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Celebrating Two New Doctors in the FSCS

Tags: June 2022, Vol. 2, Issue 4

Dr. Wolfgang Vachon successfully defended his PhD dissertation at the University of Victoria’s School of Child and Youth Care this past March. His research, utilizing an innovative arts-based approach called audio drama inquiry, was with CYC practitioners who had lived in residential placement while growing up. To hear two audio drama series emanating from the research, as well as reading more about the project, the methodology, and the theory informing it, visit

Dr. Janet Seow successfully defened her PhD dissertation at York University this past Spring.

Janet is a child and youth scholar and researcher who is interested in how children and youth engage with material culture in digital and non-digital spaces. Janet’s research centered around what African Canadian Black youth read for pleasure. Dr. Seow received a nomination for outstanding dissertation for her work Black Nerds’ Pleasure Reading Choices: Race, Representation and Prosocial Skills. Her most recent article Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti: African Science Fiction and the Reimagined Black Girl, was published April 2022 in the peer reviewed Journal of Childhood Studies. Not much is known about what literature African Canadian Black youth engage in. The subject of this study was a group of young people who belong to the Black nerd subculture (aka Blerds) of urban Toronto. The participants ranged between 16 and 25 years of age and identify as predominantly working class. Research conducted with this group revealed that graphic novels, fan fiction, traditional comics and webcomics are their main reading choices. Participatory research is used to understand how these texts are read and their implications for race, representation and prosocial skills and values. Although there are common threads among all Blerds, this study adopts and adapts youth subcultural theory and intersectional theory to understand the unique interest, sense of belonging, morals and values of Blerds in the specific location of urban Toronto. Since research on the Blerd subculture is limited, the study’s findings provide insights into the Blerd culture and Black youth’s perspectives about living in multiracial, multicultural Toronto.

Congratulations to both Dr. Vachon and Dr. Seow on their accomplishments.

Wolfang Vachon (left) and Janet Seow (right), both faculty members in our Child and Youth Care (CYC) programs, have completed their PhD’s.

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