Meighen Wright Foundation Scholars

Lillian Wright Student Scholars

The Meighen Wright Foundation Graduate Scholarship is awarded to graduate students in the Faculty of Health who have a minimum A average in their graduate courses, or for new graduate students in their first year of study and for incoming graduate students, a cumulative grade point average of 7.5 based on undergraduate courses.

Area of research study may include, but are not limited to:
* Maternal-child health
* Maternal-child mental well-being
*Early child development
*Mother-infant relationships
*Mothers, stress and coping
*Developmental pathways in infants and young children
*Pre-natal and post-natal interventions
*Health promotion for mothers and children
*Environmental considerations in infant/child health and development
*Patient safety issues relating to maternal-child health
*Health policy and practice in relation to mothers, infants and children
*Other topics in maternal-child health

Dr. Nazilla Khanlou is the academic lead for the Meighen Wright Foundation Scholars Program. Among our past students scholars are:

Ami Tint

Email: amitint@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 1
Program Name: Clinical-Developmental Psychology
Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Weiss

Ami is a PhD1 student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program. Her MA thesis aimed to identify variables impacting mothers' ability to effectively access health services for their children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Ami is interested in applying her future research to critically inform community practice and policy for children with developmental disabilities and their families.

Ban Al-Sahab

Email: bsahab@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 4
Year of receipt: 2008
Supervisor: Dr. Hala tamim

Ban is a 5th year PhD student at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science under the supervision of Dr. Hala Tamim. She has received her Master's degree in Epidemiology from the American University of Beirut in 2004. All throughout her graduate studies, Ban's research has mainly focused on maternal and child health. She has several publications on areas relating to breastfeeding, smoking during pregnancy, intimate partner violence and postpartum depression.

Jessica Chan

Email: jlynn@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 2
Year of receipt: 2009
Supervisor: Dr. Yvonne Bohr

Jessica is a second year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Developmental Psychology program at York University. She earned her M. A. Degree, and Honours B.A. Degree at York University. Her main research interests lie in the study of maternal-child relationships and parenting from a cross-cultural perspective, and in the identification of best practices of child-rearing in different cultures. Her Master's thesis compared the parenting practices of Chinese-Canadian and European-Canadian mothers, and explored the influence of acculturation and immigrant status on parent and child variables such as caregiver stress, confidence, sensitivity, attributions, and child behaviour problems.

Bramilee Dhayanandhan

Email: bramilee@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 5
Year of receipt: 2013
Supervisor: Dr. Yvonne Bohr

Bramilee is a doctoral student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. Her research is embedded in an ecological-transactional framework, and focuses on predictors of resilience among parent-child dyads vulnerable to psychopathology. Her Master's thesis examined factors that mitigate the risk of infant and child maltreatment among adolescent mothers exposed to cumulative adversity. She is passionate about community-based research, and works towards fostering resilience and promoting healthy relationships among high-risk mother-child dyads.

Laila Din Osmun

Email: ldin@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 4
Year of receipt: 2009-2010
Supervisor: Dr Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Laila is a doctoral student in the Clinical Developmental program at York University. Her research interests include how caregiver emotional availability and infant factors influence infant emotion regulation during distressing and painful events. To date, her clinical experience has involved conducting assessments and psychotherapy with children and families presenting with complex learning, behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.

Marina Heifetz

Email: marina13@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 3
Year of receipt: 2010-2011
Supervisor: Jennifer Connolly

Marina completed her PhD at York University's Clinical-Developmental Psychology program. She is excited to continue her passion for research on child-maternal health. Her current research focus is to investigate mothers with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the challenges and resilience factors these mothers experience. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Dual Diagnosis Clinic at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Rachel Horton

Email: rhorton@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 5
Year of receipt: 2009-2012
Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Rachel is a doctoral student in the Clinical Developmental program in the Opportunity to Understand Childhood Hurt (O.U.C.H.) laboratory at York University under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell. Through her Master's thesis, Rachel investigated whether mothers' facial expressions of fear and pain had an impact on infants' facial expressions of pain when undergoing a routine immunization. The focus of Rachel's doctoral dissertation is on infant-parent attachment within the context of paediatric pain. Rachel is completing her pre-doctoral clinical internship at Surrey Place Centre in Toronto.

 

Sheila Kathleen Jennings

Email: Sheila.k.jennings@gmail.com
Year of Study: Post-doctoral
Year of receipt: 2010

Sheila's research interests concern the rights of severely disabled children. While Sheila was at law school, family law and constitutional law were her primary interests and for which she was awarded the Joseph Micaleff prize in family law and the Wilson Memorial scholarship in constitutional law. Prior to commencing her M.A. in Critical Disability Studies at York, Sheila practiced in the family and child welfare courts in Toronto, and has published in peer reviewed journals in the overlapping area of disability and family law. Sheila is an affiliate of the Office of Women's Health Research Chair in Mental Health Research. As a doctoral student at Osgoode Hall Law School she has been researching the legal right to support of mothers and their disabled children in Canada. In 2016 she received a two-year SSHRC post-doctoral award to conduct research at the University of Toronto to examine aspects of legal consciousness with support-seeking mothers with disabled children.

Michael Miceli

Email: yu254969@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 3
Year of receipt: 2008
Supervisor: Dr. Geoffrey Reaume

Michael graduated summa cum laude with his B.A., Honours degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Practical Ethics from the Department of Philosophy in 2005 and completed his M.A. degree in Critical Disability Studies in 2007, both from York University. His research interests focus on the ethical and social implications of new reproductive technologies such as prenatal genetic screening for persons with disabilities and women of child-bearing age and the underlying philosophical, political, economic and socio-cultural beliefs that undergird the widespread use of such technology.

Gabrielle Page

Email: gpage@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 2
Year of receipt: 2009-2010
Supervisor: Dr. Joel Katz

Gabrielle's research focuses on paediatric pain. More specifically, she is interested in understanding how acute pain develops into chronic or recurrent pain. Her current research project investigates biological, psychological, and social factors that influence the transition from acute to chronic in children after major surgery.

Christine Tassopoulos

Email: ctassopoulos@hotmail.com
Year of Study: MSc
Year of receipt: 2009
Supervisor: Dr. Hala Tamim

Christine recently received a Master's degree in Epidemiology under the supervision of Dr. Hala Tamim in the Kinesiology and Health Science program. Her thesis project was entitled 'Characteristics of weight gain in pregnancy among Canadian women'. She is fascinated with maternal-child health, and has previously worked as a clinical research coordinator for six years within the perinatal field.

Natasha Whitfield

Email: nwhit@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 4
Year of receipt: 2009-2010
Supervisor: Dr. Yvonne Bohr

Natasha Whitfield is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Developmental Psychology Program at York University. She earned her Honours B. A. at the University of Windsor, and her M.A. Degree at York University. Her main research interests lie in the study of parent-child relationships and social functioning, particularly in immigrant families. Her M.A. thesis explored the consequences of prolonged parent-child separation practices in Chinese Canadian immigrant families. Her doctoral dissertation is exploring the needs of Chinese Canadian, African/Caribbean Canadian, and South Asian Canadian families who are separated and reunited with their children as a result of immigration, and evaluating a community-based parent-child brief assessment/intervention for families in these immigrant communities who are experiencing parenting and child behaviour challenges post-reunification.

Brooke Halpert

Email: brookeh@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 4
Year of receipt: 2010-2011
Supervisor: Dr. Yvonne Bohr

Brooke is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology Program at York University. Her primary research interest lies in early mother-child interactions. Brooke's dissertation focuses on atypical maternal behaviours and their association with various maternal psychosocial stressors. Her second area of research interest is in the provision of evidence-based programs within community mental health settings.

Jennifer Noseworthy

Email: jennosew@yorku.ca
Year of Study: MScN, 2nd Year
Year of receipt: 2011
Supervisor: Dr. Christine Jonas-Simpson

Jennifer is in her second year in the MScN program. A resident of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, she has studied at York via the online MScN program. Her master's thesis is titled, Women's Experiences of Perinatal Loss in Labrador. She is about to begin data gathering, pending ethics approval.

Julie Chamberlin

Email: juliech@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 1
Year of receipt: 2011
Supervisor: Dr. Debra Pepler

Julie is a doctoral student in Clinical Developmental Psychology. She conducts her research on the mother-child relationship at Mothercraft's Breaking the Cycle program for substance-abusing mothers and their young children. Her primary area of research is the mother-child relationship as a mediator of familial risk on child outcomes, with particular focus on maternal relationship risks, such as domestic violence.

Lauren Campbell

Email: lc15@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD
Year of receipt: 2011
Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Lauren Campbell is currently completing her doctoral degree in Clinical Developmental Psychology in the Opportunities to Understand Childhood Hurt (O.U.C.H.) laboratory. Her master's research examined the roles of caregiver emotional availability and caregiver proximity on infant pain responding over the infant's first year of life. Building on this research, her doctoral research is examining the developmental predictors and socio-emotional correlates of children's coping with pain at 4 and 5 years of age. Lauren is also interested in the contributing role of caregiver sensitivity.

Lisa Jacobsen

Email: jacobsen@yorku.ca
Year of Study: BScN 4
Year of receipt: 2011

Lisa is currently completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Lisa received an Honours B.Sc. at the University of Toronto in 2002. Lisa completed her community placement in a Maternal-Infant Health program and is currently completing her Integrated Practicum at a birthing centre in Toronto.

Naomi Greenwald

Email: geshem@yorku.ca

Naomi is a fourth year B.Sc. student majoring in psychology at York University. She is also a part time Elementary School teacher and is interested in intervetions to improve the mental health of young children with emotional and developmental challenges. Naomi is currently completing an independent study with Dr. Christine Jonas-Simpson investigating how children cope with the death of an infant sibling, as well as the role of teachers in this grieving process.

Theresa HM Kim

Email: tkim85@yorku.ca
Year of Study: MSc, Year 1
Year of receipt: 2011
Supervisor: Dr. Hala Tamim

Theresa is a 4th year PhD candidate at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, specializing in Epidemiology. She earned her Honours BSc at the University of Toronto, and has worked across Canada as a research assistant/project coordinator for the PRIMA (Pregnancy-Related Issues in the Management of Addictions) project at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, U of T. Her Master's work focused on the effect of social support around pregnancy on postpartum depression in Canadian teen mothers and adult mothers. As a PhD student, Theresa is continuing her research in maternal and child health.

Deborah Kanter

Email: dkanter@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 2
Year of receipt: 2012
Supervisor: Dr. Yvonne Bohr

Deborah Kanter is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. Her research focuses on the prevention of aggression in children who are at-risk of developing behaviour problems. Her master's thesis examined the relationship between maternal depression and child behaviour problems, and the different parenting behaviours that play a role in this association. In the future, Deborah plans to use her research to critically inform prevention programs and policy.

Julie Wallis

Email: juliech@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 2
Year of receipt: 2011
Supervisor: Dr. Debra Pepler

Julie is a doctoral student in Clinical Developmental Psychology. She conducts her research on the mother-child relationship at Mothercraft's Breaking the Cycle program for substance-abusing mothers and their young children. Her primary area of research is the mother-child relationship as a mediator of familial risk on child outcomes, with particular focus on maternal relationship risks, such as domestic violence

Greeshma Jacob

Email: greeshma@yorku.ca
Year of Study: MScN, 3rd year (last semester)
Year of receipt: 2008
Supervisor: N/A (course based program)

Greeshma is currently completing the last semester of her online course-based MScN program. She has done both her undergraduate and graduate education at York University. She is currently working as a part time Labour and Delivery RN in a hospital setting. After completion of the MScN program, Greeshma wishes to get into the teaching-learning stream of nursing and eventually complete her PhD.

Nicole Racine

Email: racinen@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 3
Year of receipt: 2008 (undergraduate), 2010 (graduate)
Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Nicole is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Developmental Psychology. Her broader research interest includes mother-child dyads in contexts of risk. For her PhD she is exploring interactions between caregivers and their young children during painful medical procedures and the development of anticipatory distress. Nicole is also the co-chair of the Lillian Wright Academy of Scholars.

Chang Su

Email: changsu66@hotmail.com
Year of receipt: 2013 (postdoctoral)
Supervisor: Dr. Nazilla Khanlou

Chang Su was the inaugural Lillian Wright Post Doctoral Fellow of the Office of Women's Health Research Chair in Mental Health in the Faculty of Health at York University. Dr. Su received her PhD in Social and Personality Psychology at York University in 2010 and has over ten years of teaching experience in psychology. Dr. Su has taught psychological courses in both China and Canada including at Ryerson University, York University and University of Northern British Columbia. She has been working with Dr. Gordon Flett on cross cultural comparisons of the relationship between perfectionism, perfectionistic self-presentation and mental health on undergraduate students. They co-authored a series of studies on perfectionism and mental health on Chinese primary school students, high school students and junior high school students in mainland China.

Victoria Ting

Email: victing@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 4
Year of receipt: 2014 and 2015
Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Weiss

Victoria Ting is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Developmental Psychology . Victoria’s research is focused on emotion regulation in children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, and investigating parental co-regulation as a potential mechanism of treatment efficacy following cognitive behavioral therapy. Specifically, she will be looking at the changes in children’s emotion regulation skills and internalizing/externalizing problems (e.g. anxiety, hyperactivity) in relation to the quality of parent scaffolding and frequency of co-regulation.

Jordana A. Waxman

Email: waxmanja@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD 1
Year of receipt: 2013
Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Jordana A. Waxman is currently in the first year of her PhD at York University in the Clinical Developmental Psychology program. Jordana’s Master’s thesis project was a systematic review that examined the development of the autonomic response to acutely painful medical procedures in the first three years of life. Findings from this systematic review indicate that more attention to covariates and agreement on methodological factors related to cardiac measurement is needed to better understand this physiological response to pain over the first years of life. For her dissertation she hopes to address the above mentioned limitations in the literature by investigating the development of physiological distress regulation and its correlates with infant mental health over the second year of life.

Leah Litwin

Email: leahlitwin@gmail.com
Year of Study: PhD 1
Year of receipt: 2015
Supervisor: Dr. Yvonne Bohr

Leah Litwin is a PhD student studying Clinical-Developmental Psychology at York University. Leah’s research focuses on maternal sensitivity and mother-child dyadic resilience in urban Aboriginal women and their children. This research relies on community-based participation, and research is conducted with Aboriginal communities across the Greater Toronto Area.

Hanna Gennis

Email: hgennis@yorku.ca
Year of Study: Master 2
Year of receipt: 2015
Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Hannah Gennis is in her second year of her Master of Arts in Clinical- Developmental Psychology. Hanna completed her undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University, studying pediatric pain. Hannah has continued to pursue her passion for pediatric pain and health research in the OUCH lab at York University. She is currently studying the connection between infant pain regulation, caregiver insensitivity during immunization, and children's mental health outcomes.

Candice Christmas

Email: cmc3@yorku.ca
Year of Study: PhD
Year of receipt: 2013
Supervisor: Dr. Nazilla Khanlou

Candice Christmas has a dual major DEC in psychology and philosophy from John Abbott College, a Minor in Political Science from McGill, a BA Honours in History and a Master of Arts in Health Geography from Queen’s University. Her Master’s research involved the impacts of material and social determinants of health on early childhood development. As a doctoral candidate in Health Policy and Equity at York University, she will use mixed methods to explore the links between depression and anxiety disorders in youth and eating disorders by “deconstructing the social act of eating”.

Julie Cinamon

Email: juliecinamon@gmail.com
Year of Study: PhD

Dr. Cinamon received her PhD from the Clinical-Developmental Program in the Department of Psychology at York University. She received her Master's in Clinical Psychology from Concordia University. She is currently working as a Clinical Psychologist under Supervised Practice in two private practices in York Region and Vaughan. She also works part-time as a Psychoeducational Consultant with a school board within the Greater Toronto Area. She was a recipient of the Lillian Wright Maternal Child Health Award in 2011. Dr. Cinamon sees children, adolescents, adults, and families for a variety of common life struggles such as anxiety, mood, emotion regulation, trauma, challenging behavior, and family conflict. She is skilled in providing therapy from a psychodynamic and attachment lense, as well as from a cognitive behavioral therapy lense. She also administers assessments for children and adolescents with cognitive, academic, social, emotional, and behavioural challenges.