Meet our Staff

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Andréanne Martel

National Program Director

I am committed to Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goal) because working in collaboration is the only way to face current challenges including climate change. I also support Goal 5 (Gender Equality) because it’s through empowerment and access to decision making that marginalized people will shift the balance of power. 

Prior to joining the Spur Change team, I was the lead of the Next Generation: Collaboration for Development program, a joint initiative between the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) aiming to foster better collaboration between practitioners and academics in the Canadian global development sector. My background is in research and M&E. I held a Research Award position in the Policy and Evaluation Division at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and used to be the coordinator of a research centre on international development at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM). Since 2010, I have also evaluated several major post-earthquake projects and programs implemented in Haiti by NGOs and international organizations. I hold a Master’s degree in Political Science from UQAM.

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Marie-Catherine Thouin

Global Citizenship National Program Coordinator

I am committed to SDG 4 – Quality Education and SDG 5 – Gender Equality. I believe that providing a quality education to young people is key to developing a democratic society. A quality education helps youth, women, marginalized groups and people in general, become more aware of their rights, be more inclined to claim them and  become more confident in their leadership abilities.

Educating girls and women helps build stronger families and communities and contributes to their economic growth.

Providing girls with an education has important economic impacts that can help achieve both SDG 1 – No poverty and SDG 8 – Reduced inequalities. By investing in education for girls, it is possible to help families who live in poverty send their girls to school, increasing their future job prospects and growing their economic outcomes, which can end vicious circles of poverty.

When girls attend school, there is a better chance to achieve SDG 3 – Health and well-being. When girls go to school, they are better informed about health issues. In a (post) pandemic era, it will be important for girls and women to be informed of the risks related to health to make the best decisions for their family and community.

Prior to taking the role of Spur Change’s Learning Coordinator, I was an Education Specialist at Equitas for a project on gender equality in Haïti. I am also a trained ESL teacher and I have taught for a few years both in Quebec and abroad.

 

Needless to say, that for me education is not only essential, but it’s fun! 

Kim Turcotte

Communications and Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

I am committed to Goals 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action) because challenging our patterns of consumption and addressing climate change are crucial to build a more sustainable and fairer world. As global citizens, we all have responsibilities towards each other and the planet as we’re all interdependent and to make a positive global impact I strongly believe it starts with individual engagement.

In the past years, I’ve been delighted to contribute to the development and implementation of projects for renewable energy technology and social justice, here in Canada and in South America. I’ve also been involved in welcoming refugee and immigrant families as a volunteer with the Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens (Sherbrooke, Qc). My role within the Spur Change team is to coordinate the communications and oversee the execution of the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. 

I have a Master’s degree in International Development Management and a BA in Communications & Marketing.  I’m a nature lover – you’ll most likely find me there camping, trail running, mountain biking, in the middle of a yoga session or drinking a cup of (fair trade) coffee!

Madalyn Nielsen

Learning and Events Coordinator

I am committed to SDG 2 – Zero Hunger and SDG 5 – Gender Equality. The right to sustainable and healthy food sources is a basic need that unites us all. It is important to work collaboratively towards solutions that ensure this while empowering farmers of diverse backgrounds and identities through food sovereignty approaches. I am also passionate about SDG 5 – Gender Equality. It is imperative that people of all gender identities have equitable access to opportunities free from discrimination. People of all genders should be fully seen, heard, and respected.

As Learning and Events Coordinator for the Spur Change Program, I work to coordinate effective capacity building training activities for SMOs across Canada, and to organize the Spur National Conference. Prior to joining the Spur Change team, I have actively been involved with the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) as a board member and volunteer. I have also worked for two international development projects in Ethiopia and in India, focusing on agricultural development and training for students and staff at agricultural colleges in rural areas. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree and a Certificate in International Rural Development from Dalhousie University – Faculty of Agriculture, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my pets (and animals in general), gardening, and exploring my home province of Nova Scotia!

Nicolás Peña

Learning Content Coordinator

I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). There is no doubt that cities will become hubs of collective solidarity and creativity. We need to ensure that we make cities and communities as inclusive and equitable, including quality education and lifelong learning opportunities. As an adult educator and community engagement practitioner, I am part of the Spur Change
Program, responsible to design capacity-building opportunities for organizations and educators.

Prior to joining ACGC, I worked closely with non-profit organizations to develop community-based programs in inter-generational learning, food security, social innovation and social transformation. Using a participatory-based approach, I work collaboratively with stakeholders to tackle complex challenges and create more healthy, equitable and sustainable communities. Similarly, I am also a board member at Singa Quebec, a citizen-led organization that works in intercultural mediation with refugees and immigrants in Québec. In my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors by exploring new climbing and hiking areas, always interested in nature’s teachings.

John Kunicki

Project Officer

I am committed to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). Ensuring just wages, fair labour practices, and opportunities inclusive of gender identity strengthens collective voice and unites communities for further sustainable change. In the same way, I also am committed to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goal) as I believe meaningful change and development can only occur through cooperation and collective engagement.

As a Project Officer with Spur Change, my role entails a few different responsibilities: project support, financial administration, communications and the like. Essentially, I’m here to help out wherever I can. I have a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature and English from the University of Alberta with a Certificate in Translation Studies. All that being said, I look forward to working with the Spur team and our partners in promoting global citizenship and sustainable development.

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