This webinar took place on June 29, 2022, and presented snapshots of the Thriving On Campus project’s key findings as well as policy and practice recommendations. Particular attention was given to the experiences of trans, BIPOC, and disabled students.

Below is the recorded webinar and slides. Auto-generated captions are available for each presentation.

If you have any questions or comments about the webinar presentations, please contact us at or contact the presenter directly through their listed email address.

Video Legend

Presentation TitlePresenterTimestamp
WelcomeSimon Coulombe0:00
Thriving on Campus: Study OverviewMichael Woodford5:28
Snapshot: 2SLGBTQ+ Student Experiences of Campus Climate and Its ImpactsHarrison Oakes15:25
Snapshot: The Experiences of BIPOC 2SLGBTQ+ StudentsChristina Arayata29:45
Snapshot: The Role of Disability in 2SLGBTQ+ Students’ Campus ExperiencesIsabel Krakoff
Presented by Zack Marshall
Discussion with Community PartnersModerated by Simon Coulombe58:19
Q & AAll Panelists & Thriving Team1:16:45
Closing StatementMichael Woodford1:26:32


Thriving on Campus: Study Overview

Presenter: Dr. Michael Woodford (he/him) is a professor of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research addresses the intersection of campus climate, mental health, and academic development among diverse LGBTQ2S+ university students. He is the principal investigator for Thriving On Campus.

To view and download the presentation slides, please click here. To skip ahead in the video to Michael’s presentation, please click here (5:28).

2SLGBTQ+ Student Experiences of Campus Climate and Its Impacts

Presenter: Dr. Harrison Oakes (he/him) is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London, UK. He joined the Thriving on Campus project as data consultant from 2020-2022. As a mixed methods scholar, he is passionate about combining quantitative and qualitative data to develop deeper understandings of lived experiences. By applying a critical lens to his quantitative analyses and privileging study participants’ rich narratives, he aimed to highlight aspects of 2SLGBTQIA students’ experiences at universities in Ontario.

To view and download the presentation slides, please click here. To skip ahead in the video to Harrison’s presentation, please click here (15:25).

The Experiences of BIPOC 2SLBGTQ+ Students

Presenter: Christina Arayata (she/her/siya) is a first-year PhD student in Higher Education at OISE, the University of Toronto. Her MA thesis focuses on examining how undergraduate STEM students understand and express their identities through demographic surveys. Christina has been involved in various research projects focused on student wellbeing, race/ethnicity, access/admissions, and survey methods. Drawing on her experience in campus-based equity work, Christina has been involved with Thriving on Campus as a qualitative research assistant and later served on the BIPOC Community Report Working Group. 

To view and download the presentation slides, please click here. To skip ahead in the video to Christina’s presentation, please click here (29:45).

The Role of Disability in 2SLGBTQ+ Students’ Campus Experiences

Presentation prepared by: Isabel Krakoff (she/her) is a doctoral student in sociology at York University. Her interests include mixed methods research, political sociology, affect theory, and computational social science. She has supported the Thriving Project since 2020 in a variety of roles, including working as a quantitative data analyst and serving as a core part of the working group that developed the community report on the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ students with disabilities.

Presentation delivered by: At the time of the webinar, Dr. Zack Marshall (he/him) was an Assistant Professor for the School of Social Work at McGill University. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. With over 14 years of experience in the areas of health and mental health, Zack’s practice has focused on working with sexual and gender minority youth and communities, people labelled with intellectual disabilities, and people who use drugs. Committed to transformative social change, his interdisciplinary program of research explores ethics, engagement, and knowledge synthesis with respect to marginalized and underrepresented communities. Zack is a co-investigator with Thriving on Campus.

To view and download the presentation slides, please click here. To skip ahead in the video to Isabel’s presentation delivered by Zack, please click here (42:40).


To skip ahead in the webinar to the Panel Discussion with Community Partners, please click here (58:19).

Romina Avila (they/she) is the Campaigns and Communications Coordinator with the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario. They have a background in mental health, community organizing and social justice. Romina has worked with queer and disabled students for more than four years. They participated on Thriving on Campus’ Advisory Committee sharing their insights as a professional and their lived experiences of mental illness and queerness as a racialized individual.

Allison Burgess (she/her) is the Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office at the University of Toronto and served on Thriving on Campus’ Advisory Committee. The U of T Sexual & Gender Diversity Office develops partnerships to build supportive learning and working communities at the University of Toronto by working toward equity and challenging discrimination. The Office provides innovative education, programming, resources and advocacy on sexual and gender diversity for students, staff and faculty across the University’s three campuses.

Shemar Heckett (he/him) is a currently research and policy analyst with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). After completing his undergrad degree, he served as the Vice-President (Education) for the McMaster Students Union and worked with OUSA to advocate for students across the province. OUSA has been actively involved on the Thriving On Campus Advisory Committee throughout the project.

Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah (she/her) is an award-winning Black feminist with over 8 years of local and international advocacy experience through feminist initiatives in the Ottawa-Gatineau region and through working at Oxfam Canada and Global Affairs Canada. She became the Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) in July 2020. The Centre promotes diversity in gender identity, gender expression, and romantic/sexual orientation in all its forms on a national level through services in the areas of education and advocacy. CCGSD has been actively involved on Thriving On Campus’ Advisory Committee throughout the project.

Nona Robinson (she/her) is currently the Vice Provost of Students at York University and was the Associate Vice President of Students at Trent University. She represented the Ontario Committee on Student Affairs (OCSA) on the Thriving On Campus Advisory Committee. OCSA consists of the senior administrator at each Ontario university holding responsibility for student issues, the student experience and the majority of services and programs designed to serve and support students at the institution. The OCSA provides a forum for information sharing and discussion of emerging policy and practice on student issues facing Ontario’s universities.

Organizers & Moderators


Dr. Simon Coulombe (he/him) is an Associate Professor with the Industrial Relations Department at Université Laval and co-investigator with Thriving On Campus. Guided by positive psychology and socio-ecological approaches, Simon’s research examines resilience in LGBTQ2S+ individuals and people from other stigmatized communities, exploring how they can achieve wellbeing despite challenges and discrimination. Simon’s work contributes to understanding and reducing inequities faced by communities in stigmatizing circumstances (e.g., LGBTQ2S+ people with mental disorders or disabilities, people living in public housing, etc.) by considering the social and ecological factors that impact their well-being. Simon’s work supports the empowerment of these communities by ensuring that his research can yield positive impact – for participants, researchers, and practitioners.

Dr. Zack Marshall (he/him). See bio above.


Eric J. Van Giessen (he/him; they/them) is a doctoral student in Sociology at York University. His research interests include critical sexuality studies, lived religion, and queer methodologies, including community-based research and arts-based methods. Eric has been a research assistant with the Thriving On Campus project since 2019. During this time they have served as one of the qualitative interviewers, have been coordinating the finalization of the community reports and helped to organize several Knowledge Mobilization webinars including this one. 

Dr. Michael Woodford (he/him). See bio above.