I received my PhD (2011) and Master in Social Work (2003) from the University of Toronto. I also have an Honours BA Psychology from Trent University and an Honours BSc Economics from Universidad del Pacifico (Peru). Prior to joining Laurier in 2011, I taught at the School of Social Work at Ryerson University, the Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto, and the Certificate for Internationally Trained Social Workers at Ryerson University. My social work practice has been primarily in the fields of community mental health and violence against women. Born and raised in Peru, I am a peace and human rights advocate, committed to eradicate gender-based violence.
My research focuses on how people survive and resist violence, in particular, political, sexual, and structural violence and the health consequences of such violence. As an international social work researcher informed by anti-colonialism, I believe in a ‘reverse mission’ this is, rather than to rescue, to learn from the Global South. I am also committed to enhancing the integration of critical epistemologies with quantitative research methods.
My previous research has honoured the gendered resilience and resistance of Indigenous women in Peru in the aftermath of mass violence and their use of political activism as a resilience strategy. Supported by CIHR, I have also recently examined youth informed priorities on HIV/STIs preventions and sexual health rights in Peru.
Currently, I am the principal investigator of a SSHRC-funded study examining the prevention of sexual violence in post-conflict communities by developing community-based approaches involving bystanders. I am also co-investigator in two research projects, one examining the social ecologies of resilience among Indigenous youth in the Northwest Territories and the other aiming to strengthen collaboration in the Americas on rights for children and youth through developing a seven countries partnership.
I have research assistantships opportunities for graduate students interested in mixed methods research on resilience/resistance in the aftermath of trauma and violence, prevention of gender based violence, stigma attached to motherhood and mental distress, and global health topics.
I am willing to supervise graduate students in the areas of mental health, gender based violence, and health equity issues in general.
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