Student Executive

Student Executive 2019-10-07T18:02:48+00:00

We are a team of students and new professional members of Obesity Canada (OC-SNP) committed to growing its vision and supporting local chapter initiatives. Click here to learn more about the OC-SNPs.

Laura Vergeer
Laura VergeerChair
I am a third-year PhD Candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, supervised by Dr. Mary L’Abbé. My primary research focus is on evaluating food company policies, commitments and actions shaping the food environment. Specifically, my doctoral thesis aims to assess and compare the nutritional quality and price of products offered by major packaged food and beverage companies in Canada. Prior to starting graduate school, I completed my BSc (Hons) at the University of Toronto. I joined the Obesity Canada National Student Executive in 2018 as Special Events Coordinator and I am excited to serve as Chair for the upcoming year.
Rebecca Christensen
Rebecca ChristensenVice-chair
I am currently in the third year of my PhD in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. My dissertation research focuses on the impact of fitness and weigh on breast cancer incidence. In addition, I am involved in several weight management projects with the Wharton Medical Clinic in Ontario, Canada.
I first got involved with OC-SNP in 2014 during my MSc at York University. Since then, I have remained actively involve with OC in both my local school and city chapter, as well as serving as one of the Chapter Representatives on the OC-SNP National Executive for the 2018-2019 year. I am looking forward to continuing working with chapters across Canada in my role as Vice Chair for the OC-SNP National Executive 2019-2020 year.
Malcolm Snow
Malcolm SnowChapter Representative
I am in my fourth-year of completing a Bachelor of Science (Co-op) in Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I became involved with obesity related research in the summer of 2018 when I applied to work as a summer research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Laurie Twells. Since then, I have worked on a variety of research projects with Dr. Twells. These projects have focused on topics such as medication use after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a cost-analysis of medication use after bariatric surgery, and post-surgery quality of life. This is my first year serving with the OC-SNP and I am very excited to become involved with such an important, dedicated organization.
Joyla Furlano
Joyla FurlanoChapter Representative
I completed my B.Sc. Honours in Psychology at the University of Toronto, and am currently a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience at Western University. Under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay Nagamatsu, my research examines how exercise affects the brain in sedentary, overweight older adults. More specifically, I am studying the effects of a 6-month progressive resistance training program on brain structure and function using MRI, to determine if this type of exercise has similar benefits to aerobic training. I am very excited to be joining the OC-SNP National Executive for the second year as the new Chapter Representative!
Kristen Reilly
Kristen ReillySpecial Events Coordinator
I obtained my Master of Public Health from the University of Guelph in 2014 and completed my PhD in Health Promotion in 2019, where my research focused on parents as agent-of-change in the promotion of children’s health behaviours and treatment of childhood obesity. Currently, I am a postdoctoral associate at the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) at Western University. I have been involved with the OC-SNP Chapter at Western and the OC-SNP National Executive for over five years and look forward to taking on my new role as the Special Events Coordinator for 2019-2020
Audrey St-Laurent
Audrey St-LaurentCommunications Director
In September 2019, I started a PhD in Kinesiology at Laval University under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Marc and Dr. Claudia Gagnon. My PhD training will focus on the roles of physical activity from preconception to early childhood on various maternal and neonatal metabolic health indicators such as gestational diabetes and obesity. A part of my future work will be conducted within a cohort of the Sino-Canadian Healthy Life Tree initiative (SCHeLTI) financed by CIHR. Since August 2019, I am involved with the OC-SNP National Executive team as the Communications coordinator. I am excited to be part of this amazing family and I am looking forward to working with motivated and passionate peers across Canada.
Victoria Tokarz
Victoria TokarzFinancial Director
Hi! I am excited to be part of the OC-SNP Executive Team as the Finance Director. I am currently in the third year of my PhD at the University of Toronto where I study insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes using a cell biology lens/focus. While I spend most of my time researching, I am an avid reader and I recently became very passionate about exercise: if you can’t find me in the lab, you can definitely find me in the gym! Obesity Canada is an organization I am proud to be a part of and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
Khushmol Dhaliwal
Khushmol DhaliwalRecruitment Director
I am a 2nd year MSc Student studying at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum and Dr. Andrea Haqq. My research interests include childhood obesity prevention and, particularly, understanding risk factors for unhealthy weight gain in children with developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My current research project hopes to better understand why children with ASD are at an increased risk for obesity development. I have been involved with the OC-SNP U of A local chapter for two years and have recently joined the National Executive team. I am looking forward to working with and learning from such a diverse and passionate network of peers from across the country!
Brenndon Goodman
Brenndon GoodmanPublic Engagement Committee Representative
Brenndon attends Osgoode law school working towards his JD in law. He is also looking forward to a career in politics or law. He has faced the challenges and difficulties of being overweight his entire life. He attended many unsuccessful weight loss programs until he found the Sick Kids Team Obesity Management Program. It was here that he discovered the support and helpful approach to weight loss. In 2012, he underwent bariatric surgery and has lost 120 pounds thus far. Brenndon was featured on a W5 program about his weight loss journey. Brenndon is very committed to helping young people understand and cope with the stigma and difficulties they face being overweight. He Is a member of Obesity Canada’s public engagement committee and also sits on the students and new professionals committee in order to help enrich the committee with a more public and patient focused perspective.
Jacqueline Brown
Jacqueline BrownResource Coordinator
I am a Clinical Research Project Assistant at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Global Child Health. Broadly, I am interested in researching how innovative interventions and technology can help improve the dietary habits and health outcomes of children. My current research project is exploring how synbiotics administered to newborns in Bangladesh can prevent the incidence of disease, primarily infection, early in life. I am a recent graduate of the Ontario Tech University Masters of Health Sciences program. While at Ontario Tech University I started a new Obesity Canada Chapter and I am looking forward to continuing my work with the organization as the OC-SNP Resource Coordinator.
Taniya Nagpal
Taniya NagpalOutgoing Chair
I am a third year PhD candidate studying at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Mottola and Dr. Harry Prapavessis. My research interests include obesity prevention, lifestyle (nutrition and exercise) behaviour change and exercise in special population groups. My current research focuses on adherence to nutrition and exercise recommendations during pregnancy. By supporting women with strategies to lead a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy we can improve the health of two generations (mom and future baby), including preventing obesity. I have been involved with the OC-SNP National Executive and the local Western chapter over the past three years. I am looking forward to my new role as Chair for the 2019/2020 National Executive team, and am excited to work with and learn from peers across the country who are dedicated to the OC mission and values.
Nadia Browne
Nadia BrowneOutgoing Vice Chair
Nadia Browne is a national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She received her Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from McGill University as well as completed a Dietetic Internship to become a Registered Dietitian. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Ball in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. Nadia’s research is focused on adolescent obesity and motivation to change health-related behaviours’.