2023 Nova Scotia Career and Employment Student Symposium

A virtual event featuring research presentations by post-secondary students from across Nova Scotia whose research or summer employment connects to career development, employment, and labour.

About the Symposium

The third annual Nova Scotia Career and Employment Student Symposium took place virtually on August 15 and 16, 2023.

Hosted by the Centre for Employment Innovation, the symposium is composed of presentations from post-secondary student interns from across Nova Scotia. The event highlights research and emerging best practices of students working in the career development, employment, and labour field. The content of the presentations are timely and specifically connected to research that occurred and/or best practices experienced by the students during the summer of 2023.

The two-day symposium consisted of 4 sessions, with each session concluding with a final Q&A for the presenters.

The topics of the research presentations are grouped into the main themes below – to watch the session recordings for each one, please follow the links provided:

Inclusive Workplaces and Employment – Click to watch recording

Inclusive Education and Institutions – Click to watch recording

Youth Engagement – Click to watch recording

Community-Led Development – Click to watch recording

To learn more about the content of each presentation, we encourage you to read the session details below.


 – DAY 1 –


Inclusive Workplaces and Employment

August 15, 2023

10:30am – 12:00pm (ADT)


Inequity on Campus: Improving Menstrual Equity at St. Francis Xavier University

In Nova Scotia, Mount Saint Vincent University is the only university that has a project for reaching menstrual equity on campus. St. Francis Xavier University currently has no publicized plan to combat menstrual inequity. With the rising cost of living and the stress of being a student, menstrual equity is vital for equal learning and work opportunities on campus. Menstrual equity consists of equal and comprehensive access to menstrual products. This presentation will analyze the current gaps limiting menstrual equity at StFX and provide a policy proposal for menstrual equity on campus. 

Kyra Campbell

Kyra Campbell is an International Centre for Women’s Leadership Intern at the Coady Institute. In this role, they have been developing a policy proposal for menstrual equity and supporting other Coady initiatives. She has recently graduated with an Honours degree in Public Policy and Governance.


Supporting Diverse Youth in the Workplace: CIIYE,  A Case Study

The youth unemployment rate in Nova Scotia (12.6%) remains unchanged and comprises of an overrepresentation of diverse communities. Intentional supports ensure that youth not only overcome barriers to secure meaningful employment but that they are also able to maintain employment long-term. Using the Collective Impact for Inclusive Youth Employment (CIIYE) initiative as a case study, various supports for diverse youth in the workplace will be explored. This presentation will highlight examples of intentional supports and evaluate their impact on the youth beneficiaries of the program.

Akua Amankwah-Poku

Akua Amankwah-Poku is a recent graduate from StFX. She is working as a Collective Impact for Inclusive Youth Employment (CIIYE) Intern with the CEI. In her role, she provides support for a workplace attachment program that focuses on creating meaningful employment opportunities for diverse youth.

 – DAY 1 –


Inclusive Education and Institutions

August 15, 2023

2:45 – 3:00 pm (ADT)


Exploring Mi’kmaw Experiences with Mathematics Assessment

Standardized assessments provide a snapshot of a student’s performance, but they do not focus on identifying their potential strengths. Most assessments are not designed for Indigenous and African Nova Scotian youth. Teachers need to have access to strengths-focused diagnostic assessments that show students’ understandings. Diagnostic and screening tools that compare students with achievement standards tend to deficit views more reflective of an opportunity gap than ability. Effective teaching, assessing, and diagnosing strategies for Black and Mi’kmaw students must be culturally relevant.   

Tavneet Kaur

Tavneet is currently engaged in a research study with Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden at StFX, which is focused on exploring Mi’kmaw Experiences with Mathematics Assessment. Through this project, Tavneet aims to understand how Mi’kmaw learners engage with diagnostic assessments, seeking culturally relevant and meaningful assessment methods to enhance student learning. Tavneet has also worked with Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities (CMTOLC) wherein she organized math camps with X-Project and X Oceans for Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian learners.    

Jeneva Dennis

Jeneva is also engaged in a research study with Dr. Lisa Lunney-Borden, focusing on exploring Mi’kmaw Experiences with Mathematics Assessment. In addition, Jeneva has done research last summer on exploring Afrocentric Experiences with Mathematics. In this study, Jeneva will seek to understand, as a Mi’kmaw Educator, how the Mi’kmaw people engage with diagnostic assessments within Mathematical means that will benefit and contribute to evolving assessment approaches to help students in schools today.


(Trans) Gender in the University Classroom
With the rise of false transgender narratives told in the media, it is pivotal to confront ignorance with truth. Rye, Elmslie, and Chalmers (2007) found that proper education can shift negative attitudes that cisgender people hold towards queer people. Hence, the lack of transgender education in St. Francis Xavier University is a point of concern. This presentation demonstrates the need for transgender education, and how St. Francis Xavier University can improve in this regard.

Silas Brushett

Silas Brushett is a recent graduate of St. Francis Xavier University. For his last two years at STFX, he has been identifying as a transgender man and has since taken an interest in Transgender studies.

 – DAY 2 –


Youth Engagement

AUGUST 16, 2023

10:30 – 11:30 am (ADT)


Maximizing Growth and Skill Development: The Role of Student Symposiums

This presentation will discuss the role that student symposiums play in the skill development students throughout summer internships. Symposiums allow students to showcase their research or other work to a wide audience, while also allowing them to develop important soft skills. This presentation will use the Nova Scotia Career and Employment Student Symposium as a case study to examine how symposiums support student interns and their skill development. Additionally, this presentation will provide employers with the information they need to organize and host similar events for their interns.

Hannah James

Hannah has been working with the CEI as the Youth Engagement and Symposium Intern. In this role, she has been coordinating the 2023 Nova Scotia Career and Employment Student Symposium, as well as supporting other CEI work. She is a recent STFX graduate and will be starting a Master of Public Health at the University of Ottawa in September.

 – DAY 2 –


Community-Led Development

August 16, 2023

1:30 – 2:45pm (ADT)


Identifying Community-Led Approaches to Climate Change

When it comes to addressing the adverse effects of climate change, the strengths and knowledge of local communities is integral to building their resilience. Individuals from different communities were interviewed to explore the intersections of community development work and climate change, identify learnings around community-driven climate action and resilience-building that can be shared widely. Since stories can be used to motivate and inspire people, I created a website named “Stories of Hope and Climate Action” to share unique and creative solutions.

Preet Banga

Preet graduated from StFX with a First-Class Honours degree in the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. This summer, she is the Storying Climate Change Intern with the Coady Institute and Clean Foundation. Preet is from New Delhi and likes to be outdoors in her free time.


Rethinking Leadership with Global Change Leaders

My role as Education Programs Intern has played a key role in enabling me to learn, unlearn and relearn what it means to be a community leader that is working out of values such empathy and acts on the principles of feminism, ABCD methods and cooperative unions, etc. Furthermore, I am also exploring adults’ (whose first language is not English) ability to understand and translate the knowledge learnt at Coady Institute in a non – English speaking context through a study containing semi-structured interviews.

Dhruv Patel

Dhruv Patel graduated from StFX with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Health degree. Mr. Patel is works as Educations Programs Intern at Coady Institute where his role is to support, assist and work with Diploma Development Leadership participants and facilitators for effective delivery of the course.