Meet the Team

U-Flourish is possible through collaborations across Queen's University and beyond. Interested in contributing to our research team? Contact us! 


Anne Duffy

Dr. Anne Duffy, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Principal Investigator

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Duffy:

Universities have an obligation to provide a healthy environment that fosters student well-being and scholarship, while ensuring appropriate resources are in place to support students with existing or emerging mental health concerns. Almost 50% of high school graduates now attend university, hence the university population increasingly resembles the wider emerging adult population. The transition to university life comes at a critical time of accelerated brain, intellectual and psychosocial development coupled with exposure to a number of academic, social and financial stressors. Moreover, adolescence and early adulthood represents the peak risk period for onset of mental illness. Over 40% of university students report feeling stressed and over 25% identify as having an existing mental health or learning challenge. Yet there is limited research to inform universities about how to address the spectrum of need for an increasingly diverse student population – from developing resiliency and academic support resources to crisis intervention to providing timely and effective programs for students with evolving mental illness.

The U-Flourish study examines why some first-year Queen's students flourish in term so their academic success and emotional well-being, while others do not. We are also evaluating the student experience with and efficacy of digitally supported well-being resources and self-monitoring for students with common mental health related concerns.  This year, in partnership with the Clinical Development Unit at Queen’s, we will be developing and evaluating an online for credit course in mental health literacy.  Our research involves collaboration across campus and institutions and is student-informed.  We expect that findings will inform the development of resources to support students in the transition to university life.  However, to be successful, we need to hear from you - the students.  Please consider taking part in this important student focused research.

Dr. William Pickett, Ph.D.
 Associate Professor, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (Brock University)

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Pickett:

He is particularly interested in understanding the factors that allow young people to thrive in terms of their mental, social and spiritual health. In his day to day work as a researcher and educator, he sees the many challenges that young people face vocationally at Queen’s, and is excited to support efforts to gather new evidence that will ultimately assist in creating conditions on campus that are positive and caring.


 Dr. Keown-Stoneman

Dr. Charles Keown-Stoneman, Ph.D.
 Scientist, Applied Health Research Centre (Unity Health Toronto)

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Keown-Stoneman:

Childhood and student mental health are important areas of research to me personally. I am pleased that I am able to lend my expertise as a biostatistician to the on-going U-Flourish study, and help answer the important questions that are being addressed by this unique and exciting cohort study.

Emily Headshot

Emily Dephoure
Student Engagement Co-Lead (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Emily:

Mental health promotion and education has been a passion of mine that I have actively been engaged in since high school. Joining UFlourish’s Student Engagement Team at Queen’s University has allowed me to continue my passion while also having a substantial impact on university-students mental well-being. UFlourish is important to me because we work as a team to dismantle stigma surrounding mental health, better understand the mental health needs of our peers and create essential resources to support students. My time on the UFlourish team has been extremely rewarding thus far. 


Shania Sheth
Role: Student Engagement Member (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Shania:

U-Flourish actively seeks to identify how student mental health and well-being can be improved. As a student interested in mental health research, I believe U-Flourish is an extremely valuable endeavour that will promote the development of essential mental health resources for university students. The U-Flourish project represents a significant step towards enhancing students’ educational experience and creating supportive learning environments. I am confident that U-Flourish will empower students to advocate for their mental health and well-being.


Edie Attwood
Student Engagement Co-Lead (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Edie:

I believe the first step toward addressing the issue of student mental health is to listen to concerns from students themselves. U-Flourish allows students to voice their concerns and needs through the survey, so that we can create resources to improve mental health and well-being on campus.  U-Flourish is so important to me because of its potential to improve mental health in the Queen’s community.


Haley Kombargi
Role: Student Engagement Member (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Haley:

Passionate about destigmatizing mental health, I am committed to fostering more inclusive and equitable environments for students to improve their mental health. Determined to increase access to mental health resources, U-Flourish empowers students with data to analyze mental health trends. Collaboratively working with a diverse team, I am excited to critically and creatively identify innovative solutions for mutual growth, success, and well-being.

Nathan King, Ph.D.
Role: Research Scientist, Department of Psychiatry (Queen's)


Dr. Kate Harkness, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Harkness:

For many, University is a stressful, yet exciting transition full of opportunities for growth and challenge. However, for others this stress can be overwhelming. What I find so exciting about the U-Flourish project is that it will allow us to better understand the factors that contribute to positive mental health and resiliency in our students. And, it will allow us to identify factors that place some students at risk for mental health challenges during this time. Ultimately, we will be able to use this knowledge to work collaboratively with students, staff, and faculty at Queen’s to develop programs that help all students to flourish.

Dr. Stephen McNevin, MD, FRCPC
Psychiatrist, Student Wellness Services (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. McNevin:

U-Flourish  Represents the first step in building an international network of researchers, clinicians, administrators and most importantly students- all focused on the goal of helping students flourish in their university years.  Guided by the Principal's Commission on Student Mental Health the Queens University Department of Psychiatry  has created a Division of Student Mental Health- one of the first, if not the first, such units at an academic centre.  U-Flourish is central to our mission of serving students with evidenced based initiatives.

Simone Cunningham, Ph.D., C. Psych (Supervised Practice)
: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Simone: 

I am a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and I feel very lucky to be part of the U-Flourish team. I hope that this project will help us learn how mental health impacts functioning at school, and that we can use what we learn to help students succeed and reach their full potential.

Daniel Rivera

Daniel Rivera, MSc 
 MD/PhD Student (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Daniel:

I have worked with U-Flourish since 2017 on student engagement, survey design, and the interpretation and translation of our research findings. Especially as U-Flourish research grows and translates its findings into real-world interventions to support well-being and mental health, it remains a core interest of mine. U-Flourish's work on informing models of mental health and well-being for young people and students is increasingly important to setting them up for lifelong health and success. 

Kristen Headshot

Kristen Kyone
Role: Student Engagement Co-Lead (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Kristen:

Every learning institution should prioritize a deep understanding of their students’ well-being. U-Flourish seeks to foster this understanding by assessing various academic and personal stress factors in university settings and actively listening to student voices, ideas, and concerns. As an undergraduate student, I am interested in exploring such stressors related to mental health in youth. I am grateful to work alongside fellow students, faculty, researchers, and staff across Queen’s University to drive meaningful change in student well-being!


Anna Park
Role: Student Engagement Member (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Anna:

U-Flourish has not only taught me the importance of well-being and mental health, but it also allows me to connect to my community members across campus. Spreading awareness and bringing the community together through our courses and surveys is what makes U-Flourish unlike any other initiative on campus. I definitely feel as though our team works hard to spread our initiatives campus-wide!


Tracy Xu
Role: Student Engagement Member (Queen's)

Why U-Flourish is important to Tracy:

Adapting and transitioning to university can often be a challenging and stressful experience that can influence the mental health of students all over the world. As an undergraduate student, I believe that understanding the various factors that can both positively and negatively impact student well-being is a top priority. On the U-Flourish team, I hope to utilize the knowledge we collect to provide more resources and opportunities to struggling students who may be afraid to speak up. By reaching out to more students and allowing more people to discover U-Flourish as a Student Engagement Member, I hope to spread awareness about our initiatives and collect more student voices. As such, I am excited to be a part of a passionate group of individuals that work towards achieving U-Flourish’s overall goals and giving every student the opportunity to flourish at university.