Our Team

Each of our team members brings a unique lens to our work and a passion for youth and youth worker wellbeing across Ontario.

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Uzo (she/her) is the Founder and Provincial Academic Director of YouthREX. She is the York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity and an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, York University. Her educational background includes a PhD in Social Work from the University of Toronto; MSW and BSW from York University; and BSc and MSc from University of Nigeria.

Uzo’s community-engaged research is focused on critical youth work. She conceptualizes her research as a community dialogue that is centred on equitable collaborations with community stakeholders. Her research projects emphasize multi-methods / multi-focal research that make space for multi perspectives.

Uzo has served on a variety of boards, including being appointed by an Order in Council by the Government of Ontario to the Board of Directors of the Central Local Health Integrated Network for two terms of six years (2011-2017). She is currently on the Board of Directors of the York Region Children’s Aid Society.

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Uzo (she/her) is the Founder and Provincial Academic Director of YouthREX. She is the York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity and an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, York University. Her educational background includes a PhD in Social Work from the University of Toronto; MSW and BSW from York University; and BSc and MSc from University of Nigeria.

Uzo’s community-engaged research is focused on critical youth work. She conceptualizes her research as a community dialogue that is centred on equitable collaborations with community stakeholders. Her research projects emphasize multi-methods / multi-focal research that make space for multi perspectives.

Uzo has served on a variety of boards, including being appointed by an Order in Council by the Government of Ontario to the Board of Directors of the Central Local Health Integrated Network for two terms of six years (2011-2017). She is currently on the Board of Directors of the York Region Children’s Aid Society.

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Kaushi (she/her) is a Senior Research Associate at YouthREX. She has worked in education and youth policy research in England, Scotland, and Sri Lanka and recently migrated to Canada. She holds a Master of Arts in Education from the Institute of Education, University College London.

Outside of work, Kaushi is a theatre and film enthusiast and contributes to various creative projects in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she grew up. She also loves spending time with dogs and cats and hopes to adopt soon. She speaks English and Sinhala. 

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Cyril J. Cromwell (he/him) is a social justice advocate and community educator. At YouthREX, Cyril supports professional development and learning opportunities for Ontario youth workers.

As a proponent of Social Justice, Cyril has led professional development and media art projects across the Greater Toronto Area and abroad for over a decade in community centres, schools, open custody detention centres and in his photography studio. As a community educator, Cyril is interested in amplifying the voices of young people and youth workers in research and policy to reduce the gap that often exists between well-meaning theory and critical practice.

CyrilCromwell.com

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Timothy (He/Him) is a multimedia storyteller producing and supporting a variety of video projects across YouthREX. He has a background in filmmaking specializing in cinematography and editing. Timothy has his Bachelor’s in film and media production from Humber College.
 
Outside of work Timothy likes to play soccer and works as a professional chain reaction and domino artist. He is fluent in English and French.

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Dorrie (she/her) is the Research and Evaluation Manager at YouthREX. She received her Ph.D. from the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Windsor. Drawing from her past experiences in research and evaluation, Dorrie provides support to Ontario youth programs in their various evaluation needs, from logic model development to the creation of data collection tools to analyzing and reporting data.

Dorrie grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan and travels back as often as possible with her three children.

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Jen (she/her/siya) leads YouthREX's social media engagement and digital storytelling. She specializes in strategic and accessible communications, critical policy analysis, and multimedia design. Jen holds a Joint Honours Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Development Studies from McGill University.

Outside of paid work, Jen is an organizer and activist in the Filipino-Canadian community. She also really enjoys cooking, sci-fi, and urbanist / public transit memes. She speaks English and French.

@poli_jen 
jengammad.com

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Katarina (she/her) supports the creation and curation of resources for the Knowledge Hub, and is involved in research and evaluation work at YouthREX. She is committed to using data to drive social change, and has worked to advocate for cultural and youth-friendly urban spaces. Katarina studied Sociology at McGill, and went on to obtain an MA in Human Geography from the University of Toronto.

Her interests include coffee, electronic music, and dabbling in different forms of movement. Born in Serbia, she has also found inspiration in the youth (sub)cultures of Montreal and Berlin.

   LinkedIn

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Chanel (she/her) leads the operations and administrative aspects of YouthREX and supports our capacity building opportunities. She is a published author with a B.A. in Sociology and Creative Writing from York University and a M.Ed. from the University of Toronto.

Her experiences as a Barbadian immigrant to Toronto fuel her interest in research on persons of African descent and how they're impacted by the intersections of race, immigrant status and class within the education system.

Outside of work, Chanel likes reading, watching documentaries and spending time with family and friends.

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Khadijah Kanji (she/her) is supporting evaluation at YouthREX. She received her Masters of Social Work in 2017, where her research examined queer subjectivity in the Toronto South Asian diaspora. Khadijah also works for an Islamic educational centre, where she focuses on anti-Islamophobia education and activism, and is a board member for a non-profit serving 2SLGBTQ+ youth across Ontario. Khadijah writes and speaks regularly on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. She has worked previously in therapy and research.

muckrack.com/khadjiah-kanji

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James (he/him) is a Multimedia Storyteller for YouthREX. He has a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University with a focus in documentary film. James has experience mentoring youth in media production, archiving experiences of migration with newcomer communities, and working in the documentary field. Much of his past work covers the multitude of experiences of living in Toronto: from migrating here to navigating the city’s systems and structures. Outside of work his interests include exploring all corners of Toronto by transit and by bike, trying new cuisines, vegetable gardening, and slowly learning how to speak Farsi.

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Nkem Oradubanya (she/her). She works as a research associate at Youth Rex. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Labour Studies at Brock University and has been working in the private sector since then. Although she may not have any experience in the public sector, she is excited to work and learn more about the sector. 

Outside of work, some of her hobbies include listening to music and occasionally binge-watching TV shows on Netflix or crave.

   LinkedIn

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Kathe (she/her) is the Program Director at YouthREX. She is a registered social worker with extensive experience in communications, advocacy, public education, counselling, and community building, having supported a variety of projects across not-for-profit organizations and community-based initiatives.

Kathe is a former film student, seasoned storyteller, engaged lover of art and music, amateur star-gazer, novice embroiderer, and pop culture trivia guru.

  @katherogers     LinkedIn

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Amina (she/her) works as a YouthRex Research Assistant, she's passionate about confronting anti-Black racism and advocating for equitable education for Black and other racialized youth in the GTA. She is currently pursuing a Specialized Honours Degree in Human Rights and Equity Studies from York University.  Outside of work, Amina volunteers her time to organize summer events in the East African community. She is a proud plant mom, enjoys cooking, reading, and travel. She also speaks English, Somali, and Swahili.

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Jae Woong Han (he/him) is a third-year Social Work (BSW) student at York University. He is a research assistant for YouthREX and a contributor to the YouthREX blog. Outside of work, he likes to play soccer and listen to K-Pop. Jae speaks English and Korean. 

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Shantel Hyndman (she/her) is a Child and Youth Worker. She graduated from the Sheridan College Child and Youth Worker Program and holds a Bachelor's degree in Child and Youth Care from Ryerson University. Currently she works as the Coordinator of the Our Strong Neighbourhood Project for Weston & Mount-Dennis and is a Research Assistant with YouthREX. Having had experience in community engagement, research, child welfare  and government relations, she remains passionate about working with Black youth in various systems of care while advocating for systemic change to improve outcomes for racialized young people. 

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Michelle Kennedy (she/her) is Haudenosaunee and member of Oneida Nation of the Thames, raised in London, Ontario. She has lived in Anishnabek Territory since 2011 and has completed two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies, and a Bachelor of Education at Laurentian University. She recently finished her Master’s thesis in Indigenous Relations and is currently a student at Laurentian Univerity in the PhD Human Studies program, where her research focuses on Indigenous curriculum development and art repatriation. 

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Helen (she/her) is a research assistant at YouthREX. She graduated from York University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and currently studies at University of Toronto in the Master of Social Work program. Outside of work, Helen is involved in affordable housing committees and community environment/gardening initiatives. Also, she enjoys dance and jogging. Helen knows English, Cantonese and French - she especially loves the French language!

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Amberlynn (she/her), is a research assistance with YouthREX. She has experience working with youth and adults involved in the justice system and child welfare system. Amberlynn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Amberlynn is currently a Master of Social Work candidate at York University. 

She really enjoys gardening, working out, cooking, eating snacks, and being at home.

LinkedIn

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Chantal (she/her) is a research assistant with YouthREX. Her research interests include addressing anti-Black racism in academic, political, and health-based contexts. Chantal received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Medical Science from Western University and is currently a medical student at the University of Toronto.  

Chantal is passionate about her faith and how this intersects with social justice. Her hobbies include running, experimenting with coffee beverages, and spoiling her baby nephew.

@chantalp_MD 

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Letitia Postulart (she/her) is a placement student at YouthREX. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies at York University, and is currently in her last year of the Master of Social Work program at York University. Outside of studying, she enjoys spending time with her sisters, cooking, and watching too many tiktoks.

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Monica (she/her) supports YouthREX’s administrative functions in addition to research in the areas of social work field education and evaluation. Monica holds an Honours Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Windsor and an Honours Bachelor's of Social Work degree from York University. She is currently pursuing a Joint Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor degree at the University of Windsor.

Outside of work, Monica actively volunteers with organizations that promote the protection of human rights. She is an avid horror and psychological fiction reader and a coffee connoisseur.

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Rahma Siad-Togane (she/her) is a PhD candidate at York University's School of Social Work. Her research examines surveillance and policing within public housing communities. Her areas of interest include neighborhoods and housing, urban poverty/income polarization, youth development, social policy, race and policing, resiliency, and community surveillance. Rahma has also worked in the non-profit sector for 14 years in youth engagement and settlement services for racialized newcomer Canadians- with a focus on black women's health and well-being.

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Nnali (she/her) is a Service Coordinator with Toronto Community Housing, Canada’s largest social housing provider. She is a current Master of Social Work (MSW) student at York University, with plans to graduate in the spring of 2021. Outside of school and work, Nnali enjoys long walks, cooking, and is developing an interest in photography. Nnali is also a wife and mother of one. 

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Clementine Utchay (she/her) is a Research Assistant at YouthREX and an undergraduate student at the Faculty of Health, York University. She specializes in all things creative.

@clementineutch

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Olive Arinze (she/her). I graduated in June 2020 with a double major in Political Science and Book and Media Studies from the University of Toronto. I have previous experience in social  media management and public policy research. Outside of work, I enjoy curating throwback afrobeats playlists, reading and catching up with friends on Facetime.

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Ashley (she/her).

Experience working with youth and adults with moderate to complex developmental, behavioural, and/or physical challenges in a recreation and residential settings.
Graduated from Durham College, with Diploma in Developmental Service Work, and currently studying at Brock University for a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. 

Long-time volunteer for local charity, For the Love of a Child, which provides financial assistance to families of children with complex care needs in the Durham Region.

Hobbies include, painting, taking on small DIY’s, and the occasional Netflix binge watch.

LinkedIn

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Nate Evangelista (he/him) is a 4th year student, majoring in Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University. He is also pursuing a minor in Communication and Design. Nate is actively involved with the Graphic Communications Management Course Union (GCMCU) and was its President for 2019-2020. He is a Research Assistant at YouthREX, helping with digital content creation. Nate aims to convey emotion and narratives through his minimal yet effective design. In his free time, Nate is an avid cook, enjoys working out, and loves watching anime with his boyfriend. Nate speaks English, Filipino and is currently learning Japanese and Korean.

nate.evangelista 
nate.evangelista 

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Madison (she/her) works as a research assistant at YouthREX. She is currently finishing her undergrad at the University of Guelph studying Criminal Justice with a minor in French. Following her graduation, Madison hopes to pursue a graduate degree in socio-legal studies with the intention of working in the youth sector. Madison has experience working with youth in various settings and has a particular interest in working with individuals who are in conflict with the law. In her spare time, you can find Madison playing sports or hanging out with friends. 

Our province-wide Academic Network bringing together professors with an interest in youth wellbeing from across Ontario's colleges and universities.

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Uzo (she/her) is the Founder and Provincial Academic Director of YouthREX. She is the York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity and an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, York University. Her educational background includes a PhD in Social Work from the University of Toronto; MSW and BSW from York University; and BSc and MSc from University of Nigeria.

Uzo’s community-engaged research is focused on critical youth work. She conceptualizes her research as a community dialogue that is centred on equitable collaborations with community stakeholders. Her research projects emphasize multi-methods / multi-focal research that make space for multi perspectives.

Uzo has served on a variety of boards, including being appointed by an Order in Council by the Government of Ontario to the Board of Directors of the Central Local Health Integrated Network for two terms of six years (2011-2017). She is currently on the Board of Directors of the York Region Children’s Aid Society.

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Corliss is a member of YouthREX’s Provincial Academic Network. She is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University. Her educational background all three degree includes a PhD, MA, and BSc from the University of Ottawa in the Human Kinetics, with particular focus on Sport Psychology.

Corliss’ research involves working with community organizations at local and national levels to develop, implement and evaluate their programming with the goal of fostering youth psychosocial development and build organizational and/or community capacity. She is also committed to bridging research and practice through accessible mediums including blogs, webinars, and workshops. Corliss has extensive publication and granting records.

Corliss presently facilitates two of YouthREX’s online certificates, including Program Evaluation for Youth Wellbeing and Using Spreadsheets in Program Evaluation. Corliss is also Credentialed Evaluation certified by the Canadian Evaluation Society. She also sits on variety of boards, including being a delegate on Canadian Tire Jumpstart Community and an Academic Partner within the Research and Evaluation Team at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment LaunchPad. 

@corliss_bean

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Mary Goitom is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, York University. Dr. Goitom’s research explores migration, mobilities, diasporic connections, transnational processes and social relations. Her work is centered on community-based research and is grounded in Ethiopian epistemologies and larger African traditional knowledge systems. Dr. Goitom’s work explores transnational social fields in relation to the constitution of settlement, citizenship, well-being, agency, resilience and identity making. 

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Kristen is an Assistant Professor in School of Social Work at the University of Windsor and has social work practice, child welfare research and program evaluation, and knowledge mobilization experience over the past 20 years. Prior to her current academic position, Kristen served as the Executive Director of a national non-profit child welfare knowledge mobilization organization for six years. Kristen’s teaching and research focuses on Evidence-based/informed Practice and examining whether child welfare worker characteristics play a role in their decisions and practice. 

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Olufunke Oba, BSc, MSc, MSW, PhD

Dr. Oba obtained her bachelors and master’s degrees in sociology from Nigeria followed by her MSW and PhD degrees in social work from Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). Dr. Oba received the Ontario graduate Scholar and outstanding dissertation awards as well as the WLU Teaching Excellence Award. She founded the Community Academic Reciprocal Engagement (CARE), incubator space for Black youth in 2016.  She is a fellow of the Carnegie Foundation, associate fellow of the Tshepo Institute for the study of contemporary Africa at WLU and the university of Regina’s Social Policy Research Centre 

Dr. Oba’s community-based research on child welfare, liberatory youth engagement, field education, domestic violence and the scholarship of teaching and learning are funded by Social Sciences Humanities and Research Council (SSHRC). Current projects include Investigation of the Schooling Experiences of Black Youth in Saskatoon, a Pan- Canadian study on access to post secondary education among Black youth with refugee background, a study on experiences of racialized students in professional helping disciplines and  the fourth SSHRC study  is a Partner Engage Grant  with Waterloo Region High Schools and WLU. Her Community Academic Reciprocal Engagement (CARE) project was funded by the Women’s College Hospital and supported by YouthRex. Her scholarship including those funded by the Ontario Government, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research, University of Regina’s Teaching and Learning Scholar fund and internal grants are framed by Anti-Black Racism and Afrocentric theories in the pursuit of equitable outcomes for Black youth, particularly.

Dr. Oba is a reviewer for SSHRC, varied academic journals, and academic publishers and serves on the board of The Working Center, the African Community Wellness Initiative (ACWI). She is also an elder/adviser with the Black Lives Matter Waterloo and other Black-led initiatives in the region. Funke has served on the Kitchener Record Community Editorial board, Waterloo Region District School Board’s Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, KW Counselling Services board, and as president of the African Canadian Association of Waterloo region.  Internationally, Dr. Oba facilitated field instructor training, student seminars, research, and curriculum development during a 90-day fellowship funded by Carnegie Foundation to professionalize social work in Nigeria.

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Neil Price is an educator, writer and higher education administrator. 
 
Neil is currently Dean of the School of Justice and Community Development at Fleming College. Previously, he was Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social and Community Services at Humber College. 
 
Neil is President of LogicalOutcomes, a not-for-profit consulting firm that aims to improve human services work and social policy. His consulting practice focuses on applied research, community engagement, strategic planning and stakeholder consultation.
 
Neil's writing has appeared in NOW Magazine, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Hazlitt, Canadian Art, This Magazine and other publications. He was previously Reviews Editor at Humber Literary Review. 

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Dr. Joey-Lynn Wabie is an Algonquin Anicinabe ikwe from Wolf Lake First Nation in Quebec. She is an assistant professor in Indigenous Social Work at Laurentian University located on Atikameksheng Anishnawbek territory (Sudbury, Ontario).  Joey-Lynn works in communities at the grassroots level focusing on wellness, culture, and bringing people together. Her research interests are Indigenous youths' perspectives on Truth & Reconciliation, spiritual wellness/healing, and land-based teaching/learning. 

Joey-Lynn takes the role of sister, auntie, cousin seriously and is dedicated to ensuring her culture and traditions are passed on through storytelling, ceremony, and the occasional latte.