Jeff Thornborrow

Jeffery Thornborrow Profile Photo
Assistant Professor / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - School of Social Work - Social Work
Full-time Faculty
Jeff Thornborrow is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with an 18 year career in the helping field before joining the Social Work faculty at Nipissing University. His teaching and research interests include children and youth mental health, child protection, teacher-student relationships, adjudicated youth and trauma, rights of children service users, and social work leadership. Jeff has worked in many capacities within the helping field including front-line and leadership roles in children and youth mental health, child protection, developmental services, and education. Jeff began his academic teaching career in 2016 at the college level and has since grown a passion for academia, both in teaching and in research. He is currently working towards his PhD with a research focus of student-teacher connections using a qualitative methodology.
PhD Student, Nipissing University
MSW, University of Calgary
BSW, University of Manitoba
BA, Carleton University
Areas of Specialization:

Student-teacher relationship development in kindergarten classrooms.  Other areas of specialization include children and youth mental health, social work leadership, adjudicated youth and past trauma experiences, and child protection services.

Research Interests:


  • Themes of connection and attachment between teachers and students
  • Front line transitions into social work leadership
  • Addressing past traumatic experiences of youth in conflict with the law


  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Art-Informed Research
  • Qualitative methods
Current & Future Research:

Jeff’s doctoral research will be an art-informed appreciative inquiry (qualitative research) on student-teacher relationship development in kindergarten classrooms.


Thornborrow J., & Gosse, D. (2020). Utilizing comics in arts-informed appreciative inquiry: Untapped potential when conducting research with children. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education11(2), 114-120.

“Restorative Justice: Building Relationships, Building Communities” published in the Canadian Association of Principals (CAP) journal.