Biographies

The Director
Ariella Pahlke is a documentary and video artist, curator, and educator. With a background in philosophy, Ariella has spent the past 14 years creating documentaries and independent shorts, collaborating on multi-media performance pieces, curating, and teaching. Her film and video work has been shown on television, at festivals and in galleries throughout Canada, the U.S., in Norway, and in India. In addition to the Equity and Technology documentary, her present projects include a performance video and documentary about burning rubber as an unrecognized form of self-expression and a three-year interdisciplinary collaborative project about movement and architecture.

The Producer
Barbara Cottrell is a writer, researcher and educator with many years experience teaching adults and children. Over the last twenty years she has conducted research and education projects with both community-based organizations and government and is the author of the award winning Guide for Girls! written for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women (with donalee Moulton) and When Teens Abuse Their Parents published by Fernwood Books (2004).

Cottrell has also worked with academics. She is an adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, and co-authored (with Thiessen) Learning with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) (2004), a report for the Office of Learning Technology, HRDSC Canada, and Middle-Childhood and Adolescence Developmental Outcomes: What We Know and What We Don’t Know (2005) for the Knowledge and Research Directorate, Social Development Canada.

The Project Outreach Worker
Angeline Gillis is a law student at Dalhousie University. She is a Mi’kmaq woman from Eskasoni First Nation, Nova Scotia. Angie has worked with aboriginal youth for 10 years. She coached aboriginal girls in basketball for four years and took team Nova Scotia to the 2000 North American Indigenous Games. In the last three years Angie has acted as a recruiter for the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Initiative, returning to various Mi’kmaq communities to encourage students to pursue their dreams in all fields of study and speaking to their concerns as aboriginal students. Angie developed and coordinated a summer camp program at the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre in Halifax, where she had the opportunity to learn about the lifestyles and struggles of off-reserve aboriginal youth. Presently, Angie is working a summer term with the Union of Nova Scotia Indians. This job entails working closely with all First Nations Chiefs of Nova Scotia and updating them on the laws that govern their people.

The Principal Researchers
Dianne Looker is the principal investigator of the Equity and Technology Project, a Social Sciences Humanities Research Grant. Her research focuses on issues relating to gender and other equity issues, most recently Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In her past research she has focused on equity issues based on gender, class and rural versus urban location. In her more recent work she has expanded this focus to include issues relating to race and aboriginal status. Looker’s research has focused on the broader issues in the shift to a more information based society, particularly issues relating to participation (or non-participation) in post-secondary education, as well as a more focused emphasis on equity in access and facility with ICT. In addition, much of her research has focused on youth and their transitions to adulthood, taking a life course perspective on the paths they pursue.

Victor Thiessen is a sociologist with expertise in school-to-work transitions and family dynamics. His current investigations focus on the various pathways along which young Canadians navigate their way from schooling to employment. The concern is to understand how initial structural differences in youth’s familial background translate into divergent educational and subsequent occupational/labour market outcomes. The different trajectories of men and women are examined to unravel the complex interplay between societal opportunity and constraint structures, individual differences in abilities, and human agency. Throughout, the role of social policy in these connections is examined. Thiessen is also investigating the prospects and limits of youth’s access to, and use of, information and communication technology for reducing inequities emanating from traditional structural barriers, such as gender, immigrant status, and social class background.

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