Alumni

ABRAMOVICH, Alex (MA 2008)

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Photo credit: Zoë Gemelli Photography

Alex Abramovich (MA 2008) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Young, Queer and Homeless in Toronto: Where is the Support? Aleks works at St. Michael's Hospital, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, as Research Assistant participating in qualitative research projects on inter-professional education, collaboration and knowledge translation. Alex completed a PhD at OISE, University of Toronto, in September 2009. For more information see Alex's website.

ACKERMANN, Monica (MA 2008)

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Monica Ackermann (MA 2008) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Redefining Job Accommodation: Systemic Inclusion In The Virtual Landscape Of The Information Economy. Monica continues to be a partner at Assistive Vocational Technology Associates (AVTA) providing job accommodation consultation, ergonomic and accessibility services for people with disabilities and their employers. She is currently consultant to the Enabling Solutions Support Management Group at Scotiabank implementing systemic IT accessibility solutions. She is also a member of the AODA Employment Accessibility Standards Development Committee and a board member at ARCH Disability Law Centre.

BERNASKY, Tammy (MA 2014; PhD Candidate)

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Tammy Bernasky (MA 2014; PhD Candidate) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Towards Anti-colonial Inclusion: An analysis of Australian and British Disability inclusive development workTammy continues her studies as a PhD Candidate in the Critical Disability Studies graduate program. She interviewed with the Review of Disability Studies Journal and she mentioned her experience as a Masters student in the Critical Disability Studies Program: rdsinternationaljournal.blogspot.ca/2014/08/an-interview-with-tammy-bernasky.html

CHAN, Nathan (MA 2006)

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Photo credit: Britton Ledingham of Airdrie Echo

Nathan Chan (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on AIDS in the Workplace. Nathan also completed a Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership at University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2007 and a Masters in International Business at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. He has become an artist in Calgary whose paintings have been showcased and recognized. He is also an active chamber and orchestral musician, and currently maintains a studio teaching private cello and speech arts lessons.

CLEMENT, Jenny (MA 2007)

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Jenny Clement (MA 2007) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on A Crucial Ingredient: Employer and Co-worker Attitudes Towards People with Verbal Speech DisabilitiesJenny is working at the Rick Hansen Institute, and previously worked at the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, Gilda's Club Simcoe Muskoka, and ARCH Disability Law Center as a Community Legal Worker where she conducted a needs assessment across the province of Ontario to determine the legal issues that Ontarians with disabilities encounter. Jenny also holds a Masters in Social Work from York.

DEVANEY, Julie (MA 2006)

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Julie Devaney (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Clinical Encounters: The Politics of My Leaky Body. "My Leaky Body" is also the title of a play she wrote and performed across Canada (website www.myleakybody.com). Julie is a patient activist living in Toronto. As well as being the author of My Leaky Body (Goose Lane Editions: 2012), she is co-editor of MESS: The Hospital Anthology (Tightrope Books: 2014).  My Leaky Body was one of Quill and Quire’s Top Five Non-fiction books of 2012.  Julie was named a Woman Health Hero by Best Health Magazine in 2011 and has been profiled on CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art and The Current, in Chatelaine and the Toronto Star. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life and numerous anthologies. Julie has presented at medical schools, nursing conferences and theatres throughout Canada and in the US and the UK using participatory techniques with patients and professionals to formulate strategies for change and innovation in healthcare. Her work at the University Health Network in Toronto has transformed real patient stories into staff training.

ERICKSON, Lorrie (MA 2005)

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Photo credit: David Findlay

Loree Erickson (MA 2005) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on They Call It Struggle For a Reason: A Sex Positive Reflection on Sites of Shame as Sites of Resistance For People with Disabilities. Lorrie also completed a doctoral degree in Environmental Studies at York. Loree describes herself as a "poly queer femmegimp porn star academic." Erickson’s lengthy title designates her as a polyamorous member of the queer, disabled community. She takes on a traditionally feminine sexual role in her filmed pornography work which has included the creation of queer disability or “crip” porn, which she uses for research.

FENNELL, Janice (MA 2006)

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Janice Fennell (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on I'm Not Your Superwoman: Effects of Multiple Roles, Multiple Identities and Traditional Role Obligations on the Mental Health of Women of African Descent.  Janice also completed a doctoral degree in Education at York. Janice was hired by the Toronto District School Board to work with students with learning disabilities and their teachers, and currently works as Manager, Accessible Learning Services and AODA at Mohawk College.

GILLIES, Jennifer (MA 2005)

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Jennifer Gillies (MA 2005) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Campus Athletic Opportunities for University Students with Disabilities: Is It Their Right?  Jennifer also completed a doctoral degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies at University of Waterloo. She has been the Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington, and is currently Manager AccessAbility Services at the University of Waterloo.

GORMAN, Martha (MA 2006)

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Martha Gorman (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Human Rights Policies & Ending the OSSLT. Martha worked as an educational consultant for disability and technology issues with the different school boards in the GTA, and is currently Director of Professional Development Programs at Fair Chance Learning, an organization she co-founded in Toronto. As an educator, accessibility and technology expert, Martha believes in the potential of all learners. By creating strong partnerships with innovative learning environments, school districts and leading educational professionals, Martha has helped unlock individual abilities and improve human achievement.

LILA, Azim (MA 2006)

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Azim Lila (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies (Constitutional Law and Human Rights) at York University on Critical Perils in Community and Government Based Programmes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Azim also completed a Master of Science in International Political Economy studying at Peking University in Beijing, China as part of a Double MSc in International Relations. He also attended New York University as part of the Global Affairs Program, United Nations in Geneva, and attended the London School of Economics and Political Science where he received a Master of Science in International Affairs. Azim was co-founder of Pivotal, a technology start-up with a focus on software outsourcing, sales and business development of imported CPG goods,and sales of adaptive technology equipment. He has also served as a United Nations Consultant on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and is currently Senior Manager, Digital Strategy & Business Development at President's Choice Financial.

LYTLE, Christopher (MA 2006)

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Christopher Lytle (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Interrogating Disability as a Racial Project: A Critical Analysis of Disability as a Socio-Historical. Christopher works as AODA Coordinator at Brock University.  He has extensive experience in international disability policy analysis, development, Human Rights implementation and training, and was called upon to participate in the creation of the UN draft text of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) in 2004. He has since worked towards ratification and implementation in various global regions. At the provincial level he uses his knowledge of disability as a rights issue to work towards the implementation of the AODA IASR within private and public organizations, and believes that local, regional and international markets should strive to become inclusive.

After returning from Nouakchott (Mauritania, Africa) as Communications Agent under the auspices of DPI (Disabled Peoples International) with the Pan African Federation of the Disabled setting up communications with regional advocacy groups, he was elected to the Board of Directors for the Canadian Council of International Cooperation through the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Then, he was employed by the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centre (Head Quarter) in Ottawa as a Research and Policy Consultant for a literacy and quality of life project. He also worked in Toronto at Disability Rights Promotion International as a Research Associate and as a Consultant for the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto with the Safe Engaged Environments-Disability (SEED) project.

MARKOWITZ, Macey (MA 2008)

Macey Markowitz (MA 2008) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on ADD/ADHD:  A Holistic Approach. Macey worked as Content Developer for the Yast Project at the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work.

MARSOLAIS, Allyson (MA 2005)

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Allyson Marsolais (MA 2005) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on "Revisionist Historians"  The Role of Narrative in the Identity Formation Process in Queer Women, Women Psychiatric Survivors and Queer Women Psychiatric Survivors. Allyson is Director of Operations at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and a Board Member on A Way Home - National Coalition to End Youth Homelessness.

MIKROYIANNAKIS, Iphigenia

Iphigenia Mikroyiannakis is working with the Ministry of Health on Access to Services and the Wait Time Strategy. Her team is aiming to improve access to health care services and decrease wait times in the province.

MIZEL, Ilana (MA 2006)

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Ilana Mizel (MA 2006) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Definitions of Disability in Canadian Constitutional and Human Rights Legislation: Implications for Persons with Chronic Illnesses. Ilana attended the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law where she received a degree in Law (L.L.B.). She is currently Assistant Crown Attorney in Windsor and serves on the Windsor Essex Local Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee.

MONACO, Maria

Maria Monaco works for Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (OFCMHAP).

NABBALI, Essya M. (MA 2008)

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Essya M. Nabbali (MA 2008) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on On the Social Model of Disability and Its Applicability to Mad PrideEssay is pursuing a doctoral degree in Sociology at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests span the fields of critical theory, identity/politics, social movements, grassroots pedagogy, and international “development,” particularly within medical and colonial sociologies. She has presented both academic papers and creative works on these themes in Canada, Europe, and the United States of America. In 2013, Essya spent most of the year as a research affiliate of the University of Ghana at Legon.

O'BRIEN, Jennifer

Jennifer O'Brien works as a researcher in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management at the University of Saskatchewan/Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

ODELL, Tracy (MA 2005)

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Tracy Odell (MA 2005) completed a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University on Not Your Average Childhood:  Lived Experience of Children with Physical Disabilities Raised in Bloorview Hospital, Home and School From 1960 To 1989. Tracy is currently Head of of the Inclusion Unit at the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, and is Treasurer of Citizens with Disabilities Ontario. She was also Director of the Accessibility Program Design and Delivery, and was Manager, Corporate and Program Resource Unit, Special Education Policy and Programs Branch, Ontario Ministry of Education.

ORFANAKOS, Adam

Adam Orfanakos works at the Ombudsman Ontario as Investigator.

PADMORE, Candace

Candace Padmore is at the University of Leicester studying Law.

PARENT, Laurence

Laurence Parent will start her PhD degree in Humanities at Concordia University in September 2011.

PATERSON, Jennifer

Jennifer Paterson works at the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, as Student Engagement Facilitator. Congratulations to her upon publication of a co-authored article with Jessica Hogan and Heather Willis in the Fall 2008 issue of "Disability Studies Quarterly" about teaching disability studies at Ryerson University.

PROSZOWSKI, Tom

Tom Proszowski continues to be the Director of Employment Equity & Diversity at CIBC Bank.

RENNER, Stephanie

Stephanie Renner is pursuing a doctoral degree in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University.

RIMON-GREENSPAN, Hila

Hila Rimon-Greenspan is a researcher at Bizchut - The Israel Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities.

RINALDI, Jen (PhD 2013)

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Jen Rinaldi (2013) completed a PhD in the Critical Disability Studies at York University on  Autonomy, Equality, and Respect for Difference: Investigating Principle-Based Approaches to Technologically Mediated Reproductive ContextsJen is an Assistant Professor in the Legal Studies Program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Her current work engages with narrative and arts-based methodologies to re-imagine eating disorder recovery in relation to queer community. Rinaldi also works in collaboration with Recounting Huronia, an arts-based collective that explores and stories traumatic histories of institutionalization. See her website (https://jenrinaldiphd.wordpress.com) and follow her on Twitter (@RinaldiJen).

SIKAND, Meenu

Meenu Sikand won the 2011 Humanitarian of the Year Award presented by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

SILBIGER, Helen

Helen Silbiger is currently working at Stephen Lewis Foundation as Grandmother's Campaign Assistant. Before joining the Foundation, Helen held a position as HIV/AIDS Advisor with the Ministry of Education in Malawi on its project entitled "Equity in Education Project in Malawi". This project addresses the needs of girls and vulnerable students in primary education through HIV/AIDS programming. She had a major success with the first ever World AIDS Day event held on December 1st, 2006.

SINGH, Michelle

Michelle Singh works at Reena a support worker in Thornhill. This is an agency that works with people with developmental disabilities.

STAFFORD, Andrea

Andrea Stafford continues to be the Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor of the Law and Security Administration Program at Sheridan College.

STANIMIROVIC, Aleksandra

Aleksandra Stanimirovic works at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as Research Coordinator. She has recently co-authored two articles entitled "Expression of the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion gene predicts cancer recurrence after surgery for localised prostate cancer" and "A genome-wide association screen identifies regions on chromosomes 1q25 and 7p21 as risk loci for sporadic prostate cancer"

STONE, Melanie

Melanie Stone  pursued a doctorate degree in History at Western University as of September 2013.

WALKER, Jennifer

Jennifer Walker works as Content Developer at Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario).

WALSH, Samantha

Samantha Walsh is pursuing a doctoral degree at OISE, University of Toronto.

WU, Libo

Libo Wu is a Research Assistant for the Gap Analysis Project on Employment Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in the Region of Peel.