ACADEMIC PROFILE


Alexandria is a current Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) CGS-M and two-time Dean’s Scholarship (MA, Doctoral) recipient studying at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Sociology. Her academic pursuits revolve around social suffering, where her work is informed by an interdisciplinary background combining elements of social psychology, medical anthropology, critical psychiatry, and sociological theory.  

Alexandria received her Sociology Honours (Summa Cum Laude) B.A. from York University in Toronto. With a major focus on medical sociology, she had a minor focus in medical anthropology and was the Blishen-Richmond Award recipient of her graduating class. At YorkU, Alexandria was the sole sociology research assistant in the Infant and Child Mental Health Psychology Lab working under Dr. Yvonne Bohr on a CIHR-funded Inuit youth suicide prevention project – “Making I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut.”

Alexandria’s current graduate research examines suicide prevention among Canadian military veterans who are utilizing psychiatric service dogs. Her work has a strong focus on alternative treatment for improving psychiatric care procedures with a trauma-informed approach by utilizing the concept of "mattering." An aspiring suicidologist, her primary academic interests include the medicalization of everyday life, chronic pain, trauma-informed treatment practices, mattering in the context of mental health promotion, mental health reform, biophilia, and integrative medicine.

Having been employed in various medical settings prior to attending university, Alexandria previously held the administrative position of “PAWS Your Stress” Program Coordinator for the USask campus (May 2019 to August 2020) - see the program work here. She also currently acts as a graduate research assistant under the supervision of, Dr. Colleen Anne Dell in the Office of One Health & Wellness. Here, she contributes to various research endeavours exploring experiences of pain, as well as the implementation of animal-assisted intervention in institutional settings.

A partial Academic CV is available here.
More information regarding her research and administrative skills can be found on LinkedIn.

PROJECT INVOLVEMENT

SERVICE DOG RESEARCH

My current graduate research is analyzing data from an 18-month long project conducted by the One Health & Wellness Research office under Dr. Colleen Dell which was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and sponsored by Health Canada. The original project - “The Impact of Service Dogs in the Lives of Veterans Who Problematically Use Opioids" - examined the impact that service dogs have on veterans’ substance useactivities and overall health.

My SSHRC funded research - “Exploring animal-assisted intervention among military veterans: The potential social significance and impact of psychiatric service dogs” - is a secondary thematic analysis conducted with Canadian military veterans  to analyze the potential social significance and impact that psychiatric service dogs may have for those at-risk for suicide.



More information can be found at: https://servicedogresearch.ca/

PAWS YOUR STRESS - Promotional Video


A. Pavelich, C. Dell, J. Ogresko. (2019, November). PAWS Your Stress: A Therapy Dog Program on the University of Saskatchewan Campus. USask Media Production.

More therapy dog content can be found on www.therapydogs.ca

PODCAST - Be Well at USask


McKenzie, H., Pavelich, A., & Hedley, P. “Episode 11: "Hey all you cool dogs and puppies." BeWell at USask. Spotify/Youtube. May 21, 2020.

"In this episode of ‘Be Well at USASK’, as part of our series focusing on mental health during Mental Health Week, Peter talks to Alexandria Pavelich and Holly McKenzie about the USASK PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog Program. They discuss how mental health and well-being is supported through their program, the role that the Student Wellness Centre and other community partners have in supporting USask community wellness, and evidence-based facts regarding the benefit of human-animal interaction."

Also available via Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/32aqlI6Analq20CTR4VXCQ

Introducing a Therapy Dog for Staff Members in the Peter MacKinnon and Administration Building (2019/2020)


"Very excited to share the summary report of the pilot project I was involved with at the University of Saskatchewan last term. This initiative was led by one of our amazing St John Ambulance teams working on campus – @Tonya Wirchenko and her incredible dog, Zaphod.


The report details the potential benefit of utilizing Therapy Dogs as a stress reduction measure for university staff, which we aim to explore further.

Our USask Therapy Dog Program ('PAWS Your Stress') looks forward to increasing awareness about the benefits of the human-animal bond, and continuing to provide innovative animal-assisted interventions to improve community wellness."

VIEW REPORT HERE

THERAPY DOG RESEARCH

Please visit www.therapydogs.ca for more information regarding the various projects on the go with the "PAWS Your Stress" program based out of the University of Saskatchewan.

Be Well: Therapy Dogs & Animal-Assisted Interventions (2019).


Developer of the University of Saskatchewan Student Wellness Center Information Pamphlet.

"A Study of the ‘Pawsitive’ Impacts of Therapy Dog Visits with Adult Emergency Department Pain Patients" (2019)


Project Involvement re: Research Assistant - project examined the impact of visiting therapy dogs on patients’ experiences of pain in the Royal University Hospital Emergency Department during the summer of 2019. 



Making I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut (2018-2019)


Research Assistant - "I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut" is a youth-led project to design and test an Inuit computer game that builds resilience and promotes mental health. A CIHR four-year funded project, my duties included administrative and research-related tasks such as focusing group coding, creating safety manuals, and developing research workshops for youth.

More information can be found HERE.

"Undergraduate Student Expectations & Experience in York University’s Sociology Program" (2019)


FLR is a student-led initiative developed to utilize skills learned in SOCI 2030.6 (Sociological Research Method & Design) and SOCI 3030.3 (Social Statistics) by conducting an independent research project. The 2018-2019 project assessed the attitudes and satisfaction that undergraduates have with the YorkU sociology program, combining mixed methods for data collection via surveys and interviews. Findings have been disseminated to the university in a formal report.

PDF of Report Infograph Available Here

Publication Record

REFEREED CONTRIBUTIONS

FORTHCOMING: Dell, C., Williamson, L., Carey, B., Cruz, M.,Gibson, E., & Pavelich, A. (2020) Transitioning therapy dogs online during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons learned. Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

ACCEPTED: Pavelich, A. (2021). Exploring animal-assisted intervention among military veterans: The potential social significance and impact of psychiatric service dogs. Paper submitted for presentation at the Anthrozoology as International Practice: A Student Conference in Animal Studies at the University of Exeter, UK on March 4-5, 2021.

ACCEPTED/COVID POST-PONED
: Pavelich, A. (2020). The Depoliticization of Suicide: A Critical Discourse Analysis on the Government of Canada’s Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. Paper submitted for presentation at the Fourth Conference of the Critical Suicide Studies Network at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, June 12-13, 2020.

ACCEPTED/COVID POST-PONED: Pavelich, A. (2020). The Medicalization of Social Suffering: The Depoliticizing Nature of Psychiatric Labels in Critical Suicidology. Paper submitted for presentation at the Sociology Graduate Conference: Social Justice in a Changing Society at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, April 22-24, 2020.

Carey,B. (Presenter), Dell, C., Williamson, L., Pavelich, A., McKenzie, H., Gibson,M., Cruz, M. (2020). “Transitioning a Therapy Dog Program Online during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned”. Virtual Solutions for Substance Use Care Conference.University of British Columbia. Virtual Platform. In absentia.

Pavelich, A. (2019, May). Culture as Intervention: Applying Indigenous Knowledge & Self-Determination to Suicide Prevention Policies in Northern Saskatchewan. Sojourners: Undergraduate Journal of Sociology, 11. UBC.

Pavelich, A. (2019, March) The Medicalization of Suicide and its Depoliticization of Social Suffering. Presenter at the Sociology Undergraduate Student Association Academic Conference on March 15th, 2019 at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Best Presentation Recipient.

Bohr, Y., Manion, I., Lee, Y., Armour, L., Pavelich, A., & Abdelmaseh, M (2019, March). I(nuit)-SPARX: Design of a Culture Specific Mental Health e-Intervention by Nunavut Youth for Nunavut Youth. Paper presentation at the International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary, Alberta, March 22-24, 2019.

Pavelich, A.
(2018, March). Culture as Intervention: Applying Indigenous Knowledge & Self-Determination to Suicide Prevention Policy in Northern Saskatchewan. Paper presented at the Sociology Undergraduate Student Association Academic Conference on March 15th, 2018 at York University in Toronto, Ontario.

Pavelich, A. (2017, April). From Deviance to Disease: The Role of Medicalization in the History of Psychopathology. Paper presented at the Medical Practices & Processes Panel at the Mount Royal Historical Society Foothills Colloquium on April 30th, 2017 at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.




NON-REFEREED CONTRIBUTIONS


A. Pavelich, & T. Wirchenko. (2020, January). Introducing a Therapy Dog for Staff Members in the Peter MacKinnon and Administration Building: Pilot Project Report. University of Saskatchewan, Pilot Project Report. Office of Centennial Enhancement Chair in One Health & Wellness.

A. Pavelich, C. Dell, J. Ogresko. (2019, November). PAWS Your Stress: A Therapy Dog Program on the University of Saskatchewan Campus. USask Media Production - Promotional Video. (6:24 seconds).

McQuay, J., Pavelich, A., Porter, S., Tarantini, M., Van Dusen, O., and Wong, F. (2019, August). Undergraduate Student Expectations and Experiences in York University’s Sociology Program Final Report for FLR at York University in 2018 – 2019 as supported by the Sociology Undergraduate Student Association (SUSA) at York University in Toronto, Ontario.

Pavelich, A. (2017, October). Medicalization and Pharmaceutical Intervention within Psychiatry. Invited Paper Presenter at the Humber College Academic Conference re: The State of (in)Equality: Social Justice Under Siege on October 28th, 2017 at the Harbourfront Center in Toronto, Ontario.


Relevant News Media

Online therapy dog program showing positive results, USask professor says

June 10, 2020
News Release for Therapy Dogs & PAWS Your Stress moving online for USask community

New USask podcast series focuses on mental health, wellness amid COVID-19

May 11, 2020
News Release for Be Well Podcast Series featuring PAWS Your Stress


Therapy dogs give One Health benefits

November 1, 2019
PAWS Your Stress Official USask Video Release

Major scholarships awarded to USask Students

July 17, 2019
USask Research Profile and Impact

8th Annual LA&PS Celebration of Student Academic Achievement

May 3, 2019
Sociology Department Announcement

Globe & Mail - York University Strike

May 10, 2018
‘We feel like pawns’: York University students grow increasingly angry over strike


Non-Academic Published Work

Relive Bengough, Saskatchewan’s Gateway Festival
July 24, 2017
Photo Essay Feature Exclaim! Music Magazine - Toronto, Ontario

Is the U of S Capable of Dealing with Addictions?
May, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Truth About Students Eating Gluten-Free

March, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Seasonal Affective Disorder: More Than Just the Winter Blues
February, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Why A Dry January Should Be A 2017 Resolution For You
January, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

"Don’t Believe Everything you Read: How To apply Science to Your Daily Life" - MoveU Blog, May 2019

Content Creator / Blog Consultant

"Don’t let the name of this blog fool you, evidence-based research ABSOLUTELY has its place. Think of all the significant medical advancements we’ve made that have started with pure science: anaesthesia, vaccines, and antibiotics to name a few. However, we feel the need to raise awareness about the issues surrounding…"

Full blog posting available HERE.


Sask. residents with chronic pain can feel 'quite abandoned by the system'


On October 8, 2020 I gave an interview to the Star Phoenix regarding my opinion on the state of trauma-informed care for chronic pain patients in Saskatoon. This front-page report is available for view here dated on January 2, 2021.

A publicly available statement I made in response to this published piece can be found on my personal page - it details how the article did not focus on the subject matter I originally agreed to speak to, providing a longer commentary on why chronic pain isn't adequately approached by existing health care services.

Using Format