Derek Cook joined the Canadian Poverty Institute in 2015. Previously he served as the Executive Director of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative, leading the Mayor’s task force on poverty reduction. Derek’s work also includes extensive experience in social research and policy development at The City of Calgary and in community development with various organizations across Canada. Currently, Derek serves on the board of Canada Without Poverty, a national anti-poverty organization. Derek holds a B.A. in Political Studies from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph, and is a Registered Social Worker in the Province of Alberta.
Rita Yembilah's academic and research expertise spans topics in International and Community Development including poverty and precarious livelihoods, social conflict, African Studies, Indigenous Knowledge, Gender Education as well as interrelated topics in social problems, social inequality and social justice. She has taught at the University of Calgary, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana) and maintains a teaching position at Mount Royal University (Calgary). Her work with nomadic (but sedentarizing) Fulani in West Africa have brought her into contact with interesting individuals from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal, resulting in a myriad cross-cultural experiences. Over the years, she has worked as a teacher at a rural elementary school, a library assistant; a Livelihoods Development Consultant and rep. for SmartKids Ghana, a program that supports gifted poor children to remain in school. She obtained her PhD and Master’s degrees from the University of Calgary and a BA First Class Honours from the University of Ghana, Accra.
Katherine Leonard was born in Cameroon, where her parents did linguistic and community development among the Baka Pigmies. From a young age she was exposed to poverty and the power of an asset based approach to community development. In 2013 she moved to Calgary, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences at Ambrose University.
Katherine’s work with the Canadian Poverty Institute has included participatory community assessment work, and providing research support to the Energy Poverty Roundtable and the Justice Sector Constellation.
Katherine’s community experience includes living in an intentional housing unit in a Calgary Housing community, where she and her housemates build relationships with neighbours, plan and host programs, and advocate for those experiencing poverty. Through this partnership with Calgary Housing, and other community development workers, she and her housemates have had the privilege of hearing the stories of individuals in disadvantaged situations and seeing them take initiative and leadership positions in community programs and events. She has also worked with Encompass, a resource center in the NE, supporting several programs and workshops to help individuals experiencing poverty as well as provide training for faith based community workers in Calgary and with Aspen Family and Community Network Society.
Brayden is a recent graduate of Ambrose University, with a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a minor in Development Studies. Brayden’s work with the Canadian Poverty Institute has included developing a sustainability plan for a community resource centre and conducting research on the new economy. Some of Brayden’s core passions include environmental stewardship, social justice, local food production, sustainable business, and community development. As a business student, Brayden believes in the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) approach to business, and that business has the biggest opportunity to be environmental and socially responsible stewards. Currently, Brayden lives in Cochrane, Alberta where he enjoys spending time with friends, gardening, charity, learning, and other hobbies.
Monetta Bailey, PhD (ABD), MA, BA
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Telephone: 403-410-2000 ext. 5901
Randy Poon, PhD, MBA, BComm
Associate Professor and
Program Chair, Business Administration
Telephone: 403-410-2000 ext. 6513
Angie Redecopp, BEd, MBA
Associate Professor, Business and
Dr. Jim Cresswell PhD, BA
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Telephone: 403-410-2000 ext. 6904
Alex Sanderson, PhD, MSc, BA
Associate Professor, Psychology
Behavioural Science Program Chair
Telephone: 403-410-2000 ext. 5907
Beth Stovell, PhD, MCS, BA
Assistant Professor, Old Testament
Telephone: 403-410-2000 ext. 3995
Colin Toffelmire, PhD, MA, BTh
Assistant Professor, Old Testament and
Telephone: 403-410-2000 ext. 6916