Contributor Profiles 2015-2016

 Michael Bach

Inaugural Guest Blogger – Michael Bach, Founder & CEO, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)









Michael Bach is the Founder & CEO of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), which he launched officially in February of 2013. Prior to the CCDI’s creation he was the National Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for KPMG in Canada, a role he created and held for over 7 years. Additionally, Michael completed a 2½ year secondment as the former Deputy Chief Diversity Officer for KPMG International. He is nationally and internationally recognized as a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of diversity, inclusion and employment equity, bringing a vast knowledge of leading practices in a live setting to his work.

Over the course of his career, Michael has received repeated recognition for his work including: a Women of Influence’s 2012 and 2011 Canadian Diversity Champions Award, the Catalyst Canada Honours Human Resources/Diversity Leader award, an Inspire Award as LGBTQ Person of the Year, the Out on Bay Street Leaders to be Proud of LGBT Advocate Workplace Award, the Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award, the Toronto Immigrant Employment Council IS Award, and the KPMG CEO Community Excellent Award. Michael was also honoured to march as the Grand Marshall of the Toronto Pride Parade in 2011.

Michael and the CCDI have appeared on broadcasts of CBC’s The National, CBC’s Metro Morning, Global News, USA Today, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, among others. Michael and the CCDI have also appeared in or written for such publications as BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Advocate, OUT, Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, UpWorthy, Gay Star News, The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post Canada, The Toronto Star, the MARC Movement, Catalyst, and many more.

Company: The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion









Mala Joneja is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University. She is the Director of Diversity for the School of Medicine. She was born in Kingston and grew up in the city. She completed medical school here at Queen’s University, and her residency training at the University of Western Ontario. She completed a Master of Education degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.







Sarah Kastner is a PhD candidate in the department of English Language and Literature at Queen’s University. Her work on Zimbabwean authors Yvonne Vera and Dambudzo Marechera explores questions of the literary archive and life writing studies, identifying a new politics of mourning and (in)visibility in globalized cultures of literary circulation and reception. With the support of the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, this past winter Sarah carried out archival research in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. She has also written about the creative nexus between academic and family life that is specific to her Zimbabwean-Canadian
family’s experience.







Billie Kearns is a second year Electrical Engineering student at Queen’s. Billie is originally from Yellowknife and is of Dene descent, but over the years has moved quite a bit within Ontario and learned many Anishnaabe teachings. Within the hectic schedule of an engineering student, Billie still makes time for her passions in the arts. She is the editor-in-chief of Empress Magazine, performs spoken word poetry at Queen’s Poetry Slam, and plays french horn within the Queen’s University Chamber Orchestra. Though it often proves difficult, she strives to connect her love of art, engineering, and her culture in her everyday life.







De-Lawrence Lamptey is a doctoral student at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s. His research is about improving access to healthcare for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Ghana. Before coming to Queen’s, he worked with children with IDD in clinical and educational settings as a clinical psychologist in Ghana. He has a BA (honors) degree in Psychology major, Music minor and MPhil degree in Psychology (clinical option) from the University of Ghana, Legon.









TK Pritchard is a recent graduate of Queen’s, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Drama.  He is currently a Sexual Health Youth Facilitator for the Sexual Health Options, Resources and Education (SHORE) Centre, in Kitchener.

While at Queen’s he worked extensively in student government for the Alma Mater Society. He served as the Vice President of University Affairs, the Social Issues Commissioner and the Administration Manager for the Student Life Centre. Further, he was a Steering Committee member for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.  His work revolved heavily around equity, diversity, and advocacy, and his responsibilities included event development, training design and delivery, lobbying, authoring policy and various other tasks.

TK is passionate about anti-oppression work, queer and trans issues, politics, bow ties and cats. In his spare time, you will likely find him fishing, or hanging out with his partner while watching a Tina Fey and/or Amy Poehler related show.







James McNutt is a graduate student in the Faculty of Education. He is currently studying the history of medical curriculum. James was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and has used a wheelchair all of his life. James has and continues to be an advocate for educational opportunities for all.







Mona Rahman is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and is currently serving as the Educational Coordinator of the Islamic Society of Kingston. Mona was born and raised in Kingston; some might say she was also born and raised at Queen’s University as she was born while her father was in the midst of graduate studies here and, before the Islamic Centre of Kingston was built, most of the activities of the Muslim community revolved around campus, particularly the International Centre. She completed both her undergraduate degree as well as her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Queen’s University, as well as a post-doctoral fellowship in Vascular Biology at the Robarts Research Institute in London, ON.

During her tenure as a student at Queen’s University, Mona was involved in the Queen’s University Muslim Students’ Association (QUMSA), serving in various Executive positions including Chair (1993-94). This led to an involvement in the Queen’s Interfaith Council for several years, as well as an involvement with the MSA of the USA & Canada.   She has also served as QUMSA advisor, both officially and unofficially, through the years which led to an involvement with QUMSA’s Campaign For a Hate-Free Campus. Mona works with both children and youth in the Muslim community, as the coordinator of the Muslim Children’s Circle as well as being an advisor for the Kingston Muslim Youth, and teaching at the ISK Evening & Weekend school. In the past, she has also served as an advisor in the Multifaith Youth Group in Kingston. Mona makes regular presentations on Islam, Muslims and relevant topics to various audiences (i.e. schools, on campus, etc.). She is currently serving as Co-Chair for the Give30 Campaign in Kingston, which aims to raise money for local Food Banks during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting.

In addition to her scientific publications, she has contributed a chapter entitled “Activism: A Part of Life” in a collection of essays entitled: “Muslim Women Activists in North America: Speaking for Ourselves” edited by fellow Queen’s alumna, Katherine Bullock.







Joelle Thorpe is an alumna of Queen’s University (BScH ’07, MSc ’09) and McMaster University (PhD ’13), where she studied biology and psychology with a focus on reproductive and stress endocrinology. Switching her attention from furry lab critters to humans, she is now a Clinical Research Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine at Queen’s University. When she’s not at work, Joelle enjoys writing about science and post-PhD life.


Images for Sarah, Billie, De-Lawrence, James, Joelle and Mona by Greg Black Photography