While earning an Honours degree in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, Aala authored a children’s book series on mental illness awareness. She also spent a great deal of time researching how those living with mental illness internalize the stigma they receive from the outside world, and how that affects their ability to seek and benefit from clinical treatment. Since graduating, Aala has worked with a student advocacy organization on a provincial strategy to improve mental health on campuses across Alberta. Through journalism, Aala hopes to deepen the discussion around mental health to reduce stigma and empower others to make their mental health a priority. She has a particular interest in the barriers surrounding access to mental health care for ethnic and religious minority groups.
Since graduating from the University of Toronto with a BA in Political Science, Ghada Alsharif has worked in the media and non-profit sector. Most recently, she was associate program manager, working with corporate partnerships at Free the Children, a Toronto-based global NGO active in international development. Ghada managed over 80 partnerships with corporations that funded domestic and international development projects. Her experience also includes project management at Shaw Media where she managed national campaigns for television and online. Ghada is Saudi, and has lived in seven countries around the world.
Sara Badiei is a humanitarian aid and international development engineering expert with extensive experience in complex emergencies spanning the Middle East, Central Asia, South East Asia and Africa. She has coordinated emergency response operations in conflict zones, natural disasters and disease outbreaks working with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres. She currently works with the World Bank as an Energy Specialist in Jerusalem focusing on energy policy, institutional reform and regional integration in collaboration with Palestinian and Israeli Energy Authorities. Sara holds a BASc and MASc in Electrical Engineering and another MASc in Civil/Environmental Engineering.
Blair Bigham is a paramedic, physician, and scientist completing specialty training in emergency medicine at McMaster University. He has worked in health care settings on five continents and has responded to emergencies in urban, rural, and remote settings on helicopters, boats, and vehicles that could generously be described as pick-up trucks. He witnesses the relationship between wealth and health on a daily basis, and reports on the undertold stories of patients, healthcare providers, and the systems that help or fail them.
Brooke Binowski is an award-winning freelance reporter and writer. Binowski began as a general-interest and breaking-news roving reporter and presenter, but now has a strong interest in immigration, indigenous rights, and the concept of decolonization and environmentalism. She has reported from locations as far-flung as Guam, the Alaskan Arctic and Argentina.
Sophie Chamas is a freelance writer currently based in Dubai, and co-editor of the Middle East-focused online publishing platform Mashallah News. Her work has been featured in Al Jazeera English, The Outpost, REORIENT, Egypt Independent, The State, and Jadaliyya, among other publications. She was the recipient of the 2012 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award in the category of new media. She has a Master’s degree from New York University’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Michelle Adelman is a Toronto-based, freelance journalist writing on the environment and public health. Michelle Adelman is a graduate in architecture at the University of Waterloo.
Evelyn Boychuk completed her BSc degree with a major in Zoology at the University of Calgary. During that time, she researched the effects of low oxygen and low temperature on the neurobiology of pond snails. She then completed her MSc in Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario, in 2013. Her research focused on the physiology of low-temperature tolerance in sub-alpine beetles. Boychuk’s goal is to bring her passion for animal biology out of academia and into the public eye.
Michael Kempa is a criminology professor with the spirit of an investigative journalist, focused on questions of police authority, corruption, and justice. An investigative feature on the RCMP for Walrus magazine received an Canadian Magazine Association honourable mention for Best Investigative Feature (2015), and he was honoured to receive the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Activities in the Media (2016), recognising his efforts to collaborate with the media to advance the research mission and the public interest.
Burton Lim received a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Toronto, and is an assistant curator of mammalogy at the Royal Ontario Museum. He has an interest in journalistic reporting on biological discovery with an emphasis on bridging the gap between communicating academic research to the general public through various forms of media, including print and social.
Ali Morrow is a strategic planner on social issue campaigns for major clients. Academically, she has an MA in Professional Communications from the University of Western Sydney, and a post-graduate certificate in corporate communications, from Seneca College. She has spent a number of years designing and managing global Corporate Social Responsibility campaigns and social issue campaigns both at J. Walter Thompson and at Manifest. Ali is interested in exploring the broader issues around corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
Currently based in London, UK, Raja Moussaoui trained as an architect, and works as a designer and freelance print and video journalist, telling stories about design, city building, and the social impacts of both. Raja is one half of the creative team behind In-Context, a national video documentary series and online platform about contemporary architecture, made in partnership with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Santiago Ortega is a Civil Engineering Professor at Universidad EIA, near Medellín, Colombia. He focuses his research in water, climate change, and renewable energy. He is part of La Ciudad Verde, a non-profit citizens collective that advocates for urban sustainability.
Twitter handle: @sortegarango
From Istanbul, Stephen Starr has been covering Turkey and Syria for The Irish Times, and other outlets since finishing the fellowship in 2013. He is working on expanding his reporting into cities, environment, and outdoor life issues.