Research Assistants

Safia Amiry

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (PhD)

Safia profile photoI was born in Kabul, Afghanistan where, during the Taliban period, women were denied their fundamental rights. That made me more passionate about women’s rights and gender equality in all aspects. Therefore, I volunteered with many organizations back in Afghanistan, working on women’s advocacy programs. My Fulbright program in the US in 2017 allowed me to do a certificate program on Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, along with my Master’s degree in International Development Studies. Studying this subject academically gave me a clearer picture to reroute my focus for my Ph.D. program and further explore this subject.

I am currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Educational Studies with a focus on Gender and Women's Studies. I am planning to look at the role of women in the peace-building process in post-conflict countries, especially Afghanistan. Because I believe that the role of women and women’s needs are mostly undermined in the peace negotiation process where women are one of the primary victims during the war, which includes sexual violence. Being with the IMPACTS project allows me to better understand women and gender issues at different levels, including policy development, and further explore them through my research. I am looking forward to adding to my experience and also learning through this project.

Philips Ayeni

School of Information Studies (PhD)

Philips Ayeni headshotPhilips has a background in library and information science and he is currently undertaking a doctoral program in information studies with a research focus on open access scholarly communication practices of researchers in Canada. Being passionate about scholarly communication and open access has spurred his interest in current development landscape in scholarly communication. He has previous relevant experience in managing and providing access to information resources with the use of information technologies. He is therefore excited to join the team by managing the research data, teams project collaboration software and data repository associated with iMPACTS. He seeks to ensure that relevant data and research outputs related to the project are well captured, effectively accessed, and utilized.

Clarisse Delaville

McGill Faculty of Law, (DCL/PhD)

Headshot of Clarisse Delaville

I am a Ph.D. student at McGill Faculty of Law. After completing two bachelor’s degrees in international relations and Swiss law at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), I obtained a Master’s degree in international law at the Geneva Graduate Institute (Switzerland) in 2021. I am passionate about international law and agriculture and food governance. My doctoral thesis focuses on gender inequalities and power imbalances in OECD agri-food systems. I look at the role of informal and formal institutions in structuring those inequalities. I am currently the Vice Secretary General of the Quebec Society of International Law. 

This summer, I worked on the iMPACTS project as a summer research assistant under the supervision of Professor Ramanujam and Professor Sheppard. Together with a colleague, we created an annotated bibliography of academic sources on gender-based sexual violence in the university context and designed a podcast structure on the subject. This experience was very instructive. It allowed me to understand that sexual violence on campus is embedded in an environment structured along gendered and discriminatory dynamics and power imbalances. 

Working as a research assistant on iMPACTS is an excellent opportunity to continue to deepen my knowledge on the subject, contribute a legal perspective, and participate in academic conversations about sexual violence on campus. This semester, I am working on a research proposal about social media content moderation, focusing on international law aspects. 

Alyson Gounden Rock

Desautels Faculty of Management (PhD)

Alyson Profile photoAlyson is a doctoral student in Organizational Behavior at the Desautels Faculty of Management. She studies social norms that contribute to unequal gender outcomes at work and in society. Current research (including a chapter in a forthcoming IMPACTs publication on social and mental issues related to COVID) investigates how this pandemic might affect the emergence, stability and change of discriminatory norms that surround working from home. Related research focuses on how social process contribute to organizational inequality through task segregation (in the context of US unions). Before her doctoral studies, Alyson worked as a strategy consultant (with Bain & Company and PWC), as a social entrepreneur, and as a volunteer with the HBS/HKS Community Action Partners, where her clients have included a not-for-profit organization that provides legal advice and services to victims of sexual violence.

Anita Hagh

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (PhD)

Anita profile photoAnita holds a B.A. in Linguistics & Russian and an M.A. in Education & Society, from McGill University. Her research focuses on emerging literacies, texts, and forms of communication in contemporary digital cultures. She is especially interested in the role of non-human agents, such as AI and algorithms, in the production of culture and information online. In projects related to these general research interests, Anita investigates the affirmative potentials of digital cultures and everyday online life. She favors research methods that are sensitive to affect, emotion and empathy, and that allow unique, holistic perspectives & analysis.

Ashna Hudani

McGill Faculty of Law, (BCL/JD)

Ashna Hudani headshotI am currently in my second year of legal education, pursuing a BCL/JD at the McGill University Faculty of Law. Before this, I studied International Development Co-op at the University of Toronto, where my thesis research focused on understanding how gender shapes vulnerability to natural disasters in Pakistan, and evaluating disaster management responses in how they address these vulnerabilities.

As a Research Assistant on iMPACTS, I look forward to conducting legal research that supports strategic, interdisciplinary initiatives that aim to reduce and prevent sexual violence on campus. Through this work, I hope that we can employ anti-oppressive and intersectional survivor-centred approaches to ensure that sexual violence response adequately addresses actual survivor needs, while developing policy and curricula that effectively prevents sexual violence.

Shannon Hutcheson

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (PhD)

Shannon profile photoI am a doctoral student who came to Montreal to pursue research in international/comparative education and the international student experience at McGill. After working in education and studying School Psychology at the University of Minnesota, I spent four years working in Lyon, France as a Psychology and English as a second language (ESL) instructor in higher education. I'm happy to be part of the Define the Line project and I look forward to providing a comparative/multicultural lens.

Safeera Jaffer

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (MA)

Headshot of Safeera Jaffer

I am currently completing a Master of Arts in Education & Society in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill. My academic and professional background focuses heavily on student experiences in higher education. I am currently working on my thesis and graduate research on critical, engaged pedagogy in university-level Cultural Studies classrooms, specifically emphasizing teaching practices and their impacts on racialized students. I am thrilled to be joining the iMPACTS team as a Research Assistant. In relation to the iMPACTS project, my research will examine the role of post-secondary curriculum in addressing sexual violence on university campuses. I am looking forward to exploring this topic further and understanding the nuanced relationships between theory, curriculum, practice, and lived experiences.

J. William W. James

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (MA)

Will James' headshot

I am originally from the west coast of Canada. Growing up I always wanted to help others succeed at what they are capable of, hence why I chose education as a career. My areas of interests for research lie in critical thinking and how online platforms affect and inform us of what news and information we gather, especially the long-term economic impacts that they have on a person's productivity and social status. With a strong association between skill development and income earned in the labor market, the loss of cognitive skills is detrimental to an individual's wellbeing. My question relays to how provincial governments can take legal action to ensure that Canadian provincial curriculums accommodate online learning. Not only to fulfill critical thinking for students, but to ensure that safe and non-subjective information is provided to for people to work with.

Being with the iMPACTS team allows me to develop a better understanding of legal policies, and how policy study is conducted to uncover issues such as sexual violence on university campuses. I am looking forward to bringing my own strengths to this project and learning along the way.

Masoomeh Kalantari

Desautels Faculty of Management (PhD)

Masoomeh profile photoMasoomeh is a doctoral student of Organizational Behavior at the Desautels Faculty of Management. Her research investigates the role of gender and race in organizations. Understanding the organizational culture and how social and sociodemographic dimensions such as race and gender influence the nature of interactions within organizations are important factors in studies of organizational behaviour. As a member of the IMPACTS team, her research contributes to a better understanding of organizations and more specifically university campuses, and the critical roles gender and race may play in these settings.

Colleen (C.J.) Michael

School of Information Studies (MISt.)

Headshot of Colleen MichaelsI’m a first-year student in the Master of Information Studies program, with a focus on data science. My professional background is in biology, and I have a Bachelor of Science Honours in Ecology (2011) from the University of Calgary. Through my work as a biologist, I gained a deeper awareness of the gender-based impacts of major infrastructure construction in remote communities, in addition to my own lived experience as a female-presenting person in STEM.

As a Data Repository Research Assistant for iMPACTS, I look forward to contributing my data management skills in support of the meaningful work being achieved by this project. I’m passionate about accessibility, equity, and inclusion, and I’m interested in exploring everything about data, including data sharing and research data management.

Nina Morena

Department of Art History and Communication Studies (PhD)

Nina profile photoMy doctoral research explores the ways in which breast cancer patients seek and share health information on social media and how this impacts their disease management. I’m interested in intersections of gender and illness and how medical misinformation travels through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. My work for IMPACTS is with Dr. Carrie Rentschler and her team. My responsibilities as an RA include data analysis, interpreting the results, and contributing to building Dr. Rentschler's archive of student activism.

Juliet Morrison

Department of Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist, and Social Justice Studies (B.A)

Juliet Morrison profile photoI am currently in my second year studying Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist, and Social Justice Studies (GSFS). From an academic perspective, I am intrigued by the complexity of tackling sexual violence and the challenges encountered when trying to meaningful address the issue, especially those from the legal framework.

I am thrilled to be on the iMPACTS project so I can deepen my understanding of sexual violence and contribute to research that informs better policy. As a student journalist who has covered sexual violence cases, I believe in the importance of maintaining a dialogue around tackling sexual violence at universities.

Benjamin Nothwehr

Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist, and Social Justice Studies (BA)

Ben profile photo

Benji Nothwehr is a queer, trans, and disabled researcher. They recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Communication Studies with the Graduate Option in Gender and Women’s Studies from McGill University. Building on their research interests in archives and queer/trans studies, Benji’s MA thesis explored how trans artists use archival materials in their work to generate new modes of historical inquiry and archival practice.

Over the past five years, their work with iMPACTS has focused on the creation of a digital archive of student activist materials. Spanning over 30 years, the archive documents student organizing around sexual violence on the McGill University campus, as well as other Canadian university campuses. Their other work on the project has included developing toolkits and guides on survivor-centered research practices for academics and other researchers interested in studying rape culture and sexual violence.

Sara Sanabria

Faculty of Law (JD/BCL)

Before coming to McGill, I completed a dual BA between SciencesPo Paris and the University of British Columbia where I majored in international relations and political science. While at UBC I was a Research Assistant for the Hard-working Student Study conducted through the faculty of Education and led by Dr. Alison Taylor. Currently, I am in my second year of study at McGill's Faculty of Law.

As a Research Assistant on the iMPACTS team, I conduct research on legal issues related to the project and I provide editorial support. I am excited to be a part of the iMPACTs project because I get to meaningfully contribute to raising awareness about sexual violence on campus. As someone passionate about student's rights, this is a very important opportunity to me. I also look forward to conducting legal research on important contemporary legal issues such as the rise of "stealthing", the non-consensual disruption of intimate photos and sexual harassment on virtual reality platforms.

Farah Roxanne Stonebanks

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (MA)

Farah profile photoWhile completing my undergraduate honours degree in Psychology, my interests became focused on children’s and adolescents’ social and emotional well-being. Specifically, I began to examine bullying and anti-bullying programs/initiatives and how schools can work to prevent and react to the negative occurrences between students. The DISE graduate program will allow me to deepen my knowledge of education in order to further my research employing a variety of fields of knowledge.

My work for iMPACTS is based in Project C, News & Social Media. My research focuses on the role of news and social media in relation to its messages on rape culture, how these messages are interpreted by the university community and how media partners can work with universities to help address rape culture in their immediate and larger milieus. It is a meaningful and timely project which will produce positive long-term effects due to the authentic engagement and commitment of this collaborative team.

Sarah Zreim

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (PhD)

Headshot Sarah ZreimBorn in Canada, raised in Lebanon, I am a second-generation immigrant who seeks to make a dent in the world of girls’ education through research and teaching. I earned my bachelor’s in Education and master’s degree in ESL. I chose to teach at an all-girls school where I had first-hand experience with the educational challenges that impede girls’ personal, social, academic, and intellectual growth. This experience has inspired me to pursue my PhD. My research focuses on sexual harassment and gender-based violence among intersectional youth. I am pleased to join iMPACTS and work closely with a determined and influential team. Through my work with iMPACTS, I aim to gain a clearer awareness on women and gender issues in the Western world context.

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