Centre Staff and Members

The Live Work Well Research Centre is made up of five intersecting Research Clusters: Sexual and Gender Diversity; Disabilities, Access and Inclusion; “All my Relations” Indigenous Ways of Knowing; Integrating Care and Livelihoods; and, Displacements, Emergence and Change. Below is a directory of the Centre Director, Cluster Leaders and Centre staff. 


Dr. Deborah Stienstra, Director

Benedicta Hughes, Administrative Assistant to the Director

Kate Ducak, Project Manager, Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development

Rana El Kadi, Manager, Research and Knowledge Mobilization

Victoria Watt, Undergraduate Research Assistant 


Cluster Leads

Photo of Kim Anderson

Kim Anderson, Lead of "All My Relations"

Keywords: Indigenous health and social well-being; Indigenous masculinities; Indigenous feminisms; Indigenous identity; Indigenous youth; Indigenous traditional knowledge; Indigenous environmental knowledge; and urban Indigenous peoples



Telephone: 519-824-4120, extension: 58027 

Photo of Leah Levac

Leah Levac, Co-Lead of Displacements, Emergence and Change

Keywords: intersectionality and citizen participation; northern wellbeing; youth engagement; local politics; global citizenship education; community engaged scholarship



Telephone: 519-824-4120, extension: 56065

Photo of John Beaton

John Beaton, Co-Lead of Disability, Access and Inclusion

Keywords: Men's Health and Fatherhood; Fatherhood and Special Needs Children; Fatherhood and Autism; Adoptive and Foster Fathers of Children in Care; Solution Focused Therapy; Health & Well-Being



Telephone: 519-824-4120, extension: 56256 

Roberta Hawkins

Roberta Hawkins, Lead of Integrating Care and Livelihoods

Keywords: feminist geography; ethical consumption; social justice; international development; slow scholarship; feminist academia



Telephone: 519-824-4120, extension: 58166

Photo of Malissa Bryan

Malissa Bryan, Co-Lead of Sexual and Gender Diversity

Keywords:  women, work, education, race, Black Identity, diversity, culture, LGBTQIA2S+, gender diversity identities, BIPOC experiences of queerness, anti-oppressive practise, ethnicity, social change, marginalization, feminist theory, critical race theory, intersectionality, marxism, mixed methods, and community-based research


Contact: mbryan@uoguelph.ca

Photo of Adam Davies

Adam Davies, Co-Lead of Sexual and Gender Diversity

Keywords: gender and sexual diversity; poststructuralism; queer theory; anti-oppressive practice; disability studies; inclusion; gay masculinities; digital media cultures; power; identity


Contact: adam.davies@uoguelph.ca

Photo of Ruth Neustifter

Ruth Neustifter, Co-Lead of Sexual and Gender Diversity

Keywords: survivors of intimate partner violence in new, non-violent relationships; providing sex-positive, pleasure-based education in shelters; working with sex workers to create new opportunities to share their experiences and knowledge in their own words; educating therapists on kinky and open relationships; experiences of queerness across adulthood; assisting parents with raising children to become sexually healthy adults



Telephone: 519-824-4120, extension: 53975 



Centre Staff

Photo of Deborah Stienstra

Deborah Stienstra, Director

Deborah is a cluster co-lead for the Displacements, Emergence and Change cluster and the Disabilities, Access and Inclusion cluster.

The Director of the Live Work Well Research Centre, Deborah holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work and is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Guelph. She is the author of About Canada: Disability Rights (Fernwood, 2012). Her research and publications explore the intersections of disabilities, gender, childhood, and Indigenousness, identifying barriers to, as well as possibilities for, engagement and transformative change. Her work also contributes to comparative and trans/international research and theory related to intersectional disability rights.


Over the past fifteen years, she has led or co-led multiple community-engaged research partnerships. Between 2010 and 2016, Jane Stinson, from the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), and Deborah Stienstra co-led FemNorthNet or the Feminist Northern Network. FemNorthNet included northern and southern community organizations, Indigenous and settler women, and researchers and community women. Its goals were to examine the consequences of economic restructuring for diverse women in Northern Canadian communities, support these women to engage in decision-making about the changes in their communities brought about by these developments and help to amplify and insert women’s voices into discussions, decision-making and planning processes.


Deborah is engaged in several initiatives across Canada, in Vietnam and with partners in countries including Haiti, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Vietnam and Canada.


Email: deborah.stienstra@uoguelph.ca

Phone number: 519-824-4120, extension: 54553

Website: https://www.deborahstienstra.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dstienstra


Photo of Kim Garwood

Kate Ducak, Project Manager, Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development

Kate Ducak joins the Live Work Well Research Centre team as the Project Manager for the Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development partnership grant.  Kate has a background in project management, community engagement, collaborative qualitative and mixed methods research, program evaluation, and knowledge mobilization.  She applies an intersectional approach to health equity issues thanks to her honours undergraduate and masters education in Health and Aging from McMaster University.  

Kate lives with invisible and intermittent disabilities and has extensive experience with people living with disabilities in health care and community settings. When not involved in social justice advocacy, Kate enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, camping, and spending time with her fur family.


Contact: ducakk@uoguelph.ca 

Rana El Kadi

Rana El Kadi, Research and Knowledge Mobilization Manager

As an immigrant settler woman of colour with an invisible disability, I have been leading and collaborating on community-based research and knowledge mobilization projects for the past decade. I am passionate about working with communities with lived experience of difference to co-create knowledge and solutions that are grounded in disability justice, critical access, anti-racism, and decolonization. Over the years, I have come to view research and knowledge mobilization as deeply intertwined, where they are both designed and negotiated in constant collaboration with stakeholders so as to ensure that they achieve the desired community impact. 


I was recently a Research Associate on Re-Vision Centre / Creative Users Projects' Accessing the Arts initiative, aiming to co-create digital solutions that remove barriers and provide more opportunities for disabled people to connect to and access the arts in Canada. During my PhD program at the University of Alberta, I conducted a SSHRC-funded ethnographic project where I co-created and facilitated ethnomusicology programs with immigrant and refugee youth around anti-racism and intercultural dialogue. I am also the cofounder of Emergent Futures CoLab (EFC), a transnational collective of artists, scholars, and activists who work on collaborative projects that channel uncertainty and reimagine more equitable futures with their communities.


Contact: relkadi@uoguelph.ca


Benedicta Hughes

Benedicta Hughes, Administrative Assistant to the Director

My name is Benedicta and I am the administrative assistant in the Live Work Well Research Centre.  I have a B. Mus from Université Laval, and a M.B.A. from the Ivey Business School at Western University. I am thrilled to have joined U of G, and am really looking forward to learning more about the Centre and all the important research taking place.


You can find me in MacKinnon 501 between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. As part of living work well, I am very thankful to have this opportunity to contribute, while taking on the challenge of moving my parents from their house to a seniors’ residence/assisted living, and also taking care of my own family.

Please let me how I can help you, or your research team with administrative support – I look forward to working with you!


Contact: bhughe07@uoguelph.ca

Telephone: 519-824-4120, extension: 54930