Skip to main content
Introducing the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Introducing the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

The Faculty of Health Sciences is pleased to announce the establishment of an Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). The Office of EDI was formally announced during our EDI launch event on September 24th. The event was attended by over 300 people and featured a panel of speakers including students, faculty leadership, and representatives from the Office of EDI. In addition to marking the official opening for the Office of EDI, the event also launched the Dean’s Action Table on EDI (DAT-EDI) and the EDI Fund.  

The FHS EDI Office will consist of four staff positions and three faculty leads, all of whom will play a direct role in actioning the faculty’s EDI initiatives. The FHS EDI Office staff is made up of a Project Manager, Senior Advisor, Elder-in-Residence and Indigenous Access and Recruitment Coordinator.  

Giselle Valarezo has been appointed as Interim EDI Project Manager. She will administer the work of the DAT-EDI, engage in grant writing to support the FHS EDI Fund and manage the development and implementation of FHS EDI Initiatives. Giselle has significant experience coordinating committee-based initiatives and has engaged in years of community work with (im)migrant populations.    

Celina Caesar-Chavannes has been appointed as EDI Senior Advisor. Celina served as a Member of Parliament with the Government of Canada from 2015 until 2019. During her time in office, she helped shape policy related to mental health, equity and justice. As the new EDI Senior Advisor, Celina will develop and implement strategies leading to cultural renewal in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She will take a lead role in the recruitment and retention of a Black learners in Faculty of Health Sciences programs.    

Wendy Phillips has been appointed Elder-in-Residence for the Faculty of Health Sciences and will serve in this role two days a week, while continuing in her role as Elder-in-Residence for the Queen’s University Indigenous Initiatives Office three days a week. As FHS Elder-in-Residence, Wendy will provide cultural-based support to students, staff and faculty, lead ceremonies, facilitate culturally oriented workshops and participate in Indigenous health science research.  Wendy ( is available to advise and collaborate on Indigenous Health Research projects and will also have office hours for learners, Tuesday 1-2pm.  She will be with FHS Mondays and Tuesdays.         

 Cortney Clark has been in the role of Indigenous Access and Recruitment Coordinator for over two years. She has invested much of her time building significant relationships and networks with Indigenous communities in an effort to increase the number of Indigenous learners recruited into Faculty of Health Sciences programs. Cortney advises on and participates in the development of strategies related to Indigenous student support program and curricular innovation.  

The FHS EDI Office includes three faculty leads, one from each school in the Faculty of Health Sciences: 

  • Mala Joneja (School of Medicine) 
  • Mary Smith (School of Nursing)  
  • Vincent DePaul (School of Rehabilitation Therapy). 


If you would like to contact the FHS EDI Office, please go on the FHS EDI page for contact information.

Related topics