Joanna has led community-based research and knowledge mobilization activities for over 25 years. She has been a primary applicant in over 100 research projects that focus on a range od social issues, including community mental health, disabilities, immigration, family support and faith and justice. Many of these studies involved translating research into new interventions. She also trains community and academic audiences about community-based research approach locally and internationally. Joanna sees research as a catalyst for social innovation, for public policy improvements, and for promoting knowledge democracy, in which local knowledge is valued in building local solutions. Driven by her passion and dedication, she promotes community-based research as a tool for equity and justice within societies.
Since 1996, Joanna has been the Executive Director of the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR), overseeing collectively-led research projects and managing research staff and students. She is an adjunct associate professor at both University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses. Joanna won the WLU Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005. She has authored over 60 academic articles and provided CBR training to various scholars and communities, including those in Ontario, Newfoundland, and Indonesia.
Nationally, Joanna provides leadership to Community Based Research Canada (CBRC), currently board co-chair and treasurer, and to Community-University Expositions (C2UExpo), a Canadian-led international conference designed to showcase exemplars in community-university partnerships. Also, she is a founding member of Community Research Ethics Office (CREO) that conduct research ethical reviews outside of academia. Internationally, Joanna is an active member of the Global Alliance on Community Based Research (GACER), participating in the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) and the European Living Knowledge Network (LK).
Outside of work, Joanna loves the outdoors. She is a mountaineer (the Himalayas five times), a skier, sailor, and hiker. Joanna and her family love to travel to diverse places around the world: Cambodia, Peru, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Cuba, Europe, and Algonquin Park being among her places for adventure. But home in Waterloo is where they are most content, where they play tennis and basketball, and enjoy foreign films at the Princess Cinema.