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Faculty Profiles

 Photo of Dr. Jijian Voronka   Dr. Jijian Voronka
    Disability Studies Coordinator
    Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
    Office: Room 232, 167 Ferry Street, Windsor, ON N9A 0C5
    Phone: 519-253-3000 ext. 6775


Degrees: Ph.D. Social Justice Education, OISE at the University of Toronto, M.A. Sociology & Equity Studies in Education, OISE at the University of Toronto, B.A. (Hon.) University of Toronto

Scholarly Interests: Critical Disability & Mad Studies, Social Movement Activism & Disability Justice Education, Housing Precarity, Homelessness, Housing First, Disability Leadership, Inclusion, Participation, Resistance, Interdisciplinary Critical Theory, Disability Identity & Culture, Poststructural Qualitative Methods & Methodologies

Dr. JIJIAN VORONKA is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor. She teaches primarily for their Disability Studies program, where she uses Critical Disability Studies perspectives to elucidate confluences of power that affect disabled people in everyday, community, and institutional life. Her current research explores disability inclusion strategies in health and social service systems; peer/survivor research methodologies in practice; sites of confinement in the age of deinstitutionalization; and teaching and learning through disability justice frameworks. Her work prioritizes consumer/survivor knowledge production through service user-led, arts-informed, community-based, and narrative inquiry. Dr. Voronka has been a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Rutgers University – Newark, taught at Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies, and is a consulting editor for Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

Recent Courses Taught

  • DISB 2010: Disability Studies: Theory & Culture
  • DISB 3020: Historical Approaches to People with Disabilities
  • DISB 4010: Community Approaches, Advocacy & Empowerment
  • DISB 4020: Service Delivery Systems & Independent Living


Shelagh TowsonDr. Shelagh Towson
Disability Studies and Psychology
Academic Advisor

Office: 174 Chrysler Hall South (Department of Psychology)
Phone: 519-253-3000 x 2223

Degrees: Ph.D. in Social Psychology, University of Waterloo, MA in Social Psychology, University of Wisconsin, BA in Psychology and Sociology, York University

Scholarly Interests: Ethnic minority issues, Prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, First Nations, multicultural, and continuing education, Attitudes, values and behaviour.

Dr. Shelagh Towson is interested in intercultural psychology, specifically the way in which people from different ethnocultural groups living in a multicultural society negotiate their interactions with each other and the way in which the defining values of a multicultural society develop. Within this framework, Dr. Towson is particularly interested in issues of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination and concepts of retributive and restorative justice.


       Dr. Dana Levin
       Associate Professor
       School of Social Work and Disabilities Studies
       Office:  Room 216, 167 Ferry Street, Windsor, ON N9A 0C5
       Phone: 519-253-3000 ext. 4907


Degrees: PhD, University of Michigan, MSW, University of Michigan, MA (Educational Theatre), New York University, BA, Rutgers University
Scholarly Interests/Areas of Expertise: Adolescent sexual health, Gender and sexual socialization in adolescents and emerging adults, including differences across cultures, School-based sex education and Arts-based interventions
Dr. Dana Levin is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Windsor. Dr. Levin has over 10 years experience working with community organizations, including agencies supporting individuals living with disabilities, HIV/AIDS service organizations, and youth programs. Her experiences include case management, health education, program evaluation, and using theatre as a tool to teach and explore social justice issues. Dr. Levin's Clinical experience also includes work with children, youth, and families, and she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Michigan.


 Dr. Merrick Pilling
 Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies
 Office: Room 250, Chrysler Hall South
 (Women's and Gender Studies Department)
 Phone: 519-253-3000 x 3114


Degrees: Ph.D. Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University; M.A. Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University; B.A. (Hon.) Conflict Resolution Studies, Women’s Studies, University of Winnipeg

Scholarly Interests: Disability and madness; trauma-informed care and two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (2SLGBTQ) people; critical approaches to violence and trauma; intersectional, anti-racist approaches to understanding gender and sexuality; Trans Studies; social justice education in healthcare and social services; community based research and qualitative methods

Dr. Pilling is an Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Windsor where he teaches courses on disability, race, sexuality, and gender. His work employs an intersectional, anti-racist lens that emphasizes the importance of lived experience, relevance to the communities being researched, and making changes to the systems that create marginalization. Previously, Dr. Pilling was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and taught at Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies. He has worked in research positions at a number of institutions including the Wellesley Institute, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and York University’s School of Social Work.

Dr. Pilling has two forthcoming books in the interdisciplinary field of Mad Studies.  Interrogating Psychiatric Narratives of Madness: Documented Lives is co-edited with Dr. Andrea Daley and explores cultural representations of race, gender, sexuality, and class in psychiatric inpatient charts. Queer and Trans Madness: Struggles for Social Justice is a monograph that explores the tensions and overlaps at the intersection of queer and trans madness.

Dr. Pilling has taught the following courses related to social justice and Disability Studies:

  • WGST 2990 Disability, Madness and Social Justice
  • WGST 2100 Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice
  • WGST 2200 Women, Race, and Social Justice


Contact Disability Studies

The University of Windsor
School of Social Work

167 Ferry Street
Second Floor, Room 205
Windsor, Ontario N9A 0C5

Phone: 519-253-3000, Ext. 3064
Fax: 519-973-7036