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Our People

Academic Collaborators

Photo of T.L. Cowan

T.L. Cowan (settler, she/they) is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts Culture and Media (UTSC) and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Cowan’s research focuses on cultural and intellectual economies and networks of trans- feminist and queer (TFQ) and other minoritized digital media and performance practices. This work includes a monograph, entitled Transmedial Drag and Other Cross-Platform Cabaret Methods, nearing completion and Heavy Processing, co-authored with Jas Rault (under contract with Punctum Press).  


Photo of Maureen Engel

Maureen Engel is a lecturer in digital culture in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland. Prior to moving to Australia, she was AssociateProfessor of Digital Humanities at the University of Alberta, Canada. 

Contact: and more at

Sandra Gabriele is the Vice-Provost, Innovation in Teaching & Learning and an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University. Her research focuses on the history of newspaper forms, including women’s pages & weekend editions in the 19th century and emergent digital forms, including newsgames. In addition to researching and designing The Oldest Game, a newsgame about sex work, she is also finishing a manuscript called The Sunday Paper for University of Illinois Press.


Photo of Paula Gardner

Paula Gardner is the Asper Chair in Communications in the Faculty of Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster University, Canada, where she directs Pulse Lab. Her current projects employ visual aesthetics, participatory design, critical feminist, mobile, and locative theory to create mobile, gesture-based, and biometric platforms establishing unique art experiences, as well as multimedia interventions for depression, dementia and physical rehabilitation therapy.

Contact: and more at

Photo of Maria Belén Ordóñez

Dr. Maria Belén Ordóñez is Assistant Professor (Teaching Intensive Stream) of Social Sciences/Humanities in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at OCAD University. Her research has included the investigation and tracking of affect in Canadian legislative challenges dealing with sex, sexuality, censorship, and morality. Ordóñez uses feminist/queer and multi-sited approaches to write about the emergence and undoing of public events related to sexuality and intimacy. M. Belén Ordóñez teaches feminist theories, multi-sited and experimental ethnography, critical theory, and body politics. 


Photo of Carrie Rentschler

Carrie Rentschler is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and an Associate of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University. She is the author of Second Wounds: Victims’ Rights and the Media in the U.S. (Duke UP, 2011), and co-editor of Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place (Berghahn Press, 2016).


Photo of Suzanne Stein

Suzanne Stein is a Foresight Analyst, Mentor, and Educator. Currently, appointed Lab Director of DMRII’s Super Ordinary, which focuses on new technologies and research methods. She is a member of OCAD U’s Digital Futures Office and the Strategic Foresight & Innovation graduate program. Stein has been an adjunct Faculty at AHO (Norway), the CFC (Canada), and the Unfinished Business School (virtual).


Student Researchers & Staff

Photo of Adekunle Akinyemi

Adekunle Akinyemis a result driven full stack software developer with positive attitude excelling in collaborative work environment, finding solutions to challenges, and focused on customer satisfaction. He completed his second post graduate degree at McMaster University in Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Projects include a web-based that promotes interaction between  older adults and family members, a doctor on the go web-based application with functionalities such as patients ability to book appointments, and doctors to diagnose patients using ontology he integrated with the application.


Photo of Kendra Cowley

Kendra Cowley is a community organizer, sound artist, podcast and radio producer, co-facilitator of Humanities 101, and a soon-to-be graduate of the Digital Humanities and Library and Information Studies Graduate Program at the University of Alberta.


Photo of Niloofar Hooman

Niloofar Hooman (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster University, Canada. She is also completing a joint Graduate Diploma (Ph.D.) in Gender Studies and Feminist Research. Niloofar holds a Ph.D. in Communication, an MA in Cultural Studies and the Media, and a BA in Social Communications from the University of Tehran. Niloofar’s doctoral thesis concentrates on the embodiment, performances of nudity and unveiling as political actions in Iran.


Photo of Debora Jesus

Debora Jesus is a Marketing and Communications professional with a background in multimedia development. She holds a master’s degree in Communication and New Media from McMaster University. Throughout her career, Debora supported the integration of immigrants and refugees into Canadian society at Skills for Change as their Marketing and Communications Supervisor; managed all marketing and communications initiatives at the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University; and now supports those facing severe mental health challenges at LOFT Community Services.

Contact: @dbrjesus

Photo of Nathaniel Laywine

Nathaniel Laywine is currently an Assistant Professor (Limited Term Faculty) at the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University, where his research interests include global citizenship education, humanitarian communication, media and social movement studies. He received his PhD in Communication Studies from McGill University and has previously taught a wide range of courses on international development, sociology, cultural studies, communication and film from a perspective that focuses on equity, inclusion and self-reflexivity. 

Contact: and more at

Kascie Shewan is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University. She received her doctorate in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University. Her research interests include sexualized violence prevention, representations of rape, feminist theory, and neoliberalism.


Photo of Prateeksha Singh

Prateeksha Singh is a multidisciplinary practitioner, who works at the confluence of systems + futures + design research, focused primarily on social justice issues.  She is based in Bangkok with the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Innovation Centre.

Contact: @mpathyDesigns


Photo of Valerie Fox

Valerie Fox is a creative whiteboard solution coach for Executives, Entrepreneurs, Incubator and Accelerator Leads. Past experience as co-founder of the DMZ, and National Practice Lead of User-Experience, IBM, has helped grow successful entrepreneurship worldwide. 


Photo of Ana Serrano

Ana Serrano is the President and Vice Chancellor of OCAD University, Canada’s oldest and largest art, design and media university. Ana is Co-chair of the Open Democracy Project and Co-director of its annual democracy summit, DemocracyXChange.

Contact: @acserrano

METRAC Core Contributing Staff

Wendy Komiotis is the Executive Director of METRAC.


Wendy De Souza is the ReAct Program Coordinator at METRAC. Wendy supports a team of diverse Peer Educators to develop and deliver inclusive youth programs and trainings on healthy relationships and gender-based violence through a feminist and anti-oppression framework. 


Linda Frempong is the former Safety Coordinator at METRAC. Linda supported the delivery of METRAC’s Safety Audit Process, an action tool to build safer neighbourhoods, schools, campuses, workplaces, transit systems, living spaces and public spaces.

Awo Abokor is the former Communications Coordinator at METRAC. Awo worked with individuals, communities and institutions to change ideas, actions and policies with the goal of ending violence against women and youth.

ReAct Peer Educators

Brittney Miller
Shochoy Fray
Sakinah Hasib

ReAct Youth Educators create resources and lead interactive after school programs, workshops, trainings and presentations for youth, educators and service providers.

Youth Contributors

Kwaku Nyanor
Tsion Nicodemus
Danika Ferguson
Loocresha Gonzalez
Asha-Keyf Dahir

Our youth contributors consisted of diverse youth identifying as African, Caribbean and Black, and living within neighborhood improvement areas across Toronto. This group worked as a part of our Summer Employment Program and supported in youth focus groups which informed the development of online resources for youth against cyber violence.

Atwater Library
Concordia University
Vanier College

Eric Craven, Digital Literacy Project, Atwater Library, Montreal

Shanley Dixon, Digital Literacy Project, Atwater Library, Montreal

Jennifer Drummond, Sexual Assault Resource Center, Concordia University, Montreal

Maggie Kathwaroon, Team Collaborator, Women’s and Gender Studies Coordinator, Vanier College