Connaught PhDs for Public Impact Fellowship Advisory Committee
Dr. Vina Goghari (Chair of the Advisory Committee)
Vina Goghari is a Professor of clinical psychology, and the Vice-Dean, Research and Program Innovation at the School of Graduate Studies. She is the academic lead of the Centre for Graduate Professional Development. She also Chairs the Advisory Committee for the Connaught PhDs for Public Impact initiative – an initiative she took the lead in conceptualizing. She is also a dedicated educator having published in the area of training and education in both undergraduate and graduate studies. For her work, she was awarded two prestigious national awards in 2021, the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology and the Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Program Award for Excellence in Professional Training – Academic. She is the Editor of Canadian Psychology, the flagship journal of the Canadian Psychological Association, and an Associate Editor of Clinical Psychological Science. The main aim of her research is to advance scientific knowledge in the causes, course and outcome, and treatment of psychosis.
Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. His research examines the intersections of race, crime and criminal justice, with a particular focus on the area of policing. Prior to becoming a professor, Professor Owusu-Bempah held positions with Canada’s National Judicial Institute, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He is frequently sought out to provide commentary and advice to police agencies, government bodies, community organizations, and media outlets on matters relating to policing, justice and social inequality.
Amalia Gil is a Professional Engineer passionate about tackling pressing issues. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, her professional journey began as a chemical process engineer at GreenMantra Technologies where she helped build the company’s processing facility that converts waste plastic to higher value-added products. To date, this facility has diverted over 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills. She then shifted gears to follow her passion for medical technology and completed the Master of Health Science in Clinical Engineering program at the University of Toronto. She is now a Clinical Implementation Engineer at Surgical Safety Technologies, supporting the improvement of patient safety through the implementation of the OR Black Box® technology. Outside of work, Amalia is also very passionate about outreach. She has participated in the Engineering in Residence program that matches an engineer with an elementary school for one year to teach grades kindergarten to grade eight about science and engineering. She has also competed in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, presenting her research in a succinct, accessible, and engaging presentation. She was awarded first place in the University of Toronto, Ontario provincial, and regional Northeastern Association of Graduate Student (NAGS) 2020 competitions. She also received first place in St. Michael’s Hospital’s elevator pitch competition in 2019. Amalia continues to expand her knowledge outside of the technology field and is very excited to learn and support the amazing public impact research through the Connaught PhDs for Public Impact Fellowship Program to further help address the issues facing the public.
Dr. Amrita Daniere
Dr. Amrita Daniere is a Professor of Geography and Planning. She served as the Co-Director of the Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership (funded through the IPaSS program, a cooperative initiative of SSHRC and IDRC). In March 2016, she was appointed Vice-Principal, Academic and Dean at U of T Mississauga for five years (2016-2021). Dr. Daniere has worked for over 20 years on issues related to infrastructure provision, urban environmental issues and community governance in Southeast Asian cities including Bangkok, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City. The current research project involves bringing together scholars and city builders from across North America and Southeast Asia to study how to better plan for urban climate change impacts, particularly in the rapidly growing secondary cities of Asia. Dr. Daniere holds a PhD in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Dr. Andrea Gill
Dr. Andrea Gill (she/her) is the Research Equity and Development Strategist in the Research Services Office, Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Dr. Gill is actively involved in initiatives to support equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research and innovation at the University of Toronto, including the implementation of the University’s Canada Research Chairs Program EDI Action Plan, the development of internal policies and processes to advance EDI, and the creation and sharing of resources related to best practices. She also works to support researchers in integrating EDI into their research teams and research funding applications, with a focus on intentional, evidence-based practices to address systemic barriers. She is also a divisional lead on the Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Innovation. Dr. Gill joined the University of Toronto in 2015, and she holds a PhD in Policy History from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Arvind Gupta
Dr. Arvind Gupta is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He has served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia (UBC), as the CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs Inc., and as CEO of Palette Skills Inc. He has published extensively on theoretical computer science, computational genomics, and national innovation strategies.
He has a record of accomplishments for initiatives that improve Canada’s productivity and competitiveness by successfully enhancing workforce skills through industry-academic partnerships. As the founder of Mitacs, he achieved success in interweaving graduate education with socio-economic needs by bringing together 60 universities and over 1,000 civil society partners. Significant service includes acting as an Innovation Leader for the Federal Innovation Agenda, serving on the Federal Government’s blue-ribbon innovation panel (Jenkins panel), serving on the national Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), and serving on the Government of British Columbia’s (BC) Food Security Task Force.
Dr. Gupta was instrumental in creating the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) and Palette Skills Inc. He is a Senior Fellow of the Brookfield Institute and of Massey College. He serves on the Boards of the India-Canada Research Centre of Excellence (IC-IMPACTS), BIRS, and Digital Health Circle. Past service includes serving on the Boards of the Fields Institute (as Chair), the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (as Chair), Great Northern Way Trust, Canadian Mining Innovation Council, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, PIMS, Mitacs, the Grand-NCE (International Scientific Advisory Council), and the campaign cabinet for United Way.
Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow
Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow is the Dean at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS).
Prior to joining U of T SCS, Dr. Chandler-Crichlow was the Executive Director of Career Management and Corporate Recruiting at Ivey Business School at Western University. She is a transformational leader and a passionate advocate for an inclusive approach to addressing the supply and demand of talent for the Ontario workforce ecosystem. While at Western, she was an active member of Ivey’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Executive Council.
Prior to her leadership positions within universities, she headed 3C Workforce Solutions which conducted human capital research in partnership with organizations such as Mercer International to determine talent needs across major sectors such as transportation, telecommunications, and hospitality in Ontario. Such research she deems key to understanding the changing nature of work and tackling the under and unemployment of racialized youth, immigrants, newcomers, and marginalized Francophonie.
With 25+ years as a human capital professional, her career focus has been in the financial services sector with executive roles at TD Bank Financial Group, the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services, and the Toronto International Leadership Centre for Financial Sector Supervision. She has consulted with the World Bank and has advised clients in Canada, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.
She has been a human capital advisor to different levels of government such as her membership on the federal Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy and as a member of the External Advisory Committee on Inclusion and Diversity of the Ontario Public Service. She was the Board Chair of the largest immigrant mentorship network in Canada and in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, she was selected by The Philanthropist as one of Canada’s leaders in the non-profit sector.
Dr. Chandler-Crichlow holds a doctorate in adult education from the University of Toronto, a Master of Education degree from Harvard University, and both a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the West Indies.
Dr. Erin Lemon
Dr. Erin Lemon is the Executive Director, Communications and Public Engagement at the University of Toronto. In this role, she leads a team of editors, reporters, photographers, videographers, social media officers, and media relations officers who work to raise the profile of the University by finding and telling compelling stories about students, faculty, and staff across the three campuses. Dr. Lemon holds a PhD in English from Queen’s University.
Dr. Eva-Lynn Jagoe
Dr. Eva-Lynn Jagoe is the Vice-Principal of Innis College and a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Centre for Comparative Literature. She teaches courses on the environment, Latin American Cinema, and creative writing. She also runs workshops for faculty and graduate students on public-facing writing. These range from two-hour events on writing an op-ed to week-long book writing workshops. She has supervised many graduate students in both Spanish and Comparative Literature, and is committed to helping them express their ideas in ways that are accessible, coherent, and clearly voiced. She helped shape Comparative Literature’s Creative Research Methodologies PhD and serves annually on the committee that oversees these students. Dr. Jagoe is also an award-winning creative writer who blends research and theory with narrative form in order to reach wider audiences.
Faraz Alidina is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Middle Eastern languages and literature having previously completed degrees at McGill University and Harvard University. His research is funded by SSHRC and OGS awards, and in 2021, he won the University of Toronto’s 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition and the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools’ 3MT competition for his talk on how medieval theories of persuasion can shed light on modern challenges including climate skepticism and vaccine denialism. Apart from research and teaching, Faraz has been working with the President’s Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability (CECCS) since September 2022, supporting initiatives to explore ways to make the University’s research mission more sustainable. He also currently sits on the Governing Council’s University Affairs Board. Upon graduating in 2024, Faraz will be joining the strategy firm Bain & Company as a management consultant.
Dr. Gretchen Kerr
Dr. Gretchen Kerr is a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. Across a variety of previous roles at the University of Toronto, Dr. Kerr has expanded the offerings of experiential education and work-integrated learning opportunities and embedded these in both undergraduate and graduate programs. In recognition of the diverse career trajectories of students, these experiential education opportunities have included professional and career development offerings. In her previous role as Vice-Dean, Programs and Innovation at the School of Graduate Studies, she enhanced the professional development offerings to graduate students, including the initial conceptualization of a Public Scholars program intended to strengthen the public dissemination and broad impact of graduate student research. Her research focuses on gender equity in coaching and gender-based violence in sport. As a Co-Director of E-Alliance, the Canadian Gender Equity in Sport Research Hub, she is engaged in establishing a broad network of researchers and partnerships across the country to advance safe, healthy, and inclusive sport.
Dr. Jennifer Esmail
Dr. Jennifer Esmail has worked in a range of academic and community spaces and now bridges these spheres in her work as the Director of the Centre for Community Partnerships (CCP) at the University of Toronto. Before joining the CCP, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she taught as part of the Walls to Bridges prison co-learning program. Dr. Esmail has published in areas including community-university engagement, Disability Studies and English literature, including her prize-winning monograph, Reading Victorian Deafness (2013). She has been involved in a number of community organizations in Ontario, including sitting on the Board of Directors of The Children’s Book Bank and the Advisory Board of the EnAbling Nonprofits project of the Ontario Nonprofit Network.
Jennifer Wild is a member of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) executive leadership team and is responsible for the museum’s exhibitions, programming, learning and community engagement. Her work is grounded in museum education, informed by her commitment to visitor studies, and shaped by her extensive experience in exhibition development and interpretation. Jennifer joined the ROM in 2018 after a lengthy career at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where she most recently served as Vice President for Learning & Audience Engagement. She was the lead educator on the DIA’s ground-breaking 2007 comprehensive reinstallation project and played a pivotal role in transitioning the DIA toward visitor-centred and community-engaged practices through her leadership of education, interpretation, programming, and outreach initiatives. This community-focused work was instrumental in convincing local voters to provide ongoing public support for museum operations in 2012, and for helping secure the museum’s future after the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy in 2013. Since joining ROM in 2018, Jennifer has worked with colleagues to reimagine the museum’s public-facing activities, aligned with a vision to make the museum a dynamic, accessible and meaningful community gathering place. Jennifer has spoken and published widely on issues related to interpretation and visitor engagement. She attended the University of Michigan where she earned a BA in the History of Art and an MA in Liberal Studies focusing on the role of museums in communities.
Dr. Mark Kingwell
Dr. Mark Kingwell is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. His most recent works are: Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface (2019), which won the Erving Goffman Prize in media ecology, On Risk (2020), and The Ethics of Architecture (2021). In Fall 2021, together with Joshua Glenn and designer/decorator Seth, he helped complete a trilogy of compact glossaries with The Adventurer’s Glossary. His columns and essays appear in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, the Literary Review of Canada, Gray’s Sporting Journal and Harper’s, among others.
Dr. Rachael Cayley
Dr. Rachael Cayley is an Associate Professor (Teaching stream) at the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC), which is part of the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. She has taught academic writing and speaking to graduate students since she joined U of T in 2007. Before coming to the GCAC, she worked as an editor at Oxford University Press in Toronto. She has a PhD in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research. Since 2011, Rachael has maintained a blog on academic writing for graduate students, Explorations of Style. She is currently completing a book manuscript, Thriving as a Graduate Writer: Principles, Strategies, and Practices for Effective Academic Writing (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2023).
Dr. Shane Saunderson
Dr. Shane Saunderson is an expert in the design and psychology of interactions with social machines. Shane is a prolific writer on technology and frequently gives talks on robotics, AI, design thinking, and the future of technology in society. He is a fellow with the Human Futures Studio, a human-centric consultancy/think-tank, a co-founder of Babbly, an AI-powered infant tech start-up, a lecturer on digital transformation with the Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University, and the Chair of the Microsoft Canada Artificial Intelligence Partner Advisory Board (aiPAB). Dr. Saunderson has spent over a decade consulting for Fortune 500 clients on digital strategy, disruptive innovation and technology. He is a former Vanier scholar who holds a PhD in Robotics with a specialization in Psychology from the University of Toronto, an MBA in Technology and Innovation from the Ted Rogers School of Management and a BEng from McGill University.
Dr. Susan Hill
In 2017, Professor Susan Hill joined the University of Toronto as an Associate Professor of History and Indigenous Studies and as the Director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies, after serving as a tenured professor at Wilfrid Laurier and Western.
Her first book, The Clay We are Made Of, won awards in 2018 from the Canadian Historical Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Since that time, she has embarked on an edited collection featuring articles by and/or about Indigenous women’s history in collaboration with Dr. Mary Jane Logan McCallum. She is also an active member of the Deskaheh Project, a group of Haudenosaunee scholars researching the historical contributions of the late Cayuga Hoyaneh (Chief) Levi General. She is also involved with a collective of individuals working to restore the 150+-year-old Six Nations Council House, which is the site of the 1924 federal government take-over of the traditional government of the community. She is also active with the Great Lakes Research Alliance for Studies of Aboriginal Arts and Culture (GRASAC), based at the University of Toronto.
Professor Hill serves as the Co-Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous Research, Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and since 2019 has served as Special Academic Advisor to the Provost on Indigenous Curriculum and Education. She served as the President of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) in 2020-2021, as well as the co-chair of the 2020 NAISA Annual Meeting Local Host Committee.