Dr. Michael Onah is a health and nutrition economist with a master’s degree in Health Economics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a PhD in Public Health (Health and Nutrition Economics) from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Dr. Onah has over a decade of experience in developing countries and has worked at the Universities of Witwatersrand and Cape Town in South Africa where his scope of work covers topics including nutrition economics, economics of social protection and cervical cancer screening and diagnosis, economics of HIV and AIDS prevention, and maternal mental health in adversity, among others. His primary areas of interest include health financing, private sector roles in the provision of healthcare services, women’s and children’s nutrition, rural economic livelihoods, and women’s empowerment.
More recently, Dr. Onah has worked with several multilaterals including the World Health Organization, Global Financing Facility of the World Bank, UNICEF, United Nation’s World Food Programme, and PATH. Funded by the Aga Khan Development Network, Dr. Onah spent a year at the University of Central Asia leading projects including a nutrition situational analyses, women’s empowerment, and maternal and child nutrition. Dr. Onah's work combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and he is an expert with large multi-country datasets, having published over 13 manuscripts in international peer-reviewed journals.
When Michael is not working, he enjoys weightlifting and HITT exercises.
Dr. Belinda Maswikwa has a PhD in Political Science, Master of Arts in Global Development Studies and a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Dr. Maswikwa has over five years of experience in the design and implementation of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Previous research projects include analyzing the impact of marriage policies on maternal and child health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Maswikwa brings a strong commitment to inter-disciplinary approaches, research collaboration across departments and developing Canada-Africa research networks. Her broad research interests include women’s citizenship rights, Feminism, migration, Diasporas, international development, social equity and the social determinants of health.
In her spare time, Belinda enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, travel and learning new languages.
Nimra Khan graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Health on a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship from the University of Bedfordshire. She is currently pursuing her PhD degree at the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire where her thesis is focused on Evaluating an Integrated Care Service for Older People with Frailty in the East of England. Prior to starting her PhD, Nimra was working as a Research Specialist at the Centre of Excellence for Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University on a project focused on improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Nimra's skills include conducting systematic reviews and carrying out mixed methods research using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Her research interests include evaluation of complex interventions for prevention and management of long term conditions.
In her spare time, Nimra volunteers with different local charities across Luton, England and likes to create awareness around the ways to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Outside of work, Nimra likes to spend time outdoors, enjoying long nature walks, jogging, and writing poetry.
Dr. Diana Sanchez-Hernandez obtained her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto (Toronto, ON), her Master's at the University of Sheffield (UK), and her undergraduate degree at Tec de Monterrey (Mexico). Dr. Sanchez-Hernandez has worked in various research areas, including epidemiology, clinical trials and basic science. Drawn to data analysis during her grad studies, Dr. Sanchez-Hernandez pursued a certificate in data analytics leading to her career path as a data enthusiast. Dr. Sanchez-Hernandez is excited about data because of its capacity to be turned into useful information or evidence that can impact people's lives and, above all, benefit the most vulnerable populations.
In her spare time, Diana enjoys yoga, camping, trying new foods and spending time with family and friends.
Jannah Wigle is a PhD candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (Toronto, ON), with a specialization in global health. Jannah has a Masters of Science in Health, Population and Society from the London School of Economics and Bachelor of Health Sciences from Western University. Jannah's doctoral dissertation uses a critical qualitative approach to explore young people’s participation in sexual and reproductive health policymaking in Malawi. Jannah has over a decade of experience working in global health, including: supporting the stunting exemplars project spanning five country case studies in Phase I; implementing a maternal and newborn health program in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa funded by UKAid; developing a tool to evaluate the reciprocal value of health professionals engaging in global health practice; researching the burden of non-communicable diseases among adolescents; and interning at the World Health Organization. Jannah's skills include policy and qualitative analyses.
Outside of work, Jannah enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, gardening and growing her own vegetables. She is on the leadership committee for the Quality of Health Systems Technical Working Group in the Health Systems Global network, and volunteers and fundraises for community-based organizations in Toronto supporting individuals experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.
Syed Zarif Samdani has abundant marketing experience including working as a digital marketing expert and a social media influencer. Currently, Syed is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and is aiming to graduate by December 2021. Before his MBA, he finished his undergraduate degree from BRAC University in Bangladesh as a marketing major with the highest distinction. During his undergraduate studies, Syed worked as a teaching assistant and as an assistant secretary in BRAC University's Cultural Club. After finishing his degree, he completed an internship of four months in Nestle Bangladesh, which provided him with meaningful industry experience. Syed is certified in Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and has a Micro Master’s in Marketing Analytics from the University of California, Berkeley.
After moving to Canada, Syed has achieved multiple accolades and experiences which compliments his dynamic nature. He has won the ‘Most dedicated Student award’, ‘Best presenter for Goodman Cup 2020,’ and won the 1st runners up medal in the 2021 MBA games. Apart from these awards, Syed is a distinguished member of ‘Beta Gamma Sigma’, and he was nominated by Brock University as one of the most outstanding business students of the year.
Syed is working full time as Vice President of Goodman Graduate Business Council. Before joining Modern Scientist Global, he worked as a customer service associate in Walmart. At Modern Scientist Global, he is responsible for handling all the digital marketing strategies and social media development. Moreover, he develops content and ideas for to increase audience engagement across different platforms.
Syed is also a social media influencer with a reach of over 3 million and 50k followers. He is an established dancer and content creator on social media platforms. In his spare time, Syed loves traveling and binge watching his favourite shows.
Aida graduated from George Brown College's program in Beauty and Editorial Makeup. She has been working as a freelance makeup artist for over two years on a full-time basis. During this time, she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of people and makeup applications. She has worked with different photographers, models and videographers on numerous projects. These work projects helped her improve her communication and time management skills.
Outside of work Aida loves to spend her time with family and friends. She also enjoys doing exercise, painting, traveling and cooking food.
Khalidha is a second-year medical student at Western University with a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from McGill University. Her past experience includes interning at the World Health Organization where she led a research project on respectful maternity care in collaboration with researchers from Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, and Myanmar. Khalidha's Master’s thesis was a population-based study of racial disparities in fetal growth restriction in the United States, and analysis of data from over 23 million births. Khalidha is passionate about improving health systems in low-resource settings. Her research interests lie in global health equity, newcomer and refugee health, medical education, mental health, and maternal, newborn, and child health.
As an MSG Research Fellow, Khalidha is working on a secondary analysis of data from the 2019 Model Disability Survey of Afghanistan. Khalidha’s skills include R and SAS software, epidemiological analysis, working with administrative databases and large datasets, and problem solving.
Khalidha’s volunteer work is guided by her belief in the power of mentorship and community. She is involved with several medical student initiatives, and founder of a national organization called AYEDI that builds the capacity of young Afghan-Canadians to reach their full potential.
Outside of work, Khalidha enjoys reading non-fiction, writing, re-energizing with Tim's double doubles, and traveling.
Hadia Rafiqzad is graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto with a double major in neuroscience and psychology, and a minor in biology. Hadia's experience includes working with the Kidney Health Education and Research Group at the Toronto General Hospital where she has contributed to research projects on patient reported outcome measures and ethnocultural and psychosocial barriers to kidney transplantation. Hadia is also the Research and Evaluation Director for the Afghan Youth Engagement and Development Initiative where she works with Afghan refugee and newcomer youth to deliver culturally sensitive programming and perform evaluations and reports on the impact these programs have on their well-being. Hadia's career goals include pursuing a Masters in Public Health and making healthcare services accessible to marginalized communities.
In her spare time, Hadia enjoys reading, cooking and baking, and going on walks.
Sthorai Akseer is a landscape, surrealist and abstract painter who has been experimenting with different mediums such as oil and acrylic paint for 3 years. She previously graduated from Brock University’s Nursing program in 2018. In the future, Sthorai aims to continue merging the worlds of healthcare and creative arts to communicate powerful and striking messages to the world regarding global health concerns.
Aside from work and creating art, Sthorai enjoys spending time with her family, going outdoors and embracing nature, and connecting with like-minded individuals.