Researcher Identity

I seek to redress health inequities and social injustices experienced by the most vulnerable, marginalized, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in our society.

My research focuses on issues related to food security, HIV and AIDS, addictions and mental health, and chronic disease prevention. At the root of these issues is individual and collective trauma that I have a keen interest in addressing both individually and collectively.

I conduct participatory research with youth and young adults exploring the complexities of their lives, identifying their strengths and building on ways to improve their lives through creative and arts-based methods.

Research with youth stems from my own experience as a youth, a rebellious and lost youth. Without much focus or direction in life, I lost my way for a short time. In high school I struggled with wanting be there and performed very poorly for the first few years until I was mandated to attend a self awarness/psychology course for “troubled” youth. During my immersion into the psychology of myself, I was mentored by a teacher who helped me to see my light within, allowing me to shine. I understand first hand the power of having positive adult mentors to support and guide those youth that have been lost, misdirected, or disoriented in life. I work with youth from a positive youth development perspective, focusing on strengths and building resiliency. Youth want to be heard, they want to shine their light, and they know what they want to do. As adults, we need to recognize the hidden or silenced talents of youth, nurture their growth as they become the next generation of leaders.