Meet the Team

Deanna, Yellow House Director
(She/her/hers)


Deanna is new to the Queen’s community, joining the Division of Student Affairs in July 2020 to lead the operations of the Yellow House. Her prime focus this academic year is to work with Clubs and various stakeholders on campus to build a strategic framework for the House, including a Mandate and Mission and a university-wide consultation to re-name the House. 

Deanna has worked in the field of EDI for over ten years with a strong commitment to developing environments where difference is cultivated into cohesion–where people are empowered to share their unique talents and traits, allowing their best selves and resounding potential to emerge. Her passion for seeing uniqueness as a strength has taken her through diverse project work in both public and private spheres across retail, aviation and financial services. Using education as a tool to advance organizational success is a prime focus, she has lead teams through technology integrations, transformative HR policy and social change through progressive community programs.  

Deanna holds a Master of Educational Leadership and Policy from OISE, University of Toronto and an undergraduate degree in sociology from Carleton University. Learn more about Deanna.

def1@queensu.ca

Deanna Fialho headshot

Tianna Edwards headshot

Tianna, EDI Coordinator (currently on leave) 
(She/her/hers)


Tianna is responsible for coordinating programs and communications for Yellow House. She loves the opportunity to grow this community for QTBIPOC students on campus. This role aligns with her purpose and goals to support queer and racialized students and make campus a great place for all. Tianna grew up in Kingston and moved away for 10 years to complete her post-secondary education and begin her career as a journalist. She founded and runs the blog, Keep up with Kingston and is currently completing her Masters in Cultural Studies at Queen’s, with a focus on The Black Experience in Kingston. She has a BA degree (Hons) in Media Studies as well as a diploma in Journalism from the University of Guelph Humber. 

 

Kel, Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor 
(They/them or he/him) 

Kel is a queer, trans and non-binary OCT certified art/drama teacher, artist and researcher who is engaged in a vast range of work with the queer and trans community at Queen’s and broadly within Kingston. They are honoured and excited to be part of the Yellow House. Kel has engaged with a variety of sexual and gender diversity focused projects such as leadership within Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) in high school and post-secondary contexts, coordinating large events such as Queer Prom, facilitating events and meetings with TransFamily Kingston, support of the launch of the online knowledge mobilization hub GEGI Project, artistic initiatives for Kingston Pride, support of a project to implement gender neutral washrooms at Queen’s through the Provost’s Action Group on Gender and Sexual Diversity and more. Kel is thrilled to lay important groundwork for this position, all while engaging in committees and working groups to create meaningful change at Queen’s and continuing to engage in the queer community. They look forward to bringing you events and resources in the coming months, listening to concerns and assisting, as well as collaborating with you to bring your visions to life.

krm4@queensu.ca

 

kel-martin-headshot

Jade
Jade

Jade 
Departmental Assistant
(she/her/hers) 

Jade worked in Student Services in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s for the past couple years before joining the Yellow House team in January 2022, where she helped students navigate SOLUS, register in courses, determine their degree requirements, and set themselves up for academic success. She has a General Arts and Science diploma from St. Lawrence College, and an Intercultural Safety and Awareness Certificate from Queen’s.  

Jade has first-hand experiences with the many ways that oppression manifests itself in the daily life of QTBIPoC students in the Queen’s community, and her goal is to dismantle these structures to create safe and supportive spaces. Jade loves working with students, and is inspired to build networks of hope and solidarity among QTBIPoC communities. 

Jade is of Ojibway and settler descent and has travelled extensively in Northern Ontario communities and around the world. This has given her an in-depth and personal understanding of the multiple ways that colonialism creates significant barriers to education and success for marginalized communities. 

In her spare time, you can find Jade working on art projects for her small business Made By Jade Co. or chasing her cat through the small jungle of house plants she calls home. 

yellowhouse@queensu.ca  

 

Vipushan Headshot
Vipushan

Meet Reception Student Assistant: 
Vipushan 
(he/him/his)

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Vipushan Raveenthiranathan and I'm a first-year student in the Health Sciences program. I've lived my whole life in Toronto (fun fact: moving to Kingston was the first time I moved at all!) and I'm loving Kingston. Back home, I was part of clubs like Model UN and Student Council. Here at Queen's, I'm one of two First Year representatives on the Health Sciences Society, and secretary on the Queen's South Asian Association! Some of my favourite pastimes are watching Netflix and going out for walks. This year, I'll be working at the Yellow House as a reception assistant, so if you see me sometime, don't be afraid to pop in and say hi!

What does Yellow House mean to you?
At home, I often found that intersectionality was still something that needed to be worked on in many spaces. As a queer person of colour, I often found myself in POC-specific spaces where being queer made me feel like an outlier; the same can be said for queer spaces, where I felt like an outlier for being a person of colour. Coming to Kingston, I was a bit fearful of the prospect that a space where I could simply exist without feeling like an outlier just would not exist. Finding out about Yellow House helped dispel those fears. Yellow House, to me, represents a truly safe space that does not make me feel like I need to separate parts of my identity from each other.

What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
I don't think I've had many major accomplishments, and even if I do, I feel like I'm prouder of the little things I do every day. I'm proud that I took a walk and appreciated how pretty the campus buildings are. I'm proud that I completed this module or submitted this assignment. I like to find motivation and pride in the things I do every day.

Favorite show to binge right now?
Black Mirror, with honorary mentions to How to Get Away with Murder, The Good Place and You.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
None now, but I'm always open to recommendations! I want to get into some true crime podcasts especially! Favorite book? Probably Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but I'm up for some suggestions

Meet Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Student Assistant:
Jaida 
(she/her/hers) 

Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Jaida Egboye and I am a third year student who is majoring in sociology, minoring in philosophy and taking the law certificate. During my time at Queens, I have tried my best to be apart of any EDII positions that was available to me as that is one of my biggest passions. In my second year I was an EDII Officer for the Sociology DSC and I am currently an EDII coordinator for Queens Women Undergraduate in Law and EDII Director for Vogue Charity Fashion Show.

What does Yellow House mean to you?
As a black woman who goes to a predominately white institution, Yellow Houses gives me a sense of comfort and belonging. It can be very easy to feel isolated in such a large institution, but Yellow House has shown me that there are likeminded individuals who also have the same passions and interest as me. Yellow House is extremely important to me as it shows how Queen’s is taking a step in the right direction to forge change and make campus a more inclusive space.

What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
I am most proud of founding Queen’s Black Fashion Association. This year has been such an empowering and everchanging season for me. In the past two years at queens, I have first hand experienced the lack of diversity and the effects that comes with it. I felt the need to create an equity club that celebrates black fashion as it is typically not talked about in society. Queen’s Black Fashion Association is dedicated to creating a safe environment for people of colour to share their interests in fashion and the struggles that we face in the community. Our mission is to ensure all people are welcome and have a safe environment to discuss trends, diversity and other fashion related topics. Forming this club and being a president, I have learned so many lessons that have truly helped me evolve into a stronger and more passionate person. It is one of my biggest accomplishments because I get to see how people interact with it and people coming together to discuss their passions in a safe environment.

Favourite show to binge right now?
I am currently watching This Is Us season 5 but my favourite all time show that I can binge is Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s Anatomy is a show that you can never get tired of, every season keeps you on the edge of your seat and you grow a strong attachment with the characters.

Do you have a favourite podcast?
One of my favourite podcasts is “Anything goes” by Emma Chamberlin. Emma is a very popular influencer, typically she vlogs her days and discusses her battle with mental health. One of my favourite episodes from the podcast “The Feminine Mold”, in this episode she discusses the realities women face in this current generation. Social media has inputted a specific idea of what a women is supposed to look like, in this episode she deconstructs that notion and makes it safe space for all those who identify as a woman.

Favourite book?
My favourite book currently is Atomic Habits. I’m a person who heavily relies on a routine in order to have a productive and efficient day. So Atomic Habits taught me so very valuable lessons that I have applied to my daily life.

 

Meet Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Student Assistant:
Karen 
(she/her/hers) 


Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi everyone, my name is Karen Guan (she/her/hers), and I am currently a first-year here at Queen's Commerce. I am so excited to be working here at the Yellow House as an Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Student Assistant this year! So, a little bit about myself, I was born and spent my entire life residing in Toronto, Ontario. Growing up in a tight-knit and uplifting community, a place that constantly had one another's back, it has cultivated me to become the learner, listener, and mediator that I am today. As a child, I watched my feminist family members create a supportive network for local women in our community who are going through difficult times. Since then, I not only discovered the role that I had to play in my community, but my strong desire for gender equality and women's empowerment. When I entered high school, I started advocating for gender equality and anti-oppression at different non-profit organizations. I have helped and worked with many young girls and women in the social justice space through facilitation, research, educational initiatives, and volunteering.

What does Yellow House mean to you?
Coming into Queen's University, I was eager to extend my social justice works and past experiences. After learning about the struggles on campus, I knew that there was a need for a collective space where underrepresented students can come, celebrate, and build off of one another's lived experiences and goals. To me, the Yellow House has been and continues to be a safe space that values and upholds that sense of community for underrepresented students. Through the various events and initiatives that the Yellow House sets up, I am optimistic that QTBIPOC students will achieve a greater sense of self, belonging, and empowerment through the similarities we all share.

What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
Even though it's been a few months since settling down into University, one thing that I am proud about accomplishing is simply being able to adapt and immerse myself so quickly into the student culture and social life here at Queen's. Making already meaningful and raw connections with students here is a testament that I can still call this place my home, even though I am still miles away from my real one. I hope to learn and to meet more people during my time at the Yellow House too.

Favourite show to binge right now?
Outside of school and extracurriculars, I enjoy watching mystery and psychological thriller movies and T.V. shows. I am currently watching my all-time favorite "How to Get Away with Murder" and "You" on Netflix. A book that I will never get tired of reading again is "Girls with Sharp Sticks" by Suzanne Young.