I am an Assistant Professor in Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo. I attended Osgoode Hall Law School (JD) and am a member of the Bar of Ontario. I also have a PhD in Family Relations and Human Development (University of Guelph) and a long research association with the Centre for Families, Work and Well-being at the University of Guelph, where I also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship.
My work includes conducting interdisciplinary socio-legal research and policy analysis on family law matters including mediation, 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, family law professionals, and family law agency staff about my research.
I serve on the board of Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) for the Waterloo Region. This intersects with my interest in finding ways to help families find supports and services outside of traditional adversarial, court-based litigation.
In addition, I am a part of a steering committee that formed the KW-Guelph 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
My current research project: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Mediation Services in Ontario, is funded by the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, Ontario (AFCC-O), a St. Jerome’s University Faculty Research Grant, and SHHRC. This project will seek to understand access and satisfaction with family mediation services (2017-2018).
As a teacher I focus on law, policy, relationships and family through a wide array of courses in areas such as family law, family policy, intimate relationships, parent and child relations, conflict in close relationships, and research methods.
I am a long-time resident of the Guelph/Kitchener area and live with my husband Mark, two young-adult daughters, and two beloved cats.