Dr. Eleanor Gittens has been described by many as a highly accomplished and motivated leader. Nowhere is this more evident than in the classroom.
Eleanor’s exemplary teaching is reflected in the many opportunities she provides her Police Studies degree students, particularly with one of their biggest potential employers – the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) – which is located just beside Georgian’s Orillia Campus.
Just two years into her employment at Georgian, Eleanor has already precipitated a number of student-led research projects with the OPP Orillia detachment. They include reviewing the effectiveness of the detachment’s “foot beat” patrol initiative, developing a neighbourhood
assessment tool, and assessing the use of calls for service by long-term care facilities in Orillia.
In addition to being a professor within Georgian’s Human Services and Community Safety portfolio, she’s also a member of the college’s Research Ethics Board and Research Advisory Council. With a doctorate in psychology from the University of Liverpool, Eleanor has experience executing research within the disciplines of criminology, forensic psychology and community policing.
But what she loves most is being in the classroom and teaching students how to improve their own skills and abilities and seeing the benefits of research quickly, which is possible in community-based studies.
“I really felt the need to get back into a physical classroom and interact more directly with students. I also longed to get back to my true love, which is pragmatic research,” says Eleanor. “When the job opened up at Georgian, I knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for me. The job presented the opportunity to teach a subject matter that I know intimately, as well as the chance to collaborate with the OPP.”
She recently took a group of Bachelor of Human Services – Police Studies degree students to the Barbados for an experiential learning trip. The week-long venture allowed them to experience another culture and to get a sense of people’s differences.
“Canada is a multicultural society, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area where many of our Police Studies students hope to become officers,” says Eleanor. “There is inherent value in students getting some sort of understanding and appreciation of the differences that exist between people in order to properly police them.”