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Team

Marshia Akbar

Marshia Akbar’s research broadly encompasses economic and social integration of migrants in Canada. She is particularly interested in analyzing how migration and settlement policies shape the labour market integration of migrants across Canadian cities.

Marshia Akbar came to Canada as an international graduate student in 2007. During her tenure as a MA student at Carleton University and as a PhD student at York University, her research focused on how identities (such as gender and race) influence the social and economic opportunities and challenges facing migrants. One of her strongest skills is her ability to analyze qualitative data using NVivo and large quantitative data sets using SPSS and STATA.

As a post-doctoral research fellow at York University, she provided research support for the SSHRC partnership titled ‘Building Migrant resilience in Cities in Canada (BMRC)’, which included analysis of settlement policies and integration challenges in Ontario and Quebec, collaborative research, knowledge mobilization and project management. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research findings have been published as journal articles and web-based reports.

Working with settlement agencies in major urban areas, she aims to assess the policies about eligibility for permanent residency and settlement services and their impacts on the employment outcomes of different categories of temporary residents, such as international students, foreign workers and refugee claimants. The research will advance knowledge of location-specific labour market challenges for temporary residents and help identify required policy interventions.

Stein Monteiro

Stein’s research focuses on issues of assimilation and integration among new immigrant groups. His research aims to identify causal relationships between host or sending country socio-structural characteristics on the potential migrant's decision to migrate and assimilate into the host country environment.

Stein completed his PhD program at York University in July 2018. As a part of his dissertation, Stein explored themes related to family dynamics and its influence on migration decisions on individuals within an extended family context, in addition to the role of co-ethnic networks in affecting assimilation rates among new immigrant groups in Canada.

Stein spent some years working in higher education administration; first with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, and then recently with Humber College. His professional experience has provided him with modern data science skills to analyze large administrative and survey data sets. Stein also recently provided research support for a project at the International Growth Center (London School of Economics) to identify the impact of road building in rural areas of Ethiopia on village-level crop yields and income.

Working with linked administrative and survey data at Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centre, he aims to identify how the properties of typical social networks (i.e. network structure, interconnectedness, size and density) play a role in the process of integration among new immigrant groups.

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle is interested in exploring the challenges of migrant reception and integration in non-gateway cities.

Michelle holds a BA in History and International Development Studies from Trent University and an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University. During her MA, she wrote her Major Research Paper on the historical resettlement experiences of Vietnamese refugees in Peterborough, Ontario.  

She has been a research assistant for projects on the social history of the Vietnam War, ethnic neighbourhoods in Canada’s immigrant gateway cities, and the experiences of immigrant families in Canada. She was an intern for the Canadian Immigration Historical Society in Ottawa, doing archival work, and most recently, for the Migration Policy Research Division at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Headquarters in Geneva, where she helped to conduct research and copy-edit various chapters of the World Migration Report 2020.  

Her research interests include policy and media discourses on migration, migrant agency, Canadian immigration history, and Vietnamese diasporic communities.

Evelyn Siu is the Operations Coordinator for the CERC in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University. She has over a decade of operational leadership in the non-profit sector developing programs that promote diversity and inclusion. At Ryerson University, she joined Senator Ratna Omidvar to launch the Global Diversity Exchange, a think-and-do tank on diversity, migration and inclusion. With the Maytree Foundation, she piloted and led the Cities of Migration Learning Exchange, an international series of webinars and conferences (The Hague and Berlin) that has convened a global learning community of city leaders, practitioners and researchers in the field of immigrant integration.

She is a strong supporter of Toronto’s diasporic arts community and has worked for the Harbourfront Centre, Diaspora Dialogues and Ballet Creole. She was a Board Member of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and served as an Advisory Member to the Cultural Pluralism in the Arts program at the University of Toronto. She holds a BA with a specialist designation in Arts Management and Art History from the University of Toronto.