Meet Our Team

Please locate the appropriate contact below in alphabetical order by last name:

Leena Abdelrahim

Administrative Coordinator

Leena is a futurist, with an interest in the use of immersive technologies for driving social change. She holds a BS in International Economics from Georgetown University. Before joining the EIO, Leena was a researcher focusing on Social Policy & Economics.

Leena can help you with:

Phone: 604.822.6353

Email: leena.abdelrahim@ubc.ca

Aidan Davis

Sustainability Scholar

Aidan is a second-year Masters student in the Social Justice Institute (formerly GRSJ) at UBC. She graduated from Colgate University with honors in Women’s Studies, and is interested in what it means to be whole across difference in the university and seeks to bring that curiosity and experience to the wellbeing initiative project.

Email: a.davis@alumni.ubc.ca

Aftab Erfan, PhD

Director, Dialogue & Conflict Engagement

A proud UBC alumni and well-loved instructor, Dr. Aftab Erfan joined the Equity and Inclusion Office in March 2017 in the newly created position of Director, Dialogue & Conflict Engagement. Within this role, Aftab builds the social and institutional infrastructure to enable members of the UBC community(s) to work with their conflicts as they naturally and inevitably emerge.

Immediately prior to coming into this role, she spent four years working as an international consultant, professional facilitator and conflict practitioner, holding space for contentious conversations on four continents within the public, private, academic and non-profit sectors. Aftab is a 1.5 generation Canadian, with enough of a subtle accent that says “I wasn’t born here, but I call Canada home”. She spent much of her youth in social and environmental justice movements and continues to be motivated by the need for systemic change – partially made possible through the disruptive and transformative power of engaging with conflict.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences (and a minor in Fine Arts) from UBC, a Masters in Urban Planning from McGill University, and a PhD in Community and Regional Planning from UBC, where she has also taught graduate level courses since 2009. Her award-winning dissertation reflected on three years of action research in a small First Nation community on Vancouver Island. She lives and is dedicated to promoting justice and mutual understanding on unceded Coast Salish territory.

Aftab can help you with:

Phone: 604.822.9095

Email: aftab.erfan@ubc.ca

Sara-Jane Finlay, PhD

Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion

Dr. Finlay supports institution-wide efforts to create a supportive environment for working, learning and living where respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion are valued. These values are central to social sustainability for all members of the university community.

Dr. Finlay received her B.A. (English Language and Literature) in 1987 from Huron College, Western University, followed by a B.A.A. (Radio and Television Arts) from Ryerson University in 1990; and her M.A. (Women’s Studies) and Ph.D. (Communication and Media Studies) in 1997 and 2001 from Loughborough University. She also holds a Post-graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education) from the Southampton Institute, Hants, UK.

Dr. Finlay commenced her professional research and teaching career in the UK at Loughborough University, lecturing in Media and Sociology, and then at the Southampton Institute, in Media with Cultural Studies, focusing on gender, race, class, culture and identity. Moving into administration, Dr. Finlay became head of Media Studies at the College of St. Mark & St. John, Plymouth, UK. In 2004, Dr. Finlay became a lecturer in the Institute for Culture and Communication at the University of Toronto and served as the director, faculty and academic life at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada from 2004 to 2015.

As a parent of two and Past President of the College and University Work-Life-Family Association (CUWFA), Dr. Finlay advocates for academic institutions to focus attention on work/family and work/life issues.

Phone: 604.822.5454

Email: sara-jane.finlay@ubc.ca

Adeline Huynh, MSW

Equity Facilitator

Adeline Huynh is a social worker, community organizer and educator with over a decade of experience in workshop facilitation, project development and community engagement. She is committed to promoting social change through creative dialogue and innovative adult education. She completed her Masters of Social Work degree at UBC where she was actively involved with the development of the School of Social Work’s Equity Action Plan. Adeline has served on the City of Vancouver LGBTQ Mayor’s Advisory Committee and the Vancouver School Board’s Pride Advisory Committee where she supported many initiatives to promote LGBTQ inclusion. She has also worked as a STV trauma counsellor and as a social worker in the field of HIV.

Adeline can help you with:

  • Designing, coordinating and facilitating educational programming
  • Building and sustaining meaningful collaborations and partnership with equity, diversity and inclusion-seeking members of the UBC community
  • Identifying specific actions to positively impact our working, learning and living environments

Phone: 604.822.8068

Email: adeline.huynh@ubc.ca

Monica Kay

Senior Manager, Civility & Human Rights

Monica obtained a degree in Law from UBC in 1993, and subsequently practiced for three years before serving as an Officer with the BC Human Rights Commission. She went on to act as a Human Rights Advisor with the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver), providing advice and support to approximately 9 member municipalities including complaint prevention and management, education, and conflict resolution. She became the Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program for the City of Vancouver in 2005, carrying out similar responsibilities for the City and affiliated organizations, including Vancouver Parks Board, Public Library, and Police and Fire Services. In this role she also served as Executive Director of The Hastings Institute, a not for profit agency providing human rights-related services to both public and private sector clients.

Most recently Monica served as the Harassment and Discrimination Advisor for the British Columbia Institute of Technology, providing support around human rights and conflict management. Monica has also served as a Community Coroner, and worked on projects with a variety of community organizations involving mentorship, access and inclusion of persons with disabilities, and other human rights-related topics. She joined UBC Office for Equity and Inclusion in September 2013.

Monica can help you with:

Phone: 604.827.2209

Email: monica.kay@ubc.ca 

Jeannine Kuemmerle, MEd

Equity Facilitator 

No stranger to the UBC community, Jeannine completed her Bachelor of Arts (English and History) and Bachelor of Education degrees at UBC’s Okanagan campus. She also holds a Masters of Education in Adult, Community and Higher Learning from the University of Calgary. Formerly working as an Aboriginal Student Advisor with Aboriginal Programs & Services, she is currently in a secondment role with the Equity & Inclusion Office. Jeannine was born and raised in the North Okanagan, and considers herself blessed and lucky to live and work on Okanagan (syilx) territory. As a straight, cis-gendered female, Jeannine aims to center her work on concepts of ally-ship, decolonization, and understanding/unpacking privilege. Those who know her will attest to her love of theatre, musicals, film, cooking, skiing and horses.

Jeannine can help you with:

  • Designing, coordinating and facilitating educational programming
  • Building and sustaining meaningful collaborations and partnership with equity, diversity and inclusion-seeking members of the UBC community
  • Identifying specific actions to positively impact our working, learning and living environments

Phone: 250-807-9291

Email: jeannine.kuemmerle@ubc.ca

Maureen Mendoza

Project Manager, Student Diversity Initiative 

As project manager for the Student Diversity initiative, Maureen comes to the Equity and Inclusion office with experience working for local and regional governments, university and community-based research projects, and the non-profit settlement service sector. Outside of the EIO office, Maureen is active in the Filipino-Canadian community, serving newly arrived immigrant youth through mentorship, an endeavour that continuously inspires her intersectional work in planning, education, and social justice.

Maureen can help you with:

  • Student Diversity Initiative

Phone: 604.827.1715

Email: maureen.mendoza@ubc.ca

Jenna Omassi

Strategic Support Advisor, Student Diversity Initiative

Jenna works across the Equity and Inclusion Office and the VP Students’ Office, supporting the Student Diversity Initiative as well as departments such as Campus Experience, Wellbeing, Athletics and Recreation. Jenna comes to this role as a student leader at UBC Vancouver, where she was a vocal advocate for students on issues of diversity, wellbeing and affordability. Graduating with a BA in International Relations and Religious Studies, Jenna remains involved with the student refugee program and the alumnae sorority communities on campus.

Jenna can help you with:

  • Student Diversity Initiative

Email: jenna.omassi@ubc.ca

Rachael E. Sullivan, PhD

Equity Facilitator

Rachael has been a member of the UBC community since 2005. After receiving her doctorate in the Department of Sociology and working as a Sessional Instructor, Rachael joined the Equity and Inclusion Office in 2014, and had no idea how much she would come to love the work she does within the Office. She has utilized her extensive knowledge of community engagement, working in partnership and collaboration with key stakeholders and change-makers across campus to create and sustain more welcoming, respectful and inclusive spaces across the UBC Vancouver campus.

Rachael can help you with:

  • Designing, coordinating and facilitating educational programming
  • Building and sustaining meaningful collaborations and partnership with equity, diversity and inclusion-seeking members of the UBC community
  • Identifying specific actions to positively impact our working, learning and living environments

Phone: 604.827.2228

Email: rachael.sullivan@ubc.ca

Jude Tate, PhD

Director, Equity & Inclusion

Dr. Jude Tate is the Director, Equity & Inclusion appointed March 2016. A new leadership role at UBC, Dr. Tate is responsible for leading the development and implementation of strategic plans and initiatives to support the university’s commitments to equity, inclusion and mutual respect on both campuses. Jude directs and oversees the work of the Equity Facilitators in the Equity & Inclusion Office on both campuses, as well as the Student Diversity Initiative Strategic Support Team.

Dr. Tate brings a wealth of expertise in equity and diversity from her previous roles at UBC including Senior Advisor to the Dean, Faculty of Education, Special Advisor to the Provost, Academic Equity Initiatives, and Senior Advisor to the Vice-President, Human Resources. Previously, Jude served as the Sexual and Gender Diversity Officer at the University of Toronto (1999-2011), and brings valuable leadership, expertise and experience in the learning, working and living environments in post-secondary environments.  A recognized expert in the field, Dr. Tate’s research centers on policy and inclusion practices for sexual and gender minorities in university settings.

Jude can help you with:

  • Strategic initiatives
  • Projects that support the development and implementation of UBC’s commitment to equity, inclusion and mutual respect

Phone: 604.827.0798

Email: jude.tate@ubc.ca