Research Assistants

Nicolas Gourde

Nicolas is a graduate student from the University of Ottawa. His research project investigated the various mechanisms at play contributing to the (re)production or transformation of the (cis)heteronormative and (hetero)sexiste physical/sporting culture in physical education teacher education programs. Through his project, he hopes to provide a critical opportunity to expose the limits and regulatory aims of this gendered culture, but also bearing witness to subversive practices that disturb (and potentially transform) it. Outside of his studies, Nicolas is passionate about cooking, physical training and pottery. 

Alison Cattani-Nardelli

Alison Cattani-Nardelli is a graduate student from the University of Ottawa. She studied French literature and entrepreneurship before completing a Master of Arts in Education. As part of her thesis, she had the opportunity to study alternative pedagogies and their effects in a disadvantaged social context. For two years, she contributed to research projects on the Maker movement and digital equity in Ontario, led by Megan Cotnam-Kappel and Michelle Schira Hagerman, and participated in the writing of a guide on distance learning for students with special needs for the Ministry of Education of Ontario. 

A. Sajani Karunaweera

Graduate student from Sri Lanka, Sajani Karunaweera is deeply dedicated to the area of educational technologies and how digital tools can be used in critical, reflective, and accessible ways. Whether it is in the context of teaching, assessment or professional development, her work attempts to capture the use of technologies, not as a replacement for teaching, but as a tool for the discerning teacher. Her involvement in this network builds on her motivations to promote safe spaces for students to express, explore and expand their knowledge, albeit physically or digitally, through the power of play.

Gladys Ayson

A PhD candidate in the Experimental Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on children’s cognitive development, specifically their developing understanding of the future. She also works for a non-profit organization that tutors new Canadian children on their English and financial literacy. Her passions include supporting new Canadian families, translating children’s research into accessible knowledge for families, and stemming change in the Canadian education system.

Béatrice Crettenand Pecorini

With her rich humanitarian experience and her atypical profile between health and education, Béatrice Crettenand Pecorini is currently carrying out her doctoral research on lifelong learning and formal and informal intergenerational learning using digital technology. She has participated in several research projects focusing, among other things, on the teaching-learning of French integrating multimodality and digital technology, mentoring and intergenerational learning, as well as on students with special educational needs. 

Sima Neisary

Sima Neisary is a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. The focus of her research is on digital inequalities, particularly for second language learners and newcomers. She seeks to amplify the voices of ESLs and newcomers and present educational opportunities to reduce digital inequalities for those who are at risk of being left behind.

Elie Ndala

Elie Ndala is a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Ottawa and a Ricard scholar who is passionate about education, as well as promoting equity and diversity in Francophone contexts. In addition to being a founding member of the Action Group Against Anti-Black Racism, he is also the director of the academic journal Voix Amplifiées. Elie has gained diverse professional experience as a research intern for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and as a consultant for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in New Brunswick. As the son of first-generation immigrants, he is motivated to reconcile relations between his community of origin and the one that has adopted him.

Amanda May

Amanda advocates for marginalized students living under challenging circumstances. Currently living in rural Nova Scotia, Amanda is developing her PhD thesis exploring the application of land-based pedagogies through the healing power of nature. Amanda is a certified Forest Therapy Guide.