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Co-Design VP Hub

Co-Design Hub Team

Meet the members of the Co-Design VP Hub team

Information Box Group

Dr. Sandra Moll

Dr. Moll is an Occupational Therapist and Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science.  Her clinical and research expertise is in the area of mental health, building on over a decade of frontline clinical work and over two decades of applied research.  Her primary program of research focuses on mental health, along the continuum from mental health promotion to intervention and return to work, including young workers, students, healthcare providers and first responders.  She is interested in e-mental health initiatives, co-design approaches, education and counselling interventions, and advocacy for mental health policy change.  Many of her projects involve mixed methods, however her primary expertise is in qualitative, participatory approaches.

Phone: 905-525-9140 ext: 23523
Office: IAHS 439

Dr. Michelle Phoenix

Dr. Phoenix is an Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science.  Dr. Phoenix practiced as a speech-language pathologist in the Waterloo Region, working with children birth to five years old and their families.  She completed her MHSc from Toronto in 2007 and her PhD in our Rehabilitation Science program in 2017.  She has an interest in parent engagement in children’s therapy service.  In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, spending time with her friends and family, travelling, trying new foods and reading.

Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 20836
Office: IAHS 411

Information Box Group

Dr. Gillian Mulvale

Gillian Mulvale is an associate professor of health policy and management at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business and a member of CHEPA. She holds a PhD in health research methodology from McMaster University, an MA in economics from Western University and a post-graduate diploma in health services and policy research. Mulvale researches issues in mental health policy and service delivery, through the lens of health policy analysis and health economics, to support the development of coordinated, person-centred and recovery-oriented care.

Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 24707
Office: DSB 426

Dr. Michelle Wyndham-West

Dr. Wyndham-West, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University, is a critically applied medical anthropologist specializing in health equity, aging, housing, emerging technologies and public policy development.


Dr. Sean Park

Dr. Sean Park is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, where he teaches courses on design thinking, innovation, complexity, and contemplative education.  His current research interests are focused on how to develop creativity confidence through the teaching and learning of design thinking.

Sean is the education lead for the MGD Health Leadership Academy’s Innovation by Design, a cross-faculty course that enables students to use design thinking to tackle wicked health problems.  He also teaches human-centred design in the Health, Engineering Science and Entrepreneurship specialization of the iBioMed program.

Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 20316
Office: MDCL 3522

Information Box Group

Dr. Robert Fleisig

Dr. Fleisig is a permanent teaching professor in the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology (W Booth School) and Engineering 1 with a passion for inspiring empathy, creativity and interdisciplinary thinking in undergraduate and graduate students as well as in academic and local communities. Dr. Fleisig believes that for the university and graduates to make impactful contributions to society, it is no longer sufficient to only have disciplinary expertise. The ‘T-shaped’ graduate is one who is equally at home in the knowledge-centred work of their discipline (i.e., the stem of the ‘T’) and in work with individuals of diverse education, language, culture, beliefs, and values both within their organization and outside (i.e., the arms of the ‘T’). Key to his teaching are empathy, experience and reflection. In Dr. Fleisig’s first-year engineering course, undergraduate and graduate students from three faculties work together to create a device to help members of the local community with a complex and unique problem. In Dr. Fleisig’s graduate teaching at the W Booth School, his students work with university researchers, hospitals, and local business to identify important problems in health and sustainability to design, prototype, and implement innovative solutions that are meaningful to the community and have an economic impact.

Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 27408
Office: ETB 503

Samantha Micsinszki

Samantha Micsinszki is a registered nurse with a PhD from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral work examined factors associated with sleep quality in parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is interested in meaningful partnerships and engagement in research. Samantha is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University and CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, where she will be focusing on the inclusion of structurally vulnerable populations in patient-oriented research and will be involved in a realist evaluation at McMaster University’s Co-Design with Vulnerable Populations Hub. Samantha is supervised by Dr. Michelle Phoenix.

Alexis Buettgen

Dr. Alexis Buettgen is an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) in the School of Rehabilitation Science, and has spent most of her career working with diverse communities as a social service provider, researcher and ally. Currently, she is a critical community-engaged scholar and teacher. Her research program focuses on community engagement, intersectionality, human rights, climate action and knowledge mobilization to promote social, political, and economic inclusion of historically marginalized communities. Alexis has over a decade of experience in applied research and program evaluation in health and social services for a range of issues including immigration and settlement, housing and homelessness, HIV/AIDS, disability inclusion, employment and entrepreneurship, poverty reduction, human rights and sustainable development.

Emma Bruce

Emma Bruce is a Registered Occupational Therapist, graduating from her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2012. After graduating, Emma worked in community mental health for 6 years. She then transitioned into a teaching role at Conestoga College, as an instructor for international students in a health administration program.

Currently, Emma is a PhD Student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program. Her thesis work examines the experiences of international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is supervised by Dr. Sandra Moll. Emma is a research coordinator at the McMaster University’s Co-Design with Vulnerable Populations Hub.

Karlie Rogerson

Experience with Co-Design

I have had experience co-creating “Uprise” a social brand catering to youth who identify as someone in the “Alternative Peer Crowd.” This project aims to lower tobacco usage within this demographic and was implemented across our Ontario Southwest Tobacco Control Area Network in 2015 in partnership with Hamilton Public Health Services. I also spent 4 years co-creating and managing a grassroots program and festival in the Keith and McQuesten in HamONT Neighbourhoods funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Youth Opportunities Fund.

I was first introduced to co-design projects with McMaster as a youth mental health service user. I have since worked with McMaster’s co-design team to facilitate sessions for youth as well as presented virtually at the 2017 co-production of public services in Birmingham, England.

Currently, I am a member of McMaster’s co-design hub as well as working with the Students Commission of Canada on a five year project to co-design a safer spaces module to be adopted and implemented in youth spaces across Canada.

Areas of Interest 

Authentic Youth Engagement, Accessibility (especially for neurodivergent populations), Policy modification and creation, youth resource development, systemic changes within mental health care systems, community development, grassroots innovations in community settings.

Louise Murray-Leung

As a family member with lived expertise caring for loved ones living with mental health issues, Louise is passionate about bringing people with diverse perspectives and experiences together.

In her work role as an engagement professional, Louise helps bring young people, families, organizations and system level initiatives together to improve access and services in the child and youth mental health sector. She has been involved with a number of engagement initiatives through the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions, including an advisory tasked with co-developing the provincial Quality Standard for Family Engagement.

Louise has been involved in the McMaster Co-Design Hub since 2017, not long after participating in an Experience-Based Co-Design research project led by Dr. Gillian Mulvale. Louise believes wholeheartedly in the exponential impact of integrated models that are collaboratively designed, leveraging the unique perspectives and knowledge of service participants, providers, researchers and more.

In her personal life, Louise loves to spend time with her family, her books and her bike. Louise is also a volunteer peer support leader with her local chapter of Parents for Children’s Mental Health.

Bonnie Freeman

Bonnie Freeman (she/her) is Algonquin/Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Indigenous Studies Department at McMaster University.  Bonnie’s research focuses on understanding the plight of Indigenous people while bringing forth Indigenous practices and knowledge of how her ancestors experienced living – “being alive well.”  Her work and research have been rooted in her connections with Indigenous communities throughout Canada and the United States and focus on Indigenous methodological perspectives of journeying (horseback, foot, and canoeing) with a key goal of understanding how Indigenous knowledge and connection to land and water contribute to positive health and well-being.  Bonnie also research to understand how relationships and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and communities are established through paddling on a nine-day journey on the Grand River.

Alexa Vrzovski

Alexa Vrzovski is a mixed woman of settler and Indigenous Decent, representing both the Ahousaht people of Nuu-chah-nulth nation and the village of Braj?ino, in North Macedonia. After studying Honours Health and Society at McMaster University, she began working at the school as an Events and Marketing Associate for the McMaster Co-Design Hub. She is passionate about Indigenous rights, Womens rights, and language revitalization. Alexa spends most of her time beading traditional Indigenous jewellery, which you can find on her Instagram page: @cedarbugbeads