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Internal Fellows

Tshepo Internal Fellows hold academic appointments at Wilfrid Laurier University. They include full-time or part-time faculty members at Laurier University who have a demonstrated interest in the research agenda and/or activities of The Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa, who submitted a request to the Director to be an Internal Fellow, and whose request has been accepted by Tshepo's Council. 




Dr. Ehaab Abdou

Dr. Ehaab Abdou is an assistant professor of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research seeks to contribute to rendering curriculum and classroom practices more holistic and inclusive, especially of historically marginalized worldviews, epistemologies, wisdom traditions, narratives, and contributions. His recent publication is Modern Education and National Identity in Greece and Egypt: (Re)producing the Ancient in the School  In D. Tröhler, N. Piattoeva, & W. Pinar (Eds.), World Yearbook in Education, Schooling and the Global Universalization of Banal Nationalism.


Dr. Robert Ame, (former Tshepo Director 2012–14)

Dr. Robert Ame is the former Director of Tshepo from 2012 to 2014 and an associate professor of Human Rights and Criminology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Robert’s research interests are in the areas of youth justice, children’s rights with a focus on female ritual servitude (trokosi), the overrepresentation of Black youth in the Canadian criminal justice system, truth and reconciliation commissions, and International Service Learning (ISL). Robert is currently PI on a SSHRC-funded study of the impact of bi-directional North-South International Service Learning (ISL) programs on host communities in the Global South, with a specific focus on the Laurier-Ghana Partnership program that has been running for more than 10 years.


Dr. Bree Akesson

Dr. Bree Akesson is an associate professor of Social Work  and a Canada Research Chair in Global Adversity and Wellbeing at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research focuses broadly on international social work, ranging from micro-level understandings of the experiences of children and families affected by war to macro-level studies on social service and mental health system strengthening. Bree is currently working on a SSHRC-funded mixed-methods study of the resettlement experiences of refugees in Ontario, a SSHRC-funded phenomenological study of the experiences of pregnancy loss among Syrian refugee families living in Lebanon, and she has published the book From Bullets to Bureaucracy: Extreme Domicide and the Right to Home with Andrew R. Basso (2022).  


Dr. Abderrahman Beggar

Dr. Abderrahman (Abdou) Beggar is a professor and current chair of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University.  His research has been geographically centred in the Maghreb (North Africa), France, and the Americas. Abdou has authored and edited nine books, as well as a special edition of the Review of the Centre for the Studies of the Literatures and Arts of North Africa. He has written dozens of articles (both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed for a more popular audience) and has contributed to several edited volumes. He has also published a series of reflective essays on Latin America as a book called L’Amérique latine sous une perspective maghrébine (translated from the original French to English, Spanish, and Arabic), as well as two short stories and two full-length novels, Le chant de Goubi and L’oeil du chien..Abdou is currently Co-PI on the SSHRC-funded book project Too Perilous to Proceed, Too Ashamed to Return: Life Stories of Sub-Saharan African migrants Stranded in Morocco with Dr. Stacey Wilson-Forsberg.


Dr. Kofi Bobi Barimah 

Dr. Kofi Bobi Barimah is a sessional instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University. Kofi was the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Public Health & Allied Sciences at the Catholic University College of Ghana-Fiapre, where he also served as its Dean from 2007–2013. He also served as the first director of the Night School (now the Weekend School). He is currently the Ag. Executive Director at the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Mampong Akwapem. He has several publications in health promotion and community development in peer-reviewed journals, coupled with presentations at reputable global conferences. Dr. Barimah is the principal author of  Traditional Medicine in Ghana (2018), and he is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Technology and Entrepreneurship.


Dr. Andrea Brown (former Tshepo Associate Director 2016–20)

Dr. Andrea Brown was the former Associate Director of Tshepo from 2016 to 2020 and an associate professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Andrea’s current research has been exploring the policy environments around urban food security and migration in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2022, she published the article “Co-productive urban planning: Protecting and expanding food security in Uganda’s secondary cities.”


Dr. Kevin Burrell

Dr. Kevin Burrell is an assistant professor of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University. His main research investigates ethnic identity and representation in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East. Of particular interest to me is the history and identity of the ancient Kushites and Nubians of North Africa. He is also interested in the history of the Bible and its role in western identity formation, colonization, and slavery.

Dr. Shaunasea Brown

Shaunasea Brown is an assistant professor of communication at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research collaborates with artists in Toronto to delineate a specifically second-generation understanding of Black women’s arts practices. She is interested in how Black Canadian women artists of Caribbean descent offer blueprints for living relationally and suggest methods for radical community care. Her research areas are Black (Canadian) studies , Black feminism and womanism, and Black women’s hair politics

Dr. Karen Cyrus (Current Tshepo Director)

Dr. Karen Cyrus is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research interests are Afrodiasporic community music making practices, pan-African children’s repertoires, gospel music repertoires, and social justice in music education. She also has an interest in the principles and best practices of collaborative research and research collaborations. Dr. Cyrus was part of the team that established the Helen Carswell Chair in Community-Engaged Research in the Arts, York University, as the Helen Carswell research associate from 2017 to 2021. In that role, she fostered and facilitated partnerships between community music organizations and researchers to improve music programming and curriculum for racialized youth in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto, in addition to conducting her own community-engaged research. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), where she worked on a project titled "Mapping Ontario's Black Archives," which involved developing a database with 5000+ entries from Ontario's institutional and community archives to map the presence of persons of African descent in Ontario from the 1700s to 1975. Dr. Cyrus completed a PhD in music (ethnomusicology) at York University as well as a Master of Arts in music, and a Master of Arts in applied linguistics. She holds an LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) in teaching piano; a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the West Indies, Mona; a Post Graduate Dip. Ed. in Music (Honors) from MICO Teachers College; and has Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certification for music (vocal-intermediate) and the junior division. Her latest publication is a book chapter titled “Rethinking representation in music education: Strategies to integrate Pan-African music” in The Routledge Companion to Applied Musicology (2023). 


Prof. Kevin Day

Prof. Kevin Day is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is an internationally acclaimed composer, conductor, and jazz pianist currently based near Toronto, Canada. His music has been performed by some of the world's top soloists, wind bands, and symphony orchestras. He is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship for Music Composition, a winner of the BMI Composer Award, a three-time ASCAP Morton Gould Finalist, and was considered for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. He holds degrees from TCU, the University of Georgia, and is ABD, completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Day is currently Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of Jazz at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. His research interests are Black music, Afro-futurism, jazz and contemporary improvisation, and music composition.


Dr. Lamine Diallo (former Tshepo Co-director and Co-Founder of Tshepo, 2008)

Dr. Lamine Diallo is an associate professor of Leadership at Wilfrid Laurier University (retired 2021). The main focus of his research is on the role and impact of governance and leadership in the African continent. Recent research includes emerging leadership academic programs with a focus on curricular designs. 


Dr. Carol Duncan

Dr. Carol B. Duncan is a professor of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University. She holds a PhD in sociology from York University. Her research focuses on Caribbean religions in transnational and diasporic contexts, Black Church studies in North America, gender studies, and religion and popular
culture. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, Professor Duncan is the author of This Spot of Ground: Spiritual Baptists in Toronto, co-author of Black Church Studies: An Introduction, and contributing editor to The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. She is co-editor of Womanist and Black Feminist Responses to Tyler Perry’s Productions and The Black Church Studies Reader. Professor Duncan’s latest book projects are the co-authored Black Religion and Popular Culture: An Introduction and "Revival Zion and Spiritual Baptists," in Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado (ed.) in The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Religions. Professor Duncan is also a published creative writer whose latest title is "Searching for Zora: Auto/mobility and the religious imagination," (2023). 


Dr. John Boye Ejobowah

Dr. John Boye Ejobowah is an associate professor of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research focuses on the political claims of groups and their normative responses. He is particularly interested in claims to citizenship, autonomy claims, multinational federalism, and constitutional design for divided societies. His regional focus is Africa, and his special expertise is Nigeria. 


Dr. Paul Emiljanowicz

Dr. Paul Emiljanowicz is a sessional lecturer in the Political Science departments at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. He is also the project manager/managing director of Participedia. His research is focused on contributing to reconceptualizing development, the state, and democracy by engaging with the ideas, experiences, and people who have traditionally been excluded from the canon(s). Paul’s work is published in Postcolonial Studies [forthcoming], Third World Quarterly, Interventions, Small Axe, Democratization and Routledge, as well as in popular media outlets such as Africa is a Country and The Conversation. 


Dr. Maurita T. Harris

Dr. Maurita T. Harris is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at the Wilfrid Laurier
University, holding appointments in User Experience Design and Social Justice & Community Engagement. She earned her B.A. from North Carolina State University in psychology and her M.S. and Ph.D. in community health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Harris’ research explores the way technology can support the well-being of people as they age from a human factor perspective, focusing on design for aging; digital health; health and racial equity; and the technology lifecycle. As the director of the Well-Tech Research & Design Laboratory, she leads a team that collaborates with researchers across the world to ensure the integration of interdisciplinary approaches and thinking from diverse fields (e.g., community health, design, engineering, gerontology, leisure, psychology, and social justice).


Dr. M. Raymond Izarali (former Tshepo Director 2010–12)

Dr. Raymond Izarali is an associate professor of Criminology at Laurier. His research interests include globalization, global terrorism and security, human rights theory, Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia.  He has published four co-edited books: The Contemporary Caribbean: Issues and Challenges (2013); Security, Education, and Development in Contemporary Africa (2017); Expanding Perspective on Human Rights in Africa (2019); and Terrorism, Security, and Development in South Asia: National, Regional, and Global Implications (2021).  He has also published a solely edited book, Crime, Violence, and Security in the Caribbean (2018). His teaching includes courses on policing, penology, and global terrorism and security.  Currently, he is engaged in work focused on Asia, Australia, Canada, and the Caribbean. 


Dr. Oliver Masakure (former Tshepo Associate Director 2010–2012, Director 2014–2016, Associate Director 2020–2023)

Dr. Oliver Masakure is an associate professor and current coordinator of the Business Technology program at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research interests include development economics, health economics, and labour economics, with special emphasis on food security, food safety and food trade, innovation and technology, and employment practices in organizations. He is Co-PI on a series of research grants on African immigrant youth and education with Dr. Stacey Wilson-Forsberg. These grants have resulted in a solid research program that has had significant impact in terms of academic publishing, engagement with schools, policymakers, and immigrant communities. Outside of the university, Oliver is involved in many community-based and community-led initiatives. He recently served as a member of the steering committee of the Nelson Mandela Day of Care Task Force (2016–2019) and as its Chairman (2018–2019). The Nelson Mandela Day Taskforce was established by the City of Brantford in 2013 with a mandate to inspire and empower the city’s residents to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy through acts of volunteerism.


Dr. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy (former Tshepo Associate Director 2012–14)

Dr. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy is a professor of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research explores the intersection between mental illness and stigma and its impact on immigrant communities, as well as the effectiveness of treatment options for individuals with serious mental illness in the community. He is currently involved in multiple collaborative projects at Laurier’s faculty of social work and the department of social work at the University of Ghana. His latest publication is a book co authored with Jeff Grischow and Festus Moasun titled Experiencing Disability Stigma in Ghana: Impact on Individuals and Caregivers (2024)


Dr. Heena Mistry

Dr. Heena Mistry is an instructor in the Department of History and the Manager of EDI Training, Planning & Strategic Initiatives at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research examines the relationship between global South Asian diaspora and British imperialism. Her recent publications include the articles “The Repatriation Debate after the Abolition of Indenture” and "Reflecting on diverse histories of Remembrance Day in Guelph and beyond."


Prof. Thomas Rose

Prof. Thomas Rose is an assistant professor (sessional), Human Rights and Human Diversity at Laurier. His academic research has been in the area of journalism and human rights, including the history of media development projects in West Africa, and his research has appeared in the Encyclopaedia of Human Rights and the Yale Journal of International Law.


Dr. Akbar Saeed (former Tshepo Director 2016-2020)

Dr. Akbar Saeed is an associate professor of business technology management at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research areas include organizational routines, healthcare service quality, and humanitarian technologies. He currently studies how technology alters the way we understand ourselves and influences the way we operate in the world. He is currently involved in an ongoing project that investigates patient experience in the emergency room with special consideration to space and artifacts, and another that examines the use of smartphones for data collection.


Dr. Edward Shizha

Dr. Edward Shizha is a professor of Society, Culture and Environment, and Youth and Children’s Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research areas include educational and political development in Zimbabwe and Zambia, and the support needs and wellbeing of Zimbabwean and Sudanese refugees to Canada. The main focus of his research is migration and transnationalism, with his most recently completed study being on investigating factors that enhance or frustrate access to postsecondary education for male African immigrant youth transitioning from high school in South Western Ontario. 


Dr. Izabela Steflja

Dr. Izabela Steflja is an assistant professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her main streams of research deal with local perceptions of international criminal trials in post-conflict settings, women’s participation in war crimes in the context of justice for atrocity, and children in armed groups. She asks questions such as: Who are the constituents of international criminal justice? How do we complexify the victim and perpetrator binary in the accountability project?


Prof. Dalon P. Taylor

Prof. Dalon P. Taylor is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Trent University in the Social Work Department and a part-time lecturer in the University of Windsor’s Master of Social Work for Working Professionals program. Her research interests are migration, immigration and skilled migration incorporated with issues of race, racism, anti-Black racism, community engagement [health] inequities and social justice. Dalon’s PhD dissertation work at York University’s School of Social Work focuses on the historical and contemporary functioning of race and gender to shape the experiences of Black skilled immigrant women from the Caribbean in the Canadian labour market. One of her recent publications is "Toward a social justice model of inclusion for university–community engagement." Social Work Education, 1–16,(2023)


Dr. Stacey Wilson-Forsberg (Current Tshepo Associate Director, former Director 2020–2023)

Stacey Wilson-Forsberg is an associate professor of Human Rights at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research areas include immigration and multiculturalism. Stacey is presently leading and co-leading (with Dr. Oliver Masakure) several Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded projects focusing on school and labour market transitions of African youth with refugee backgrounds. She also conducts research with irregular Sub-Saharan African migrants in Mexico and Morocco and is currently working on a SSHRC-funded book project called “Life in Unintended Destinations: Narratives of Sub-Saharan African Migrants Stranded in Morocco and Mexico” (with Dr. Abderrahman Beggar).


Dr. Gerard Yun

Dr. Gerad Yun is an assistant professor of Community Music at Wilfrid Laurier University. His scholarly and artistic interests include choral improvisation, contemplative music practice and ethics in cross-cultural music performance, shaped by interests in music education, choral singing and the intersections of music as a global phenomenon. Gerard is the artistic director of Waterloo’s East-West Concert Series and serves on a number of community music boards.


Past Fellows

Dr. Matthew Wyman–McCarthy

Dr. Matthew Wyman-McCarthy is an accomplished historian and writer specializing in British Abolitionism and Global Empire in the Late Eighteenth Century. His research areas include: Atlantic history; slavery and the transatlantic slave trade; the history of race; and European imperialism in Africa. He served as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of history at Columbia University before joining Wilfrid Laurier University as a research facilitator.


Dr. Jeff Grischow, History (former Tshepo Associate Director 2014–16)

Dr. Jeff Grischow's research theme include African history (Ghana), and comparative development studies. His research currently focuses on the history and lived experience of disability rights in Ghana.


Dr. Peter Farrugia (Tshepo Co-founder and former Co-director 2008–10 )

Contact Us:

Karen Cyrus, Director


Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, Associate Director