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Tricia van Rhijn
Assistant Professor, FRHD
Macdonald Institute, Room 215
(519) 824-4120 ext. 52412
I have two distinct areas of research interest that I investigate utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. My first area of research is adult education, with a focus on the experiences of non-traditional students (in particular, student parents and mature students) pursuing formal post-secondary study. Some examples of this research include projects examining national-level data to determine the prevalence of mature learners and student parents in post-secondary education, conducting a longitudinal study of the experiences of mature learners focused on their multiple roles, and interviewing partnered mature students about the relationship between their partner and school roles. A goal of this work is to improve the provision of supports to enable this unique population to complete their studies and have positive experiences while studying. My second area of research is early childhood education. In particular, I am interested in the impacts of curricular and teaching practice in early childhood settings on child development and well-being, as well as professional development of pre-service Early Childhood Educators. Some examples of this research include projects examining the inclusion of children with special needs in early learning settings and the use of technology in the classroom. As a Registered Early Childhood Educator, my work has a strong applied focus related to not only child outcomes, but also the needs of the workforce. The majority of my research is conducted with student collaborators, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, and my goal is to mentor student researchers and facilitate their interest and engagement in the research process.
PhD (FRAN-FRHD) – University of Guelph, 2012
Masters (FRAN-FRHD) - University of Guelph, 2009
Korabik, K., van Rhijn, T., Ayman, R., Lero, D. S., & Hammer, L. B. (2017). Gender, polychronicity, and the work-family interface: Is a preference for multi-tasking beneficial? Community, Work & Family, 20(3), 307-326. doi: 10.1080/13668803.2016.1178103
Andrade, C., van Rhijn, T., & Coimbra, S. (2017). Gender differences in school-family conflict and school-family enrichment in non-traditional Portuguese students. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 65 (1), 13-24, doi: 10.1080/07377363.2017.1272439
Van Rhijn, T., Lero, D. S., & Burke, T. (2016). Why go back to school? Investigating the motivations of student parents to pursue post-secondary education. New Horizons for Adult Education and Human Resource Development, (28)2, 14-26. doi: 10.1002/nha3.20135
Van Rhijn, T., Bridge, K., Lero, D. S., & Fritz, V. (2016). Unmet needs: Challenges to success from the perspectives of mature university students. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 29(1), 29-47.
Balter, A. S., van Rhijn, T., & Davies, A. (2016). The development of sexuality in childhood in early learning settings: An exploration of early childhood educators’ perceptions. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 25(1), 30-40. doi: 10.3138/cjhs.251-A3
*I maintain a collection on the University of Guelph’s institutional repository to promote open access to my work. My collection can be accessed at the following link: https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/handle/10214/8564
Guide for Prospective Students
What are the qualities of a student who would be successful in your lab?
A successful student on my research team is motivated to learn new things, not afraid to ask questions, and open to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods. Other qualities for success are a willingness to work hard, strong organizational skills, an ability to be self-directed, and good communication skills. Also, I hope that they get as excited as I do to learn new things and follow their research passion!
How would you describe your mentoring style?
I typically work closely with my graduate students, but adapt my style based on their preferences. This means scheduling weekly meetings for most students. Although we might cancel occasional meetings, I find that having the time scheduled allows us to connect on a regular basis and leads to better communication, more timely feedback, and improved progress related to the additional structure. In addition, I make myself available as needed to be supportive in working through challenges as they arise, whether it’s a quick chat over coffee, or a longer chat when a student drops by my office in need of support.
Is there anything else you’d like your potential students to know?
I support my students in customizing their graduate program to make the most of the opportunities available to them based on their career goals. Often this includes encouraging them to gain additional research experience beyond their own thesis/dissertation work. I typically hire students to work as research assistants on my funded projects, and also support students in pursuing collaborative projects. For example, during the Winter 2017 semester, I supervised 4 undergraduate research internship students (taking FRHD*3500) in their work on a graduate student’s idea for a research project and manuscript outside of their own thesis work. This provided the graduate student an opportunity to develop their own supervisory skills, research opportunities for undergraduate students, and a unique, collaborative research project to be carried out. We are currently working on a manuscript from the work for which my graduate student will be the lead author, and the undergraduate students will be co-authors. I also encourage student researchers to attend and present their work at academic conferences.
When one partner goes to school: A dyadic, mixed-methods investigation of the connections between intimate partner relationships and post-secondary study (SSHRC Insight Development Grant; 2016-2018)
A community-engaged outcome evaluation of Toronto Public Health’s Raising Sexually Healthy Children for Child Care Providers program (University of Guelph-Humber Research Grant Fund; 2016-2018)