This story is published in YFile’s New Faces Feature Issue 2020, part two. Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments. Part one was published in the Sept. 11 edition.
The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) welcomes 35 new faculty members this fall: Teresa Abbruzzese, Laura Allen, Lalaie Ameeriar, Luke Arnason, Leo Baskatawang, Elizabeth Caravella, Julianne Chung, Lisa Davidson, Mehraneh Ebrahimi, Anja Krstić, Rachel La Touche, Poland Lai, Matthew Leisinger, Muyang Li, Abril Liberatori, Kinnon Ross MacKinnon, Casey Mecija, Ola Mohammed, Parisa Moosavi, Gang Pan, Jose Miguel Gonzalez Perez, Lelia Pourtavaf, Jake Pyne, Fereydoon Rahmani, Shama Rangwala, Daniel Richards, Jeannie Samuel, Tameka Samuels-Jones, Abigail Shabtay, Jennifer Spinney, Ian Stedman, Yvonne Su, Purevdorj Tuvaadorj, Akolisa Ufodike and Sanober Umar.
“LA&PS is extremely excited to welcome this year’s 35 new faculty members as we continue to renew and grow our full-time faculty complement,” said J.J. McMurtry, dean of LA&PS. “New faculty have been hired across a wide variety of LA&PS programs, and these individuals bring diverse experiences and expertise. They showcase an unwavering commitment to teaching – whether it takes place in person or remotely – and they continuously set examples with world-class research.”
Teresa Abbruzzese’s teaching and research interests weave together critical social, urban and cultural theory. Her scholarly trajectory is fuelled by her passionate interest in investigating urban socio-spatial struggles through different lenses. Her current theoretical and empirical preoccupations focus on new urban questions relating to digital city building and the production of smart city narratives. Along her scholarly travels, she has investigated the politics of road entertainment and struggling mobilities of fairground travellers in Southern Italy; traced Bruce Springsteen’s tracks in his search for place and identity at the heart of his urban narratives and song writing processes; examined socio-spatial articulations of neoliberal urbanism by specifically looking at metropolitan governance and social housing issues, as well as suburban sprawl, regional equity and place-based social movements in North America. Her teaching at the undergraduate level in the Urban Studies program focuses on helping students engage with urban questions and city building processes from an interdisciplinary perspective drawing on critical urban theories and methodologies. Central to her work in the program is community engaged scholarship facilitated through different experiential activities, such as: bringing students on neighbourhood walks and site visits; organizing a yearly group field trip; and coordinating student placements and a student mentorship program. Abbruzzese joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
Laura Allen, an assistant professor, is a committed teacher and scholar whose research explores race at the intersections of professional writing, digital media and community literacy. She recently earned a PhD in English from the Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy program at The Ohio State University. Her current project explores the role of digital and professional writing in the planning and sustaining of Black family reunions. Allen has presented at several national and international conferences, including the Conference on College Composition & Communication (CCCC) and the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC). She is a recipient of the 2020 Critel Digital Media Fellowship, the 2018 Digital Pedagogy Lab Fellowship and was selected for the CCCC Scholar for the Dream Award for 2019.
Allen earned a BA in English from Spelman College and an MA in digital rhetoric and professional writing from Michigan State University. She is committed to both educational and social justice, and she continues to be inspired by her students. When she is not writing, researching or teaching, Allen can be found spending time with family and friends, listening to podcasts or live music and learning to play new instruments.
Lalaie Ameeriar completed her MA and PhD in cultural and social anthropology at Stanford University. Her research engages with critical studies of race, racism and racialization, globalization, diaspora, affect and embodiment, labour studies and feminist studies with particular emphasis on transnational Muslim cultures. Her first book, Downwardly Global: Women, Work and Citizenship in the Pakistani Diaspora, was published by Duke University Press in 2017 and examines the intimate and affective dimensions of multicultural belonging. Her research draws from multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in Lahore and Karachi, Pakistan, London, England and Toronto, Canada. She has been a fellow at the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research and the Research Institute for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. She has been a member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, has received a University of California Faculty Research Fellowship in the Humanities, and a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. She has taught at the University of California and Goldsmiths, University of London.
Luke Arnason is an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the Department of French Studies. His role is centred on the first-year experience, helping students acclimatize to the expectations and standards of university studies. His approach is informed by his experiences in both the Canadian and French university systems: as an Anglophone Canadian, he pursued undergraduate studies in Canada followed by graduate studies at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. He thus shares a cultural, linguistic and educational background with his students, but has also had to learn to operate academically and professionally in a foreign language and culture. He has considerable experience with online teaching and curriculum design, as well as a versatile teaching background in areas that include language instruction, literature, theatre, music and general education. Arnason’s research background is focused on early modern French theatre and opera. He has published on the material conditions of early French theatre, with a focus on the role of ornaments such as prologues and entr’actes. In order to reconcile his love of baroque music (in a previous life, he was a professional chorister and harpsichordist) and his research and language teaching, he has worked as a pronunciation coach and “French expert” for various Toronto-based early music ensembles.
Leo Baskatawang is an Anishinaabe scholar from Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation, who is an influential social activist, writer, as well as decorated combat veteran. Prior to beginning his academic career, Baskatawang was enlisted in the United States Army as a member of the prestigious 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), at which time he completed two combat tours in support of the Global War On Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2012, Baskatawang initiated an activist movement called March 4 Justice, in which he walked from Vancouver to Ottawa, protesting the ‘Indian Act.’ Baskatawang, who will join the faculty in January 2021 as an assistant professor, is currently in the process of completing his PhD in native studies at the University of Manitoba, where he is putting the final touches on his doctoral dissertation: “Kinamaadiwin Inaakonigewin: A Path to Anishinaabe Cultural Resurgence and Reconciliation.” His SSHRC-funded doctoral research highlights a community-based approach to understanding the historical and contemporary conditions that shape the practices and meanings of Indigenous education, law, social justice and traditional knowledges. B askatawangalso critically engages with anti-colonial theory, thinking through the complexity of socio-legal concepts such as reconciliation and decolonization in the contexts of local Indigenous communities (in particular, the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3, Northwest Ontario) and in Canada more generally.
Elizabeth (Beth) Caravella
Elizabeth Caravella earned her PhD in writing and rhetoric at George Mason University, specializing in digital rhetoric, multimodal and visual composition and video games. Her research appears in Computers & Composition, Technical Communication Quarterly and a number of edited collections. In addition to academic research, Caravella also conducts industry research for a number of game developers, including Blizzard Entertainment and Bethesda Games. Her current work examines the rhetoric of visual cuing in video games, which she intends to move forward with as her first monograph.
Outside of teaching and research, she enjoys hiking, drawing, yoga and playing video games. She also fosters dogs for a local rescue, and always has cute puppy pictures to share. Caravella joins the Faculty as an assistant professor.
Julianne Chung is an assistant professor of philosophy at York, and was previously an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Louisville. She obtained her PhD from Yale University in December of 2015. Her primary areas of research are epistemology, philosophy of language, aesthetics and philosophy of mind. She is especially intrigued by questions having to do with skepticism, fictionalism and metaphor, as well as how cross-cultural philosophy can shed new light on them. She is also interested in whether (and how) works of art, and in particular, literature, can have epistemic content and value, and what the philosophical upshots of this might be. In addition, she serves as associate editor of Oxford Studies in Epistemology. She is also a member of the organizing committee for the Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought, vice-president of the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy, and president of the American Society for Aesthetics, Rocky Mountain Division. In the past, she has been a member of the American Philosophical Association’s committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies, and has been involved with teaching philosophy to pre-college aged students.
Lisa Davidson is an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the Department of Anthropology. Her current project, “All in God’s Time: Hope, Conviviality and Place-Making among Filipino Canadian Protestants,” is a collaborative study with urban Filipino Christian communities living in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg. The focus of this project is the question of tolerance, specifically what does it mean to be tolerated? This study elucidates how Filipinos in Protestant congregations are working to create and sustain a sense of place, community and belonging and the kinds of programs they are developing to support political and spiritual connections within their own communities with newly arrived immigrants, second and third-generation Canadian Filipinos and mixed-race Filipinos. Pedagogically, her study will include students in community-engaged learning for them to gain a deeper understanding of decolonizing research methods and urban anthropology through experiential learning. Previously, her work with multiracial and multicultural Protestant churches in Toronto focused on the intersectionality of ethics and migration to understand how a sense of unity and belonging is intertwined with hostility. She is co-editor of Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility (University of Toronto Press, 2012).
Mehraneh Ebrahimi’s area of specialization encompasses Middle Eastern diasporic writing. In particular, she studies the literary aftermath of the war on terror. In 2019, she published her first monograph, Women, Art, and Literature in the Iranian Diaspora, which studies intermedial works of art and literature such as graphic novels, videographic installations and photo-poetry. She proposes a new reading strategy to map the works’ engagement with aesthetics, ethics and politics. Her next research project called From Diaspora to Democracy, Middle Eastern Authors in Canada has been generously funded by MITACS. Working together with a post-doc researcher, she will study the Iranian diasporic community’s sites of resistance in the current day Tehranto and trace the contribution of immigrant literati to Canada’s art scenes. As a teacher, she wants to empower students with critical tools to read the world as closely as they read books. She has won several teaching awards including two placements on Western University student council’s “Teaching Honour Roll.” She practices a variety of pedagogical techniques to keep her lectures interactive. These include strategic use of digital learning interfaces, conducting formative assessments and inviting local poets and writers to my lecturers. She joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
Anja Krstić, who joins the faculty as an assistant professor, earned a PhD in organizational behaviour/human resource management from the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. She specializes in gender and diversity in organizations, with a focus on the intersection of gender and work-family policies and their impacts on employees’ career outcomes and, ultimately, gender equality. In one area of research, she examines how maternity leave length can impede women’s entry into leadership positions, examining boundary effects and identifying and testing practical interventions aimed to mitigate such negative effects. Her doctoral dissertation examined how paternity leaves impact men’s career outcomes, and suggests, counter to popular beliefs and fears, that taking a paternity leave can positively impact men’s careers while also providing them with an opportunity to care for and bond with their children. In her current research, Krstić continues to examine barriers to women’s ascent into leadership positions and factors that influence gender equality. In addition to her research, Krstić is also passionate about teaching and is looking forward to the opportunity to continue to both teach and learn from her students. In her spare time, she likes to read, bake and explore new places, and is always on the lookout for a great cappuccino.
Rachel La Touche
Rachel La Touche, who will join the faculty as an assistant professor, specializes in mental health, teaching pedagogy, race and ethnicity, stratification and inequality, quantitative methods and qualitative methods. Her research centers on inequality at the level of interaction, and within the social contexts that individuals routinely participate. Her current work focuses on how higher education institutions structure the mental health experiences and outcomes of those within them. She aims to revisit questions of inequality in educational settings in a forthcoming project by investigating how marginalized identities are confronted, evaluated and navigated in classroom settings.
La Touche has an established research background and an interdisciplinary and international teaching repertoire. She has taught courses for Indiana University-Bloomington, the University of Mannheim-Germany and at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program at the University of Michigan.
Poland Lai received her PhD in law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She received her bachelor of commerce (concentration in management science and minor in mathematics) from McGill, her master of arts (political economy) from Carleton, and her master of laws from Osgoode. Her interdisciplinary dissertation deals with the regulation and governance of long-term care homes in Ontario. She has presented her findings at legal and non-legal conferences. Part of her doctoral research will be published as a book chapter in Kate Aubrecht, Christine Kelly and Carla Rice, eds. The Aging-Disability Nexus (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020). Her doctoral research was supported by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and other awards. Lai’s research and teaching interests include various regulation and governance topics, such as the rise of the regulatory state, compliance and enforcement, and regulation inside government. Lai is no stranger to LA&PS. She was a tutorial leader for two courses (Criminology and Equity Studies) during her doctoral studies. Prior to joining the Department of Administrative Studies, she was a senior policy advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Finance. As a seasoned policy professional, Lai has extensive experience with the Ontario government. She joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
Matthew Leisinger was appointed to the Department of Philosophy in 2019 and has been completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in the U.K. His areas of research are early modern philosophy and moral psychology, focusing in particular on John Locke and Ralph Cudworth. As an assistant professor he will be teaching courses in the history of modern philosophy and other topics related to his research. He has also taught courses on a range of topics, including bioethics and personal identity. He is currently working on Ralph Cudworth’s manuscripts on free will and has published in a number of academic venues, including the British Journal for the History of Philosophy and the Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
Muyang Li is a PhD candidate of sociology at University at Albany, State University of New York, and expects to graduate in December 2020 before joining the faculty as an assistant professor. She is interested in digital sociology, cultural sociology, authoritarianism and gender issues. With an interdisciplinary background in sociology, computational social science and communication, she has been trained in a variety of methodological approaches and uses qualitative, statistical and computational methods. Her research is organized around a key question: how does media interact with democracy and social life? Li’s dissertation adopts a mixed-methods approach to explore the negotiation between the authoritarian state of China and the public in defining democracy through the social media, and reveals how the authoritarian regime survived the ideological crisis in the social media era through the combination of repressive and hegemonic media strategies. Her research was funded by the US National Science Foundation and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.
ABril Liberatori is the new Mariano A. Elia Chair in Italian-Canadian Studies at York University. She received her PhD in history from York in 2017. A historian by training, her research focuses on the experiences of Italian-Canadians in the post-Second World War period. She is particularly interested in ethnic identity formation, as well as gender, transnational and oral history. She has published on topics such as language, memory, music and food among Italian immigrants in North and South America. Liberatori also has experience in the public sector, having worked at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman. She has taught courses on Canadian history, social history and global history.
Kinnon Ross MacKinnon
Kinnon Ross MacKinnon is a community-engaged researcher who is curious about the social world, people and how health and social care systems are organized. Stemming from interdisciplinary training in public health and social work, MacKinnon’s research uncovers gaps in health and social services, seeking solutions to improve care. MacKinnon specializes in LGBTQ2 health service transformation. MacKinnon is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and previously completed a Lupina fellowship at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and a fellowship in health professions education research at the Wilson Centre (Faculty of Medicine, U of T). MacKinnon joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
MacKinnon’s collaborative academic articles appear in Advances in Health Sciences Education, the International Journal of Mental Health, Theory in Action and more. MacKinnon has published public commentaries in Huffington Post Canada, The Winnipeg Free Press, and The Advocate. MacKinnon’s dissertation mobilization project, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, features a digital educational resource for healthcare professionals. MacKinnon is also a former Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral Fellow (2015-19).
Casey Mecija is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies and holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. Her current research theorizes sounds made in and beyond Filipinx diaspora to make an argument about a “queer sound” that permeates diasporic sensibilities. Her work suggests that media production enables diasporic people to create forms of belonging that defy racialized ascriptions born from racism, colonialism and their gendered dimensions. She is also a musician and filmmaker, whose work has received a number of accolades and has been presented internationally. Mecija has a history of employment in radio and television production, and co-founded “From Song to Studio,” a mentorship program with Regent Park School of Music.
Ola Mohammed, who joins the faculty as an assistant professor, specializes in interdisciplinary research exploring Black cultural production, Black social life and Black being as sites of possibility. Her dissertation, “The Black Nowhere: The Social and Cultural Politics of Listening to Black Canada(s),” examines the sonic dimension of anti-Blackness in Canada; her research interests include Black popular music, Black studies, sound studies, diaspora studies, performance theory and digital culture. Mohammed has an extensive background in student activism, is a founding member of the York Black Graduate Students’ Collective which advocated and worked to implement Black Studies/Black Canadian Studies at York at the undergraduate and graduate level and is looking forward to continue to contribute to the development of Black Studies at York as a faculty member.
Parisa Moosavi received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto in 2019. She specializes in ethics, philosophy of artificial intelligence and philosophy of biology. In addition to a doctorate in philosophy, she also holds a master’s degree in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in artificial intelligence from Sharif University of Technology in Iran. Moosavi currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship in the ethics of artificial intelligence at York and as an assistant professor will be teaching courses in theoretical ethics and applied ethics, including the ethics of AI.
Gang Pan is an assistant professor in the Department of Literatures, Languages & Linguistics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. His PhD was a collaboration of East Asian studies (Department of East Asian Studies) and sexual diversity studies (Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies) at the University of Toronto. He was an editor of Bejing Literature. His research project in progress is “Prodigals in Love: Narrating Gay Identity on the Early Internet in China.” The research studies the eruption of gay narratives, numbering tens of thousands, on the Chinese internet in its first decade, from 1995 to 2005. The research reveals how a generation of men swiftly translated a cluster of conditions converging at the advent of the internet to form a gay identity and collectivity in a society where openly challenging the authorities was minimal. Pan is the third author of a Chinese language textbook, Speaking Out: Issues and Controversies (geshu jijian), to be published in by Routledge in May 2020. His teaching and research interests include Chinese language, modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture, Chinese martial arts culture, Chinese cinema, Chinese theatre, sexuality in China and digital culture in China. Pan provides in his courses a purview of modern Chinese culture encompassing language, literature, martial arts culture, sexuality, cinema, theatre and digital culture. His teaching integrates analytical skills, critical thinking, prospect and progressiveness. He sees teaching as a practice to help students to grow into future leaders with conscience in an ever-changing world. Pan is joining the faculty as an assistant professor.
Jose Miguel Gonzalez Perez
Jose Miguel Gonzalez Perez is an assistant professor in the International Development Studies program at York. In recent years he has taught both in the undergraduate and graduate programs in International Development at York. His current research relates to two broad themes and projects: First, Indigenous self-governance and territorial autonomous regimes in Latin America. On this question he has published extensively (see here for instance) and he co-edited a themed issue for a specialized academic journal in the field on indigenous studies. In 2016 Perez co-edited a thematic issue of the Latin America and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal (LACES) on the topic of Indigenous Autonomies in Latin America. Perez’s second area of interest is the governance of small-scale fisheries in the global south, with a particular geographical concentration in the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast. Perez is a researcher associated with the Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research and with the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University. His current research involves the comparative study of multiethnic and indigenous governance regimes in the Americas, which will result in the publication of a volume on Indigenous Autonomy in the Americas. This publication is sponsored by the International Working Group on Indigenous Peoples (IWGIA) and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (Kakenhi).
Lelia Pourtavaf holds a PhD from the Department of History at the University of Toronto, and was most recently a visiting assistant professor at NYU’s Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her research stands at the intersection of gender, modernity and Middle East history with a focus on Qajar Iran. Her upcoming book project, The Cosmopolis Harem, looks at the social, cultural and spatial dimensions of the women’s quarter of Nasir al-Din Shah’s court in the second half of the 19th century.
Pourtavaf is also an independent curator, and her exhibition and film programs have been shown at various Canadian institutions including the Blackwood Gallery, the South Asian Visual Arts Center, Articule and La Centrale Gallery. She has published in a wide range of journals in both academic and cultural realms, including The Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Iran Namag: Bilingual Quarterly of Iranian Studies, INCITE Journal of Experimental Media, Fuse Magazine and ArtEast. She is the editor of Féminismes Électriques (2013), a bilingual collection of essays which reflect on the history of feminist art and cultural production.
Jake Pyne joins York as an assistant professor in the School of Social Work with research interests in transgender studies, critical disability studies, critical autism studies, fat studies and queer of colour critique. Pyne’s doctoral research was an inquiry into the forms of life that have become available to (some) trans youth in recent years, asking how and for whom these futures are now thinkable in this time and place. His current research focuses on the intersection of autistic and transgender life and he is presently at work on a related book project entitled Building a Person. With a background in community development and community-based research, over the past 20 years Pyne has worked alongside countless dedicated colleagues on projects in Toronto’s trans community to improve access to shelter and emergency services, health care and family law justice, and to build support for gender independent kids and trans youth. Pyne is a former Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Trudeau Scholar, Vanier Scholar and the recipient of the 2019 SSHRC Talent Award.
Fereydoon Rahmani’s research explores critical human rights and the Middle East, social exclusion, justice, war, violence, ethnicity, social policy and quality of life. Social indicators of health as well as social indicators systems are finding special attention in his subjective and objective quality of life assessment. He has been active in research and teaching at different universities and international institutions in Europe and the Middle East. Quantitative and qualitative research methods, statistical analysis, SPSS, sociometeric scaling and large data analysis are used extensively in his applied/field research. His early research focused on topics related to social demography, urbanization, social movements and peace and reconciliation. Rahmani coined the term “rooftop societies” for Middle Eastern countries, which postulates the existence of extensive socio-cultural and political incongruity. His most recent book titled Rooftop Societies: the Middle East Paradox is his latest sociological analysis of the Middle East. He joins the Faculty as an associate professor.
Shama Rangwala’s intermedia and interdisciplinary research focuses on the reproduction of racial capitalism throughout modern history and across narrative forms, conceptualizing “ideological adaptation,” which she defines as textual adaptations that track the adaptation of ideology itself. Her current research examines early-20th-century canonical American novels and their early-21st-century film adaptations in relation to the reproduction of the mythologies that sustain the settler-colonial nation, along with the ideological adaptation of liberalism during our contemporary moment of accumulation crisis. Rangwala’s teaching interests include: critical race theory; feminist theory; critiques of imperialism and settler-colonialism; literary and critical theory; film, media and cultural studies; and 19th- and 20th-century Anglophone literature. She is passionate about teaching students how to take their education outside of the classroom and university. Her academic writing has appeared in Public and English Studies in Canada, with a forthcoming article in Canadian Review of American Studies. Her public-facing writing has appeared in Jacobin, Public Books, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Sprawl and Canadaland. She is the founding editor of Pyriscence, a culture and politics website, a regular panellist on Alberta Primetime (CTV) and a frequent contributor to news, podcasts and other media.
Daniel Richards is from New Zealand but has taught at universities in England, Hong Kong and Australia. He joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
He teaches personal finance and financial planning. His research is based in two academic disciplines: behavioural finance and personal financial planning. For behavioural finance, his research focuses on decision-making bias exhibited by stock market investors and the use of emotions in financial decision making. For financial planning, his research interests include women working in financial planning, fiduciary duty in financial planning and the professionalization of financial planners.
Jeannie Samuel is an interdisciplinary scholar with a PhD in public health sciences from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, with expertise in health equity and human rights. She is appointed to the Health and Society program at York as an assistant professor and teaches in the areas of environmental health, health and humanitarianism and gender and health. She has a particular interest in community engaged and hands-on learning practices. Before pursuing an academic track, Samuel spent 15 years working in Canada and the global south on equity-related social and environmental issues. She held a permanent staff position within the United Nations system, with postings in Africa and Latin America. Samuel has also worked extensively in Canada on a range of health equity related issues, including community-based health promotion with socially excluded groups in Toronto and youth engaged in environmental justice activism in British Columbia. She is an active board member for the Ottawa-based international social justice NGO, Inter Pares. Samuel is currently pursuing a research agenda focusing on different types of human rights-based accountability mechanisms for addressing health inequities faced by marginalized people. She is also developing a second research stream focused on environmental health equity.
Tameka Samuels-Jones teaches corporate social responsibility and sustainability with an emphasis on developing country contexts. Her research interests include environmental crime and regulatory law. Specifically, she conducts research on the role of legal pluralism on regulatory compliance among legally autonomous groups in emerging economies. Samuels-Jones has received numerous awards for her work in this area including the American Society of Criminology’s Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship award. Samuels-Jones’ work has been published in various academic journals and presented at international conferences. She joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
Abigail Shabtay teaches in the Children, Childhood, and Youth program in the Department of Humanities. She has also lectured in the fields of childhood studies, creative arts and education at McGill University, the University of Toronto, and Ryerson University. Shabtay is joining the faculty as an assistant professor. She has received awards for excellence in teaching and research in her field, including the Ada Slaight Drama in Education Award (2018-19), the Jackie Kirk Fieldwork Award (2018-19), the DISE Outstanding Teaching Award (2018) and the Dean’s Graduate Award in Education (2015-18). Shabtay’s published work focuses on children’s rights, child-centred pedagogies, youth activism, social justice and drama-based participatory action research. She has served on organizing committees for six national academic conferences in her field and is the primary organizer and conference chair for this year’s Children, Youth and Performance Conference at the Toronto Young People’s Theatre. Her research and teaching interests include: children’s rights, child-centred research methodologies, experiential learning, participatory youth cultures, drama and arts-based methods and youth activism.
Jennifer Spinney studies the various connections between groups of people living and working at the intersections of environment and society, particularly extreme weather hazards and disasters, such as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and heat, in both Canada and the United States. She uses mostly qualitative research methods, such as interviewing and observations, to understand how people make meaning, assess and communicate risk, how they engage in protective action decision-making, as well as the variability of their social recovery following hazard and disaster experiences. In her work, she draws heavily on scholarly contributions from the fields of linguistic and sociocultural anthropology, and anthropology of disaster, risk and policy literatures. Past field investigations include: the Joplin, Missouri EF5 tornado, a flood event in the Canadian arctic and numerous projects working with government agencies to assist with enhancements to their forecast and warning operations, communication practices and product development. With funding from the Northern Tornadoes Project, she is currently examining social recovery following the Angus and Dunrobin (Ontario) tornado disasters, for which there is opportunity for interested undergraduate and graduate students to participate. She is eager to pursue research collaborations with colleagues, and private and public emergency management practitioners. To these ends, she welcomes inquiries by email. She’s also a proud three-time Boston marathon finisher (2015, 2016, 2017) and in her spare time you will most surely find her jogging, travelling with her family or kicking a soccer ball with her son in the yard.
Ian Stedman, BA (Hon), MA, LLB, LLM, PhD, is an assistant professor, Canadian Public Law and Governance in the School of Public Policy and Administration. After being called to the bar of Ontario in 2009, Stedman practiced law in the private sector before moving to the public sector where he advised public officials about their ethical and legal obligations. His expertise in public sector governance, particularly in relation to ethics and accountability, accordingly, underscores much of his academic work. Being a person with a rare disease, Stedman also advocates for the rare disease community and has a growing research program focusing on the technologies and policies driving greater personalization in healthcare. During his doctorate, Stedman held the inaugural research fellowship in Artificial Intelligence Law & Ethics at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Computational Medicine. He subsequently held a post-doctoral fellowship researching the Governance of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare at Professor Rebecca Pillai Riddell’s Opportunities to Understanding Childhood Hurt (OUCH) Lab, at York. Stedman serves as a legal member on the REB at SickKids and is a member of both SickKids’ Artificial Intelligence in Medicine for Kids Task Force and York University’s A.I. and Society Task Force. His work in the area of law and technology earned him the IP Osgoode David Vaver Medal for Excellence in IP Law in 2020.
Yvonne Su is an assistant professor in Interdisciplinary Refugee and Diaspora Studies in the Department of Equity Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. She is a member of the Centre for Refugee Studies and the York Centre for Asian Research. Su is a specialist on forced migration, climate change-induced displacement, migrant remittances and post-disaster recovery. She holds a PhD in political science and international development from the University of Guelph and a MSc in refugee and forced migration studies from the University of Oxford. Broadly, her research interests focus on migration and development, refugee protection and disaster risk reduction. Her current research examines south-south humanitarian responses in the context of forced migration using the case study of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in Brazil. Previously, Su spent seven months in the Philippines researching the role of migrant remittances in post-disaster recovery after Typhoon Haiyan. Su’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from SSHRC, IDRC, Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario and the Mackenzie King Scholarship Trust. She is also the recipient of over 25 national and international awards and scholarships including the Young Woman of Distinction Award and the University of Guelph’s Young Alumni Award.
Purevdorj Tuvaadorj is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at York University specializing in econometrics.
His current research focuses on developing methods for drawing robust inferences with weak identification, and randomization inference methods for microeconometric models with heterogeneity.
He received his PhD from McGill University.
Akolisa Ufodike is an assistant professor in the School of Administrative Studies where he will be teaching auditing. His research interests include accountability, public-private partnerships and actor networks. He is an ad hoc reviewer for JBE, BAFA, AAA and CAAA, and a CPA case examiner and brand ambassador. Ufodike is a licensed public practitioner by CPA Alberta. Prior to academia, he spent 25 years as a finance executive with professional experience spanning telecoms, banking, oil and gas, utilities and consumer packaged goods with organizations including Bell Canada and Molson Coors. He was co-founder and CFO for Jaguar Wireless, a participant in the 2007 Canadian wireless spectrum auction. His last role in industry was as CFO and COO of Corridor Communications Inc. (CCI Wireless), one of Canada’s largest wireless ISP’s. A graduate of Haskayne’s PhD and Cornell’s MBA program, Ufodike is a Canadian FCPA, a US CPA, a UK FCCA and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He’s also a Certified Director ICD.D by the Institute of Corporate Directors. Ufodike sits on the Provincial Audit Committee for Alberta and the board of the Canada Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. He previously sat on the board of the Loyalist Group, a TSX Listed Company where he was also chair of the Audit Committee. He has served on the board of several charities, including Peel Literacy Guild where he was treasurer and the Black Business and Professional Association. Ufodike has also previously served as treasurer for Scouts Canada (Chinook Council) and thereafter as the chairman.
Sanobar Umar completed her PhD recently as an Ontario Trillium scholar at Queen’s University, receiving the best dissertation prize from the Department of History. Umar also holds an MSc in migration studies from the University of Oxford and a MA in international politics and history from the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development, Geneva. Her works have been published in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (London), Journal of Indian Secularism (Mumbai), Journal of Caste and Global Exclusion (Massachusetts) and she has an upcoming chapter to be published this fall with the Routledge Memory and Narrative Series (Toronto). Umar has worked with transnational organizations including the International Organization of Migration (UN), World Vision and COMPAS – Oxford. She has also published reports on the deskilling of migrant women in Canada, Switzerland and Ireland, and served as consultant on legal aid accessibility for asylum seekers in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in the U.K. Her recent research on gender, race and caste among Indian Muslims has won her several accolades, including the prestigious Barbara Ransby Graduate Feminist Scholar Award from NWSA in 2017 and an honourable mention for the Bluestone Rising Scholars Award in 2020.