by Omar Elsharkawy, CFICE Admin RA

At Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE), we are inspired to work every day because of our enthusiastic, dynamic, and successful team, which aims to really make a difference in their respective communities. Lily Haines is CFICE’s current Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Research Assistant (RA) and is a fourth year undergraduate student in Biology and Journalism.

Lily Haines values making research accessible. “CFICE is all about knowledge mobilization…it’s about disseminating research in a way that is understandable to anyone and everyone,” she says. “It’s a bridge between the academic community and the Ottawa community.” Lily is always working hard to translate knowledge into infographics, podcasts, and other creative outputs to help people understand CFICE’s reports and research.

Lily’s work with CFICE has also inspired her to develop new connections in her community. In October 2015, she founded a new organization at Carleton University called the Carleton University Student Riverwatchers (CUSR). This group’s goal is to inspire youth to become involved in nature preservation, as well as ensure the Rideau River’s cleanliness alongside the Ottawa River Keepers. Both organizations also work in collaboration to ensure the public has access to a clean, safe, and healthy environment. This year, the CUSR plan to participate in climate marches, river cleanups, and fundraising events.

After all the exciting work she has conducted during her undergraduate degree, Lily plans on going on to graduate school to study Marine Biology in Vancouver. Her goal is to preserve nature, and she’s excited by the possibility of moving to a new city.

To students that are just starting their undergraduate, Lily offers them this really valuable piece of advice: “Develop a relationship with your professors, because three years later you’re going to need them as references when applying to graduate school!” Lily also encourages students to get out of the classroom and get involved in their community, whether it’s with extracurricular activities or helping out with fundraisers and charity events for non-profit organizations.