About Our Speakers

Crossroads is pleased to welcome experts from across Canada to engage student researchers in a variety of health and wellness-related topics. Speaker disciplines will include health promotion and leisure, health policy and economics, physiotherapy, medicine, nursing, and more. New speakers will be added as they are confirmed. Be sure to visit this page often.

For questions, please contact dalcihrc@dal.ca

Photo credit: Julian Parkinson 

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Keynote Panel Experts – Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food Security

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois

sylvaincharleboisDr. Sylvain Charlebois is Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Also at Dalhousie, he is Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculty of Agriculture. From 2010 to 2016, he was affiliated with the University of Guelph’s Food Institute, which he co-founded. While at the University of Guelph, he was also the Associate Dean of Research for the College of Business and Economics. From 2004 to 2010, he was a member of the Faculty of Business Administration of the University of Regina in Regina, Canada. Dr. Charlebois is an award winning researcher and teacher. He also served as the Director of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (Regina Campus).

His current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety, and has published four books and many peer-reviewed journal articles in several publications. He has published over 500 peer-reviewed and scientific publications in his career. His research has been featured in a number of newspapers, including The Economist, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the Globe & Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star.

He is currently writing a fifth book on global food systems, to be published later in 2016 by Wiley. He conducts policy analysis, evaluation, and demonstration projects for government agencies and major foundations focusing on agricultural policies and community development both in Canada and in development settings. Dr. Charlebois is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre’s Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Scientific Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Ottawa. He has testified on several occasions before parliamentary committees on food policy-related issues as an expert witness. He has been asked to act as an advisor on food and agricultural policies in many Canadian provinces, in the United States, Brazil, Austria, Italy

Cheyenne Joseph

cheyennejosephCheyenne Joseph is a member of Bear River First Nation, NS. She is a Dalhousie University alumni, having graduated in 1999 with a BScK and then in 2003 with a BScN. She is also a graduate of Lakehead University, ON in 2010 with a Master’s of Public Health degree. Cheyenne has been a registered nurse for 14 years, working with Atlantic Canada’s Indigenous communities on a variety of levels. She is currently the Acting Director for UNB’s Aboriginal Nursing Initiative (at the Fredericton campus) and a Senior Instructor (at the Moncton site). Cheyenne is also the owner and operator of Mi’kmaq Mama, a website (and associated social media) sharing her culture, recipes and insights with viewers.

Dr. Catherine Mah

catherinemahCatherine L. Mah, MD PhD leads the Food Policy Lab, a multidisciplinary program of research in the policy and practice of public health, with a focus on health-promoting innovations in the food system. Her work integrates population health intervention research and policy action on environmental contexts for consumption. The mission of the Food Policy Lab is to establish the conditions for many sectors and disciplines to act as champions for promoting health, using food as a tool for dialogue, analysis, and engagement. Its aim is to learn from and scale the ingenuity of diverse food system stakeholders to create a supportive policy environment with integrated health, social, and economic priorities.Dr. Mah holds funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada, and the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. She is Assistant Professor of Health Policy at Memorial University and is appointed at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She is a former member of the Toronto Food Policy Council and a founding member of the St. John’s Food Policy Council.

Dr. Patty Williams

pattywilliamsPatty Williams is a professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Policy Change in Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is the founding director of FoodARC (recipient of the CIHR Partnership Award with the NS Food Security Network in 2011) and a Senior Research Scholar at Dalhousie’s Healthy Populations Institute. Her research focuses on the use of participatory action research to engage trans disciplinary partners, including women experiencing food insecurity, in building capacity and moving knowledge to action, with the ultimate aim of creating the conditions for food security through social and systems change. She has led several national and provincial studies on food related policy change, including 7 cycles of provincial Participatory Food Costing and a SSHRC funded Community University Research Alliance, Activating Change Together through Community Food Security (2010-15), as well as the development of several innovative knowledge sharing tools such as the “Thought About Food?’ series of tools on food security and policy change, a board game called ‘The Hand You are Dealt’, and an online toolkit called “Make Food Matter”.

Interdisciplinary Workshop Experts

Dr. Shaun Boe


Dr. Boe is an Associate Professor in the School of Physiotherapy, Dept. of Psychology & Neuroscience, School of Health & Human Performance and Dept. of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Director of the Laboratory for Brain Recovery and Function (boelab.com), all at Dalhousie University. He also holds an Affiliate Scientist appointment at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The goal of Dr. Boe’s research program is to inform, develop and test interventions that aim to improve learning in health and disease. His lab approaches this goal through basic and applied research approaches. Basic research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying brain function and plasticity associated with learning. Applied research in the lab focuses on learning and recovery in patients post-stroke to understand the mechanisms underlying recovery, and how we can apply this understanding to improve interventions used in neurorehabilitation. In addition to neuroscience and rehabilitation, Dr. Boe’s research and teaching has an entrepreneurship and commercialization focus in the area of neurotechnology.

Dr. Mohammad Hajizadeh

mohammadhajizadehI am an Assistant Professor at the School of Health Administration at Dalhousie University and cross-appointed with the School of Health and Human Performance and Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. I am also an Associate Research Scholar at the Healthy Populations Institute (HPI). I received my PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland and have held postdoctoral positions at McGill and Western Universities. Prior to my PhD studies, I worked as a lecturer at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. A health economist by training, my primary research interests are analyzing equity of health care, measuring inequality in health and evaluating health and social policies. My other research interests include health services research, global health and economic analysis of chronic diseases.

Dr. Brad Meisner

Brad Meisner is Assistant Professor, Health Promotion, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University. His research interests include social and positive psychology of health and chronic disease with aging, as well as critical theoretical perspectives on health, health promotion, and aging. His research aims to challenge the misconceptions of normal aging as a function of inevitable decline.

Dr. Susan Hutchinson


Susan is a faculty member in the School of Health and Human Performance. She is passionate about helping people to get more out of life when living with a chronic health condition through the application of evidence from health promotion and leisure studies to the design, implementation and evaluation of leisure-based chronic disease self-management educational initiatives.

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Keynote Expert

Dr. Barry Lavallee

BarryLavallee.pngDr. Barry Lavallee is a member of Manitoba First Nation and Métis communities, and is a University of Manitoba trained family physician specializing in Indigenous health and northern practice. His clinical work has focused on the health and healing needs of First Nation and Métis communities. He has a Masters of Clinical Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. His research and clinical areas are chronic diseases, transgenerational trauma, impact of colonization on Indigenous communities and international Indigenous health. He is the Director of Student Support and Education for the Centre for Aboriginal Health Education, University of Manitoba and Indigenous Health UGME Curriculum Lead for the University of Manitoba.