TEAM MEMBERS

ALIAGA, Guilhem – Research Assistant 

Guilhem Aliaga is a research assistant at the UNESCO-PREV Chair and a double master’s degree student in international strategic communication at the University of Sherbrooke and the Université catholique de Louvain. Through the use of ‘transmediality’ in communication strategies, M. Aliaga analyzes media content created by nationalist groups in France and in Québec. Holder of a master’s degree in marketing, he worked in the field of civil security in Southern France for a few years.

BEIER, Jessie – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Jessie Beier, an Edmonton-based Ph. D. candidate, specializes in art education and film studies. She works at the intersection of philosophy, artistic production, and radical pedagogy. Beier’s current research — Teaching at the End of the World: Conjuring a Weird Pedagogy for Unthought Educational Futures — investigates how education systems produce resources for thinking the future, particularly in light of the various impasses facing both students and teachers in the age of the (so-called) Anthropocene. Mrs. Beier is an artist-researcher with Concordia Univeristy’s digital art initiative Landscape of Hope led by Project SOMEONE.

BELPORO, Lydie C. – Associate researcher in the coordination of the OIF study

Lydie C. Belporo is a doctoral candidate at the School of Criminology at the University of Montreal. Her research focuses on the governance of exits from violent extremism in sub-Saharan Africa. She earned her master’s degree in International Law from the University of Montreal and also worked in the research project on youth exposure to violence in Africa with the Réseau d’Échanges Stratégiques pour une Afrique Urbaine Durable (RÉSAUD). Until 2020, she was the Coordinator of PREV-IMPACT Project for the UNESCO-PREV Chair. She currently works as the associate researcher to the coordination and the study of the Étude internationale sur les dispositifs de prévention de la radicalisation et de l’extrémisme violents dans l’espace francophone (OIF study).

BENCHERIF, ADIB – Scientific Coordinator of the OIF study 

Adib Bencherif is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Sahel Research Group at the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. He completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Ottawa in 2019. His research focuses on security issues and political violence in the Sahel and North Africa, with a focus on the narratives of Tuareg elites. Advocating for applied social sciences, he teaches courses on political risk analysis in various institutions. He is also a consultant in conflict analysis and conflict resolution, using narrative approaches. He published several peer-reviewed articles and chapters in edited volumes in French and in English, notably in Terrorism and Political Violence and Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. Adib is the scientific coordinator of the Étude internationale sur les dispositifs de prévention de la radicalisation et de l’extrémisme violents dans l’espace francophone (OIF study). 

BEN ISMAÏL, AMAL – Intern 

Currently a research assistant at the Research Chair on Discourse and the Construction of the Social Link, Amal Ben Ismaïl is a doctoral student in discourse analysis at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières. She received her master’s degree in linguistics from the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in 2019. Her dissertation focused on the issue of verbal violence in a post-revolutionary context with a focus on the publications of Tunisian bloggers. In her doctoral studies, which she is conducting under the supervision of Professor Geneviève Bernard Barbeau, she is interested in the construction of “cyberhateful” discourses between media manipulation and pre-established social representations in a post-attack context.

BLOUIN, JORDAN – Research Assistant

As a master’s degree student in international studies (with a major in international security) at Laval University, Jordan Blouin will collaborate to the annual literature review about the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism with the role of research assistant for the UNESCO-PREV Chair. This annual literature review is conducted in partnership with the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRMV). Mr. Blouin has studied in psychology and enjoys quantitative methods and statistical analysis. He is interested in both the psychological and political aspects of radicalisation and terrorism, in an international security context.

BOLDUC, Karine – Executive Secretary

Karine Bolduc is currently Executive Secretary for the UNESCO-PREV Chair and for the School of Applied Politics of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Sherbrooke. She was a member of the Board of Directors at Baseball Sherbrooke as Director of Events & Communications for several years. She was able to bring her contributions in terms of leadership, organization and a great capacity for coordination within her team. Her association was even host of the 2017 provincial games and her event was nominated for the Mérite sportif de l’Estrie. She has won the Volunteer of the Year award several times, for Baseball Sherbrooke and Baseball Estrie, as well as at the provincial level. Ms. Bolduc was coordinator for the University of Sherbrooke’s 2012 Centraide campaign and raised an unprecedented amount of nearly $170,000 in funding. This dedication enabled her to win the volunteer award with Centraide twice. Very involved at the community level, Ms. Bolduc is above all a person of challenge and action.

BONIN, Lysandre – Research Assistant 

Lysandre Bonin is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in applied communication at the University of Sherbrooke. She acts as a research assistant in strategic communication in the Department of Communication and contributes to numerous multidisciplinary projects mainly around COVID-19. She is particularly interested in the marketing communication industry, crisis communication and the impact of advertising and media content on the decision-making and purchasing processes of the population. Within the Chair, Ms. Bonin will collaborate as a research assistant in the project on misinformation, conspiracy movement and violent extremism.

BOUCHARD, Isabelle – Research Assistant

Isabelle Bouchard is a master’s degree student in applied political studies (research option) at the University of Sherbrooke. She developed an interest for radicalization and political communication while she was studying her bachelor’s degree in applied political science. Set in the Canadian context, her master’s thesis analyzes traditional written media’s coverage of La Meute, an extreme-right populist, nationalist and identity-oriented group. Among the Chair’s team, Ms. Bouchard worked on the UNI-PREV project on the prevention of violent radicalization in Québec’s universities. She currently focuses on the Dialogue+ Poll Analysis Report on the Canadian population’s vision of discriminatory practices and violent radicalization phenomenon. She analyzes the link between people’s news consumption types and the perceptions of violent radicalization in Canada.

BRAULT, Annabelle – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Annabelle Brault is a resource-oriented music therapist, musician, researcher and educator. A full-time music therapy lecturer at Concordia University, she is interested in the use of music technology as a creative medium to instill social change. Alongside her teaching, she works as a music therapist with youth and caregivers. Her research and activist interests include harnessing the emancipatory power of music, resource-oriented approaches, as well as the use of music technology and performance in education. Ms. Brault’s participation in the educational initiative ‘Landscape of Hope’, led by Prof. Vivek Venkatesh as part of Project SOMEONE, embodies all of these interests, as unique audiovisual performances are used to explore resilience in the digital age. As a professional musician using electronic music media, she collaborates with artists such as Justin Wright, Cedric Noel, Tambour, Landscape of Hate and arc.

CHANDRAJEGATHEESAN, Gasthury – Research Assistant

Gasthury Chandrajegatheesan is a research assistant with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in French law as well as a bachelor’s degree in applied political studies with a specialization in public policy. She works and volunteers for a sustainable development and in particular a social development. She has experiences at the House of Commons Canada, within Actions Interculturelle’s program Dialogue +, at the Frontier College, Engineers Without Borders Canada and the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec. These engagements testify of her desire to develop expertise on various issues undermining social development and inclusion. She therefore has a great interest in the development and deployment of public policies addressing social issues. Within the UNESCO-PREV Chair, she works on the typologies of the different conspiracy theories.

CHANG-KREDL, Sandra – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Sandra Chang-Kredl is Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Concordia University. She conducts research on a wide range of topics in the field of education. Mrs. Chang-Kredl’s interests include teacher identity, curriculum studies, children’s popular culture, and cultural studies. She is a researcher with Project SOMEONE’s Landscape of Hope project.

CHAPMAN, Owen – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

In addition to being a composer, DJ and researcher, Owen Chapman is Associate Professor in Sound Production and Scholarship in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. Addressing the place of sound in everyday life through his research, Mr. Chapman’s audio work involves app design, live performance and electronic composition and has been featured internationally in video soundtracks, media workshops, site-specific installations as well as solo and group performances.

DARDEVET, Marie  – Intern 

Marie Dardevet is a student in the Master II of International Relations at Sciences Po Toulouse. She obtained a bilingual degree in French law and Anglo-Saxon law, as well as a Master I in political science. Her research thesis was entitled “The role of cyberspace in the processes of violent Islamic radicalization”. With a keen interest in security policies and the phenomena of violent radicalization and extremism, she is completing her end-of-studies internship at the UNESCO-PREV Chair. During her internship, she will be in charge of research on misogynist ideology, antifeminism, masculinism and violence against women. She will also be working on conspiracy and conspiracy theories.

DAXHELET, Marie-Laure – Coordinator of the “Misinformation and conspiracy movements” component

Marie-Laure Daxhelet is a psychologist and associate professor at the Department of Psychology of University of Québec in Montréal (UQÀM). As part of her doctoral thesis, she focused on the issue of child soldiers and the identity transformations they experience following a military enlistment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2016, she has been the main researcher and trainer of the Research and Action on Social Polarizations (RAPS) team, a group of multidisciplinary researchers concerned with the growing polarization of society around identity issues and various manifestations of violent radicalization.  A member of the UNESCO-PREV Chair since 2018, she acted as co-researcher and coordinator of an action-research project on the prevention of violent radicalization within Quebec universities. She currently works as a co-researcher and coordinator of the Chair’s projects related to misinformation and conspiracy theories.

DUSSAULT, Janie – Intern

Janie Dussault is pursuing a master’s degree in applied political studies – with a specialization in research at the University of Sherbrooke under the supervision of Professor Karine Prémont and the co-supervision of Professor Marie-Ève Carignan. During her bachelor’s degree in applied political studies (international relations profile), she developed an interest in identity issues in the United States, specifically the far-right white American identity. Her master’s thesis examines how the epistemology of civil rights and anti-racist struggles is instrumentalized by white supremacist leaders on social media in the United States. Furthermore, her work stems from a desire to contribute to the scientific literature on the use of social media by far-right groups as well as on the instrumentalization of the civil rights discourse by identity nationalism.

GENDRON, Nicolas – Research Assistant

Nicolas Gendron is completing a bachelor’s degree in applied communication at the University of Sherbrooke and works as a research assistant for the Chair. He contributes to projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to prevent adherence to conspiracy theories, he is interested in ways to defuse false news in a context of an infodemic where disinformation circulates alongside articles published by rigorous journalists. The analysis of the influence of social networks and the role of mass media are among his research interests, particularly about scientific knowledge communication.

HALL, David – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Cumulating more than twenty (20) years of experience in the film industry, David Hall is an accomplished producer and filmmaker whose documentary Blekkmetal, about the single edition of the festival of the same name, which took place in Norway in 2015. Critically acclaimed, the concert film explores the origins of Norwegian black metal. Mr. Hall is a researcher with Project SOMEONE’s Landscape of Hope initiative.

KHENNACHE, YANNI – Research Assistant 

Yanni Khennache is a research assistant at the UNESCO-PREV Chair while completing his master’s degree in international and public policy at the University of Sherbrooke. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science including a minor in Law. His master’s essay, directed by Professor David Morin, is focusing on the use of practical and psychological techniques by extremist organizations to encourage the use of violence through their members. He also worked at the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRMV), from which he pursued his understanding of extremist ideologies and radicalization prevention models. As a research assistant, Mr. Khennache analyzes conspiracy theories organizations and their lines of communication. The prevention of radicalization and violent extremism related to public policies are topics of great interest for him.

KUITCHE, Esaie – Research Assistant 

Esaie Kuitche is currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship in data analysis at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sherbrooke. His research focuses on time series analysis, modelling, and prediction. He obtained a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from the University of Sherbrooke. Within the UNESCO-PREV Chair, Dr. Kuitche participates in the collection and analysis of media content published on various social networks in the context of the pandemic, in order to detect the prevalence of misinformation and conspiracy theories online.

LALONDE, Martin – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Martin Lalonde is a regular professor in the School of Visual and Media Arts’ education unit at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). His research interests include the impact of mobile digital technologies on teaching and learning, the intersection between the disciplines of art education and social work in the context of intervention with vulnerable populations, and amateur practices in visual and media creation among young people. Mr. Lalonde is a researcher with Project SOMEONE’s Landscape of Hope initiative.

MAHEU, Annabelle – Research Assistant

Annabelle Maheu is a bachelor’s student in applied communication at the University of Sherbrooke. She currently works as a research assistant for the UNESCO-PREV Chair and contributes to projects focusing mainly on the COVID-19 crisis, misinformation and adherence to conspiracy theories. She is particularly interested in health communication, and more specifically, in the analysis of communication strategies of government authorities and the media, and their influence on the population.

MATSKIV, Jaqueline – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Jacqueline Matskiv is a writer and researcher currently completing her master’s in Media Studies at Concordia University. Her research lies at the intersection of biopolitics, digital economies and affect theory, with a focus on how these filter down to everyday digital life. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University, with a minor in French. She is interested in the fields of publishing, the arts, media production and higher education. She is from Toronto.

OUSMAN, Sarah – Ph. D. Student

Sarah Ousman is a Ph. D. student at the Department of Psychology of University of Québec in Montréal (UQÀM) under the supervision of Ghayda Hassan (UQÀM) and Anne Crocker (Institut national de psychiatrie légale Philippe-Pinel). Ms. Ousman is interested in clinical intervention in the context of radicalization leading to violence, and her doctoral thesis focuses on the assessment of the risk of violence related to radicalization and violent extremism. As Mapping Officer, she is also involved with the Canadian Practitioners Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Extremist Violence (CPN-PREV).

PAYANT, Marc-André – Intern

Marc-André Payant is currently a student at the University of Sherbrooke in the Bachelor in applied politics program. He is currently a research intern at the UNESCO-PREV Chair. Marc-André has a particular interest in international and national security issues related to terrorism. He is also interested in the transformation of the phenomena of radicalization into violent acts. Regarding the events that occurred at the beginning of 2021, his contribution to the Chair‘s research will focus on conspiracy theories and their recent developments.

REBAINE, Samy – Research Assistant 

Samy Rebaine is a research assistant with the PREV-IMPACT CANADA project team. He is finishing his master’s degree in applied political studies at the University of Sherbrooke and has experience in journalism and as a political and cultural columnist for radio and podcast programs. Mr. Rebaine’s main interest is on issues related to radicalization and de-radicalization as well as the political processes related to them.

RENAULD ROBITAILLE, Marianne – Webmaster

Marianne Renauld Robitaille is pursuing a master’s degree in applied political studies – with a specialization in environmental issues at the University of Sherbrooke. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and international law. Marianne is involved in the environmental cause as a young leader for the environment with ENvironnement JEUnesse, a non-profit organization working in environmental education, and in a local environmental citizen group named Mouvement d’Action Régional en Environnement. 

RODRIGUE POULIN, Élise – Stagiaire

Élise Rodrigue Poulin currently completing her master’s degree in educational sciences at the University of Sherbrooke. She previously completed her bachelor’s degree in preschool and elementary education at the University of Sherbrooke. For her master’s, she is interested in the role of critical thinking when teaching sciences, particularly in primary school education. This interest stemmed from the desire to teach students to think critically in regard to scientific information. Ms. Rodrigue Poulin is interested in the topics of misinformation, radicalization and extremism. She wishes to further explore these subjects and their links to education with the internship she is completing with the UNESCO-PREV Chair.

ROUSSEAU, Loïc-Alexandre – Research Assistant

Loïc-Alexandre Rousseau is currently a student in the Bachelor of applied communication – communication profile – at the University of Sherbrooke. His time in Sherbrooke led him to become interested in communications and, more specifically, public relations. Thus, his interests revolve mainly around the influence of the media on the population. Mr. Rousseau is a research assistant for the UNESCO-PREV Chair.

ST-LAURENT, Méi-Ra – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

As a trained musician (classical singing and piano), Méi-Ra St-Laurent holds a doctorate in musicology from the Université Laval. Her doctoral thesis entitled Métal noir québécois: l’analyse du récit identitaire d’une communauté black metal marginale focused on a community of black metal groups from Québec, in which she draws links between music, texts and the discourses emanating from them. Previously, her master’s thesis analyzed the narrative in extreme metal music. Specifically, she studied how music and lyrics form a unique narrative, often transgressive in scope. Ms. St-laurent has published several articles in different academic journals (Metal Music Studies, Journal on the Art of Record Production or Intersections : revue canadienne de musique) and presented her work at several international conferences (Art of Record Production Conference, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, International Society for Metal Music Studies). Ms. St-Laurent works with Vivek Venkatesh as part of her postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Her current research focuses on the increasing concern about the use of inclusive discourse (so-called “political correctness”) in the North American context of popular music, where she will draw connections with the circulation of hate speech in public spaces.

TAIRI, Tarik – Doctoral Candidate 

Tarik Tairi is an intercultural mediator specialized in conflict resolution, intervening in the reception and integration of immigrants at SANC Sherbrooke. He is a doctoral candidate in Contemporary Religious Studies at the University of Sherbrooke. His doctoral thesis focuses on the place of Islamic religious discourse in programs for deradicalization and the prevention of violent extremism. The research will make recommendations on how to integrate Islamic religious discourse, as a calming and tolerant alternative discourse, into a prevention/deradicalization program and strategy. 

URBANIAK, Kathryn – Program Manager of Project SOMEONE

Kathryn Urbaniak has been Program Manager of Project SOMEONE since 2014. Throughout the years, she oversaw the design and development of the Project SOMEONE portal and content. She also led various projects in the field of primary prevention, including the Massive Open Online Course titled ‘From Hate to Hope: Building Understanding and Resilience’. Additionally, Ms. Urbaniak has managed more than twenty public engagement events under the Project SOMEONE and Grimposium banners. She is an accomplished learning-experience designer, instructor and researcher with degrees in educational technology, information technology, and business. She has authored publications in the fields of online hate, online communities and education. Ms. Urbaniak has trained over 1,000 teachers in 40 countries and also acted as a Canadian advisory committee member on the development of the international standard ISO 29993 (education and learning services).

WALLIN, Jason – Project SOMEONE Collaborator

Jason Wallin is Professor of Media and Youth Culture in Curriculum at the Faculty of Education of the University of Alberta. With over a decade of international field research about extreme music cultures and youth, Mr. Wallin created an opportunity to address problems of sexism, racism, and fascism related to the concerns of black metal producers and consumers. As part of Project SOMEONE, he coordinated and contributed (with Jessie L. Beier, University of Alberta) to the development of an anti-hate graphic novel based on youth interviews about personal experiences with hate and hate speech. The ‘anti-hate comic’ project was widely seen, having been exhibited around the world, profiled in numerous media interviews, and having comprised a visual centerpiece to UNESCO’s Summit on radicalization and extremism in Montréal.

FORMER COLLABORATORS

To consult the list of our former collaborators, click here.