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April 11, 2018
Launching the Chandaria Research Centre
We were very proud to celebrate the official launch of the Chandaria Research Centre (CRC) on April 9.While inaugural Director, Mira Gambhir has been laying the groundwork and leading research programs for the past two years, the launch gave us the opportunity to celebrate the impact made by the CRC in a short space of time. It also marked the appointment of the CRC Advisory Board — Jane Gaskell, Dennis Thiessen, Elizabeth Campbell, Monique Herbert and Antoinette Gagne.

Welcoming guests from our community as well as a range of academics, Principal Karen Jurjevich highlighted the establishment of the CRC as one of the major milestones in Branksome history — along with the introduction of the IB, the setting up of our sister school, Branksome Hall Asia, and the opening of our Athletics and Wellness Centre.

“I was excited about the potential of building something new in the Canadian landscape,” said Mira Gambhir. “The CRC brought together my love for teaching, for international mindedness, for youth empowerment, and for research — all in one space!”

She added: “It is very unique to have an applied research centre in a school setting and Branksome is one of only a very small handful of schools in North America that have their own research centres.”

“Branksome is uniquely placed to lead research-based conversations,” said Ms Jurjevich. “The CRC enables us to make valuable and ground-breaking contributions to international education debates and practice.”

Branksome has been able to establish the CRC as a result of the vision and generosity of Raj and Minu Chandaria, past parents and very active volunteers in our community. Raj was a strong and strategic leader on our Board of Governors, seeing research as essential to advancing our students’ remarkable educational experience.

Branksome’s research focuses on our school’s strategic priorities, namely, well-being, international mindedness, and the way girls learn. “The CRC is a research hub where we investigate important and challenging questions about girls’ education,” said Mira Gambhir.

“As an IB school, we are inquiry-based and research is particularly important to us,” said Karen Jurjevich. “Developing curiosity and the ability to ask questions that lead to deeper inquiry are essential to the research process and central to who we are as a school. This leads us to deeper understanding; it enables better problem solving and finding innovative ways of moving our learning forward.”

Central to our approach is partnering with other organizations, including York University, OISE and Eureka! at University of Toronto Schools. Our first research report on girls and bullying is the culmination of the 10-year study, done in collaboration with renowned researcher Jennifer Connolly, Director of York’s LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research.

We thank Raj and Minu Chandaria and the donors who shared their vision, for their generosity, and we congratulate Mira Gambhir for her inclusive approach in inspiring the love of research amongst our faculty and students. We also raise a glass to the future success of the CRC and its impact on our school and well beyond our halls.

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