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Letter from the Dean: New promotion and appointments effective July 1st


profile photos of Michael Saini, Micheal Shier, Harry Taylor and Notisha Massaquoi

Dear faculty, students, staff and alumni,

I am thrilled to congratulate Michael Saini on being promoted to the rank of Full Professor. An accomplished researcher, instructor, and mediator, Professor Saini holds the endowed Factor-Inwentash Chair in Law and Social Work and is Co-Director of the combined JD and MSW program with U of T’s Faculty of Law. His scholarship addresses the intersections of law and social work and the advancement of children and families’ wellbeing in systems governed by law. With numerous publications, including books, book chapters, government reports, systemic reviews, and peer-reviewed journal articles, Michael was awarded the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award in 2019.

Associate Professor Micheal Shier has been appointed MSW Program Director for the 2021-2022 academic year. As director, he will provide operational oversight for the MSW program, supplying important support to students, sessional lecturers, and faculty. An expert on social innovation and social entrepreneurship in the non-profit and voluntary sector, Micheal will also continue as Coordinator for the Human Services Management and Leadership field of study.

Harry Taylor has joined FIFSW as an Assistant Professor with his two-year post-doctoral fellowship now completed at Duke University. Harry’s research addresses the prevalence, risk factors, and associative health outcomes of social isolation and loneliness among older Black American adults — an important research agenda with significant implications for risk assessments, intervention programs, and policies to mitigate the adverse health effects of isolation and loneliness.

Notisha Massaquoi has been appointed Assistant Professor in Health Education and Promotion with the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC). Notisha holds a graduate level appointment at FIFSW, which will allow her to teach and have our students benefit from her wealth of practice, policy, and research knowledge.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our FIFSW colleagues, each of whom bring incredible talents, skills and expertise to our already exceptional community.


Dexter Voisin