Andreane Bellon de Chassy (Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences): Traveled to Colombia as part of a food security team to investigate ideal markets and regions for the sale and use of nutritious, disease-resistant potatoes.
Benjamin Demers (Faculty of Arts, Geography): Traveled to Ecuador to help map Tapiabamba village, a marginalized community being affected by a state-run mega-project.
Brendan Timmins (Nursing). Travelled to Haiti to collaborate on the advancement of nursing research in the area of postoperative care.
Deboleena Mazumdar (Faculty of Arts and Science, Cognitive Science). Traveled to Ecuador to help map Tapiabamba village, a marginalized community being affected by a state-run mega-project.
Elena Bouton (Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Environment). Traveled to Ecuador to help map Tapiabamba village, a marginalized community being affected by a state-run mega-project.
Fanny Boudet (Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Global Food Security). Traveled to Peru as part of a team helping to preserve and protect local medicinal knowledge in the Amazon, bridging Western and traditional practices.
Hannah Reardon (Faculty of Arts, Anthropology and Political Science). Traveled to Brazil to volunteer with and document the role of foreigners in local NGOs, as a way of understanding development dynamics in marginalized communities.
Jean-Yves Taranger (Faculty of Education). Traveled to Mexico to participate in the development of a community cultural museum as part of the development of educational programs.
Joan Hermann (Faculty of Arts, School of Environment). Traveled to Panama to participate with a team investigating degraded landscaped in the Panama Canal watershed, analyze causes and implement solutions.
Marc Malloy (Faculty of Arts, International Development). Traveled to Bolivia to address sustainable solutions to food insecurity in urban areas.
Marie-Lou Despoux (Faculty of Science, Environment). Traveled to Guatemala to investigate methods of increasing local knowledge documentation and sharing among farming communities to increase agricultural resiliency and food security.
Max Malloy (Faculty of Arts, International Development). Traveled to Bolivia to address sustainable solutions to food insecurity in urban areas.
Rebecca Park (Arts & Science, Environment). Traveled to Peru as part of a team helping to preserve and protect local medicinal knowledge in the Amazon, bridging Western and traditional practices.
Sally Maxwell (Faculty of Science, School of Environment). Traveled to Peru as part of a team helping to preserve and protect local medicinal knowledge in the Amazon, bridging Western and traditional practices.
Sophie Kronk (Faculty of Arts, International Development). Traveled to Bolivia to address sustainable solutions to food insecurity in urban areas.
Dena Coffman is entering her fourth year in Environment & Development with minors in Spanish and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This summer, she is working in the Napo province in Ecuador, under the mentorship of Sarah Moser. Dena will work in an urban planning office with two other McBurney fellows, using GIS, spatial analysis and data management to promote sustainable development. She will also conduct research examining the motivations for a rural community to implement GIS, and the possibility for GIS to be a tool for development in other areas.
Megan Corbett-Thompson is a third year student in Environment. She is in La Libertad, El Salvador for two months with Salvaide, a Canadian NGO working primarily with Salvaide's partners the Association for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES) and the Association for Cooperation and the Communal Devrlopment of El Salvador (CORDES). Megan is undertaking an environmental health promoter internship accompanying the environmental management team working on a forest conservation project with local communities increasing awareness on the importance of environmental stewardship.
Juan Sebastian Delgado is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in cello performance at renowned McGill University, focusing on contemporary music under the guidance of celebrated cellist Matt Haimovitz. Driven by a passion to share the power of music with others, Juan Sebastian has conducted a variety of unique projects on international stages with renowned performers, research-creation initiatives with leading contemporary composers charting new directions in sound and technique and outreach adventures in remote communities teaching music to disadvantaged youth. As a McBurney Fellow, he will work with Batuta Foundation in various areas throughout Colombia under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Lorenzino. Modeled after Venezuela’s El-Sistema, the Batuta Foundation offers intensive musical training to at-risk youth as a way for both community and self-empowerment, using music as the tool for social change.
Annie Dubé is a 4th year medical student. She has an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish. She worked in a rural area of Cotacachi in Ecuador under the mentorship of Alison Doucet. Her project was be a continuation of the participatory research partnership between the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University and Andean communities in the Canton of Cotacachi, in Ecuador. During her stay, her objectives were to disseminate the results of the Summer 2013-2014 research project on malnutrition to various stakeholders and to find potential solutions to this issue.
Jessica Farber is a 3rd year honours International Development student with minors in Social Studies of Medicine and European Literature and Culture. She will be working in La Libertad, El Salvador for the Canadian NGO, Salvaide, primarily with its partners on the ground, CRIPDES and CORDES. Salvaide's mission is to promote social justice and democracy in El Salvador, and Jessica will be interning with a local women's coalition to help expand political representation and participation among rural women as well as to help increase financial autonomy through micro-economic opportunities.
Zoë Greenwald has just completed her first-year of the Master's program in Epidemiology at McGill. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts & Science from McGill University in Molecular Biology, Geography and Social Studies of Medicine. For her McBurney Fellowship, she will be working alongside a team of healthcare workers, scientists and researchers in the field of cancer prevention in Brazil. The project is based at the Barretos Cancer Hospital (Barretos, São Paulo State) and focuses on the operations of a cancer screening program targeting underserved populations. The cancer prevention program addresses health inequities by offering cancer screening services on mobile units in rural and remote regions of Brazil, thereby expanding access to disadvantaged populations. Zoë will be providing program support through the epidemiological analysis of existing data from 10 years of program operations. Long-term goals include building a collaborative research network between the Barretos Cancer Hospital and the McGill Division of Cancer Epidemiology.
Munib Khanyari is a recent Environmental Biology graduate from McGill’s MacDonald campus with a specialization in Wildlife Biology. He is working in San Jose del General, Colón, Panama on a Long-Term Mine Monitoring Project of the Cobre Panama mine, with Samantha McCraine under the guidance of Professor Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert. This project, supported by the local Junta Comunal de San Jose del General, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Universidad de Santa Maria la Antigua and INDICASAT under the auspice of UNESCO’s Chair of Sustainability and Panama’s Foro de Sostenibilidad, works with communities of San Jose del General through the development and extension of a long-term community-based monitoring programme of the social and environmental impacts of a large copper and gold mine. Whilst in Panama, Munib’s work will consist mainly of building local capacity for monitoring, disseminating results of previous monitoring events and liaising between communities. This is being done in the hope of creating a plan for a future community structure that will be able to take on a more definitive role in carrying out the objectives of this project.
Sophie Kronk will be entering her 4th year in International Development with a minor in Geography and Field Studies in Panama. In Ecuador she will be working with two other McBurney fellows under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Moser to collaborate with the urban planning office of the local government. The purpose is to expand on the Geographical Information Systems capacity of the office as a tool to promote sustainable development. Our research will also delve into the motivations for a small, rural community to implement GIS as well as the social and political applications for the future. The research can help to inform the policies of other Latin American regional governments pursuing approaches in sustainable development and environmental conservation.
Chris Landis is a 4th year student studying International Development, History, and Spanish Language. In the spring of 2015, he traveled to Ecuador as a McBurney Fellow to work on a Fairtrade project in the rural community of Pucará. He worked with Interamerican CASA (a development NGO) that manages several local development projects in the Intag Valley. Chris’s role was to create a program of exports that would improve the local economy and protect the environment at the same time. Specifically, he established a partnership between two local artisan groups and an exporter, and created a pilot project for the exportation of medicinal herbs.
Samantha McCraine is a third year International Development student specializing in Agricultural Resources and the Environment, with minors in Anthropology and Urban Systems. During her time in the 2015 Panama Field Study Semester (PFSS) she worked under McGill History Professor, Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert on the long-term mine monitoring initiative started in the Panamanian district of Donoso in 2014 alongside the sites of Cobre Panama and Petaquilla Gold. The project is supported by the local Junta Comunal de San José del General, Universidad de Santa Maria la Antigua, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), INDICASAT, and falls under the auspice of both the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability and the Panamanian Foro de Sostenibilidad. The project's long-term objectives are to create a community-based participatory monitoring schema capable of gathering data over 30 years on changes in the surrounding human and ecological environment throughout the life of the mines and to support the creation of a space within which local community members and authorities, companies, and policy makers can come together to participate in discussions on and thereby influence the process of development in Panama. Given the nascence of the project, Samantha and her partner Munib's duties in the summer of 2015 are focused on furthering the capacity of the community to participate and benefit from in the project by collaborating with community members to create a plan for a more concrete local structure and plan for future years through conducting interactive presentations and holding personal meetings and disseminating and collecting feedback on current monitoring results and methodologies. At its core, this project seeks to redress what might otherwise be a debilitating lack of information and communication such that community members can avoid the worldwide trend of local marginalization in externally driven, extractive development.
Magdalena Martinez, 3rd year Honours Anthropology student with minor in International Development Studies. She will be working in La Paz, Bolivia with the organization CEPROSI under the mentorship of Professor Katherine Lemons. CEPROSI’s main objective is to promote the integral health of women and families in the periphery of La Paz. As an intern, Magdalena will be preparing educational workshops on nutrition to present at women centres.
Eugene Negrii is in the last few months as a graduate student in Music Education. For a second year As a McBurney Fellow, he will work with Fundacion Nacional Batuta (est. 1991) in various areas throughout Colombia under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Lorenzino. Modelled after Venezuela’s El-Sistema (est. 1975), Batuta offers musical training to at-risk youth as a way to build social capital, cooperation skills and a sense of both community and self-empowerment; using music as the tool for social change. As an Orff-certified music teacher with 8 years of teaching experience at international schools in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Indonesia, Eugene will focus on working with both Batuta students and teachers in an effort to strengthen the overall structure of Batuta’s Orff-based early childhood music program.
Kara Redden is a Registered Nurse entering her second and final year of her Master’s degree with a concentration in Global Health Studies. She completed her professional diploma at Vanier College in 2012 and continued on to complete her Bachelor of Nursing, Integrated in 2014. Her academic career in nursing has been partnered with experiences organizing and participating in global health activities both here and abroad. While in Haiti, Kara will be working with nursing staff at Zanmi Lasante, a Haitian NGO, to investigate the implications of the Ministry of Health’s protocol changes in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
Lara Schwarz completed her Bachelor of Science this Spring, majoring in Environment with a concentration in Ecological Determinants of Health. This summer, she will be working as an Environmental Health Promoter for SalvAide, an organization committed to social justice and economic development in El Salvador. She will be participating in a project related to mining activities and water protection. Lara will be involved in researching the environmental, health, and social impacts of large-scale mining in El Salvador, as well as bringing awareness to the communities about these impacts.
Elizabeth Shebell is a fourth year student at McGill University majoring in Environment with minors in Anthropology and Field Studies in Panama. She will be working with Professor Sarah Moser and two other McGill students in Ecuador at an office of Urban & Regional Planning. Elizabeth will be instructing local officials in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and regional planning as tools for sustainable development. Her research will be in determining how spatially based policies and data management systems can guide and enhance sustainable development strategies in rural areas within Latin America. Elizabeth's fellowship will be especially applicable to other rural communities in Ecuador who are pursuing sustainable development, urbanization, and conservation of natural resources in accordance with Ecuador's Plan Nacional de Bue
2014 McBurney Fellows
Roaine Ash is a graduate student of Occupational Therapy in the McGill Faculty of Medicine with a previous degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo University. In parnership with Asociación Hogar – Niños por un Nuevo Planeta, Roaine will be traveling to Bogota, Colombia to participate in a community mental health project. Asociación Hogar – Niños por un Nuevo Planeta currently shelters 236 children that have been victims of sexual violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The organization’s goal is to give the children living in this shelter the home that enables them to break the cycle of abuse they have been subjected to, and inspire them to live joyful, loving and peaceful lives, so that one day they will be empowered to live with respect, morals and values and be the leaders of tomorrow. Roaine's role during this project will be assessing and treating the needs of the children at Asociación Hogar – Niños por un Nuevo Planeta and the surrounding marginalized communities in Bogota and develop a sustainable Occupational Therapy program for the shelter.
Victoria Aziz is a 3rd year International Development student with minors in the German language and Geography. She will be working in Mérida, Mexico with the organization “Brazos Abiertos” under the mentorship of Professor Uli Locher. The mandate of Brazos Abiertos is to empower the people living in the Yucatan to respond to HIV/AIDS. Whilst working in Mexico, Victoria’s duties will include HIV testing campaigns and health education, including workshops and an education program in local schools.
Margot Charette is an Environment and Ecological agriculture student. She will be working with the Comunidad Educativa Flor de Montaña in the small rural town of Samaipata, Bolivia, under the supervision of Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez from the faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Flor de Montaña is a unique educational project that serves as a sustainable development tool for Samaipata. By adopting rigorous and modern techniques of education, Flor de Montaña is a role example of concrete action for the fight against poverty, social exclusion and degradation of the environment. Margot's role as a McBurney fellow will be to contribute to the capacity building of the school, especially regarding its technological and ecological agriculture components. Margot’s tasks, including facilitating the use of technology in classes and planning the production of the ecological gardens, will directly serve for the school’s goal: the empowerment of youth through education to improve their community’s environment, living conditions, agricultural practices and as a result, food security.
Adam Cutts is a third year Honours student in the Urban Systems program. He will be working in Santa Fe, Argentina under the mentorship of Prof. Sarah Moser in the department of Geography, and Dr. Paola Bagnera, architect and coordinator of the organization 'Social production of housing and the right to the city' The organization aims to explore the role of professionals and universities in the support and fostering of community-driven housing and land rights initiatives. Working with community groups and local residents, Adam will participate in developing and delivering workshops and community outreach activities, assisting in advocating for a comprehensive understanding and production of social housing to meet the needs of large populations who are currently without adequate access to housing and the city. Throughout, the project also seeks to generate more meaningful participatory design techniques for social housing through a series of workshops and collaborations.
Daniella Guerrero is a 2nd year Masters student at the School of Urban Planning. She will be working in Recife, Brazil under the mentorship of Prof. Vikram Bhatt from the School of Architecture at McGill, and Dr. Luis de la Mora, Coordinator of CIAPA (Interdisciplinary Community for Action, Research and Learning) and Professor in Urban Development and Human Rights at the Federal University of Pernambuco. Prof. De la Mora and his team are advising the program managers for CIAPA to expand their operational capacity to continue to promote the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants. Daniella will be providing consultancy for CIAPA in order to maintain the quality of the socially produced housing complex, Dom Hélder Câmara, as well as providing consultancy for PREZEIS (program for the improvement and legalization of 47 favelas in Recife).
Morganne Blais-McPherson is a Neuroscience and Anthropology student. She will be working working in Medellín, Colombia with the Asociación Campesina de Antioquia under the mentorship of Professor Duncan Pedersen of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry. The Asociación Campesina is a community-based organization working with peasants displaced by the armed conflict to promote empowerment and local participation in public policies. Morganne will be assisting in the creation of a mental health section, as well as conducting ethnographic research on the long-term consequences of political violence in rural communities, focusing on resilience, trauma, and posttraumatic growth. She will be working in collaboration with Professor Beatriz Elena Arias López from the School of Nursing at the Universidad de Antioquia, in association with PREVIVA, a program aimed at developing public policies for violence prevention.
Doris Gonzalez-Fernandez worked in rural Panama for her Master’s degree in Parasitology between 2010 and 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Marilyn Scott and Dr. Kristine Koski, studying interactions between infection and micronutrient deficiencies in a population of impoverished indigenous pregnant women as part of collaboration with the Panamanian Ministry of Health (MoH), the University of Panama and SENACYT, the Panamanian institution that funds research in this country. Now, Doris is taking a Special Topics in Nutrition course as special student. As a McBurney Fellow she will be going to Panama to discuss with MoH and with local health authorities, the public health implications of their findings.
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.
Tanya Lee is a 1st year Masters student in the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry. Under the mentorship of Dr. Duncan Pedersen, she will be working with Buena Semilla, a community-based organization in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, on a project aimed at empowering marginalized rural communities to promote the health and well-being of their mothers and young infants. Tanya will be facilitating mental health training workshops with local health staff, as well as conducting ethnographic research on the relationship between structural violence and maternal psychosocial distress among indigenous women.
Abbey Mahon is a graduate student at the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill Faculty of Medicine. In partnership with Zanmi Lasante and Partners in Health, Abbey will be travelling to Haiti to study continuing education initiatives in rural Haitian hospitals and clinics. Her research interests include community and public health, mental health, and nursing education and development. In her spare time, Abbey likes to travel, write and play softball.
Allison Miron is a graduate student in occupational therapy. She is all about helping others, and this is what led her down the path of OT after many years of lifeguarding and doing other part time jobs. She is so excited to be a McBurney fellow, which gives her the opportunity to do her third clinical placement in Bogota, Colombia in January 2015. She is looking forward to working with an organization that cares for over 250 underprivileged children who have been victims to abuse. One of her goals as a McBurney Fellow is to contribute to creating a sustainable program that will continue to help these children once the team returns to Canada. She hopes to continue doing projects such as these after she has her Masters Degree.
Alexandra Nadeau just graduated from McGill in the spring of 2014 with a major in Geography and minors in Environment and Urban Systems. She is going to Ecuador this summer to investigate the development of a new city named Yachay, under the mentorship of Sarah Moser. This city aims to be a "city of knowledge," and Alexandra will try to understand who the stakeholders of the project are and what the impacts this new city in Ecuador has and on the surrounding communities. Alexandra will be building a network and interviewing different people involved in the project, from government officers to citizens from the surrounding areas. Yachay is located about an hour and a half north from Quito, so different cities will be visited in order to achieve the goal of increasing knowledge about this new phenomenon in Ecuador.
Eugene Negrii is a 1st year graduate student in Music Education. He will work with Fundacion Nacional Batuta (est. 1991) in various areas throughout Colombia under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Lorenzino. Modeled after Venezuela’s El-Sistema (est. 1975), Batuta offers intensive musical training to at-risk youth throughout a range of nucleos across Colombia as a way to build social capital, cooperation skills and a sense of both community and self-empowerment; using music as the tool for social change. As an Orff-certified music teacher with 8 years of teaching experience at international schools in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Indonesia, Eugene will focus on working with both Batuta students and teachers in an effort to strengthen the overall structure of Batuta’s Orff-based early childhood music program.
Felipe Perez Aranguren is an undergraduate student in Urban Studies. Under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Moser, he will be working in Ecuador and looking at the Yachay City of Knowledge project and its effects on the different communities in the area. Yachay is located in the northern province of Imbabura, about 2.5 hours from Quito, and the goal of this new master-planned city is to become a leading innovative knowledge hub in Latin America by encouraging scientific, academic, economic and technological research and innovation. As the first of its kind, the current and future impact of the Yachay Knowledge City on marginalized and vulnerable populations is completely unknown. Working with Juan Diego Donoso, a member of the Yachay project and professor in the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Felipe will look at the community consultations and participatory planning with affected communities around Yachay to understand the dynamics at play in the creation of the city and identify who stands to benefit from the project and who will be excluded or further marginalized.
Ana Pranjic is an Honours student majoring in International Development and Psychology at McGill University as well as Fine Arts at Concordia University. She will be travelling to Peru to implement a local gender empowerment and development project in a community of cocoa and coffee producers in the Amazon region. This project was initiated by Ana in 2013 drawing on funding from the Australian Embassy under the Direct Aid Program. In collaboration with APROCAM and PRO-A, two NGOs working to promote sustainable agricultural practices and community growth, she will be working with the producers to oversee the implementation of a mini cocoa-processing plant and its integration into the host communities. Under the mentorship of Professor Duncan Pedersen of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Ana will be assessing the impacts and outcomes of this project. Her role as a McBurney fellow will be to work on creating a useful model for local development of similar agricultural-based communities in Latin America. It is hoped that her efforts will help provide an objective evaluating measure that can be used to scale-up the initiative in other areas.
Anaïs Rodriguez is a graduate student in Occupational Therapy at McGill University with a previous degree in Exercise Science. She will be working in Bogota, Colombia in association with Hogar-Niños por un Nuevo Planeta, a non-profit organization who's mandate is to reach out to children who have been victims of sexual, physical and psychological abuse and live in extreme poverty. Anaïs will be participating in developing activities that will promote social-emotional integration, create a sustainable project for the organisation and treat clients that could benefit from occupational therapy services.
Daniel Ruiz-Serna is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology. He will work in Riosucio, Colombia under the mentorship of Prof. Eduardo Kohn. Daniel will intern with the Pacific Research Institute (INEPA) and the Claretian University Foundation (FUCLA) in a project that has as a goal to implement an advanced seminar on ethno-education, leadership, and human rights for Afro-Colombian and Indigenous rural youth. The seminar is part of a communitarian initiative leaded by traditional authorities whose goal is to design a development plan based on communal values, ethno-cultural rights, and sustainable livelihoods. As a researcher, Daniel has had the privilege of working hand in hand with indigenous and peasant societies in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia, witnessing their remarkable capacity to cope with adversity, as well as the courageous strategies that have allowed them to conserve and transmit their cultural heritage and knowledge.
Laura Bland-Lasso is a 4th year Kinesiology student. She will work in Bogotá, Colombia with the foundation Gol Da Vida under the mentorship of Catherine LeGrand of the McGill Department of History and Classical Studies. Gol Da Vida is a private charitable foundation run by a former Colombian women’s national soccer team player. The foundation works with children in some of Bogotá’s poorest neighbourhoods and uses soccer as a vehicle to try and engage these children and keep them away from activities such as gang violence, drug use and prostitution. Laura will focus specifically on the girls at the foundation and run soccer practices/games and health workshops as a way to try and promote healthy living through sport.
Aimée Bourassa is a master student in Political Science and Development Studies. She will work with the Metropolitan Autonomous University –Xochimilco (UAM-X) in Mexico City under the mentorship of Professor Antonia Maioni. For her fellowship, Aimée will assist Professor Jorge Andrade at UAM-X in the training and capacitation of professionals from public agencies and social organizations in the assisted production of social housing; that is, in assisting poor dwellers in processes of self-construction and incremental urban planning with the use of participatory design techniques. Mexico City is a densely populated and apparently thriving capital. Yet, more than half of the households simply cannot afford anything beyond self-construction. The assisted production of social housing is a policy strategy officially adopted by the National Housing Commission, and implemented incrementally since 2006.
Megan Clark is Graduate Nursing student. She will be working in Haiti, in collaboration with Partners in Health and the Ingram School of Nursing under the mentorship of Dr. Anita Gagnon and Prof. Jodi Tuck. Partners in Health and it’s sister organization Zamni Lasante have been working to improve global health equity in the Central Plateau region of Haiti for over 25 years. The PIH/ZL-McGill partnership is working to develop nursing capacity in Haiti, and Megan is working on education and professional development of Haitian nurses in PIH/ZL health clinic.
Sara Deull is an Arts student majoring in Latin American studies and pursuing a minor in Education. Her passion and commitment is to the emerging discipline of “Social Circus” – the use of circus training and performance as a powerful tool for social change, including fostering lasting improvements in the health, well-being and development of young people and the communities they live in. She has been working in this field since 2002, including teaching and training residencies with the Zip Zap School for Circus Arts in South Africa, Circo del Mundo in Chile, and Machincuepa Circo Social in Mexico. Sara will be collaborating with Crecer e Viver in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sharing her skills and experience with students and coaches and launching an ongoing exchange program among social circus organizations across Latin America. She will also be documenting her work as part on an ongoing pursuit to connect the world of circus more closely with academic social science disciplines.
Natalia Manay-Quian is a Ph.D. student in School and Applied Child Psychology. She will be working in Ecuador with Fundación Acción Solidaria under the mentorship of Dr. David Rothwell, of the McGill School of Social Work. Natalia will be working at the Santiago Apóstol education centre, which offers an educational program for children and youth living in poverty or living on the streets. Natalia will work with the children at Santiago Apóstol and their families to promote education and improve the lives of families in marginalized communities.
Julie Tremblay-Bachorz is an International Development student. She will be working in Chile with the Fundacion Calasanz para la Juventud under the mentorship of Prof. Philip Oxhorn of the Department of Political Science. The Fundacion Calasanz strives to help the impoverished and marginalized youth of Santiago through inclusive and integral education. Julie will be providing extracurricular support through the animation of educational workshops. She will also be involved with the implementation of a new learning center.
In 2012, 8 fellows (from 6 different departments) have been awarded fellowships to work in Colombia, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Chile. Their placements include work with youth at risk, providing community health services in marginalized communities, health education, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, occupational therapy and environmental health.
Jennifer Horrell is a Social Work student. She has started working in Ecuador and Peru with Solidaridad in Marcha under the mentorship of Prof. David Rothwell, of the McGill School of Social Work. Solidaridad in Marcha is a community-based organization that works in health, education and community development to promote participation and equal opportunity for marginalized individuals within poor communities. Jennifer is working on community health projects including with disadvantaged street youth on issues of drug use and sexual risk taking.
Karine Fonda is a Social Work student. She has started working in Nicaragua with Los Hermanos de la Caridad under the mentorship of Prof. Karen Hetherington, of the McGill School of Social Work. Los Hermanos de la Caridad, provided medical and preventative health care, education and psychological treatment to children and youth who are living on the streets. Karine is providing reproductive and mental health education and support to disadvantaged youth.
Anna Hermanson is an Environment and Development student. She has started working with Lena Weber in Nicaragua with the Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association (BOSIA) under the mentorship of Anne-Marie Lanctot of the McGill School of Nursing. Anna and Lena are supporting the expansion, throughout the Island, of a successful local support group model for adolescent youth to reduce teen pregnancy. They will also be providing support to a local free health clinic and drop in centre for women.
Lena Weber is an International Development student. She has started working with Anna Hermanson in Nicaragua with the Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association (BOSIA) under the mentorship of Anne-Marie Lanctot of the McGill School of Nursing. Lena and Anna are supporting the expansion, throughout the Island, of a successful local support group model for adolescent youth to reduce teen pregnancy. They are also providing support to a local free health clinic and drop in centre for women.
Henna Shaikh is a Science and Biochemistry student. She has finished her fellowship in Chile at the Casa de Mujer Huamachuco under the mentorship of Prof. Philip Oxhorn of the Department of Political Science. The Casa de Mujer Huamachuco is a space for personal and professional development for women and youth in a poor neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. Henna established a sexuality education program for youth, created a local youth support/friendship group, and delivered sexual health education workshops at a local health centre.
Hope Bigda-Peyton is an International Development student. She has started working in Panama with the Asociacion Nacional para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza (ANCON) under the mentorship of Prof. Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, of the Department of History at McGill. ANCON is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation and community development in Panama. Hope is developing a community-based water monitoring system and providing water monitoring training to support local communities in dealing with water contamination from mining projects.
Elaina Kaufman is an Art and Science student. She will be working in Ecuador with CENIT Ecuador (Centro de la Niña Trabajadora y Su Familia), under the mentorship of Prof. Frances Aboud of the Department of Psychology. CENIT is a non-profit organization that provides educational, health, social, recreational and psychological services to working girls and their families. Elaina will plan and facilitate reproductive health educational workshops and activities with female youth who work.
Adriana Decker is a Resident in Family Medicine at McGill. She will be in working in remote aboriginal communities in Ecuador under the mentorship of Prof. Alison Doucet of the McGill Faculty of Medicine. Adriana will be providing follow-up, supervision and support to local community health workers receiving training in a McGill Faculty of Medicine training program.
Isabelle Gerbeau is a student in Occupational Therapy. Under the supervision of Caroline Storr and Melissa Park, Isabelle worked in Guatemala with the occupational therapy field school of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology and the non-governmental organization Common Hope. Isabelle provided assessment, consultation and direct service in occupational therapy for the care and nutrition of infants with severe malnutrition, cleft palate, and developmental disabilities. She also trained staff, volunteers and families on early childhood development and assessment.
Mai Le is a masters student in Poltical Science and Development Studies. For her fellowship, she will be working with NeVo in Peru under the mentorship of Professor Phil Oxhorn. NeVo is a non-profit organization that promotes social development through volunteer initiatives in public health, education, and the environment. Mai Le participated in NeVo’s reproductive health program that teaches youth about preventative reproductive healthcare. She taught reproductive health classes and helped NeVo evaluate the effectiveness of their program.
Marisol Marfull Jensen is a 2nd year PHD student in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology. For her fellowship, Marisol worked with the University of Bio Bio and local disability organizations in a marginalized region of Chile, under the supervision of Professor Tara Flanagan. Bio-Bio is the most impoverished region of Chile and has the second largest population of people with disabilities in the country. More than 72% of working-age people with disabilities in Bio-Bio do not work and 42% have not finished primary school. Marisol worked with local employers to create more job opportunities for youth with disabilities in the region as well as prepare youth to take on these jobs through work, life-skills and job preparation training.
Fannie Martel is doing her Masters in Transcultural and Social Psychiatry. For her fellowship, Fannie worked at Centro de Promoción de la Mujer Gregoria Apaza (CPMGA) in Bolivia under the mentorship of Professor Duncan Pederson. CPMGA is a community-based service delivery organization for women living in situation of violence. Fannie facilitated workshops with local women to discuss their mental health needs, as well as workshops and trainings with staff and volunteers of CPMGA in organizational, management and intervention skills to improve their services for women victims of violence.
Jim Peterson is a student of Occupational Therapy. For his fellowship, Jim worked under the supervision of Caroline Storr with Fundaternura, a Colombian non-profit organization that offers free health and rehabilitation services to children and young adults from poor families who are living with multiple disabilities and intellectual challenges. Jim provided direct occupational therapy consultation to local children and families and strengthened volunteer training programs.
Sarah Shahani is an Occupational Therapy student. She worked under the supervision of Caroline Storr and Melissa Park in Guatemala with the occupational therapy field school of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology and the non-governmental organization Common Hope. Sarah provided occupational therapy and consultation for geriatric patients with severe disabilities.
Simca Theresa Simpson is an Honours student in International Development Studies, Economics and Hispanic Languages. For her fellowship, Simca worked at the Obra del Padre Mario Pantaleo in Argentina under the mentorship of Provost Anthony Masi. Obra del Padre Mario Pantaleo is an NGO working to meet basic physical and social needs in a region of Argentina where 70% of households live below the poverty line and 58.3% of residents are unemployed or underemployed. Simca worked to promote the employment of marginalized youth by delivering employment orientation seminars for local youth, doing outreach to local schools and an evaluation of Obra del Padre Mario Pantaleo’s current Youth Employment Strategy.
Virginie Tousignant is an Occupational Therapy student. For her fellowship, she worked under the supervision of Caroline Storr with Fundaternura, a Colombian non-profit organization that offers free health and rehabilitation services to children and young adults from poor families living with multiple disabilities and intellectual challenges. Virginie provided occupational therapy consultation to local children and families and worked to strengthen the organization’s volunteer infrastructure.
Amanda Tyer is doing her Masters of Social Work. For her fellowship, Amanda worked with Fe con Vida in Bogotá, Colombia under the mentorship of Professor Karen Heatherington. Fe con Vida provides psychosocial and financial support to persons and families affected by Cystic Fibrosis. Amanda assessed the needs of families and developed support groups for the families and persons with Cystic Fibrosis. She also organized educational activities for medical students, to increase their knowledge of Cystic Fibrosis.