Community of Practice Members (2015-2022)

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The Knowledge Hub Community of Practice is a closed group comprised of two members from each project funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s investment, “Supporting the Health of Victims of Domestic Violence through Community Programs” (2015-2022). 

These individuals bring expertise from various research and practice areas across Canada to enhance the field and trauma and violence-informed health promotion.


Naomi Andrews

Naomi AndrewsNaomi Andrews

Role on project: Researcher, Building Connections

Bio: Dr. Naomi Andrews is a postdoctoral fellow at Mothercraft's Breaking the Cycle program and the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research at York University. She obtained her Ph.D. from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. There, her research focused on children and adolescents' involvement in problematic social behaviors, including aggression, victimization, and delinquency. From the lens that these problem behaviors are inherently social phenomena, she has focused on disentangling the complex social relationship processes that underlie problem behaviors. In attempting to understand and decrease children’s involvement in aggression and victimization, Dr. Andrews has conducted research considering who is interacting with whom, the nature and quality of those relationships within the broader social context, and peers’ perceptions of their own and others' relationships. At Breaking the Cycle, Dr. Andrews is transferring this relational focus to an applied setting. She is interested in better understanding how healthy and unhealthy relationships impact children’s development, and how relationship focused interventions can be used to support at-risk populations.

Muna Aden 

muna_resized_1-1.jpgMuna Aden is a research and program manager and consultant based in Toronto. She is a member of a provincial research team investigating the prevalence of HIV and associated factors among key populations in addition to the prevention transmission and the engagement of newly diagnosed people into care. As a research consultant her work focuses on implementation sciences and the evaluation of clinical and community based interventions. She is a community advisory board member of the “Because She Cares” project and is also a mentor to research trainees. Muna regularly engages in capacity building/capacity sharing initiatives and strives for the greater representation and meaningful involvement of community members in research.

Karen Bax

Karen Bax photoKaren Bax

Role on project: Co-Principal Investigator, MindUP for Young Children

Bio: Karen Bax, Ph.D., C. Psych. is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of Western’s Mary J. Wright Centre for Research and Education at Merrymount. She is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, Western University.

Registered as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Bax engages in training future scholars and practitioners through in-class teaching and as the practicum supervisor for students in the Ph.D. in School and Applied Child Psychology program. Dr. Bax is also the Director of Western’s Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount, a unique university-community collaboration that emphasizes early child development research in real-world settings and knowledge sharing across systems. 

Dr. Bax’s work as a psychologist has led her to a research focus in prevention and early intervention in children’s mental health modeled with the recognition of the need to disseminate empirically supported or informed treatment to the community in an efficacious way.  Her research involves adapting a school-based empirically supported social-emotional and mindful awareness program for parents and children for use in a community setting. The adaptation of the curriculum, the program design, and the evaluation of the intervention is being completed in collaboration with community professionals who will be delivering the intervention.  A related research focus for Dr. Bax is the development and sustainability of university-community partnerships for service-learning, research and service. 

Nicolas Berthelot

Nicolas BerthelotNicolas Berthelot

Role on project: Co-investigator, STEP: Supporting the transition to and engagement in parenthood in adults who experienced maltreatment as children

Bio: Nicolas Berthelot received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Laval University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Quebec in Montreal and at the Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Quebec. He is now assistant professor in mental health in the department of Nursing at the University du Quebec in Trois-Rivieres (UQTR). He is also regular researcher at the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur le développement de l’enfant et la famille (CEIDEF) and at the Groupe de recherche et d’intervention en négligence (GRIN) and associate researcher at the Centre de Recherche de l’Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Québec (CRIUSMQ). His current research interests focus on the developmental mechanisms of risk, resilience and psychopathology in the context of childhood trauma and on the intergenerational impacts of child maltreatment. He practices clinical psychology with children, adolescents and adults and aims to integrate research and clinical practice. Nicolas Berthelot collaborates with colleagues from different disciplines in the conception, implementation and evaluation of personalized clinical interventions with survivors of child abuse or neglect in order to prevent a wide array of psychological and physical health problems in this population.


Claire Crooks

Claire_Crooks-1.jpgDr. Crooks is the Director of the Centre for School Mental Health and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her main research interests include the development and evaluation of mental health promotion and violence prevention programming, with a particular emphasis on extending evidence-based practice to meet the unique needs of marginalized groups of youth in diverse settings. She and her team are currently working on adaptations and evaluations of the Healthy Relationships Plus program for LGBT2Q+ youth in school and community settings, as well as looking at fit and feasibility in the youth justice system. Another major focus of her work is on developing and evaluating culturally-relevant, strengths-based approaches with Indigenous youth. More recently, she was awarded a grant to evaluate MindUP with kindergarten students, within a trauma-informed framework. MindUP is an evidence-based social and emotional learning program that incorporates positive psychology, neuroscience, and mindful awareness.

Dr. Crooks’ other main focus is on family violence. She is a co-founder of the Caring Dads program, which is a parenting intervention for men who have maltreated (or are at-risk to maltreat) their children. She also trains judges, lawyers, and other court professionals as a faculty member for the U.S. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and for the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. In 2005, Dr. Crooks testified before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on the extent to which Canada is meeting its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2016 Dr. Crooks was appointed to the Scientific Committee for the Status of Women Canada, to advise the federal government on the state of research evidence pertaining to the prevention of gender-based violence.

Dr. Crooks received her B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University.

Jo-Anne Dusel

Jo-Anne DuselJo-Anne Dusel

Role on project: Co-Principal Investigator, Nato’ we ho win

Bio: Jo-Anne is a long-time social activist who has spent 20 years working front line with women who have experienced abuse. As coordinator of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), an association of 23 member agencies including women’s shelters, second stage housing and family violence counseling services, she is responsible for public education on violence against women, maintaining connections between members, sharing research on emerging issues and promoting promising practices to build capacity among member agencies.

Jo-Anne developed an interest in policy development and board governance while serving as a board member on the Moose Jaw Thunder Creek District and Five Hills Health Region Boards for a total of 14 years.  Jo-Anne developed her public speaking and media relations skills while running as a candidate for parliament in the Canadian federal election of 2006. She studied visual art at the University of Regina and continues to create and exhibit paintings and mosaics. Jo-Anne is a member of the board for the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses. She is certified in ODARA and a working member of the Every Woman Everywhere Coalition.


Michelle Ferreira

Michelle Ferreira photoMichelle Ferreira

Role on project: Project Coordinator, Safe and Understood

Bio: Michelle has a Master of Education in Developmental Psychology and Education, from OISE at the University of Toronto. She has five years of mixed method research experience in post-secondary and not-for-profit settings and her interests include: 1) areas related to the ecological, person-centered model for children, youth and young adult development (e.g., family support, mental health and wellness, and education); 2) cultural relativism; and 3) gender roles and biases. Currently, Michelle is a Project Coordinator at the Child Development Institute. She is responsible for overseeing and supporting all Safe and Understood clinical and research sites, across four provinces. She is also an REB Member for UofT's Social Sciences, Humanities and Education REB.

Tanya Forneris

Tanya Forneris photoTanya Forneris

Role on project: Head of Evaluation Team, Bounce Back League

Bio: Dr. Tanya Forneris is the Associate Director of the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus). She teaches courses in community programming, sport psychology, research methods, and statistics and her areas of expertise include positive youth development  programming and community-based evaluation.


Tatiana Ferguson

Tatianaferguson.jpgSince arriving in Toronto from the Bahamas in 2014, Tatiana Ferguson has worked as a sexual health educator, group facilitator, and advocate for trans and queer BIPOC. Her work fosters safer, accessible, and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ2S+ POC and she supports queer and trans newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers in Canada. Furthermore, she supported the development of the City of Toronto’s Toronto for All campaign that centered Trans Youth of Color during Pride 2017 and helped to start a dialogue about Gender Identity and Race. As an experience facilitator, project coordinator, and guest speaker, Ferguson has worked with numerous organizations in Ontario and thoroughout Canada including Black CAP, The 519, Planned Parenthood, Sherbourne Health Centre, Canadian Council for Refugees, Queen West Community Health Centre and Fierte Montreal. Ferguson was also a participant and facilitator with Supporting Our Youth’s Human Rights Equity and Access Team (HEAT) which provided an opportunity to connect with other young activist and harness her public speaking and leadership skills. She also co-created the Perception support group for newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers at EGALE Youth Outreach, and managed the Black Queer Youth stage at Pride Toronto 2016. Most notably, she has worked with various administrative bodies including The City of Toronto, the provincal and federal government and the Ontario Human Rights Code on the inclusion of Gender Identity and Expression in public policy. In 2016 she was awarded LGBT Youthline Award for outstanding achievements in queer activism. Ferguson currently works as the project coordinator of TransFormed Project at METRAC, which seeks to address partner violence from Two-spirit, Non-binary and Trans perspectives and with the Black Queer Youth Collective on the Domino Project at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, providing black LGBTQ2S+ youth with a safe, supportive, experiential learning environment to develop life skills to thrive. Recipient of a 2019 Bonham Centre Awards.

Kim Gammage

Kim Gammage photoKim Gammage

Role on project: Co-investigator, Shape Your Life

Bio: Dr. Gammage is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Brock University. She teaches courses in exercise and health psychology and fitness. One primary area of research interest is body image across the lifespan, and how it may interact with exercise behaviour. She is particularly interested in positive body image. She is also interested in understanding how the social and physical environment can impact exercise behaviour.  She is the director of the SeniorFit program, an exercise and balance training program designed specifically individuals 55 years of age and older.

Jennifer Garland

Jennifer Garland and a horseJennifer Garland

Role on project: Project Co- Lead

Bio: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Working with horses as natural coaches offers people a way to reduce stress, improve their wellness and relationships, while ultimately gaining coping skills for a healthy work/life balance. These are memorable one-of-a-kind experiences with our gentle herd presented in a beautiful natural setting. As a senior writer, strategy and communications consultant, facilitator and effectiveness coach, Jennifer brings to this unique work over 25 years of leadership experience in communications, marketing and change management from a variety of sectors including healthcare. As President of The Cactus Group, Jennifer develops strategic relationship building approaches for individuals, executive teams, and the organizations they lead by drawing upon her unique combination of facilitation, organizational change and marketing communications and community investment experience.


Crystal Giesbrecht

Crystal Giesbrecht photoCrystal Giesbrecht

Role on project: Co-Principal Investigator, Nato’ we ho win

Bio: Crystal Giesbrecht is the Director of Research and Communications at the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), the member association for 23 domestic violence shelters and counselling centres. Crystal is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Justice Studies at the University of Regina. She is an Adjunct Professor and Sessional Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina and previously worked as a Domestic Violence Counsellor (casual) at a women’s shelter. Crystal’s work at PATHS includes educating member agency staff, professionals, and the public on best practices for supporting survivors of intimate partner violence and abuse, including risk assessment. Crystal is a member of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability’s (CFOJA) Expert Advisory Panel.


Gwen Healey

Gwen HealeyGwen Healey

Role on project: Principal Investigator, Inunnguiniq (childrearing)

Bio: Dr. Gwen Healey was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and it is in this community that she continues to live and work with her family. Gwen is the Executive and Scientific Director of the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (AHRN-NU) in Iqaluit, NU. She holds a masters in Epidemiology & Community Health Sciences from the University of Calgary and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Toronto.

It is well-known in Canada that northerners face a number of challenging circumstances when it comes to health. There are also tremendous strengths in communities to address local health concerns, such as a willingness to work together, traditions and customs that support healthy lifestyles and activity, and strong cultural pride. Drawing upon existing community strengths and resources, and building capacity to conduct research in the North, is the key to addressing a number of health concerns presently and over the coming years. For this reason, Dr. Healey founded the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in 2006. The goal of the Centre is to enable health research to be conducted locally, by northerners, and with communities in a supportive, safe, culturally-responsive and ethical environment, as well as promote the inclusion of both Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and western sciences in addressing health concerns, creating healthy environments, and improving the health of Nunavummiut.

Since Qaujigiartiit's inception in 2006, Qaujigiartiit has successfully brought over $11 million dollars in research and training grants into Nunavut, and more than 800 Nunavummiut have led, partnered on, or participated in research projects and training workshops in Nunavut during that time.


Laura Hartley

resized_laura-1.jpgLaura Hartley is the Program Director at METRAC: Action on Violence. METRAC: Action on Violence. METRAC works with individuals, communities and institutions to change ideas, actions and policies with the goal of ending gender-based violence. Laura has been working as an educator, advocate, facilitator and leader in gender-based violence organizations for the past 10 years. She is also a Wen-Do Women’s Self-Defence instructor and a founding member of gRRRRL Justice, a grassroots feminist collective that uses the arts to engaging youth in ending gender-based violence.

Kasia Ignatowska

Kasia Ignatowska

Role on project: Health Promotion Coordinator, P.E.A.C.E. Project, Covenant House Toronto

Bio: Kasia’s community work started through dance.  She has taught dance and choreographed community musical theatre with children, youth and adults with a range of skills and abilities and diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.  Kasia has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Choreography of Contemporary Dance 2005;  Child and Youth Worker Diploma, Humber College 2011 and Bachelor of Social Work, York University 2017.  Kasia has worked in the field for over 9 year in capacities including; Youth Worker (Story Homes Foster Care); Youth Outreach Worker (Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office), Child and Youth Counsellor (Hospital for Sick Children), Youth Court Counsellor (Operation Springboard), Child and Family Worker (Red Door Violence Against Women Shelter), Youth Worker (Covenant House Toronto).

Angelique Jenney

Angelique JenneyAngelique Jenney

Role on project: Co-investigator, Safe and Understood

Bio: Angelique Jenney is the Director of Family Violence Services for Child Development Institute, a multi-service child and family agency in Toronto.  Angelique has over 16 years’ experience engaging both victims and perpetrators of family violence in intervention and prevention services within the violence against women and children’s mental health sectors. Her research and program development has been devoted to understanding and responding to the impact of violence in families. Her current research and practice interests include family-based interventions for childhood trauma, child welfare responses to domestic violence cases, the experience of mothering in the context of trauma, and reflective approaches to teaching and training social work students.

Kateryna Keefer

Kateryna KeeferKateryna Keefer

Role on project: Lead Researcher, Building Resilience Through Horses

Bio: Dr. Kateryna Keefer is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Trent University. Her program of research is focused on the developmental dynamics and applications of socioemotional competencies in the promotion of wellness and resilience across the lifespan. As an emerging scholar, Dr. Keefer has co-authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters on the topics of emotional intelligence, resilience, mental health, and psychological assessment; delivered numerous invited talks and conference presentations on these topics; and is currently co-editing the Springer Handbook of Emotional Intelligence in Education.


Karyn Kennedy

Karyn KennedyKaryn Kennedy

Role on project: Project Lead, Sole Expression: Trauma-Informed Dance Intervention

Bio: Karyn Kennedy is the President & CEO at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, a multi-disciplinary agency with a mandate to coordinate a community response to child abuse. Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is a creative community response to child abuse investigations. It is a partnership among local community and government agencies and brings together more than 65 professionals from nine organizations in one location. As CEO, Karyn is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the centre. She supervises the management staff at the centre and is actively involved in the development and implementation of new programs and services for children who have been victimized, and their families. She has worked at Boost since 1992. Karyn is a trained Art Therapist and has worked in the area of child abuse since 1983. She has presented in nationally and internationally on the work of Boost and issues related to child abuse and trauma.

Jennifer Lapum

Jennifer LapumJennifer Lapum

Role on project: Co-principal investigator, Sole Expression: Trauma-Informed Dance Intervention

Bio: Dr. Jennifer Lapum is an associate professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community, at Ryerson University. She is a Registered Nurse with clinical background in critical care nursing, home care, and palliative care. She has a keen interest in issues surrounding patient-centred care, traumatic encounters, mental health, death and dying, empathy, and compassion. Her program of research is focused on ensuring that the 7,024th patient does not feel like the 7,024th patient. She has developed an arts-based and narrative program of research and uses media such as poetry, visual images, installation art, dance, and music to facilitate deep understanding of illness, suffering, and human experiences. Her expertise also rests in creative dissemination methods and arts-based knowledge translation approaches. Her research is published widely in over 50 peer-reviewed publications and her projects have been funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Associated Medical Services.

Hannah Lee

Hannah LeeHannah Lee

Role on project: Project Coordinator, Reaching out with Yoga

Bio: Hannah began her work with BCSTH in 2009. Her main responsibility is to liaise with BCSTH's members and partners, and she is also the Project Coordinator for the Building Supports and Reaching Out With Yoga Project. She is committed to her work ending gender-based violence and gets inspiration from her colleagues and the women and children she serves. Prior to BCSTH, she spent many years in the creative field, working in graphic design, photography and fashion. Outside of work, Hannah is full of wanderlust, a dedicated yogi and volunteers her time at a local crisis line.

Roxanne Lemieux

Roxanne LemieuxRoxanne Lemieux

Role on project: Co-principal Investigator, STEP Project

Bio: Since 2003, Roxanne Lemieux has worked as a clinical psychologist with children, teenagers and adults who have experienced child abuse or who are dealing with a variety of psychopathologies. She obtained her doctorate degree from Laval University in 2009. She currently teaches mental health at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Department of Nursing and is a researcher and collaborator at the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur le développement de l’enfant et la famille (CEIDEF). Her research interests focus on the coping skills of people who have experienced child abuse and on the mechanisms involved in the intergenerational transmission of abuse.

Margaret Leslie

Margaret LeslieMargaret Leslie

Role on project: Project Lead, Mothercraft: Building Connections

Bio: Margaret Leslie is the Director of Early Intervention Programs at the Canadian Mothercraft Society.  For the past 30 years, her clinical experience has been in the areas of prevention and early intervention services for families and young children living in conditions of risk.  Her expertise is in the areas of infant and child assessment, early childhood mental health, and parent-infant therapy.  She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Breaking the Cycle program, a CAPC/CPNP project which was recognized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a best practice program serving pregnant and parenting women with substance use problems, and their young children.  She was more recently instrumental in the development of the first Integrated Domestic Violence Court in Toronto. Ms. Leslie is the community co-chair of Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP), is a member of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – Ontario Network of Expertise (FASD ONE) and the Toronto FASD Coordinating Network.  Ms. Leslie is the recipient of the National Harm Reduction Award for Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use Programming, the 2013 Elizabeth Manson Award for Community Service in Children’s Mental Health, and the 2014 City of Toronto Public Health Champion Award. Ms. Leslie is a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Candice Lys

Candice Lys photoCandice Lys

Role on project: Project Lead, FOXY: Strengthening the Health of Northern and Indigenous Youth in the Northwest Territories through Teen Dating Violence Prevention

Bio: Candice is an Indigenous woman from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories (NWT), the Principal Investigator for the FOXY Project, and a PhD Candidate in Public Health Science through the University of Toronto Dalla Lana Faculty of Public Health.  Her work with FOXY has earned several awards, including the $1 million Arctic Inspiration Prize in 2014 and a Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division).  In 2017, Candice was recognized for her leadership in social innovation when she became the first Ashoka Fellow from the NWT.

The FOXY Project uses the a strengths-based, trauma-informed lens and arts such as photography, digital storytelling, traditional beading, and ceremony to work with Northern and Indigenous youth to strengthen resiliency, educate, and prevent teen dating violence.

Jennifer Martin

Jennifer MartinJennifer Martin

Role on project:  Co-principal Investigator, Sole Expression: Trauma-Informed Dance Intervention

Bio: Dr. Jennifer Martin is the Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University. She has extensive experience as a clinical therapist providing trauma assessments and treatment for children and youth who have been sexually abused and family treatment in cases of intra-familial sexual abuse. Her program of research and scholarship focuses on trauma, child abuse and interpersonal violence, child sexual abuse images and online exploitation, trauma-informed interventions and evidence informed practices. She has published extensively on trauma and online child sexual abuse images in international peer-reviewed journals and she has presented her research internationally. She has been the Principle Investigator on four research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) regarding child abuse and trauma. A recent major study, the first in Canada, explored how practitioners working in the field of child sexual abuse understand and respond to children made the subjects of online child sexual abuse images and how they integrate their understanding into assessment and treatment. She is currently the Principle Investigator on a two-year SSHRC funded international study that will further examine knowledge gaps and multilevel barriers to cross-sectoral responses to child sexual abuse images online. An integral component of her research entails collaboration with community agencies and organizations.

Mary Motz

Mary MotzMary Motz

Role on project: Research Lead, Mothercraft: Breaking the Cycle

Bio: Dr. Mary Motz is a Clinical Psychologist at Mothercraft’s Breaking the Cycle (BTC) program and an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at York University. Since obtaining her degree in clinical-developmental psychology at York University, she has been working as a clinical psychologist with infants, young children and their mothers who are at risk for maladaptive outcomes due to issues related to maternal substance use and mental health difficulties, trauma, family violence, and poverty. Dr. Motz is on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Teams at BTC and Anishnawbe Health Toronto. Dr. Motz was a previous Post-Doctoral Fellow at the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research. In collaboration with Dr. Debra Pepler, Dr. Motz has led the program evaluation and research at BTC and has supervised numerous research and clinical practicum students. Her research focuses on mechanisms which support women with complex needs to engage and utilize relationship-focussed intervention services to foster their own well-being, as well as the development and mental health of their infants and young children.

Amanda Noble

Amanda NobleAmanda Noble

Role on project: Project Lead, Participant Action for Health Promotion through Peer Support

Bio: Amanda Noble is the Manager of Research & Evaluation at Covenant House Toronto where she coordinates all research and evaluation activities. She has over 8 years of experience leading national research projects on youth and family homelessness. Amanda is a PhD candidate at York University in the Faculty of Education where she is studying Housing First as a model of accommodation for young people. She has a Master’s in Social Work, and spent several years working front-line as an anti-poverty advocate and with youth, women and children experiencing homelessness.

Debra Pepler

Debra PeplerDebra Pepler

Role on project: Research Lead, Mothercraft: Breaking the Cycle

Bio: Dr. Debra Pepler is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University and a Senior Executive Member of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth. Dr. Pepler’s research has focused on children’s social-emotional development in the context of the peer group and family. In her seminal research, she developed a method to observe naturalistic interactions among school-aged children using remote microphones and video cameras. This research has been critical in revealing the processes involved in children’s aggressive interactions and bullying. Throughout her career, Dr. Pepler has stepped sideways into clinical and community settings to co-create both basic and applied research.  Over the past 20 years, she has worked with Breaking the Cycle, a program for substance using mothers and their young children, to study the processes of change through treatment. She has also worked with the Stop Now and Plan® (SNAP) program for aggressive children and their parents, as well as with Pine River Institute for youth with addiction and mental health problems. This journey of co-creation led her into relationships that have been the foundation for the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet: Dr. Pepler co-directs PREVNet with Dr. Wendy Craig and with their partners, they are closing the science-practice gap to prevent bullying and promote healthy relationships for children and youth.

Katreena Scott

Katreena ScottKatreena Scott

Role on project: Co-investigator, Safe and Understood

Bio: Dr. Katreena Scott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto and the Canada Research Chair in Family Violence Prevention and Intervention.  She leads an applied research program aimed at reducing violence in family relationships, with specific expertise is addressing violence perpetration in men and fathers. Dr. Scott is recognized internationally for her intervention work with abusive fathers and nationally for her research on effective interventions for intimate partner violence. She has authored over 40 articles and book chapters on the development of violent relationships, the efficacy of service to male batterers, the effect of abuse and trauma on children, and on empirically and ethically sound policies for working with abuse perpetrators. The Caring Dads program that she developed ( is currently running in many sites across Canada, as well as in the US, UK, Ireland, Wales, Germany and Sweden. She was invited to testify as part of the recent Royal Commission into Family Violence and is currently a visiting academic at the University of Melbourne.

Denise Silverstone

Denise Silverstone

Role on project: Project Lead, Play On

Bio: Denise Silverstone is Director of National Programs and Services at Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, where she leads the development and evaluation of programs and grants that support the work of member Clubs. She has 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, with an abiding interest in informal education. She has a Masters degree in Education from University of Toronto.

Dr. Kelly Scott-Storey

Kelly Scott-StoreyDr. Kelly Scott-Storey

Role on project: Co-Principal Investigator on iHEAL in Context: Testing the Effectiveness of a Health Promotion Intervention for Women Who Have Experienced Intimate Partner Violence.

Bio: Dr. Kelly Scott-Storey is a health researcher and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing as the University of New Brunswick. Her areas of interests lie broadly in the intersection of violence, gender and health, especially cardiovascular disease. She is currently a Principal Investigator (PI) on a 5 year CIHR Operating Grant aimed at examining men’s experiences of cumulative lifetime violence and the intersection of gender and health as well as a Co-PI on a large multi-provincial randomized control trial funded by CIHR exploring the use of an on-line health and safety decision aid for women experiencing intimate partner violence. Dr. Scott-Storey’s interests also expand to intervention work, resulting in the current funded Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) contract to test the effectiveness of a nurse-led health promotion intervention for women who have experienced intimate partner violence (iHEAL Study). Further, Dr. Scott-Storey has been actively involved in trying to better measure and capture experiences of interpersonal violence for both women and men; she was part of an international team who developed a short version of the Composite Abuse Scale entitled CASR-SF for use in national and population surveys ( as well as took the lead role in examining the applicability and fit of the CASR-SF for use with men. Dr. Scott-Storey has disseminated her work through publications, as well as numerous presentations at national and international workshops, conference and seminars; her program of research and activism was recently acknowledged and she was awarded the honor of ‘Young Investigator of the Month’ by the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and was a finalist for the Young Investigator of the Year Award


Renee Turner

Renee TurnerRenee Turner

Role on project: Research Coordinator, Reaching out with Yoga

Bio: Renée is passionate about creating positive social change through community-based, community-focused research. With a background in public health research, she has worked on projects in the areas of prison health, HIV-prevention, and rural maternal health. She is excited to merge her research interests with one of her biggest passions: yoga with this project. Renée has been teaching yoga for 9 years, and is excited to bring her two worlds together in this work.


Wangari Tharao

Tharao-Wangari-2016-120.jpegWangari Tharao is the Director of Research and Programs at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre (WHIWH CHC). WHIWH CHC provides primary healthcare to racialized women from the African, Black, Caribbean, Latin American and South Asian communities in Toronto and surrounding municipalities.

Wangari is also a recognized community-based researcher, focusing on sexual and reproductive health issues relevant to racialized women living in Canada. She utilizes knowledge generated through research to develop evidence-based interventions and works collaboratively with service delivery organizations to support their integration into services targeted to diverse women and their communities.

She is currently the North American Co-Chair of the UNAIDS NGO Delegation Program Coordinating Board (PCB) and is a co-founder of several local, provincial, national and international networks including, the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO), the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean Network (CHABAC) and the African and Black Diaspora Global Network on HIV and AIDS (ABDGN).

Cathy Van Ingen

Cathy Van IngenCathy Van Ingen

Role on project: Co-investigator, Shape Your Life

Bio: Cathy van Ingen is an Associate Professor at Brock University (Department of Kinesiology). Dr. van Ingen works from a physical cultural studies perspective to study sport, inequality, violence, and social change. She is one of the founders of Shape Your Life (SYL), a free, recreational boxing program for female and trans survivors of violence in Toronto. Her research is featured in the documentary film “Outside the Ring” and numerous other scholarly and popular outlets. Dr. van Ingen is also a co-investigator on a SSHRC funded project “Young People and Sport in the Stigmatized Neighborhood” working with young people who live in racially segregated, economically disadvantaged and socially marginalized urban neighborhoods.


Colleen Varcoe

resized_colleen.PNGDr. Varcoe is a leader in research on violence and inequity, with emphasis on women’s and Indigenous people’s health. Her research is currently focused on interventions to mitigate the health effects of violence for women who have experienced partner violence, and interventions to help health care settings, such as Emergency Departments, promote equity. She is a leader in implementing and studying equity-promoting health care, including trauma- and violence-informed approaches, cultural safety and harm reduction.

Jan Vesna

Jan VesnaJan Vesna

Role on project: Project Lead, Play On

Bio: Jan is the Manager, National Programs with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. She manages program development and implementation as well as training delivery for BGCC programs that fall within physical activity, health and safety. She has spent her career working with youth in a variety of environments including recreation, employment and leadership development, and has had the privilege of serving as the adult ally for BGCC’s National Youth Council for 5 years.


Entisar Yusuf

resized_ent.PNGEntisar is a Nurse-Midwife by training with experience in clinical, academic and  community settings for over twenty years in various organizations. She Joined WHIWH as program Coordinator for FLOURISH: Communities Collaborating to Address Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) which is a collaborative community-based project that aims to engage, empower and support peoples affected by FGM/C through arts-based workshops and advocacy initiatives. The project aims to improve access to dignified and appropriate health care by providing training and tools for health care and media professionals on FGM/C. Entisar is multilingual and speaks, English, Somali, Oromo, Amharic, Harari and Basic Arabic.

Samar Zuberi

Samar ZuberiSamar Zuberi

Role on project: Researcher, Building Connections

Bio: Samar Zuberi is a Research Assistant for Building Connections at Mothercraft/Breaking the Cycle. She obtained an MSc. in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She has been engaged in social science research, working on social policy issues with a specific focus on topics related to women and children in vulnerable populations.

Ms. Zuberi has over seven years of work experience with the most recent four years spent working in multi-disciplinary research institutes gaining hands on experience managing and participating in field research and evaluating programs for government and donors. She has worked on projects ranging from violence against women, to cash transfer programs, to assessing the impact of floods on schools. Aside from designing and leading research, she has also managed stakeholder engagement and research communications with a focus on ensuring research findings drive policy and programmatic change.

Previously Ms. Zuberi worked in the corporate consulting sector.


Maiesha Zarin

Maeisha the current Project Coordinator for the TransFormed Project at METRAC. Initially starting as a PLG (Peer Leadership Group) member, Maiesha joined on as a Project Coordinator in 2020. Maiesha is passionate about the arts and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) in Film Production from York University. When they aren’t writing or working on set, they are honing their skills and love for community organizing through participating or programming community events and initiatives.

Linda Baker

Linda BakerLinda Baker

Role on project: Learning Director, Knowledge Hub

Bio: Dr. Baker is the Learning Director at the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children at Western University in London, Ontario. She is past Director of the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System (the London Family Court Clinic), a role she held for 10 years. Her research and clinical work has involved adolescent/adult offenders and children/adults who have been victims of abuse and involved with mental services or the criminal and family court systems.  Currently, she leads the Centre’s knowledge translation and exchange initiatives—the Violence Against Women Learning Network, a provincial initiative in Ontario, and the Knowledge Hub, a national initiative related to trauma-informed health promotion for survivors of family violence. Dr. Baker has presented workshops across the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe and Asia to various groups including judges, lawyers, mental health professionals, and educators.

Anna-Lee Straatman

Anna-Lee StraatmanAnna-Lee Straatman

Role on project: Project Manager, Knowledge Hub

Bio: Anna-Lee Straatman completed her Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario in 1993. She has experience as a Project Manager on various violence related initiatives.   Anna-Lee has conducted interviews with more than one hundred adult survivors of child sexual abuse and  worked extensively with Dr. Peter Jaffe, Dr. David Wolfe and Dr. Alan Lescheid on clinical assessments of adult survivors of child sexual abuse, including historical abuse in institutions. She has worked with various Victim Service agencies developing educational and training materials regarding trauma, domestic violence and other crimes against persons


Sara Mohamed

Sara Mohamed photoSara Mohamed

Role on project: Research Coordinator, Knowledge Hub

Bio: As a Research Coordinator for the Knowledge Hub project, Sara contributes with or coordinates content for bulletins, reports, infographics, Social Media platforms and website. In addition to providing support for videos, webinars, knowledge exchanges and other project’s related knowledge mobilization activities. Sara has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Waterloo and completed a graduate program in Communication & Management at Western University. She also has a Master of Professional Education in the field of Equity, Diversity and Social Justice from Western University. 


Jassamine Tabibi

Jassamine TabibiJassamine Tabibi

Role on project: Research Coordinator, Knowledge Hub

Bio: Jassamine Tabibi is the Research Coordinator for the Knowledge Hub and Learning Network projects at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. She supports the Knowledge Hub’s Community of Practice, knowledge exchange and transfer activities for its members and the development of common process and outcome indicators for trauma-informed health promotion projects funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada. Jassamine also supports the Provincial Resource Group at the Learning Network with its knowledge exchange and transfer activities. She completed an undergraduate degree in International Relations at Western University and her Masters in Public Administration at the University of Waterloo.