Opportunities for Students

I am keen to supervise undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Geography and Planning, the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and the Program in Aging & Health, at Queen’s University. While I am willing to supervise students on a range of topics that relate to healthy community planning, I am currently recruiting students who are interested in working on the following research projects:

Public School Closures in Ontario. Public schools are more than educational facilities; they are essential elements of healthy, liveable communities. And yet, public schools are being permanently closed across Ontario, despite a lack of evidence as to how the communities left behind are impacted by the loss of these public assets. Funded by the the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2018-2022), this comparative project seeks to examine the consequences of the permanent closures of public schools for urban and rural communities across two public school board districts in Ontario. Accordingly, I am currently seeking to supervise, and will provide funding for, students at both the doctorate and master’s level in support of this project. Prospective students who are interested in the studying the topic of public school closures in Ontario are encouraged to contact me at patricia.collins@queensu.ca.

Commute Patterns of Queen’s Employees. Kingston Ontario has made national headlines for dramatically increasing public transit ridership in recent years. In 2013, the City of Kingston introduced its first express bus service route along major arterial roads in the city. Since that time, 3 more express routes have been introduced along with complementary initiatives, such as free transit service for children and youth. Annually, from 2013 to 2017, I have administered an online survey to Queen’s University employees to capture details about their daily commute habits to work, and I am currently seeking to supervise a graduate student who is capable of analyzing this 5-year dataset. Prospective students who are interested in analyzing how the Queen’s employees’ commute patterns have changed over time, using statistics and/or GIS, are encouraged to contact me at patricia.collins@queensu.ca.

Play Deserts and the ‘Right to Play’. Considerable research has been conducted on the issue of food deserts and socio-spatial inequalities in access to high quality food in urban settings. However, an area that has received very little attention by scholars is that of play deserts. Using a ‘right to play’ lens, my colleague, Jeff Masuda, and I have been studying the spatial distributions of playgrounds and the quality of those playgrounds throughout the city of Kingston. This work began with fieldwork by students who assessed the quality of municipally-owned playgrounds throughout Kington using an established quantitative assessment tool. Jeff and I are keen to supervise students who will draw from, and build on, this dataset, through GIS and/or confirmatory analyses using qualitative methods. Prospective students who are interested in the studying the topic of play deserts are encouraged to contact me at patricia.collins@queensu.ca.

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