Fellows Feature: Shannon Mok & Khandideh Williams

As we enter March, recruitment is now in full swing at CAnD3. We invite interested students to join our recruitment informational session to hear directly about the program from Fellows and staff! You can also get to know more about the Fellows' experience by reading through their features!  

We caught up with two of our current Fellows, Shannon and Khandideh, to ask about their experiences with the CAnD3 program thus far. Read on to learn about their research and what they hope to achieve during the remainder of the program and beyond.

Feature image: Shannon Mok(left) and Khandideh Williams(right)

Shannon Mok (she, her, hers, they, them, theirs)

Shannon Mok is a researcher with a passion for uncovering the complexities of labour market inequalities. Shannon started her research journey during her undergraduate studies in sociology at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). “My interest in conducting research began at TMU when I realized I was good at quantitative research methods and began conducting quantitative research and learning more about how research can impact policy and create societal change,” shares Shannon.

Shannon found that when she was reading various papers on social inequalities, these papers predominantly focused on one form of marginalization. “As an individual belonging to multiple marginalized groups, I felt that my experiences were not well-represented, specifically in quantitative research.” Shannon shares. Therefore, she began working to change this through her own research.

Her academic journey continued with a master's degree at Western University, where she further honed her research skills and delved deeper into the field of labour market inequalities. As a current PhD candidate at Western University, Shannon's professional background continues to shape her commitment to creating impactful research that addresses societal challenges.

From doing sociology and quantitative research, her ideas have been shaped by her experiences and a drive to make meaningful contributions to social justice. By researching the employment outcomes of marginalized groups through an intersectional lens and focus now lies on analyzing the outcomes of sexual minorities and gender-diverse individuals in Canada, “ I am interested in labour market research because all individuals are affected by their ability to obtain income. If some groups are marginalized because of their identities, it can severely impact their well-being and quality of life,” Shannon shares. Through her work, Shannon aims to shed light on how various forms of marginalization intersect and influence individuals' opportunities in economics.

Shannon is eager to enhance her data software skill as a CAnD3 fellow, refine her data visualization techniques, and learn more about translating research into policy-making. “I hope to use these skills in my dissertation, specifically, to create eye-catching, clear, and informative data visualizations for conference presentations,” Shannon says.

Moreover, she also looks forward to the networking opportunities provided by CAnD3 to collaborate with fellow researchers and broaden her understanding of diverse research areas.

When Shannon isn't in the research world, you'll likely find her exploring the great outdoors through activities like rock climbing and hiking. She also enjoys spending quality time with her pets and fostering dogs, embodying her compassionate nature both in and out of her academic life.

We're inspired by Shannon's research and look forward to witnessing the impact of her endeavors in quantitative research.

Learn more and connect with Shannon.

Khandideh Williams (she, her, hers)

Growing up, Khandideh Williams often witnessed how socio-economic factors such as poverty negatively impact health. Although she believed that health care services were readily available and equitably provided to all Canadians, it dawned on her that certain persons were not receiving the care they needed. “Such observations and ensuing reflections nurtured my concern about the complex personal and institutional factors that impact health care accessibility and catalyzed my interest in health equity,” Khandideh shares. This interest later grew even stronger following Khandideh’s exposure to a growing body of literature revealing persistent health disparities within racialized minority communities in Canada.

As a PhD student in the Family Medicine and Primary Care program at McGill University, Khandideh's research journey is driven by a deep commitment to addressing health disparities faced by racialized minority populations in Canada, particularly Black communities. Through interviews, deliberative dialogues, and regression analyses, Khandideh aims to produce research that may be used to inform equitable health system improvements.

“By employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, I am investigating racial disparities in access to quality health care in Canada, as well as perceptions of racial discrimination in Canadian health care encounters,” Khandideh explains. Her research is also investigating the complex ways in which health care is experienced across interwoven social locations such as age, gender, ethnicity, and immigration experience, through an intersectionality lens.

Khandideh's journey into health research has been shaped by her multidisciplinary background, drawing on experiences such as assisting with systematic reviews at the McGill Division of Cancer Epidemiology, contributing to projects assessing telemedicine accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, and performing fundamental science research on HIV. These experiences have equipped her with the skills to engage in self-directed and team-based research projects and have allowed her to hone her ability to communicate and collaborate effectively across diverse disciplines.

Her recent co-authored publication discusses the history of anti-Black racism in Canada and how it may continue to manifest in Canadian health care. “We suggest that engaging critical race theory in the Canadian racial health care equity literature may provide a more nuanced analysis of the root causes of racial health disparities faced by Canada’s Black populations,” shares Khandideh.

In her free time, Khandideh finds solace in music, particularly Caribbean genres like reggae, soca, and konpa. She's even taken up learning the piano to add her own "freestyle" touch to her favorite tunes. Additionally, she has developed a fascination with herbalism and teas, exploring the diverse world of natural remedies and flavors.

As a CAnD3 fellow, Khandideh looks forward to expanding her data science and population research skills, particularly in programming, statistical modeling, and data visualization. “This training program will help in expanding my approach to problem-solving and knowledge mobilization for diverse knowledge users, while also facilitating my ability to draw connections between my doctoral research and population aging, and to build sustainable networks and partnerships,” Khandideh says.

Learn more and connect with Khandideh .

About the training program

The Population Analytics in an Aging Society Training Program is a rigorous one-year fellowship hosted by the Consortium on Analytics for Data-Driven Decision-Making (CAnD3), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and based at McGill University. The program upskills rising researchers in Master's, PhD, and postdoctoral programs in the areas of population data science and computational population social science from a multidisciplinary lens. It also connects Fellows to experiential learning opportunities, which include hands-on research projects and internships with government, not-for-profit, and private sector CAnD3 partners. Since the first year of the program in 2020, CAnD3 has trained 52 Fellows and welcomes 22 new Fellows for the 2023-24 Academic Year.

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