About the Project

The Body Image Research Project Group 2012-2013

The body-positive website was created by two researchers and a small team of committed individuals dedicated to knowledge mobilization of health research about body image to the public sector, including teachers, parents and policy makers.

This body image website was funded by a grant from the Knowledge Network for Advanced Educational Research (KNAER). You can find more about KNAER by visiting their website.

The Body Positive Team

Dr. Lorayne Robertson, Former Assistant Dean, Faculty of Education, UOIT (PI)
Dr. Dianne Thomson, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education, UOIT
Dr. Wendy Barber, Asst. Professor, Faculty of Education, UOIT
Kalin Moon, Research Assistant
Sam Grigg, Joli Scheidler-Benns, and Amber Buyting, BEd class of 2013, Faculty of Education, UOIT
Samantha Davis, Researcher, Child Development Charts
Kelly Robertson, Policy Editor
Kim Robertson, Vice-Principal, Ekcoe Central Public School, TVDSB
Heather Boomen, Teacher, Roch Carrier French Immersion School, TVDSB
Dan Labecki, MEd Candidate, Web Developer
Kim Mitchell, Graduate Program Assistant
Sylvie Beaudet, Logo Designer

Team Bios

Dr. Lorayne Robertson, Principal Investigator

Lorayne is an Associate Professor and Former Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Education, UOIT. Her principal research interests include educational policy, health, and body image. Lorayne offers research support to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario for their body image curriculum initiatives. Lorayne is an advocate of critical body literacy which she defines as follows,

Critical body literacy is a set of skills and understandings related to health that can be gained by students and teachers if they are open to the notion that health means more than size and shape, and how health is defined and determined is constructed socially in ways far more complex than individual choice. (Robertson, 2013)

Dr. Dianne Thomson, Adjunct Professor

Dianne is an Adjunct Professor at UOIT and a former secondary school principal. Her research interests include health and physical education policy analysis, use of spaces in schools, and body image. Dianne offers these comments,

My experience as a secondary school teacher led me to appreciate the difficulty of addressing sensitive or counter-cultural issues in the classroom. In particular, my involvement with an alternative education program for students who had dropped out of school opened my eyes to the reasons behind their disengagement from school. As a vice-principal, I saw students struggling, not because of any lack of ability, but from personal and social issues such as those addressed in this website. As a parent, I saw my own son struggle with those same pressures. At a personal level, I have always believed that good health is way more than physical fitness and absence of disease; our emotional, mental and social health are as much a part of our well-being as exercise and diet – maybe even a bigger part.

Kalin Moon, Research Assistant

Kalin Moon is a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education, UOIT. Her MA (International Communications) examined the accuracy of health information presented in the media. She specializes in health and science communication and promotion, with a specific focus on active living and the social determinants of health. Kalin adds,

Science communication needs to be more than simply disseminating information. It is about finding ways to effectively convey health and science information in a way that makes sense to everyone. I believe that through a better understanding of science we can better understand ourselves, how even our simplest actions impact others, and gain a greater appreciation for the world around us.

Sylvie Beaudet, Logo Artist

Visual Art is my preferred way of expressing myself; when I paint I am in my own world, a safe haven of some sort but also when and where, without restriction, I allow myself to be me. From time to time, I do on location landscape painting and whenever possible I’d take my shoes off to feel the connection with nature, finding my comfortable “spot”; because of this habit I have been given the nickname of “the barefoot painter” by some landscape artists I worked aside. Working on a logo for a website was a new experience for me. It meant that I needed to establish a connection between words and images and to do so I needed to partner with somebody able to convey his/her passion for the project. I had the right connection and, just like feet and grass in landscape painting, the passion I sensed was just the piece I needed to make it so!