Education: Formal and Informal
- Graduated from a creative arts high school in North York, Ontario — think Canada’s version of Fame and you wouldn’t be far off.
- Started as a biology/psychology major and finished with political studies honours degree from Queen’s University in Ontario. Also produced a cross-cultural and anti-racism journal, wrote for the school newspaper and performed in a few musicals. Some were performed in bars. I love live music.
- Lived in rural Nepal for three months in 2002 working as a teacher and general helper at a school for over 150 children. Child Haven is run by a Canadian family and is founded on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Having also visited a children’s home in Tibet during this time, this trip introduced me to Tibetan Buddhism and vast disparities in infrastructure and development. I look forward to one day returning to the region to reunite with some of my former students.
- Returned to Ontario and did one year of law school. Great education, life as a lawyer not for me. I left after Year 1 and helped found a cross-Toronto reading summer camp for Toronto kids from low-income communities. I then moved to Ottawa to work with World University Service of Canada and the Student Refugee Program, which provides post-secondary school scholarship and community support to high achieving high school students in refugee situations. I helped campus clubs support students originally from South Sudan, Myanmar and other war-torn or repressed regimes.
- In 2006, I ventured to New York City and started (and completed) my master’s of science from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. During the 10-month program, I interned with BBC Radio at the United Nations, travelled to northern India to report on religion, and participated in fellowship on reporting on the immigration, refugee and diaspora experience with grants from the Carnegie-Knight and Scripps Howard Foundations. My master’s thesis focused on a group of physicians in The Bronx treating people without health insurance.
- I’ve also taken courses at University of Toronto (mini med school), Ryerson University (copyediting) and an open-source online course at Stanford University (Women’s Health and Human Rights)
- From 2007-2009, I interned at CBC’s The Current and then was hired by New York City’s Bloomberg News on their radio team. My first shift started at 3am and covered markets as well as breaking news including the election and sports.
- The 2008 financial crisis meant my team was cut and I lost my working visa in 2009. I returned to Toronto and landed at SickKids as a health writer with the AboutKidsHealth team. My main project was an online children’s health resource for new parents. I worked with the SickKids ER team to create easy to understand online and printable resources that were translated into a dozen languages, and are still used today over 10 years later.
- Other positions included a news writer at CTV News Channel and the Business News Network, and the in-house internal writer and editor at Mount Sinai Hospital.
- Freelance work has been a consistent part of my life since 2004. My writing and photographs were published in a wide range of publications including The Brooklyn Paper, Asahi-Shinbun, SikhChic.com, Hello! Canada, Canadian Running Magazine, The Canadian Jewish News, Triathlon Canada Magazine, USA Today, Ricochet, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times.
- For four stimulating years, I was the in-house writer and producer at Medcan, a private preventive health clinic. I had the privilege to work with psychologists, physicians, registered dietitians and personal trainers, as well as members of the military and adventurers from around the world. My online articles, videos, and podcasts focused on medically-supported ways to live your best life, on reaching one’s potential, and the importance of community and giving back. I helped out as a a mentor with a teen athletic program, and as a reporter with Medcan Naweza, a health equity initiative that partners medical workers in Canada with their counterparts in Kenya and Uganda.
- In 2019, I joined Klick Health, a digital innovator in health marketing and a company committed to giving back. As a copywriter at this agency, I work on integrative health and pharmaceutical campaigns.
- I’ve covered stories in northern India (Amritsar, Varanasi, Mumbai and Delhi), Israel and the West Bank, New Zealand, Oaxaca (Mexico), rural Kenya and I’ve travelled to numerous places including western Canada, California, Fiji, Costa Rica, South Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, Denmark and some western European countries.
Mindfulness, Movement and Non-Violent Communication
As a Prison Yoga Project certified yoga teacher, I was trained to work with students affected by trauma. For two years (2016-2018) I ran a yoga program for members of the military and their families at the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre. I also trained at the Center for Understanding Through Conflict and earned a 40-hour certificate in Working Creatively with Conflict at the Green Gulch San Francisco Zen Centre in Muir Valley, CA. I earned yoga teacher training hours at Octopus Garden and Yoga Space, both renowned studios in Toronto.
promoting Strength & Stillness Yoga Class in 2016 at CRFM Toronto MFRC – The GTA’s Military Family Resource Centre.
photographing wanaka, new zealand 2016
- los angeles, 2018
- in Kenya with medcan naweza 2018
- studio lighting 2017
- surfing montauk, ny 2009