I am an Assistant Professor in Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies, cross appointed in Sociology and Legal Studies at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo. I attended Osgoode Hall Law School (JD) and I am a member of the Bar of Ontario. I also have a MSc and PhD in Family Relations and Human Development (University of Guelph) where I also currently have adjunct status. I was a long serving research associate with the former Centre for Families, Work and Well-being at the University of Guelph, where I also completed my post-doctoral research fellowship. I am a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations.
My research encompasses interdisciplinary socio-legal research and policy analysis on family law matters including publicly funded mediation (Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Mediation Services in Ontario funded by AFCC-O), the shared custody of children, child support, fathering after separation and divorce, and caregiving for individuals with episodic disabilities. I have been at the forefront of research that has sought to understand the child's perspective of shared custody and am regularly invited to speak to judges and family law professionals.
Here is an interview with me hosted by KW lawyer Diane McInnis for her series on Families: Future-Present on how children feel about shared custody. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPDwJNf92MQ
In addition, I am a part of a steering committee that formed the KW-Guelph-Wellington Community of Practice: Family Law & Family Conflict. This group is an interdisciplinary resource for professionals who serve families undergoing separation/divorce (e.g., therapists, lawyers, mediators, researchers, psychologists, social workers, etc.). You are welcome to sign up (for free) to receive our newsletter with updates about local training and events. https://www.uoguelph.ca/family/community-of-practice
As a teacher I focus on law, policy, and relationship and family formation and dissolution through a wide array of courses including: family law (Love and the Law), Family Policy and the Law, intimate relationships, parent and child relations, conflict in close relationships, and research methods.
I live in picturesque Stratford with my husband Mark and beloved tuxedo cat, Pebbles. We are the proud parents of two young-adult daughters, Laura and Sarah, who have recently made us “empty nesters” as they pursue their post-secondary education.