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Community Leader Adjunct Appointments

The Community Research Platform (CRP) is excited to share that three of the platform’s Steering Committee members have been appointed as Adjunct Professors at McMaster.

Feb 10, 2022

The CRP is built on the premise that universities and community organizations have much to gain from partnering.  The CRP brings together interdisciplinary scholars, students, and community practitioners to advance research with a social purpose. Through Adjunct appointments, community practitioners share their expertise and professional networks with researchers and students and gain access to McMaster’s research infrastructure to advance their organizational goals and mandates.

Sue Phipps, Adjunct Professor, School of Social Work

Sue Phipps is Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Hamilton Branch (CMHA Hamilton). Sue has more than 15 years of clinical success in the community mental health sector. Sue is a McMaster Alumni, holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Health Management. She is most inspired by collaborative, innovative partnerships to improve access to and quality of care for people with mental illness and problematic substance use.  As a Registered Nurse, Sue has experience working in palliative care, acute psychiatry, public health services, primary care serving people experiencing homelessness, and at Hamilton’s first Overdose Prevention Site. In addition to her work with CMHA Hamilton, Sue provides Cognitive Processing Therapy for Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder with Centre for Rehabilitation and Health in Toronto.  Sue is a founding member of the Community Research Platform and is a member of the Steering Committee and co-chair of the Mental Health work group.  Under Sue’s leadership, the CMHA Hamilton is a community partner with the Initiative For Advanced Research on Mental Health and Society (ARMS) in the Faculty of Social Sciences.  As an Adjunct, Sue will participate in grant proposals, co-author scholarly articles, collaborate in knowledge mobilization, and facilitate faculty and student research opportunities with the CMHA of Hamilton. Sue will also lend her expertise and extensive networks within the mental health sector to contribute to the development of the Faculty’s professional Masters in Mental Health.

Reza Ahmadi, Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology

Reza Ahmadi is the Director of Research & Evaluation in John Howard Society of Ontario’s (JHSO) Centre of Research & Policy. Reza has extensive experience managing complex and large-scale research and evaluation projects. Reza has a strong understanding of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, performance measurement and effective data collection strategies. He is experienced at collaborating with community stakeholders to design evaluation frameworks that are both evidence-based and tailored to the specific needs of JHS local offices. Reza has managed a number of the Centre’s research and evaluation projects including a SSHRC funded project on reintegration, criminal records, and evaluations of youth gang and housing programs. He excels at translating ideas into action, and is passionate about using visual and digital media to make research and data interesting and interactive. Reza is a member of the CRP Steering Committee and participant in the Crime, Criminalization and Punishment research work group. In his role as Adjunct, Reza will be a resource for faculty and students interested in research related to the criminal justice system, incarceration, and reintegration. He will partner on grant proposals, co-author scholarly articles, collaborate in knowledge mobilization and facilitate student placements at JHSO and the local JHS office. 

Violetta Nikolskaya, Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science

Violetta Nikolskaya is a Senior Analyst, Programs and Advocacy at the YWCA of Hamilton and an Instructor at Mohawk College.  Violetta holds a BA in Sociology, a Bachelor of Social Work, and a Master of Critical Social Work. Violetta’s graduate thesis “An Ethnographic Exploration of Homeless Shelter Performance Measurements” received the Judge Hugh C. Arrell Memorial Award for outstanding thesis. This work provided Violetta with the theoretical and methodological underpinning to develop, manage and evaluate evidence-based housing support programs at the YWCA, Wesley Urban Ministries and Good Shepherd Family Centre.  Violetta also honed her research skills in her role as Senior Research Assistant for McMaster’s Collaboratory of Research on Urban Neighborhoods. This position involved extensive collaboration with researchers, students, community organizations and diverse participants.  Violetta has also demonstrated her ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders through her active participation on municipal advisory committees.  As current Vice-Chair of the City of Hamilton’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee and the Housing and Homelessness Advisory Committee Violetta provides expertise on LGBTQ matters and housing and homelessness issues to city counselors, liaises with and amplifies the voices of external community groups working on these issues and assists with implementing recommendations made by external groups. Violetta is a founding member of the CRP and a member of the Steering Committee and the Gender and Intersectionality research work group.  As an Adjunct, Violetta will participate in grant proposals, co-author articles, support knowledge mobilization efforts and help to facilitate faculty and student research opportunities within the YWCA and its broad local, regional, and national network. Leveraging the YWCA’s expertise in service delivery and advocacy related to gender and intersectionality, Violetta will support the Department of Political Sciences’ desire to expand course offerings in the area of gender and politics.