Meet the SMHART Team

Travis Salway

Travis Salway is an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, where he leads a research program focused on equitably improving the health and well-being of LGBTQ2 people. He works in affiliation with the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Community-Based Research Centre. Travis is also the proud father of a golden doodle named Brewster.

Sarah Watt

As a Research Coordinator with the Sexual and Mental Health Applied Research Team (SMHART), Sarah is involved in projects exploring intersections of sexual and mental health.  Sarah also works as a classroom-based sexual health educator and has experience within a range of sexual health education and promotion settings. She completed a Master of Public Health at Simon Fraser University, where her studies focused on population health and health equity.

James Young

James is a Research Assistant with SMHART, helping to evaluate MindMap and explore barriers that LGBTQ2S+ folks experience accessing mental health services.  James has various experience working and volunteering in sexual health, mental health, substance use, and housing, including as an Outreach Worker with RainCity's Housing First ACT Team. He recently completed his MPH at Simon Fraser University where, under the guidance of Dr. Travis Salway, his Capstone explored global screening and intervention practices for mental health and substance use issues in sexual health clinics.

Natasha Vitkin

Natasha is a Research Assistant with SMHART helping to evaluate MindMap and investigate barriers that LGBTQ2+ populations encounter when accessing mental health care. She is interested in using visual knowledge translation strategies for science communication to promote equity and improve population health. She has an MSc in cancer immunology and recently completed her MPH at Simon Fraser University, where she took a variety of courses exploring the social determinants of health.

Rowdy Reeves

Rowdy joined SMHART as a Research Assistant after volunteering at the Health Initiative for Men and then being asked to help bring a patient’s perspective to the project. Rowdy has a BSc in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University and is very interested in finding the relationship between mental health and sexual health, as well as how different services can be integrated and made available to the community. Outside of research, you can probably find Rowdy up in the mountains hiking, running, and skiing.

Angel Kennedy

Angel joined the Sexual and Mental Health Applied Research Team (SMHART) as a practicum student, working on the evaluation of the MindMap resource. She completed her BSc in Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and is currently completing her MPH at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests and experiences are centred on intersectionality, gender and sexual health equity, mental wellbeing, and community-oriented knowledge translation.

Amrit Tiwana

Amrit is an undergraduate student and Research Assistant at Simon Fraser University in the Faculty of Health Sciences. In her current role, in collaboration with Dr. Travis Salway, she is working towards understanding what is needed to support the health and well-being of Canadian SOGICE survivors. Her areas of interests include sexual health, HIV/AIDS, and child and youth mental health. In the future, she plans to pursue graduate studies in public health and epidemiology.

Julia Schillaci-Ventura

Julia is an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University working towards a BA (Hons) in psychology. Currently, Julia is working as a Research Assistant on a project that seeks to explore the health and well-being of SOGICE survivors. She plans to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology with the goal of building a career in which she supports the mental health of youth.

Stéphanie Black

Stéphanie is a research assistant on the SMHART team, and has a background in research about the delivery and history of sexual health education in Vancouver schools. She completed an M.Ed. in Educational Studies at UBC, examining the benefits and drawbacks of peer sexual health educators in schools. She comes to the research world with experience in Communications, and TV/radio news production.

Joanne Wong

Joanne is a computer science undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. Currently working as a co-op student to support the development and expansion of the MindMap project, she plans to pursue studies in clinical psychology and hopes to start a career as a psychologist who works with adolescence and young adults. She is interested in mental health, ethics in psychology research and clinical practice, sociology, and mathematics. 

Stephen Juwono 

Stephen is a Research Assistant providing support and data analysis for a project on Canadian SOGIECE survivors. Stephen has various research experience working in sexual health and substance use. He is currently completing his BSc at the University of British Columbia and has plans to pursue graduate studies in Epidemiology.

We are grateful to the following funders for supporting our research team: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative, BC SUPPORT Unit, BC SUPPORT Unit Fraser Centre, Andrew Beckerman, and the Victoria Foundation.