2017 Recipients

Francesca Dansereau, B.Sc, M.Ed.

Francesca Dansereau, B.Sc, M.Ed.

McGill University

Francesca Dansereau is a PhD candidate in Human Development at McGill University. She has worked as an integration technology specialist, an adaptive technology trainer for Microcomputer Science, and as an RDI certified consultant in private practice. Her research focuses on neuro- developmental disabilities (e.g. Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disabilities), quality of life, and education technology. Expanding on her expertise, her dissertation focuses on career development and autism spectrum disorder. In relation to her dissertation, she recently founded The Social Tree Foundation, which opened a career center with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in Montreal.

Marilena Liguori

Marilena Liguori

HEC Montreal

Marilena Liguori holds a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from INRS - Urbanisation Culture Société in Montréal, Canada. Her doctoral research focused on cultural diversity in cities and the experiences of recent immigrants. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow and course instructor at HEC Montréal where she is working on a project on diversity and inclusion in organizations.

Elizabeth Watters

Elizabeth Watters

Wilfrid Laurier University

Elizabeth Watters is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Her doctoral research explores the impact of precarious employment on the health of racialized immigrant women in Southwestern Ontario. She obtained her MSW degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, and her Honours BSc degree at York University, Toronto. She has approximately 10 years of professional work experience in health promotion, vocational rehabilitation, diversity, consulting, and university teaching. She has also assisted several graduate level courses and research projects respectively.

Gabrielle Rind

Gabrielle Rind

Florida Atlantic University

Gabrielle Rind is a student at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and has recently completed a thesis for her work in Leukemia Immunotherapy. She previously held positions as Associate Director of Multicultural Programming and Vice Chair of the Multicultural Assembly at FAU for 2 years. In these roles, her focus included providing guidance to multicultural student organizations and assisting them towards their respective goals. She served on university-wide event planning committees relating to diversity and multiculturalism. Gabrielle’s executive methods in her term resulted in a record amount of co-sponsorships for the program. In 2017, she has presented at the FAU WeLead Diversity Matters Student Leadership Symposium, as well as at the Seventh International Conference for Religion & Spirituality in Society. Currently, she serves as FAU's Director of Multicultural Programming and as Chair of the Multicultural Assembly.

Dawit Rumicha

Dawit Rumicha

Florida Atlantic University

Dawit Rumicha received two Bachelors of Science from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Biological Sciences and in Neuroscience/Behavior. Previously, Dawit served 2 years as FAU's Director of Multicultural Programming and as Chair of the Multicultural Assembly. In his term, he actively utilized skills obtained from experiences in student leadership facilitation and achieved considerably increased outreach to the university student body. His strategic planning and efforts with his team lead to an average increase in active student participation of over 200%. Under his guidance, the program earned the Boca Raton Campus Program of the Year Award. This past April, he presented a workshop at the 2nd Annual FAU WeLead Diversity Matters Student Leadership Symposium. That same month, he also presented at the Seventh International Conference for Religion & Spirituality in Society held at Imperial College in London.

Amanda Saxe

Amanda Saxe

McGill University

Amanda is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is a member of the Social Policy, Advocacy, Research and Community (SPARC) lab, which develops action-based research projects focused improving the quality of life and self-determination of at-risk youth and individuals with disabilities. Amanda has worked as a course instructor within McGill’s Faculty of Education since 2014, and is a Universal Design for Learning project coordinator at the Office for Students with Disabilities. Her dissertation concerns employment barriers and employment needs of individuals with disabilities, and she hopes her research will contribute to the creation of work environments that are inclusive and accessible.

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Kelli Selwyn

Kelli Selwyn

University of Florida

Kelli Selwyn is a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Florida specializing in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is also a Tobacco Treatment Specialist and Systems Change Coordinator with the Suwannee River Area Health Education Center. In addition, she obtained a Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice from the George Washington University. She has researched the social determinants of LGBT smoking behaviors, community trauma and resilience, and healthcare education. She is also the creator of the L.I.O.N.S. Project, which is a continuing education program designed to empower healthcare professionals providing LGBT-inclusive obstetrics and nursing support.

Trishna Gajjar

Trishna Gajjar

University of Central Florida

Trishna is a PhD candidate at the University of Central Florida in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. She received
her Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Universityof Central Florida and her Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. Her research interests include organizational diversity management, human resources management, strategic management, and organizational behavior in the hospitality and tourism industry. She has presented her diversity management research at numerous international conferences. Currently, she teaches strategic human resources management at UCF, and hopes to work at a research university upon graduation.

Reshma Prashad

Reshma Prashad

York University

Reshma Prashad is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Health at York University and also holds an Adjunct Faculty position at the University of Toronto. She completed an honors Bachelors of Health Informatics at York University in 2009, followed by the completion of a Masters of Health Informatics Degree at the University of Toronto in 2011. Reshma’s doctoral work focuses on the utilization of digital health technologies to engage, educate and empower patients to self-manage their chronic conditions. Additionally, she has a keen interest in organizational designs that support healthcare providers to proactively manage their chronically ill patients. In addition to her academic background, Reshma has over 10 years of Project Management experience in leading clinical systems implementations at various levels of the health system in Canada.

Alexander Yuriev

Alexander Yuriev

Laval University

Alexander earned a Master's degree from Geneva University, Switzerland, where he studied standardization, social regulation and sustainable development. He is currently pursuing his PhD in the management department of Laval University, where he is working on issues related to employees' involvement in eco-friendly activities, as well as on the integration of environmental certification in companies. Alexander actively participates in academic activities both within his institution and outside of it: being a member of TransAtlantic Doctoral Academy, hosted by the University of Saint Gallen; organizing conferences in relation to his research; and presenting results of his studies to the international community.

Charles Gyan, MPhil, PhD(c)

Charles Gyan, MPhil, PhD(c)

Wilfrid Laurier University

With more than six years of experience in the non‐profit and higher education sectors, Charles Gyan is passionate about helping communities improve the lives of their members. As a researcher, an educator and social worker, his focus is helping to improve outcomes for communities and families through the development of programs, research, and innovation. He is adept at assessing needs, generating options, and implementing solutions in collaboration with clients and stakeholders. A dedicated and enthusiastic educator, he teaches social work courses such as 'Diversity, Marginalization, and Oppression (DMO)', 'Program Development and Social Planning', and 'Social Policy'. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

Timo Schreiner

Timo Schreiner

Universität Gießen

Timo Schreiner is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Educational Science at Universität Gießen, Germany. He researches organizational pedagogy, focusing on diversity in the German welfare system as an example of youth service. Further, his research explores how diversity is handled and defined within youth service. Timo has several years of working experience as head of department within an NGO and in university teaching. Creating an inclusive environment is both of professional and personal interest to him.