Meet Kathy Moscou

Photograph of Kathy Moscou

Assistant Professor Kathy Moscou’s research of pharmacogovernance and comparative health policy addresses equity in drug safety and governance to foster healthy communities. Recent community-based participatory action research with Indigenous youth explored their perspectives on success, leadership and the intersectionality between holistic health and a healthy neighborhood.   

Her Urban Garden project was a community-based research partnership with Indigenous organizations in Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba. The goal of the project was to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous youth by identifying culturally relevant indicators for holistic health. The research also investigated the holistic health benefits of urban gardening for individuals and neighbourhoods. 

Kathy’s Health and Aboriginal Land-based Education Research (HEALER) project was aimed at developing an interdisciplinary collaboration of university, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI), and VOICE Project partners to identify research priorities to improve health literacy and the health status of FNMI communities. The HEALER project specifically examined the role of Aboriginal knowledge-based programs, such as land-based education and cultural proficiency, on literacy and health literacy. 

At OCADU, Kathy’s research focus will expand to explore BIPOC perspectives of the intersectionality between governance, African and Indigenous ontology and human-centred design to foster social justice, health equity and healthy communities. 


Meet Michael Lee Poy

Assistant Professor Michael Lee Poy is an Afro-Caribbean artist-activist and architect in Trinidad and Tobago. His practice and interests are centered on post-colonial Caribbean design and fabrication in the festival arts – especially Carnival. A graduate of Pratt Institute of Technology in architecture (B. Arch.) and the Yale Graduate School of Architecture, Environmental Design (MED), Michael aims to use interdisciplinarity to augment the innovative, creative, and collaborative process of design. 

Since 2015, Michael has been teaching the Hero's Journey process as a design curriculum for graduate students in the Creative Design Entrepreneurship (CDEN) program in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine campus. By introducing the class to familiar and unfamiliar local icons, Michael actively decolonizes learning, and deconstructs the “expert” paradigm. He does this in order to generate and inspire new and sovereign knowledge – allowing students from various backgrounds and disciplines to delve into both their historical and creative psyches. 

 For the past 5 years, Michael has been incubating the Moko Jumbie Mas Camp workshops for children aged 7-17. The masquerade (mas) camps were designed and implemented as socially conscious design/build and fabrication/studio/lab workshops. They operate like a small design incubator/facilitator – just like typical Carnival mas camps. The students learn leadership training, team building, and balance and acrobatics. Eventually, the older students become experts and mentors for the younger ones. 

Michael’s architectural and design portfolio includes two buildings at the UWI, St. Augustine campus, the Trinidad Hilton Conference Centre port cochère, in addition to numerous commercial interiors throughout the island. He was co-chair of the UWI Ministry of Design: From Cottage Industry to State Enterprise Symposium (2015); and his work has been featured in Caribbean Beat Magazine (January 2018). 


Meet Kestin Cornwall

A photograph of Kestin Cornwall standing next to one of his paintings and several potted plants.

Assistant Professor Kestin Cornwall: “I create art to document change and to ask questions. I try to approach my work as a visual thinker and aim to think critically. Media has often distorted representations of Black and Brown males; how we speak, love, and live. The North American media industry is the largest globally, which significantly affects how the world views minorities. This large consumption of media affects the public's attitudes towards Black and Brown men. These preconceived notions and perceptions of us have directly affected Black and Brown men's treatment within our society. It also affects self-realization and individual development, punitive laws, and police practices that, in the end, impact and change our communities and how we all interact within them. I aim to add beauty to the world while documenting and asking questions through images. 

Race, ethnicity, and visual culture are impossible to disentangle or separate. They are linked, and visual art presents a direct site to challenge old views and add new images.” 


Wapatah Centre Purchases Access to 3 Indigenous Databases for OCAD Students and Faculty

A banner featuring the same text as the title with a teal background.

Dr. Gerald McMaster and team are happy to announce that the Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge has funded a three year access to three Indigenous Database research collections for all OCAD’s students and faculty members:

With the support from Wapatah and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), OCAD University’s community can now access an array of journals and publications focused on Indigenous perspectives, artworks, languages, storytelling, histories, and ways of knowing.

We would also like to thank Alex Homanchuk, Head of E-Resources and E-Learning, and Leila Talei, Research Project Officer, for their continued help in securing access to these resources.

Informit Indigenous Collection

This collection covers both topical and historical issues within Indigenous studies and encompasses multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in anthropology, colonial and post-colonial studies, cultural studies, history, human geography, law and land rights, and visual and performing arts. This database includes more than 20,000 full-text articles, conference papers and reports from the United States, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Zealand, published between 1973 – present.

EBSCO Bibliography of Native Americas

This bibliographic database covers a variety of subjects pertaining to the culture and history of Indigenous communities in North America, and includes more than 140,000 citations from books, essays, journal articles, and government documents of the United States and Canada.

ABC-CLIO The American Indian Experience: The American Mosaic

This database includes over 2,000 primary and secondary sources, including treaties, biographical narratives, stories, speeches, maps, and images, that highlight the historical and contemporary cultural practices and perspectives of more than 150 Indigenous communities across North America.

We encourage all of OCAD University’s students and faculty to engage with the three Databases as research resources and teaching tools, as well as a way to extend knowledge building and sharing.

Dr. Gerald McMaster

Wapatah Team


Message from the REB Regarding COVID-19

A message from David Griffin, PhD, Chair of the OCAD University Research Ethics Board (OCAD U REB)

RE: OCAD U REB guidance and business continuity plan amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

The OCAD U REB shall continue to accept applications for REB review online via the ROMEO Researcher Portal . The review of applications and provision of feedback shall proceed as usual with possible delays due to the current circumstances.

The OCAD U REB advises investigators to modify research activities to adapt to the current reality of human interactions. The REB will work on case-by-case basis with individual researchers to identify a best path forward that respects our obligations to each other as citizens, using both the TCSP2 and current national health communications. Please refer the Toronto Public Health website for up-to-date information.

In light of the current issue, modifications of research protocols approved by the REB (or in process) may be identified and developed, where necessary, including the limiting of personal and participant interactions, or the establishment of new communications strategies (e.g. online, teleconferencing). Researchers should also consider eliminating field visits, laboratory visits, or trips into populated locations such as malls, clinics, and hospitals. Again, follow the advice of Toronto Public Health.

Most importantly, researchers should attune themselves to new forms of risk that may arise from any changes, including risk that may arise by switching from in-person to virtual communication. Remember that in situations where participants or research staff report feeling unwell, care should be taken to isolate for prevention of viral transmission. If COVID-19 is known or suspected, Public Health Ontario protocols should be followed.

Modifications in new and ongoing applications may be necessary, where changes are being integrated into the research method/timeline as a response to health and civic recommendations. Revised consent forms or addenda may be required (e.g., to update privacy considerations with use of different communication channels). These changes must be reported within 5 days of their implementation through the ROMEO Researcher Portal. The REB will refer to the TCPS2 and current health advisement and respond to updated research applications within approximately 10 working days or fewer (depending on the nature of changes and their complexity).

A reminder that where the research involves assessments and use of equipment, disinfection according to manufacturer’s standards where applicable is paramount, and use of single use accessories is advisable. In the absence of manufacturers standards, thorough cleaning between participants is advised. Please consult OCAD University’s website for up-to-date information regarding University operations: Please direct any questions or concerns to


COVID-19 Anxiety: Location, Refuge and Loss

Daniel Payne,Vanitas painting: Homage to Clara Peeters. A librarian seated at a table with precious objects in the time of covid-19. 2020.

COVID-19 Anxiety: Location, Refuge and Loss is a collaborative creation research project led by Dr. Pam Patterson, Assistant Professor, TIS, Faculty of Art, with Daniel Payne, OCAD U Library and Joanna Black, University of Manitoba. It is being funded by an OCAD U Seed Grant, a Canada Council Strategic Initiatives Digital Futures COVID-19 Grant, and a University of Manitoba Creative Works Grant. Researchers have been exploring the generative potential of working in joyful, vulnerable, and committed communities of practice. Accepting anxiety as a given, as inherent in creative making, and during this pandemic, they are exploring mutually supportive pedagogies among themselves, with Gallery 1313, Toronto, and with OCADU and University of Manitoba students. Creating a resource rich environment for learning, they are developing curricular resources and teaching and learning models that are being articulated as individually expressive research results.

To attend the Fall Speaker Series, please see here: ,
To view the website (in progress), please see:


Meet Angela Bains

Photograph of Angela Bains

Assistant Professor Angela Bains: “I have a commercial practice, TransformExp (strategy and graphic design firm) which encompasses commercial and social change projects. The Vancouver Safe Injection Site (the first in North American) and the Black Youth Training Scheme (in-house graphic design training with no high school grades required) are excellent examples of the kind of work we do. We are currently working on the first integrated community health centre serving the local community and marginalized populations (homeless, sex workers etc.)  

 My business practice has a one-for-one business model, meaning, for every project we complete we invest a percentage of our profits to support an entrepreneur in the developing world by lending all or part of an ‘interest free’ micro loan through crowd funding with These entrpreneurs would not qualify for traditional bank loans. The loans are repaid and this money goes back into supporting other entrepreneurs.  

 At OCADU I will be expanding my work with Black youth, digital futures and creative entrepreneurship.” 


New Material from the OCAD U Research Ethics Board

  • New ROMEO Ethics Application and Researcher Guide - The on-line application for ethics approval was overhauled and improved with clearer instructions and more specific questions. The intention was to help researchers think through their research plans and provide the REB with the information required to make a decision. An accompanying guide was developed to help researchers navigate the new application and provide clarity for each section of the application.
  • New process for ethics applications - All researchers applying for ethics approval will now be required to attach their TCPS2 CORE completion certificate on every application they submit.
  • New process for responding to the REB - In order to increase efficiency in reviewing resubmissions, the REB has developed a new process that researchers should use to provide responses to the REB. A tutorial for this process is available.
  • REB guidance “Autoethnography and Research Ethics” and guide questionnaire - This document provides guidance on the conduct of autoethnographic research and related ethical considerations. It is important to note that individuals who feature in a researcher’s autobiographical experiences, and provide data required for the researcher to address the research question are to be considered human participants for Research Ethics Board (REB) purposes. As such, these individuals should be afforded the same rights as all human participants, as described in the TCPS 2– namely, justice, concern for welfare, and respect for the individual.
  • OCAD U's Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Human Participants – The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the OCADU community on the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.

For additional new material from the REB, please see


Research Awards

Assistant Professor Michelle Miller has been awarded a SSHRC Insight grant for her project titled, “Triggering Education: Relational Readings of Trigger Warnings in the Canadian Post-Secondary Classroom”. Co-applicants on this grant are Hannah Dyer (Brock University) and Natalie Kouri-Towe (Concordia University). This study investigates faculty and student experiences of working through difficult material in Canadian classrooms, and the practices of using trigger or content warning. Using interdisciplinary scholarship in curriculum theory, literary theory, child studies, and queer and feminist studies, this study examines how faculty members and post-secondary students interpret requests for, and offerings of, trigger or content warnings in university classrooms across Canada. The research aims to address the pedagogical stakes of both student requests for warnings and faculty choices around whether and how to warn when courses contain difficult materials.  

Professor Lynne Milgram has been awarded a SSHRC Insight grant for her project “Thirsty for Alternative Sources of Agri-Beverages? New Commodity Provisioning from the Rural Philippines and Vietnam.” Sarah E. J. Turner (McGill University) is a co-applicant on this grant. The aim of this research is to investigate the actors and processes involved in the alternative commodity chains for two agri-beverages that promise sustainable and equitable outcomes: specialty Arabica coffee in the upland Philippines, and artisanal distilled alcohol in upland Vietnam. Drawing on expertise in economic anthropology, development geography, development economics, and Asian studies, and guided by a conceptual framework bringing together commodity chain literature, alternative food network approaches, and value creation debates, this four-year research program aims to produce nuanced understandings to support upland minority farmers, local and global entrepreneurial decision makers, and state institutions to work towards improved livelihood security and equity outcomes for marginalized groups. 

Associate Professor Maya Mahgoub-Desai, Environmental Design (Principal Investigator) and Associate Professor Nancy Snow, Graphic Design (Co-Investigator) along with Collaborators Antonella Nicaso (BIA Office, City of Toronto) and Dr. Ana Blanchard (Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Université de Montréal) have been awarded a Partnership Engage Grant for their project, “Planning for Post COVID-19 Futures of Public Space: Grounding Decision-Making in Community Perceptions and Insights.” The overall goal of this interdisciplinary and collaborative project is to capture community reflections on current pandemic responses, interventions, and insights for post-COVID-19 futures of public space design and communication within those spaces. This will allow significant community input in the BIAs decision-making process with respect to imminent public space projects and at the onset of new ones and contribute to the objectives of creating foundational knowledge to the current emerging discourse on the integration of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in public space design. Most importantly, it will bring diverse community participation, especially from high-risk groups, into the early planning stages to create relevant design and purposefully integrate the cultural and social practices of public life with infection control considerations in order to increase willing participation in and adherence to IPC protocols.  

Professor Peter Jones has been awarded a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant in the COVID-19 track for the project, “Developing decision making in municipal planning to enable recovery, future adaptability and long-term resiliency.” This research is undertaken with the Flourishing Enterprise Institute and Wilfrid Laurier’s Viessmann Centre for Research and Engagement in Sustainability in partnership with the City of Kitchener and REFOCUS, and engages a growing group of planning innovators and social equity participants. The project encompasses an action learning study to develop an in-depth case study with the City of Kitchener to improve complex planning, participation and community outcomes. This PEG study addresses the need to transform municipal strategic planning for complex sustainability, enabling a just recovery from COVID-19, and to develop preparedness and resilience within Kitchener to effectively adapt to future risks. 

Professors Dot Tuer and Peter Morin are co-investigators and OCAD University an institutional partner on a seven-year 2.5 million SSHRC Partnership Grant, “Developing Transborder Research-Creation Practices,”awarded in June 2020. Led by Laura Levin of York University, the grant connects artists, activists, community organizers, and scholars from across Canada, Latin American, and New York City to engage in a range of research-creation practices that explore performance as a methodology, pedagogical strategy, tool for social change, and address hemispheric human rights issues related to migration, extractivism, Indigenous sovereignty, and gender and racialized violence. At the core of the grant’s organizational structure are three thematic research clusters, Oralities, Mobilities, and Ecologies, which will undertake collaborative research, commission artist works, sponsor field schools and other gatherings, and participate in archival and publication activities, with the goal of developing long-term intersectoral networks. OCAD University will play a key institutional role as a meeting site for research gatherings and artist residencies.



Inside Art & Design: Summer Seminar Series

Early this past spring, the OCAD U Research Office expanded on the This Is Research campaign and conducted 16 short video interviews with research-active faculty exploring aspects of their current research, in particular how it applies to the Coronavirus crisis and shifting social priorities. A number of these interviews were included in a free online summer seminar series hosted by OCAD U’s Office of Continuing Studies. The series was promoted widely on and off campus and registered a total of 158 people including many of OCAD U’s students, faculty and staff, along participants from the general public. The current series has been extended to July 17th, and plans are in the works to include the remaining faculty interviews in a second series that will be launched this coming August. You can find more information on the Continuing Studies webpage.