The Faculty of Health welcomes 15 faculty members this fall. Part one of this two-part series will introduce the following new faculty members: Simon Adam, Lora Appel, Claudia Chaufan, Arthur Cheng, Sarah Evans, Erez Freud, Sean Hillier and Andrea Josse.
New faculty members Linda Juergensen, Laura Nicholson, Ann Pottinger, Shahirose Premji, Ruth Rodney, Emilie Roudier and Jessica Vorstermans will be featured in part two.
“A warm welcome to all students, faculty and staff who are returning to the Faculty of Health for another academic year, as well as those who are joining us for the first time,” said Dean Paul McDonald. “This will be an exciting year in the Faculty of Health. We are launching searches to hire 60 new faculty and staff, the largest single growth in our history. We will be developing a renewed strategic direction to improve research impact, student experience and success, implementing learning and teaching innovations, and laying the foundation to improve our space and infrastructure. Like always, our success is a function of the excellence, caring, generosity and creativity of the community that is the Faculty of Health.”
Simon Adam joins the School of Nursing as an assistant professor. He earned a BScN from Ryerson University, an MA and PhD from the University of Toronto and is a social scientist.
His program of scholarship focuses on the mental health industry, its various institutional and discursive dimensions, the consumer/survivor/mad experience, and alternative and counter-hegemonic ways of conceptualizing human illness, suffering and crisis. His work considers what is currently termed “mental illness” as largely a product of social, economic and political forces, while examining how education, professionalization and pop culture reproduce a medicalized way of understanding what is otherwise a normal human condition. Adam works with various communities, including electroshock/insulin shock survivors, mad people, women suffering from post-partum depression and people who use drugs.
Lora Appel joins the School of Health Policy and Management as an assistant professor. She earned an iBBA from the Schulich School of Business, and a master’s and PhD from Rutgers University. Her research interests are in virtual reality (VR), aging and dementia.
She holds the position of research scientist at OpenLab, an innovation centre housed at the University Health Network, the largest medical research organization in Canada, where she leads “Prescribing Virtual Reality (VRx),” a collection of studies that introduce and evaluate AR/VR/MR interventions for patients, caregivers and health-care providers. Appel received several grants from the Centre for Aging in Brain Health innovation to pursue this work in aging and dementia care.
She has been published in premier journals like the American Journal of Medicine and the International Journal of Medical Informatics, and has given talks at Harvard Medical School and the Royal College of Physicians in London. Her work with VR has resulted in several national media appearances, and her expertise is in applying design thinking and science methodologies to health care innovation. Appel is passionate about designing new technological interventions that provide care in the pursuit of a cure.
Claudia Chaufan joins the School of Health Policy and Management as an associate professor. She has an interdisciplinary background that spans medicine, sociology and philosophy. She practised medicine in her native Argentina before shifting to a career in sociology with a focus on the history and political economy of health, comparative health policy and critical genetics. Her research interests are corporatization of global health governance and global health instruction.
Current research projects include an assessment of the corporatization of global health governance, a cross-national analysis of the ideology of moral hazard and an assessment of active learning in global health instruction.
Chaufan has taught at the university level in Argentina, the U.S., Taiwan and Palestine. Past and present teaching includes sociological theory, the sociology of health and science, comparative health policy and the politics of health and global health. While her expertise is in Latin America, she has also conducted research on other selected regions in the global south. She is a former Fulbright scholar and Fulbright public/global health specialist, editorial board member and reviewer of several peer-reviewed journals, longtime member of and activist for the U.S. Physicians for a National Health Program, and supporter of several grassroots organizations opposing U.S./western intervention in the global south.
Arthur Cheng is an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. A primary focus of Cheng’s research is investigating the cellular mechanisms of skeletal muscle fatigue.
Underpinning his research is a unique technique that allows for real-time, intracellular Ca2+ imaging with simultaneous force measurement in living, intact single muscle fibres. Alongside continued studies of basic fatigue mechanisms, the aim of his research at York will be to discover novel fatigue-related mechanisms driving post-exercise recovery and skeletal muscle adaptations, with an emphasis on translational studies to understand and improve human skeletal muscle performance in healthy and diseased states.
Sarah Evans recently joined the School of Nursing’s teaching team as assistant lecturer. She has been teaching for several years with the Ryerson Collaborative BScN program.
Evans served on the Research Ethics Board since its inception at George Brown College and for five years as Chair of the board. As a BScN graduate of Ryerson University in 2002, and an MN graduate with a focus in gender studies from the University of Toronto in 2004, Evans embarked on continued educational studies and completed a doctorate in health education at d’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2012, focusing on high-fidelity simulation experiences in nursing programs.
Evans recently had the opportunity to attain further simulation instruction training through the Centre for Medical Simulation Training in Boston and is looking forward to incorporating this aspect of experiential teaching and learning with her students. Her research interests include the ever-evolving teaching and learning approaches, student success and increasing student engagement with the use of innovative strategies.
Erez Freud joins the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor. He earned a BA, MA and PhD from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
The Freud lab is focused on the investigation of the cognitive and neural processes that mediate our ability to perceive the world around us and to interact with objects in our environment.
Humans recognize and manipulate objects in their environments with astonishing ease and accuracy. These behaviours emerge early in life, are refined with development, and largely persist across the entire lifespan and into older adulthood. The primary goals of the lab are to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms that contribute to object recognition and the visuomotor control of objects, to characterize the interface between these two functions and to describe their emergence over development and their breakdown after brain damage or with aging.
To elucidate the psychological and neural bases of these various visual functions, his lab combines cutting-edge, functional MRI techniques and diverse behavioural methods (e.g. psychophysics, tracking of hand movements and neuropsychological testing) with typical and special populations, including children, older adults and patients with brain lesions.
Sean Hillier joins the School of Health Policy and Management as an assistant professor. He is a queer Indigenous scholar from the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. Currently, Hillier is researching the impact of policy on health-care delivery in remote First Nations communities for First Nations people living with HIV-AIDS.
His research focuses on how policy shapes and impacts health care for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Hillier conducts community-based and engaged research with a focus on Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing and being. He is completing his PhD in Policy Studies (Social Policy) from Ryerson University (Fall 2018). He has taught extensively in the areas of Indigenous health, social determinants of health, Indigenous law, and sexuality and gender.
He has served on Ryerson’s Research Ethics Board as their First Nations, Inuit, Métis expert. An advocate for human rights and equality, he aims to bring greater information to the general public regarding both First Nations people and LGBT issues. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), and he is the former co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Pride Toronto and WorldPride 2014 Toronto.
Andrea Josse is an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science (starting January 2019). She completed her undergraduate degree in kinesiology at McMaster University, her MSc in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, and her PhD in exercise physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, with a strong research focus on nutritional and physical activity interventions for health promotion and lifestyle modification in obesity.
She then completed a CIHR- and Canadian Diabetes Association-funded postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Nutritional Sciences (University of Toronto) in the areas of nutrigenomics and proteomics.
Josse joins York University from Brock University where she was an assistant professor for the past few years. Her general research area combines clinical nutrition and exercise physiology in the context of both health and chronic disease, and centres on lifestyle modification strategies and/or training regimens that manipulate diet and exercise to achieve a healthier body composition and/or a beneficial metabolic outcome. She is particularly interested in utilizing diet (i.e. functional whole foods, nutrients, supplements) with different modes of exercise (i.e. aerobic, resistance, plyometric) to facilitate healthy changes in body composition, body weight and bone in different populations across the lifespan. Most recently, she has started to undertake acute human studies to assess the postprandial and post-exercise effect of a nutritional and/or exercise perturbation on bone health and inflammation.
Watch for part two of “New Faces: Faculty of Health welcomes 15 new faculty members” in YFile on Tuesday, Oct. 9.