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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Lead Researchers

Dr. Bree Akesson, Associate Professor

Research Director

Bree AkessonBree is an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Social Work. Her research program ranges from micro-level understandings of the experiences of children and families to macro-level projects to strengthen social welfare and mental health systems in crisis-affected countries. For more information, visit Bree’s faculty profile.

Karen Frensch, MSc

Research Manager

Karen FrenschKaren is the research manager for the Global Adversity and Wellbeing Research Group. Previously she was the research project manager for the Partnerships for Children and Families Project (2000-2019) in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is co-author of the recent book "Necessary but not sufficient: Improving community living for youth after residential mental health programs."

Associates/Affiliates

Andrew R. Basso

Andrew Basso

  • PhD, University of Calgary
  • SSHRCC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Transitional Justice and the Department of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario

Ila Schoop Rutten

Digital Campaigns Manager

Ila Schoop Rutten

  • Master of Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po, Paris
  • Advocacy and Communications Associate, H2H Network

Students

Dena Badawi

Research Assistant

Dena Badawi

  • Master of Science in Global Health, McMaster University

Patrick Ciaschi

Senior Research Assistant

Patrick Ciaschi

  • MA International Relations, McMaster University
  • PhD Candidate, Politics, New School for Social Research

Kearney Coupland

Senior Research Assistant

Kearney Coupland

  • Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph
  • PhD Candidate in Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

Lauren Hawthorne

Research Assistant

Lauren Hawthorne

  • Master of Science in Global Health, MSW, Wilfrid Laurier University

Esther Herschberger

Research Assistant

Esther Herschberger

  • MSW Candidate, University of Toronto

Nadia Khan

Research Assistant

  • MSW Candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University

Contact Us:

Bree Akesson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work

E: bakesson@wlu.ca

Karen Frensch, Research Manager, Global Adversity and Wellbeing Research Group

E: kfrensch@wlu.ca

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