International Experts Panel


The primary objective of the International Experts Panel is to assist the Centre of Excellence in achieving its goal, namely to ensure a future where children and adolescents with special needs can combine the riches of life in northern and rural communities with the very best services Canada has to offer.

The Panel plays an important role in the Centre’s research activities. They function in an advisory capacity with a Panel member’s role including:

  • Providing independent assessment for the Centre of the reliability and validity of select reports, information, products and research.
  • Linking Centre research initiatives with complimentary initiatives worldwide.
  • Facilitating the establishment of an international research community in special needs of children living in rural and remote regions.


The International Experts Panel consists of distinguished researchers from around the world who have established reputations and expertise in special needs.

Members of the International Experts Panel

John W. Berry, PhD:

Dr. Berry is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University. He received his B.A. from Sir George Williams University and his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Berry’s research is in the general area of cross-cultural psychology, with his current research focusing on acculturation and cognition. His second area of research is social psychology and explores the various aspects of intercultural relations. Dr. Berry is author of several books and articles. He has also written several textbooks including: Volumes 1,2 and 3 of the Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology; Cross-cultural psychology: Research and applications; and Human behaviour in global perspective. Dr. Berry took early retirement from Queen’s in 1999 and currently is involved with his research and teaching short-courses in cross-cultural and intercultural psychology.

Colin Boylan, PhD:

Dr. Boylan is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Charles Sturt University in Australia. His principle teaching areas are in Science Education, Rural Education and Research Methods. Dr. Boylan trained as a secondary science teacher at the University of Sydney. He was appointed to teaching science in high schools in New South Wales prior to taking up his appointment at Charles Sturt University.

He received his Bachelor of Education (Hons) from Deakin University, Master of Education from Sydney University and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1991 from James Cook University. He has been the recipient of numerous research grants and awards in rural education and science education. Dr. Boylan has authored many national and international journal articles, research reports and books. Most recently he co-authored the book entitled Distance Teaching and Learning Using Satellite Technology Systems. Dr. Boylan is an elected Board member of the Rural Social Research Centre of Excellence located at Charles Sturt University in Australia.

He was foundation editor for the journal Education in Rural Australia and held this position for 10 years. Currently, he is on the editorial review board for these journals: Education in Rural Australia; Rural Society; and the Australia Science Teachers’ Journal.

Eddie Braggett, PhD:

Professor Eddie Braggett is Emeritus Professor of Education in Australia. He holds the degrees BA, MA, MEd, and PhD. Dr. Bragget was also a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Education. After initial teaching experience in secondary and elementary schools, he occupied university positions at the University of Newcastle and Charles Sturt University and was a Visiting Professor at the University of Florida. He has held the positions of Dean of the School of Education, Professor of Education, and Coordinator of Graduate Research Studies in Education.  Professor Braggett has written 10 books relating to giftedness, curriculum, and the middle years of schooling, has contributed chapters in major international texts, and has published over 150 papers. He is on the editorial committee of international journals, is well known as a keynote speaker in the Asian-Pacific area, and has acted as an advisor to Ministries and Departments of Education in all Australian states and New Zealand. From 1997 to 2001 he was the President of the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented and was granted an Eminent Australian Award by the Association in 1998. Currently he is the Chairman of the Government School Education Council of the Australian Capital Territory.

Dante Cicchetti, PhD:

Dr. Cicchetti is the Shirley Cox Kearns Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester and the Director of the Mt. Hope Family Center located at the University of Rochester. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota in 1977. Dr. Cicchetti has received numerous honors for his contributions to Research in Clinical Child Psychology and Abuse of Children. Dr. Cicchetti is internationally known for his work in normal development, psychopathology, and child maltreatment. His publications include: How a child builds a brain: Insights from normality and psychopathology which will appear in the book entitled Child Psychology in Retrospect and Prospect. Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, Volume 35. In 2000, his article on Developmental processes in maltreated children was published in the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Vol. 46: Child Maltreatment. Professor Cicchetti’s major research interests lie in the formulation of an integrative developmental theory that can account for both normal and abnormal forms of ontogenesis. He is also interested in the application of developmental principles to the assessment, intervention and treatment of high risk children and their families.

Maurice Feldman, PhD:

Dr. Maurice Feldman is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Queen’s University and Chief Psychologist at Ongwanada Centre in Kingston, Ontario. He previously directed the Parent Education Program (PEP) in Toronto. PEP is one of the first programs designed exclusively for parents with intellectual disabilities and their children and the PEP model is being used in many programs around the world. He holds several major research grants related to early detection, intervention and resilience in developmental delay and autism. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and books, has written several training manuals, and has given numerous invited addresses and workshops. He is on the Board of Editors of three scientific journals. He has served as an expert witness and consults to community support and government agencies. His work has received media attention in Canada and the U.S. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, Chair of the International Developmental Committee for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Visiting Scholar in Australia and the UK, and a recipient of an Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Maureen Forestell:

Maureen Forestell is a criminal lawyer who has practiced in Toronto for the last fifteen years. Her practice has included prosecuting at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and arguing cases at all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a former director of the Criminal Lawyers Association and was one of the counsel who represented the Criminal Lawyers Association at the Commission on Proceedings Involving Guy Paul Morin. She is currently counsel to the Ontario Review Board and an Alternate Chairperson of that Board and the Nunavut Review Board.           The Review Boards are expert tribunals that hold hearings and make dispositions with respect to persons found by the courts to be unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. Ms. Forestell sits on the Forensic Mental Health Expert Advisory Panel in Ontario and on the Toronto Forensic Mental Health Committee. She has presented at continuing education programs for psychiatrists and lawyers on the topic of forensic mental health.

Judith S. Kleinfeld, PhD:

Linda McDonald, PhD:

Dr. Linda McDonald is Professor and Chair in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta.  Dr. McDonald has conducted research, primarily in the field of early intervention, for more than 20 years.  She is presently Alberta Site Leader and co-investigator in the Interprovincial Longitudinal Child and Family Resilience Project.  This is a multi-site research project of resilience in families of young children with or at-risk for developmental disabilities.  Dr. McDonald has consulted with and offered undergraduate and graduate courses in special education to teachers in northern communities (Inuvik, Aklavik, Arctic Red River, Iqualuit).

Joseph G. Nasser, PhD:

Karen Salmon, PhD:

Dr. Salmon is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She received her Masters in Psychology and Diploma in Clinical Psychology from the University of Canterbury, and her Ph.D. from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Dr. Salmon has worked extensively as a clinical psychologist, with particular interests in child clinical and child forensic psychology, and she continues to retain an active interest in clinical practice in these areas. Dr. Salmon has received a number of research grants to fund her work in the area of children’s memory. Her first area of interest focuses on identifying developmentally appropriate means of enhancing children’s reports of past experiences in clinical and forensic contexts. Her second investigates children’s response to and memory for traumatic events. Dr. Salmon has written and co-written papers and book chapters in both areas, including, most recently, a review Post-traumatic stress disorder in children: The influence of developmental factors.

Colin Tatz, PhD:

Dr. Colin Tatz completed his BA (Law), BA (Hons) and MA (Hons) in political science at the University of Natal in South Africa. He was awarded his PhD from the Australian National University, in 1964 for work on Aboriginal administration in the Northern Territory and Queensland. At Monash University, Melbourne he founded and directed the Aboriginal [now Indigenous Studies] Research Centre. From 1971 to 1982 he was Foundation Professor of Politics at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW. In 1982 he took the chair of politics at Macquarie University, Sydney, from which he retired in 1999. He is now Adjunct Professor of Politics at Macquarie and Director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the Shalom Institute, University of New South Wales. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Natal University.

Dickie Yu, PhD:

Dr. Dickie Yu is Director of Research at the St. Amant Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Manitoba. St. Amant Centre provides a range of residential and interdisciplinary services and programs for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Dr. Yu’s research interests include early intervention, autism spectrum disorders, behavioural assessment and training, and choice making.

Centre of Excellence for Children &
Adolescents with Special Needs:

Call:  (807) 343-8219  Fax:  (807) 346-7991 

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