Project Directors

Heather Aldersey
Photo of Heather Aldersey

Assistant Professor and Queen’s National Scholar – School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s University, Canada
Interim Director – International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR), Queen’s University, Canada

Team Role:
Project Co-Director for the Mastercard Foundation Research and Queen’s Graduate Programs, Queen’s University, Canada

Education:

  • BA (International Studies/French); MS (Special Education);
  • PhD (Interdisciplinary Studies)

Experience:
Dr. Aldersey’s research program focuses on the social construction of disability across cultures, support for people with disabilities and their families, public policy, family innovation, and family quality of life. Within this program, she has particularly focused on experiences of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in African contexts.

The ultimate goal of Dr. Aldersey’s scholarship is to draw upon local strengths and capabilities to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families globally.

Dr. Aldersey is the Interim Director of the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) at Queen’s University and, prior to the Ethiopia project, has worked with families and people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania.

Contact information:
Email: hma@queensu.ca
Telephone: 1-613-533-6088


Solomon Mekonnen 
Photo of Doctor Solomon Mekonnen Abebe, (PhD)

Director, Community-based Rehabilitation, University of Gondar
Co-Director, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program,University of Gondar, Ethiopia

Team Role:
Project Co-Director for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

Education:

  • PhD, Public Health Clinical Epidemiology, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Master’s Degree, Exercise Physiology, Punjabi University Faculty of Medicine, India

Experience:
Dr. Solomon is an Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Institute of Public Health at University of Gondar, and has also served as the Coordinator of Non-Communicable Diseases Treatment and Research Center at the university. Dr. Solomon has many years of experience at the University of Gondar as Associate Registrar, Dean of Students and Continuing Education Coordinator for the Gondar College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Contact information:
Email: solomekonnen@yahoo.com | mehanahusat@gmail.com
Telephone: +251 914 735 748


Project Managers

Anushka Mzinganjira
Photo of Anushka Joseph

Team Role:
Project Manager for the Mastercard Foundation Research and Queen’s Graduate Programs, Queen’s University, Canada

Education:

  • Hons. B Sc. (Life Sciences)
  • MSc. (Occupational Therapy)

Experience:
Ms. Mzinganjira is an Occupational Therapist with 10 years of clinical experience working with all age groups in community health settings. She has worked with adults with addiction issues in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and developed a program for individuals with workplace injuries who have chronic pain leading to high opioid use. She also helped develop and implement a program to support Ontario Pharmacy College registrants who require support for mental health and addiction issues.

Prior to her current role with Queen’s University’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) as the Mastercard Foundation Ethiopia Project Co-Manager, Ms. Mzinganjira has worked to build occupational therapy programs in Ethiopia at the Amanual Hospital through the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration.

Contact information:
Email: aj74@queensu.ca


Solomon Fasika Demissie
Photo of Solomon Fasika Demissie

Team Role:
Project Manager for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

Education:

  • MSc, Physiotherapy, University of Gondar.

Experience:
Mr. Solomon joined the University of Gondar, College of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2008, first as a lecturer and the Head of the Physiotherapy department and then as the Community Based Rehabilitation Project Manager.

Contact information:
Email: sfsolaesta559@gmail.com
Cell Phone: +251 913 706770


Coordinators / Consultants

Dr. Nebiyu Mesfin (MD, PCCM) 

Team Role:
Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator, Mastercard foundation Scholars Program, University of Gondar

Education:

  • MD (Doctor of Medicine)
  • CSIM (Certificate of Specialty in Internal Medicine)
  • PCCM (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)

Experience:

Dr. Nebiyu Mesfin is consultant in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at University of Gondar Hospital. He is also associate professor of medicine at the department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine; University of Gondar. He has successfully launched and coordinated a nationally new M.Sc.-level postgraduate program in “Clinical Tropical Infectious Disease and HIV Medicine” which was implemented in collaboration with the Global Health department of University of Washington (I-TECH-Ethiopia).

Dr. Nebiyu is currently responsible for various activities related to Occupational Therapy including: sensitization and awareness creation workshops, facilitating the application and selection process of candidates, planning and implementing need assessment, curriculum development and curriculum revision.

Contact Information:
Email: hakimulig@gmail.com
Cell Phone: +251911743852   OR +251926042997

Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nebiyu_Gedlu


Adugna Abebe

Team Role:
Faculty Development Coordinator, Mastercard Foundation STREET project, University of Gondar.

Education:

  • BA, Psychology, Addis Ababa University
  • MA, Social Psychology, Addis Ababa University
  • PhD, Social Work and Social Development, Addis Ababa University

Experience:
Dr. Adugna Abebe has served as Coordinator for the Community Service office of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as Chairperson for department of Psychology at University of Gondar. His areas of expertise include child and youth development, grief and bereavement, and substance abuse.

In his role as Faculty Development Coordinator, Dr. Abebe is responsible for coordinating the PhD Scholarship Program, including preparing, implementing, and following up on scholarship announcements, selection and recruitment, admission and performance. He also manages support services and oversees scholars’ performance.

Contact information:
Email: adugna78@gmail.com


Fana Kinfe

Team Role:
Experiential Learning Coordinator, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, University of Gondar

Education:

  • BA, Economics, Bahirdar University
  • MA, Leadership and Good Governance, Ethiopian Civil Service University

Experience:
Mrs. Fana Kinfe joined university of Gondar as Experiential Learning Coordinator for the Mastercard foundation scholars program. Previously she worked as senior consultant in Ethiopian Management Institute and has served as Trainer, Researcher and Consultant (2014-2018).

Since February 2018, Mrs. Fana serves as Experiential Learning Coordinator for the Mastercard foundation scholars program at University of Gondar. She is responsible for providing coordination and management of the CBR experiential learning for undergraduate scholarship program. Managing the CBR experiential learning and collaborating and communicating with appropriate bodies.

Contact Information:
Email:fanikins@gmail.com
Cell Phone: +251 918719536


Jasmine Montagnese   

Team Role:  OT Program Coordinator, Mastercard Foundation Project, Queen’s University, Canada

Her duties include supporting Ethiopia OT students and OT faculty to enable success, supporting the logistics related to all of the Ethiopian OT clinical and community development placements in Africa, and coordinating the OT curriculum development efforts for the University of Gondar Undergraduate program. She will also be collaborating closely with the Ethiopia OT Coordinator, as well as with the OT curriculum development team.

Education: • Hons. BA. (Psychology & French Studies)
• MSc. (Occupational Therapy)

Experience: Ms. Montagnese is a recent Queen’s University graduate of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MScOT) program, a registered occupational therapist and has employment experience delivering consultative occupational therapy services to children in School Health in the Kingston area. As part of her MScOT, she completed an international fieldwork placement in Southern India at Amar Seva Sangam, contributing to the Village Based Rehabilitation program, outpatient stroke rehabilitation services and inpatient spinal cord injury services. Prior to her MScOT, Ms. Montagnese volunteered in Bali Indonesia teaching English to local kindergarten students and completed a spring semester at the Bader International Study Centre in England. Ms. Montagnese is passionate about cultural competency in the occupational therapy profession and advancing the vision of occupational therapy globally.

Contact information:

Email: mcfotcoord@queensu.ca


Jennie Griffin

Team Role:

Student and Faculty Liaison, Mastercard Foundation Project, Queen’s University, Canada

Education:

Hons. BA. (Sociology & Criminology)

Experience:

After graduating from her Bachelor of Education, Jennie (Ms.Griffin) taught in England for a year before returning to teach on the school board in the Kingston area. Ms.Griffin then trained in teaching English language learners and worked at the Queens School of English. She created and taught lessons in different courses to university- aged students who were learning different aspects of English depending on their level. Through this Ms.Griffin was able to gain a lot of new experience working with international students and really enjoys learning about different cultures and traditions from around the world!

As the Student & Faculty Liaison, Ms. Griffin supports students, faculty and the Mastercard Scholars Program Leadership team. She assists UoG applicants and enrolled Mastercard Foundation scholarship recipients at Queen’s University in navigating the application process and the Queen’s University academic experience respectively.

Contact information:

Email : mcfsfliaison@queensu.ca


Phebe Palmer

Team Role – Financial Coordinator for the MasterCard Foundation Project, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Education – Business Administration Diploma, MAFP certificate

Experience – Phebe has been at Queen’s for over 5 years and worked in the Financial Services Department in her previous role.

Her role included working in Financial Reporting, General Accounting and Research Accounting where she gained experience in all aspects of accounting including financial statement and budget preparation & account reconciliations as well as knowledge of the various accounting systems at Queen’s including PeopleSoft, Fast, acQuire and ERS.

Phebe interacted with various departments across campus as well as students and Research PI’s and their assistants.

In her current role she looks forward to working with the University of Gondar team as well as supporting the students at Queen’s and working with the MasterCard Foundation Team.

Contact Information: palmerp@queensu.ca


Reshma Nuri

Team Role

Research and Learning Coordinator, Mastercard Foundation Project, Queen’s University, Canada

Education

  • BSc. (Physiotherapy); MPH; MSc. (Rehabilitation Science); 
  • Ph.D. candidate, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s University, Canada

Experience

Ms. Nuri is a physiotherapist with nearly 10 years of research, monitoring, and evaluation experience in the field of disability and Community Based Rehabilitation in low-and middle-income countries. Prior to her current role with Queen’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, Ms. Nuri worked with the Queen’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation as Internal Evaluator and Gender Coordinator in Bangladesh for two years.

Ms. Nuri is finishing up her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science at Queen’s University. She is also a recipient of the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship and the Queen Elizabeth Advanced Scholars Network for Equity in Maternal and Child Health scholarships. Her doctoral research examines how the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is working to meet the needs of children with disabilities and their families to ensure their fundamental human rights and dignity.

Contact information

Email: mcfrlcoord@queensu.ca