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Political Science Faculty

Image of Dr. Shanti Fernando

Policies for equality, democracy and adult education

Image of Dr. Alyson King

Education and learning in Canadian society

Image of Dr. Tim MacNeill

Politics, economics and sustainable global development

Image of Dr. Scott Aquanno

The impacts of economic restructuring, finance and globalization

Dr. Shanti Fernando
Associate Professor
Dr. Alyson King 
Program Director and Assistant Professor
Dr. Tim MacNeill 
Senior Lecturer
Dr. Scott Aquanno
Senior Lecturer

Dr. Fernando is a storyteller; the stories she wants to tell are ones that give voice to those who experience inequality in our society, or ones about people who have demonstrated ways in which we can make a difference in our communities and beyond. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at UOIT. She received her PhD degree in Political Science from Queen's University. The concentration of her work is on policies that support community development including adult education, literacy provision, immigration and settlement, anti-poverty and social service policies. She taught at York University and Mount Allison University before joining UOIT in 2008.

Dr.  Fernando has published on many subjects in Canadian politics and American politics including ethics, immigration, community organizations and adult education. Examples of her publications include her book Race and The City, which explored Chinese-Canadian and Chinese-American community groups as a parallel democratic process in Toronto and Los Angeles. This book examined the history of systemic exclusionary immigration policies and processes, and how community advocacy provided the needed sense of belonging to help fight for greater civil rights. She has also written on adult supported education (which offers specific educational supports for persons with psychiatric disabilities) and on other challenges for those with mental disabilities, including how it affects immigration and settlement, and labour market integration.

Dr. Fernando advocates for evidence-based policy making that engages communities and sees the connections between many societal challenges. For example, policies that increase support for adult education, infrastructure, affordable housing, social services and health services can all be part of an anti-poverty strategy.

She has supervised students in the areas of anti-poverty policies, social services, labour market supports, educational policy and creating greater accessibility to services for those with mental health issues and for women in Canada and internationally.

Curriculum vitae 2016

Research/teaching/supervision areas

  • adult education
  • anti-poverty and anti-racism
  • Canadian politics
  • community development
  • mental health and education
  • political science
  • public policy
  • social and equity policy
  • supported education

Selected publications

Fernando, S. (2016). “Chinese Americans” in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race Ethnicity and Nationalism. Eds. John Stone, Dennis Rutledge, Polly Rizova, Anthony Smith, and Xiaoshuo Hou. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Zaidi, A. Fernando, S., Ammar, N., (2015). An exploratory study of the impact of information communication technology (ICT) or computer mediated communication (CMC) on the level of violence and access to service among intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors in Canada. Technology in Society. Vol. 41. 91-97. 

Fernando, S., King, A., Loney, D. (2014). Helping Them Help Themselves: Supported Adult Education for Persons living with Mental Illness. Canadian Journal for Studies in Adult Education. Vol. 27 (1) 15-28.

Fernando, S. et Alyson E. King. (2013). Winners and Losers: Literacy and Enduring Labour Market Inequality in Historical Perspective. Revue Interventions économiques 47. Mis en ligne le 13 février 2013, consulté le 14 février 2013.

Fernando, S. (2012) Chapter 4: Mexican Labour in Canada: A Critical Assessment of the Seasonal/Guest Worker Program. In Dynamics and Trajectories: Canada and/in North America. Eds. A. Nurse and M. Fox. Halifax: Fernwood Books.

Fernando, S. & Earle B. (2011) Linking poverty reduction and economic recovery: supporting community responses to austerity in Ontario. Canadian Review of Social Policy for special issue: Poverty Reduction Strategies: What a Difference an Economic Crisis Makes. 2011 65/66 ( published July 2012).

Fernando, S. (2007). Ethics and Good Urban Governance in Toronto: The Bellamy report and integrity in public service. Canadian Public Administration Journal, 50:3 Fall.

Fernando, S. (2006). Race and the City: Chinese Canadian and Chinese American Political Mobilization. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Articles in refereed conference proceedings

Fernando, S. (2016). Adult Educators as Community Developers. In eds. Laura Lane and Robert McGray Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Conference of CASAE/ACÉÉA,University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Pg 70-75.

Fernando,S. and King, A. (2016). Education Interrupted: Learning Careers of Adults Living with Mental Illness. ESREA Conference 2016 e-book. Forthcoming May 2016.

Eamer, A., Fernando, S., King, A(2015). Still on the margins: English language learning and mental health in immigrant psychiatric patients. In eds. Charles A. Shoniregun and Galyna A. Akmayeva, Proceedings of the Ireland International Conference on Education. (pg 472-477). April, Dublin: Infonomics Society.

King, A., Fernando, S. (2015). Keep Stop Start: Assessing a supported education program for persons living with mental illness. In Proceedings of The Hawaii International Conference on Education 2015 (HICE) Jan 5-8. 

Fernando, S. and King, A. (July 2013). The Economy and Beyond: The Benefits of Life-long Literacy. 32nd National Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE)/L’Association Canadienne pour l’Étude de I’Éducation des Adultes (ACÉÉA), Conference Proceedings, June 3-5, 2013, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. Edited by: Colleen Kawalilak and Janet Groen.

Fernando, Shanti I. and Alyson E. King. (June 2014). Supported Adult Literacy Education for Persons Living with Mental Illness: Quality of Life and Social Implications. Conference Proceedings, Canadian Association for Studies in Adult Education Annual Meeting (CASAE)/L’Association Canadienne pour l’Étude de I’Éducation des Adultes (ACÉÉA )May 24-27, 2014. Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario. (pp.87-91) Edited by: Donovan Plumb.

Recent research grants

Increasing literacies through supported education and policies of inclusion (SSHRC Insight Grant: $169,389)

  • Project will examine supported education programs for adults at psychiatric hospitals across Canada.
  • Dr. Shanti Fernando (PI); UOIT Co-Investigators Dr. Alyson King; Dr. Allyson Eamer; Dr. Tyler Frederick; Dr. Laura Pinto; Collaborators: John Rodnick- Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care; Kathryn Kunkel Selkirk Mental Health Centre. 
  • five years (2016-2021)

Supported Literacy Education for Persons Living with Mental Illness: Exploring Economic and Social Implications (SSHRC Insight Development Grant: $50,926)

  • Case study of the Supported Education Program at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, in Whitby, Ontario, to understand the social, economic and political implications of low literacy skills for people living with mental illness.
  • Dr. Shanti Fernando (PI); co-investigators: Drs. Alyson E. King, Allyson Eamer, Wendy Stanyon, UOIT. Collaborator: Ms. Wanda Huntington, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
  • two years (2013-2015)