Publications

Publications

Cortes, V. (2017). Leadership and social justice. In J. P. Dugan, N. Turman, A. Barnes, & M. Torrez (Eds.), Leadership theory: A facilitator’s guide for cultivating critical perspectives. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Cortes, V. Sommer, R. (2016). Action-Research. In. R. Gifford (Ed.), Reserarch Methods for Environmental Psychology. New York: Wiley.

Cortes, V. & Butterworth, J. (2012). The actor within: Implementing theatre-based activities in our everyday practice. Communiqué Magazine. Canadian Association of Colleges and Universities Student Services.

Cortes, V. (2011). Perspectives on the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Communiqué Magazine. Canadian Association of Colleges and Universities Student Services.

Pipitone, J., Aranda, J., and Cortes, V. (2010). Aiming for the eagle: Making the best use of our software research skills to fight climate change. 2nd Workshop on Software Research in Climate Change.

Cortes, V. (2013). An arts-based approach to developing systems thinking in student leadership programs (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Victoria.

An arts-based approach to developing systems thinking in student leadership programs

Graphic Recording

My research study at the University of Victoria explored the implementation of Image Theatre as a means to developing systems thinking in a co-curricular student leadership development program at the University of Victoria. The research question asked: In what ways the implementation of an arts-based pedagogical approach, such as Image Theatre, illustrate the potentiality for undergraduate students to better understand ‘the bigger picture’ and the interconnections of their intersecting social systems? This inquiry was conducted through an arts-based methodology and used the Social Change Model of Leadership Development as a theoretical framework for designing the leadership program. The study was conducted during a workshop where Image Theatre and graphic recording were used in parallel to trace connections among the characters portrayed by six undergraduate students interested in environmental sustainability. The themes that emerged included the tensions of individuals ‘caught in the middle’, or system’s integrators, and the role of activism. The study’s findings acknowledges students’ understanding of systems as fragmented units and identifies the potentiality for further research and intentional practice emphasizing the interconnections and relationships among systems within the curriculum.

Download thesis

Measuring the State of Leadership Development and Social Responsibility of Student Leaders at the University of Toronto

Cortes, V. (2006). Measuring the state of leadership development and social responsibility of student leaders at the University of Toronto (Unpublished master’s thesis). Tecnológico de Monterrey, Virtual University, Mexico.

Estudio de los valores de liderazgo y responsabilidad social de alumnos que participan en grupos estudiantiles en la Universidad de Toronto

From: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Virtual, Mexico, May 2006

Abstract
Higher education institutions play an essential role in the formation of responsible citizens committed to the development of society. For this reason, the curriculum is complemented by training activities that occur outside the classroom. This research is oriented to the study of one of the co-curricular activities more relevant to the student experience: participation in student organizations.  Based on the Leadership for Social Change Model the level of leadership and social responsibility in a sample of 117 students at the University of Toronto is explored, under the assumption that students who participate in student organizations have a greater level of leadership and social responsibility than those who do not. Results obtained refute the hypothesis because there were no statistically significant differences between these groups.

Resumen
Las instituciones de educación superior juegan un papel esencial en la formación de ciudadanos responsables y comprometidos con el desarrollo de la sociedad. Por tal razón los programas curriculares se complementan con actividades de formación que ocurren fuera del salón de clase. Esta investigación está orientada al estudio de una de las actividades co-curriculares más relevantes de la experiencia estudiantil: la participación en organizaciones estudiantiles. Tomando como base el Modelo de Liderazgo para el Cambio Social se estudian ocho valores de liderazgo y responsabilidad social en una muestra de 117 alumnos de la Universidad de Toronto, bajo la hipótesis de que los alumnos que participan en organizaciones estudiantiles tienen un mayor nivel de liderazgo y responsabilidad social que aquéllos que no participan. Al calcular la estadística U de Mann-Whitney se obtuvieron resultados que refutan la hipótesis ya que no se encontraron diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre dichos grupos.

Download thesis (in Spanish)

Download presentation (in Spanish)

Research Experience

  • 2012-2013 An arts-based approach to developing systems thinking in student leadership programs. University of Victoria (Principal Investigator).
  • 2011-2012 Workshop Facilitator. Social Intervention to Increase Recycling Behaviour, University of Victoria.
  • 2010 Research Assistant. Beyond the Classroom Walls, University of Victoria.
  • 2006 Focus Groups Facilitator. National Survey of Student Engagement, University of Toronto.
  • 2006 Implemented the Socially Responsible Leadership Scale with University of Toronto students. Collected, analyzed and interpreted data for my thesis project.
  • 2004 Research Assistant. Assessment of Reading Difficulties of ESL Children. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Research Presentations

  • Developing leadership capacity in adult learners through arts-based pedagogies. CASAE. Congress of the Humanities 2013, University of Victoria.
  • Understanding the Bigger Picture: Image Theatre as a Catalyst for Systems Thinking. Research Connections 2.0 IdeaFest Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, March 2013
  • Popular Theatre as a Catalyst for Systemic Thinking. Research Connections 2.0 IdeaFest Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, March 2012.
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