Aug. 15, 2022

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion welcomes 3 new colleagues

Expanded team will help shape the future of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility at UCalgary
From left: Jennifer Adams, Sevan Beukian and Tolulope Sajobi.
From left: Jennifer Adams, Sevan Beukian and Tolulope Sajobi.

The Office of the Vice-President (Research) and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) are pleased to announce three new colleagues who have joined the OEDI to support UCalgary’s objective to establish an equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus that is accessible to all and free from harassment, bullying, and discrimination.

UCalgary is committed to advancing equitable pathways and opportunities for all members of our campus community, and to removing barriers that have been, and continue to be, encountered by members of equity-deserving groups, including but not limited to women, Indigenous peoples, racialized/visible minority persons, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+ communities. The OEDI also supports the university’s commitment to promoting and advancing pluralism.

“We must build our EDIA knowledge, skills, and capacity by making the investments that are necessary for us to achieve our goals for advancing equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility,” says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (EDI).

“Expanding our OEDI team at this time is a critical investment in the future of our institution, and we look forward to the strides we will make with these three leaders at the table.”

“UCalgary is striving to enhance equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “Attaining inclusive excellence requires us to identify and create equitable pathways for all members of our campus community. Drs Jennifer Adams, Sevan Beukian and Tolulope Sajobi will help shape these efforts, and I look forward to working with all of them as we create meaningful change on our campus.”

Dr. Jennifer Adams, PhD: Academic Director, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI in Research and Black Futures Strategy)

Dr. Jennifer D. Adams (she/her) will support the OEDI and Office of the Vice-President (Research) to embed EDI in the research ecosystem. She is engaged with advancing Dimensions EDI Equitable Pathways Working Groups on Intersectionality and Racialized/Visible Minority Persons. She will be helping to support our commitments under the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion.

Adams is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair of Creativity and Science and associate professor at the University of Calgary, Department of Chemistry and affiliated with the Werklund School of Education. She is the PI of the Creativity, Equity and STEM Lab where she and her team research equity in STEM teaching and learning environments with an emphasis on identity-affirming, anti-deficit, and justice-oriented approaches.

Adams holds leadership roles on several national projects including Securing Black Futures, which seeks to increase the visibility and support the flourishing of Black students in STEM and the Canadian Black Scientists Network (CBSN) where she serves the steering committee as a co-leader on STEM education pathways and post-secondary projects and is involved with a national data collection project about Black students’ STEM experiences. With the CBSN Adams also is the PI of the STEM Beyond Borders initiative that will examine research, policy and practice in Canada and the United States around equity and justice in STEM education and careers for Black students.

Adams’s role in the OEDI is supported by the Office of the Vice-President (Research).

Dr. Sevan Beukian, PhD: inaugural Director, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA)

Dr. Sevan Beukian (she/her/ան/هي) will be joining the University of Calgary as the inaugural director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA). Beukian was selected for her role in the OEDI following an extensive national search. Previously, Beukian served as the senior executive adviser on anti-racism and intersectionality at the City of Edmonton, where she focused on the implementation of the Anti-Racism Strategy. She has also worked in provincial and municipal governments to incorporate GBA+, anti-racism and intersectionality into policies, programs, and systems change. Beukian was selected for her role in the OEDI following an extensive national search.

Beukian’s experience spans over a decade in teaching, research, and public policy across government, university, non-profit and community-based work. Her approach combines (non-Western) intersectional feminism, queer theory, anti-racism, trauma-informed approach, and anti-oppressive framework with a strong commitment to reconciliation and decolonization. These are shaped by her lived experience and identity as an immigrant and racialized woman from the SWANA region.

Beukian holds a PhD in political science from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts in political studies from the American University of Beirut from Lebanon. Her current research focuses on the way trauma and memory shape national identity discourses. It examines the impact of intergenerational traumatic memories (of genocide) and post-war experiences on national identity constructions, focusing on the Canadian and Armenian context. Beukian’s publications have appeared in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Armenian Review, Routledge, Demeter Press, Palgrave Macmillan, among others.

Beukian’s role is supported by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

Dr. Tolulope Sajobi, PhD: Academic Director, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI Data, Research, and Strategy)

Dr. Tolu Sajobi, PhD, will be working with the Office of the Vice-President (Research) and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion focusing on EDI data research and working with the vice-provost and AVP research (EDI), the UCalgary’s EDI data steward, to develop an EDI data strategy with institutional partners and oversee institutional EDI data collection and analysis efforts to support the university’s strategic EDIA priorities. He is currently actively engaged in the UCalgary EDI Data Group, and data collection and analysis for the Dimensions EDI pilot project.

Sajobi is an associate professor and senior biostatistician in the Departments of Community Health Sciences and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. He directs the Person-Centered Methods & Analytics Research Lab through which he leads a methods research program that focuses on measurement and analysis of patient-reported outcomes, clinical trials, and predictive analytics.

As a methodologist, Sajobi is a seasoned statistical leader for several research projects locally and (inter)nationally. He advises research teams on data collection/management strategies for designing clinical and population-based registries, provides oversight on study design and statistical data analysis, and actively supports and mentors trainees and research staff.

He has received peer-reviewed research funds worth more than $26 million as a principal investigator and/or co-investigator/lead statistician and has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is also a career mentor and a novelist.

Sajobi’s role in the OEDI is supported by the Office of the Vice-President (Research).

Please join us in welcoming Drs Adams, Beukian and Sajobi to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information on the OEDI Team, please visit the OEDI website.