PhD Student Association

About the PhD Student Association

What We Do

The PhD Student Association (PhDSA) represents and advocates for doctoral students’ interests at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. The PhDSA promoting links between social work doctoral students and the Faculty. The PhDSA is the formal link to the Graduate Student Union (GSU). A part of this communication includes attending GSU Council meetings, where the PhDSA voices FIFSW PhD student concerns, such as, funding, academic and equity issues. We also provide support and service to individual students. If you have any questions or concerns about life as a doctoral student, the PhDSA is here to support you! In person, by phone, or by e-mail – whatever suits you best. If we cannot help you directly, we will guide you to someone who can.

How We Are Organized

PhDSA Co-Chairs volunteer for the position and are responsible to students in the faculty. The PhDSA is funded by the GSU, based on the number of students in the faculty. The PhDSA Co-Chairs have ultimate decision-making authority and charge over PhDSA general affairs, but encourage student involvement.

Get Involved!

Becoming involved in the PhDSA is important. It helps to ensure we, as students, have a voice in departmental affairs and a vehicle through which we can express our concerns and opinions. Additionally, supporting local and international community through outreach is an important goal for the PhDSA. Social advocacy and other work carried out by the PhDSA cannot happen without the involvement of its members – of which we are grateful for any and all help and support! If you want to become more active within the FIFSW community, drop by the PhDSA office during office hours, or send us an email.

Contact Information

(416) 978-5021 |
Office Hours: Room 421
Tuesday 11:00am-4:00pm
or email for an appointment


PhDSA Council Members

Ahmad Asey, Co-Chair

Bio sketch coming soon…

Phil Baiden, Co-Chair

Philip Baiden is a third year PhD student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Western University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Sociology and Philosophy from the University of Ghana. Prior to coming to the University of Toronto, Philip worked as a Research Coordinator/Data Analyst at Child and Parent Resource Institute in London, Ontario. For his PhD, Philip is interested in examining the determinants of non-suicidal self-injury among children involved in the Child Welfare System (CWS) in Ontario. Philip has over 50 local, provincial, national, and international academic conference presentations, and has published a book chapter and several peer-reviewed journal articles appearing in high ranking academic journals. Philip was one of the participants at the joint 2014 European Association for Research on Adolescence – Society for Research on Adolescence (EARA – SRA) Summer School in Utrecht, The Netherlands, funded by Jacobs Foundation. He currently holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral, awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. He is also a Royal Bank of Canada Graduate Fellow in Applied Social Work Research at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

Natasha Brien, Co-Chair

Natasha Brien is a third year PhD student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She holds a specialized diploma and certificate from feminist, women studies programs, taken at George Brown College and York University. Natasha is a Junior Fellow with the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, and she holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Award. Natasha’s research interests involve intersections between social work, law and criminology; impacts of the criminal justice/correctional systems on families supporting someone in conflict with the law; and stigma and resilience amongst criminalized identities. Her approach to research includes feminist, de-colonizing, critical theories and interpretive methodologies – community-based, participatory action, and arts-based research. Natasha is currently working as a Royal Bank Fellow, a research coordinator, an MSW faculty-field liasion, and a course instructor at the University of Toronto. As well, Natasha maintains a lead role in the organization, Supporting Ourselves while Supporting Our Loved Ones (, which she founded in 2011.

Lauren McInroy, Co-Chair

Bio sketch coming soon…

Sarah Tarshis, Co-Chair

Bio sketch coming soon…

PhDSA Constitution

Please click here for a PDF document.