Team Members

Global Child McGill brings researchers, students, practitioners, and youth together in a joined effort to conduct collaborative interdisciplinary research on, and with, children and families affected by war and migration in Canada and abroad.

          Please navigate below to learn more about team members. 

Founder & Director

Myriam Denov

Dr. Myriam Denov is a Full Professor at McGill University and holds the Canada Research Chair in Youth, Gender and Armed Conflict. Her research interests lie in the areas of children and families affected by war, migration, and its intergenerational impact. A specialist in participatory research, she has worked with war-affected children and families in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Dr. Denov has presented expert evidence in court on child soldiers and has advised government and nongovernmental organizations on children in armed conflict and girls in armed groups. She has authored and co-authored seven books addressing the impact of war on children including Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (Cambridge University Press) and Children Affected by Armed Conflict: Theory, Method & Practice (Columbia University Press). Her current research is exploring the intergenerational effects of wartime sexual violence and children born of wartime rape in northern Uganda, Rwanda and Cambodia. Dr. Denov is a Trudeau Fellow, and was recently inducted into the College of the Royal Society of Canada. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar.


Youth Representatives

Alusine Bah

Alusine Bah is currently a BSW student at McGill School of Social Work. As a former child soldier himself, Alusine has been advocating for youths in Canada and around the world. In 2007, he was recognized as a Peace Promoter and received the YMCA Award for Community Building in Canada.

Alusine occupies an interesting position, as his positionalities intersect between a former child soldier and academic. He therefore offers a unique insider perspective combined with critical inquiry about both conducting research and social work practice with youth impacted by armed conflict.

Currently, Alsuine is a Research Assistant for Dr. Myriam Denov and a member of the Global Child McGill Research Group. Alusine also holds a Bachelor's degree in Human Relations from Concordia University. Prior to enrolling at McGill, Alusine was an active member and group facilitator of the Refugee Youth Forum at McGill University.


Umubyeyi Leontine

Leontine Umubyeyi was born and raised in Rwanda. She came to Canada eight years ago. During Tutsi Genocide, Leontine lost her entire family; she is the only survivor of her family. Leontine left Rwanda for Canada in 2008 due to lack of safety. In recent years, the Rwandan government has adopted a law of truth and reconciliation where killers come out of prisons and asked forgiveness to the victims. During this process, Leontine met the men who murdered her family and that was when she decided to leave Rwanda. She has been involved in different research and advocacy projects, and she has worked with different organizations as a public speaker. Leontine recently graduated with a BSW from McGill University, and she feels she is in the right place where she can make a difference in our society.


Jean Kagame 

Kagame is an undergraduate MasterCard Foundation Scholar from Kigali, Rwanda. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in International Development Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Since 2015, Kagame has been a member in a research project exploring the lives and realities of children born of war rape across multiple contexts, notably in Northern Uganda, Rwanda and Cambodia. In 2016, he served as the president of McGill African Students’ Society. Now he is working as a Resident Assistant (Floor Fellow) at McGill University. Kagame’s previous professional experience includes over two years of work for Agahozo-Shalom, a youth village and a residential community that provides education, psycho-social support and care to restore the rhythm of life for the most talented and needy orphans in Rwanda. He also interned with Survivors Fund Rwanda, a UK NGO based in Rwanda which provides financial support to the Survivors of the 1994 genocide committed against Tutsi in Rwanda. Having grown up in post-Genocide Rwanda, he has the lived experience of confronting and navigating the issues faced by children and young adults in the aftermath of war. It is primarily for this reason that he is deeply inspired to work as a professional with war-affected populations, particularly in developing countries. Kagame’s additional interests include learning how indigenous knowledge and practices can be applied by international NGOs for the betterment of lives after tragedies, such as war.

Arts-Based Axis Members

Claudia Mitchell (Axis Co-Leader)

Claudia Mitchell is a James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University where she is the director of the Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the founder and director of the Participatory Cultures Lab at McGill. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Trudeau Foundation Fellow. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning journal Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Her research focuses on participatory visual and arts based approaches to working with young people and communities in relation to addressing critical social issues such as gender equality and gender based violence and in a wide range of country contexts including Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Rwanda. She currently co-leads a SSHRC/IDRC Partnership Grant focusing on girl-led ‘from the ground up’ policy making to address sexual violence with Indigenous girls in Canada and South Africa. Mitchell’s publications include: Doing visual research; Participatory visual methodologies: Social change, community and policy [Mitchell, DeLange, Moletsane]; Disrupting shameful legacies: Girls and young women speaking back through the arts to address sexual violence [Mitchell & Moletsane]; Visual encounters in the study of rural childhoods [Mandrona & Mitchell]. Participatory visual methodologies in global public health [Mitchell & Sommer]; Handbook on participatory video [Milne, Mitchell & DeLange] Picturing research: Drawing as visual methodology [Theron, Mitchell, Smith & Stuart].


Miranda D'Amico (Axis Co-Leader)

Dr. Miranda D'Amico is the Associate Dean of Student Academic Services in the Faculty of Arts and Science and a Professor in the Department of Education at Concordia University. For over thirty years she has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities in rehabilitative and therapeutic settings. In 1986 she joined Concordia University where she has been the Coordinator of Educational Psychology and served as both undergraduate and graduate program director in Child Studies. Her research interests include the cognitive and emotional development of individuals with disabilities; school and community-based inclusion of individuals with disabilities; and the assessment and evaluation of the efficacy of creative arts therapies and arts-based approaches on individuals with special needs.


In 1996, she co-founded The Centre for the Arts in Human Development at Concordia, a unique research and clinical training program where she is the co-director of research. Dr. D'Amico has published articles and lectured on various aspects of social inclusion and quality of life issues for individuals with developmental disabilities and served as a reviewer on a number of journals that deal with this aspect.


Warren Linds

Dr. Warren Linds is Associate Professor, Department of Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University, Montreal. Before beginning graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, he worked for 17 years in international development education and 6 years in community television, radio and newspapers in Vancouver and Newfoundland. He has had extensive experience in popular theatre and community development. Dr. Linds has done extensive research with Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan and published in the areas of group facilitation, anti-oppression and anti-racism pedagogy, the fostering of youth leadership, and alternative and arts-based approaches to qualitative research and documentation. Dr. Linds is the co-editor of Playing in the House of Mirrors: Applied Theatre as Reflective Practice, Emancipatory pedagogies: Exploring adult/youth collaboration for social and environmental justice and Unfolding bodymind: Exploring possibility through education. He has presented at both national and international conferences in arts based research, Indigenous research, education, critical pedagogy, popular theatre and complexity theory.


Taiwo Afolabi

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi holds the Canada Research Chair in Socially Engaged Theatre; Director, Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre (C-SET), and an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina. He is an artist, qualitative researcher, theatre manager, applied theatre practitioner and educator with a decade of experience working across a variety of creative and community contexts in over dozen countries across four continents. He researches, creates works, performs, and teaches at the intersection of performance and human ecology. His research interests lie in the areas of applied theatre and policing, social justice, decolonization, art leadership and management, migration, and the ethics of conducting arts-based research. Dr. Afolabi has co-edited two books and published articles in various books and reputable journals. He is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and the founding artistic director of Theatre Emissary International.


Maya Fennig

Maya Fennig is a PhD candidate at McGill University’s School of Social Work. Her current research interests are in the intersections between social work, psychiatry and ethnography. Her dissertation research explores psychological distress and coping from the perspective of Eritrean refugees residing in Israel. By examining Eritrean's idioms of distress as well as their local attempts to cope with and recover from trauma, Maya's study will promote culturally appropriate and effective policy and program interventions that seek to improve the mental health of refugees. Findings of her research will also contribute to knowledge and theory regarding both universal and culture-specific aspects of trauma and resilience processes.

In 2015, Maya was awarded a prestigious Jeanne Sauve Public Leadership Fellowship to address issues of diversity and refugee integration in Quebec, Canada. In her home country, she has worked for more than ten years with the African refugee community and has co-organized numerous demonstrations to advocate for their rights.

Maya earned a Bachelor of Social Work at Tel-Aviv University in 2011 and a Master of Social Work in 2014 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her long-term goal is to improve the access, equity and quality of psychosocial services for underserved refugee and migrant populations.


Nesa Bandarchian Rashti

Nesa Bandarchian Rashti is a PhD Candidate, under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Mitchell, in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University. She is also a Research Assistant in the Institute for Human Development and Well-being and Participatory Cultures Lab, where she works on various projects and initiatives related to Participatory Visual and Arts-based methodologies. Her research interests lie in the area of refugee studies, girlhood studies, and Arts-based methods. Her PhD project focuses on adolescent refugee girls and their challenges after resettlement in Quebec.


Shu-Hua Kang

Shu-Hua Kang is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Work at McGill. Her research interests focus on understanding the impact of early-life conflict-related sexual trauma on aging process and using social services and arts-based methods to address intersectional roles of older survivors. Shu-Hua was a social worker and administrator in NPOs for 20 years in Taipei, Taiwan working with varied disadvantaged groups. In particular, she has devoted herself to raising public awareness of the lived experience of Comfort Women (victims of Japanese military sexual slavery in WWII) through arts-based social activism. She was an executive producer of a documentary and led a team in bringing the memorial museum for Taiwanese Comfort Women into existence after years of interdisciplinary efforts. Shu-Hua received the Ministry of the Interior Award for excellence in combating sexual assault and family violence in 2012, and the 12th Compassion Award in 2017 for her dedication to social service from the HK & Macau Taiwanese Charity Fund Ltd. Shu-Hua holds an MSW from Columbia University and an MPPA from the University of Pittsburgh. Her study at McGill is supported by the Taiwan Ministry of Education under the Overseas Graduate Study Scholarship Program.

Participatory Axis Members

Neil Bilotta (Axis Co-Leader)

Neil Bilotta is a PhD candidate at McGill University. His academic interests, which are embedded in anti-oppressive and decolonizing theoretical paradigms, lie in the ethics of research and social work practice with disenfranchised young people. More specifically, Neil’s work explores the overt and subtle effects of Eurocentrism, Colonialism, Whiteness, and Othering on both the refugee resettlement process and research facilitated with this population. Additionally, Neil is interested in those identified as “refugees” to implement, develop, and design both research methodologies/theories, and social work interventions that are most beneficial to their realities, as opposed to outside, top-down approaches. In doing so, Neil is particularly interested in diverse participatory and advocacy research methods. Therefore, Neil utilizes “Western” and “non-Western” theoretical/methodological approaches when collaborating with research participants, researchers, social workers, etc. to establish and promote non-hierarchal and reciprocal relationships to meet the needs of all parties involved.


Rosemary Carlton (Axis Co-Leader)

Rosemary R. Carlton is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the Université de Montréal. Her teaching and research interests which are shaped by her extensive experience as a social work practitioner lie in the areas of child protection, child sexual abuse, gender-based violence, and social work with indigenous populations as well as intersectional, feminist intervention and theory. Rosemary recently earned her PhD from McGill University. Employing a girl-centred interpretive framework, Rosemary’s SSHRC-funded doctoral research sought to unearth in-depth and nuanced accounts of risk and autonomy as they are understood and negotiated within the context of sexually abused teenage girls’ involvement with child protection services.


Ines Marchand

Ines Marchand has worked with clients in crisis intervention working through potentially traumatic events for over 20 years. For the past ten years, Ines has been working as a volunteer promoting healing and reconciliation with victimizers and victims of the war in Colombia. Here, her work focuses on those who have suffered different types of violent actions as part of the conflict in Colombia, such as forced displacement, forced disappearance of a loved one, victims of child recruitment, victims of sexual violence, landmines and kidnappings.


Socioecological Axis Members

Marjorie Rabiau (Axis Co-Leader)

Marjorie Rabiau, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University. She is a clinical psychologist and a couple and family therapist (member of the OPQ and OTSTCFQ). After over 10 years of clinical practice, Dr. Rabiau is now a Core Faculty member for the M.Sc.(A) in Couple and Family Therapy. Her expertise lies in working with children, adolescents and their families using primarily a systemic lens. Her research interests include the development of identity within the context of family and community. Her current domains of study are the importance of working with the family when working with refugee youth as well as when working with gender creative youth.


Karen Paul (Axis Co-Leader)

Karen Paul is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the Faculty of Social Work at McGill University. Situated in Global Child McGill, which researches and advocates for the wellbeing of children and families affected by war in Canada and internationally, Karen is exploring perspectives on what constitutes effective social work in complex humanitarian emergencies. Karen worked for over four years in predominately high conflict intensity settings including Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine. Focused on mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings, Karen supported national staff to provide care in their own contexts.


Jaswant Guzder

Professor, McGill Dept of Psychiatry , Division of Child Psychiatry and Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry is a senior consultant in child psychiatry, former head of Jewish General Child Psychiatry and Director of Childhood Disorders Day Hospital, and founding co director of Cultural Consultation Service. Currently as a senior consultant, she is involved in clinical work, academic, teaching and research activities. Her Global Mental Health work is currently in Jamaica since 2005 working on projects for children at risk and community engagement, in India as consultant and in Nepal. Her main training areas are cultural psychiatry, family therapy and arts in healing. She is a visual artist, completed an art residency in Rome at Musee delle Mente with a book to be launched in Dec 2019 “Ibradazione” , talk at Venice Biennale 20i9, and recent art exhibit as part of Montreal’s Asia Access at Musee des Maitres et Artisans du Quebec.


Sharon Bond

Dr. Sharon Bond, Associate Professor, McGill School of Social Work is best known for her pioneering development of McGill’s first specialized Master’s program in Couple and Family Therapy, M.Sc., Applied, in Couple and Family. Dr. Bond has been a faculty member since 1998 and is Associate Member, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Faculty of Medicine. A licensed couple and family therapist (OTSTCFQ) and psychotherapist (OPQ), Dr. Bond pioneered the development of the McGill Couple and Family Clinic (MCFC), Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital. Dr. Bond is the Family Therapy Fellowship Co-Director, McGill Psychiatry. Her years of clinical, supervisory experience with couples and families inform her teaching and research. Current projects include: 
  • War-affected Children and their Families: A Three-Pronged Research Approach
  • Children of War: Working with the Whole Family
  • Fostering a father-inclusive practice approach with immigrant and refugee families
  • Best Practices in Field Supervision for Multidisciplinary Training in Family Therapy: A Pan- Canadian Family Therapy Training Collaborative


Anaïs Cadieux Van Vliet

Anaïs Cadieux Van Vliet is a doctoral student in the faculty of Social Work Their advocacy and academic work centers on young people, family violence and grassroots organizing. Before working in research, Anaïs spent five years working with street-involved youth. They continue to be an active member of various local community organizations as a volunteer, board member, and policy consultant.


Yochay Nadan

Dr. Yochay Nadan is a social worker, licensed couple and family therapist and supervisor. He is a Senior Lecturer (Tenured) at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a currently a Visiting Professor at the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University. Dr. Nadan’s work lies at the interface of research and practice, each informing the other. His current research projects lie in the following three main areas: 1) Children’s risk, maltreatment, well-being and protection in diverse contexts; 2) Practice research – including psycho-social interventions in diverse contexts, clinical training and supervision; 3) LGBTQ Community – including LGBTQ Parenting, sexual abuse in the LGBTQ community, and gender diverse children and families. 
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