Meet our staff and Research Assistants

Our staff and research assistants are drawn from our project partners

Project staff

Sara Ono
Project Manager, TMU
Sara Ono is an undergraduate student in the School of Professional Communication at TMU. She is currently working as a research assistant for Dr. Frauke Zeller, examining themes such as Responsible/Ethical Artificial Intelligence and Human-Robot Interaction. Sara has also worked for Dr. Nathaniel Laywine as a research assistant in Humanitarian/Activist Communication and Student Global Media Usage.
Sara’s academic interests pertain to examining the relationship between Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and social structures of power/control. She is also a student at the Chang School of Continuing Education, completing a certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data, and Predictive Analytics.
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Camila Castaneda
Project Manager, GJIL
Camila Castaneda is a Salvadoran designer and journalist. Her background is in corporate communications, marketing and graphic design. She worked at the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) as one of their Marketing Coordinators.
Camila earned her BA in Graphic and Communication Design at the University of Leeds (UK) and her MA in Journalism at the University of British Columbia (Canada). During her master's degree, she contributed as a research assistant in the development of the Global Journalism Innovation Lab's website.
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Research Assistants

Megavarshini Somasundaram Gnanasundari
Megavarshini is a first-year Master of Journalism student at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Master of Science in Media Sciences from Anna University, Chennai, India. She reports on various beats - gender, arts and culture, environment, education, court, and lifestyle, among others. 
Please feel free to get in touch with Megavarshini at
Kikachi Memeh
Kikachi Memeh is a journalist, multimedia producer, writer, and second-year journalism master's student at the University of British Columbia. She received her Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Covenant University, Nigeria. As a journalist and producer, Kikachi is interested in exploring various forms of storytelling to unearth and amplify glocal stories. 
Sara Esayas
Sara Esayas is an MA student in the Communication & Culture joint program at X University & York University. She received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto where she completed a double major in Political Science and Book & Media Studies with a minor in French. Sara’s research interests include: audience studies & media ethnographies, cultural studies, journalism & news, political communication and race, ethnicity & media.
For the Explanatory Journalism and Uptake Project, Sara is working alongside Dr. Frauke Zeller, researching the news coverage and framing of BIPOC communities in North American print news media.
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Catherine Zhu
Catherine is a first-year student in the UBC Master of Journalism program, and a graduate of the UBC Bachelor of Media Studies program. Since she was young, she has had an immense passion for writing, building community, and amplifying the needs of those with quieter voices through storytelling.
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Bethany Rochester
Beth Rochester is a first year Master of Journalism student at UBC. She completed her undergraduate in psychology at King’s College London where she interned as a content and digital producer for Sashkeys Media. She is interested in the intersection between psychology and business.
Ned Watt

Ned is a first-year Master of Philosophy student at QUT's Digital Media Research Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Ned is researching the implications of human-centred AI tools for fact-checking and explanatory journalism. He holds a Master of Digital Communication and has research interests in studying digital media discourse around renewable energy, climate change, and sustainability.

Calvin Hillis
Calvin is a Media Design Innovation PhD Candidate at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research is engaged with new-media technologies, specifically Augmented Reality. Calvin's work is highlighted by academic publications and creative work features in art galleries. Calvin's technical digital marketing specialist work is focused on search-engine-optimization.
Stuart Duncan
Stuart is a PhD student in the Media and Design Innovation program at Toronto Met University, and his research focuses broadly on the field of computational social science concentrating on the social impacts of artificial intelligence and online algorithms, with a particular focus on its impacts in the field of journalism. Stuart also has a Master of Arts in Communication and Culture from Toronto Met University and a Bachelor of Arts in Computing and Information Science from the University of Guelph.
As part of his research at the Explanatory Journalism and Uptake Project, he uses computational processes to analyze online content with the goal of measuring the characteristics of online deliberation in explanatory journalism. Professionally he has worked in media and journalism for almost two decades, most of that with the CBC where he is a producer on CBC News’ national social media team. He has also worked as an instructor at George Brown College and Toronto Met's RTA School of Media.
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Justine Woods
Justine Woods (she/her) is a PhD student in the Media and Design Innovation program at TMU. She holds a Master of Design in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCAD University and a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design from TMU. Justine’s research and design practice centres fashion and garment-making as a practice-based method of inquiry towards re-stitching alternative worlds that celebrate and mobilize Indigenous resurgence.
Her work prioritizes all of the relationships that make up her identity as a Penetanguishene Aabitaawikwe; an identity she has inherited from her family and her Aabitaawizininiwag ancestors. Justine is a member of what is presently known as the Georgian Bay Métis Community and is a descendant of the St. Onge and Berger-Beaudoin families.
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Anthony Milton
Anthony is a second-year Masters of Journalism student at TMU. As a research assistant on the XJO Project, he is involved in surveying Conversation Canada authors and analyzing their responses. Anthony is also a contributor to the XJO Project Blog.
Outside of the project, his work revolves around magazine feature writing, data journalism, and politics. Anthony’s major research project uses ARC GIS to plot 15 years of political donations data across detailed maps of Canada, showing how and where Canada’s political parties make their money.
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Soraya Lecourt
Soraya is a second-year student in Journalism at T.M.U. She is a multilingual and independent person who demonstrates a passion for Information and Communication Networks with the ability to take initiative. Coordinating events and media always have been a strong skill for her. She began in the first European artistic agency, Lecourt learned to work with discretion for great artists. She continues to explore her skills for L’OREAL in organizing their International Trade Show in Paris.
She decided to work in Radio with the first European Radio Broadcaster where she experienced the technical area of advertising. Lecourt has a rich experience of cultures thanks to her several trips across the world, from Australia to America, via Russia or Europe.
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Arjun Srinivas
Arjun Srinivas is a PhD Candidate at Queensland University of Technology’s Digital Media Research Centre. His research investigates the role that recommender systems of leading social media platforms play in the curation of news and other critical information. He has also worked as a data journalist with The Hindustan Times, a leading media entity in India.
As part of the GJIL, Arjun is studying the global distribution, engagement and impact of explanatory journalism platforms like The Conversation.
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Anthony Bejjani

Anthony Bejjani is a second-year J.D. student at the University of Ottawa in the French Common Law Program.  Anthony is also completing his Bachelor of Commerce at the Telfer School of Management as part of the Baccalaureate in Commercial Sciences (BCom) and Juris Doctor (JD) combined program. He is mainly interested in business and tech law. 

Désirée Estephan-Saliba

Désirée Estephan-Saliba is a second-year J.D. student at the University of Ottawa in the French Common Law Program. Désirée is also completing her Bachelor of Commerce at the Telfer School of Management as part of the Baccalaureate in Commercial Sciences (BCom) and Juris Doctor (JD) combined program.

Lui Xia Lee

Lui Xia Lee is a second year Master of Arts student in the University of British Columbia’s department of history. She is also a research and editorial assistant for Dr. Heidi Tworek as well as the Media Relations Assistant at UBC Media Relations. Her research is focused on news coverage of national language and education policies in Malaysia from 1957 to 1969. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Carleton University. 

Nathan Lucky

Nathan Lucky holds a BA (Hons.) from the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) in history and an MA in history from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). He focuses on Jewish and non-Jewish media responses to the Holocaust, Jewish organizations, and public relations.

Lisa Ren

Lisa Ren is an upcoming second-year MA student at the University of British Columbia’s Department of History and received her BA in International Relations at UBC. She is interested in looking at the history of media and communication infrastructures in post-socialist China, and the implications of political and economic developments on the globalization of Chinese media. 

Her research is currently focused on Xinhua News Agency and global media, specifically on the transformation of Xinhua into a world news agency from 1978 to 1989. She is also currently the assistant at the Centre for Chinese Research at UBC and also a recent awardee of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) CGS-M Award.

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Isabelle Santerre

Isabelle Santerre is a research assistant at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She is currently a law student at the University of Ottawa.

Louise Stahl

Louise Stahl is a research assistant at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She is currently a PhD student at the Department of Communication at the same institution.

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