Dr. Kathleen Kevany

Associate Professor


Related information

Email: kkevany@dal.ca
Phone: (902) 893.6725
Mailing Address: 
Department of Business & Social Sciences
Faculty of Agriculture, Humanities House
PO Box 550
Truro, NS, B2N 5E3
Research Topics:
  • Well-being
  • Social change
  • Community development
  • Sustainable Diets and Food for Good
  • Consciousness, Mindfulness & Metacognition
  • Positive psychology


  • B.A., Carleton University, Ottawa
  • M.Ed., O.I.S.E., University of Toronto
  • Ed.D., O.I.S.E., University of Toronto


  • EXTE3001 - Leadership Development and Social Action Process
  • CMMT3000 - Human Communications, Cross Cultural Relations, &  Conflict Resolution
  • AGRI4001 - Systems Rethinking: Real World Problems in Agriculture, Food, & Well-being
  • FOOD0020 - Food Issues and Current Topics


As I grew up in southwestern Ontario, Chatham and Blenheim, I, like many youth in the region, spent my summers working for a good income on farms in this region.  I mostly enjoyed my summers detasseling corn, or planting tomatoes, as well as harvesting peppers and cucumbers. Working with cucumbers though was much lower on the ‘enjoyment scale’ as they are tough work. In France I picked grapes near the Cognac area and found this to be very hard work but the food and drink now that was worth it all!

My father continues to tell tales of his growing up on the family farm in Ireland. They had dairy cows and goats and planted and harvested forages and potatoes and other vegetables. Throughout our lives we practiced composting kitchen scraps for my father’s extensive urban garden. Our favorite was the taste of home grown, just picked tomatoes for a luscious toasted tomato sandwich.

As well as teaching for years in university and colleges, I also have managed my own counselling and consulting firm and served as a program manager with the Province of Ontario, largely on issues of human rights and social change. In continue to be active with the Nova Scotia Chapter of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Additionally, my years as a director of two multicultural and refugee settlement agencies enabled me to be familiar with issues of the social sector and non-profit management. I maintain a strong interest in and solidarity with First Nations Communities and their rights in a respectful Canadian democracy.

My community service started at the age of 11 at the local YMCA and continues today. In Truro I am on the Heritage Committee as well as the Equity and Diversity Committee for the Town Council. I also recently was asked to assist with the Stakeholder Roundtable for the Bay of Fundy S Environmental Assessment in Tidal Energy. I contribute to several national initiatives and engage myself in democratic processes.

On campus I have the privilege of being involved with many educational and impactful initiatives. I am the Director of Extended Learning. This is where our Faculty of Agriculture is extending research, learning and practice for agriculture and for life! I also am engaged with the Rural Research Centre as Director. In our work of bringing together other researchers striving to add value and insight to address pressing human problems, we have also aligned our work with the campus wide and regional efforts aligning agriculture and food to the many dimensions of well-being.

As part of campus service I actively engage in International Development and Education for Employment projects. We look for the active participation of staff, students and faculty in these exciting projects. Additionally I have been asked to be the representative for the Faculty of Agriculture on the Atlantic Agricultural Leadership Program.

Research interests

Key Research Terms: well-being; social change; community development; community learning; consciousness; positive psychology

I recently was teaching in the Master of Adult Education program at StFX and researching on strategies for improving communities of practice and reducing the distance in distance education. With graduate students and some faculty at StFX we conducted and published findings from an empirical study about peer teaching and learning that may offer valuable insights for adult education and life-long learning at the Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture.

My research has been more broadly focused across disciplines to investigate into factors that mediate civil society; transformative learning; critical reflective practice; leadership and social change. As an example, I have investigated models of transformative education and social change and inquired into leadership roles played by former President of Czechoslovakia Vaclav Havel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

As well my research has included the editing of and contributing to an international collection on Water, Women, Waste, Wisdom, and Wealth. I am curious about the positive psychology of Transition Towns and the power of people to influence local practices and policies for sustainability. I welcome discussions about research and ideas about possible collaboration.


Peer Reviewed Chapters

Kevany, K.M., Ma, J., Biggs, J, & MacMichael, M. (2017). Appreciating Living Well in Two Rural Nova Scotian Communities. Journal of Community Practice, 1-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2016.1269248

Kevany, K.M. and MacMichael, M. Communities of knowledge and knowledge of communities: An appreciative inquiry into rural wellbeing, International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 7(1), 2014, 34-51 http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/ijcre/article/view/3392

Kevany, K., Lange, E., Cocek, C., Baillie Abidi, C. (2013). Online Graduate Programs and Intellectual Isolation: Fostering Technology-Mediated Interprofessional Learning Communities in Handbook of Research on Technologies for Improving the 21st Century Workforce: Tools for Lifelong Learning, Vol. 1, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, (pp. 302-321). doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2181-7.ch020

Kevany, K. M. (2012). Leadership for learning: Innovating with technology. In C. Wang (Ed.), Technology and Its Impact on Educational Leadership: Innovation and Change, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, (pp. 202-216). doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0062-1.ch016

Kevany, K. M. (2012). Learning together: Reducing distance in distance education. In C. Wang (Ed.), Encyclopedia of E-Leadership, Counseling and Training,  Hershey, PA: IGI Global, (pp. 782-796). doi:10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch057