Meet the team

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Leela MadhavaRau

Director
She/Her pronouns

Leela MadhavaRau serves as the Director of Human Rights and Equity. Leela came to Brock in September 2018 after spending the previous 16 years in southern California as the Advisor to the President and Associate Dean for Campus Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Redlands. Earlier in her career, Leela undertook similar work at Michigan State University and Western University. Leela’s expertise in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion has provided her with the opportunity to present at many national and international conferences, as well as becoming a mentor for individuals beginning their careers in this field.

Leela immigrated to Niagara from England and is excited to return after years in Montreal, England, London ON and the United States. Her degrees in Anthropology are from McGill and Cambridge.

Leela is a Canadian British South Asian fascinated by the ways in which culture is transmitted through time and space and the ways in which communities select what elements to retain and what to lose over generations. Her anthropological training provides her with an inherent curiosity about what makes it difficult for humans to “just get along”. She raised her four children in the spirit of Maria Montessori with the consequence that they are scattered far and wide.

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Shannon Kitchings

HRE and Ombuds Coordinator
She/Her/They/Them pronouns

Shannon is a recent graduate of the Social Justice and Equity MA program at Brock, with previous education in performing arts and communication. During her time at Brock, Shannon was president of the Graduate Students’ Association and Chair of the National Graduate Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students. Building upon years of experience working with non-profits, she connects community building with strategic planning in her work at HRE.

Shannon is an experienced facilitator, trainer, and communications specialist. She uses these transferable skills to support the Brock community through her work on the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Right, Equity, and Decolonization as well as special projects designed to support the safety and success of Brock students. In her free time, Shannon is an avid volunteer and also does freelance work delivering workshops and writing copy for NGOs and local businesses. Shannon loves poetry, puppies, and justice.

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Milé Komlen

Special Advisor
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Milé Komlen is the Acting Senior Advisor in the Human Rights and Equity Office, where he provides guidance on the implementation of complaints processes under the University’s human rights policies. He is a human rights lawyer and conflict management practitioner. Milé is formerly the Director of Human Rights & Equity Services at McMaster University where he served for eight years as a member of the University’s Senior Management Team. In his other public roles, Milé is the Past President of the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education (CAPDHHE). He is also formerly the Chair of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and has previously served as the Chair of the Equity Advisory Group at the Law Society of Ontario.

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Trecia Mclennon

Intercultural Communications Coordinator
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Trecia McLennon is Brock’s Intercultural Communications Coordinator in the Office of Human Rights and Equity. Arriving at Brock in a chilly February in 2018, she was tasked with leveling up people on campus’ capacity to work well with culturally different people. She continues to do this through designing, developing and delivering experiential workshops, certificate programs, events, intercultural curriculum and co-curriculum consultation, pre-departure and re-entry design and debriefing, and customized assessments and coaching, in person and online.

Trecia works with students, faculty and staff and currently serves on the City of St. Catharines advisory committee for equity and inclusion. She is a former assistant professor in the School of International Studies at the University of Ulsan in South Korea and a former instructor of Global Management Studies at Ryerson University.

She is the author of the anthology Trailblasian, the only known published collection delving into the voices and experiences of 17 Black women from three different countries living and working in East Asia; and co-author of an Open Educational Resource on Professional Communication being used at no cost to students by several institutions in Canada and around the world.

Her experience traveling to 18 and living in five different countries allowed her to learn varying degrees of five languages, cultivate a passion for all things intercultural and nurture a deep commitment to equity and inclusion.

She has a BA in Communications, an MBA, and a certificate in Adult Training and Development. She’s a Globesmart Certified Facilitator, a Flip The Script Campus Trainer, an ICedge Certified Trainer, a qualified IDI administrator, and a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP).

Trecia is a proud AfroJamaiCanadian mom of one living on Turtle Island looking to be a good ancestor and leave the world a little better for future generations.

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Michelle Mudge

Student Justice Educator
She/Her pronouns

Michelle is a current MA student in the Social Justice and Equity Studies program at Brock University. She works as the Student Justice Educator for the Brock Student Justice Centre, which is housed under Human Rights and Equity. Michelle coordinates campaigns, workshops, and events that challenge complex, interlocking systems of oppression, like racism, colonialism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, classism, and sexism. When she isn’t working, Michelle can usually be found listening to 90s rock music and taking long walks with her great dane, Willow.

Student Justice Centre links:

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Michelle Poirier

Advisor, Human Rights and Equity
She/Her pronouns

Michelle Poirier has been an Advisor with Brock University Human Rights and Equity since 2017.  She brings 20 years of expertise in equity, diversity, inclusion and human rights in Ontario.  She is responsible for the intake, triage, informal resolution and/or administration of external investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment, bullying and sexual violence in the Brock community.

Michelle’s past work at Brock University include spearheading Trans-Inclusion Guide and All-Genders Washrooms projects across campus, the establishment of the President’s Advisory Committee for Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization and partnership with equity-seeking groups on several signature events including Brock Pride Week, “We Are All in Relation” Indigenous Speakers Series and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Red Dress art installation and panel.

Michelle is currently an executive member of CAPDHHE, the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education and recipient of CAPDHHE’s 2019 Leadership in Learning Award.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion.  Her recent community involvement includes service on the City of Hamilton’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee, Pride Hamilton’s 2014 Organizing Committee and McMaster University’s PACBIC LGBTQ+ Working Group.

Michelle holds an M.Ed in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE, B.A. (Hons) in Women and Gender Studies as well as certificates in Project Management (UofT), Advanced Investigation Techniques (Rubin Thomlinson) and Executive Certificate in Conflict Management (Windsor Law).

Michelle’s areas of interest include: gender, sexualities, anti-Black racism, Indigenous sovereignty, freedom of expression, alternative dispute resolution, cultural appropriation and intersections of these areas.

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Talia RITondo

Gender and Sexual Violence Education Coordinator
She/Her/They/Them pronouns

Talia Ritondo has been volunteering and working with the Brock Human Rights and Equity team since her first year at the university in 2018. Her role has evolved from volunteer, to P2P team member, to P2P Support Assistant, to finally Gender and Sexual Violence Education Coordinator. Talia coordinates workshops, trainings, and events that educate students, staff, and faculty about gender and sexual violence through an intersectional, anti-oppression lens. They also believe strongly in community collaboration, and works hard to foster relationships with various campus departments and St.Catharines organizations.

Talia is also a recent Master’s graduate of Brock’s Recreation and Leisure program, and plans to pursue a PhD in Sport Management in the near future with a focus on bringing an intersectional social justice lens to research in the field. For leisure, they love to play volleyball, rock climb, watch Netflix, and play video games.

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Alison Rothwell

Accessibility and Inclusion Advisor, Human Rights and Equity
She/Her pronouns

Employed at Brock University since 2002, Alison Rothwell joined the Human Rights and Equity Office in 2020 as the Accessibility and Inclusion Advisor.  She is a McMaster University Alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Comparative Literature and later pursued a graduate degree in Applied Disability Studies at Brock University.  Using a critical disability studies approach, her academic research focuses on representations of disability and mental health and has a particular interest in the relationship between disability and embodiment.  Alison also has significant experience in program administration and advising as well as expertise in rights-based negotiation, conflict resolution and labour/employment/public policy and administration. She also volunteers with canine rescues, enjoys quilting, baking, writing, and the oxford comma.