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Professional Development Workshops

Annually, The HNP Ontario team is provided with the opportunity to attend a series of virtual and in-person professional development workshops, featuring external guest speakers who are experts in their respective fields! See more about the topics that will be spoken on below:

Learning  Strategies

May 7, 2023

Dr. Deena Kara Shaffer

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Dr. Deena Kara Shaffer (she/her) is the founder of Awakened Learning, designing compelling learning experiences for students of all ages, their parents, and professional leaders keen to experience more self-defined success. After 11 joyful years at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson), where she served as Manager of Thriving Innovations in Student Wellbeing, Adjunct Faculty in the Sociology Department, and Lecturer in the Psychology Department, Deena recently moved to York University to serve as Director, Office of Student and Academic Services. Deena is the President of the Learning Specialists Association of Canada (2nd term), a former learning strategist for students with disabilities, and a skilled certified high school teacher. Deena is co-founder of the now international Thriving in Action resilience intervention, and co-author of Thriving in Action Online and Thriving in the Classroom. Deena holds a doctorate in nature-based pedagogy and learning strategies, and has gone back to school this past fall for a second masters, this time in Design, Strategic Foresight and Innovation. Deena is an author; a trained yoga and restorative yoga teacher; a mindfulness meditation teacher; a published poet; and, and public speaker on learning and well-becoming. At present, Deena is working on an "awakening learning" book to share her holistic learning strategies more broadly, hosts "Whole Learners" parent circles to support families in filling in those "pandemic learning gaps", and recently launched the #LearnThat initiative as a positive contribution to social media which can viewed on Instagram @awakenedlearning. Deena's ideal day is spent outdoors getting muddy with her two kids.

Green Juices

Research Opportunities

May 14th, 2023

Lauren Joe

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Hi everyone, my name's Lauren and I'm currently in the first year of my MSc! I'm a part of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP) at the University of Toronto. My research is conducted with the Robertson Lab at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Our lab is focused on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; a progressive and fatal disease that results in the loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

This workshop is focused on how to get research experience, with particular emphasis on how to become involved in biological research in a wet lab environment. I'll share my personal experiences, tips & tricks, and advice to help both prospective and current science students to explore what research has to offer.

Cover Letter Writing

May 21st, 2023

Shukkiththia Sivapatham & Rashmi Wijeyeratne

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Shukkiththa is a Neuroscience Specialist student studying at the University of Toronto Scarborough, now entering her third year of study. She is interested in pursuing a career in medicine and research with a focus on neuropsychiatry. Her research background focuses on behavioural neuroscience, whereby she contributed to a thesis project investigating binge-eating disorder using a rodent model. She is currently a Co-op Research Student at CAMH working under the supervision of Dr. Vincenzo De Luca for a project that investigates biomarkers for suicidality in schizophrenia by correlating MRI and epigenetic data. Outside of this, she is an emergency responder on the UTSC EMRG team, volunteer tutor, and enjoys being outdoors and staying active.

Rashmi is an upper-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, Scarborough pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Science specializing in Psychological & Health Sciences with Co-op. She is currently on her 3rd Co-op work term resulting in a total of one year's work completed as a Research Trainee at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. She is an international student from Sri Lanka and holds a Higher National Diploma in Psychology and has held numerous professional and research positions in corporates and NGOs in Sri Lanka. She was also a teacher of Music, English and Global Perspectives at inclusive schools with a keen interest in children with special needs. She is passionate about her role as an Emergency Medical Responder, as well as her keen interest in Musical Theatre and the Arts.

Featuring our project lead:

Muhammad Ansar

May 27th, 2023

Green Juices


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