Welcome to Healthy Communities Research Network

Advancing the quality of community life

The Healthy Communities Research Network (HCRN) at the University of Waterloo is a collaborative web of faculty and graduate students dedicated to studying, critiquing, and evaluating the civic, socio-cultural, and environmental dimensions of health and well-being within community life. HCRN endeavours to produce socially relevant findings and recommendations that advance social science, policy, and social innovation, strengthen local communities, and improve the quality of community life.  

Considering grad school?

If you are a serious student with a passion for issues related to the quality of community life, please contact Troy Glover for information about joining the network.

Healthy Communities Research Network logo.

Meet our people

Zara Rafferty

Zara Rafferty, MA


The role of youth in building healthy communities

Community capacity-building is often thought to be the domain of adults. However, for youth to feel a sense of ownership in their communities, it is critical that they are meaningfully engaged in change efforts at the local level. Zara's interest is in facilitating opportunities for teenagers and young adults to contribute to their communities using experiential education as a vehicle. Through her teaching practice, she engages her students in community partnerships with local not-for-profit organizations and elementary schools