Fellowship Program

Summer 2020

The Social Connectedness Fellowship empowers students and recent graduates to carry out innovative research that will inspire local and global action to build community and belonging.

Over the next few months, our Fellows will conduct research with partner organizations to address issues relating to social isolation and belonging, connect with experts and communities who can inform their research questions, engage virtually and creatively with the communities their research is designed to serve, and offer recommendations across community, program, research, and policy areas to build belonging and connectedness.

The 2020 cohort consists of exceptional students and graduates from around the world across a variety of disciplines: commerce, political science, sociology, law, education, psychology, public policy.

Fellows

Bianca Braganza | Exploring Community Mental Health Models in Toronto

Bianca is a second year JD/BCL student at McGill’s Faculty of Law and holds an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences from Western University, and a Master of Science in Global Health from McMaster University. She grew up in Toronto, and is passionate about children and youth access to education and justice, as well as the intersection of health, economic development, community building and resilience, and the law.

Bianca will be working with the City of Toronto to examine how mental health resources and models from the Jane-Finch community can be replicated and sustained.

Hana Geadah | Evaluating the Household Model on Health Outcomes

Hana grew up between Washington, D.C. and Beirut and moved to Montreal to complete an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Science and African Studies from McGill University. Hana has long been interested in the efficacy of health care and is dedicated to the realization of anti-oppressive policy at community and structural levels. She is particularly interested in how successful community systems can improve wellbeing and health outcomes. Hana plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health in order to further her understanding of effective health care policies to support social change.

Hana will be working with Partners In Health Liberia to analyze the impact of the household model in Liberia on the communities’ well-being, health and sense of social connectedness.

Emma Greenfield | Building Indigenous Post-Secondary Student Success

Emma Greenfield is currently working towards her Master of Education in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Emma is passionate about anti-oppressive education and decolonizing pedagogies. Her work largely centres around reimagining education systems that are more inclusive of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit stories, knowledge, and perspectives. Emma grew up in Schomberg, Ontario and currently resides in Toronto. She is British, Irish, French, Italian, and Mohawk.

Emma will be working with TakingITGlobal to document the barriers and best practices within post-secondary institutions to create more inclusive environments for Indigenous students.

Ji Yoon Han | Addressing the Challenges of COVID-19

Ji Yoon completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bioethics from the University of Toronto. She grew up in Oakville, Ontario, but has lived in South Korea, the United States and Germany. She is currently finishing up the first year of her Master of Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is passionate about building robust global governance institutions and hopes to pursue a career in an international organization advocating for a sustainable, inclusive system for all.

Ji Yoon will be working with SCSC to explore the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and compile lessons learned and best practices to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic going forward.

Lebogang Mahlalela | Diversifying Leadership Models in South Africa

Lebo completed an Honours degree in Sociology, as well as a Bachelor of Political Science in International Relations from the University of Pretoria. She grew up in South Africa, and moved around a lot, living in Uganda, the United States and Rwanda. She is passionate about social justice and committed to building a society completely free from all forms of oppression. Lebo is also interested in revolutionary politics and social movements. Her goal is to gain experience, deepened knowledge and networks in order to fully participate in meaningfully constructing a society founded on equality and justice — through praxis, writing and action.

Lebo will be working with Synergos Institute South Africa to identify how social connectedness builds better leaders through the Social Connectedness Programme.

Hannah Melville-Rea | Strengthening Environmental Performance Indicators

With parents from Australia and New Zealand, Hannah grew up in Osaka, Japan. She studied Political Science and Economics at New York University Abu Dhabi and developed an interest in climate policy. Following graduation, she remained in the UAE to pursue independent research on the socio-political impacts of climate disasters, focusing on drought in Australia. Hannah aspires to work at the intersection between research and policy to aid our transition towards a low-carbon economy and climate resilient future.

Hannah will be working with Data-Driven EnviroLab to explore additional environmental indicators to add to the Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index.

Olivia Najdovski | Engaging Siblings with Intellectual Disabilities

Olivia graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science specializing in Psychology. She was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Olivia is passionate about research and its applications, fueled by her involvement in psychology research at the University of Toronto. More specifically, she has a strong interest in the application of research findings to develop solutions for complex, real-world issues. Olivia aspires to pursue a PhD in Organizational Behaviour.

Olivia will be working with Special Olympics International to better understand the sibling experience of athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Sarah Roberts | Surveying Refugee Integration Across Canada

Sarah has spent the majority of her life calling the east coast of Canada her beloved home. She is currently studying Management with a major in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a Minor in Economics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Throughout her degree, Sarah has cultivated a passion about the struggles of newcomers to Canada as well as new entrepreneurs. Whether she starts her own social enterprise or works within one, she is devoted to creating positive social change throughout her career.

Sarah will be working with SCSC under the Common Threads program to document integration services for newly arrived migrants across Canada.

Mayumi Sato | Understanding Belonging for Older People

Mayumi is a current postgraduate student studying Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Having lived in several countries in Asia, North America, and Europe, she is passionate about social and environmental activism, and building bridges between scholarship, community advocacy, and policymaking from the local to the global level. She developed this ethos while working in Thailand and Laos in development and research for migrant workers, Indigenous rights, and community rights as a Princeton in Asia Fellow. In the future, she hopes to continue her work in gender, climate, and racial justice by working alongside local and underserved communities around the world.

Mayumi will be working with HelpAge International to document what belonging means to older people, starting with the country of Moldova.

Lateisha Ugwuegbula | Building an Indigenous-Led Learning System

Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Lateisha has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Western Ontario and has recently completed a Master of Development Practice at the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about development and social justice and reducing inequalities for disadvantaged and marginalized communities, particularly through education. In the future Lateisha hopes to pursue a PhD in Social Justice Education and to continue to educate and empower herself and others.

Lateisha will be working with Elders and Knowledge Holders from Manitoba (with the support of the Misipawistik Cree Nation) to build a foundation of research and case studies to support the early development of an Indigenous-led Traditional learning system in Manitoba.