After working as a front-line social worker, administrator and consultant in the non-profit, public and private sectors, I completed my PhD in social work at the University Toronto in 2006. I received my BSW in 1993 and my MSW (Social Policy and Administration) in 1997 from Memorial University of...
After working as a front-line social worker, administrator and consultant in the non-profit, public and private sectors, I completed my PhD in social work at the University Toronto in 2006. I received my BSW in 1993 and my MSW (Social Policy and Administration) in 1997 from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Prior to joining Laurier, I was a faculty member with the School of Social Work, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
My research addresses the social exclusion/inclusion, wellbeing, and resilience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-spirt, and other gender and sexually diverse people (LGBTQ2S+) people. Specifically, I examine the effects of contemporary heterosexism and cisgenderism, including subtle microaggressions (e.g., overhearing the phrase, “that’s so gay”) on LGBTQ2S+ people's wellbeing, and identify factors that can foster resilience. I also study heterosexist attitudes and support for LGBTQ2S+ civil rights. Additionally, I engage in HIV/AIDS prevention research among men who have sex with men and among other vulnerable groups. Much of my recent work examines the relationship between campus climate, socio-ecological risk and protective factors and the health and academic wellbeing of LGBTQ2S+ university students. Part of this work involves exploring the influence of intersecting identities on these relationships.
Currently, my colleagues and I are preparing to conduct the study, Thriving on Campus? Promoting the acceptance, wellbeing, and academic development of LGBTQ2S+ university students throughout Ontario of the experiences, resilience, and wellbeing of LGBTQ2S+ university students. The study includes a scan of LGBTQ2S+ policies and resources on campuses, and an online survey and follow-up interviews with LGBTQ2S+ students from throughout the province. The final phase involves sharing the findings with universities, student groups, and policymakers in order to inform policies, programs, and services. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and is guided by a multi-stakeholder advisory committee. Funding from Wilfrid Laurier University supported aspects of survey development. For more information, including videos about the study and ways to foster LGBTQ inclusion, please see lgbtqstudentresearch.wordpress.com