Theresa Thompson-Colón, PhD
theresa.thompson-colon [at]

Department of Sociology

Dr. Thompson-Colón is a sociologist and survey methodologist with more than 20 years of international experience in directing complex data collection efforts in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean region, and West Africa.

Starting in 2011, through her affiliation with McGill Institute for Global Food Security, Dr. Thompson-Colón has contributed to several large-scale multidisciplinary international research initiatives to undertake issues related to food security, malnutrition, health inequalities, gender disparities, and agriculture and rural development. Some of the Institute initiatives and research projects include: (i) the Nutrition Links Project (2013-2018), a joint research effort between McGill University and the University of Ghana (Accra) to build capacity through integrated agricultural, educational, nutritional, and economic interventions to improve livelihood and sustainability in Upper Manya Krobo District in Ghana; (ii) the Nutritious Potatoes Project (2016-2018), a collaboration with Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá) to design monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the scale-up an agricultural innovation model and its implementation; and (iii) the CARICOM Food Security Project (2011-2013), a joint research effort between McGill University and the University of West Indies (Trinidad-Tobago) to improve food and nutrition security in the Caribbean region. Dr. Thompson-Colón also contributes her time in building the research capacity and skills of graduate students affiliated to the Institute, as well as co-supervises, with Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, the research projects of several graduate students completing their master’s and doctoral program.

Before joining McGill University in 2011, Dr. Thompson-Colón was a Senior Project Director at the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, where she designed survey instruments and managed data collection efforts using best practices and innovative sample management techniques for complex data collection projects. She also led an initiative to increase international survey research work and taught a graduate level class on Survey Methods for Public Health Professionals. Dr. Thompson-Colón holds a master’s and doctorate degrees in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico.

Arlette S. Saint Ville, PhD

Dr. Arlette Saint Ville is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher with the McGill Department of Natural Resources.Dr. Saint Ville is examining how community-based school feeding initiatives can provide food system responses to counter increasing occurrences of overweight and obesity among children and reduce the related burden of non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Through applied research she aims to identify solutions that are adaptive, decentralized and engage all stakeholders across the agri-food system. This research forms part of an IDRC-funded project entitled “Improving Household Nutrition Security and Public Health in the CARICOM.” The project aims to implement coordinated packages of interventions within national food systems to promote sustainable livelihoods of vulnerable groups and to combat obesity and diet-related NCDs in three countries: Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dr. Saint Ville completed a Bachelor of Environmental Geography degree (Honours) at Nipissing University, a Master of Environmental Studies degree at York University, and PhD at McGill University. Her doctoral research used mixed methods to explain why scientific advances in agriculture, food and environment have not translated into sustainable food and nutrition security outcomes for the Caribbean as part of the McGill/UWI CARICOM Project. Her work has appeared in journals such as Food Policy, Food Security, Rural Studies and Regional Environmental Change.

In collaboration with the Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security, Dr. Saint Ville is working on a number of important co-authorships. She is currently leading a special section soon to be published in the journal of Food Security that will feature manuscripts from existing and past students from the institute.

Hana Baig

Hana Baig is a Master's student in Human Nutrition at McGill who is studying to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). Through this degree, she is gaining knowledge in how all aspects of nutrition can contribute to overall wellbeing. Prior to her education at McGill, she obtained a B.Sc. in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph. Her bachelor’s degree enabled her to participate in opportunities for many hands-on food and nutrition related learning experiences. She also expanded on her education by completing a certificate in business during this degree.

Hana’s volunteer experience includes involvement with the non-profit organization KUSHI SMART that aims to decrease preventable disease risk in all populations regardless of their socio-economic background. She has assisted with identifying local communities at risk for food insecurity that would benefit from the development of an education and assistance program. This also involved determining unique characteristics of the community in order to tailor the program to their needs. Through this volunteer organization, she developed materials to assist with increasing the food security of university students through on-campus events. Hana has also been involved with food banks and lunch and learn programs that address food insecurity in different student populations. Hana will contribute to the Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security by assisting with the development and teaching of the Fundamentals of Sustainable Food Systems course, hosting webinars, and completing various administrative tasks for the institute.

Matthew Morvan

Matthew Morvan is a Bachelor's student in cognitive sciences at McGill who has both been learning from and collaborating with the Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food security in drafting proposals and developing new opportunities for collaboration with stakeholders. with the Institute. Whether it be through his ongoing passion to understand the co-evolution of cognitive and socio-cultural “mis-adaptations” or his experience founding his own non-profit, what fascinates him about socio-environmental issues and specifically food security, is how despite every stakeholder’s best intentions, one so easily and unwittingly becomes part of the problem. His non-profit has been dedicated to solving eye-care issues in marginalised slum areas of North-West India for four years in collaboration with local hospitals and foundations. This has led him to learn about and apply forms of collaborative action-based research anchored in systems-thinking. Concretely this has translated into stakeholder maps and community audits ultimately catalysing adapted prevention programs, local cross-sector partnerships and organising eye-camps in five different communities. At McGill he has participated in the Building 21 Fellowship where his research focused on finding methods to overcome cognitive obstacles in understanding systemic social issues. Today he holds a special place for sustainable food systems and hopes to learn more from his peers at the Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security.

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