Our GAP Interns

2022 Cohort | 2021 Cohort | 2020 Cohort | 2019 Cohort | 2018 Cohort | 2017 Cohort | 2016 Cohort2015 Cohort | 2014 Cohort | 2013 Cohort

2022 Cohort

Petro Gregory Analytis III is a second year MA in Political Science specializing in Political Theory. Petro’s interests include health law, the history, sociology, and philosophy of science (especially the “psy” fields), legal theory and human rights, smart contracts, governance, applying management methodologies (such as Scrum and Agile) to policymaking, Foucault and governmentality, phenomenology (especially Heidegger), and drug liberalization.

Petro is working on the political theory of drug liberalization; a political project to solve the problems of and replace prohibition as the hegemonic drug policy. There are two aspects of drug liberalization: the theoretical and the practicable. The latter aspect comprises harm reduction, economic arguments that focus on the material costs of prohibition, drug courts, marijuana legalization, (limited) decriminalization efforts (notably in Portugal, British Columbia, and certain US states), as well as rights-based legal cases in domestic settings and the international sphere. In short, drug liberalization is already happening within the liberal, democratic, capitalist milieu of today’s society. Yet, the telos of this movement is markedly unclear and underdetermined by current efforts, despite their tremendous political and historical value. This is where the theoretical aspect becomes of prime importance.

Petro’s master’s thesis argues that the politics of drugs are underlined by a particular kind of freedom: cognitive liberty (or freedom of consciousness). However, this form of freedom is antithetical to the heart of the liberal project: the production of a liberal subject who can be governed at a distance through a variety of economic, social, and ethical techniques. The purpose of the division of drug liberalization into the theoretical and the practicable is to argue that while these latter efforts should and must continue, they will outpace the liberal framework that props them up. As such, the former is necessary to formally connect cognitive liberty with the efforts that are already existing so that they might work together rather than in theoretical and empirical antithesis.

Giovanna BusaGiovanna Busa is a second year M.Sc. Epidemiology student under the supervision of Dr. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée and Dr. Isabelle Vedel. Prior to commencing her Master's degree, she was a research coordinator on a project with the aim to reduce social isolation for older adults in long term care. Giovanna is interested in conducting research on health care services, health policies, and social inequalities. She would like her work to contribute to improving the health and well-being of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Her thesis explores social inequalities in primary care continuity and potentially avoidable hospitalizations for older adults. In addition to her thesis work, Giovanna is collaborating with her colleagues to conduct a mixed studies systematic review on social inequalities for older adults to age in place. Giovanna is a recipient of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Internal Studentship Award.

Olawale Dudubo Olawale Dudubo is a PhD student in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Mary Ellen Macdonald and Dr. Belinda Nicolau. His research interests center around oral health research, oral health disparities, childhood ethics in oral health, and use of qualitative methodology in population oral health research. He is also a member of VOICE (Views On Interdisciplinary Childhood Ethics), an interdisciplinary research team promoting the recognition of moral experience and agency of young people. His doctoral project is embedded in the Migrant Oral Health Project (MOHP) aimed to improve the oral health of refugeed people in Canada. Olawale’s project aims to highlight the gap in dental coverage for refugee children within the Interim Federal Health Program oral health policy. Prior to his doctoral studies at McGill, Olawale obtained Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria; and a Master of Science degree in Dental Public Health from Queen Mary University, London.

Kayley Laura Lata Kayley Laura Lata is a Master’s student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law working under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Weinstock. Her thesis examines health resource allocation in Canada. She is most interested in what informs decision-making when determining what services are insured within Quebec’s list of insured benefits, as well as the acceptability of the inequities that result from this operation. Her research lies at the intersection of law, political philosophy, ethics and health economics. In addition to her thesis project, she is also working on a SSHRC-funded research project on exception drugs with Prof. Pierre-Marie David at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Pharmacy.

Prior to entering her Graduate studies, she completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Montreal. Throughout her studies, she worked with different professors on a wide array of questions ranging from procedural justice to university policies regarding admission and hiring processes.

Kaya Van RoostKaya Van Roost is a second-year PhD student studying social epidemiology under the supervision of Dr. Alissa Koski. Her doctoral research applies epidemiologic methods to subjects at the intersection of gender, law, and population health. Her thesis will focus on the motivations for and consequences of child marriage in Canada and the United States. She will examine teen pregnancy and restricted access to abortion as potential drivers of child marriage in North America. She will also estimate how often child marriages result in teen pregnancies.

Sarah WishloffSarah Wishloff is a second-year Master’s Student in Medical Anthropology under the supervision of Dr. Todd Meyers. She received her BA in Anthropology from Amherst College in Massachusetts. Sarah’s research interests center around mental health, structural violence, and access to community-based care. Her SSHRC-funded research examines alternatives to traditional police response for individuals experiencing mental health crises, and the systematic and social challenges of interrupting cycles of violence, recurring crises, and homeless. In addition to her thesis research, Sarah is working with Dr. Laurence Kirmayer of the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit on the Canadian Framework for Brain Health. Outside of her studies, Sarah is a long-distance runner and a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

2021 Cohort

Gabriel EnxugaGabriel Enxuga is a second year Master's of Social Work student. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Social Work from Dalhousie University, his professional background includes social work with LGBTQ+ youth, anti-poverty organizing, and community education and research. He is interested in exploring how issues of identity intersect with medicine. His master’s thesis examines the concept of epistemic justice in gender-affirming healthcare, including who is given the authority to define their own experiences. He is a recipient of the CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Masters and the FRQSC bourse de maîtrise en recherche.

Alize GunayAlize Gunay is entering the second year of her Master’s degree in Family Medicine and Bioethics. Alize’s research interests include obstetric care, intersectional and feminist birthing practices, research ethics, and, from her position as a Turkish immigrant, migrant women’s healthcare. Prior to her Master’s degree, Alize worked at a community health centre in Toronto on programs relating to pregnancy, breastfeeding support, and maternal mental health for immigrant women. Her CIHR-funded thesis research explores the implementation of COVID-19 policies surrounding prenatal and postpartum care in Canadian hospitals. In taking a post-structuralist and feminist approach to policy analysis, Alize seeks to understand the discourses and values underpinning how policies are formed and implemented in practice.

In addition to her thesis project, Alize is also a research assistant for Dr. Phoebe Friesen at the Biomedical Ethics Unit on a project exploring community-based research ethics governance practices and creating space for meaningful community oversight in institutional research ethics review processes.

Fiona KenneyFiona L. Kenney is a second year Ph.D. student at the School of Architecture at McGill University. Her Doctoral thesis investigates how care, as an amorphous concept, has been interpreted as a design brief by architects, specifically with respect to palliative care. The architecture of palliative care has resisted adjacent typologies, like the institutional architecture of the hospital, in the same way that the hospice philosophy resists the medical mission to cure—simultaneously presenting a unique challenge. Some of her questions include: what role has architecture played in the development and provision of care; how have philosophies and practices of care been expressed spatially; and how does the architecture of care enable, embody, and empower the ethics of medicine. Despite the qualitative nature of her research, Fiona believes that it generates policy questions related to palliative care units, residential hospices, and long-term care homes, pertaining for example to post-occupancy evaluations and community consultation.

Fiona's research is funded by SSHRC, Friends of the CAMH Archives, the Faculty of Engineering, and the School of Architecture. She holds an M.Des. in History and Philosophy of Design from Harvard University, where her thesis explored the application of an ethics of care to architectural practice, and a B.A. from Ryerson University.

Sophie Kingunza Makasi Sophie Kingunza Makasi is a MA student in the Department of Geography and holds a bachelor's degree in Environment from McGill University. Her research interests revolve around the socio-environmental determinants of health and health disparities. For her thesis, she is examining how energy poverty affects the health of Canadians, and more specifically their risks of being hospitalized for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Sophie is also a member of the Canada Research Chair in Housing, Community, and Health led by Dr. Mylene Riva and a recipient of the SSHRC and FRQS Master’s awards.

Kit Mitchell Kit Mitchell is a third-year doctoral student in Anthropology at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Sandra T. Hyde. They received their BA in Anthropology with a minor in Biology from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Their research interests center around HIV stigma, community activism and access to preventative care in Ireland. Using a mutli-sited ethnography, their dissertation examines how recent HIV health policy has impacted attitudes towards care and prevention among LTBGQ+ communities in Ireland. In addition to their thesis research, Kit is working with Dr. Peter Nugus of the Institute for Health Sciences Education on a study of attitudes and beliefs about COVID-19 and immunity status in Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish community.

Outside of their studies, Kit is a semi-retired ballet and traditional Irish dancer, baker of bread, and avid seamstress. They also volunteer as a support buddy for people living with HIV through AIDS Community Care of Montreal.

Yufei (Mandy) Wu Yufei (Mandy) Wu is a second year Master's student in the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Kronick. Her SSHRC and FRQSC funded research will examine how asylum-seeking mothers experience their agency and wellbeing during the resettlement process, and how attending a community-based psychosocial support program shapes their self-efficacy, resettlement stress, and wellbeing. She is very grateful for this opportunity and hopes her involvement in the GAP program will equip her with the skills to translate the knowledge from her project into advocacy efforts that target provincial and national policymakers to address inequalities in access to services, and recommend guidelines for the implementation of evidence-based psychosocial services that will empower asylum-seeking mothers amongst the uncertainties during resettlement, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, and obtained her BA (Honors) in Psychology at McGill. In her spare time, she enjoys doodling, reading and connecting with people and places.

Paul Yejong Yoo Paul Yejong Yoo is a doctoral candidate in Rehabilitation Science at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Keiko Shikako-Thomas and Dr. Annette Majnemer. His research focuses on the promotion and measurement of health and inclusion of children with disabilities through contextual factors and systems-level interventions, including policy. He is currently developing a measurement tool that assesses aspects in the environment that facilitates the health and inclusion of children with disabilities, called the Child Community Health Inclusion Index (CHILD-CHII). His research interests lie in the effects of lifestyle outcomes like participation and inclusion on biological outcomes of children with disabilities.

After spending three summers working at a camp for children with physical disabilities while completing his BSc.(Hons.) in Biochemistry at Queen's University, his desire to ameliorate the lives of children with disabilities led him to pursue an MSc.A. in Occupational Therapy at McGill University. He is currently a practicing occupational therapist working with individuals with intellectual disabilities, performing evaluations and treatments to facilitate daily functioning.

2020 Cohort

Tay Jeong is a doctoral student in Sociology at McGill University. He has prior training and research experience in history before turning to sociology. He is currently pursuing a series of quantitative research on the correlates of suicidal diathesis among adolescents. As side projects, he is participating as a collaborator in several projects, including research on public policy in response to Covid-19, colonial legacy and postcolonial ethnic conflict, and value-neutrality in social science. He is a recipient of the 2020 Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Email: tay.jeong [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Google scholar profile:

Rhian Lewis is entering her second year of a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology. Previously, Rhian obtained a BA in Anthropology & Hispanic Studies with a minor in Social Studies of Medicine from McGill. Rhian’s research interests center around reproductive health, social movements, and feminist care practices. Her FRQSC-supported thesis research focuses on organizations who help people navigate barriers to abortion care in Texas. Using a mixed- methods approach, Rhian explores how financial, practical, and emotional support for abortion can mobilize reproductive justice values to disrupt anti-abortion hostility and systemic forms of oppression. In addition to her thesis research, she is working with Prof. Jennifer Fishman of the Faculty of Medicine’s Biomedical Ethics Unit on a study of the prospective ethical considerations of implementing a telemedicine protocol for medication abortion in Quebec.

Outside of her studies, Rhian keeps bees and volunteers for a TX abortion fund and a national after-abortion talkline.

Angela MacDonaldAngela MacDonald is a PhD student at the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. Her PhD project examines the efficacy of a caregiver coaching intervention for minimally verbal children with autism delivered via telehealth. In participating in the Graduate Award Program, she hopes to add a policy focus to her dissertation and sharpen her abilities to advocate for policy relating to autism intervention & services in Canada. Having worked as a clinician in both the private and public sectors in different provinces, she is interested in policy related to autism intervention services. Specifically, she wants to support policies that harmonize intervention services across provinces.

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Canada, after receiving her Master’s degree in Speech- Language Pathology from Dalhousie University, she began working as a speech-language pathologist for the Nova Scotia Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (NS EIBI) program which serves preschool-age children with autism. Since then, she returned to school to complete her coursework in applied behaviour analysis from the University of Washington where she added the credential of board certified behavior analyst to her title. After serving as a study liaison for the Preschool Autism Treatment Impact study & as a committee member the NS EIBI program’s Augmentative and Alternative Communication committee, she moved to Montreal in 2017 and began her PhD program in 2018.

Her research interests include intervention for children with autism, augmentative and alternative communication, social-communication development in people with autism, single- subject & group study research designs.

Rodney Buadi NkrumahRodney Buadi Nkrumah is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of Social Work, McGill University, under the supervision of Vandna Sinha and Jill Hanley. His research interest centers around questions on inequality and social justice in educational access and how social and/or welfare policies shape children’s access to social services. His doctoral dissertation uses a mixed method research to explore macro-level universal policies that aim at universalizing access to basic education in Ghana and how these policies intend, shape children’s access to schooling and learning in rural communities. Three set of questions remain crucial in his investigation. First, what does existing data tell us about access to schooling and access to learning in Ghana? Second, who and where do children have the greatest difficulty in gaining access to schooling and learning? And finally, what can we learn about those who have difficulty in gaining access to schooling and learning? And how do children in this population group experience basic education access at the micro-level? Rodney’s research is funded by a doctoral award from the International Development Research Center (IDRC). Prior to joining McGill, Rodney pursued his Master’s degree in the Public Policy Good Governance (PPGG) program at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany.

Renzo Calderon-AnyosaRenzo Calderon-Anyosa is a second year PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill University. He received his medical degree (M.D.) and Master’s degree (MSc) in Biomedical Informatics in Global Health at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru and has been working in public health ever since early in his career. His past research activities involved participating in interdisciplinary programs in global health with a focus on social epidemiology. Renzo has been actively engaged in research and his main interest is in understanding and evaluating public policies regarding social and gender inequality in healthcare, neglected and chronic diseases and the use of communication technologies in public health.

At IHSP he will work with Professor Jay Kaufman to evaluate the impact of social interventions on gender-based violence in The Americas. This includes the identification of various data sources at the national level and an in-depth policy analysis of these interventions with an interdisciplinary approach. His research will contribute to promote evidence-based policy in the region to work towards the eradication of violence.

Supervisor: Prof. Jay Kaufman
Project: Policy evaluation of social interventions on gender-based violence

Sarah ClairmontSarah Clairmont is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at McGill University. Her doctoral thesis employs both epistemological and ethical frameworks to examine the methodologies used in population health science and to explain how certain background assumptions may contribute to the persistence of health inequities among social groups in Canada. Population health scientists study the conditions that shape distributions of health in and across groups as well as the biological mechanisms through which these conditions manifest in the health of individuals. Sarah’s research brings important themes in the philosophy of science to bear on population health science specifically. Social empiricism and other feminist critiques of science, for example, argue that scientific theorizing is not a value- neutral enterprise; social values influence scientific knowledge. Population health science openly acknowledges its social structure and so lends itself to the epistemological and normative questions raised by the values critiques of science – primarily, what are the substantive values implicit in scientific theorizing? What kinds of research questions are asked? Some of Sarah’s research questions include: How is data about the health of social groups collected and interpreted in population health science? And how do the values of equity and efficiency trade-off against one another as research evidence is translated into policy recommendations? After defending her dissertation, Sarah plans to pursue the practical applications of her research and to work closely with both population health scientists and policymakers. She holds a B.A. in Arts and Contemporary Studies (Ryerson University) and and M.A. in Philosophy (The New School).

2019 Cohort

Clara Bolster-FoucaultClara Bolster-Foucault is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée and Dr. Isabelle Vedel. Clara’s research interests lie at the intersection of social epidemiology and health systems research, including understanding the impact of public policies and aspects of health service delivery on health inequalities among vulnerable populations. Her doctoral research will examine how social inequalities in access to health and social care shape disparities in the ability to age in place among older adults. The goal of this project is to identify gaps in health and social service delivery for older adults in order to inform health and social policies aiming to better respond to the needs of an aging population. Clara’s past research activities include understanding the impact of unmet menstrual health needs among low-income and homeless women in Montreal, identifying barriers to accessing HIV testing in Canada, and developing a conceptual framework of structural determinants of stigma across health and social conditions.

Sommer KnightSommer Knight is a second-year M.Sc. student in Psychiatry at McGill University. She is currently studying under the supervision of Drs. G. Eric Jarvis and Andrew G. Ryder at the First-Episode Psychosis Program and the Culture, Health and Personality Lab, respectively. Sommer is passionate about promoting a culturally informed approach to mental health and critically analyzing how sociocultural factors impact the mental health of marginalized groups.

Her master’s thesis focuses on ethnic differences in coercive treatment and its influence on help-seeking behaviors among youth aged 16-25 with first episode psychosis (FEP). Using a mixed-methods design, the objectives of the study are: 1) to determine whether Black FEP patients are at a higher risk for coercive referral than non-Black patients, 2) to examine the experiences of Black FEP patients who have been involuntarily admitted and/or coercively treated, and 3) to characterize how these experiences may have influenced help-seeking behaviors. Sommer hopes to reduce barriers that may impede access to mental health resources and promote help-seeking behaviors among young adults in clinical and academic settings. In Fall 2020, Sommer will begin in her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa.

Ian Van HarenIan Van Haren is a PhD student in sociology at McGill University where is also affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship and the Centre on Population Dynamics. He works with Jennifer Elrick and Thomas Soehl and is interested in Canadian immigration policy and the refugee resettlement. As a fellow of the Graduate Award Program, he is studying how medical conditions are a factor in decisions to sponsor refugees. Before his graduate studies he worked for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. He is originally from Lacombe, Alberta and has a BA(Hons) in Sociology from Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick and a MA in Sociology from the University of Toronto.

Talia SternbachTalia Sternbach is a master’s student in Epidemiology with research focusing on the cardiovascular health impacts of household temperatures in Beijing, China. She received her B.A. in Environmental Science from McGill, concentrating in environmental health and urban systems. She is interested in leveraging scientific evidence to inform health and social policies and address environmental exposures that are harmful to human and planetary health.

Kabisha VelauthapillaiKabisha Velauthapillai (pronounced Ka-bee-sha Vé-law-yu-the-p'l-lay) is currently an MD student at the University of Toronto and holds strong commitments to equity and justice. They completed their MSc in Epidemiology at McGill University, conducting research on the patterns and predictors of exposure to urban air pollution and environmental noise among retired adults in Bucaramanga, Colombia. During this time, Kabisha founded the collective Reshaping Epidemiology & Public Health and conducted oral history research with the Centre for Oral History & Digital Storytelling at Concordia University. Prior to this, they completed a BSc in Environment on the ecological determinants of health. During their final year, Kabisha led a research project on environmental concerns and conceptions of racialized, migrant communities with a focus on the Ilankai (Sri Lankan) Tamil community in Montréal.
Twitter handle: @Kabisha2
Kabisha's Website

Em Walsh is a second year PhD student at McGill University in the department of philosophy. She conducted her MA back in England, which is where she calls home. Her research interests lie in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychiatry, and clinical ethics. In particular, her doctoral research examines the ways in which the mind can transform – both positively and negatively – and the ways in which these cognitive transformations affect our personal identities. Though her research is theoretical in nature, it poses interesting questions with respect to public policy, as it generates a problem regarding the rationale behind writing and implementing advance directives.

Sarah Towle is a Master of Science student in Family Medicine and Bioethics interested in feminist approaches to healthcare. She has developed and presented research on multiple topics including pharmacogenomic approaches to hormonal contraception, rural access to mifegymiso (the abortion pill), and most recently, deficiencies in public health guidelines for sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah currently works as an academic associate at McGill's Centre of Genomics and Policy.

2018 Cohort

Brice Batomen Kuimi is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health of McGill University. My PhD project is an attempt to evaluate trauma centres accreditation, a key element of the benchmarking of trauma centres across North America. There is a large knowledge gap on the effectiveness of actual accreditation process which is currently used in Canada and in many other high-income countries on the basis that it strengthens partnerships with stakeholders, team work and the identification of improvement opportunities and priorities.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences in Dschang, Cameroon, I moved to Quebec and completed a master in Epidemiology at Laval University working on access to care for trauma patients. Thereafter, I was employed as a research assistant at the CHU de Québec - Université Laval Research Center (Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus), working on traumatology, emergency and intensive care research.

My research Interests are Injury care, Injury prevention, and epidemiology methods for public health policies evaluation.

Shrinkhala DawadiShrinkhala Dawadi is an MSc student studying the associations between app use, mental health symptomatology, and uptake of counselling services amongst fertility patients. Her broader research interests include pathways to mental health service use and the accessibility of mental health services.

Anna HortonAnna Horton is currently in her second year of an MSc degree in the department of Family Medicine. Following an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at Edinburgh university she became interested in medical anthropology and the application of anthropological methods and concepts to the study of healthcare organizations. She is pursuing these interests in an ethnographic study of patient involvement in a Canadian P3 hospital, with the intention of better understanding what happens to patient voices when private enterprises become increasingly involved in the financing and operation of public healthcare organizations. This comprises an effort to critically examine policies that enable private sector involvement in public sector healthcare, specifically through the lens of patient users who are most profoundly affected by them. She intends to continue to investigate these issues at PHD level, following the completion of her MSc.

Clara KaufmannClara Kaufmann is an MA candidate in Geography at McGill University and holds a BA (Hon) in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She is an active member of the Geosocial Determinants of Health Research Group led by Professor Nancy Ross. Her research interests include the built environment and health, social determinants of cardiometabolic health, and community based health interventions. Clara’s current research looks at measuring Canadian neighbourhood food environments through ArcGIS. Her Master’s thesis investigates the relationship between neighbourhood fast food access and fast food consumption across the social gradient using geocoded food environment data linked to measures from participants of the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey-Nutrition. Clara is a recipient of the Lorne Trottier Science Accelerator Fellowship and the Rathlyn GIS award.

Sarah LewingtonSarah Lewington is a first year PhD student in Educational Studies with a focus on Gender and Women’s Studies under the supervision of Dr. Naomi Nichols and holds a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Sarah recently graduated with her M.A. from the Department of Integrated Studies in Education with a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies at McGill University. Her research interests include critical race feminism, the integration of pleasure-based programming into sexual health education and utilizing Institutional Ethnography to better understand how knowledge of women’s experiences provides meaningful insight into countering the pervasiveness of gender-based violence on campus and beyond. Sarah’s proposed doctoral research takes the form of a comparative study that will consider how young people’s engagement (or not) with pornography influences their early learning about sex and, consequently, their experiences of formal sex education. This research will analyze the processes of racialization, gender, and violence, which connect young people’s experiences of pornography, formal sex education and sexual violence.

Kharoll-Ann SouffrantKharoll-Ann Souffrant est candidate à la maîtrise en service social (avec options en études féministes) à McGill. Elle poursuivra un doctorat en service social à l’Université d’Ottawa dès septembre 2019. Préalablement à ses études de maîtrise, elle a complété un baccalauréat en service social à McGill et un diplôme d’études collégiales en Techniques d’intervention en délinquance au Collège Ahuntsic. Ses intérêts de recherche se centrent sur la question des agressions sexuelles commises à l’endroit des femmes. Impliquée dans la collectivité depuis l’âge de 12 ans, elle offre régulièrement des conférences sur la thématique de la santé mentale. Kharoll-Ann aspire à combiner sa passion des communications et de l’être humain afin de sensibiliser le maximum de personnes possibles aux problématiques sociales d’ici et d’ailleurs.

Jian Tang is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Economics. He holds a MA in Applied Economics from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In addition to his thesis topics, he is interested in discovering the relationship between health and economic behaviors like consumption, human capital investment and risk appetite. His current research is about how to quantitatively evaluate the health impact and cost-effectiveness of the policies related to alternative medicines, especially in developing countries in Asia. Using panel data evidences from Taiwan, his study tries to identify the causal effects of alternative medicine (the traditional herbal medicines) on different kinds of diseases with econometric methods.

2017 Cohort

Farzaneh Barak is a second-year Ph.D. student in Human Nutrition. Farzaneh has obtained a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Her research project was a nutritional epidemiology study among 600 Iranian female nurses aimed to investigate the relationship between the Adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. The results were published in four papers and a poster. Farzaneh has also worked as a therapeutic dietitian and community nutritionist for five years and has experience in coordinating, implementing, and monitoring several community nutrition programs in Iran.

For her doctoral research, she is a part of two research projects in collaboration with CARE Canada and sponsored by Global Affairs Canada, which are taking place in four African countries with the aim of improving the nutritional status of women in reproductive age and children under five years. My current research involves an impact evaluation of Nutrition-Sensitive Agricultural Interventions (NSAI). More specifically, I am interested in developing a detailed understanding of household decision-making processes and its effect on the success of NSAI to tackle food insecurity.

Dörte Bemme is a PhD candidate at the Departments of Social Studies of Medicine and Anthropology. Her doctoral research ethnographically investigates the emergence of Global Mental Health (GMH) as a field with a particular focus on the specific “global knowledge infrastructures” emerging from GMH's effort to develop evidence-based, cost-effective and scalable interventions. She has conducted a multi-sited ethnography across numerous GMH programs and institutions in Europe, North America and South Africa, where she explored the novel discourses, infrastructures, and therapeutic practices that render mental health knowledge mobile, global, and adaptable across different scales. Dörte's work is funded by a doctoral award from the Social Science and Humanities Council Canada (SSHRC) and a fieldwork grant from International Development Research Center (IDRC).

Madeleine Henderson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and holds a BA (honours) in Psychology from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Her current research interests focus on the social determinants of sexual behaviours in sub-Saharan Africa. Using a mixed-methods approach, Madeleine unpacks the ways that parents, peers, religious ideologies and emotional factors shape the decision to have sex or to abstain amongst rural Ghanaian adolescents. Using longitudinal data recently collected from the Manya Krobo region by social epidemiologist Dr. Jeffrey Bingenheimer, Madeleine seeks to elucidate the pathways through which religiosity is related to delayed sexual debut. Here, she focuses on the ways that religious participation embeds adolescents within social sanctioning networks comprised of parents and peers who, in turn, structure the conservative attitudes and beliefs of the religious adolescent. During the summer of 2017, Madeleine traveled to the Manya Krobo region to conduct over 60 semi-structured interviews with adolescents and key local stakeholders such as religious leaders, chiefs, queen mothers, opinion leaders, and ministry workers. From these in-depth interviews, her research aims to shed critical insight into the ways that micro-level emotional factors and desires influence sexual-decision making. From this qualitative work, she also explores how expectations of female sexuality has been caught in the crosshairs of competing Christian and Traditional African religious ideologies, making premarital sex a very ambiguous terrain for young Krobo girls as they transition to womanhood. 

Rebekah McCallum is currently pursuing her PhD in the department of History. Her current research explores new methods for understanding the historical roots of bonded labor in the modern Indian Ocean World, particularly in South Asia, as part of an interdisciplinary grant held at the Indian Ocean World Centre (McGill).  Her research intends to provide understanding of contemporary bondage networks and structures across the IOW by exploring the historical contexts that gave rise to their development and maintenance. This is in response to strategic partnerships among international bodies attempting to address adverse social conditions of labourers within long-standing industries in South Asia (such as the tea industry). Her research takes into account human-environment interaction in the Indian Ocean World, South Asian labor history, and regional discourses of human rights and humanitarianism. Rebekah received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology, with a certificate in South Asian Studies, from Princeton University in 2010. She then studied for a certificate in theology from the University of Oxford, before completing her master’s degree in the department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia.  

Nickoo Merati is a second year Master’s student in the Department of Family Medicine and holds an Internal Studentship Award from the McGill Faculty of Medicine Research and Graduate Studies. Nickoo graduated with a BSc (Hon) in Anatomy and Cell Biology from McGill University. For her Master’s, Nickoo is using a participatory research approach to understand Cree youth’s perspectives on their own health and health priorities in the James Bay Cree region. Her specific interest involves understanding strategies to best engage Cree youth in their own health planning in the James Bay region. In addition to her thesis work, she is a research lead on a mixed methods study evaluating the impacts of Share the Warmth’s El Sistema music program on underprivileged children in the Pointe St Charles area of Montreal. She is also a research lead on a McGill Faculty of Medicine mixed methods study analyzing the effects of a near-peer teaching lab on inter-professional stereotypes between medical and nursing students. Nickoo is also actively involved in promoting student government and engagement on campus, as the President of the McGill Family Medicine Graduate Student Society and a Zumba instructor for the McGill Post Graduate Student Society.

Daniel Ruiz-Serna is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology. He holds a BA in Anthropology from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and a MA in Development and Environment from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. He has worked on many social development projects in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Quebec. He volunteers in the Agape for Colombia Foundation, a program that works with former child soldiers and that has as a goal to sensitize Canadian society to their plight. His current research –When Forests Run Amok. Political Violence, Spirits, and Ravaged Landscapes in Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Territories– aims to make a meaningful contribution to world policies and programs aimed at indigenous and peasant peoples living in environments that have been deeply affected by war.

Rebecca Stieva is a second-year PhD candidate in History specializing in the history of medicine under Professor David Wright. Her research focuses on the intersection between epidemic diseases, public health intervention, and urban environments. Specifically, her thesis maps cholera mortality across three epidemics in London, England (1848, 1854, and 1866) and analyzes the influence of public health initiatives in relation to the progression of the epidemic. Though her research is historic in nature, the conclusions it draws offer the possibility of informing current public health practices surrounding epidemic cholera in urban centres. Rebecca’s research aims to contribute to building a stronger network between the history of medicine and its place in modern-day public health policy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick (2014) and a Master of Science in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Oxford (2016).

Megan Wylie is a Master of Arts student in the Department of Geography where she works with Prof. Mylene Riva and Prof. Sebastien Breau. Her research interests center around environmental and health justice, and the consequences of increasing income inequality. Megan's Master's project seeks to investigate if growing income inequality in Canada is harming Canadian's health in urban areas. Megan completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo in 2016, where she studied Environment and Business, and developed her interest for social and environmental sustainability.

2016 Cohort

Neil Brett is a PhD candidate in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill University and holds the Donald Mackenzie Munroe Fellowship from McGill University. He graduated with a BSc. in Nutrition and Food Science (Nutrition Major) from the University of Alberta. For his PhD, Neil is investigating whether current Canadian vitamin D recommendations are correct for 2-8 year old children by seeing if meeting recommendations during winter improves vitamin D status as well as bone, muscle and immune health. He is also exploring what parents know about vitamin D and milk products and how this affects the intakes of their children. Neil’s research has already been broadly used by Health Canada in improving national policies on vitamin D food fortification. He aims to continue to use his work to improve national and international health policies and translate his results into useable information for parents and children. Neil is also actively involved in improving health and wellness policies on McGill campus by being on the McGill Wellness Strategy Advisory Committee and the coordinator of the McGill Macdonald Campus Peer Helper Program.

Sierra Clark is pursuing a Masters of Science (MSc) degree in Epidemiology at McGill University and holds a BA (Hon) in Geography (McGill U). Her research interests are in global environmental exposures that are harmful to health, and interventions to address them. Sierra’s Masters research is an assessment of the potential air pollution and cardiovascular health benefits of an improved cook stove and fuel intervention in the Tibetan Plateau. Sierra just returned from the rural field site in China where she collected data for her thesis, as well as data on intervention stove uptake, adoption, and sustained use, using questionnaires and novel sensor-based monitors. Sierra is currently a CGS-CIHR Master’s award holder, a National Geographic Young Explorer and a Mitacs Globalink International Research Award holder, and she is an active member of the Baumgartner Research Group at McGill.

Darcie DeAngelo is a PhD student in Anthropology at McGill. She specializes in the anthropology of medicine and psychological anthropology. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University and a MPhil in Visual Cultural Studies from the University of Tromsø in Norway. She has previously worked in the fields of mental health research and trauma with the researchers at the newly founded Health Equity Research Lab in Cambridge, MA and the Harvard Program for Refugee Trauma. Her current research focuses on the trauma and resilience of former combatants in Cambodia. As part of her fieldwork she spent fourteen months studying a pilot program for the training of mine detectors who work with rats that can scent out TNT and thus detect landmines. These rats are imported biomedical technologies that can be trained to scent TNT and Tuberculosis; they have been used successfully in Africa for both objectives and currently detect landmines in Cambodia. The deminers are a team of former victims and combatants of the Khmer Rouge, a genocidal regime that killed millions in the 1970s and continued on in smaller wars in the 1990s. Her dissertation incorporates Science and Technology Studies, Cambodian Buddhist understandings about love and spirits, as well as histories of violence in Cambodia as ways to investigate modes of reconciliation and resilience.

Michelle Dimitris is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health under the supervision of Dr. Jay Kaufman.  Broadly, Michelle's research interests include intervention-based research in global health, evaluation of policies and programs, perinatal epidemiology, and causal methods.  Prior to beginning her PhD, Michelle obtained a BSc Honours (Life Sciences) and MSc (Epidemiology) at Queen's University.  Subsequently, she worked as an Analyst and a Data Analyst at the Canadian Institute for Health Information and in the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, respectively.  In her doctoral dissertation, Michelle intends to apply her extensive analytical and global health experience to examine mechanisms on the causal pathway between intervention and maternal/child health in low and middle-income countries.

Alina Geampana is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology at McGill University. Her current work focuses on the regulation and risk/benefit assessment of hormonal contraceptives. She is particularly interested in different models of expertise and research trajectories that affect contraceptive development. In her thesis, Alina explores debates about the safety of the pill that have come to the fore in recent years in Canada in light of the public outcry over deaths allegedly caused by popular contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin. In the new context of marketing by pharmaceutical companies and a climate of increasingly complex risk/benefit analysis, there are multiple competing cultural discourses about new contraceptive pills. Alina's research explores contraceptive risk as a socially contested process in order to reveal: 1) how the level of acceptable risk is determined and negotiated 2) what cultural and scientific factors play a role in risk evaluations of controversial pills and 3) how evaluations incorporate the perceived and promoted quality of life benefits of these technologies. This research is meant to advance scientific and technological debates about risk, contraception, and medicine. Alina's more general research and teaching interests include sex and gender, women's health, sexuality, medical sociology, science and technology studies, and the sociology of risk. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from York University, Toronto and her work has also been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Wolfe

Skye Miner is a PhD candidate in Sociology with a Women and Gender Studies’ emphasis. Her current research interests are in the intersections between science, technology, ethics and gender. She is presently conducting qualitative semi-structured interviews with Canadian fertility patients and fertility care providers for her dissertation, which will examine the experiences of couples who travel across national borders for in vitro fertilization treatments involving egg donation. She also works as a research assistant at the Jewish General Hospital where she is working with a team of psychologists, physicians and other health care practitioners to develop a mobile health application for couples who are undergoing fertility treatment. Her work focuses on the social and ethical aspects surrounding women’s health and people’s use of new medical technologies. She holds a MA in Sociology from Brandeis University and completed her bachelor’s in Sociology and Gender Studies at Gonzaga University. 

Hessey Ohm is a MSc. student in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, working under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Li and Dr. Isabelle Vedel. Her thesis project investigates the impact of Québec primary care reforms, namely the implementation of Family Medicine Groups, on the accessibility of primary care for adolescents and health inequities. Adolescents are one of the most vulnerable, yet underserved populations in health care. Though perceived to be generally healthy, adolescents suffer from high rates of injury, homicide, suicide, substance use, sexually transmitted disease, and pregnancy. By shedding insight into the state of adolescent primary health care in Québec, she hopes to foster a call for action among clinicians, researchers, and policy makers to improve adolescent health care. Prior to beginning her MSc. degree, she completed a BSc. of Science at McGill University in 2015, majoring in Pharmacology and minoring in Psychology.

Kira Riehm is an MSc candidate in the Department of Psychiatry. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at McGill University in Honours Psychology, and during her degree, she worked as a floor fellow in McConnell Hall Residence and volunteered for McGill Students’ Nightline. From these experiences, she developed interests in treatment dissemination, correlates of treatment seeking, and barriers to care for adolescents and young adults seeking treatment for mental health issues. For her thesis, she will be using data from the Health Behavior of School-Aged Children survey to determine the extent to which human resources and health expenditure for mental health at the country level predict self-reported adolescent mental health under the supervision of Dr. Frank Elgar. Kira has previously worked on projects examining the diagnostic accuracy of commonly used depression screening tools and the registration status of randomized controlled trials published in behavioral health journals. In the future, she intends to pursue a PhD in health services research.

Alyssa Wilbur is a graduate student in the Department of Geography at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Alyssa received her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies and Geography from McGill and has worked as a research assistant in McGill’s Geography department for the past three years. Her research broadly examines urban development and cultural politics in post-colonial new cities across the globe. Her MA research explores urban policies and cultural representations in urban spaces, primarily in new cities in Indonesia.

Sakiko Yamaguchi is a PhD student in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill. Her research focuses on alcohol misuse among the Andean highland population in Peru. She aims to explore the ways in which the indigenous people make sense and generate meaning-making of drinking in their lives and social processes after the 20-year lasting political violence. Prior to her studies at McGill, she worked on many social development projects on health and education in Asia (Philippines, Vietnam, Afghanistan), Latin America  (Nicaragua, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras), and Africa (Sudan). She holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Services and Population Research from Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK and a Master of Science in Planning from University of Guelph, Ontario.

2015 Cohort

Nichole Austin is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at McGill University. Her research is broadly rooted in social epidemiology with an emphasis on assessing the causal impact of social policies on women’s and children’s health. In her doctoral work, Nichole will examine how reproductive health policies – particularly those restricting access to abortion and contraception – affect access to essential health care services and women’s health outcomes in developed countries. Although literature exists on the economic effects of reproductive policy shifts, little is known about the causal effects of restrictive policies on health; a better assessment of this relationship is vital in predicting the potential impact of these policies. Prior to enrolling in the doctoral program, Nichole obtained an MSc in Epidemiology from McGill and a BA in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College.

Nufar Avni is a PhD Candidate at the School of Urban Planning at McGill University. Nufar completed her Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Master of Urban Planning at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where she developed her interest in the social implications of urban planning policies. Her Master’s dissertation compared informal housing policies and their relations to urban citizenship and ethnic relations in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, and in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she carried out her fieldwork. Following graduation, Nufar worked as an urban planner specializing in environmental planning in the largest environmental NGO in Israel. Nufar’s doctoral research is conducted under the supervision of Professor Raphael Fischler and Professor Lisa Bornstein, focusing on issues of social equity in waterfront redevelopments. Her research interests also include urban cultural policy, governance and urban policy, and urban mega projects. She has organized several conferences and public events on planning policy, and has recently begun writing for an online urban magazine on contemporary urban issues in Montreal and Tel-Aviv.

Geoffrey Battista is pursuing a doctorate in geography. His research untangles the roots of social equity in active transportation policy, from decision-maker values to the physical and cultural characteristics of cities. He examines the formulation of equity using tailored methods including, but not limited to, surveys, content analysis of transportation master plans, and audio-visually-recorded walking interviews analyzed in a qualitative geographic information system. He strives to make his results accessible to non-academic communities in order to inform more inclusive policies in transportation planning and governance.

Tal Cantor is a Masters of Science student in Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. Her research is focused on the “social determinants of health” and she is interested in health care policy and reform, including social policy implementation, primary health care access for vulnerable populations, and equitable access to health and social services. Before beginning her Masters degree, in 2013 she completed an Honours Bsc in Environment at McGill, studying the “ecological determinants of health” from a cellular perspective. Currently Tal works for Dr. Anne Andermann and is involved in piloting and developing the CLEAR toolkit, the first training tool developed to provide frontline health workers with practical skills on how to take a broader view when treating patients and to empower health workers to improve health and social outcomes for disadvantaged children and families. Beyond the academic setting Tal works on a weekly basis in a Special Needs program where she both shadows a child who is autistic and helps teach art to adults having special needs.

Helen Cerigo is a PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill. Her current research seeks to understand how health system characteristics contribute to health inequalities. More specifically, she will assess the impact of health insurance policies and regulation on social inequalities in health status and health care access across developed countries with universal health insurance systems. Helen completed her MSc in Epidemiology at McGill and her BSc Honours in Biology at Queen’s University. Prior to returning to study at McGill she worked as a project manager on a public and private health insurance policy data collection project and as a public health epidemiologist focusing on child and family health. Her previous research has focused on mental health care systems and Inuit women’s health.

Natalia Manay is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in School and Applied Child Psychology. Natalia holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Child and Youth Studies from Brock University and a M.A. degree in Educational Psychology from McGill University. Natalia completed the IHSP McBurney Latin America Fellowship in 2013. Since completing this fellowship in Ecuador, her interest in health and social issues pertaining to children and families has become part of her academic and clinical work. Under the guidance of Dr. Delphine Collin-Vezina and Dr. Steven Shaw, her current research focuses on adolescents´ disclosures of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). More specifically, the main objective of her dissertation is to understand the process of CSA disclosure, including barriers and facilitators of disclosure, outcomes of disclosure, and the impact of peer disclosures on future disclosures to parents, professionals, and legal authorities. Working with supervisors from the Social Work and Educational and Counselling Psychology departments, her research, much like her clinical work, is grounded in interdisciplinary work. Throughout her clinical work, and in particular, her field placement within a multidisciplinary team at the Childhood Disorders Day Hospital at the Jewish General Hospital, Natalia has learned first-hand the importance of multidisciplinary work for achieving the best possible outcomes for the children and families that she works with.

Nadia O’Brien is a doctoral student within the department of Family Medicine at McGill, supported by Dr. Alexandra de Pokomandy and Dr. Neil Andersson. Her research is conducted within the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS), where she aims to identify mechanisms by which we can facilitate the transfer of CHIWOS knowledge to practice towards the improved care of women living with HIV. Indeed, HIV infections among women have grown steadily in Canada, however, care services have not adapted in tandem to address specific healthcare needs (e.g. gynaecological screening, contraceptives, pregnancy planning) and differentially experienced social determinants of health (income, housing, violence). Her work with CHIWOS brings together her interests in participatory research approaches, sexual and reproductive health, vulnerable populations, and the potential for targeted interventions to redress health inequities. She is a graduate of the Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Simon Fraser University, where she worked with sex worker collectives in India, and of Medical Anthropology (BA) from the University of Toronto, where she explored Faith-Based responses to HIV/AIDS in Namibia.

Pauley Tedoff is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at McGill University and part of the Environmental Epidemiology Research Group. Pauley holds a BA in Anthropology and an MSc in International Environmental Health and has worked in the overarching field of international development since 2006. In 2009, after several years designing and implementing social inclusion programs in low-income countries, Pauley formally transitioned to the global health sector. She has worked for various ministries of health, intergovernmental organizations, international NGOs, and academic institutions in North America, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her desire to conduct translational research that may inform environmental and health policies is what attracted her to study under the advisement of Dr. Jill Baumgartner, who is jointly appointed in the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Department for Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. In April of 2015, Pauley received a Vanier Scholarship. She will be designing her doctoral thesis proposal this year and is presently considering several topics pertaining to the impacts of air and water quality on the health of rural populations in South America. Pauley is excited to be a part of IHSP, where she looks forward to exploring her interest in social and behavioral determinants of health, as well as environmental health justice.

2014 Cohort:

Milaine Alarie | Blanaid Donnelly | Fadi Hamadani | Alex Legrain | Sarah Mah | Fahimeh Mianji | Rebecca Pitt | Guido Powell | Matthew Secrest | Gilla Shapiro

Milaine AlarieMilaine Alarie is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at McGill University. She specializes in sexuality, romantic relationships, identities and alternative lifestyles, and she is particularly interested in how gender shapes people's experiences of intimacy. Her doctoral research is on middle-aged women's sexuality and romantic relationships, more specifically on women who choose younger men as their sex partner or spouse (often referred to as ‘women who engage in age-hypogamous sexual relationships’). The overarching research question guiding her sociological inquiry is: How do middle-aged Canadian women experience age-hypogamous sexual and/or romantic (heterosexual) relationships? More specifically, she explores four facets of women’s experiences, namely: a) identity choices/negotiations and gender performances; b) motivations for challenging the age hypergamy norm and expectations regarding the future of the relationship; c) feelings towards cultural representations of older women, and stigma management; d) perceived benefits, disadvantages and risks (e.g. STIs, social stigma, self-esteem, body image, etc.) associated with age hypogamy. In other words, Milaine is interested in understanding how older women navigate sexist and ageist social norms and stereotypes constraining women’s sexuality, how women challenging the age hypergamy norm experience their sexual and romantic life, and how relationships with younger men affect their personal well-being. Prior to her doctoral research, her masters’ research project focused on bisexuality among Canadian youth. She also completed a B.Soc.Sc. in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Blanaid DonnellyBlanaid Donnelly is a PhD Candidate at McGill University and an IDRC Doctoral Research Award recipient working on Indigenous Health and Climate Change with a focus on the potential impact of livestock on the health of indigenous Ugandans with Dr Lea Berrang Ford. She completed her Bachelor of Science, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees at the University of Guelph where she developed her interest in epidemiology and ecosystems approaches to health. She is particularly passionate about international development and evidence-based practice and has spent time in South East Asia working with Veterinarians without Borders / Vétérinaires sans Frontières Canada and the International Livestock Research Institute.

Fadi HamadaniFadi Hamadani is a Resident in General Surgery at McGill. He completed his Masters in Epidemiology under Dr. Razek and Dr. Schwartzman at McGill University where his thesis characterized Northern Quebec's remote trauma system. He is now pursuing his PhD with the trauma group at McGill under Dr. Deckelbaum's supervision. His PhD focuses on the use of emerging technologies in trauma system development, injury surveillance, and surgical capacity building in low resource settings. As part of this project he has travelled to Mozambique, which is characterised by a heavy clinical burden and scarce human and material resources, to help introduce and develop a trauma registry in several hospitals. His studies at the IHSP under Dr. Nandi's supervision will help him develop strategies to set the foundation for policy making with a goal of scaling up this project and reducing injury incidence. He will pursue a career in trauma and critical care surgery with a focus on conflict medicine. 

Alex LegrainAlex Legrain has strong interests in transportation, urban economics, and equity issues.  Growing up in rural Tennessee, he moved to Montreal to pursue an Honours degree in Philosophy.  For his thesis he researched the idea that work and labour are foundational human activities, and this has deeply influenced his current work in urban planning and transportation. He is presently researching the effect commuting has on health and the equitable availability of public transit.  He hopes to further focus his studies on the relationship between transportation and urban economics.

Sarah M. MahSarah M. Mah is a Masters student in Epidemiology at McGill. Her broad research interests center around advancing women's health and economic security, and stem from her front-line work experience in equality-seeking women's organizations. The effects of women's poverty on reproductive health care provision have clear epidemiological, public health, economic, and social policy implications. Under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Ross and Dr. Sam Harper, her thesis project aims to assess whether there is evidence of increased hospital burden related to birth events for women with low socio-economic status, and what the implicated costs of low socio-economic status are to the healthcare system. To address this question, she is utilizing the Canadian Community Health Survey as well as the Discharge Abstract Database, which contain key variables on hospitalized individuals, such as demographics, and the nature and cost of care. Previously, Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with honours at the University of British Columbia in 2010.

Fahimeh MianjiFahimeh Mianji is a PhD candidate in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University and a Global Health Research Doctoral fellowship recipient working on the globalization of American psychiatry in Iran. Her research focuses more specifically on the over-diagnosis of bipolar disorder in Iran. She aims to explain the professional, sociocultural, and political uses of a new concept of bipolarity called “bipolar spectrum” or “soft bipolar” diagnosis. The first phase of her research, titled “The Uses of ‘Bipolar Disorder’ in Iran: Vicissitudes of a Diagnosis,” studies the history of the emergence of bipolarity in this country, how bipolar diagnosis and treatment are understood and applied among Iranian psychiatrists today and in comparison with the past, and the controversy about the use of this diagnosis in Iran. In the next phase of study, Fahimeh is looking for the patient and general population understanding of bipolarity in Iran. Prior to her studies at McGill University, she obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology and a PhD in Exceptional Children Psychology from Iran. 

Rebecca PittRebecca Pitt is pursuing her Masters in Nursing within the Global Health Studies stream of the McGill Ingram School of Nursing. She holds a B.Sc (Nursing) from McGill and is returning to graduate studies after 17 years of clinical practice in West Africa, Toronto, and mostly Montreal. Rebecca’s years at the front lines of nursing practice have helped her to realize the profound impact that her discipline can and should have on the direction of research that informs health policy reform and implementation. Her time in The Gambia, West Africa contributed to her interest in the challenges that poverty and cultural difference pose for health promotion and health equity, while her many years nursing among a culturally and socially diverse population in Canada have fostered a deep engagement with “Global Health at home”. Rebecca’s current research examines the health challenges of working poor families who access the Welcome Hall Mission, a charity that serves Montrealers living in poverty. Using a qualitative design, Rebecca seeks to elucidate pathways between social factors and health outcomes that characterize working poor families in an urban setting. In the future, Rebecca expects to continue integrating her nursing research and practice, with a particular focus on how to address the health inequities that exist between population groups in Canada.

Guido PowellGuido Powell is a Masters student in Epidemiology at McGill. He is broadly interested in the evaluation of mental health services. His current research examines the effects on quality of life of the At Home/Chez Soi project, the world’s largest experiment in a “Housing First” strategy for homeless individuals suffering from mental illness.  More specifically, his research seeks to identify and adjust for a bias in self-reported quality of life, known as response shift. A frequently observed problem in the field of medical research, response shift can occur in longitudinal studies when a treatment changes the expectations or values of participants that determine their reported outcomes. Adjusting for this bias would give a more accurate picture of the impact of Housing First on quality of life and assist policy makers in their choice of mental health policy. Prior to embarking on his Masters degree, Guido worked as a research assistant on the economic analysis of the At Home/Chez Soi project conducted by his current co-supervisor Dr Eric Latimer (he is also supervised by Dr Nancy Mayo). He holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Political Science. 

Matthew SecrestMatthew Secrest is an MSc student in the department of Epidemiology at McGill. His research interests include the environmental determinants of human health in general and the effect of air pollution on health more specifically. He is currently working with Dr. Jill Baumgartner to develop exposure assessment tools to quantify the benefits of interventions that reduce solid fuel use on air quality and human health, and to demonstrate the application of these tools in a novel energy intervention program in rural China. Matt received his BS in chemistry from Wake Forest University in 2010. Before coming to McGill, Matt received a Fulbright Fellowship to be an English Teaching Assistant in France, where he was exposed to population research through a sociological study of French students. He also received a MacCracken Fellowship to perform chemical research in synthetic organic methodology. More recently, his interests have turned to public health, where he hopes to build a foundation for health policy through his research into air pollution.

Gilla ShapiroGilla Shapiro is completing her PhD in clinical psychology at McGill University. Gilla began her studies at the University of Cambridge, where she earned her BA and MA (Cantab) in Social Psychology. To further develop her interest in public policy, Gilla completed the MPA/MPP dual degree program at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Hertie School of Governance. Gilla has conducted research for the Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael’s Hospital, the Global Public Policy institute, and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. Gilla’s current research is being conducted at the Psychosocial Oncology Lab, Jewish General Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Zeev Rosberger. Her doctoral research investigates decision-making related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. 

2013 Cohort:

 Nicole D'souza | Anthony Kevins | Rachel Krause | Caroline Lyster | Lauren Maxwell | Vincenza Mazzeo | Leticia Morales | Kelly Ann Renwick | Rania Wasfi

Nicole D'souzaNicole D’souza is a Doctoral student in the Department of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry. Her doctoral research seeks to understand the relationship between violence and mental health outcomes for at-risk, inner city primary school children living in Kingston, Jamaica who are exposed to daily forms of violence. She will be working in collaboration with a larger evaluation study, to identify risk and resilience outcomes of boys and girls who are participating in an early intervention program aimed at evading the problem of violence in Jamaica. Specific information derived from this empirical research could be important in guiding program developers, health care providers and policy makers take a course of action that will improve the early environments of disadvantaged children.  Nicole’s research interests intersect on the micro perspectives of global health, which recognize the direct consequences of social, economic and political problems at the local level, as well as on the transnational impacts of globalization and the political ecology of social inequalities that lend themselves to these health problems. Prior to her doctoral research, Nicole completed her M.Sc in Psychiatry at McGill and received her B.Sc in Psychology from the University of Toronto.

Anthony KevinsAnthony Kevins was pursuing his PhD in Political Science during his time as a Research Fellow. He holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA (Hon.) in Political Science and Law and Society from York.While at the IHSP, Anthony developed his understanding of the effects of access to the welfare state on health outcomes. He also completed his dissertation on the determinants of policies shaping social policy coverage and benefit standardisation, focusing on healthcare and income support for the unemployed in France and Italy. More broadly, Anthony is interested in the impact of public perceptions of need and desert on who has access to the welfare state, as well as the interplay between technocratic and social scientific arguments for social policy reform. In the future, he hopes to further explore these research interests while working in academia. 

Rachel Krause

Rachel Krause is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Parasitology of McGill University and the McGill School of Environment. She holds a Master of Science in Biology from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Science (honours) in Environmental Sciences from the University of British Columbia. Her current research grows out of an interest in ecology, environment and global health. In her doctoral work, she has combined these interests through field research in rural Panama. Her research uses an ecohealth approach to explore the joint problems of intestinal parasite infections and malnutrition in preschool children, within the context of poor, rural communities practising subsistence agriculture. Further, through collaboration with the Panama Ministry of Health, she is examining the influence of a food security intervention program on the relationships between infection, nutrition and agriculture. Her current research is supported by a Doctoral Research Award from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and an NSERC Doctoral Scholarship.


Caroline LysterCaroline Lyster is an MA student in the department of Philosophy, specializing in Biomedical Ethics.  Her undergraduate work was done at the University of Alberta: BSc (biological sciences) 2007, BA (philosophy) 2012.  While working on her BA she was lucky enough to complete an internship with the SSHRC/CURA funded project, "Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada."  Being involved in the project introduced her to a number of issues surrounding disability including the way that the perspectives of individuals with disability are often ignored in ethics and moral philosophy.  This has affected her current research, which seeks to introduce these important perspectives to the issues of physician-assisted death and selective termination.

Lauren Maxwell is a PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill.  She is broadly interested in the effect of gender based violence on health outcomes for women and children.  Her current work focuses on the association between intimate partner violence and women’s access to family planning in low and middle income countries.  She received her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina.  Before coming to McGill, Lauren worked in research on access to family planning and safe abortion in North Africa and Latin America and on the effect of immigration on maternal mental health and infant feeding patterns.  Lauren has a particular interest in evaluating programs that address unmet need for family planning and neglected tropical diseases in immigrant and refugee populations.  She is also interested in measuring the impact of policies that address intimate partner violence and child marriage on reproductive health outcomes for women and girls. 

Vincenza MazzeoVincenza Mazzeo joined McGill’s Department of History and Classical Studies as a PhD Candidate in 2013.  While at the University of Toronto, she explored ideas of race science, law and medicine in transnational discourses through the Arts and Sciences.  As a MA student at Carleton University, Vincenza studied the development of Bantu Gynaecology – a branch of gynaecological knowledge which sought to probe, measure and quantify the bodies of indigenous South African women – and its correlation to the genesis of South African segregationist policies. Vincenza’s current interests build upon her previous research and experiences as an intern in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Ghana in 2011 by investigating the history of childbirth and confinement care in South Africa during the twentieth-century.  Through an examination of medical records, academic articles, news sources and oral interviews, Vincenza’s dissertation explores women’s responses to medicalized childbirth which challenged South African ideals regarding the body, reproduction and sexuality, and illuminates the forms of resistance to, and the selective incorporation of, western medicine by patients in South Africa’s metropolis. Vincenza believes that history affords us the opportunity to unravel and solve contemporary struggles related to the politics of reproduction.  Her research seeks to raise questions about the utility of bio-western medical care and health care delivery for Canadian women more generally.

Leticia MoralesLeticia Morales is a Fellow at the IHSP and the Faculty of Law. She obtained her PhD in Law from Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) in 2013 with a dissertation on the legitimacy of the constitutional protection of social rights. She also holds an LLB in Law and a Master in Political Philosophy from the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina. She held an FPI Fellowship at the Department of Law at Pompeu Fabra University (funded by the Spanish Government) and has been a visiting student at the University of Genova (2007, 2008), the University of Edinburgh (2009) and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (2010). Her research focuses on the topic of social and economic rights and their constitutional protection, with specific reference to issues of philosophical justification and democratic legitimacy. Leticiaʼs current research project examines the role of democratic constraints on the judicial protection of the right to health, combining philosophical analysis with comparative legal analysis of jurisprudence and case law on right-to-health decisions in Canada and Latin America.

Kelly Ann Renwick is a health geographer with research interests that include the social determinants of health, health inequalities, and population health. During her time as a research fellow with the IHSP she was a PhD student at McGill focusing on the impact of low social support among low socioeconomic status elderly populations on mortality and hospitalization burden in Canada.  She received both her Bachelor of Science in Biology (2004) and Master of Arts in Geography (2010) from Appalachian State University (United States). Prior to beginning her PhD at McGill she taught geography and world studies as an adjunct instructor at Appalachian State University. As a research fellow Kelly focused on the best way in which her research could inform public health and health care policy, particularly the issue of elderly populations living and aging alone in Canada. Her research fellowship culminated with an op-ed titled ‘The Cost of Living Alone’.

Rania Wasfi Rania Wasfiis a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography at McGill University working under the supervision of Prof. Nancy Ross. Her research interest is in health geography, specifically looking at the social determinants of health and the role of active transportation in the production of health. Her research focuses on the role of environmental factors— such as a neighbourhood’s physical characteristics (built environment), socio-economic characteristics and transportation systems— in shaping travel behaviour, physical activity and body weight of urban Canadians, using longitudinal and cross sectional datasets. Rania received her Bachelors in Architectural Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, Oregon, USA. She has four publications in peer reviewed journals. Prior to joining McGill, Rania was a research fellow at Oregon Health and Science University and University of Minnesota respectively. Her work during that period concentrated on conducting community environmental assessments for people with physical disabilities and measuring the transportation needs for seniors and people with developmental disabilities.


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