Our Team




West Region

Central West Region

Central East Region

Atlantic Region

Graduate Students

Grad Students Research

Tsz-Wing Zita Lau, Western University

Tsz-Wing Zita Lau

Tsz-Wing Zita Lau is a PhD student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at Western University. Zita completed her Master of Arts at the same institution, examining children’s thoughts on social exclusion of peers with learning difficulties in inclusive education. Participants were invited to share their ideas and sort the data into meaningful categories through the group concept mapping methodology, which allowed educators and researchers to perceive from students’ perspectives. Zita would like to further explore students’ educational experiences in inclusive classrooms and bring more attention to children’s voices in research. Her supervisor is  Dr. Jacqueline Specht.

Supervisor: Dr. Jacqueline Specht

Evan Charles, Western University

Evan Charles

Evan Charles  is a PhD student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at Western University. Under the supervision of Dr. Jacqueline Specht, Evan’s research has focused on exploring factors that contribute to levels of confidence in teaching within diverse classrooms. He is interested in further exploring the long-term social and educational outcomes of positive student-teacher relationships within inclusive classrooms.

Supervisor: Dr. Jacqueline Specht

Jessica Delorey, Western University

Jessica Delorey

Jessica Delorey is a PhD student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at Western University. Under the supervision of Dr. Jacqueline Specht, Jessica’s research for her M.A. thesis explored experiences that shape beginning teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning in inclusive classrooms as they transition from their teacher education program into the early years of their career.

  Supervisor: Dr. Jacqueline Specht

Petra Owusu, Western University

Petra Owusu

Petra Owusu  is a PhD student in the School and Applied Psychology program at Western University. She was a recipient of the  2020 Inclusive Education Research Award given by Foundation Western. Under the supervision of  Dr. Jacqueline Specht, Petra's research for her M.A. focused on evaluating a peer-to-peer social skills program in inclusive classrooms. She examined the role of peer mentorship on students who have academic, behavioural and social challenges.

Supervisor: Dr. Jacqueline Specht

Fizza Haider, University of Victoria

Fizza Haider

Fizza Haider is a recent graduate! In December, 2021 she earned an M.A. at the University of Victoria, pursuing graduate work in special/inclusive education within Educational Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond. Her research focuses on exploring factors and experiences that influence the development of beginning teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching in diverse classrooms. She is interested in understanding the quality and nature of such experiences so that they can be promoted at both the pre-service and in-service level for building teachers’ confidence and competence for inclusive instructional practices. Previously, she has worked with both children and young adults with varying levels of cognitive, developmental and physical abilities, evaluating their needs, providing appropriate instruction, and facilitating the provision of academic accommodations.

Supervisor: Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond

Research Awards

Graduate Student Research Awards

Inclusive Education Research Award

The Inclusive Education Research Award is funded by Foundation Western, and administered by the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education. Each year, up to three awards of $750 each will be granted to graduate students in education.

Each recipient must be a graduate student in the Faculty of Education at Western who is conducting a research project that is part of the thesis/dissertation requirement for completion of their program of study.The applicant’s research proposal must address an issue that is related to the inclusion of students who represent a diversity of backgrounds or learning needs. 

2021 Recipients

Candace Brunette-Debassige:  The trickiness of policy practices: Indigenous women administrators' experiences in Canadian universities

Evan Charles:  Predicting teachers' long-term self-efficacy for teaching in inclusive classrooms: A five-year longitudinal analysis


Jessica Jean Campbell Coulson Award

Established through Foundation Western by the late Mr. David Campbell (BA ’38), this award is presented in memory of his daughter, Jessica Jean Campbell Coulson, a teacher who inspired students with learning disabilities to succeed by focusing on their strengths. Each year, one  award of approximately $2,000 is given.

The recipient must be a full-time graduate student in the Faculty of Education , having an average of 78% or better, and conducting research on a topic that is relevant to the inclusion and education of students withexceptionalities.

2021 Recipient

Tsz-Wing Zita Lau: Beginning teachers' development of inclusive practices: A longitudinal multiple case-study approach

Below: Zita Lau (right) receives the Jessica Jean Campbell Coulson Award. Photo taken in 2018 when Zita received the Award for a previous research study completed for her Masters degree. 

  Zita Lau receiving Research Award