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About

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I’ve spent my life searching for opportunities to learn and expand my knowledge, from writing book reports on summer vacation in elementary school, to taking online courses to teach myself new skills between my post-secondary degrees. Now, I’m a PhD student studying the ways disabled youth use social media as a tool for connection and community-building.

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Image description: An illustration of Rory Gilmore from the TV show Gilmore Girls. She is sitting cross-legged with an open book, wearing a Yale sweater and surrounded by sunflowers. Credit to Rachel Eaton @RayleeArts.

I have written two major research papers: an undergraduate thesis titled “Beyond the Frame: How Creative Spaces Can Benefit Disabled Children” which focused on using arts-based spaces as inclusive environments, and my master’s thesis, “Exploring the Development of Identity and Community Amongst Disabled Youth on Instagram“ which presented Instagram as a platform for disabled youth to build community and foster their own identity. An adapted version of my master’s work was published in February 2022 in The Review of Disability Studies special issue on Film and Media.

I am currently in the comprehensive exam phase of my PhD, having completed coursework in spring 2022. However, my research for my upcoming dissertation will likely continue to explore the use of technology as a tool for social connections by disabled youth. I am also interested in social media representations of disability, and the changing accessibility landscape for disabled students due to COVID-19.

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME:

  • PhD student in the Communication and Culture Program at York University and Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Canada
  • Brock University alum
    • M.A. Applied Disability Studies — General (Human Rights & Equity) Stream, 2020
    • B.A. (Honours) Child and Youth Studies, 2018
  • Teaching assistant in the social sciences department at York University, facilitating tutorials of an intro course to first-year students
  • Research assistant in the School of Early Childhood studies at Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Ontario Director of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
  • Currently serving as acting Editor in Chief at Monstering Magazine (hiatus)
  • Two years experience as a teaching assistant at Brock University in the Child and Youth Studies department, facilitating seminars and grading assignments in courses such as Child Development, Developmental Disabilities: Issues of Inclusion and Intro to Preschoolers with Special Needs
  • Experience as a research assistant at University of Toronto (OISE) and Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (BRI)
  • Former accessibility, design and editorial assistant with Doll Hospital Journal