The School of Administrative Studies welcomed six new faculty members this fall: Sophia Kusyk, Poland Lai, Daniel Richards, Tameka Samuels-Jones, Jennifer Spinney, and Akolisa Ufodike.
"LA&PS is extremely excited to welcome this year's new faculty members as we continue to renew and grow our faculty complement," said J.J. McMurtry, dean of LA&PS. "These individuals bring diverse experiences and expertise. They showcase an unwavering commitment to teaching – whether it takes place in person or remotely – and they continuously set examples with world-class research."
Sophia Kusyk teaches and coordinates the Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) course. She passionate about inspiring organizational excellence through ethical leadership and her current research is situated at the intersection between ethical decision-making and CSR. Her PhD from ESADE Business School is specialized in organizational ethics and behaviour and she holds an HBA (with honours) from the Richard Ivey School of Business. She has published in academic journals and her research has won runner-up for best paper in the AOM SIM division (2017). Her teaching experience includes IESE Business School where as Assistant Professor she acquired a global mindset as the institutional liaison and audit report manager of the United Nations PRME and the Beyond Grey Pinstripes report. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, she worked as a Medic in the 1st Hussars Canadian Reserves, as a U.S.A. Market Manager for Ivey Publishing and in California as Assistant Executive Director for Brother Benno ́s non-profit organization. In addition to joining the York University faculty, she is also a Curriculum Developed Expert Consultant for universities in leadership, organizational ethics and behaviour for asynchronous and synchronous blended and on-line instruction due to her in-house executive training experience (PepsiCo, Pfizer, etc.) at CorpU and other leading international universities.
Poland Lai received her PhD in law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She received her bachelor of commerce (concentration in management science and minor in mathematics) from McGill, her master of arts (political economy) from Carleton, and her master of laws from Osgoode. Her interdisciplinary dissertation deals with the regulation and governance of long-term care homes in Ontario. She has presented her findings at legal and non-legal conferences. Part of her doctoral research will be published as a book chapter in Kate Aubrecht, Christine Kelly and Carla Rice, eds. The Aging-Disability Nexus (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020). Her doctoral research was supported by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and other awards. Lai’s research and teaching interests include various regulation and governance topics, such as the rise of the regulatory state, compliance and enforcement, and regulation inside government. Lai is no stranger to LA&PS. She was a tutorial leader for two courses (Criminology and Equity Studies) during her doctoral studies. Prior to joining the Department of Administrative Studies, she was a senior policy advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Finance. As a seasoned policy professional, Lai has extensive experience with the Ontario government. She joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
Daniel Richards is from New Zealand but has taught at universities in England, Hong Kong and Australia. He joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
He teaches personal finance and financial planning. His research is based in two academic disciplines: behavioural finance and personal financial planning. For behavioural finance, his research focuses on decision-making bias exhibited by stock market investors and the use of emotions in financial decision making. For financial planning, his research interests include women working in financial planning, fiduciary duty in financial planning and the professionalization of financial planners.
Tameka Samuels-Jones teaches corporate social responsibility and sustainability with an emphasis on developing country contexts. Her research interests include environmental crime and regulatory law. Specifically, she conducts research on the role of legal pluralism on regulatory compliance among legally autonomous groups in emerging economies. Samuels-Jones has received numerous awards for her work in this area including the American Society of Criminology’s Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship award. Samuels-Jones’ work has been published in various academic journals and presented at international conferences. She joins the faculty as an assistant professor.
Jennifer Spinney studies the various connections between groups of people living and working at the intersections of environment and society, particularly extreme weather hazards and disasters, such as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and heat, in both Canada and the United States. She uses mostly qualitative research methods, such as interviewing and observations, to understand how people make meaning, assess and communicate risk, how they engage in protective action decision-making, as well as the variability of their social recovery following hazard and disaster experiences. In her work, she draws heavily on scholarly contributions from the fields of linguistic and sociocultural anthropology, and anthropology of disaster, risk and policy literatures. Past field investigations include: the Joplin, Missouri EF5 tornado, a flood event in the Canadian arctic and numerous projects working with government agencies to assist with enhancements to their forecast and warning operations, communication practices and product development. With funding from the Northern Tornadoes Project, she is currently examining social recovery following the Angus and Dunrobin (Ontario) tornado disasters, for which there is opportunity for interested undergraduate and graduate students to participate. She is eager to pursue research collaborations with colleagues, and private and public emergency management practitioners. To these ends, she welcomes inquiries by email. She's also a proud three-time Boston marathon finisher (2015, 2016, 2017) and in her spare time you will most surely find her jogging, travelling with her family or kicking a soccer ball with her son in the yard.
Akolisa Ufodike is an assistant professor in the School of Administrative Studies where he will be teaching auditing. His research interests include accountability, public-private partnerships and actor networks. He is an ad hoc reviewer for JBE, BAFA, AAA and CAAA, and a CPA case examiner and brand ambassador. Ufodike is a licensed public practitioner by CPA Alberta. Prior to academia, he spent 25 years as a finance executive with professional experience spanning telecoms, banking, oil and gas, utilities and consumer packaged goods with organizations including Bell Canada and Molson Coors. He was co-founder and CFO for Jaguar Wireless, a participant in the 2007 Canadian wireless spectrum auction. His last role in industry was as CFO and COO of Corridor Communications Inc. (CCI Wireless), one of Canada’s largest wireless ISP’s. A graduate of Haskayne’s PhD and Cornell’s MBA program, Ufodike is a Canadian FCPA, a US CPA, a UK FCCA and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He's also a Certified Director ICD.D by the Institute of Corporate Directors. Ufodike sits on the Provincial Audit Committee for Alberta and the board of the Canada Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. He previously sat on the board of the Loyalist Group, a TSX Listed Company where he was also chair of the Audit Committee. He has served on the board of several charities, including Peel Literacy Guild where he was treasurer and the Black Business and Professional Association. Ufodike has also previously served as treasurer for Scouts Canada (Chinook Council) and thereafter as the chairman.