Past Associates and Fellows

Our Past Cohorts of Associates and Fellows

2022-2023

Associates

Diane Crocker

Diane Crocker is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at Saint Mary’s University. Her work explores the use of law to address social problems, particularly those that disproportionately affect women. She is currently a member of the Canadian Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative and iMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus. She regularly advises government and community agencies on projects related to gender-based violence. In the coming years, Dr. Crocker is leading the evaluation of Nova Scotia’s Standing Together initiative which will be developing a provincial domestic violence action plan for the province. She is also working on other projects that work to develop approaches to evaluation that align with feminist and relational principles. 

Fania E. Davis

Fania E. Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, writer, restorative justice practitioner, and educator with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. Coming of age in Birmingham, Alabama during the social ferment of the civil rights era, the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing crystallized within Fania a passionate commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence, economic justice and anti-apartheid movements. Studying with African indigenous healers catalyzed Fania’s search for a healing justice, ultimately leading her to serve as Founding Director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY) and Co-Founding Board Member of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ). Her numerous honors include the Ubuntu award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for excellence in Youth Restorative Justice, the Black Feminist Shapeshifters and Waymakers’ Award, the Tikkun (Repair the World) award, the Ella Baker Jo Baker Human Rights Award, and the Ebony POWER 100 award. The Los Angeles Times named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century. Fania, who resides in Oakland, California, writes and speaks internationally on restorative justice, racial justice, truth processes and indigeneity. Among her publications is the Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Justice, and U.S. Social Transformation.

Alexa Dodge

Alexa Dodge is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Saint Mary’s  University. Her current research considers restorative responses to digital forms of sexual violence, harassment, and bullying. Alexa’s research and social justice work is informed by her interdisciplinary background in feminist theory, socio-legal studies, critical criminology, and digital criminology. She has published on topics such as: the digital distribution of images of sexual violence, criminal and restorative responses to nonconsensual intimate image distribution, the shortcomings of criminal justice responses to sexual violence, and digital technology’s impact on crime, law, and justice.

Jake MacIsaac

Jake MacIsaac is Assistant Director, Security Services at Dalhousie University where he focuses on promoting restorative approaches within campus security and with other campus stakeholders. Previously, Jake worked at Nova Scotia’s largest restorative justice agency, overseeing case work staff and managing 700+ youth justice referrals from police, the prosecution service and the courts annually. Jake was part of a three-person facilitation team overseeing the restorative justice process at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry in 2015 addressing climate and culture within the faculty.

Melissa MacKay

Melissa MacKay has extensive experience working in higher education administration, specializing in a restorative approach on issues of inclusion, equity, sexualized violence and curriculum development. Melissa believes in, and is dedicated to, the transformative potential of a restorative approach. Melissa’s leadership has contributed to a restorative shift on campuses in residence systems and student conduct, in thinking critically about the conditions necessary to make campuses safer, and in creating more human-centred responses to incidents of sexualized violence and discrimination. Melissa has worked in community here in Nova Scotia and nationally facilitating restorative processes and building capacity through education and knowledge sharing that showcases the difference a principled restorative approach can make for individuals and systems.

Fellows

Donna Coker is Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law (Miami, Florida). She is a longtime advocate and researcher in the field of preventing and responding to intimate partner violence (IPV) and opposing racial and gender subordination in the criminal legal system. Donna began her career as a social worker in victim shelters and community-based programs. Her experiences assisting survivors convinced her that the increased reliance on the criminal legal system response to IPV that occurred in the 1980s-90s did not serve the needs of many survivors, particularly women of color and others most vulnerable to state control. Her interest in finding a different pathway led her to study the work of Navajo Peacemaking Courts. The empirical study that resulted has influenced work in the fields of restorative justice and IPV. Her more recent research has examined restorative responses to campus sexual assault and to building school-based support for girls of color. She served as an advisory board member for A National Portrait of Restorative Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence, a survey of U.S. programmes. She is the co-creator of a public education project, Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence, consisting of interviews with leading activists and scholars regarding the need to refocus anti-violence activism to addressing the structural inequalities that maintain violence.  In 2015, she was a co-investigator for Responses from the Field, a U.S. survey of service providers regarding their experiences with policing, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She served as an expert consultant and advisory board member for a project of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Ending Mass Incarceration, Centralising Racial Justice, and Developing Alternatives. Donna holds an M.S.W. from the University of Arkansas and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Daniel Del Gobo

Daniel Del Gobbo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. His research interests fall at the intersections of civil procedure and dispute resolution, human rights and equality law, restorative justice, legal ethics, and gender and sexuality. A former litigator, Daniel’s research borrows concepts from feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, law and emotions, and law and humanities and integrates them into procedural law debates, troubling the field’s foundations and reimagining the law’s role in facilitating access to justice and social justice for historically marginalized groups. His book, Feminist Frontlines: Campus Sexual Violence and Conflict Resolution, is under contract with the University of Toronto Press.

Before joining Windsor Law, Daniel was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill University Faculty of Law from 2021 to 2023. He earned his S.J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2021, where he was a Trudeau Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and CBA Viscount Bennett Fellow. He was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law in 2019.

 Previously, Daniel earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2015 and J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011. A committed teacher and mentor, Daniel served as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School from 2015 to 2019, where he received two awards for teaching excellence and promoting equity in the classroom.

Jacob Glover

Jacob Glover moved to Halifax since 2009. He has background in ancient philosophy, contemporary continental philosophy, and law. His interest in restorative justice took root in Prof. Jennifer Llewellyn’s seminars when he began thinking about the philosophical overlap between relationality, restorative justice, ancient rhetoric, and network theory. His graduate work focuses on taking a restorative approach to sport in partnership with Sport Nova Scotia and is funded by MITACS and Sport Nova Scotia. 

Emma Halpern

Emma Halpern is the inaugural Graduate Fellow at the Restorative Lab. Emma is a lawyer, activist and advocate who has worked extensively on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized people in Nova Scotia.  She is also the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia an organization that is devoted to improving the lives of women, trans and non- binary people through comprehensive housing supports, innovative programming initiatives, advocacy, justice system reform and through fostering and developing personal empowerment. Prior to this role Emma was the Equity and Access Officer at the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She was also a consultant on the provincial government restorative approaches in schools initiative and has conducted extensive research and project development around building a restorative approach to working with children and youth.  In 2011, Emma was named one of Chatelaine Magazine’s Women of the Year in the category of “Everyday Hero” for her work on this project. Emma is currently working on her master of laws which focuses on the transformative opportunities born out of the pandemic’s impact on criminal justice in Nova Scotia. In particular, her research interests are in decarceration and relational justice.

Nermin Karim is an alumni of Allard Law at UBC where she graduated in 2015 with a Social Justice specialization. In her first few years, she practiced Poverty Law and Family Law, working especially with women leaving abusive relationships. She was a member of the Jane Doe Network and had the privilege of being mentored by a few fierce warriors in the ‘violence-against-women’ sector . For the past 5 years, Nermin has been the Restorative Response Program Manager at the North Shore Restorative Justice Society in Vancouver, BC. With the learning from her early years working with women victims and survivors, Nermin found great satisfaction in successfully resolving over 30 gender-based violence diversions, including sexual assaults, during her tenure as a Restorative Justice Facilitator. 

Allison (Ali) Kooijman is a PhD Student in the School of Nursing at UBC Okanagan where she studies the contributions that a Restorative Approach stands to make in the healthcare context. Ali experienced harm as a patient which ended her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. This experience, both as a former healthcare provider and patient, provides her with a unique lens that she brings to this space. Ali believes that transformation and reimagining of our healthcare system requires a collaborative effort and identifying a principled approach to serve as a foundation for doing so. Ali lives on the lands of the Syilx peoples in beautiful Coldstream, British Columbia.

Krista Smith has an abiding interest in how organizations create psychologically safe and supportive communities and workplaces. Krista practiced labour and employment law for a decade before founding Root & Branch Workplace Conflict Resolutions, which focuses on helping organizations prevent, navigate, and recover from moments of conflict and crisis. Before returning to Schulich School of Law to complete an LLM, Krista served as a research and policy lawyer for the Mass Casualty Commission. Krista’s research interests focus on how to reconcile individual agency and self-interest with the best interests of the collective using restorative approaches. 

2021-2022

Associates

Diane Crocker

Diane Crocker is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at Saint Mary’s University. Her work explores the use of law to address social problems, particularly those that disproportionately affect women. She is currently a member of the Canadian Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative and iMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus. She regularly advises government and community agencies on projects related to gender-based violence. In the coming years, Dr. Crocker is leading the evaluation of Nova Scotia’s Standing Together initiative which will be developing a provincial domestic violence action plan for the province. She is also working on other projects that work to develop approaches to evaluation that align with feminist and relational principles. 

Fania E. Davis

Fania E. Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, writer, restorative justice practitioner, and educator with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. Coming of age in Birmingham, Alabama during the social ferment of the civil rights era, the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing crystallized within Fania a passionate commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence, economic justice and anti-apartheid movements. Studying with African indigenous healers catalyzed Fania’s search for a healing justice, ultimately leading her to serve as Founding Director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY) and Co-Founding Board Member of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ). Her numerous honors include the Ubuntu award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for excellence in Youth Restorative Justice, the Black Feminist Shapeshifters and Waymakers’ Award, the Tikkun (Repair the World) award, the Ella Baker Jo Baker Human Rights Award, and the Ebony POWER 100 award. The Los Angeles Times named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century. Fania, who resides in Oakland, California, writes and speaks internationally on restorative justice, racial justice, truth processes and indigeneity. Among her publications is the Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Justice, and U.S. Social Transformation.

Alexa Dodge

Alexa Dodge is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Saint Mary’s  University. Her current research considers restorative responses to digital forms of sexual violence, harassment, and bullying. Alexa’s research and social justice work is informed by her interdisciplinary background in feminist theory, socio-legal studies, critical criminology, and digital criminology. She has published on topics such as: the digital distribution of images of sexual violence, criminal and restorative responses to nonconsensual intimate image distribution, the shortcomings of criminal justice responses to sexual violence, and digital technology’s impact on crime, law, and justice.

Jake MacIsaac

Jake MacIsaac is Assistant Director, Security Services at Dalhousie University where he focuses on promoting restorative approaches within campus security and with other campus stakeholders. Previously, Jake worked at Nova Scotia’s largest restorative justice agency, overseeing case work staff and managing 700+ youth justice referrals from police, the prosecution service and the courts annually. Jake was part of a three-person facilitation team overseeing the restorative justice process at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry in 2015 addressing climate and culture within the faculty.

Melissa MacKay

Melissa MacKay has extensive experience working in higher education administration, specializing in a restorative approach on issues of inclusion, equity, sexualized violence and curriculum development. Melissa believes in, and is dedicated to, the transformative potential of a restorative approach. Melissa’s leadership has contributed to a restorative shift on campuses in residence systems and student conduct, in thinking critically about the conditions necessary to make campuses safer, and in creating more human-centred responses to incidents of sexualized violence and discrimination. Melissa has worked in community here in Nova Scotia and nationally facilitating restorative processes and building capacity through education and knowledge sharing that showcases the difference a principled restorative approach can make for individuals and systems.

Nancy Ross

Nancy Ross is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University. Following twenty years of work in addiction and mental health settings she completed a PhD in Peace Studies.  Her research aims to explore ways communities can better support people who have experienced violence in their relationships by incorporating a peacebuilding lens. Her work has examined the effectiveness of pro-arrest policies as a response to domestic violence within the Criminal Justice System, the experiences of women in Domestic Violence Courts and explores ways in which healthcare can become culturally responsive to reduce gender-based violence in the African Nova Scotian Community.  She also researches the impact of childhood adversity and trauma experiences and ways in which communities can promote resilience and prevention. 

Fellows

Kai Butterfield, OCT, MT is pursuing their PhD in the Social Justice Education department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Their work as a research assistant on the Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation project (DOHR) informs their interest in the critical examination of restorative justice and its role in education. Kai’s current research focuses on the ways that restorative justice has been co-opted by the Ontario education system and weaponized against Black and Indigenous students. They contend that there is an immediate need to address settler colonialism, white supremacy, and carcerality as structural issues that drive the appropriation and misuse of restorative justice in education.

Daniel Del Gobo

Daniel Del Gobbo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. His research interests fall at the intersections of civil procedure and dispute resolution, human rights and equality law, restorative justice, legal ethics, and gender and sexuality. A former litigator, Daniel’s research borrows concepts from feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, law and emotions, and law and humanities and integrates them into procedural law debates, troubling the field’s foundations and reimagining the law’s role in facilitating access to justice and social justice for historically marginalized groups. His book, Feminist Frontlines: Campus Sexual Violence and Conflict Resolution, is under contract with the University of Toronto Press.

Before joining Windsor Law, Daniel was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill University Faculty of Law from 2021 to 2023. He earned his S.J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2021, where he was a Trudeau Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and CBA Viscount Bennett Fellow. He was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law in 2019.

 Previously, Daniel earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2015 and J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011. A committed teacher and mentor, Daniel served as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School from 2015 to 2019, where he received two awards for teaching excellence and promoting equity in the classroom.

Emma Halpern

Emma Halpern is the inaugural Graduate Fellow at the Restorative Lab. Emma is a lawyer, activist and advocate who has worked extensively on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized people in Nova Scotia.  She is also the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia an organization that is devoted to improving the lives of women, trans and non- binary people through comprehensive housing supports, innovative programming initiatives, advocacy, justice system reform and through fostering and developing personal empowerment. Prior to this role Emma was the Equity and Access Officer at the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She was also a consultant on the provincial government restorative approaches in schools initiative and has conducted extensive research and project development around building a restorative approach to working with children and youth.  In 2011, Emma was named one of Chatelaine Magazine’s Women of the Year in the category of “Everyday Hero” for her work on this project. Emma is currently working on her master of laws which focuses on the transformative opportunities born out of the pandemic’s impact on criminal justice in Nova Scotia. In particular, her research interests are in decarceration and relational justice.

Dr. Holly Northam OAM

Dr. Holly Northam OAM is the inaugural Visiting Fellow at the Restorative Lab, (Fall 2021) from the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra, Australia. Holly has a strong social justice focus underpinned by her professional identity as a nurse and midwife. Her PhD study, ’Hope for a peaceful death and organ donation’ identified healthcare communication failures led to preventable death and suffering.Holly’s research and teaching are framed using restorative practice and hope through two synergistic research arms. The first, experiences of organ donation and transplantation. The second, First Nation’s healthcare experiences. Holly is part of the ACT Restorative Community and the International Learning Community on a Restorative Approach.