PhD Student, Department of Public Health Sciences
“You never want to do research on the community; you should always want to do research alongside and with a community.”
Jad Sinno introduces themself saying, “I grew up in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki.” They hope people will ask, where is that?, because then they can explain: these are the Indigenous names for Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Indigenous activists have called on us to use decolonized language,” they say. “I focus on the wellness of sexual and gender diverse individuals and when we do anti-oppressive-related research, we have to stand in solidarity and understand that the liberation of any single one of us can’t happen without the liberation of all of us.”
Newly arrived in Toronto from Dalhousie to work on their PhD at U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Sinno chose U of T because of its world-renowned, queer-informed research output and stellar faculty. “I’m interested in understanding how using online dating apps influences mental health for men who have sex with men,” they say.
Sinno plans to work with Toronto’s large and diverse queer community, in a continuation of their award-winning leadership work at home, from heading the youth Rotary club to sitting on the board of the Nova Scotia Public Research Interest Group. “I identify first and foremost as a community advocate,” they say. “You never want to do research on the community; you should always want to do research alongside and with a community.”
“I’m incredibly thankful to have been the recipient of this award,” says Sinno. “I would not have been able to pursue my education at the University of Toronto without it, and that’s positioned me to have resources that I might not otherwise be able to have, and to succeed as a scholar in queer health. Success in academia is an access issue, so thank you to Arthur and Sandra Irving for your ongoing commitment to creating opportunities and capacity.”