Graduate Students

Dr. Nazilla Khanlou is the thesis supervisor or thesis committee member of the following graduate students:

Doctoral Supervision- In Progress

Candice Christmas

Bio: Candice Christmas, MA, PhD (Candidate), is a doctoral student in Health Policy and Equity at York University, focusing on youth and mental health. She 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. With 13 years of experience in project management of inter-disciplinary research in the private and public sectors, locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally, Candice is an expert in knowledge translation and exchange. She has been a recipient of the Lillian Wright Maternal & Child Health Scholarship and the Penelope Jane Glasser Award. Research topic: Youth mental health and eating disorders.

Josephine Mary Viole Francis Xavier

Bio: Josephine Xavier, MA, is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing at York University. She is a nurse educator with 24 years of teaching experience, including nursing teacher, Clinical Nurse Educator, and Perinatal Nurse in India, Kuwait, and Canada. She has shown her leadership skills as a team lead of the School Health Program Curriculum Development in Kuwait and developed a curriculum blueprint for the diploma (2009-2010). Her professional accomplishments worth noting are the receipt of the Arthur & Terry Jane Hooker Endowment Fund Scholarship Award – Trillium Health Partners (2019), Dr. Donald Black Professional Development Scholarship (2017) by Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), and the Advanced Nursing Practice Fellowship (2019). She is interested in broad areas like virtual reality in nursing education and practice, Women's mental health, father's involvement in immigrant childbearing families, healthy behaviors of school-age children, Neonatal pain relief, neonatal hypoglycemia, Gender-inclusive language, and the promotion of breastfeeding support.

Danielle Washington

Bio: Danielle Washington, MScN, is a first-year doctoral student who recently completed her Master of Nursing degree at York University. Her nursing background is in the areas of mental health, long term care and academia. Danielle’s research interests include mental health, marginalized and racialized populations, intimate partner violence and the social determinants of health.

Master Supervision- In Progress

Nasteho Hasan

Bio: Nasteho Hasan BSc, is a second year Master's Thesis student in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University. She completed a BSc in Psychology from the University of Toronto and a BScN from Trent University. Nasteho is currently working as a Public Health Nurse in Toronto, focusing on chronic disease prevention among school age children and youth. More recently, she has been involved in the COVID-19 pandemic school response supporting schools during the pandemic. Her research interests are related to public health, mental health and the health disparities of marginalized and immigrant communities.


Funmilayo Agbi

Program and year: Masters of Science of Nursing, October 2019.
Committee members names: Nazilla Khanlou, Jacqueline Choiniere and Mahdieh Dastjerdi
Research Interests: Funmilayo practices Public Health Nursing with a focus on geriatric population. She started her nursing career in acute care as a staff nurse in cardiovascular surgery and later moved on into community nursing where she currently practices as a public health nurse. Funmilayo’s practice solely with the geriatric population in the community setting made her realize that abuse and neglect of the older adult was more common than originally thought of, and this prompted her interest in carrying out a qualitative research on Public Health Nurses' Perceptions of Assessing, Identifying and Addressing Elderly Abuse: A Descriptive Qualitative Study.

Tanya Bostock

Program and year: MA, Health Policy and Equity - MRP Completed 2011
Committee members names: Nazilla Khanlou and Mary Wiktorowicz
Research Interests: Tanya's research interests include mental health policy, recovery as well as the broad determinants of health. Tanya is also interested in the role of interest groups in formulating mental health policy. Her MRP conducts a systematic literature review to reflect on the level of mental health policy change in Ontario since the 1980s, particularly to include the broader determinants of health which have been shown in research and government documents to encourage positive health outcomes.


Ruby Dhand

Program and Year: Ph.D. in Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University - 2nd year
Supervisor: Professor Roxanne Mykitiuk
Thesis Committee: Professor Aaron Dhir, Dr. Kwame McKenzie, Professor Nazilla Khanlou

Ruby Dhand has recently been appointed as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University. She obtained her LL.M from the University of Toronto in 2009 and completed the joint M.A./LL.B program through the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa Law School in 2007. She is nearing completion of her Ph.D. at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Ruby's research examines the intersecting inequities faced by ethno-racial people with mental health disabilities in the legal system. Through a qualitative methodology using interdisciplinary research, she has conducted extensive field-work with ethno-racial people with mental health disabilities, mental health lawyers, psychiatrists, service providers and government advisors/academics to develop a cultural analysis tool. Since there is little empirical data on this particular topic, Ruby's research can be used to understand how disparities of outcome for ethno-racial people with mental health disabilities interacting with Ontario's civil mental health laws can be better addressed. Ruby has been awarded the Social Science Research Doctoral Fellowship (SSHRC) to pursue her research.

Emily Hostland

Program name and year: Master of Interdisciplinary Studies - Community Approaches to Collective Trauma - 2nd Year
Committee members names: Nazilla Khanlou, Susan McGrath and Michaela Hynie
Research interests: My research explores community approaches to collective trauma using a psychosocial framework. This research is interdisciplinary and informed by social work, psychology and peacebuilding disciplines. Qualitative research was conducted in Rwanda in 2011, specifically looking through the lens of service providers working at organizations in Kigali, Rwanda. This research explores the link between community responses to collective trauma with building peace at the community level.

Farah Islam

Program and year: Doctorate in Kinesiology and Health Science - 4th year
Committee members names: Nazilla Khanlou, Alison Macpherson, and Hala Tamim
Research interests: My research interests include: mental health, mental healthcare utilization, and mental health stigma in immigrant, ethnocultural, and racialized populations. My doctoral dissertation employs both quantitative epidemiology and mixed methods research to study the mental health and mental healthcare utilization of Canada's immigrant and South Asian populations.

Attia Khan


Bio: Attia Khan, MBBS, MSPH, PhD (Candidate), is the recipient of the 2015-2016 LaMarsh Student Leadership Award. Attia is in her third year of doctoral studies in the Department of Health Policy and Equity, at the Faculty of Health at York University. Under Dr. Nazilla Khanlou’s supervision her doctoral research examines the significance of resilience in promoting and sustaining mental health in first generation immigrant youth.   As a LaMarsh Student Leader she will be engaging graduate and undergraduate students in a range of research focused activities including workshops, talks and seminars. Research topic: Resilience and mental health among immigrant youth.

Andrea Mazzocchi

Bio: My research interests include: mental health, mental health stigma, and access to mental health services for low income women in Canada. For my master's MRP, I will be looking at low-income women's access to health care resources from the asylum era to modern times. This will be engaged within the long-term health care context.

Babitha Shanmuganandapala

Bio: Babitha Shanmuganandapala, RN, BSc, graduated from York University with Honours in 2014. She is in the Masters of Nursing program in the thesis stream at York University. She started in community nursing where she designed the Migrant Agricultural Workers Program, which aims to break down barriers to accessing healthcare by addressing the social determinants of health through health promotion initiatives, community capacity building and primary health care. She now works in the mental health field and will focus her thesis on immigrant and youth mental health. Research topic: Tamil-Canadian youth mental health.

Mary Smith

(MRP: Canadian Psychiatric Mental Helath Nursing: Intersections of History, Gender, Nursing Education and Quality of Work Life in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan)[PDF]

Program and year: MScN,- MRP completed 2011
Supervisor: Dr. Nazilla Khanlou
Research interests: Mary's interests in research include the history and specialty of psychiatric mental health nursing. In addition, she is interested in the advancement of the Canadian role of the nurse practitioner in mental health. Her MRP offers a contemporary reflection of psychiatric mental health nursing in Canada in terms of history, gender, education and quality of nursing work life through an integrative review and synthesis and also won the Best Major Research Project award – June 2011.

Carina Zimenkov

Program and year: Master of Arts- Health Policy and Equity, 2012
Supervisors: Dr. Farah Ahmad, Dr. Nazilla Khanlou
Research interests: Carina's MRP explores whether the impending pan-Canadian electronic health record system can adequately protect the privacy of vulnerable patient groups such as the elderly and chronically ill. Furthermore, it assesses whether provincial privacy policy is able to sufficiently reflect these impending health information technology changes. Carina is currently employed within the Veteran's Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Thus, her research interests have been fuelled by her firsthand experience with issues of privacy for elderly individuals living with chronic conditions. Please click here to read Carina's completed MRP.

A Pan-Canadian Electronic Health Record System: Privacy Implications for the Elderly and Chronically Ill [PDF]