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Meet Our Researcher: Dr. Vivian Papaiz

Apr 3, 2024 | Research Centre

 Dr. Vivian Papaiz Photo

Meet Dr. Vivian Papaiz, PhD, RN, CHPCN(C), currently serving as the Associate Dean for the School of Health Sciences at Canadore College and the Nursing Director and Program Manager for collaborative programs with Nipissing University. Her journey in the healthcare sector began with hands-on experience as an acute care and community health nurse. She developed a deep-rooted passion for patient care and community outreach through her early years.

However, it was her transition into management and administrative roles with The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada that ignited her interest in education. During her time with VON Canada, Vivian served in pivotal roles, including as the national palliative care lead and practice educator. This experience deepened her commitment to palliative care and education. Over the years, she has held numerous leadership positions at various levels, establishing herself as a respected authority in hospice palliative care.

Education has always been central to Dr. Papaiz's career. Her academic journey includes a bachelor's degree from Western University, a master's degree in nursing with a teaching focus from Athabasca University, and a doctorate in Educational Sustainability from Nipissing University. Through her research, she gained insight into nurses' critical role in providing compassionate end-of-life care. She discovered that education, mentorship, public awareness, and enhanced communication are essential to ensure quality care during this sensitive time.

Her interests lie in supporting students to have a robust academic experience and focus on fostering palliative care education in health science programs. Her doctoral research delved into the experiences of palliative care nurses, shedding light on the challenges and successes of caring for individuals with terminal illnesses. She advocates for improved education, mentorship, public awareness, and communication in palliative care settings through her work.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Vivian’s tenure at Canadore College is her collaboration with committed, knowledgeable, and dedicated faculty. She feels privileged to work alongside them as they guide students' educational pursuits. The faculty and support staff at Canadore motivate students towards success, and she is grateful for their insights and unwavering dedication to education. She emphasizes the importance of research, particularly in addressing real-world issues through applied research.

According to her, "Now that degree programs are available to students within the college system, research is becoming increasingly important, particularly in applied research where finding solutions to specific problems is imperative." As an administrator, she emphasizes the importance of supporting faculty to engage in research to meet the standards required by education ministries and industry/partner needs. In offering guidance to colleagues, she also stresses the importance of dedication and curiosity in engaging with research. She encourages educators to embrace new knowledge and explore emerging concepts, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

Vivian underscores the significance of research for her colleagues and offers valuable advice for their engagement. She highlights that "research is an important tool for creating new knowledge or expanding knowledge that brings forth new concepts, methodologies and understanding of information. Research requires a commitment to increasing knowledge in a subject matter area. There is always more to know. As educators, we must be fully invested in the process and willing to explore new and emerging things. Having this attitude is paramount to learning and growth as educators and learners."

For students, she highlights, "To know and understand is that as new information comes to you, we have a responsibility to understand it and to synthesize it further to broaden understanding and knowledge. What does this new knowledge bring forward? How can it improve what we already know? What else do we need to learn? It challenges us to want to know more and to keep learning as new knowledge is generated."

As an education administrator, Dr. Papaiz is committed to supporting a culture of learning and excellence at Canadore College. Through her leadership and advocacy, she aims to empower future healthcare professionals to make meaningful contributions to their communities.