Connaught PhDs for Public Impact Fellows (2022–2023)
Ali Greey is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. Their doctoral research examines queer, trans, and non-binary youth agency and activism in K-12 schools.
In 2021-2022, Ali led the Beyond Bullying Project to study youth gender and sexuality in schools. Ali has also published on the experiences of trans and non-binary athletes and media representations of the Movement for Black Lives.
Ali is the co-editor of two volumes: Justice for Trans Athletes and Trans Athlete Resistance and is a co-author of the forthcoming book Trans Athlete Embodiment.
Ali is a SSHRC-Bombardier scholar and a retired member of the Canadian national Olympic Boxing team. Ali is actively involved with Athlete Ally, a non-profit devoted to advancing LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusion in sport.
Ali is also currently working with TransPulse and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport to assist national sporting organizations in making sport more trans-inclusive.
Anam Shahil Feroz
Anam Shahil Feroz is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. She has received her BSc in Nursing and MSc in Health Policy and Management from Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. Shortly after, she began working actively in the field of public health to address health systems issues of access, affordability, and quality of healthcare services.
Her current topic of research for her Ph.D. is inspired by seeing countless pregnant women die of preeclampsia and eclampsia. Her doctoral research work will contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3.1 of reducing maternal mortality ratio less than 70 per 100,000 live births and will also provide insights into methods and findings that can be applied to improve maternal health outcomes in other developing countries, that may face similar challenges.
As an early career researcher, she has published 55 papers (21 publications as the first author) in high-impact peer-reviewed journals in the field of maternal health and digital health research.
Andrea Román Alfaro
Andrea is a Peruvian Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Toronto. She is a Vanier Canada Graduate scholar, a Mary H. Beatty fellow, and a Connaught Public Impact Fellow. She holds an M.A. in Sociology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a B.A. in sociology and government from Skidmore College.
Currently, Andrea is working on her dissertation titled, Mothering in the Margins: Violence, care, and survival in Callao. In her dissertation, she examines the dynamics and politics of violence in Callao, Peru, from women’s perspectives. Andrea has published in Spanish and English.
Before her Ph.D., she worked in Peru as a course instructor and researcher, where she taught social science courses and did research on education, gender and inequality. She has published in Social Justice and Curriculum Inquiry. Her current areas of interest include the sociology of violence, punishment, criminalization, gender, and healing.
Erin is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Her research focuses on preventing, addressing, and understanding abuse in sport. Her passion for this topic was inspired by her own experience representing Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in the sport of artistic swimming.
She embodies research to practice approach to her work, which can be seen with her role on the Board of Directors of AthletesCAN, the association of Canadian National Team athletes. In this role, she advocates for National Team athletes within the Canadian sport system to ensure Canadian sport is as athlete-centred as possible. This includes addressing issues of safe sport (abuse and discrimination), athlete representation, and sport policy.
Jaime Grimm is a second-year Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolution under the supervision of Martin Krkosek (U of T) and Andrew Bateman (Pacific Salmon Foundation). As a first-generation university student with mixed European and Manitoba Saulteaux heritage, she grew up in coastal British Columbia.
She is driven by the need to find socially and ecologically-just solutions to wildlife conservation issues, especially in terms of recognizing Indigenous rights and sovereignty. She enjoys being outdoors and in water as much as possible, as well as knitting and reading SciFi.
Prior to beginning Her PhD, she completed a master’s degree in Invasion Ecology from McGill University and worked as a researcher for the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada.
Madison is a PhD candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar (2019 – 2022) and Connaught Public Impact Fellow (2022 – 2023). Madison is committed to conducting qualitative or mixed methods research in collaboration with community that examines the micro, meso, and macro aspects of a person’s sexuality.
Madison is currently a Course Instructor and the Research Manager of a national working group collating resources on sexuality and disabled youth. She also has experience as a Research Coordinator with Bloorview Research Institute, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, and #CripRitual. During her MSc, she was the Principal Investigator of a community-based research project that evaluated a sexual health education program for Indigenous youth. Madison mobilizes knowledge through scientific and community-facing knowledge products (e.g., art galleries).
Madison’s long-term research goal is to teach and lead research that aims to ensure everyone can thrive as sexual beings.
Maggie is a SSHRC-funded Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, where she researches the ongoing platformization of the pornography industry. She holds a graduate specialization in Sexual Diversity Studies and is research assistant to the Bonham Sexual Representation Collection, Canada’s largest archive of sex work and adult film history.
Maggie has published work on digital methods, deepfakes, labour governance, and the changing dynamics of porn’s cultural production under platforms. Learn more at internetmaggie.com.
Peter Serles is a PhD Candidate, Vanier Scholar, and Course Instructor studying the mechanics of nano-3D printed devices and structures. His research combines nanomechanical design with machine learning, live cell dynamics, and ballistic defence to leverage the high performance of nanomaterials for a wide variety of end applications.
Peter has authored more than 15 peer-reviewed papers in top international journals such as Advanced Materials, Science Advances, and Materials Today and has held research positions with the National Research Council of Canada and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon.
Peter is a Junior Fellow of Massey College and is an advocate of evidence-informed policy who volunteers with the Canadian Science Policy Centre and the Journal of Science Policy and Governance. He received an M.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a B.E.Sc. from Western University where he was awarded the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineers Gold Medal.
Q. Jane Zhao
Q. Jane Zhao is a Health Services Research PhD student with Dr. Andrew Pinto and the Upstream Lab. Forever compelled by the nuance of story, their work focuses on the intersection of health policy and health equity. Their interests lie in primary care, community-based research, rural health, and the history of medicine. From a policy and evaluation perspective, their thesis will explore the impact of primary care access on health, particularly on people living with complex conditions in rural and remote Ontario.
They are a settler, first-generation immigrant, writer, and climber. They are a recipient of the School of Cities Urban Graduate Student Fellowship Award (2021-2022), a graduate of the Narrative Medicine Masters at Columbia University, and studied neuroscience at McGill University.
Talk to them about Donna Haraway, comics, and climate change.
Rebecca Lennox is completing a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research uses focus groups, conversational interviews, and discourse analysis to investigate cis and trans women’s fear of violent crime in urban public places. Rebecca has published on street harassment, gendered public safety, and qualitative research methods.
She holds a Master of Arts in Sociology from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Arts (High Honors) in Sociology and Social Studies from the University of Regina.
Rose Schmidt, MPH, is a PhD candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Her mixed-methods research focuses on harm reduction and trauma-informed approaches to perinatal substance use. She addresses gender-based determents of health inequity and integrates social epidemiological methodology into applied policy research.
Roxana Escobar Ñañez
Roxana Escobar Ñañez is a 5th year Human Geography PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. She is an international student from Peru. She has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and an M.A. in Political Science from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Since her master’s in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE-UofT), Roxana’s research focuses on the livelihoods of the Afro-Peruvian population in Peru.
Currently, Roxana’s Ph.D. dissertation seeks to understand the ways in which the music and performance of Afro-Peruvian women in Lima have played a significant part in the city’s cultural identity.
Sneha Mandhan (she/her) is an urban planner, architect and educator with an interdisciplinary practice in planning, urban design, architecture, design research, and community engagement. She collaborates on city building and engagement projects with Monumental Projects, People Design Co-operative, and the Department of Words and Deeds. She teaches graduate courses in urban design at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, and holds a Master in City Planning from MIT, and an undergraduate degree in architecture from NIT, Bhopal.
Her work focuses on unearthing and incorporating culture into the planning and design of cities. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Planning at the University of Toronto, where she is working to discover and share the stories of banquet halls as important sites of cultural celebration for the South Asian diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area.
Tenzin Butsang is a PhD candidate in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is a Tibetan settler born on unceded Coast Salish territory.
Wen Yin (Elaine) Cheng
Wen Yin (Elaine) Cheng is a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. She received her MSc from University College London. She has 18 years of archaeological experience as a field archaeologist, lab technician, and artifact analyst.
During her MSc research at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, she had the opportunity to expand her archaeological knowledge to incorporate scientific research techniques in archaeometry.
She is currently researching the artisans of the Shang bronze vessel casters through the moulds housed at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her research incorporates archaeological theory, archaeometry, and area study to comprehend the past artisans. Her current goal is to expand and bridge her research on past artisans to include the voices of the descendants of these ancient cultures.