Mount Allison’s THRIVE foundation year program receives more than $100,000 in CEWIL funding for student community projects 

09 Jun 2023
Funding to support $700 stipends for first-year Arts students to work with community organizations on ‘wicked problems’

This fall marks the launch of Mount Allison’s THRIVE (Transformation in Higher Education with Radical Inclusion, Values, and Engagement) foundation year program to support incoming first-year Arts students in thriving as academics and as humans. The program has now been awarded more than $100,000 in Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) funding to support student involvement in the community.

“This funding will allow students to connect with each other and their professors and empowers them to do that as allies and learners in their community,” says Religious Studies Professor Dr. Susie Andrews, who is co-directing the program with Toni Roberts, Director of the Purdy Crawford Teaching Centre.

Dr. Susie Andrews

The THRIVE program’s foundational credited course for students called Wicked Problems (UNST 1991) will tackle everyday issues in our communities like environmental degradation, persistent poverty, food insecurity, and mental wellness, along with areas that are key to success at university, like writing and time management — all in a way that is attentive to diversity and difference with a justice lens.  

“This course fully represents the Mount Allison experience and the many reasons why students choose to come here — an engaging and close-knit atmosphere, great professors, hands-on work experiences, and involvement in the community. It is designed to set first-year Arts students up for success not only during their time on campus, but also in their future careers,” says Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Jeff Hennessy. 

The CEWIL funding will provide each student in the program with a $700 stipend to help tackle a ‘wicked problem’ faced by local organizations like Community Forest International or the Mayor’s Office.

Roberts says the reason they are called wicked problems is because there are multiple ways to respond to these issues.

“Students will learn from and work with their community partners in areas like education, environmental justice, government, and health to flush out the problems and as a team try to develop solutions. Within that development, they will learn vital skills like research methods, communication, problem solving, and collaboration,” says Roberts. 

Throughout this course, students will also pitch proposals to help solve these ‘wicked problems’ and ten of these proposals will receive additional funding.

“We want the students in the THRIVE program to see how leaders are tackling problems and learn from them to be part of the story,” says Andrews.

First-year Arts students entering Mount Allison this fall can register for the THRIVE program’s foundational course called Wicked Problems (UNST 1991) during course registration on Self-Service this summer. Space is limited. For assistance with registering for this course, visit

For more information on the THRIVE foundation program, visit:


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