PEW Research Team

Pathways to Education and Work Research Team

Active Members

Dr. Leesa Wheelahan

Principal Investigator 

Leesa is an associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, OISE. She holds the University of Toronto’s William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership at the University of Toronto. Leesa is interested in pathways within and between education and labour markets, higher education policy, relations between colleges and universities, social justice and social inclusion, and the role of knowledge in curriculum in vocationally oriented qualifications. For additional information, visit Leesa’s website, or her webpage

Dr. Ruth Childs


Ruth Childs is a professor and the Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the University of Toronto. Her most recent large research projects have investigated how elementary students deal with uncertainty when answering multiple-choice questions, the effects of admission criteria, and what Ontario’s universities are doing to improve access for under-represented groups. For more information, visit Ruth’s website, or her webpage

Dr. Gavin Moodie


Gavin Moodie is an adjunct professor in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the University of Toronto. He is interested in higher education policy in wealthy English speaking countries, particularly in relations between college, vocational or further education, and university or higher education. This was the subject of his doctorate and his first book, “From vocational to higher education: An international perspective,” Open University Press, Maidenhead (2008).For additional information, visit Gavin’s webpage

Dr. Eric Lavigne

Postdoctoral Fellow

Eric is interested in academic management and leadership, organizational theory, and higher education policy. Find more about Eric on


Leping Mou

Graduate Assistant 

Leping is currently an MA student in the Department of Leadership, Adult, and Higher Education at OISE. He is interested in the exploration of liberal arts education in the era of globalization and the balance with professional and vocational education. He holds an MA in English language and literature from Shanghai International Studies University and a BA in English from Shandong University (China). Before coming to OISE, he worked as editor and project coordinator of English tutorials, translator, and college English teacher in Shanghai, China. Learn more about Leping by visiting his homepage. 

Past Members

Dr. Annette Ford

Project Manager

Annette served as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the University of Toronto. She managed PEW’s SSHRC project on qualifications—the link between educational and occupational pathways and labour market outcomes and the Education International project on Technical and Vocational Training as a framework for social justice. Annette’s other research interests include mentoring in education and comparative and international education. For more information visit Annette’s webpage

Edmund Adam

Graduate Assistant 

Edmund Adam is a PhD student in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at OISE. His research interests include college-university relations, educational pathways, social justice, political economy, and the impacts of political economy on national approaches to skills formation. Learn more about Edmund on his webpage

Aiman Jafar

Graduate Assistant 

Aiman completed her Honours BA specializing in French language and French linguistics at the University of Toronto in 2016, and is now working towards completing a Masters of Education in Language and Literacies Education with a collaborative specialization in Education Policy. She is interested in academic assessments/evaluations and the education policies surrounding curriculum implementation in higher education.  As a graduate assistant for the OISE Pathways group, not only does she intend on using her knowledge of the French language, but she also hopes to learn more about knowledge mobilization. Read more about Aiman on her Academia web page.

Jennifer Hounsell

Graduate Assistant

Jennifer is a PhD student in the Department Of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education at OISE. She has an MA in Sociology from McMaster University, an Honors Specialisation BA in Sociology from Brescia University College at Western University, and a Writing Certificate in Professional Communication from Western. Some of her research interests include: student development and experience, instructor-student relationships, and emotional labour. Jennifer is also passionate about teaching and learning for both students and educators.Find out more about Jennifer by visiting her homepage.

Photo of Taj Norin

Norin Taj

Graduate Assistant 

Norin Taj is a PhD student at OISE. She completed her Masters in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are in educational policy and International organizations (IOs), academic management and policy as practice in the Global South and Global North. When not working, she enjoys travelling, photographing and writing photo-poetry. You can find out more about Norin by visiting her webpage.

Dr. Saewan Koh

Graduate Assistant

Saewan Koh (Ph.D. Biology, York University) is a master’s student in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. His research interests include science literacy, program evaluation in education and gender and race equity in universities. Saewan also works with the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering assessing the impact of their new broad-based admissions procedure. Before coming to OISE Saewan was a course coordinator for the introductory ecology course in the Dept. of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Outside of academia Saewan enjoys camping, travelling, photography and motorcycle touring.

Dr. Laura Servage

Web Master

Laura completed her master’s degree and PhD at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include policy in public and higher education, sociology of education, school-to-work transitions, teacher professional learning, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in higher education. Learn more about Laura on her webpage.

Dr. Christine Helen Arnold

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Christine Helen Arnold is a past Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include the student experience in higher education, with a focus on student mobility and credit transfer systems. Christine has published and presented on a range of topics including: transformative education, student affairs/services, credit transfer/articulation, degree granting, quality assurance and higher education within the knowledge economy. Find more about Christine on

Jinli Yang

Graduate Assistant

Jinli holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Toronto. She is a policy and research analyst with the Policy and Knowledge Mobilization Department at The Learning Partnership. Jinli’s research interests include school-to-work transitions, and the career choices and pathways of students in secondary and post-secondary education. She is fascinated by psychometrics, and specializes in competency-based measurement design and analysis. Learn more about Jinli on her webpage.

Image of Amanda Brijmohan

Amanda Brijmohan

Graduate Assistant 

Amanda completed an Honours BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Toronto in 2014, and her Master of Arts in Higher Education at the University of Toronto in 2016. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at OISE. She is interested in measurement, assessment and evaluation practices in higher education contexts. In her work with the OISE Pathways Group, Amanda seeks to learn more about how higher education policies impact student access, mobility, and labour market transitions. Find out more about Amanda on her webpage.

Jacqueline Beaulieu

Graduate Assistant

Jacqueline is a PhD candidate in the Department of Leadership, Adult, and Higher Education at OISE. Experienced in student affairs and student leadership in higher education, she is interested in topics related to organizational leadership and student success. Jacquie is presently researching student governance.  Find out more about Jacqueline by visiting her webpage.

Image of Diane Simpson

Diane Simpson

Graduate Assistant 

Diane is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education and Comparative, International and Development Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Diane has an MSc in International Planning and Development from the University of Guelph, a post-graduate certificate in International Development from Humber and an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario. Her research examines effective international partnerships with a specific focus at the effectiveness of the college sector. Read more about Diane 


Christian Noumi

Graduate Assistant 

Christian Noumi is a PhD candidate in Higher Education and a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education (CIHE). He holds an MA in Higher Education Research and Development from the University of Kassel (Germany). His research interests include comparative higher education, governance and policy. Christian is particularly interested in the management of higher education stakeholders during meaningful reforms at system and institution levels. His PhD dissertation explores the role of national stakeholders in higher education policy making in Ghana and Senegal. Find more about Christian on

Jean-Claude Taylor-Cline

Graduate Assistant

Jean-Claude is interested in the nature of educational pathways, relationships within the sectors of post-secondary education, and relationships between post-secondary education and the labour market. Find out more about Jean-Claude on

Jennifer Sipos-Smith

Graduate Assistant 

Jennifer Sipos-Smith studied English at Trent University before completing a master’s degree in Communication and Culture at York University, followed by doctoral studies at OISE. For many years, Jennifer worked as a strategic communications professional helping organizations build powerful brands and achieve effective communication. Her TEDtalk; “Why workplaces need 20-something leadership” features her research on Millennials, inter-generational teams and the changing workplace.