Coordination & Operations Committee

The Coordination and Operations Committee (COC) is chaired by the Project Director and includes the four Cluster Co-Leads (two academic and two ESPO) from each research cluster as well as representatives from IRCC and Statistics Canada. The COC is the decision-making body that oversees all research and operational activities of the Coalition.

Project Director

Approved
Michael Ungar

Project Director, CYRRC at Dalhousie University

Biography::

Dr. Michael Ungar is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Child, Family and Community Resilience and a Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University. He is also the Scientific Director for the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network, a Knowledge Mobilization Network of Centres of Excellence. His work has influenced the way we understand children’s resilience across cultures and contexts, showing that when exposure to adversity is high, young people’s social and physical ecologies are just as critical to children’s success and wellbeing as individual factors. Over the past 13 years, Dr. Ungar has, as Principal Investigator, completed over $6,000,000 in national and international studies. Recent multi-country studies, such as a 6-year SSHRC-IDRC funded ICURA (2009-2015), examined patterns of service use and social supports among at-risk children and their families in South Africa, Colombia, China, New Zealand and Canada.

Dr. Michael Ungar

Dr. Michael Ungar is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Child, Family and Community Resilience and a Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University. He is also the Scientific Director for the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network, a Knowledge Mobilization Network of Centres of Excellence. His work has influenced the way we understand children’s resilience across cultures and contexts, showing that when exposure to adversity is high, young people’s social and physical ecologies are just as critical to children’s success and wellbeing as individual factors. Over the past 13 years, Dr. Ungar has, as Principal Investigator, completed over $6,000,000 in national and international studies. Recent multi-country studies, such as a 6-year SSHRC-IDRC funded ICURA (2009-2015), examined patterns of service use and social supports among at-risk children and their families in South Africa, Colombia, China, New Zealand and Canada.

Cluster Co-Leads

Each of our four research clusters includes three co-leaders drawn from our academic, community and governing partners as well as a team of committed partners from many different disciplines and professional backgrounds:

Broader Economic, Social and Political Factors

Approved
Abdie Kazemipur

Professor and University Scholar Research Chair at University of Lethbridge

Biography::

Dr. Abdie Kazemipur is currently professor of sociology and the University Scholar research chair in social sciences at the University of Lethbridge, and the Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Calgary (from July 2017 on). Originally from Iran, he came to Winnipeg in 1993 to do his PhD in sociology at the University of Manitoba. In 2012-13, he served as Stephen Jarislowsly Chair in Culture Change and Immigration at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he conducted research and advised the provincial government on issues related to retention and integration of immigrants. Later this year, he will be joining the University of Calgary as their new Chair of Ethnic Studies. He has also been the founding director of two research data centres at University of Lethbridge and Memorial University. His research is in two distinct areas: the socio-economic experiences of immigrants in Canada, and the socio-cultural developments in the Middle East, on which he has published seven books, with two more in-press.

Approved
Lucy Buchanan-Parker

Research and Information Coordinator at AMSSA

Biography::

Lucy Buchanan-Parker is the Research and Information Coordinator at AMSSA, the umbrella association of immigrant- and refugee-serving settlement organizations in British Columbia. Lucy has experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research in NGOs and working collaboratively with academic partners. At AMSSA, Lucy specializes in knowledge translation and promoting a partnership approach to research in the settlement sector. Prior to AMSSA, Lucy was a Research and Policy Officer at the National Union of Students in the UK, where she provided primary research and policy analysis to support student-led initiatives on topics of diversity, equity, and higher education. She holds a Master’s in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, where she specialized in youth participation policies.

Approved
Yoko Yoshida

Associate Professor at Dalhousie University

Biography::

Yoko Yoshida is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. Her research interests include social statistics, integration processes of immigrants and socio-economic inequality. Over the past several years she has been engaging with research on measuring multi-dimensional immigrants’ integration, immigrants’ settlement in Atlantic Canada, social and economic activities of immigrants who come under the sponsored family streams, and impacts of family and gender in settlement processes. Through these projects with a regional focus, she has established research partnerships with provincial and federal offices, including the NS Office of Immigration, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and Statistics Canada. She is a co-investigator of Pathways to Prosperity, and also serves as a board member to the Canadian Population Society.

Language, Literacy and Learning

Approved
Johanne Paradis

Professor at University of Alberta

Biography::

Johanne Paradis is Professor, Department of Linguistics and Adjunct Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, at the University of Alberta. Paradis studies bilingualism and second language acquisition in children with typical development and children with developmental disorders. Her primary research focus concerns children learning English as a second language with typical development: How these children approach native-speaker competence, what unique language development profiles they display, and the factors explaining why some individual children learn English faster than others. Concerning children with atypical development, Paradis’ research has focused on two key issues: the capacity for bilingualism shown by children with developmental disorders, and what language measures best differentiate English second language children with typical development from those with language disorder. Paradis is first author of the 2011 book, Dual Language Development and Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning (2nd edition, Brookes Publishing). Paradis is currently the Editor of Journal of Child Language. Paradis and colleagues have a website of resources for assessment with children leaning English as a second language, the CHESL Centre (www.chesl.ualberta.ca ).

Approved
Lisa Rochman

Associate Dean of Immigrant Education at NorQuest College

Biography::

Dr. Lisa Rochman holds a PhD in Linguistics and Standard 3 Certificate from TESL Canada in teaching English as second language. Dr. Rochman is the Associate Dean of Immigrant Education in the Faculty of Foundational, Career and Intercultural Studies at NorQuest College, Edmonton. Her portfolio focuses on programs for newcomers to Canada with an emphasis on English as a second language, literacy learning and workplace Essential Skills. Dr Rochman is also the president-elect of the Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL). Dr. Rochman was the 2012 recipient of the Carolyn Dieleman Award from ATESL for making an impact on innovative and quality English as a second language and literacy programming in Alberta.

Approved
Mazen El-Baba

Founder and Director of H-appi

Biography::

Mazen is pursuing a Doctor in Medicine degree at the University of Toronto. He is the Founder and Director of H-appi, a not-for- profit organization that aims to destigmatize addictions and mental health illnesses in the Middle East and Africa. He manages a diverse team of leaders and ensures that all campaigns are positively impacting our society. Mazen leads an annual summer camp program for refugee children that focused on literacy, integration, and well-being. Mazen continuously expends his efforts to introduce social change by facilitating workshops on diversity, human rights, and leadership. Mazen is passionate about global health, medicine, research, and travelling.

Approved
Xi (Becky) Chen

Associate Professor at University of Toronto

Biography::

Dr. Xi Chen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE/University of Toronto. Her research focuses on bilingual and ELL (English Language Learner) children’s language and literacy development. She is interested in how children develop literacy skills simultaneously in their first language and second language, and whether these skills transfer between the two languages. Recently her research has explored how to identify bilingual children at-risk for reading difficulties in order to provide them with timely interventions. She’s also started to study Syrian refugee children. This line of research will look at their language and literacy development in English and Arabic, as well as their mental health.

Social Integration, Rights, Culture and Security

Approved
Gerry Mills

Executive Director of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

Biography::

Gerry Mills is the Executive Director of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, (ISANS). An immigrant herself, Gerry has worked in the not for profit immigrant settlement sector for 27+ years. Her career has been in the field of adult education, English as an additional language (EAL) and immigrant settlement. Gerry has participated extensively in provincial, regional and national boards, committees and working groups on immigration, language and settlement. She is currently the President of Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (ARAISA), a member of the National Settlement Council, Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA-ACSEI), Halifax Local Immigration Partnership Advisory Committee, Atlantic Immigration Research Committee, and the Pathways to Prosperity board, among others.

Approved
Howard Ramos

Professor and Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie University

Biography::

Dr. Howard Ramos is a political sociologist who investigates issues of social justice and equity. He has published on social movements, human rights, Indigenous mobilization, environmental advocacy, ethnicity, race, and Atlantic Canada. He completed his PhD and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill University and holds a BA from York University. He is currently working on projects looking at Atlantic Canadians, secondary cities, state funding of NGOs, environmental advocacy, tourism development, and integration of immigrants and refugees. Dr. Ramos is also working to promote knowledge mobilization and translation of issues related to refugee children and youth.

Approved
Lori Wilkinson

Professor at the University of Manitoba

Biography::

Lori Wilkinson is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba, the editor of the Journal of International Migration and Integration and the Director of Immigration Research West, an academic and community think-tank concerned with issues related to successful settlement and integration. Her research interests include labour market integration among refugees, school-to-work transitions among immigrant and refugee youth, racism and inequality. She has co-authored two books, The Research Process and Understanding Social Statistics, both published by Oxford University Press. She has most recently published her work on refugees in the following venues: Migration Policy Institute, Journal of Canadian Ethnic Studies, Migration, Health and Survival: International Perspectives and Immigrant Youth in Canada.

Approved
Vicki Sinclair

Executive Director at Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO)

Biography::

Vicki Sinclair joined the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO) as its first Executive Director in June 2016. Before that she was the Director of Programming and Development at Immigrant Centre Manitoba, Manitoba’s largest settlement agency. She is a member of the Immigrant Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) Council, Le Réseau en Immigration Francophone du Manitoba (RIF du Manitoba), Immigration Research West (IRW) and the Western Region Research Advisory Committee (WRRAC). She is a former member City of Winnipeg’s Citizen Equity Committee and the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD). She has a professional background in journalism and EAL and a deep commitment to partnership and community engagement. She became a Canadian Citizen in 2009.

Child, Youth, and Family Wellbeing

Approved
Jennifer Jenkins

Director of the Atkinson Centre at University of Toronto

Biography::

Dr. Jennifer Jenkins is the Atkinson Chair of Early Child Development and Education, Director of the Atkinson Centre and the Academic Director at the Fraser Mustard Institute of Human Development at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the influence of marital, sibling and parent-child relationships on young children’s social understanding, early learning and well-being. She studies why some children are more resilient than others when exposed to risky environments and is particularly interested in within family differences in sibling development. She has investigated parenting and family dynamics amongst immigrant families.

Approved
Patrick McGrath

Founder of the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at Dalhousie University

Biography::

Dr. Patrick McGrath is a child psychologist, clinician-scientist, administrator, mentor and social entrepreneur. He founded the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Dalhousie and is Vice President Research, Innovation and Knowledge Translation for the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Authority. He is an Officer of Order of Canada, fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada, the inaugural Health Legacy Leader from HealthCareCan and the recipient of numerous other awards. His research is on e-health and pain in children The not-for-profit Strongest Families Institute, www.StrongestFamilies.com , disseminates his e-health programs across Canada, Finland and Vietnam. It won the Mental Health Commission of Canada award for social innovation and the Manning Principal Award as the best innovation in Canada in 2013. He conducted pioneering research on the measurement and psychosocial interventions for pain in children and has published key textbooks in the area. His research has been cited over 22,700 times.

Approved
Yogendra Shakya

Senior Research Scientist at Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services

Biography::

Yogendra B. Shakya, PhD works as the Senior Research Scientist at Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services and has a cross appointment (status only) as Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Shakya’s research focuses on examining how critical determinants (job insecurity, poverty, discrimination, social isolation/exclusion, language barrier etc.) affect health/wellbeing and healthcare access for vulnerable communities including racialized groups, immigrants and refugees. His research and advocacy work is geared at advancing health equity and community empowerment. He has led a number of studies on precarious employment, migration and health, refugee mental health, post-migration changes in family relationships and responsibilities, role of newcomer youth in resettlement, and impact of systemic racism/racialization. Yogendra is recognized champion of community-based research (CBR). He has developed a wealth of resources on CBR and trained hundreds of community members to become critical researchers and agents of change.

Government Partners

Approved
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Biography::

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for matters dealing with immigration to Canada, refugees, and Canadian citizenship.

Approved
Statistics Canada
Biography::

Statistics Canada, which was formed in 1971, is the Government of Canada government agency commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, economy, society, and culture.