Who we are

Youth Migration Project Team

Jessica Ball, MPH, PhD.

I am a professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. I am a third generation settler in Canada of English and Irish descent. I completed an MA and PhD in clinical-developmental psychology and Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley. I have worked in mental health services, developmental screening and assessment, clinical training, and undergraduate and graduate education in child and youth care, health, development and early learning on three continents. My research and service work mostly involves children and families in Canada and Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indigenous children, children of transnational labour migrants, and conflict migrants. Through my program of research, I often work with international organizations, governments, and community leaders to help develop culturally informed strategies for early intervention, support for family formation, community capacity building, birth registration and other forms of identity documentation, alternative care for children in families on the move, and community-led research. I have been honoured to work with students, scholars and policy-makers around the world, and together with many of them have published over a hundred journal articles, chapters, books and technical reports. I have two young adult children, and am an avid gardener, potter, and aspiring artist.

Htang Dim @ Angela, MA, MSc (Candidate)

I am a lecturer in the Department of English at Chiang Mai University Thailand. I completed an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have worked as an English teacher for youth from marginalized populations including migrants and refugees. I have served by providing teacher training and parenting education and by working in various roles in the early childhood care and development secotr in the Chiang Mai area and the Thai-Myanmar border area.  My research and service work mostly involves children and families living in the Thai-Myanmar border area, including those living in refugee camps, with a focus on marginalized children, displaced youth of transnational labour migrants, and conflict migrants. I often work with international organizations towards better collaboration and service, with community leaders to help develop capacity through technical assistance, and with government agencies to advocate for improved, comprehensive policies to support needy people. I have been honoured to work with students, local partners and with actors at various levels of government. I am currently studying towards a second Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at Assumption University (ABAC) in Bangkok. I have two young children and currently live in Chiang Mai.

Rashin Lamouchi, BA, MA (Candidate)

I am an Iranian refugee who migrated to Canada in 2011. I am a graduate student in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, Canada. I am a settler on the unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ nations, known as Victoria, Canada.  I completed my first BA degree in Education in Iran and received my second BA in Early Childhood Leadership as well as a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College, Toronto, Canada. I have worked with children and families in various capacities including childcare and kindergarten both in Iran and in Canada. My early research was on educators’ cognitive sensitivity when working with children and the effects of using digital devices on literacy in kindergarten and school children.

Currently, my research involves children and families on the move with a focus on conflict migrants in Southeast Asia. I completed a practicum working with immigrant and refugee children and families from across the world at the Victoria Immigration and Refugee Center Society in Canada. I am honoured that my professional and educational collaboration with practitioners and university professors have been geared towards developing and implementing strategies to support child and family well-being and community capacity building.

Beyond my studies, I am part of a movie club where I have had a chance to screen films from Iran and its neighbours in the Middle East and Central Asia. I also enjoy painting in watercolours and acrylic. I hope my future research contributes to understanding the needs and hearing voices of forced migrant children, youth and their families.

Paradee Thoresen, BA, MA, PhD

I completed a B.A. in Community Development from Khon Kaen University in Thailand, M. A. in International Social Development, and PhD in Social Work and Social Policy from Curtin University in Australia. I have worked in several community development projects in remote communities in Northeast Thailand. I worked on a human trafficking project funded by the Government of Thailand, and a program to promote the Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) funded by UN WOMEN in Bangkok.  I have lived in Australia since 2002, where I have worked with children and families experiencing family violence, homelessness, incarceration, mental health and drug and alcohol issues as well as forced migration. I have also worked directly with asylum-seeking children and their families in detention and in civil society. This work experience inspired me to carry out a doctoral research study exploring the needs and life experience of refugee and asylum-seeking children living in Mae Sot and Bangkok. The project used methods that enabled children to voice their perspectives on needed services and policy reforms.  Concurrent with my doctoral studies, I worked as a Project Officer in an Australia-funded research study to inform improved policy and access to disability services in Laos. Since completing my doctorate, I have been working with survivors of family violence at the Family Court of Western Australia and Change Behaviours Programs for male perpetrators. In addition to my passion for working to keep families safe and to explore experiences of forced migrant youth in the Youth Migration Project, I also love painting, traveling, and cooking as well as learning about Buddhism and spirituality.

Christopher Tse, BA, MSW (Candidate)

I am a graduate student in critical social work at the University of Victoria, on the traditional and unceded territories of the WS’ANEC’, Lkwungen, and Wyomilth Peoples in Canada. I completed a BA in Journalism with a concentration in Human Rights from Carleton University in Canada. I have worked in advocacy journalism internationally before becoming a full-time facilitator and social justice educator. This role has taken me all over the world, mobilizing alongside and learning from community leaders who are organizing responses to environmental degradation, gentrification, poverty, and structural racism and sexism. Additionally, over the last six years I have been working in migrant advocacy and border issues education in the Arizona/Sonora borderlands, examining the linkages between border imperialism, migration, and environmental justice. My current research focus is on how forced migration informs displaced youth’s sense of identity and their future aspirations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am grateful and honoured to do this work as part of a multi-disciplinary and global team of other researchers. Outside of academia, I am an accomplished spoken word artist – I have represented Canada twice in world competition, and previously completed a stadium tour across North America with the renowned Kenyan Boys Choir.

 

Debra Torok, BA, MSc., PhD (Candidate)

I am a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Victoria (UVic), living on the unceded territory of the Lkwungen, Wyomlith, and WSÁNEĆ nations. I completed my BA in psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston and my MSc in clinical psychology at UVic. Until now, my research in graduate school has primarily focused on parental trauma history and posttraumatic stress in relation to stress and relationship well-being in early parenthood. Outside of psychology research, I have supported Dr. Sanjeev Sridharan’s team at The Evaluation Centre for Complex Health Interventions in Toronto with the evaluation of a community intervention seeking to reduce domestic violence and shift gender relations in rural India.

I have had a longstanding interest in incorporating a global and cultural focus into my research, including working with refugee and immigrant populations. I am thus very excited to be a part of the Youth Migration Project! My research with YMP focuses on how youth on the move in Southeast Asia construct their identity and demonstrate agency and resiliency. I am also very interested in understanding gendered experiences of migration.

Concurrent with my graduate studies, I facilitate workshops at UVic on sexualized violence prevention and volunteer for the Intercultural Association (ICA), supporting immigrants and refugees with English language development and adjustment to Canada.  I also enjoy cooking, travelling, and listening to way too many podcasts during long walks!

 

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