Jody Macdonald, Executive Director
Jody’s academic background includes a Masters of Science in Environmental/ Rural Sociology and a Bachelor’s in Conservation Biology. While studying land use and public engagement policies and public perceptions over controversial land uses in Alberta, she developed an interest in the links between policy, social capital and healthy vibrant communities. She has over 15 years of experience managing social science, community planning and assessment projects for academic, non-profit and private sectors. As a project manager for over 10 years at the University of Alberta, she managed large-scale research projects in the areas of social support and health, reducing health disparities and community development. Some of the projects included:
- Built Environment and Healthy Aging: Planning for Intergenerational Community Space
- Promoting health equity for vulnerable populations affected by asthma and allergies
- Sustainable online support for Aboriginal children and adolescents
- Perceptions of poverty, sense of belonging and experiences of social isolation
- Randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of home-based peer support on maternal-infant interactions, infant health outcomes and postpartum depression
- Multicultural meanings of social support
Since moving to the Comox Valley in 2009, Jody used her multidisciplinary training as a research, project management and community engagement consultant for a variety of local issues, including: options and obstacles for foster care youth transitioning out of care in the Comox Valley; community consultation for Comox Valley seniors “Better at Home” program; planning and assessment to improve Comox Valley primary health care; youth perceptions of the built environment that helps or hinders active transportation; and an opioid prescribing protocol for the Comox Valley.
Jody also holds a certificate in public participation from the International Association of Public Participation and has taught sociology at North Island College. She has taught a multitude of courses at the University of Alberta from human dimensions of global change, to business communication and wildlife biology. Most recently, she has completed training in visual mapping techniques where she fuses her backgrounds in qualitative research and art to create engaging customized communication tools. In her free time, she is outside on the trails or at various sporting events with her tireless spouse, daughters and family dog.