Diane T. Finegood, PhD
Professor & Fellow, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Diane's career journey began with degrees in engineering and physiology from the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and the University of Southern California. She came to Canada as a postdoctoral fellow studying the physiology of type 2 diabetes. She landed her first academic position at the University of Alberta, and after 10 long winters, she moved to Simon Fraser University. Diane was privileged to be able to take detours from a traditional academic path to serve as inaugural Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (2000-2008) and President & CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2012-2016). She is currently serving as Executive Director of the Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance (CHSPRA). Diane became a part of the Centre for Dialogue in 2017 when she started teaching in the Semester in Dialogue. Her regular spring Semester brings a small cohort of students through an immersive experience of dialogue, building relationships and personal reflection. She also offers students new ways of thinking about the many wicked problems that keep us up at night.
Chris Yakimov, MA
Associate Director, Digital Community Engagement
Chris Yakimov works as the Associate Director, Digital Community Engagement for SFU’s Office of Community Engagement. After a young life in leadership and hockey coaching, he fell into web design and has since worked as a digital strategist in the private, nonprofit and now public sector. He has a BA in Psychology and MA in Education, and his graduate thesis was a narrative inquiry that explored the power relations reified by the word “self” in academic, therapeutic, and everyday discourse. He’s heavily influenced by thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Antonio Damasio, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Shawn Wilson, Jaron Lanier, David Krakauer and Judith Butler, and brings an abiding and passionate interest in the roles of emotion, autonomy, language and power within the complex bio-relational system that is “us”. Current interests include: critical deconstructions of individuality and economic/Educational systems, relational pedagogy, cryptocurrency, complexity, neuroscience and the under-utilized potential of fiction for knowledge mobilization and pedagogy. Vancouver-born, he loves hockey, photography, cli-fi, and playing Pandemic: Legacy with his 6-year old daughter.
Ilhan Abdullahi, MPH
Sessional Instructor SFU | Manager, Health Promotion Lab, RADIUS
Ilhan is a Somali-Canadian whose parents’ migration journey brought her to the unceded Coast Salish Lands at a very young age. Stemming from her family’s experience of navigating their new world as Black newcomers, Ilhan has been passionate in addressing social and health inequities experienced by underserved communities with a focus on Black youth and newcomers while exploring the intersections of these identities. Having been involved in community organizing alongside youth in Metro Vancouver during her youth and professional years, she‘s eager to continue exploring how grassroots community organizing and the process of decolonization through a systems change lens can lead to the liberation of these communities. Ilhan holds a Masters in Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health with a collaborative specialization in Global Health and hopes to bring her grounded expertise and knowledge in community engagement, health equity, program design and evaluation to the Bridge for Health team. Another passion of hers is storytelling, inspired by her grandmother’s wit, humour and engaging speaking abilities. When she’s not working, Ilhan spends her time screenwriting and capturing the traveling tales and experiences of the Somali diaspora.
Poet, Facilitator and Writing Mentor
Jónína is a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet, facilitator and writing mentor. She graduated from the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007, where she is now an instructor and their BIPOC Auntie. Over the years she has taken on many roles at the studio including two years as Betsy Warland’s mentor apprentice. Since graduating she has published two collections of poetry with Talonbooks. Her first book of poetry, page as bone – ink as blood, published in 2015, meet with some critical acclaim. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her third book, Standing in a River of Time, will be released in 2022, again with Talonbooks. She was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. She has presented and taught at various educational institutions including the En’owkin Centre, UBC, Douglas College, Kwantlen and the Native Education College. She is looking forward to being an Adjunct Professor in the UBC Creative Writing BFA program in 2022. She has thirty years of experience as a facilitator, just completed the SFU Community Capacity Building program and is currently enrolled in Centre for Educational Excellence's Anti-Racist Pedagogies Program: Healing from Racism Journey. She currently lives in New Westminster, BC, the unceded territory of the Qayqayt, and many other Coast Salish Nations.