The Resilience Research Centre // rrc@dal.ca // +1 902 494 3050

Sara Al-Gashm - Evaluation Manager

Sara Al-Gashm manages evaluation projects at the Resilience Research Centre at a national and international level, which integrate both quantitative and quasi-experimental pre and post-test methodology as well as qualitative methods. She brings interdisciplinary and cross-national training and experience to her position, along with an extensive research background in health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Sara received a Master’s degree in Global Health from McMaster University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University. She was granted the title of Leading First-Class Honours Student and is the recipient of the University Silver Medal from Dalhousie University. Sara holds publications in The Lancet and the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. She is fluent in three languages: English, Arabic and Tagalog. Her interests include monitoring and evaluation, results-based management, participatory research methods, and qualitative research.

Simone Chia-Kangata - Project Manager (CYRRC)

Simone Chia-Kangata joined the CYRRC as Project Manager in May 2017. Simone brings expertise in research and evaluation, project design, implementation and management, business management, knowledge mobilization and marketing. Simone has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies from McGill University. She has worked in the public sector and NGO sector in Ottawa, the UK, Kenya, Somaliland and Nova Scotia.

Brandon Mott - Communications and Media

Brandon Mott works in communications and media at the Resilience Research Centre and has been a part of the team since 2012. He is currently studying to complete a Bachelor of Music at Dalhousie University. His experience and interest in graphic design, web design, videography and photography is integral to sharing and disseminating research here at the centre.

Hamideh Mahdiani - Visiting Scholar

Hamideh Mahdiani is a doctoral research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre. Hamideh holds both a bachelor and a masters in English literature, and has completed a second M.A in American Literature and Culture from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen, Germany. She is currently in her third year of PhD fellowship with the graduate school of ‘Life Sciences, Life Writing’ at the Institute for History, Theory and Ethics of medicine (GTE), funded by the German research foundation (DFG), as part of the University of Medicine, in Mainz, Germany. Her PhD work deals with narratives of resilience, from both scientific and non-scientific perspectives. Hamideh is interested in how various narratives of resilience structure this concept, for which she looks into life sciences’ understanding of resilience and compares and contrasts it with the one from the life writing perspective. She employs a hermeneutic and paradigmatic narrative look at the novels, memoirs, and the myths about human resilience, besides conducting a ‘narrative identity’ analysis of case studies. Additionally, she is interested in how the individual’s perception of place, culture, and generational stories contribute to human resilience or lack thereof.

Eric Twum-Antwi - Project Manager (RYSE)

Eric Twum-Antwi is the Project Manager for the RYSE Project based at the Resilience Research Centre. Eric has a Neuroscience Specialist Degree from the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Medicine, specializing in Public Health with Health Economics, from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Eric brings expertise in addressing youth mental health issues related to at risk behaviours and unemployment in his work within Canada, Sweden, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia; as an advocate for youth capacity building, career development and leadership.

Philip Jefferies - Research Fellow

Philip Jefferies is a research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre. Phil completed his bachelors and masters in psychology at the University of Exeter in the UK, and his PhD at Dublin City University in Ireland. His research focused on how persons with disabilities live with and use assistive technologies and what it means to be ‘just normal’. He has held lecturing positions in Ireland and Fiji and undertaken a range of diverse research roles. Phil is interested in areas of resilience, mental health and well-being, assistive technology usage, and advancing methodologies.

Jan Höltge - Visiting Scholar

Jan Höltge is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre. Jan completed both his Bachelor in Psychology and Master in Environmental, Social and Clinical Psychology at the University of Vienna, Austria. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical and Positive Psychology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He has joined the Resilience Research Centre supported by the Early Postdoc. Mobility Scholarship granted by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Jan is passionately interested in how stressful circumstances can have positive effects on human life, especially resilience-enhancement, ranging from daily hassles to traumatic experiences. While taking a lifespan perspective, he has a focus on higher age, the long-term effects of early life stress and the positive effects of collective adversities on social values and behaviors. Additionally, he is interested in how the physical environment contributes to human resilience and wellbeing.

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