About our speakers:

Sanford Hare


 Sanford Hare is a third-year neuroscience and biochemistry student at Dalhousie. Originating from Halifax, he is passionate about music, healthcare, and supporting community organizations that value well-being and positive social change. Sanford's journey at Dalhousie started a year later than he had originally planned, as a result of his experience with a life- altering medical condition when he was eighteen. Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease, he experienced several months of paralysis and underwent extensive physiotherapy to regain his movement and learn to walk again.  Going from being a competitive track runner in high school to losing the majority of his motor function, he has had to relearn skills that most people take for granted. Because of this he was provided with a perspective that is not afforded to many, one of extreme physical disability which strongly contrasts with the physical privilege that he has since regained. Though it certainly wasn't his original plan, this event provided him with perspectives that substantially broadened his appreciation for the opportunities he has since encountered.  


Dr. Adrienne Weeks


 Adrienne Weeks is a Neurosurgeon and Basic Scientist at Dalhousie University. Her clinical interests are in Neurooncology and Neurovascular. She has slowly made her way from coast to coast in Canada. She began her training at University of British Columbia medical school. From there she moved east to Toronto, where she obtained her PhD, while completing her Neurosurgery Residency. She completed her coastal trek by taking a consultant position in Halifax. Her laboratory at Dalhousie focuses on discovering novel therapeutic strategies for malignant brain cancer.  In her spare time she does what most other Canadian Moms of four children do: cooks, cleans and wakes up early to sit in a freezing arena and watch her children partake in the Great Canadian Pastime of Hockey. Yes, her most stressful occupation is that of a Hockey Mom.  


Loran Morrison (center)

  Loran Morrison is a medical student at Dalhousie University. Originally from Truro, Nova Scotia, Loran moved to Halifax in 2006 to pursue post-secondary education in math and physics at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. With a passion for community and education, she soon found herself at the North End Memorial Library providing free math and science tutoring to local youth. While remaining committed to her own academic endeavors, Morrison continued to accept students for tutoring. Soon enough, she was tutoring ten students a week. During a conversation with her close friend, Chloe Zinck, an idea emerged that held potential beyond their greatest expectations. They decided to ask for some help with this increasing demand for academic support. Branching out to classmates and friends, they developed a team of eight volunteers and ten students and they called it SHINE – supporting, helping, and inspiring through non-profit education. This team first emerged in the winter of 2013. Now, SHINE supports approximately 55 students with the aid of 50 volunteers. Loran believes in the strength of community, the power of education, and the passion of volunteerism.  Loran holds a BSc in physics, a BSc in microbiology/immunology, and is an MD candidate for the Dalhousie medical class of 2019. The accomplishments of SHINE Halifax have been featured in the Chronical Herald, CBC news, and the Halifax Metro. SHINE funding, though primarily supported by Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management, has recently been reinforced by the Dalhousie Medical Euphoria performance. Despite many accomplishments, Morrison attests that she has never had an investment of time and energy in her life more valuable than that of SHINE Halifax.    

About Us

Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard


 Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard is a highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social change. She has worked in mental health at the provincial level, in rural community practice at the municipal level, and, since 1990, as a professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work, where she also served as director for a decade. In 2016, she was appointed Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University and she is the first African Nova Scotian to hold a tenure track position at Dalhousie University and to be promoted to full professor. Dr. Thomas Bernard has worked with provincial organizations to bring diversity to the political processes in Nova Scotia and teach community members about Canada’s legislative process and citizen engagement. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) which helps  
address the needs of marginalized citizens, especially those of African descent. As a former member of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and as its past Chair, was instrumental in the development of advice to ministers regarding frameworks for gender violence prevention and health equity. At the national level, she has served as a member of the National Coalition of Advisory Councils on the Status of Women. She has served as an expert witness in human rights cases and has presented at many local, national and international forums. Dr. Thomas Bernard has received many honours for her work and community leadership, notably the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada.  


Dr. Srini Sampalli


 Srini Sampalli is a Professor and 3M National Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, and brings with him more than 20 years of teaching and research experience in computer science, with specialization in cyber security and cyber technologies. How do hackers launch cyber attacks? What are the best defense mechanisms against cyber intrusions? What are the top emerging cyber threats and what can be done to mitigate the risks? These are some of the research challenges and questions that he loves to investigate. Srini has led numerous industry-driven research projects funded by Canadian federal government grants and research organizations. He currently supervises 7 Ph.D. and 13 Masters students in his MYTech (EMerging WIreless Technologies) Lab and has supervised over 100 graduate students in his career.  Deeply passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge, Srini’s primary joy is in inspiring and motivating students with his enthusiastic teaching. Srini has received the Dalhousie Faculty of Science Teaching Excellence award, the Dalhousie Alumni Association Teaching award, and the Association of Atlantic Universities' Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2000, the “Srini Teaching Award”, a teaching award in his name, was instituted by the students within the Faculty of Computer Science, and in 2005, he received the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Canada's most prestigious teaching acknowledgement. In 2016, he received the Outstanding Educator Award by IEEE Canadian Atlantic Section. Since September 2016, he holds the honorary position of the Vice President (Canada), of the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows (IFNTF).  


About Us

Susan Fitzgerald


 Susan Fitzgerald is an architect, interior designer and part-time Assistant Professor of Practice at Dalhousie University. She is a partner at Fowler Bauld & Mitchell Ltd. and the director of the design-build-research practice, Susan Fitzgerald Architecture. She completed her education at University College London (BSc), Kwantlen Polytechnic University (BID) and Dalhousie University (BEDS, M.Arch) where she was awarded the RAIC medal. She has been the recipient of many accolades, including the Wood Design Award; the EnRoute Air Canada Award in partnership with the RAIC; the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome; and numerous Lieutenant Governors’ Awards including the Medal of Excellence. She was recently nominated for an Architizer A+ award and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, IIT College of Architecture for the best work in the Americas. Susan was made a fellow of the RAIC in 2015. Her Productive Urban Landscapes: Cities Cultivation Context exhibition was part of a lecture series in Canada, Cuba and the UK, focusing on the spatial relationship between cities and food, both in cultivation and consumption. Her design work has been widely exhibited and published throughout the world in the: New York Times, Globe & Mail, Canadian Architect, Azure, Wallpaper, Monocle Magazine, CBC, and many other journals, magazines, newspapers, radio programs, and blogs. Originally from the UK Susan lives in Halifax, Canada with her partner and two children.  


Tareq Hadhad

  Tareq Hadhad, the founder of Peace by Chocolate, moved to Canada in December of 2015 as a Syrian newcomer. He studied medicine at Damascus University and proceeded to join the medical relief efforts for the Syrian refugees with UNHCR and WHO through a local organisation when he arrived to Lebanon in 2013 as a refugee himself. Passionate about the peace and youth entrepreneurship, and just after arriving in Cananda, he and his family started their company “Peace by Chocolate” in Antigonish, NS, to sponsor peace building projects and to support the local economy by offering jobs. The company later turned into a phenomenon that inspired so many people around the world and was mentioned at the UN summit in September 2016 in New York as a remarkable example for the contributions of the newcomers in their communities.  Tareq is also studying to become a physician in Canada. He is getting a Bachelor of Science degree at St. FX University, and then he will head back to medicine. Grateful for the encouragement and support from his new community, he is now more involved in public speaking, media campaigns, and interviews to support youth entrepreneurial skills, as well as linking the Syrian youth and helping the Syrian refugees all around the world.