage offers such practical resources as:

  • examples of remote EL projects,
  • a checklist to walk instructors through preparations to take their EL courses online (and even to decide whether they should),
  • tips and checklists for preparing students for a remote EL experience, and
  • risk management considerations for remote and online EL.

These EL resources complement CTL’s new Teaching Online webpage and the Aug. 18 workshop So You’re Thinking about Online Experiential Learning? that will be facilitated by the offices of EL, CTL, and OOL.

Suggest other resources to be added to the website through the Resources for Experiential Learning Online form.

Young woman working on computerChildren from 8 to 12 years old may take part in a free Virtual Lancer Engineering Summer Camp.

Virtual camp to engage children in engineering activities

The Faculty of Engineering invites children from ages 8 to 12 to take part in UWindsor's first Virtual Lancer Engineering Summer Camp.

UWindsor is offering its 2020 virtual summer camp free of charge. Each session will be hosted on the University of Windsor’s Engineering Outreach Virtual Classroom Blackboard site, the official platform used by the University of Windsor for online learning.

  • 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 19 - Building an Extended Grabber
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20 - Building a Robotic Cardboard Arm
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27 - Battle of the Beams

A guest link will be emailed to the parent or guardian to access the Blackboard site upon registration. Further information, including a description of each activity and the itinerary, is included below in the registration link.

For these activities, participants will need to have their own basic supplies. A supply list for each activity is provided and a reminder email will be sent out prior to the event.

Free registration: Note — each session can accommodate a maximum of 20 participants.

For more information, contact Mike Konstantino, engineering outreach co-ordinator, at mikek@uwindsor.ca.

—Kristie Pearce

Tech Talk logoA video by IT Services provides an overview of the OneDrive file hosting and sharing service.

File hosting service OneDrive subject of training video

OneDrive is a file hosting service and sharing service offered as part of Office 365. It is available to all UWindsor faculty, staff, and students and boasts a storage limit of one terabyte.

Watch IT Services team member Carl Amlin as he provides an overview of OneDrive basics, including syncing files to your computer, in this 149-second Tech Talk video. If you want more information about OneDrive, click on the link in the Comments section below the video.

Tech Talk is a presentation of IT Services. More Tech Talks are available at www.uwindsor.ca/its/tech-talk.