Tania Kajner, Ph.D. Vancouver Campus

"I am inspired by courageous social movement  
leaders, thoughtful social  theorists and by the 
scholar-activists who bring theory and action 
together." -Tania Kajner, Ph.D.

"I am inspired by courageous social movement
leaders, thoughtful social theorists and by the
scholar-activists who bring theory and action
together." -Tania Kajner, Ph.D.

Tania Kajner, Ph.D.
Program Director, Master of Public Policy & Administration

I am inspired by courageous social movement leaders, thoughtful social theorists and by the scholar-activists who bring theory and action together. I believe that, because we live in a shared social space, one that is experienced differently but shared nonetheless, we have a responsibility to shape that space to be equitable and just. Policy is one really effective tool for shaping the social world and encouraging just relations.

The MPPA program investigates current social issues and connects students with people working in community so that learning about the lived realities of oppression becomes part of our curriculum. Course work encourages students to be introspective and curious as they gain the skills they need to become leaders influencing and creating policy. In the classroom I encourage students to take on projects that they are passionate about and that they believe will have an important impact. I like to encourage critical thinking by unpacking what we take to be solid structures or intractable ways of doing things to discover their fluidity and changeability. My teaching typically includes stories from my 15+ years working in the public sector to give concrete examples of the ideas and policy approaches we are studying. As a school that was founded on the work of Alfred Adler and aims to support students in becoming socially responsible practitioners, Adler University is a great place to learn about policy and leadership.

My academic interests include community engagement, community-based research, community service learning, public policy, gender equity, violence prevention and poverty.

Please email or call me 236.521.2448 if you have questions or would like more information about me or the MPPA program.

Education

  • Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta
  • M.A., Social/Political and Feminist Philosophy, McMaster University
  • B.A., Honours Philosophy with Distinction, University of Alberta

Professional Memberships

  • Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE)

Select Publications

  • Kajner, T. (2017). Social justice and community-engaged scholarship: Reconceptualising community, engagement and service. In D. Lund (Ed.), Handbook of Service-Learning for Social Justice. Toronto, Canada: Wiley Publishing International.
  • Kajner, T. (2016). Community-engaged scholarship and the discourse of privilege in Canadian higher education. In L. Shultz & M. Viczko (Eds.), Assembling and Governing the Higher Education Institution: Democracy, Social Justice and Leadership in Global Higher Education. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Kajner, T. (2015). Construction and mediation of the “Other” in community-engaged scholarship: The importance of not knowing. Engaged Scholar Journal, 1(1), Spring 2015.
  • Kajner, T., Chovanec, D., Underwood, M., & Mian, A. (2013). Critical community service learning: Combining critical classroom pedagogy with activist placements. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 19(2), 36-48.
  • Shultz, L., & Kajner, T. (Eds.). (2013). Education and the Political Project of Engagement and Disengagement. Boston, MA: Sense Publishers.
  • Chovanec, D., Kajner, T., Mian, A., & Underwood, M. (2012). Exploring shifts in conceptions of “good” citizenship: Community service-learning in activist placements. Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, Special Issue, 4(1), 43-56.
  • Chovanec, D., Kajner, T., Mian, A., & Underwood, M. (2011). Disrupting the hegemony of choice: Community service learning and activist placements. Proceedings of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education. Toronto: OISE/ University of Toronto.
  • Kajner, T., Fletcher, F., & Makokis, P. (2010). Balancing head and heart: The importance of relational accountability in community-university partnerships. Journal of Innovative Higher Education, 37(4), 257-270.

Select Presentations

  • Kajner, T. (2017, May). Rethinking community in higher education engagement practices: Disrupting binaries for justice and equity. Paper presented at the International Conference on Cultural Studies and Education. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Chovanec, D., & Kajner, T. (2014, October). The importance of commitment and trust networks in research with marginalized adults. Paper presented at the 15th Annual Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Shultz, L., & Kajner, T. (2014, June). Acts of engagement and the political dimensions of community-engaged scholarship. Invited keynote Q-talk at the Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Kajner, T. (2013, March). The scholarship of engagement: Where service, research and community meet. Invited Keynote talk for King’s University College Opportunities Fair. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Kajner, T. (2012, May). Four forms of leadership in community-engaged scholarship. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education Conference. Kitchener/ Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
  • Kajner, T. (2011, June). Engaged scholarship: Knowledge creation and community connection. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education Conference. Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
  • Kajner, T. (2010, October). Engaged scholarship and the globalization of Canadian universities. Paper presented at the 7th International Workshop on Higher Education Reform. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Awards

  • 2015 PDK Doctoral Dissertation Award, University of Alberta
  • 2013 Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, University of Alberta
  • 2012 Graduate Citizenship Award, Government of Alberta
  • 2011 President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction, University of Alberta
  • 2010 SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, Government of Canada
  • 2010 Queen Elizabeth II Award, Government of Alberta