Four young Ontario HIV researchers receive UWW senior fellowship


This fall, Universities Without Walls is proud to welcome its first cohort to consist entirely of senior research fellows– 10 remarkable students who each completed a junior UWW fellowship during one of the past five years, and who are returning to strengthen their research skills and enhance their networks as part of cohort 6.0. Among their ranks are four Ontario researchers who will be working on projects with the community:

  • Sarah Switzer (cohort 4.0) is completing her PhD at York University while continuing to work with Empower, a youth-focused HIV prevention program she helped to found in Toronto. In cooperation with Youth Peer Educators, Sarah will investigate the question of community engagement with HIV research, through a youth-focused lens.
  • Also based at York University, Colin Hastings used his time in cohort 5.0 to investigate the experiences of people living with HIV in rural areas, as well as questions of identity and politics surrounding HIV status. He will be working with a community-academic team in Ontario to develop an innovative disclosure intervention for people living with HIV.
  • Amanuel Tesfamichael (cohort 5.0) will continue working with Dr. Stephanie Nixon at the University of Toronto on a longitudinal, community-based research project investigating the experiences of Zambian people living with HIV. Part of his focus will be on translating the knowledge from these studies for use by African, Caribbean, and Black communities in Canada.
  • Todd Coleman (cohort 2.0) will be defending his PhD thesis at Western University, while working with Dr. Trevor Hart and Dr. Robb Travers to investigate the effects of resilience and stigma on the lives of gay and bisexual men in Ontario. Specifically, he will investigate the role resilience plays within the unique Canadian context of LGBT rights and HIV non-disclosure laws.

Funding and support from UWW will allow these returning fellows to continue their training and research, and to share their findings with the larger HIV/AIDS community. For more information, see: Universities Without Walls: Cohort 6.0.

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