Participants of the 2019 Ontario Competition
Name: Amanda Brissenden
Program: Chemical Engineering, specializing in Biomedical Engineering
Title of Presentation: Building Blocks For A Healthier Spine
Amanda is a doctoral candidate from Queen’s University, enrolled in Chemical Engineering in the Collaborative Biomedical Engineering program. She was drawn to the biomedical engineering field as it brought together her undergraduate background in chemical engineering and her passion for biology and medicine. Her research focuses on biomaterial development for treating degeneration of the intervertebral discs in the spine. Volunteering at Kingston General Hospital, Amanda realized the importance and challenge of effectively communicating science and making medical research accessible. This led her to consider how to share her own research, and ultimately to enter the 3MT competition. Outside of the lab, Amanda loves the outdoors and gets out to hike, paddle, and climb as much as possible.
The list of participants from other participating schools is below.
Name: Alicia Azzano
Program: Applied Disability Studies with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis
Title of Presentation: Prevention of Autism: Can Parents Make it Happen?
Alicia Azzano is completing the master of arts in Applied Disability Studies program at Brock University. She has previously completed a bachelor of arts in Child and Youth (Honours) and a bachelor of education. Alicia began pursuing research in the fourth year of her undergraduate studies with Dr. Maurice Feldman, studying the relationship between early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and family history conditions for infants at low and high risk of ASD. For her MA thesis, with Dr. Maurice Feldman, Dr. Rebecca Ward, and Dr. Tricia Vause, she is studying the effectiveness of parent-mediated intervention using behaviour analytic teaching strategies for improving targeted behaviours characteristic of ASD for at-risk infants. Alicia presented a poster of her research at The Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis 2018 Annual Conference and is presenting a poster of her research at the May 2019 45th Annual Convention for the Association for Behavior Analysis International in Chicago, Illinois. Alicia looks forward to continuing research in early symptom identification and intervention with infants at-risk for ASD.
Name: Melody Gavel
Title of Presentation: Are pesticides killing frogs? Examining the link between pesticide use and amphibian disease
Melody Gavel is in the first year of her master’s degree in biology at Carleton University. Her research looks at the impacts of commonly used pesticides on the immune systems and disease susceptibility of native frog species. Melody’s work will help to establish safer guidelines for pesticide usage, necessary for the conservation of frogs. She is an avid nature enthusiast with a passion for preserving wildlife biodiversity. Outside of her research life, Melody enjoys spending time with her daughter, scuba diving, and inspiring other parents to pursue their academic goals.
Name: Anthony Incognito
Program: Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
Title of Presentation: Fight-or-flight to differential control: Fine-tuning out understanding of sympathetic nerves
Anthony is from Markham, Ont, and completed a Kinesiology degree from UofT and a master’s of science from the University of Guelph. Anthony was the recipient of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award as well as a Research Recognition Award from Neural Control and Autonomic Regulation at Experimental Biology in 2019. Anthony would like to complete his PhD and then begin and a postdoctoral fellowship in hopes of becoming a professor so he can forever study what he loves. Aside from loving how the brain drives chronic diseases, Anthony would like to travel Europe one day and in his past life, he is a hockey player and martial arts black belt in a past life.
Name: Alexander Bilyk
Program: Forest Science
Title of Presentation: Enhancing Forest Inventory with Terrestial LiDAR
Alexander graduated from the MScF program at Lakehead University in 2011. He is currently pursuing a PhD with a focus on improving the forest resource inventory. He runs Overstory Consultants, a remote sensing and GIS consulting firm with clients across Canada. His focus is always on providing innovative solutions and making sure that the solutions can be used in the real world. He also manages the applied research group in the faculty of Natural Resources Management, LU-CARIS, and teaches the remote sensing courses in the faculty. His latest projects include Enhancing Forest Inventory with Terrestrial LiDAR, a project sponsored by Forestry Futures Trust Ontario and Resolute FP Canada Inc., as well as hosting the Unpublished Paradigm podcast.
Name: Chelsea Pike
Program: Science Communication
Title of Presentation: A Problem We Need to Talk About: A Look into 21st Century Public Health Communication Research
Chelsea Pike is currently in the masters in science Communication program at Laurentian University. She has previously completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program with a minor in biology and her bachelor of education degree at Queen's University. Her research is focused on describing the attitudes of Canadians towards FASD as identified in the online Facebook discourse. Her study combines her passion for health promotion and education by allowing her to investigate an underrepresented public health issue that affects a variety of social issues within a Canadian context.
Name: Matthew Campea
Program: Chemical Engineering
Title of Presentation: The Sweet Spot: Enhancing Cancer Treatment with Sugars
Matthew is in his first year of his master’s at McMaster University, the place he also called home during his undergraduate studies. Since his childhood, Matthew’s family has been touched by cancer: he made it his passion to create safer methods for chemotherapy. His current research does this by developing small-scale chemotherapy drug carriers using chemically-modified sugars. Matthew’s ultimate goal is to remove the harmful side effects associated with chemotherapy by creating drug carriers that specifically target cancer cells instead of healthy ones. He hopes that – in less than 3 minutes – he can give hope to anyone touched by cancer.
Name: Jordan Sutcliffe
Title of Presentation: Rink Rage: A New Canadian Culture?
Jordan began his post-secondary education at the University of Ottawa, where he completed a bachelor of science specializing in human kinetics. During his undergraduate studies, Jordan was privileged to play on the men’s varsity football team for four seasons. As such, his time as a student, athlete and now the coach has provided a passion and curiosity to better understand the social environment in sport and its influence on youth development. Therefore, Jordan’s master’s research seeks to better understand competitive youth sports parents’ behaviour through assessment of their identity and well being. He is also involved in research pertaining to mental health in sport, positive youth development, and naturalistic athlete observation. Outside of his studies, Jordan finds joy in travel, coaching youth sports, outdoor recreation, and amateur investing.
Name: Uttara Ghodke
Program: Inclusive Design
Title of Presentation: The Cross-Sensory Globe: Co-designing a 3D Audio-Tactile Globe Prototype for Blind and Low-Vision users to learn Geography
Prior to attending OCAD University Uttara Ghodke's specialty was industrial product design, which she studies at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology University (MIT U). She is currently building on these skills to develop research in the area of non-visual and cross-sensory data analytics tools that employ a combination of tactile, aural, and visual cues through a single object or integrated system to communicate geographic information for blind, low-vision, and sighted audiences alike. Her research is supervised by Dr. Peter Coppin and Dr. Sowmya Somanath.
Name: Sarah Habibi
Program: Applied Bioscience
Title of Presentation: Can we save livestock from parasites? Overcoming a global drug resistance problem
Sarah is a researcher, science communicator, and teacher. She loved frog catching when she was a kid, and collecting worms on rainy days. Her house and wardrobe are all shades of white and pink. She was a national level wrestler in high school. Austrian/Egyptian, born and raised in Brampton Ontario.
Name: Stephanie Woodworth
Title of Presentation: Decolonizing Autoethnography: Where's the water in kinesiology
Stephanie Woodworth is a PhD candidate in human geography at the University of Ottawa. She completed her undergraduate and master's degree in kinesiology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include decolonization, water and human movement, youth education, land-based pedagogies, Indigenous methodologies, and knowledge co-production.
Name: David Patch
Program: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Title of Presentation: A Slippery Situation: Release of PFAS from Commercial Products
David Patch grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, where he worked as a swimming instructor and spent a lot of time volunteering with schools, youth groups, and students with special needs. David studied at the University of Toronto in the fields of analytical chemistry and environmental sciences where, upon graduating, he moved to Kingston for graduate studies. He does research under the Environmental Sciences Group with supervisors Dr. Iris Koch and Kela Weber looking at emerging contaminants. David is passionate about accessible education, science outreach, environmental initiatives and citizen science.
Name: Alex Kjorven
Program: Environmental Applied Science & Management
Title of Presentation: The Gamification of Climate Change
Alex Kjorven is dedicated to using business tools to solve social and environmental issues. Her graduate work in environmental science at Ryerson University involves building a commercial board-game engineered to challenge individual perceptions and attitudes toward climate change. Professionally, she is a sessional lecturer on social entrepreneurship and currently VP corporate development at Parcel Finance, an investment fund purchasing homes alongside families where homeownership would otherwise be unattainable. Her other work with social ventures include being COO at ChargeLab, a tech startup building software for EV charging, and also as head of applied innovation at Purpose Capital, an advisory firm specializing in impact investing. She has held numerous roles with MaRS and KPMG LLP and has also spent time overseas serving as the CEO of the Trinidad & Tobago Corporate Governance Institute. Alex is a chartered accountant and a graduate of Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto.
Name: Shane Saunderson
Program: Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Title of Presentation: Persuasive Robotics and the Social Machine
Shane Saunderson received a BEng in mechanical engineering from McGill University in 2005 and an MBA in technology and innovation from Ryerson University in 2011. He is currently a PhD candidate studying social human-robot interaction under Prof. Goldie Nejat within the Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Laboratory (ASBLab) in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. Shane holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and is a Junior Fellow with Massey College. His research focuses on the psychological influence caused by robots during social interactions with a particular interest in topics such as persuasion, trust, and leadership.
Name: Katherine Viscardis
Program: Canadian Studies
Title of Presentation: Locked Away and Out of Sight
Katharine Viscardis is a PhD Candidate in the Canadian Studies program at Trent University and works under the supervision of Janet Miron. Having witnessed the horrors of child institutionalization while volunteering in a Bulgarian orphanage for one month in 2010, Katharine attempts to understand the foundations and conditions of institutions for children and the abuse of children therein. Her dissertation explores the history and legacy of Canada’s first institution designed, officially, for children and adults with disabilities, the Huronia Regional Centre (1887-2009). It outlines the violent experiences of children who were admitted there, considers how such violence against children could occur for so long in a state-run facility, and questions how much has changed in the lives of survivors and children with disabilities after the institution’s closure in 2009. It asks, does institutionalization truly end with the closure of physical spaces of incarceration? Katharine’s dissertation is a significant and necessary contribution to research particularly considering the current political climate of austerity which threatens to destabilize, if not reverse, the gains made in the movement for deinstitutionalization.
Name: Haya Almutairi
Program: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Title of Presentation: Self-Healing Asphalt Pavement
Haya started her PhD in January 2016 at CPATT under the supervision of Prof. Hassan Baaj. She received her bachelor's and master’s degrees in 2007 and 2013, respectively, from Kuwait University. In addition, Haya also has six years of practical experience as a civil engineer with the Ministry of Public Works in Kuwait in the road design and maintenance department. Haya’s research is part of a research program aiming for the development of High-Performance Asphalt Mixes (HPAM). She focuses on the investigation of the use of nanomaterials in asphalt mixes as a solution for self-healing and mitigation of fatigue and low temperature cracking. Haya is a recipient of the Ministry of Public Works in Kuwait Scholarship and her research is supported by the Discovery Grant funding program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Name: Yoah Sui
Title of Presentation: Sofa, so good? Maybe not.
Yoah Sui is a third-year PhD candidate in the department of kinesiology at Western University. He completed his BSc honors specialization in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo (2014) and MA in kinesiology at Western University (2016) under the supervision of Dr. Harry Prapavessis. He is currently pursuing his PhD under the continued supervision of Dr. Prapavessis. His research interests include examining: (i) the cognition surrounding sedentary behaviour among university students, (ii) the effectiveness and feasibility of theory-driven message framing interventions to modify sedentary behaviour cognition, and (iii) the impact of sedentary behaviour cognition on psycho-social and wellness outcomes. In his spare time, Yoah enjoys staying active at the gym, fixing bikes, and chasing after his two dogs.
Name: Mariam Elmarsafy
Program: Integrative Biology
Title of Presentation: Resurrection Ecology: Determining Water Flea Tolerance to Salinity
Mariam is very passionate about her research and loves what she does. At Wilfrid Laurier University, she has a steady source of encouragement and support from faculty and peers that drives me to do my very best. Currently, Mariam is completing a master of science degree where she uses an approach called ‘resurrection ecology’ to determine how the water flea, an important member of the aquatic food web, will respond to climate-driven increases in lake salinity. Mariam’s research has taken her to North Dakota and Northwest Territories where she learned about the impacts of environmental change in freshwater lakes first hand.
Mariam hopes to use the skills she has gained in her master’s degree to teach younger generations about the impact climate change has on freshwater ecosystems and what we can do about it.
Name: John Freer
Program: Education Studies
Unable to Participate.
John Freer is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor. John is in the Cognition and Learning stream of the joint PhD program in Educational Studies. Inspired by his own experiences growing up with epilepsy, John studies students’ attitudes toward disability and investigates its implications for inclusive education. For his dissertation research project, John developed a new 12-lesson intervention aimed at enhancing students’ attitudes toward disability. His intervention is the first ever that explicitly targets all three dimensions of attitude (i.e., feelings, thoughts, and behaviour). In addition to his PhD studies, John is also a professor at St. Clair College in the School of Community Studies and a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor (Disability Studies, Psychology, and Education).
Name: Lina Deker
Title of Presentation: Using Art to Facilitate Communicating Emotions among Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Lina received her BA in Psychology and Bachelor of Education as part of the Concurrent Teachers’ Education Program at York University. She then completed her master’s degree where she examined the relationship between art and communicating emotions among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is currently completing her PhD in psychology where she is studying children’s cognitive development of memory.