Breaking down silos: Postsecondary leaders collaborating to advance One Health in education.


  • Alyse Pearce
  • Michele Anholt
  • Jennifer Markides
  • MacKinley Darlington
  • Barbara Brown
  • Sylvie Roy



One Health, education, partnership, boundary-spanning, collaborative leadership, knowledge engagement


This contribution describes how leaders from the University of Calgary Knowledge Engagement team, the manager of One Health at UCalgary and faculty members from Werklund School of Education came together to form a leadership team and plan a transdisciplinary initiative for future implementation in K-12 schools. The One Health initiative at the University of Calgary is committed to tackling complex problems at the convergence of people, animals, and the environment, and the underlying economic and social factors that determine the opportunities for health across all ecosystems. Systems thinking and inviting different perspectives into the conversation provided a greater understanding of the scope of global challenges and how our individual actions impact others and the environment we all share. The authors used a collaborative and dialogic approach to plan a knowledge engagement session with regional public-school educators to consider how inclusion of the One Health approach into existing curriculum could benefit students. In this chapter, the authors reflected on how matchmaking brought the team together as a boundary-spanning and transdisciplinary team and describe their collective actions and leadership in building collaboration and connections with community partners to lay the foundation for a robust outreach program. The reflections suggest that leaders in higher education can break down silos using a complexity paradigm for their leadership and work together across different departments to combine diverse expertise for community engagement.

Author Biographies

Alyse Pearce

Alyse Pearce was the Knowledge Engagement Coordinator, Research Services, University of Calgary at the time of writing. Alyse played a key role in brokering partnerships between community and academic partners for research and acted as a point of contact for external organizations looking to partner with University of Calgary researchers. Her work also included providing collaboration support for research partnerships and building capacity for knowledge engagement across campus. She now enables collaborative research at Athabasca University as Research Partnerships Broker.

Michele Anholt

Michele Anholt is a veterinary epidemiologist. As manager of One Health at UCalgary, she supports transdisciplinary approaches to research, training, and engagement to find meaningful solutions to improve the health and wellness of people, animals, and the environment.

Jennifer Markides

Dr. Jennifer Markides is Métis, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Learning in the Werklund School of Education and Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include the holistic wellbeing of youth, Indigenous education, and emancipatory pedagogies.

MacKinley Darlington

MacKinley Darlington was the inaugural manager of the Knowledge Engagement team at the University of Calgary and was responsible for the strategic planning of the portfolio’s initiatives and assessing incoming project opportunities for impact and partnership potential. MacKinley has transitioned within the post-secondary sector and now provides leadership and vision for growing knowledge mobilization and research impact at Athabasca University.

Barbara Brown

Dr. Barbara Brown is Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include research-practice partnerships, professional learning, and instructional design in digital learning environments.

Sylvie Roy

Dr. Sylvie Roy was Associate Dean, Research in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary when writing this paper. She is a professor in Language and Literacy. Her research interests include teaching and learning languages, sociolinguistics, ideologies and policies.



12-05-2024 — Updated on 13-05-2024


How to Cite

Pearce, A., Anholt, M., Markides, J., Darlington, M., Brown, B., & Roy, S. (2024). Breaking down silos: Postsecondary leaders collaborating to advance One Health in education. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 24(1), 103–127. (Original work published May 12, 2024)