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 critical disability studies and social media studies, and their intersections with education, pedagogy and youth studies.
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 research the use of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok as tools for social connections by disabled youth. 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.
I am currently in the coursework phase of my PhD, 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 particularly 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 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
- Ontario Director of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
- Currently serving as acting Editor in Chief and Director of Graphic Design at Monstering Magazine
- 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