People

DIrectors of the IHDW


 

Claudia Mitchell Director

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Claudia Mitchell is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies with the Faculty of Education at McGill University, and an Honorary Professor in the School of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, where she established the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change.

In October 2019 Dr. Mitchell was awarded the Prix du Quebec, the highest honour in the Province awarded to a researcher in the Social Sciences. Dr.Mitchell was recognized for her illustrious career studying gender-based violence prevention, HIV, and AIDS awareness, and working with youth around the world.

In September 2015 Dr. Mitchell was recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her research interests span work in schools with teachers and young people, particularly in the context of gender, HIV and AIDS; studies in Higher Education of mainstreaming issues of gender, HIV and AIDS in South Africa and Ethiopia; girlhood studies, in particular, work-related to gender-based violence; and participatory visual methodologies and community-based research in health education, housing and agriculture.

In 2008 she was given an award by the Canadian Bureau of International Education for her innovative work with young people in development contexts. She is involved in a number of research projects. These include studies funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada on the uses of digital technology with teachers, and research on "what difference does this make?" in relation to arts-based methodologies for addressing HIV and AIDS in rural communities in South Africa; the Canadian Institute for Health Research in relation to the uses of participatory methodologies for working with aboriginal youth in addressing HIV and AIDS; and the National Research Foundation (South Africa) focusing on two key areas (gender and sanitation, indigenous knowledge and women teachers in the age of AIDS).

 

Founder of YAHAnet and the Participatory Cultures Lab at McGill, Claudia is also an editor of the academic journal, Girlhood Studies.

[view McGill profile]

 


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Dr. Neil Andersson is a Professor of Family Medicine, and Executive Director of Community Information and Epidemiological Technologies (CIET) Institute and Participatory Research at McGill (PRAM). With his extensive medical expertise as a medical doctor, Neil’s evidence-based health-related research focuses on community engagement, mobilization, and surveillance in Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Bostwana.

After medical studies at the University of Cape Town and work as a junior paediatrician and surgeon in south Wales, Dr Andersson worked for three years in refugee camps in the Horn of Africa before taking up an appointment as clinical lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1985 he founded CIET in the south of Mexico, which grew into a network of institutes and charities dedicated to community-based research and planning. He has a special interest in large scale pragmatic trials that incorporate community views and resources in of primary prevention. 

Jake Burack Co-director

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Dr. Jake Burack is a Professor of School Psychology and Human Development in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is the founder and director of the McGill Youth Study Team (MYST) and a co-investigator on three past and current national networks funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research – the Autism Research Training Program, the National Network on Aboriginal Mental Health, and Roots of Resilience (co-funded by the Medical Research Council of New Zealand). He is a member of the editorial boards of Development and Psychopathology and the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, and a member of the advisory boards of both the Postdoctoral and Merck Doctoral Program on Research in Mental Retardation at the University of Wisconsin.

Jake and his students work within the MYST motto of “a commitment to excellence in the study and education of all children." Their theoretical framework is that of developmental psychopathology, the interface of typical and atypical development and developmental histories. Accordingly, the emphasis of their conceptual writings is on the contributions of developmental theory and methodology to the study of psychological risk and well-being. One focus of their empirical study is the development of attention and cognition among typically developing children, persons with autism, and persons with Down syndrome. Another focus of their empirical work is the school-based study of role of the cultural identity and other predictors in the academic success, social adaptation, and emotional well-being of First Nations adolescents in northern communities. [view profile]

Jeff Derevensky co-director

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Dr. Jeff Derevensky’s research has focused on child and adolescent high-risk behaviours. He is actively involved in a variety of research, treatment, and prevention products. He has worked internationally and provided expert testimony before legislative bodies in several countries and his work has resulted in important social policy and governmental changes. He is well known for his research on youth gambling, the effects of social media on youth and adolescents’ gambling habits, as well as the social costs of gambling behaviours among young people.

Dr. Derevensky is Chair and James McGill Professor with the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology with McGill University's Faculty of Education. In addition Dr. Derevensky is Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours, founded in 1992 to better understand the factors related to youth gambling and high-risk adolescent behaviours. 

Dr. Derevenksy supervises students who are focusing their own research on the associated impact of resiliency, neurological implications, and risky behaviours that contribute to gambling. [view profile]


Nancy Heath Co-director

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Dr. Nancy Heath is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Her research program explores resilience and adaptive functioning in young people at-risk (children, adolescents, and young adults). She is a founding member, and past President, of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS), and the recipient of the Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education’s 2011 Mentorship Award in recognition of her outstanding support for graduate students in education. She has published and presented extensively on topics related to mental health and resilience in educational settings, is an internationally recognized leader in the area of self-injury in educational settings and has worked in collaboration with schools for more than 20 years. Dr. Heath has received over 1.8 million dollars in research grants from provincial and federal agencies.

[view McGill profile]

Shaheen Shariff, Co-director

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Dr. Shaheen Shariff, of McGill's Department of Integrated Studies in Education, is an international expert on policy development in the intersection of law, education and technology. Dr. Shariff is Founder and Director of the university's Define the Line Research Projects, and Project Director of IMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus.

In addition she is Co-Director of the Faculty of Education's Institute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW), Associate Member with McGill's Faculty of Law and Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and Affiliate Scholar with the Center for Internet and Society at the Stanford University Faculty of Law. She has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canada, and the Facebook Award on Digital Citizenship. [view profile]

 

Ingrid Sladeczek, Co-director

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Dr. Ingrid Sladeczek is an Associate Professor with the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill. Dr. Sladeczek is the primary investigator of the Canadian Early Intervention Study that examines Early Intervention (EI) policy, practice, and services for families and children with developmental delays, with the goal of creating a paradigm shift amongst key stakeholders involved in EI. Other research interests include bullying, cyber-bullying, bullying prevention and how they relate to developmental disabilities.

Furthermore, she is also examining the efficacy of parent and teacher mediated interventions for children with developmental delays or behavior disorder, the efficacy of parent support groups, and the impact of peer tutoring for children with behaviour difficulties. She is expanding her expertise in a multidisciplinary manner by investigating the status of children in families with HIV and AIDS. Her research has been funded by numerous agencies including the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council, the Max Bell Foundation, the Office of Disability Issues and the Canadian Institute for Health Research. [view profile]


 

Poetic Autoethnographies: Developing Participatory Research through Artist-Practitioner Expertise

Poetic Autoethnographies is centred around a pilot study to develop a new method of ‘poetic autoethnography.’ The method aims to enrich autoethnographic practice by working with experienced young slam/spoken word artists to produce autobiographical poems of their experiences of prejudice and discrimination, which are informed by social scientific literature. We will explore how such collaborations can create engaging, creative texts, informed by existing social scientific literature and by researchers’ lived experiences. The project funded by the NCRM  will run from January 2016 until February 2017, with the majority of the research being carried out during a two month period in Montréal with the IHDW and PCL, July and August 2016. The poetic autoethnographies will be disseminated in chapbooks and in a final, local performance.  We will also produce a short film, showcasing the project methods and creative outputs.

The project’s objectives include:

  • to develop the ‘poetic autoethnography’ method for wider use;
  • to inspire and enable others to use this method, by developing clear guidelines for dissemination through online and face-to-face platforms, and writing up the study for journal article/s and presentations;
  • to develop a productive, sustainable working relationship between scholars at the University of Brighton and McGill University;
  • to provide opportunities for early career researchers to develop their research, teaching and organisational skills; and
  • to develop plans for future work aimed at extending this method to less experienced artists.

[Visit Project Page: "Poetic Autoethnographies: Developing Participatory Research through Artist-Practitioner Expertise] 

Dr. Helen Johnson's website

 

Associate Members

On this page: Associate Members | Associate Members (Quebec)Associate Members (National) | Associate Members (International)

Associate Members

Dr. Nareg Apelian, DMD, is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill. Dr. Nareg is a general dentist who worked in a poor neighbourhood for almost 20 years. This led him to develop patient-centred and humanised approaches to dental care and depart from the reigning paradigm. Dr. Nareg is also interested in understanding what it means to be healthy and what it means to be a health professional.

Dr. Christophe Bedos is a dentist with a PhD in public health, Associate Professor at McGill Faculty of Dentistry, and director of the Division of Oral Health & Society (OHS). Dr. Bedos believes that oral health and access to dental services constitute basic human rights that need to be protected. He is thus committed to the eradication of health inequities, and the advocacy for those who lack voice in our society. His research focuses mainly on access to care for the underprivileged and the development of person-centred dentistry. In this perspective, he works closely with community partners, professional bodies, and researchers from various horizons. Dr. Bedos is also interested in working with artists in order to develop educational tools aiming at fighting discriminations in the health care system. 

Dr. Mindy Carter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University in Montreal, QC. Combining her background as an actor and director, K-12 classroom teacher and researcher, she is encouraged and supported to engage in art making, research and teaching in a relational way in her current position at McGill. Her research agenda focuses on Curriculum Theory, Aboriginal Education, Teacher Identity, Arts Based Research and Research-Creation. In 2014 her book The Teacher Monologues: Exploring the Identities and Experiences of Artist-Teachers was published and launched by Sense Publishers.

Dr. Myriam Denov is a Canada Research Chair 1 and James McGill Professor at the School of Social Work. Her research explores areas of child and youth adversity, child protection in international contexts, with a particular focus on the effects of gender-based violence on children living in areas of armed conflict, political violence, and high incidences of HIV and AIDS.

Dr. Tara Flanagan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. She is the Chair of the Joint-Board Senate Subcommittee on Persons with Disabilities comprised of a wide array of students, faculty, and staff across McGill invested in recommending university policy and promoting a more inclusive environment at McGill. She is also the Director of SPARC (Social Policy, Advocacy, Research, Community), a research team whose mandate is to promote social inclusion among individuals with disabilities by emphasizing self-determination, community, and a shared responsibility for successful outcomes. Her scholarly interests and research grants are in the areas of social inclusion, transition from school to the community, self-determination, and quality of life among individuals with various types of disabilities and among other equity-seeking groups. 

Dr. Jaswant Guzder is Professor at McGill’s Department of Psychiatry, Head of Child Psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital, Director of Childhood Disorders Day at the Hospital Center for Child 
Development and Mental Health Institute of Community and Family, Senior Clinician at Cultural Consultation Services, and adjunct professor at the Faculty of Education at McGill, with research interests in fields such as transcultural psychiatry and cultural psychiatry. Dr. Guzder is also a clinical practitioner working with multicultural communities in Montreal.

Dr. William Harvey is the Director of the CHAMPS Physical Activity Lab at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (DMHUI). “CHAMPS” stands for Choices in Health, Action, Motivation, Pedagogy and Skills, and his lab operates in partnership with the ADHD clinic and the Clinical Research Division at the DMHUI. His research, teaching and clinical practice promote a person-centered approach to care and related services for people with and without disabilities. The CHAMPS research laboratory is well situated to promote personal autonomy and independence by co-constructing pertinent knowledge and evidence-based teaching and clinical practices with study participants. Dr. Harvey's research questions are usually based on the interplay between theory and practice in adapted physical activity. His knowledge of professional practice, policy and intersectionality were gained in various roles as a recreation technician, physical educator, clinician-researcher, and recreation center director at the DMHUI, a McGill affiliated teaching hospital and recognized Quebec provincial university research institute in mental health. 

Dr. Nancy Heath is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University, in the School/Applied Child Psychology and Human Development programs. Her research program explores resilience and adaptive functioning in youth at-risk. She is a founding member, and past President of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS), an elected Fellow in the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities (IARLD) and the recipient of the Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education’s 2011 Mentorship Award in recognition of her outstanding support for graduate students in education. Drawing on her over 20 years of experience providing train-the-trainer knowledge and skills enhancement internationally, she actively brings these experiences as well to her classroom, weaving the content and affect into lessons in first-year chemistry as well as senior level undergraduate courses. 

Dr. Steven Jordan is Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, as well as Associate Member within the Faculty of Medicine, at McGill University. Steven works with adult learners, immigrant workers, and aboriginal peoples, exploring social justice research through the lenses of qualitative research methods, participatory action research, sociology of education, and Adult Education. He is the editor of the International Journal of Whole Person Care.

Dr. Bronwen Low is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. She studies youth as cultural producers and the implications of their work for cultural studies, literacies, and learning. This has involved exploring hip-hop, slam, and spoken word culture in light of theories of language and subjectivity as well as through a multi-year classroom ethnography in an urban high school in the US. More recently, she has been studying with colleagues the multilingual Montreal hip-hop scene as well community media projects in New York City, Montreal, and Toronto, interested in the forms of narrative and identity that multimedia and digital storytelling formats make available. Her newest project is to help transform a Montreal high school into an urban arts centre, in collaboration with the school and local hip-hop artists.

Dr. Jonathan Salsberg is Associate Director of Participatory Research at McGill (PRAM). Collaborating on the Guide to Researcher and Knowledge-User Collaboration in Health Research, as well as the influential report, "Uncovering the Benefits of Participatory Research: Implications of a Realist Review for Health Research and Practice", Jonathan has extensive experience bridging the gap through knowledge translation between community members and academic researchers. His personal research is focused on how research stakeholders come together to create and apply new knowledge, particularly how community members, health providers and other end- users take ownership of issues and sustain health and practice action outcomes. He is currently applying social network analytical techniques to these issues. 

Dr. Colin Scott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University in Montreal. His research has focused on indigenous ecological knowledge, land and sea tenure systems, resource management practices, and the political and legal process of indigenous rights among hunting and fishing peoples in northern Canada and northern Australia. In recent years he has directed a trans-disciplinary, multi-university team research project, in partnership with Cree, Quebec, and Canadian government agencies, for establishing culturally appropriate protected areas in the eastern James Bay region. He has served as an anthropological witness in indigenous rights cases in northern Australia and northern Quebec, including the regional sea claim of the Torres Strait Islanders in northern Queensland. He currently directs the INSTEAD (Indigenous Stewardship of Environment and Alternative Development) research team, and CICADA (the Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives). By developing transnational collaborative research partnerships, he seeks to contribute to improved conditions for the continuity and integrity of indigenous land and sea-based livelihoods and ecologies. 

Dr. Lisa J. Starr is an Assistant Professor at McGill University in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE). She completed her doctoral degree in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria. She received a Master of Arts degree in administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix while working as a secondary teacher overseas. Her teaching career led her from Canada to Pakistan, Kuwait, Mongolia and back to Canada. Her travels created a passion for the study of the relationship between identity and culture, particularly in relation to educational effectiveness and school leadership. Lisa strives to facilitate experiences beyond simple show and tell to create transformative learning environments where individuals are inspired and empowered. Her current research focus is the use of autoethnography in the study of leadership philosophy and practice.

Dr. Victoria Talwar is a Canada Research Chair (II) and Associate Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Her research is in the area of children and adolescent’s social-cognitive development in relation to (mal) adaptive development. She has published numerous articles with Psychological Science, Developmental Review, Child Development and Developmental Psychology

Dr. Elizabeth Wood is an Assistant Professor at McGill University in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE). Dr. Wood’s areas of interest in research include teacher education, philosophy of education, arts education, and social justice education. Dr. Wood holds a BFA degree in Music from York University and a BFA in Visual Arts from Concordia, she also holds a graduate Diploma in Education (Education in the Arts) as well as a Masters in Philosophy of Education and a Ph.D. in Aesthetics from McGill.

Associate Members (Quebec)

Dr. Eileen Kerwin-Jones teaches in the Humanities Department of John Abbott College, where she is the Coordinator of the Women’s Studies and Gender Relations Certificate. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at McGill University. Her work has focused on the well-being of women and children. She qualified as a midwife and health visitor in the UK. In 2006, she completed her PhD in Ethics at Saint Paul University, Ottawa. Her doctoral thesis, “The Economic Injustice of Maternal Mortality,” is published by Mellen Press. Her research interests are in ethics, feminist studies, globalization, international health, maternal health, economics and contemporary slavery. She is a founding member and previous Director of Education of PACT-Ottawa (Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in Humans), a non-governmental organization challenging contemporary slavery and human trafficking. 

Dr. Warren Lind is Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University in Montreal. Along with his extensive research experience working in International Development in an education context, youth leadership, and healthy decision-making practices, Warren also worked in community television, radio, and newspaper media in British Columbia and Newfoundland. 

Dr. Kathleen Vaughan is an artist, academic and educator with a particular orientation to questions of place and belonging and the theme of ‘home’. Using multiple forms of art, text, and collage, much of Kathleen’s work takes the form of mapping and explores walking as a knowledge practice and artist’s method. A deeply committed community art educator, Kathleen has developed creative projects with children, youth, adults and seniors in sites in Montreal, Toronto and the Netherlands, oriented to cultivating personal knowledge and awareness and building community. As Associate Professor of Art Education at Concordia University, Kathleen’s research investigates the impact of the artist in the community and explores methods of artistic research. She holds an MFA in Drawing and Painting from Concordia University (1998) and a PhD in Education (2007), with her award-winning doctoral research being the first practice-based dissertation at York University. 

Associate Members (National)

Dr. Hoi Cheu specializing in Art-Based Health Research (ABHR) and knowledge transfer, Hoi F. Cheu is a Faculty Investigator at the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research. His background is bibliotherapy and applied literature. As a documentary filmmaker, he has produced two feature length films and over 30 short videos for research communication – film topics are mostly about health research, such as rural children’s paths to mental health care, health research partnership with indigenous communities, holistic arts-based workgroup with children, medical education, etc. As an academic writer he is the author of Cinematic Howling: Women’s Films, Women’s Film Theories (UBC Press, 2007). Currently, he is co-authoring an article with Dr. Roger Strasser (founding Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine) on generalism in rural medicine, and leading the composition of two chapters in a book on arts-based health research (chief editor, Dr. Katherine Boydell, the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto).

Dr. Sandrina De Finney is Associate Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She works with Indigenous women, girls, and youth living in marginalized communities. With her work experience as a community activist, academic researcher, and youth worker, Dr. De Finney focuses her research on how participatory action-based research methods can be used in contexts of social change. 

Dr. Sarah Flicker is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She is an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars. Sarah is engaged in an exciting and innovative program of research that focuses on youth HIV prevention and support, as well as, environmental, sexual and reproductive justice. More broadly, she is interested in community-based participatory methodologies and is active on a variety of research teams that focus on adolescent sexual health with youth in Canada and South Africa. Recently, she has published in the areas of urban health, youth health, HIV, health promotion, ethics, the social determinants of health, and community-based participatory research. Her research has informed policy at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. Sarah and her teams have won a number of prestigious awards for youth engagement in health research.

Dr. June Larkin is Director Equity Studies and Senior Lecturer, Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. She is coordinator of the Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention (GAAP) Project, University of Toronto. GAAP brings together youth, community workers, policy makers, students and researchers on projects that use participatory approaches to working with young people in relation to sexuality, HIV prevention and AIDS awareness. Her research is in the areas of gender, youth and HIV; adolescent sexuality; and arts-based approaches to HIV education with youth. A 3M National Teaching Fellow, Dr. Larkin is also the recipient of a Community Based Research Award of Merit from the Centre for Urban Health Initiatives and the Wellesley Institute, University of Toronto. Dr. Larkin provides innovative ways for local, national and international community-university collaborations through partnerships linked to her research and curriculum initiatives. 

Dr. Linda Liebenberg, Co-Director of the Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, is a researcher and evaluator with a core interest in children and youth with complex needs. Her work explores the promotion of positive youth development and mental health, using formal and informal processes of resilience, through evaluation of service provision and research of youth experiences. Linda also reflects critically on best ways in which to conduct research and evaluations with children and their communities (including service providers). These approaches include participatory image-based methods, longitudinal quantitative designs, and the design of measurement instruments. She has presented internationally on culturally and contextually meaningful approaches to promoting positive outcomes of children and youth together with ways in which this can be researched and evaluated. Her publications include the co-edited volumes Researching Resilience and Resilience in Action (with Michael Ungar, PhD) and Youth Resilience and Culture - Commonalities and Complexities (with Linda Theron, PhD).

Dr. Nancy Pitts is the Assistant Dean, Internationalization, and Associate Professor, Analytical Food Chemistry at Dalhousie University’s Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture. Dr. Pitts credentials include a diploma in Chemical Laboratory Technology, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, BSc (Agriculture) from Macdonald College, McGill University; MSc (Agricultural Chemistry), Macdonald College, McGill University; a PhD (Food Chemistry) from University of Guelph; BEd (Secondary Education) from Saint Francis Xavier University; and Master's (Adult Education), Saint Francis Xavier University.

Associate Members (International)

Dr. Naydene De Lange is Professor and HIV and AIDS Education Research Chair in the Faculty of Education at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Her research focuses on using visual participatory methodologies in addressing gender and HIV/AIDS issues, and integrating HIV/AIDS into the curriculum. Her Educational Psychology background and interest in Inclusive Education provides a frame for working towards the inclusion of those who are marginalised -using a ‘research as social change’ approach. Besides numerous peer reviewed published articles, she has co-edited three books, Putting People in the Picture: Visual Methodologies for Social Change, School-University Partnerships for Educational Change in Rural South Africa, and The Handbook of Participatory Video, and has also co-authored a book, Picturing Hope. She is a South African National Research Foundation rated researcher.

Dr. Katja Gillander Gådin is a professor in public health at the Department of Health Sciences at Mid Sweden University, and a theme leader of “Life course and gendered cultures” at the Forum for Gender Studies. Her research mainly focuses on mental health among children and adolescents from a gender perspective. She has a special interest in school health promotion and how improved participation can affect health as well as decrease the risk for gender based violence. She is currently studying normalization processes involved in sexual harassment in schools at the organizational level, using quantitative and qualitative data, and also using a legal case where a Swedish school has been convicted for failing to follow the Discrimination Act.

Dr. Relebohile Moletsane is a Professor and the John Langalibalele Dube Chair in Rural Education in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Her areas of expertise include curriculum studies, rural education, gender and education, HIV and AIDS Education, girlhood studies and girls’ education in Southern African contexts. She is the co-author (with Claudia Mitchell, Ann Smith and Linda Chisholm) of the book: Methodologies for Mapping a Southern African Girlhood in Age of Aids. Moletsane was the 2012 winner of the Distinguished Women in Science: Social Sciences and Humanities Award (awarded by the South African National Department of Science and Technology). She is a 2014 Echidna Global Scholar at Brookings Institutions’ Centre for Universal Education

Dr. Marni Sommer is Associate Professor in the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, has worked in global health and development on issues ranging from improving access to essential medicines to humanitarian relief in conflict settings. Dr. Sommer’s particular areas of expertise include conducting participatory research with adolescents, understanding and promoting healthy transitions to adulthood, the intersection of public health and education, gender and sexual health, and the implementation and evaluation of adolescent-focused interventions. Her doctoral research explored girls' experiences of menstruation, puberty and schooling in Tanzania, and the ways in which the onset of puberty might be disrupting girls' academic performance and healthy transition to adulthood. Dr. Sommer's current research focuses on the intersections of gender, health and education for girls and boys transitioning into adulthood in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. She has published five puberty books for girls and boys in low-income countries. 

Dr. Linda Theron is Full Professor and Registered Educational Psychologist at the School of Education Sciences within the Faculty of Humanities at North-West University in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. Dr. Theron studies the social ecology of South African youth, and explores links between environmental risks for negative life events and processes of social and psychological resiliency among youth.

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