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Adjunct professors

Jeffrey Abracen, PhD

Dr. Jeffrey Abracen is a Chief Psychologist for the Central District (Ontario) Parole, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). He has expertise in the study, assessment and treatment of high-risk offenders, as well as a number of other types of offenders. He is also a fellow of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). In his role at CSC, he is responsible for engaging in both research and treatment. His research has primarily focused on treatment effectiveness for sexual offenders, the role of substance abuse, and predictors of sexual recidivism. Dr. Abracen has experience working in general sexology, a high-security correctional facility and community corrections. This breadth of experience allows him to provide insights into working with people with issues related to problematic sexual interests and behaviour more generally, as well as those who have committed various types of crimes, and the most effective approaches to assessment and rehabilitation.

James Brown

An Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities since 2017, James has more than 30 years of experience in policing at the municipal and international level, and has been seconded to work with provincial and state agencies as well as with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). His international experience includes leading community consultations across Eastern Europe, leading police development missions to Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Hungary, and leading ministerial-level negotiations on police training focus. During this time, he led a team of international police officers in the design and delivery of the OSCE Law Enforcement Officers training program in responding to hate crimes in the OSCE region. His Canadian police experience focused on major project management, designing and leading police reform and organizational change, business-process mapping and analysis along with threat, risk and vulnerability analysis. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Policing, Security and Community Safety at London Metropolitan University, where his research focuses on human trafficking data collection, the evaluation of police data capture as it relates to human trafficking, and an evaluation of police service capacity to respond to, and investigate, incidents of human trafficking.

Sonja Brubacher, PhD

Dr. Sonja Brubacher earned her doctoral degree in developmental psychology in 2011 from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She served for three years as a Lecturer and Trainer at Deakin University's Centre for Investigative Interviewing in Melbourne, Australia. From 2012 to 2014, she held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Central Michigan University. Dr. Brubacher maintains an active program of research at the intersection of developmental and forensic psychology with 47 peer-reviewed journal articles published in addition to numerous book chapters and other professional reports. Her research examines the cognitive underpinnings of children's memory development, and the socio-motivational factors that influence whether and how children's memories are reported to others, including in investigative interviews. Dr. Brubacher has supervised and co-supervised many undergraduate and graduate students at various institutions. She has also taught Introduction to Developmental Psychology, Research in Cognitive Psychology, and several forensic interviewing courses. 

Vidal Chavannes, Ed.D.

Dr. Vival Chavannes received his Doctor of Education, Higher Education Leadership from the University of Calgary and currently serves as the Director, Strategy, Research and Organizational Performance at Durham Regional Police Services. Dr. Chavannes has more than fifteen years of experience in education and training in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom in secondary, post-secondary and technical and vocational schools in teaching and program development, delivery, evaluation and review. He has helped public, private and non-profit organizations establish equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) frameworks and has designed and facilitated industry-specific EDI training and education program modules. 

Amanda Couture-Carron, PhD

Dr. Amanda Couture-Carron serves as a Senior Strategic Planner with Durham Regional Police Services. She holds a Master's Degree in Criminology from Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Ontario and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario. Her research interests include violence against women, sexual harassment of women undergraduate university students, experiences of battered immigrant women and the police, and ethnic identity, religion and gender. 

Brian Cutler, PhD

Dr. Brian Cutler is Professor and Media Psychology Program Director at Fielding Graduate University in Old Lyme, Connecticut, United States. Since 1987 Dr. Cutler has held faculty and academic administrative positions at Florida International University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Ontario Tech University and Fielding Graduate University. He has active research programs on eyewitness memory and interrogations and his goal is to educate students, professionals and the public about scientific psychological research on legal issues, such as eyewitness identification and false confession. In 2021, Dr. Cutler was honored with the Jane Bieber Abramson Award from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law for his consultation and expert testimony in wrongful conviction cases.  Dr. Cutler is a Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and a Member of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology, and the International Association of Interviewers.

Aziz Douai, PhD

Dr. Aziz Douai earned his PhD in Mass Communications from the Pennsylvania State University and master’s degree in Advertising from Boston University. He is the recipient of the Fulbright scholarship and the Insight Development grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In addition to supervising student research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, he has lectured on international communications and media studies in the U.S., Switzerland and Canada.

Dr. Douai’s research interests focus on global communications, social and political implications of new media, political economy of communications, media and terrorism, and ethnic media. A specialist in international communications, his research has encompassed global media and international politics including news media’s coverage of terrorism. He is the co-editor of New Media Influence on Social and Political Change in Africa (IGI-Global, 2013). He has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters in international peer-reviewed periodicals including:

  • Canadian Journal of Communication
  • Global Media Journal
  • Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Journal of International Communication
  • Technology in Society

Rob Elkington, PhD

Dr. Rob Elkington, Ph.D. (Northwestern University, South Africa), serves as Assistant Professor at Trent University Faculty of Business. Rob also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Ontario Tech University Faculty of Education and Faculty of Social Sciences, Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University School of Public Leadership, and the CEO of Global Leadership Initiatives, Inc., which exists to “develop excellence in leadership globally.” Rob’s research focuses on the intersection of leadership and society. Rob explores this theme through various topics in his current ongoing research projects, such as: “Seeking Best Methods for Leadership Development,” “Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership in Disadvantaged Contexts,” “Seeking Best Methods for Police Leadership Development,” and “Emerging Issues in Higher Educational Leadership,” “The Use of META in Military Leadership Development,” and “Developing Paramedic Leadership.” Rob also explores African leadership expressed in themes such as Ubuntu, Ukhama, and Pandimire. Rob published extensively as the lead editor of several leadership books (Emerald publications), book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations. Recently, he was selected as lead editor for the Journal of Leadership Studies Symposium series: “African Leadership: Powerful Paradigms for the 21st Century.” Rob is also the lead editor for a book by the same title to be published in January 2023 (Emerald Publications.) Rob is working on his fifth book, this time with McGraw Hill publications: “Police Leadership for the 21st Century: New Paradigms for a Changing World.”

Internationally, Rob has extensive experience working on food security projects, HIV Aids reduction through education, poverty reduction, and securing partnerships and research around education for disadvantaged and marginalized communities. Rob gained this experience as a Canadian representative of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s development foundation, creating partnerships with Canadian universities, CIDA, and various philanthropic foundations. Locally, Rob also works with organizations such as the Cornerstone Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Paramedics in Durham, York and Peel Region, Turning Point Youth Services, Durham Youth Services, and the Durham Youth in Policing Initiative.

Teaching Interests:

Foundations of Leadership, Sustainability Leadership, Leadership Development and Training, Conflict and Negotiation in Business, Organizational Effectiveness, Leadership and Technology, Change Leadership, Collaborative Leadership, Leadership and Administration, Ethical Leadership.

Kaitlin Fredericks, PhD

Dr. Kaitlin Fredericks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Dr. Fredericks was the first graduate of the Criminology and Social Justice PhD program at Ontario Tech University. Her community-engaged research focuses broadly on youth criminal and social justice, conceptualizations and experiences of success, community-based prevention and intervention initiatives for youth, and qualitative methods and tools for research with young people. Dr. Fredericks is also a collaborator on interdisciplinary projects, including young people’s experiences in the criminal justice system, trauma and masculinities, prevention intervention efforts for young people, staff perceptions and needs in working with justice-involved youth, and young people’s perceptions of energy technologies in Canada.

Ainslie Heasman, PhD

Dr. Ainslie Heasman is a Clinical Psychologist in the Sexual Behaviour Clinics at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and an Associate at the Centre for Interpersonal Relations. She has expertise in the assessment (including risk assessment) and treatment of mentally ill and sexual offenders, and people with other sexological problems (e.g. hypersexuality). She has been involved in program development for people with serious mental illness who have been found Not Criminally Responsible or Unfit to Stand Trial. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Heasman has practical experience that will be invaluable to our Forensic Psychology program and students. She has firsthand experience dealing with issues with a number of forensic populations, as well as other populations with complex mental health needs. This includes experience considering and working through ethical issues in forensic psychology.

Jacquie Hoornweg

Jacquie Hoornweg received her Master's Degree (MCM) in Communications Management from McMaster University and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Brilliant Energy Institute (BEI) at Ontario Tech University. Ms. Hoornweg is Co-founder and Managing Partner of Querencia Partners Canada Ltd, and previously was part of Ontario Power Generation’s senior leadership team, serving as Vice-President, Corporate Relations and Communications. Ms. Hoornweg guides the BEI as it informs a national conversation on the new energy paradigm and propels change.

Jennifer Lavoie, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Lavoie is cross-appointed to the Departments of Criminology and Psychology, and is appointed to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies where she serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the Criminology MA program at Wilfred Laurier University. Dr. Lavoie received her MA (2004) and PhD (2010) in forensic psychology and law from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. She received her BA (Hons) in psychology from Carleton University in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario (2001). Dr. Lavoie's academic background is primarily based in training as an experimental forensic psychologist.

Krystal Martin, PhD

Dr. Krystal Martin is an experienced Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto. Currently, she holds a position as a research scientist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. Her areas of research include forensic mental health, de-escalation, resiliency, trauma, policing, and first responders. Dr. Martin is also an adjunct faculty member at York University and works closely with the Durham Regional Police Service by providing training, education and consultation.

Lauren Munro, PhD (c)

Dr. Lauren Munro is a limited-term faculty member in the School of Disability Studies in the Faculty of Community Services at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Ontario and is currently a PhD candidate in Wilfred Laurier University's Community Psychology Program. Her areas of expertise include Mad studies, Fat studies, 2SLGBTQ+ health and wellbeing, Qualitative, Arts-based methods, and Community-based research. She is an activist-academic, artist and writer who is committed to social justice through her personal and professional experiences. In 2021, Ms. Munro received the Doctoral Award for Teaching Excellence at Wilfred Laurier University.    

Kendall Soucie, PhD

Dr. Kendall Soucie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Windsor. Dr. Soucie completed her B.A. at the University of Windsor, and Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan. Her research interests are at the intersection of Clinical and Health Psychology. She is interested in understanding the psychosocial and institutional determinants of chronic health conditions (e.g., diagnosis experiences, misdiagnoses/errors, illness disclosures, social support, and illness stigma) within women's health. Her focus is on Polycystic Ovary Sydrome (PCOS), the most common, yet misdiagnosed endocrine syndrome in individuals assigned female at birth, but she is also interested in Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and endometriosis, and their impact on quality of life.

Joshua Wyman, PhD

Dr. Joshua Wyman is an Assistant Professor at King's University College at Western University in London, Ontario. Dr Wyman received the 2019-2020 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, a prestigious Government of Canada award that funds the country’s top scholars to help them positively contribute to Canada’s economic, social and research-based growth. With the funding, Dr. Wyman and Dr. Lindsay Malloy, Associate Professor in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University, investigated how older adults and health professionals conceptualized and reported maltreatment of older adults. They will also identified potential ways to improve current police investigative methods for these crimes.