Darya Berezhnova
RA for Collaborative Solutions to Inequitable Urban Change Research Project

Dasha's pictureDasha is pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Waterloo in Political Science and Peace & Conflict Studies. She is currently working as a co-op student on the Collaborative Solutions to Inequitable Urban Change research project. Led by an interdisciplinary team of researchers, this project looks at how urban change-related opportunities and challenges are experienced by the different communities who work, live, and access services in Downtown Kitchener. This qualitative study uses focus groups and a photovice exercise to gather and share knowledge of diverse aspects of urban change, with the goal of increasing communication and collaboration across sectors.

Ashley Gallant
RA for Regional Tourism Organization 4 Research Project

Photo of Ashley GallantAshley recently completed her Masters in Tourism Policy and Planning at the University of Waterloo, where she focused on the impacts of cottaging on the local community in Muskoka, Ontario. Her interests are on development in rural communities, specifically in a Canadian context, and its relation to the tourism industry. Aspects such as economic development, community engagement, preserving natural spaces, rural poverty, and displacement of local people are at the heart of her work. Ashley holds an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Sport Business from the University of Waterloo and will be pursuing her PhD at North Carolina State University in Sustainable Tourism in the Fall of 2017.

Christine Sheppard
RA for CHEC-Waterloo Region Mental Health Work Group Project

Picture of Christine SheppardChristine Sheppard is a PhD student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, specializing in Aging, Health and Well-Being. She holds her Masters in Social Work with a specialization in gerontology from the University of Toronto. Christine’s research interests focus on community mobility and engagement, and the role of older adult centres in promoting social participation. She is also passionate about program evaluation and is currently working with older adult centres across Ontario to build evaluation capacity.

Kathryn Jastremski
RA for CHEC-Cornerstone Standards Council Project

Pic of Kathryn standing on rocky pinnacle overlooking forest.Kathryn is a PhD candidate in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. She holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning at the University of Montreal and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Her research interests concern the pursuit of sustainability through collaborative initiatives and institutionalised public participation processes such as municipal planning and provincial or federal environmental impact assessment processes. More specifically, her PhD research investigates how rural forest-dependent communities can respond to the recent forestry crisis in a way that fosters sustainability through community-led collaborative initiatives. In addition to working in academia, she has professional experience in planning departments at the municipal, regional and metropolitan levels. She recently worked for the Montreal Metropolitan Community as an environmental analyst for the public consultations of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project providing insights on the impacts and potential benefits of the project to the elected members of the Environment Commission.  

Paula LaGamba​
RA for CHEC-Stratford and Perth Community Foundation Donor Demographic Survey Project
Profile picture of Paula LaGamba

Paula LaGamba is currently pursing her Masters in Public Service within the Faculty of Arts. She holds an undergraduate degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Applied Economics. Her main interest is public economics, specifically government rational for social programs. 


Jespal Panesar
RA for CHEC-Cornerstone Standards Council Project

Profile picture of Jespal Panesar.Jespal is a PhD candidate in The School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Her current research concentrates on transboundary water governance in South Asia. She is interested in collaborative perspectives and approaches to water governance. This includes understanding the enabling role of bridging organizations in science-policy intersections involving multi-actor, multi-scale water governance. Jespal worked as an Adjunct Professor as well as with CHEC as a Graduate Research Assistant to help undertake research on the role of stakeholder engagement in the Canadian aggregate industry involving the private sector, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.

Henry Wong
RA for CHEC-Shelterlink Project

Profile picture of Henry Wong.Henry Wong graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2015 with a Master in Public Service, in the Faculty of Arts. Previously, he had graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Art, Double Major in History and Political Science. His key research areas of professional interest are diverse as he believes in having well rounded knowledge in as many policy and research areas as possible. His personal interests revolve around social development and social policy, especially in relation to social accountability and economic impacts of effective social policy and development. When able, Henry invests his time and effort in volunteering with organizations to better the social environment. In 2015/2016, Henry conducted research and analysis on behalf of CHEC for Stratford/Perth Sheltherlink on Youth Homelessness in the region. Over a six month period, he consulted stakeholders, researched the dialogue on youth homelessness in Canada, which included the provincial and federal strategies on tackling homelessness, and provided policy recommendations/improvements to the organization.