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New Faculty Hires

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In the Faculty of Arts, we take great pride in hiring high-quality tenure-track faculty, a process that helps shape our institutional reputation and the direction of Ryerson’s exciting future. The colleagues we are welcoming to campus represent the diversity of Arts and contribute to the strength of our faculty.

With our new hires, we place renewed emphasis on excellence in research, teaching and social awareness. Their addition to our faculty reflects our celebration of the humanities’ rich tradition of exploring ideas and cultures across ever-broadening contexts. They also help us pay tribute to the social sciences' rich tradition of exploring the nature of institutions, social phenomena and human behaviour through collaboration and innovative methodologies.

Get to know our new Faculty members 2022-2023

Dr. Fahad Ahmad
Dr. Fahad Ahmad, Criminology

Dr. Fahad Ahmad is a community engaged scholar whose research intersects structural Islamophobia, the racialized practices of national security policing, and civil society and resistance. Dr. Ahmad holds a Ph.D. from the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. His doctoral research was supported by SSHRC’s Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s Doctoral Scholarship. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies of the University of Toronto.

Dr. Ahmad’s work has been recognized with numerous grants and scholarships (for example he was the recipient of Association for Research on Non-profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), Graduate Diversity Scholars and Leaders Award (2020-2021) and Emerging Scholar Award (2019). His work was published in prestigious peer reviewed Canadian and international criminology journals, including the British Journal of Criminology, Crime, Law and Social Change, Security & Surveillance, and Critical Studies on Terrorism. In addition, he has a forthcoming book manuscript entitled, Counter-radicalization, Islamophobia, and civil society contestations: The cases of Canada and the U.K., to be published by the McGill Queens University Press."

“I am thrilled to be joining the Department of Criminology at TMU. I am particularly inspired by the important community-centred, critical teaching and scholarship that my colleagues are engaged in. I look forward to being part of such a vibrant community of scholars."

Patrice Allen

Patrice Allen, History

Patrice Allen is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her research and teaching interests include the histories of African Diasporas, Black Social Movements, Women and Gender, and Black Radical Thought. Her current research examines the transnational activism of Black women within the Universal Negro Improvement Association [UNIA] founded by Marcus Garvey and Amy Ashwood Garvey.  

Prior to joining TMU, Patrice received a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University in 2018.  Patrice comes from a long tradition of educators who believe that “learning could be liberatory” (hooks, 1994).  At York University, she served as the Course Director for: “In Slavery and Freedom: Blacks in the Americas” and “African-Canadian History.” 

She also received a SSHRC-funded doctoral award in 2019 for her research and is a recipient of the Paavo and Aino Lukkari Fieldwork Research Award in 2021.  Patrice is also a member of The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and African Diasporas and The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC). She is passionate about scholarship and teaching rooted in Black liberation and radical social change.  

“I am excited to work with TMU students, scholars, and staff committed to creating an equitable world.  I am also thrilled by the possibilities of research collaborations within the History department and larger TMU community.”

Pirachula Chulanon
Pirachula Chulanon, Philosophy

Pirachula Chulanon is an expert in Early Modern Philosophy with a special focus on the work of German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), particularly Kant’s theories of knowledge and mind. A native of Thailand, Pirachula received his BA (with distinction) from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2016 and will complete his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in the summer of 2022. A recipient of prestigious research awards from the Mellon Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Pirachula’s work concerns the origins and limits of our understanding of our own humanity and rationality. He pairs this with research and teaching interests in ethics and aesthetics, especially theories of art in the German-speaking tradition after Kant.

Dr. Caroline Erentzen
Dr. Caroline Erentzen, Psychology

Dr. Erentzen has a Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from York University with a specialisation in forensic and legal applications. She also has a law degree from Queen’s University with a focus on human rights and criminal law. Her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, centred on studying prejudice and intergroup attitudes toward marginalised identities. 

Her main research areas focus on the intersection of law and social psychology and the mechanisms underlying perceptions of victims of prejudice, hate crime, and legal inequality. She has also studied gender-based violence and sexual harassment, including intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and strangersexual harassment at street level and online, funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant. She was recently awarded a Faculty of Arts teaching award for her work as a contract lecturer for the very popular Psychology and Law course in the Department of Psychology. 

"I am delighted to join Toronto Metropolitan University at such an exciting time of development and growth. I am looking forward to joining the Psychology and Law community at TMU and I am excited at the opportunity for collaboration and research. TMU has a clear dedication to social justice and equity initiatives, which I believe is a real strength of the University and has contributed to a culture of inclusion and excellence."

Jennifer Komorowski, Philosophy

Jennifer Komorowski is an expert in Indigenous Philosophy, with a focus on the ways philosophy and psychoanalysis can illuminate cultural and artistic production. She will complete her PhD in the summer of 2022 at the University of Western Ontario, where she received her MA (2017). She received her BA in 2015 at Brescia University College (London, Ontario). Her PhD Dissertation “examines the philosophy of women’s pain and masochism beginning from within the continental philosophy tradition, and then moves outward to see what it means for Haudenosaunee women to experience pain and inflict it on ourselveserests, including courses she recently developed on Indigenous Science Fiction, Indigenous Women’s Resilience, and Indigenous Digital Storytelling.

Jennifer is a registered band member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, located just outside London, Ontario.

“I'm really excited to be joining the Philosophy Department at TMU. After studying at the Theory Centre at Western University, which is a very interdisciplinary place, this feels like my dream job because of the inclusion of a wide variety of interests within the department, as well as the large number of supportive Indigenous faculty members at the university. I love that I have the chance to develop courses in my own areas of research (psychoanalysis, Indigenous philosophy, and decolonial thought) so that I can pass this knowledge onto the students at TMU and get them excited about these ideas as well.”

Dr. Emmanuel Kyeremeh, Geography and Environmental Studies

Emmanuel Kyeremeh is a social and urban geographer. He received his Ph.D. in Geography with a specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations from the Department of Geography and Environment at Western University. Using network analysis and other quantitative methods, his primary research focuses on the role of personal network in the integration process of immigrants specifically African immigrants in Canada. In addition, his work examines critical reflections of integration outcomes among immigrants. His research, also, extends into other dimensions of integration as well as immigrants’ health. Within this domain, he explores how the length of time spent in Canada affects sleep outcomes of immigrants and its resulting impact on their wellbeing. Currently, Dr. Kyeremeh serves as a postdoctoral fellow in the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto, where his research interrogates the phenomenon of difficult ties and their implications on young and old adult Americans. Dr. Kyeremeh is passionate about community engagement and is involved in several projects aimed at promoting the wellbeing of immigrants and their children.

"TMU has a stellar reputation for its work on integration and settlement of immigrants to Canada. As someone who seeks to contribute to the flourishing work in this domain, TMU provides the resources and opportunity to do so. Additionally, the Department of Geography and Environmental studies is noted for challenging its students to develop excellent scholastic skills and theoretical insights while equipping them with the technical and professional skills they need to excel in their careers. TMU also boasts of a vibrant student community that have a desire and passion to acquire relevant and usable knowledge that can transform their lives, surroundings, cities and Canada at large. I am super elated to be part of this wonderful community and contribute my quota towards its success."

Dr. Naomi Lightman
Dr. Naomi Lightman, Sociology

Our newest tenure-stream faculty member, Dr. Naomi Lightman, will join us as an Associate Professor as of January 2023. Naomi received her Ph.D. from OISE/University of Toronto in 2015, and from 2015 to 2017, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto. Since 2017,  Naomi has been employed in the Sociology Department at the University of Calgary. Naomi is an accomplished methodologist who uses critical research methodologies to examine the innovative intersections in immigration, care work, gender, and social policy. Her publications use quantitative methods and mixed methods to advocate for social justice. Naomi has one co-authored book, Social Policy in Canada (Oxford, 2017), and numerous (co-authored or single author) journal articles, book chapters, and community policy reports.

“I’m delighted to be joining TMU, a unique university located in Toronto’s diverse, urban core, with its longstanding reputation for progressive community engagement and activism. In particular, I will be pleased to support the sociology department’s focus on immigration and carework through my research, service and teaching.”

Dr. Kanika Samuels- Wortley
Dr. Kanika Samuels- Wortley, Criminology

Before joining TMU, Dr. Kanika Samuels-Wortley was an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University and a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) in Canberra, Australia. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology (2021) from the University of Waterloo, an MA and a BA in Criminology from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the University of Toronto, respectively. Dr. Samuels-Wortley’s research explores the intersection of race, racism, and the criminal justice system. It aims to advance critical race discourse in Canada through empirical mixed-methods approaches.

Dr. Samuels-Wortley has published in prestigious peer reviewed journals, including Race and Justice, Crime and Delinquency, and the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research has been supported by a number of awards and grants, including British Columbia’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner Grant (2021). Dr. Samuels-Wortley has served as a member of the research committees for the Learning Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion for Correctional Service Canada, Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations, and Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

"I am so thrilled to be joining the Department of Criminology at TMU. Both the Department and University are dedicated to social change by addressing various issues related to racial inequities in Canada. My research examines the negative impacts of racial bias and discrimination within the criminal justice system; therefore, my scholarship complements the already important work that is being done. I look forward to collaborating with other Faculties, scholars, students, and staff at TMU, and hope my research will contribute to meaningful social change". 

Dr. Fiona Thomas
Dr. Fiona Thomas, Psychology

Dr. Thomas has an MSc from the London School of Economics in Health, Community and Development and obtained a Certificate in Global Mental Health from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (Harvard School of Public Health). She earned her clinical Ph.D. from TMU and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in PTSD and implementation science on a joint project between TMU and Stanford University.

Dr. Thomas’ research examines the adaptation, delivery, and evaluation of mental health interventions for underserved populations and considers culturally-responsive mental health interventions that address structural inequities among marginalised communities. She has conducted research and fieldwork in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia and parts of Southern and East Africa and we look forward to strengthening such international collaborations. We are thrilled to add Dr. Thomas’ expertise to our ability to provide culturally-informed clinical training for our graduate students in psychology.

“I am ecstatic about returning to the very department where I was able to launch my research work in global mental health and clinical psychology. Everything about this role, including the research, mentorship and teaching focus, feels like the perfect fit. It is exciting to see psychology’s overall pivot in recognizing the importance of advancing culturally-informed clinical practice. I am truly looking forward to coming back and contributing to growth within this area in the Psychology Department! I can’t wait to see many familiar faces and meet those of you I haven't met yet.”

Jumoke Verissimo
Jumoke Verissimo, English

Jumoke Verissimo is a prolific poet, writer, novelist and children’s author whose expertise will enrich the creative writing and postcolonial course offerings of the Department of English. 

Jumoke has authored two poetry collections (I am memory and The Birth of Illusion); a novel; (Small Silence); a co-edited collection of poems on police brutality in Nigeria (Sòròsókè) and a children’s book (Aduke and the Moon’s Hidden Secret), which she also translated into Yoruba. Her works have been widely anthologized and translated into several languages, including Italian, Portuguese, Norwegian, French, and Macedonian. Jumoke’s awards and honors include Edinburgh Festival First Book Award (Shortlist), RSL Ondaatje Prize (Shortlist), James Patrick Folinsbee Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing (Winner), NLNG Prize for Literature (Shortlist), and the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize (Winner). 

Jumoke’s teaching and research interests in African literary criticism and literature, memory studies, and traumatic affect provide new critical lenses and international connections for students taking English courses. Additionally, her experience in the publishing industry, participation in creative communities in Canada and abroad, and her passion for mentoring students and new writers opens up exciting opportunities for the development of our curriculum and student engagement. We look forward to Jumoke joining us in January 2023.

"As a writer-scholar, I consider Toronto Metropolitan University’s diverse community, downtown location and pulsating energy as a source of inspiration. I am looking forward to both productive interactions with colleagues and students and numerous opportunities for collaboration. I am excited about the many ways TMU will offer opportunities to create, collaborate, teach, and conduct research on ordinary lives in transition and Black imaginations and memory in Canada and beyond."

Dr. Julián Zapata, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Dr. Julián Zapata is a certified translator, a translation researcher, and an entrepreneur. As a young boy, Julián discovered a fascination for anything related to languages and effective communication, from reading and writing poetry, to taking part in his high school’s public speaking competition. He grew up speaking Spanish and began learning foreign languages at teenage, in Canada, when he decided to pursue a career in translation.

He completed his PhD in Translation Studies (2016) at the University of Ottawa, where he also taught, for nearly a decade, an array of courses including English, Spanish and French translation; terminology and terminotics; translation technology and professional aspects of translation, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was also a part-time professor at Université du Québec en Outaouais and Concordia University for several years.

Dr. Zapata has worked internationally in several projects related to translation process research, language and translation technologies, as well as translator training, with several publications and dozens of presentations, guest lectures and plenary speeches in more than 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. His research has been funded, notably, by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – société et culture, and Entreprise Ireland.

“I am thrilled to join the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LLC) at the TMU, in one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are at the heart of this city; the people here understand the challenges of communicating effectively in a world where thousands of languages coexist. I am looking forward to being inspired by the creativity of students and colleagues at the LLC and beyond, and to continue teaching, researching and innovating in languages and translation, human-centred technologies, and entrepreneurship.”

  • Dr. Alyssa Counsell (Psychology)
  • Dr. Damien Lee (Sociology)
  • Dr. Ajay Sandhu (Criminology)
  • Dr. Zahir Kolia (Criminology)
  • Dr. Rohan Sud (Philosophy)
  • Ms. Hyunju Lee (Economics)
  • Dr. Diane Enns (Philosophy)
  • Ms. Conely de Leon (Sociology)
  • Dr. Hongbing Yu (Languages, Literatures & Cultures)
  • Dr. Naomi Hamer (English)
  • Dr. Doosoo Kim (Economics)
  • Dr. Katherine Zubovich (History)
  • Ms. Lauren Kirshner (English)
  • Dr. Antoine Panaïoti (Philosophy)
  • Dr. Shiri Pasternak (Criminology)
  • Dr. Christopher Wellen (Geography)