Joanne Di Maio
Joanne has over 20 years of experience in research and policy development across a variety of sectors. This has given her a unique ability to communicate information effectively to others. Her key strengths are in writing, research and analysis. As a Senior Policy Advisor with the Ministry of the Environment, Joanne developed policies to protect the environment in Ontario. She has also worked for Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and in the private sector. She is currently a member of the Conservation Halton Board of Directors and the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s Conservation Advisory Board. Joanne holds a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Toronto and an M.Sc. degree in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Windsor.
Sara Dickinson is the Manager of Education Outreach at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Director of AGH: In-Class, an innovative arts education program that partners teachers with Hamilton Artists to create and facilitate dynamic arts-based lessons that bring to life core curricular subjects like Math, Language, Science and Social Studies through Music, Visual art, Rap, Spoken Word, Drama and Dance. Sara was a principal artist at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Learning Through the Arts program for over 15 years before moving to Hamilton to manage the program in South Central Ontario. She was very excited to join the AGH in 2018 and has grown the program to reach over 5000 students in Hamilton in 2019/20
Dr. Luseadra McKerracher
Dr. Luseadra McKerracher is a biological anthropologist who works to understand factors that affect diet and health across the lifespan - from the egg stage all the way up to old age - but especially during pregnancy and right after birth. She has worked on field projects in several different places in Canada, as well as one in Guatemala. You can read more about her work here, and find most of what she's written here. When Dr. McKerracher isn't busy with research, you'll find her playing with her two little daughters, doing untold numbers of loads of laundry and dishes, reading fiction, writing poetry, playing the guitar or the ukulele, riding her bike, or running around in nature. Dr. McKerracher leads the CanTec19 Study with Dr. Sloboda.
Dr. Catharine Munn
Dr. Catharine Munn is a psychiatrist with 17 years of experience working clinically in collaborative care with family physicians and counsellors to care for youth with mental health and substance use problems, and leading mental health teams within post-secondary settings. She has co-led the development and implementation of policies and processes across campus at McMaster University to address student mental health and well-being issues, most recently led the McMaster Student Mental Health and Well-being Strategy.
Dr. Deborah Sloboda
Dr. Deborah Sloboda is a Professor and the Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Programming. Dr. Sloboda investigates how early life adversity impacts the risk of non-communicable disease later in life and in other studies, she works with expectant mothers and services that support pregnant women to improve diet, and body composition of women before and after conception.Dr. Sloboda Leads the CanTec19 Study, along with Dr. McKerracher.
STUDENT RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Shania Bhopa is a current Global Health PhD student at McMaster with a speciality in Health Communications and Youth education. Bhopa is co-founder of a GTA based non-profit organization, The Canadian Courage Project. Most recently she launched her first childrens book titled Gurk & Bianca the story of the gut-brain connection on a path to mindfulness.
Mégane Bouchard is entering her fourth year in the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, while also pursuing a minor in French. She is a strong advocate for accessible health care and has spent three years volunteering with marginalized communities in Hamilton to provide access to food, clothes, and health information. She is a volunteer within the Hamilton Health Sciences, and also works as a member of the Aging, Community, and Health Research Unit at McMaster University. In her downtime, she enjoys fitness, painting, and watching Netflix originals.
Jordan Chin is pursuing her fourth year in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. She is passionate about interdisciplinary discussion and improving the public's accessibility to research. As a result, she has fostered an information exchange between researchers and students at the McMaster Child Health Conference, and researched how to integrate the arts with science. In her spare time, she can be found drawing, planning her next travel adventure, or baking (probably something chocolate).
Josephine Ding is in her second year of the Bachelor of Health Sciences at McMaster university. As an advocate for mental health and wellbeing, she enjoys volunteering as a peer supporter at the Student Health and Education Center (SHEC) as well as helping first-year students transition to university as a Health Sciences representative and Media and Design executive for Horizons. In her spare time, you can find her creating digital illustrations, doing photography or drinking bubble tea.
Julia Habashy is pursuing her third-year Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, specializing in Child Health at McMaster University. She has developed a strong commitment to improving students’ educational outcomes through her extensive experiences working with students and youths in a variety of fields. She has also organized art workshops, fundraising initiatives, and an annual art show for students in partnership with the McMaster Museum of Art. In her free time, she enjoys running, making videos, travelling, and fam-time.
Devon Malhotra is entering his fourth year in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. He is an avid researcher and has worked in the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact. Outside of academia, he enjoys volunteering within the healthcare sector and playing sports, such as soccer and basketball.
Eamonn Vallely is entering his third year as an Honours Kinesiology student at McMaster. His research interests include neurophysiology, muscle physiology, epigenetics, as well as the sociopolitical influences on human health and development. Outside of his academic interests, Eamonn enjoys writing and performing music and mentoring children to be healthy and responsible through athletics and conversation. Some of his favourite artistic creators include: Bon Iver, John Mulaney, Frank Ocean and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Tavishi Weeraratna is in her fifth year of the Honors Biology and Pharmacology Co-op program at McMaster University. As a classically trained violinist, she has always appreciated the value of the arts. She has a passion for community engagement and learning more about developing healthy coping mechanisms to become more resilient. During her free time, she enjoys gardening, playing badminton, and reading crime and thriller novels.