Nearly the entire world is now connected online. However, do we always feel safe and secure during our online activities? What are the best ways to address common risks? How can cutting-edge technologies, such as digital identity and age verification, contribute to enhancing our online safety?
Amy Mazowita (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Communication Studies. Her research is focused on representations of mental illness in auto/biographical comics and is situated at the intersections of communications and media studies, comics studies, and critical disability studies. Amy's doctoral project explores how Instagram-based comics may be used as accessible mental health resources. She studies the connections and conversations that form among platform users and is particularly interested in how these individuals are using ‘the comics scene’ of Instagram as a site for developing networks of self- and collective care. Amy's doctoral research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). She is a core member of Concordia’s Access-in-the-Making (AIM) Lab, a member of Concordia’s Feminist Media Studio, and the communications representative for Concordia’s Communication Studies Doctoral Students’ Association. Amy is also working on an environmental humanities project titled “Life of Fire: An Ethnography of Smoke, Flame, Ash, and Earth.” This research-creation photo series is part of the SSHRC-funded “Mobilizing Disability Survival Skills for the Urgencies of the Anthropocene” project (PI, Arseli Dokumaci).
Jacob Pitre (he/him) is a doctoral candidate in Concordia's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University.
Jacob researches and critiques tech futures, aiming to untangle the narratives about the future that are created by tech companies to help the rest of us envision alternatives. Through his work, Jacob hopes to chart the politics of digital capitalism, using discourse analysis, material-semiotic analysis, and methods of critical future studies to better understand how power is built and wielded in today's culture and economy. Jacob is also the coordinator of The Platform Lab, a research group at Concordia. He is an active journalist, writing when he can for The Globe and Mail, The Atlantic, Jacobin, and many other publications. His research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Maxine Iannuccilli (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at Concordia. Her research focuses on the the developmental origins of gender stereotypes – examining how we acquire stereotypical beliefs about gender and in turn how those beliefs affect our behavior. As a fellow of Concordia’s Social Justice Center, Maxine is also engaged in interdisciplinary research investigating gender gaps across academic disciplines. The overall aim of her work is to provide insight into the origins of gender disparities and inform effective ways of intervening and ultimately preventing the perpetual transmission of societal gender biases. Maxine is a former SSHRC Storytellers Finalist & National Three Minute Thesis PhD competition finalist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and was awarded a Certificate of Academic Excellence by the Canadian Psychological Association. Her research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Vanessa Mardirossian is a PhD candidate in Concordia’s Individualized Program (INDI), where her research-creation engages an iterative dialogue between textile design, chemistry and environmental health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in fashion design (Duperré, Paris) and a Master of Arts in textile design (UAL, London). Vanessa has worked as a textile designer for more than 20 years across fashion sectors. Concerned about the environmental impact of this industry, she focuses on developing textile eco-literacy for designers. This strong ecological knowledge aims to avoid textile toxicity at the early stages. Her research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She won several awards from Hexagram, the Sustainability Action Fund, The Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster and the Colour Research Society of Canada (CRSC). She has also been teaching at the École Supérieure de Mode ESG-UQAM since 2017, where sustainability is at the heart of her pedagogy.
Azfar Adib (he/him) is a public scholar and doctoral candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Concordia University. His doctoral research is focused on anonymous age verification, on which he also has been regularly writing and speaking to create general awareness. Azfar holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, followed by a professional experience of over 8 years in the ICT industry. Azfar is passionate about empowering people toward excellence through different endeavors.