David Smith (2004)

2004 New Research Award Recipient

Is it possible to prevent violence and bullying in schools? So has been inquiring Professor David Smith ever since he joined the Faculty of Education in 1998. A psychologist, Professor Smith first devoted himself to counseling before orienting his studies to the field of pedagogy. Quickly, he developed a fascination with issues of school-based violence and bullying and began investigations on how to frame a better tomorrow for at-risk children.

David Smith achieved a degree in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier University in 1988. He then settled in Montreal, where he completed a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from McGill University (1991), and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology (1998).

Before leaving Montreal, in 1998, Professor Smith published Financial Goal Counseling with the Institute of Canadian Bankers. The following years, he contributed to his newfound domain of research, bullying and youth violence, in publishing several chapters in books and papers in referred journals, such as Alternatives to School Suspension: An Intervention for At-risk Youth (2002) and Anti-bullying Interventions in Schools: Ingredients of Effective Programs (2004).

In 2001, Smith was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada three-year grant for his project, Interventions for Aggressive Youth: An Investigation of School-based Anti-bullying and Anti-violence Programs.

Professor Smith's major realizations include the evaluation of Project Eclipse – a violence prevention program for at-risk youth. He also conducted of the provincial Survey of Anti-bullying Intervention in Ontario Schools, from which findings were disseminated internationally through the American Psychological Association. Furthermore, Smith completed a meta-analysis of studies of whole-school interventions for bullying with the collaboration of two senior researchers in the field of bullying and child aggression, Barry Schneider and Peter K. Smith. In addition, David Smith has played a central role in the creation of the new Educational Counseling Research Unit at the Faculty.

Professor Smith demonstrates a gathering force for assembling research teams and undertaking complex issues. As described by David Paré, co-investigator on Anti-bullying research program and New Researcher Award recipient for 2003: "what is also commendable is Professor Smith's commitment to disseminating the findings of his research in a timely manner and to a broad audience."

Ultimately, Professor Smith's research will benefit to all Anti-bullying programs in schools by giving them resources to improve the outcome of their intervention on at-risk youth.

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