Committee Member Bios

Shazad Chaudhary (he/him) 
Research, Evaluation, and Innovation Specialist
Office of Indigenous Initiatives

Since obtaining an undergraduate degree at Western in 2006 and a postgraduate certificate at Humber in 2007, Shazad has spent over 14 years working for and with non-government and non-profit organizations, governments, Indigenous nations, and international consultants on projects related to water and climate, gender equality and social inclusion, community health, violence prevention, and peaceful coexistence. Shazad's career demonstrates a commitment to working with vulnerable communities and a dedication to intercultural awareness through diverse work experiences in Canada, the U.S., Gambia, Botswana, Iraq, and Jamaica.


Cassandra DeMelo (she/her)
Criminal Defence Lawyer
DeMelo Law

As the founding lawyer of DeMelo Law in London, Ontario, Cassandra represents both accused persons and complainants/victims in the criminal justice system. She holds two degrees from Western Law and is currently purusing her PhD at Western Law where her research focuses on drug reform. Cassandra also serves as Vice-President of the Ontario Lawyers' Association. 


Zamir Fakirani (he/him)
President
University Students' Council

Zamir served as a faculty and residence soph, as the Social Science Students’ Council Secretary, Councillor, and then President of the USC. He sat on the REES Youth Advisory Board, an organization that provides a secure online platform for reporting sexual violence on campuses. And, as USC President, he planned a Week of Action mobilizing the student community against gender-based and sexual violence and to demand Western and all levels of government ensure a safer, more inclusive campus. Zamir holds an honours specialization in political science, philosophy and economics, and a minor in refugee and migrant studies from Western. 


Lisa Highgate (she/her)
Associate Director, Residence Conduct & Conflict Resolution
Housing & Ancillary Services

Lisa's primary responsibility is to oversee the behaviour management program designed to support over 5,300 students who reside on campus. She has previously held roles in Student Experience and more recently as Special Advisor to the President (Anti-Racism). Prior to joining Western in 2016, Lisa provided crisis and trauma support for over 15 years in her role as a Family Consultant with the London Police. Holding certification as a Trauma Service Specialist, she mediated conflict and responded to complex crisis and trauma situations that occurred locally and in the U.S. Lisa holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western. 


Kitt Kong (he/him)
Undergraduate Student Representative

Kitt is a third-year student in the Department of Geography & Environment, hoping to pursue a degree in Urban Development. He is passionate about work aimed at preventing and responding to gender-based and sexual violeance, and ready to represent undergraduate students from different walks of life. When not in class, Kitt enjoys fencing, hanging out with first-year students in his role as a soph at Saugeen-Maitland Residence, and organizing philanthropy events in the Greek life community. Outside school, he works with the Student’s Commission of Canada as a facilitator and researcher.


Terry McQuaid (she/her) Committee Co-Chair
Director, Wellness & Well-being
Designate, Associate Vice-President Student Experience (Gender-Based & Sexual Violence)

Terry is a psychologist with over 15 years national leadership experience in equity, mental health, and sexual violence prevention. She leads and manages the medical and mental health, wellness education, student support and case management within Western's Student Experience portfolio. Previously she has held senior positions in personal safety and emergency planning, including responding to cases of sexual violence, anti-racism, high-risk matters, and community safety for students and employees, being responsible for ensuring compliance with institutional policies and procedures and applicable legislation while implementing risk management frameworks for specialized populations.


Kaitlyn Mendes (she/her)
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Canada Research Chair in Inequality & Gender

Kaity is an expert on rape culture in educational settings, and the role digital technology plays in both facilitating – and combatting – sexual violence. She regularly collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders, including schools, educational unions, charities, artists, and the public. Insights from her research have been used to inform policies, practices, and public understanding on rape culture, and other contemporary gender inequalities.


Kimberly Reynolds (she/her)
Investigative Staff Sergeant
Western Special Constable Service

Prior to joining Western in 2017, Kim spent over two decades devoted to public service with the London Police Service. She gained knowledge, skills, and experience from a broad range of career opportunities that involved extensive training, case work, crime scene management and court appearances. Kim developed expertise in forensics and was a designated fingerprint examiner and firearms examiner. She has also instructed several courses as part of the Law, Security and Police Foundations program at Westervelt College. Kim is a life-long learner, continuing to study at Western and most recently obtained a Certificate in Emergency Management from Fanshawe College.


Jessie Rodger (she/her)
Executive Director
Anova: A Future Without Violence

Jessie leads Ontario's largest women's shelter and London-Middlesex's sexual assault centre. She specializes in community engagement and advocacy, and believes in holding space for those impacted by power and structural first. Jessie holds a Masters of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. 


kirstyn seanor (they/them)
President, Society of Graduate Students
PhD Candidate, Library & Information Science

kirstyn’s research examines the management of controversial materials such as pornography and erotica, focusing on how cataloguing is used as a medium to convey underlying assumptions and perceptions of sexual(ized) content, particularly online where content is often amalgamated and organized by fans and amateurs. kirstyn holds a bachelor degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Ottawa and an MLIS degree from Western.


Katreena Scott (she/her)
Professor, Faculty of Education
Academic Director, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

Katreena is a psychologist who leads an applied research program aimed at ending violence in family relationships, with specific expertise on addressing violence perpetration in men. She is internationally known for her research on empirically and ethically sound policies and practices for intervening with men who have used violence against their partners and/or children.  Katreen also holds the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Ending Child Abuse and Domestic Violence.


David W. Walton (he/him)
Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy (cross-appointed Department of Psychiatry)
Director, Pain & Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab

Dave is the parent representative on the committee. He is a white cis male of settler ancestry who is the parent of one daughter currently in first year at Western and a second soon to follow. He is intimately connected with the Western community, as an alumnus of three degree programs, an Associate Professor with Western's School of Physical Therapy, and a Mustang for the past 26 years. Having been born and raised in London he is aware of many community dynamics, and looks forward to learning with, from, and about members of other communities and experiences that he has not lived.


Nadine Wathen (she/her) Committee Co-Chair
Professor Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing
Canada Research Chair in Mobilizing Knowledge on Gender-Based Violence 

Nadine’s research examines responses to gender-based violence and interventions to reduce health inequities, with a focus on partnerships that enhance the use of research in policy and practice. She is Academic Director of the Centre for Health Equity and Social Inclusion and a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada.