Catherine Smey Carston, PhD
DirectorCathy Smey Carston is the director of the Centre for Child Well-Being. Cathy is also an Associate Professor at Mount Royal University in the Department of Child Studies and Social Work. Cathy's scholarly interests surround workplace learning, student engagement, experiential learning within practicum and capstones, and student global learning experience.
Michelle Briegel,MEd, Certified CYCC
Michelle Briegel is the Research Coordinator at the Centre for Child Well-Being. Michelle is also a contract instructor at Mount Royal University in the Department of Child Studies and Social Work. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in the field of Child and Youth Care, is a Certified Child and Youth Care Counsellor, and holds a Masters of Educational Leadership. Michelle coordinates collaboration between community agencies and faculty members interested in conducting research pertaining to child well-being; as well as facilitates collaboration in professional development training within the Centre for Child Well-Being and the Child Development Lab.
Heather Pollard is the Child Development Lab Coordinator of the Child Development Lab at MRU. With education in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Recreational Therapy, Heather has 30 years’ experience in the Early Childhood field. She has worked with children for many years with a passion for inclusion. This included work with the Cerebral Palsy Preschools in BC and the Mount Royal Child Care Centre. The last 14 years she has also been a contract instructor at Mount Royal University in the Department of Child Studies and Social Work. Heather is also involved in the 3 Phases of the Alberta Curriculum Framework Pilot Project. As Child Development Lab Coordinator she supports faculty/student education and day to day running of the Lab. She also collaborates with the Centre for Child Wellbeing supporting community education.
Research AssistantKatie Jewitt is a student Research Assistant at the Centre for Child Well-Being. She is currently completing her fourth year of the Bachelor of Child Studies degree at Mount Royal University with a major in Child and Youth Care. Katie is collaborative researcher primarily focused on early childhood development and physical literacy with an interest in strategic dissemination and community initiatives.
Research AssistantPaxton Bruce is a student researcher at the Centre for Child Well Being. Paxton is currently in the Bachelor of Child Studies degree at Mount Royal University majoring in Early Learning and Child Care. Paxton works with all professionals on the CCWB team to make connections between research, workshops, and parent programming within the Child Development Lab. Paxton has been involved in the physical literacy research being done at the CCWB and is involved in the beginning processes with research surrounding active energetic play. Paxton has a great passion towards brain development and promotion of healthy and holistic development of young children.