School News

The Adler School of Professional Psychology, Vancouver Campus
McConnell Foundation Honors Adler School and Community Partner in Vancouver

The J.W. McConnell Foundation has recognized the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver and its longtime community partner Family Services of North Shore with a 2012 Community Service-Learning Award. The award recognizes successful community initiatives supported by robust community service-learning partnerships, and innovative approaches that transform relationships, structures, policies, and/or mainstream practices.

The award was presented on June 13 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, at the Community-University Expo 2013 (CUExpo), a Canadian-led international conference designed to showcase the best practices in community-university partnerships worldwide. The Adler School in Vancouver, in its joint submission and collaboration with Family Services of North Shore, was honored along with The University of New Brunswick’s Community Health Clinic and the Concordia University Volunteer Abroad Program.

The Community Service-Learning Award provides grants to universities to develop and expand their community service-learning programs for students, including support for professors to adapt courses, for community organizations to effectively absorb students, and for practitioners to promote community-service learning within the institution. 

As part of its award recognition of the project, the McConnell Foundation underwrote a video about the Adler School in Vancouver that premiered at CUExpo.

“The Community Service-Learning Award is a terrific way of recognizing the importance and power of community partnerships, like our collaboration with Family Services of North Shore, to make a difference,” said Michael Mandrusiak, Psy.D., Director of Training for the Adler School in Vancouver. 

“For all of us at the Adler School, it also emphasizes the importance of community service learning for graduating professionals who are socially responsible and who possess the advocacy and leadership skills to create social change ”

Through the School and its Community Service Practicum program, first-year students work with Family Services of the North Shore to support its Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention program. Trained and supervised by Family Services staff, the Adler School students educate elementary and high-school students in North and West Vancouver schools on disordered eating, body image, self-esteem, and media literacy.  Presentations developed by Adler School students become part of a multimedia contest that the elementary and high school students enter as part of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign every February.

Family Services, one of the Adler School’s many community agency partners, is an accredited not-for-profit community-based agency that offers counselling, support and education services including the provincial mandate for eating disorders prevention.  

As part of the Community Service-Learning Award application, Mimi Hudson, Director of Community & Provincial Programs for Family Services, said of the Adler School students: “From the outset, we know they will do a good job and take the work very seriously in spite of the fact they are not being paid.

“They are confident public speakers and relate well to children and youth. Their computer and social networking/marketing skills are more advanced than most of our agency staff. This has made us more current and youth friendly changing the way we work– including youth in strategic consultations to benefit other youth. Their work in schools has augmented and helped serve as a model for further expansion of our school psycho-education work. They have taught us to be more creative with our service delivery.”

Adler School faculty and staff involved with the project are Dr. Mandrusiak; Deborah Bailey, Community Service Practicum Coordinator; Jennifer Van Wyck, Training Coordinator for M.A. in Organizational Psychology and M.A. in Community Psychology Programs; and Begum Verjee, Ed.D., Program Director, M.A. in Community Psychology Program.

About the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver

The Adler School of Professional Psychology is an independent not-for-profit institution of higher learning that has provided quality education through a scholar/practitioner model for 60 years. Its mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.

Located at 1090 West Georgia Street, Suite 1200, in Vancouver, BC, the Adler School offers master’s level programs in community psychology, counselling psychology, and organizational psychology, and a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) that prepares students for the general practice of professional clinical psychology with a focus on socially responsible practice. For more information, visit or call 604-482-5510.