Biographies of Members

    Biographies of Members

    Biographies of Members (PDF)

    Jenn Cianca ’01, co-chair


    Jenn Cianca

    Jenn Cianca is cross-appointed as associate professor in the Department of Classical Studies and the Liberal Arts Programme at Bishop’s University.

    She holds degrees from Bishop’s University (BA, Classics and Music) and from the University of Toronto (MA, PhD, Religion).

    Her current work focuses on pilgrimage (ancient & contemporary), and on space & place, including the relationship between spatiality & social justice.

    Since returning to Bishop’s as a professor, she has been involved in a number of projects as member or advisor, including the Gender Equity Committee (formerly the Status of Women Committee), the Bishop’s University Pride Alliance, and the Bishop’s University Singers. Jenn looks forward to rolling up her sleeves and doing the work with this new and promising task force.

    Sufia Langevin, co-chair


    Sufia Langevin

    Sufia is a second-year student from Montreal pursuing a double major in secondary education and social studies. Since her first year, she has been involved in many different ways, from being the President of the Bishop’s Debate Society to the Stadelman Fellowship for Student Success. She served this year as the SRC’s Equity Representative, co-chairing the EDI Ad-Hoc Consultation Committee from which the SRC EDI Committee was created, which she also co-chairs. She was recently elected as the incoming Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the SRC.

    In all of her involvements, Sufia maintains a deep commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, seeking to both equip students with skills they need to succeed, and eliminate barriers to that success. As a Muslim woman of colour in a predominantly white institution, Sufia is driven to create more open, inclusive, and accessible spaces for all.

    Dorcas Adebogun

    Dorcas Adebogun

    Dorcas Adebogun is currently pursuing a BSc in Biology in the Health Sciences concentration and a minor in French. She came to Bishop’s University in 2018 as an international student from Nigeria.

    With the help of mentors, she has seamlessly adapted to a different education system and culture, which has taught her the importance of mentorship. She actively seeks out opportunities to mentor younger students and help them succeed. This desire to mentor others led her to volunteer with Grandes Frères Grandes Soeurs de L’Estrie, where she acts as a mentor and role model to high school students. Since arriving in Quebec, she has been very active in community service, volunteering in over four different hospitals in Montreal and Sherbrooke and has been heavily immersed in the Quebec Culture.

    She is an aspiring Neonatologist committed to serving as an example to young people of colour interested in STEM fields. Having participated in the Bishop’s Forum in 2020, she joined the Youth Advisory Committee this year. She is excited to ensure that future participants have a wonderful experience like she did in the previous year. As a visible minority, she is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the vision of having a more inclusive environment for staff and students at Bishop’s University.

    Nicholas Andrews

    Nicholas Andrews

    Nicholas Andrews is the Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources of Bishop’s University. He has worked at BU since August 2012.

    Before coming to Bishop’s, Nicholas was employed for five years at Royal Roads University in Victoria B.C. as Manager, Total Rewards, including a time as Acting Director, Human Resources. Prior to entering the Post-Secondary sector, he held Human Resources roles at Bank of America, Home Depot, MCI (WorldCom) and Bridgestone – Firestone.

    Nicholas holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from the University of Ottawa, a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management from Humber College and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Dallas.

    During his working career, he has gained the CHRL designation, along with the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Global Remuneration Professional (GRP) designation from WorldatWork.

    Nicholas spends his free time on soccer fields with his two daughters.

    Layachi Bentabet

    Layachi Bentabet

    Dr. Layachi Bentabet is a Professor in the Computer Science Department. He joined Bishop’s University in 2003 after graduating with a Ph.D. from l’Université de Sherbrooke.

    He was born in Algeria where he finished his undergraduate studies. Layachi then moved to France for two years before coming to Sherbrooke in 2000.

    His research activities are in the fields of Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence. Besides his academic duties, he is involved in matters related to work conditions. He has assumed different roles for the APBU such as pension, Collective Agreement negotiations and grievance officer.

    He is also a part-time farmer and a happy father of three young girls.

    Abel Bosum

    Abel Bosum, Grand Chief, The Grand Council of the Crees

    Abel Bosum is the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees of Northern Quebec. He has worked for the Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec since 1977 in various capacities. From 1984 to 1998, he served as the Chief of his home nation the Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation.

    During his time as chief, he was able to negotiate a multimillion-dollar deal with the governments of Quebec and Canada to build a new village for the nation following the peoples’ seventh forcible relocation due to mining and forestry activity in Northern Quebec. In 1998, he became the head negotiator of the Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec.

    Since 2015, Abel Bosum has also served as President of the Aanischaaukamikw Foundation and of the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute.

    Theresa Gagnon


    Theresa Gagnon

    Theresa Gagnon is Manager of Counselling, Career and Student Accessibility Services and Professional Social Worker.

    Theresa is a passionate professional who has dedicated her 20-year career to social justice and anti-oppressive practice, empowering and supporting the rights of the individuals with whom she works. Equity, diversity and inclusion have been the foundation of her work. She works tirelessly at maintaining a safe and welcoming spaces of equal power, respect and active engagement of historically marginalized, underrepresented and oppressed peoples wherever she goes.

    Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Ex-officio

    Michael Goldbloom, C.M., is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University.

    He holds a B.A. in Modern European History and Literature from Harvard University (1974) and a Bachelor of Civil Law (1978) and a Bachelor of Common Law (1979) from McGill University.

    He worked as an editorial writer at The Gazette in Montreal (1980) before beginning his professional career in 1981 as a labour lawyer at Martineau Walker (now Fasken Martineau). In 1991, Mr. Goldbloom became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal YMCA. From 1994 to 2001 he served as Publisher of The Gazette. In 2002, he was a Visiting Scholar at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. In 2003 Mr. Goldbloom was named Deputy Publisher of the Toronto Star, and in 2004 became its Publisher. In 2007 he was appointed Vice-Principal (Public Affairs) and Senior Fellow in Media and Public Policy at McGill University. In August of 2008 he became the 18th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University. He was reappointed for a second five-year term in July 2013 and in August 2018 reappointed for a third term.

    In December 2013, Mr. Goldbloom was appointed to the Order of Canada for establishing several transformative civic organizations in Montreal and for his dedication to building bridges between the city’s English- and French-speaking communities.

    Yolande James

    Yolande James

    Yolande James graduated from the Université de Montréal with a degree in Civil Law in 2000, and from Queen’s University with a degree in Common Law in 2003. She was admitted to the Barreau du Québec in 2004. She articled in the Quebec Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and worked as a policy advisor in the Minister’s office in 2004.

    Yolande James was elected to the National Assembly in the riding of Nelligan in a by-election held on September 20th 2004, and was re-elected in 2007, 2008 and 2012. She decided not to stand in 2014. As an MNA, she served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, from March 2005 to February 2007, as Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, from April 2007 to August 2010, and as Minister responsible for Families, from May 2010 to September 2012. From September 2012 to April 2013 she served as Assistant Parliamentary leader for the Official Opposition.

    Since leaving politics, Yolande James has provided political analysis on both Radio-Canada and CBC television. She is a regular on Radio Canada’s daily political commentary program “Les EX”. She participates in events related to the Maison de la famille project of WIAIH (West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped), offering services for those with intellectual disabilities or autism.

    She served as a member of the Board of the Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse from 2005 to 2007, and while at the Université de Montréal, she was a member of the organising committee for Black History Month.

    Yolande James has the Director of the highly successful Bishop’s Forum since 2019.

    Sabrina-Binta Koné


    Sabrina Kone

    Sabrina-Binta Koné is currently going into her fifth and final year here at BU. Her background is Italian and Ivorian which she takes great pride in because her parents went through a number of challenges to prove that two different cultures can come together and still have love for each other. At BU, Sabrina has been involved in a variety of extra curriculars such as varsity soccer, varsity basketball, taken part in business case competitions, been a member of CASA (Caribbean and African Association), a member of BUCS (BU commerce society) and volunteered for a variety of initiatives as well.

    ‘I am so proud to go to BU and if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be here for a fifth year. That being said I know more has to be done for minorities within our community and I hope to be part of that change’.

    Denise Lauzière


    Denise Lauzière

    Denise Lauzière joined Bishop’s University in 2013. She is Chief of Staff, Office of the Principal & Vice-Chancellor.

    In 2003, after working for the Canadian Education Association in Toronto for 13 years as Director of Professional Development and Assistant Executive Director, Denise came to Sherbrooke to take on the position of Executive Director of the Eastern Townships Alzheimer Society.

    In 2005, she fulfilled a professional objective by attending law school. Denise graduated from l’Université de Sherbrooke in 2008 and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 2010. She practiced in immigration law for a couple of years.

    Denise is a member since 2012 and a vice-president (2014) of the Ethics Committee for Research on Humans of the Research Centre of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS.

    In 2018, she completed a Certificate in public administration at l’École nationale d’administration publique.

    Stine Linden-Andersen


    Stine Linden-Andersen

    Stine Linden-Andersen is the Dean of Student Affairs at Bishop’s University.

    She joined the department of Psychology in 2013. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Concordia University and teaches courses related to the clinical area of psychology such as: couples therapy, family therapy, sexuality and cultural psychology.

    Her research interests are within social and clinical psychology; more specifically her doctoral research examined how friends tend to become more similar over time with regards to prosociality and depressive symptoms. Dr. Linden-Andersen’s proposed research projects include a more specific examination of transmission of psychopathology through friendships and possible prevention strategies.

    Monika Mitchell ’00


    Monika Mitchell

    Monika Mitchell has been an Administrative Assistant in the Buildings and Grounds Department at Bishop’s University for the past three years.

    She is actively involved in the community as a member of the Governing Board and PPO of Alexander Galt Regional High School, as well as a member of the Governing Board of the Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre.

    Prior to this, Monika was also on the Governing Board of Gris Estrie and Panda Daycare. Most recently, Monika has joined the student-led Sexual Culture Committee on campus.

    As a BU student, she was the President of the International Students’ Association, an International Ambassador and a member of the Bishop’s University/Champlain Regional College Refugee Student Sponsorship Committee.

    Always having been a strong ally and advocate for minorities, Monika is passionate about righting social injustice and making the world a better place for her seven children.

    Chérif Nicolas


    Chérif Nicolas

    Chérif Nicolas, a 43-year-old from Montreal, was named the 10th head coach in the modern era of the Bishop’s Gaiters football team on Dec. 21, 2016.

    After obtaining his Law degree from the Université de Montréal, he practiced law for two of Montreal’s most prestigious firms. However, in 2010 he decided to redirect his career towards his passion: Football. As such, he became the Head Football Coach of the Spartiates du CEGEP du Vieux Montreal. Coach Nicolas also hold a B.A. Law from Carleton University.

    Prior to leading the Spartiates as their head coach, he was their defensive coordinator for a season. Nicolas also coached at College Notre Dame in various capacities and spent a year on the Montreal Carabins sideline earlier in his career.

    He also has experience coaching the team Quebec and team Canada U-18 Selections and is a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Master Learning Facilitator for both competition coaching and Safe Contact clinics.

    Sonia Patenaude ’06

    Sonia Patenaude

    Sonia currently holds the position of Coordinator with Accommodation and Event Services at Bishop’s University. Upon obtaining her BA in Music (voice) in 2006, she was hired as the Audience Development and Communications Officer for Centennial Theatre.

    Her work as Audience Development and Communications Officer has brought her to work closely with students from all artistic disciplines at Bishop’s creating synergies to promote events and enhance collaboration between artists in training. Through audience development, Sonia explored links to be made between creativity and various programs of studies at Bishop’s to bring a democratic approach to artistic endeavors – making connection between art and sociology, psychology, organic science.

    Over the years, Sonia has been involved as a volunteer in her community in various roles and fields : President and Administrator – PPO Ayer’s Cliff Elementary School, Arts and Culture correspondent on The Friday Drive (CJMQ), Yoga guide – Women’s Basketball at Champlain College, President and Administrator – Compagnie de danse Axile. She is currently pursuing a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Certification.

    Junior Sirivar ’99

    Junior Sirivar

    Junior Sirivar graduated from Bishop’s with a B.A. (Honours) in Human Geography in 1999. He earned an LLB from Dalhousie University in 2002 and then articled with McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto where he has now practiced law for the past 14 years. Mr. Sirivar is a Partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s litigation group and Co-Chair of the firm’s International Arbitration Group.

    Mr. Sirivar is ranked in the current edition of Chambers Canada as Leading Lawyer in the area of Dispute Resolution: Arbitration. Mr. Sirivar is also listed as a “Leader in Your Field” in the current Edition of Lexpert’s Canadian Legal Directory and is noted as “Repeatedly Recommended” for corporate commercial litigation matters. Mr. Sirivar has also been consistently ranked as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Canada. He is a recipient of a 2010 Lexpert Zenith Award honouring him for his pro bono representation of the victims of a Program in Romania on whose behalf an order declaring violations of numerous articles and protocols of the European Convention on Human Rights was obtained from the European Court of Human Rights.

    Mr. Sirivar joined the Bishop’s Council in 2020.

    Heather Thomson

    Heather Thomson

    Reverend Heather Thomson served as campus minister for Bishop’s University and Champlain Regional College for 27 years until her retirement in 2017.

    Reverend Thomson was ordained Priest in the Anglican Church in 1979. She presently serves as President of the Bibliothèque Lennoxville Library and as a member of the Board of Directors of Mental Health Estrie.

    While on campus Reverend Thomson played an active role in Bishop’s University/Champlain Regional College Refugee Student Sponsorship Committee.

    Tova White ’92

    Tova White

    Tova is currently the SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Giant Tiger. She has held HR leadership roles at Bank of Montreal, Indigo Books and Music and Coca-Cola.

    Tova holds degrees from Bishop’s University, London School of Economics and Political Sciences and an advanced Leadership designation from Harvard University. She is a Chartered Director of the Directors College/DeGroote School of Business.

    A proud alumnus, Tova is a Governor of Bishop’s University and a member of the Governance and Ethics Committee, Human Resources Committee and the Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She is also a medical records volunteer with Operation Smile and participated in a medical mission to the Philippines where 102 cleft surgeries were performed.

    Mikael Benedict Worku

    Mikael Benedict Worku

    Mikael is a first-year student majoring in International Studies at Bishop’s.

    He was born and raised in Canada and is the child of Ethiopian immigrants. Although his time at BU is limited, Mikael has been very involved with the Varsity Men’s Basketball as he pursues his athletic endeavors with the team.

    “I’m super excited to be a part of an organization that can make long-lasting change in the Bishop’s community. I believe my position as a member in the BIPOC community can help the EDI address the needs of that community effectively.”

    We wish to thank past members for their contribution to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

    • Darren Bardati
    • Nikki Baribeau
    • Genève Juneau (She/her)
    • Heather Lawford (She/her)
    • Naomie Mazzola
    • Sarah Maria Onyango
    • David Webster (September to December 2020)
    • Kailey Tye Karahkwinehtha Nicholas