Research associates

Rachel Epstein

Postdoctoral Fellow

Rachel Epstein is a longtime social justice activist, researcher and writer. She worked for 10 years in Vancouver with and on behalf of live-in domestic workers from the Caribbean and the Philippines, in Canada on temporary visas. In 1986 she moved to Toronto to work with the Participatory Research Group where she organized an international conference on the impact of micro-technology on women’s work globally, as well as participating in various popular education projects.

For the past 20 years Rachel has been an LGBTQ parenting activist, educator and researcher.  She is currently on leave from her position as coordinator of the LGBTQ Parenting Network, a program of the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto.  In that capacity she has been centrally involved in a myriad of education and advocacy projects, including several large research and knowledge mobilization initiatives. Her PhD dissertation drew from a community-based research project exploring LGBTQ people’s experiences with fertility clinics in Ontario.  Rachel is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Brock University, affiliated with Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology. Her postdoctoral research explores issues related to LGBTQ family conflict and reconfiguration.

Robyn Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow, Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology

Robyn Lee is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Brock University, researching human milk exchange, donation, and sale under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Doucet. She obtained her PhD in Social and Political Thought in 2013 from York University, and holds an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Victoria. Robyn is a co-organizer of the SJRI Thematic Symposium, Consuming Intimacies. She is also an adjunct professor in Brock’s Sociology Department.

Lindsey McKay

Postdoctoral Fellow, Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology

Lindsey McKay is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender, Work, and Care in the Department of Sociology at Brock University. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Doucet to study the social relations of care work. Another research interest is kidney exchange for transplantation. She obtained her PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy in 2015 and also holds an M.A. in Political Economy from Carlton University. Lindsey is a co-organizer of the SJRI Thematic Symposium, Consuming Intimacies. She is also an adjunct professor in Brock’s Sociology Department.

Neivin Shalabi

Visiting International Scholar, Faculty of Education

Neivin Shalabi is a visiting scholar and sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education. She earned her master and doctorate degrees in Higher Education from the University of Denver, Colorado, USA in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Upon completing her graduate studies, Dr. Shalabi was appointed as a lecturer at Delta University for Science and Technology in Egypt.

Neivin’s research agenda focuses on university-community partnerships for service-learning and on inclusive education. Her research on service-learning partnerships attempts to understand the theoretical underpinning of service-learning as an experiential learning pedagogy, the motivations and gains of the involved partners, the institutional factors both at universities and partnering organizations, and the relationships among partners, especially around issues of reciprocity. Through this line of research, Neivin hopes to cultivate a strong culture of community engagement at institutions of higher education where sound service-learning partnerships may flourish. Through promoting these partnerships, Neivin hopes that the university and the community would work collaboratively on addressing societal ills in an attempt to build a just world where equal opportunities are afforded to everyone.

Elise Thorburn

SJRI Postdoctoral Fellow

Elise Thorburn is a Postdoctoral Fellow funded by the Social Justice Research Institute, working under the supervision of Dr Janet Conway. She holds a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario and her research resides at the intersection of new media, feminist, and marxist theories. She writes on social reproduction, cyborgs, and labour and is keenly interested in the resistant possibilities of all three. Her work has been published in journals such as Interface, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and the Berkeley Planning Journal, as well as the edited collections Social Media, Politics, and the State; and An Alternative Labour History.

Outside of academia she is also on the editorial collective of the Canadian journal Upping the Anti: A journal of theory and action; and is a member of the Toronto Prison Justice Coalition. Previously she worked in women’s centres and women’s shelters, and was a longtime volunteer both as an interpreter for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada.