Community Members

NamePositionEmailTelephone
Ronda Appell, Project Manager, Clinical Learning and Interprofessional Practice Unit
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Ronda Appell, first Coordinator of the Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies Initiative then the first Coordinator of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, is currently the Project Manager for the Clinical Learning and Interprofessional Practice Unit at the Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network.
Helen Bzdel, BA, MSW, RSW, DVATI
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Helen has a BA in Sociology (U of S, 1992), BSW (U of R, 1994), MSW (U of R, 2012) and DVATI (Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, 2016). The focus of her MSW was on outsider research and the experience of identifying herself and exploring privilege in conjunction to a group of Indigenous youth who were doing a Digital Storytelling project. She also did some informal research with the youth on how they identify themselves and their values through music and song lyrics.

Helen has been employed at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC) since 1998 and has extensive experience providing clinical services and facilitating groups (including the ABC and Wellspring programs). She has supervised numerous Social Work students from the U of R and one MSW student from McGill University. Helen has also had her own private practice in mental health counselling since 2009 and the majority of her clients are Indigenous. Helen is also a Certified Laughter Leader – Expert Level Practitioner and has been sharing therapeutic laughter programs since 2007. She has conducted some informal research on the benefits of laughter with people who have acquired a brain injury.

Helen completed her postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Art Therapy through the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI) in the fall of 2016. She has been offering a Creative Healing/Art Therapy program at RPC since June 2015 as part of her practicum and has also added art therapy to her private practice in the community. For her final project at VATI, Helen wrote a qualitative paper about her personal experience/observations of offering an Art Therapy program in a forensic setting and providing literature that grounds her findings. This final project is not for publication but Helen plans to publish and provide presentations on this topic in the future.


Dr. Myles Ferguson, Ph.D.
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For his MA thesis, Dr. Ferguson evaluated a family violence program offered to offenders by Correctional Service Canada. For his PhD thesis, Dr. Ferguson examined the impact of perceived prejudice on the motivation and academic functioning of Metis university students and its contribution to the education-achievement gap. Dr. Ferguson has been actively involved in program evaluation contracts for initiatives involving offenders and the First Nations and Metis communities.
Dr. Deqiang Gu , Ph.D.
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Dr. Deqiang Gu graduated with his Ph.D. degree from University of Saskatchewan.  He started to work on the Research Unit at the Regional Psychiatric Centre, Correctional Service Canada, since 1993 as a Research Statistician and was appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan, since 2009. Dr. Gu’s research focuses on Correctional program evaluation and Forensic mental health research.  Over the years, Dr. Gu co-authored over 40 conference presentations and publications in the area of risk assessment, treatment, psychopathy, and on criminal recidivism among mentally disordered offenders.


Teresa Hill, MEd, RPsych (Provisional), Associate Psychologist
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Teresa works half time as an Associate Psychologist with the Regional Psychiatric Center and half time as an Elementary Resource Teacher with the Saskatoon Public School Division in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She has Undergraduate Degrees in Kinesiology (U of S, 2009) and Education (U of S, 2010) as well as a Masters of Education in School Psychology and Counselling (U of S, 2014). Teresa’s thesis research entailed a qualitative study on the role of physical activity in the resilience of female adolescents. Specifically, she studied how physical activity can help youth cope with adversity using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) for her research method.

Currently, Teresa continues to pursue her passion in her research area through facilitating a group of students called the “DreamTeam” at Fairhaven School. It is with great pride that she has collaborated with a group of approximately 30 students over the past 2 ½ years to incorporate hip hop dance, traditional First Nations hoop dancing and storytelling, spoken word, visual art, nutrition workshops and physical activity into school wide events and performances, sending powerful messages about leadership, perseverance, and teamwork. Notably, they have created several flash mobs that they performed at events such as PotashCorp Children’s Festival of Saskatoon.

Over the last 10 years, Teresa has also managed to train as a competitive Pole Vaulter with Riversdale Track Club as a way to stay balanced and healthy herself. Having the opportunities to work both in corrections and within the school system has given Teresa an interesting employment combination, a great appreciation for the risk-need-responsivity model, and high motivation to be part of preventative measures aimed at promoting resiliency in addition to rehabilitation once incarcerated.
Ian McPhail, MA
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Ian is currently a clinical psychology graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan. His research focuses mainly on pedophilia and sexual offending against children. His research has been published in a variety of clinical psychology and forensic psychology journals. Before attending the UofS, he worked in the research unit of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services conducting evaluations of correctional and probation programs and initiatives and provided training to probation and parole officers.

In addition, he held clinical positions in the law and mental health program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and at Kingston Penitentiary in Kingston. Prior to this, he attained a Masters degree in psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Dr. Terry Nicholaichuk, Ph.D.
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Terry Nicholaichuk received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1987. He has worked as a psychologist, researcher and administrator in Canadian Corrections. His publications and research interests are in the areas of violence and sex offender assessment, sex offender treatment outcome and dynamic predictors of risk. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Saskatchewan.


Dr. Nancy Poon, Ph.D.
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Nancy is the proud mother of 10 year old Olivia, and teaches for both the Department of Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. She received her Ph.D. in 2008 and has had a long term interest in the area of justice, with particular interest in the effects of justice on those who are most marginalised. She is a Board member of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) and is currently the President of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan.


Terri Simon, MA, Director, Research and Excellence in Data Innovation
Dr. Roberta Sinclair, Ph.D., Program Research and Development, Program Research and Development unit of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children/Behavioural Science Branch, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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Roberta Sinclair, Ph.D., manages the Program Research and Development unit of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children/Behavioural Science Branch, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Roberta is also an adjunct professor in the Sociology and Anthropology department and the Institute for Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University.  Dr. Sinclair has presented her research at various conferences, workshops and law enforcement training sessions nationally and internationally, and has participated on several crime and youth, and violence against women panels.
Janelle Statz
Dr. Keira Stockdale, Ph.D.
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Keira C. Stockdale obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Saskatchewan and is a registered doctoral psychologist with the Saskatchewan College of Psychologists. Her doctoral research involved a psychometric evaluation of a violence risk assessment and treatment planning tool for youth - the Violence Risk Scale-Youth Version. Keira's clinical experiences have included the provision of assessment and treatment services to violent and high risk adult and young offenders in both institutional and community settings. She is currently employed with the Saskatoon Police Service and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Scharie Tavcer, Ph.D.
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Dr. D. Scharie Tavcer joined Mount Royal University in 2004 and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies. She teaches Introduction to Criminology; Introduction to the Criminal Justice System; Crisis Intervention Strategies; Corrections; Qualitative Research Methods; and Women and the Criminal Justice System.

Dr. Tavcer completed a doctorate in Sociology, major in Criminology in 2007 with the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law and the Albert-Ludwigs Universität both in Freiburg, Germany; a Masters in European Criminology in 2001 from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology in 1997 from the University of Alberta; and a Diploma of Law Enforcement & Security from Grant MacEwan University.

Prior to a career in academia, Dr. Tavcer worked for the Correctional Services of Canada in various capacities with offenders and their families. Dr. Tavcer worked as a parole officer, in a half-way house, conducting community assessments for offenders seeking conditional release, and a program therapist in a psychiatric prison. 

Today, her academic endeavours revolve around social justice issues particular to violence against women, women offenders and victims of crime. From a community-based perspective and feminist lens, her research projects center on the law, sentencing & corrections, mental illness & addictions, poverty-related offending, prostitution & sex trafficking, sexual violence, & relationship violence, vicarious trauma & burnout.

Other exciting endeavours are the community service learning field school for CRJS students to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and a Symposium on Occupational Stress Injury.


Dr. John Weekes, Ph.D.
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Dr. John R. Weekes is trained in both experimental and clinical psychology and holds a Ph.D. from Ohio University.  He has been an Adjunct Research Professor of Forensic Psychology and Addictions in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University since 1994; he teaches courses in addictions and supervises the degree research of undergraduate and graduate students.  John has been involved in the field of criminal justice for over 3 decades and has specialized in forensic-related addictions issues since the early 1990’s.  He has consulted widely and has provided evidence-based strategic advice and guidance on drug strategy issues to numerous governments and non-governmental agencies around the globe.  Notably, he serves as a continuing member of the UK’s National Offender Management Service Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel and he is a long-standing scientific advisor to the Delaware Valley chapter of Volunteers of America.  John also serves on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.  John has published extensively on diverse issues including substance misuse, forensic psychology, clinical psychopathology, motivation, evidence-informed assessment and treatment, contemporary clinical practice, harm reduction, and treatment outcome research.