I received a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University, and a B.F.A. in Film and Video Production from York University. Prior to my doctoral training, I was an award-winning documentary filmmaker and multimedia artist with over a decade of professional experience in the creative industry.
The main focus of my humanistic research is personal storytelling through digital game design. I organize game jams (creative workshops) to study game design practices rooted in lived experiences with mental health, addiction, and disability. I draw on arts-based and participatory methodologies to engage underserved communities in digital game creation. I also harness game design practices as a springboard for theorizing selfhood, subjectivity, and agency.
I am currently Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant exploring autobiographical game design as a tool to support opioid addiction recovery. This project examines the practice of making games as a modality for self-expression, for building community health, and tool for fighting the stigma and social isolation surrounding substance use. For more information on this current project, please see my article: “Making Video Games Can Support Addiction Recovery" in The Conversation.
I am affiliated with Laurier's Community Psychology where I am able to supervise graduate students. I am also Adjunct Professor in OCADU's Inclusive Design program where I am currently supervising a Master of Design student.
I have also been awarded grants for my documentaries on the immigrant experience—Just Arrived (2004) and Portrait of a Street: The Soul and Spirit of College (2001)—from Rogers OMNI Television, The National Film Board of Canada, and Toronto Arts Council.
I can supervise graduate students in multiple departments, including Laurier's Community Psychology Field.
Graduate students under primary supervision:
Alia Skillman. Social Justice and Community Engagement (MA), Wilfrid Laurier University. MRP in progress: “Exploring Gamification and Game-Based Learning as Strategies for Building an Anti-Oppressive and Inclusive Educational Model"
Previous primary supervision (successful theses):
2023 Eamon Gaudio, Inclusive Design (MDes), OCAD University. MRP title: "Facilitating Inclusive Running Events: Policy Analysis to Reduce Barriers for Persons with Disabilities"