Steering Committee Members: Research Foci & Experience
Melanie is founder and facilitator of No Wrong Notes, a non-auditioned, non-performing group singing model based on the oral tradition. Melanie’s research, which she presents internationally, investigates No Wrong Notes participants’ perceived benefits to their health and wellbeing. She facilitates singing groups in workplace, healthcare and community settings, and is exploring the potential application of No Wrong Notes in schools.
Rita Isabel Henderson
Rita is dedicated to critical pedagogy and participatory interventions confronting the inter-generational transmission of collective trauma in Chile and Canada. She is a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Community Health Services, working with the “Voices against Violence” project. She will collaborate with Aboriginal and refugee youth in southern Alberta, conducting oral history and storytelling workshops to strengthen youth/elder relationships.
Clem is an award winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter with over thirty plays, and nine books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, including the Calgary Book Award-winning Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness. He has served on the boards of numerous writing organizations including the Alberta Playwrights Network (Vice President), the Playwrights Guild of Canada (President), and the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (founding President). His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright, and The Greek Playwright, are employed in universities and colleges across the country.
Graham wrote his doctoral dissertation on nurses’ work with patients on mental health units. He used a hermeneutic approach, enabling the introduction of perspectives from Buddhist thought to glean new ways of understanding the topic. Currently, he is exploring ways in which compassion is understood in healthcare, and how it may be promoted through policy, environments, and pedagogy. Graham’s clinical practice background is in a variety of mental health settings.
Aruna has engaged in anti-racism initiatives in the community, particularly in the non-profit arts sector. Her research and teaching explore critical and indigenous pedagogies, as well as concepts of reconciliation and indigeneity, particularly as they are expressed by artists. With a sustained commitment to institutional critique, she has also collaborated on work that documents and testifies to the experiences of women with chronic illness in the academy and other workplaces.