Thriving in Action, From There to Here to Next: The Story of a Ryerson Resilience Intervention

From a pilot cohort of 16 to a community of over 200 students at Ryerson.
From two instructors to a national Community of Practise of over 50 educators.
From feedback forms to three formal research projects.

What is Thriving in Action (TiA)? Borne from a belief in learnability, practised from a focus on what’s ‘right’ with people, taught from a stance of benevolence, revolving around a priority of belongingness, TiA is helping to address the hunger shared by educators across Canada as to help bolster student resilience. A 10-session, non-credit intervention for struggling students, TiA entwines essential Positive Psychology skills like optimism, self-compassion, grit, and gratitude with progressive learning strategies, from mindful time management to collaborative group work to more efficient and spacious studying. TiA has also come to serve as an Early Alert intervention, retention program, and post-orientation offering for students in their middle- and later-years.

Webinar participants can expect to learn about our compelling pre- and post-research findings exploring the impacts of Thriving in Action upon students’ agency, our Thriving in Action Training Institutes and growing community, the arts-based mentorship and peer support TiA initiatives, and the Thriving in Action Online project, soon to be launched and shared.

Join us as we share how TiA’s innovative curriculum, care-based pedagogy, and equity focus are helping students bounce back, persist, feel connected, find purpose, and ultimately thrive!


Dr. Diana Brecher, C. Psych. has worked at Ryerson University’s Centre for Student Development and Counselling since 1991. As adjunct faculty in the Ryerson Psychology Department, she has taught several graduate level courses in CBT and clinical supervision to graduate students. Diana’s long-standing interest and certification in Positive Psychology led to the development of the ThriveRU program. Her current role is to train students, faculty, and staff in her 5 Factor Model of Resilience and to facilitate a cultural change within the university

Dr. Deena Kara Shaffer, Coordinator of Student Transitions and Retention in Ryerson University’s Student Affairs, is a learning specialist and co-creator of the Thriving in Action program. She holds a doctorate in nature-based pedagogy. She is also a freelance education and wellness writer, and a published poet (The Grey Tote, Véhicule Press, 2013). To keep nourished and well, Deena gardens, cooks, and savours hikes with her husband and two daughters.

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