The Collective Good

These stellar citizens were inspired by recent mental, physical and social-justice challenges to improve the well-being of others, relating to COVID-19 and beyond.

Compiled by Hong Truong, BA’13
Illustrated by Jae Sterling

Dr. Stephen Freedman, MDCM

“There are few specific evidence-based therapies available for children currently, and detailed research data describing outcomes in young people with COVID-19 has been lacking. Our work is focused on offering important insights we believe will be helpful for frontline care providers tasked with treating children with COVID-19.”

Dr. Stephen Freedman, MDCM, professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Professor in Child Health and Wellness. He received the 2021 Peak Scholar Award for COVID-19 Innovation Excellence for his studies in improving diagnostic approaches and treatments for children infected by COVID.


Dr. Naomi Lightman, PhD

“My research highlights the challenges experienced by immigrant women working as health-care aides in long-term care during the pandemic. These women suffered in terms of their health and well-being and financial security, while doing essential jobs and largely being excluded from institutional decision-making processes. I propose policy changes to improve their working conditions, pay and ability to provide quality care to their vulnerable clients.” 

Dr. Naomi Lightman, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, who was awarded the 2021 Peak Scholar Award for COVID-19 Innovation Excellence in the area of Social Impact, and the 2021 New Scholar Research Award from the Faculty of Arts.


Dr. Kelly Schwartz, MSc’92, PhD’02

“We know that children and youth have been multiply impacted by the pandemic — school closures, cancelled clubs and sports, family economic loss. Our multi-wave study of more than 1,200 Alberta youth revealed that, despite feelings of sadness and worry, most youth are demonstrating remarkable courage, self-compassion, and resiliency. The challenge now is to identify and address the toll taken on youth mental health and to nurture newly discovered strengths.”

Dr. Kelly Schwartz, MSc’92, PhD’02, associate professor, School and Applied Child Psychology, and social development research team director, Werklund School of Education


Dr. Christine Walsh, PhD

“At the outset of the pandemic, my colleagues, Qianyun Wang (MSW’19) and Jacky Liu (MSW’20) and I worried about the older Chinese immigrants living in Calgary. We were right to be worried. Our exploratory qualitative study revealed that they experienced grief, loneliness, social isolation, ageism and racism. It is our social responsibility to find ways to improve the lives of older immigrant adults.”

Dr. Christine Walsh, PhD, professor, Faculty of Social Work. Her research focused on the experiences and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspectives of older Chinese immigrants in Canada.


Dr. Lindsay Tedds, PhD

“The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a watershed moment, hoisting to the top of priority lists the demand that we do better to ensure that public policy works for the many, rather than the few. We’re hopeful for not only a fair recovery, but also the chance at a bigger shift towards a more just society. We require a modernized approach to public policy to address longstanding policy failures — that’s what my research is focused on.”

Dr. Lindsay Tedds, PhD, associate professor of economics and scientific director of fiscal and economic policy at The School of Public Policy.


Lujaina Eldelebshany

“Since the book came out, I’ve been thinking about the importance of empathy in times of crisis. Being able to respond to a need using a relevant medium has shown me how rewarding it is to be compassionate. Saying, ‘I can make this better’ can be truly heartwarming.”

Lujaina Eldelebshany, first-year Schulich School of Engineering student and 2021 recipient of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship. She is the author of Why Do We Wear Masks?, a children’s book that encourages curiosity and learning.

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