Trainee Recruitment:

Students are recruited from the following academic units: Health Sciences (MPH, MHSc), Kinesiology (HBKin, MSc), Psychology (HBA/HBSc, MA/MSc, PhD), Nursing (BScN, MN(PHCNP)), Women's Studies (BA, MA/MSJ/Med/MSW), Computer Science (BSc, MSc), Business Administration (BAdmin/HBComm, MBA/MSc Mgt), Social Justice Studies (MA), and Social Work (HBSW, MSW).

Additionally, we are excited that the PhD program in the Department of Health Sciences commenced in the Fall of 2020. The majority of the doctoral students recruited for the Institute would fall under the PhD program in Health Sciences or Psychology.

Current Trainees:

Ainsley Miller (PhD Student)

Headshot of EPID Trainee Ainsley Miller

Ainsley is a Registered Nurse with a clinical background in critical care. She is currently a Lecturer for the School of Nursing at Lakehead University, teaching courses with a focus on pathophysiology and social determinants of health. She completed her Master of Nursing degree in 2018 and a certificate in critical care in 2017. She is currently in her first year of the PhD in Health Sciences at Lakehead University, under the supervision of Dr. Kristman. Ainsley’s research interests include traumatic events, occupational health, sexual assault, and mental health.

Dissertation Topic: The impact of traumatic events on nurses mental health.

Umme Saika Kabir (PhD Student)

Headshot of trainee Saika Kabir

Umme started her PhD. in the department of health sciences at Lakehead University under Dr.
Vicki Kristman in January 2021. Before starting her Ph.D., she completed Masters in
Health Sciences with an epidemiology specialization from Lakehead University. Umme was a
physician in her home country and also completed another Ms in epidemiology in
Bangladesh. Umme’s research interests include mental health, chronic diseases, and occupational

Dissertation Topic: TBD


Kara Polson (PhD Student)

Headshot of Kara Polson, Graduate Student

Kara has an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario, as well as an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Guelph. With a research interest in understanding the psychosocial factors that may impact our health, Kara is interested in furthering the scientific and public understanding of work as a social determinant of health. She has recently completed her Masters in Health Sciences with a Specialization in Epidemiology. In her PhD, Kara intends to explore workplace isolation as it relates to mental well-being outcomes. 

Dissertation Topic: TBD

Helen Otterman (Graduate Student, MHSc)

A headshot of Helen Otterman

Helen completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Lakehead University. Helen is currently Masters in Health Sciences student, specialising in Epidemiology, under the supervision of Dr Vicki Kristman. She is interested in mental health and hopes to improve the lives of people with mental health disorders. For her thesis, she is proposing to determine if there is an association between gender and desired workplace accommodations for workers with mental health disorders.

Thesis Topic: The influence of gender on preferred accommodations for workers with mental health disorders.

Matthew Garrod (Fall 2020 Practicum Placement, MPH)

Headshot of EPID Trainee Matthew Garrod looking dashing in his suit

Matthew has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Health and currently works in communicable disease control in Fraser Health Authority, British Columbia. Matthew is currently enrolled in the Master's of Public Health Program (Epidemiology Specialization), and is completing his practicum requirement with the EPID@Work Research Institute.

Practicum Project: The association between mental health disorders and work-related stress, including factors such as disclosure and accommodations in the workplace.

Chelsea Noel (Research Assistant)

Chelsea Noel

In November, 2020, Ms. Chelsea Noel joined the BRANCHES Lab and the EPID@Work groups at Lakehead University as a research assistant where she began working on an Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic-funded project. The focus of the project was on the experiences, impacts, and service needs of injured and ill workers in the WSIB progress in the City and District of Thunder Bay. Since that time, Ms. Noel has transitioned to a new role as an MA student in our clinical psychology program where she has been highly successful creating and disseminating this research.

Past Trainees:

Maryam Einshouka (MHSc)

Lauren Turner (NOSM)

Anitha Ithayalingam (MA in Psychology)

Mansi Shah (Winter 2021 Practicum Placement, MPH)

Practicum projects: Understanding labour force participation, work productivity and disability from the Indigenous perspectives and Bullying Purposefully Left Out? Canada's amended Labour Code and its potential impact on Indigenous workers.

Nyasha Makuto (Graduate Student, MHSc 2020)

Thesis Topic: Total number of hours driven per week and risk of depression in long haul truck drivers.

Grace Herring (Graduate Student, MHSc 2020)

Thesis Topic: Personality determinants for depression amongst informal caregivers.

Neha Dewan, Post-doctoral fellow, 2017-2020

Project: Worker Perspective impact of Supervisor Training

Chris Viel (Graduate Student, MHSc 2019)

Thesis Topic: The association between mental health disorder training and supervisors’ likelihood to accommodate employees with mental health disorder