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The University of Guelph-Humber Soka Education Research Initiative on Global Citizenship (SERI-GC)

The Soka Education Research Initiative on Global Citizenship offers students an opportunity to be part of a small research group comprised of UofGH students and faculty who are interested in the philosophy of Soka education and global citizenship. SERI-GC will be directed by Dr. Paul Sherman, Program Head, Family & Community Social Services. Students selected to become members of this initiative will be recognized as Research Associates.


The purpose of the initiative is to conduct research on Soka education’s application for educational settings, with an emphasis on education for global citizenship, and to contribute to local and international discourse on Soka education research and practical application.


The members of SERI-GC will meet on a routine basis throughout the Fall and Winter semesters to dialogue about Soka education and global citizenship, and develop research ideas for potential journal publication and conference presentation. There will also be an annual field trip in February to Soka University of America in Los Angeles to participate in their annual Soka Education Conference.

The initial research project of SERI-GC will be a study of higher education teacher perspectives on experiential learning, framed within the Soka (value creating) education theory. Working within the framework of Makiguchi’s Theory of Value, the concepts of beauty, gain, and good will be explored in relation to teachers’ perceived value and outcomes of experiential learning courses delivered at UofGH.  

The inaugural SERI-GC annual special lecture will be delivered by Dr. Jason Goulah. The lecture, entitled, Dialogue and Soka Education, is tentatively scheduled for November 21, 2018 at UofGH. Dr. Goulah is associate professor and director of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University, Chicago. 

SERI-GC Members 2017 – 2019

The following members have been selected to form the initial membership of SERI-GC:

  • Alice Balter, faculty, Family & Community Social Services (FCSS), Early Childhood Studies
  • Olivia Boukydis, MSW, RSW, faculty, FCSS
  • Neve Taylor, student, FCSS
  • Amy Piercy, student, FCSS
  • Kathryn Johnson, student, Media Studies
  • Denny Tran, student, Kinesiology

SERI-GC News and Announcements

The successful SERI-GC official launch on Friday, November 17, 2017 was attended by a Japanese delegation from Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Office of International Affairs; Mr. Yoshiyuki Nagaoka, Mr. Tetsuo Motoi, and Ms. Keiko Kakurai, as well as SGI Canada General Director Mr. Tony Meers. The representatives from SGI presented a book donation to the university which consisted of numerous titles related to Soka education and Soka University founder, Daisaku Ikeda’s writings and dialogues with leaders in various global arenas, such as Hazel Henderson, Linus Pauling, Laurence Lau, and Joseph Rotblat. The 38 titles will be used by the SERI-GC members during the course of their research activities, as well as being available to the entire university student and faculty community.

Read about the launch here:

For inquiries, please email

Funding for SERI-GC has been generously provided by the Makiguchi Foundation for Education and the University of Guelph-Humber.