Our Team

Robyn Blackadar

President and CEO

info@policywise.com

780-944-8630

Appointed in 2012 as President and CEO, Robyn is responsible for strategic and operational...

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Appointed in 2012 as President and CEO, Robyn is responsible for strategic and operational leadership of PolicyWise for Children & Families. Robyn oversees the organization’s generation and mobilization of evidence for child and family well-being through a collaborative, cross-sector approach between government, academia, and the community. Robyn has over 25 years of experience in Alberta’s social and health system focusing on policy development and analysis, quality improvement, knowledge mobilization, and data system innovation. She provides advisory support to provincial initiatives such as Stronger, Safer Tomorrow, Valuing Mental Health Strategy, Alberta Nonprofit Network Data Strategy, and Building an Inclusive Education System. Robyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Business Administration, and an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Robyn enjoys spending time with family, playing music, and going for long walks on her acreage.

Kirsten Boda

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

587-390-4794

Kirsten conducts environmental scans, supports program planning and implementation, as well as...

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Kirsten conducts environmental scans, supports program planning and implementation, as well as engages stakeholders on a variety of projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioural Sciences, a combined degree of sociology and psychology, as well as a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Kirsten previously worked in frontline service delivery as a housing caseworker with individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This experience, paired with other volunteer roles in the nonprofit sector, led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, with a focus on social policy. Her areas of interest include mental health, trauma and resilience, and trauma-informed practice. She enjoys using a qualitative, mixed-method approach to engage various stakeholder groups in conversations around complex social issues that impact community well-being. She is interested in bridging the gap between policy and practice using evaluation and research. Kirsten enjoys reading, volunteering in the community, spending time with her many nieces and nephews, and trying out new restaurants.

Krystal Brass

Executive Assistant

info@policywise.com

780-944-8630

Krystal plays a key role at PolicyWise, reporting to the President & CEO and primarily...

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Krystal plays a key role at PolicyWise, reporting to the President & CEO and primarily supporting her needs. She is also responsible for supporting the scheduling and senior administrative needs of the senior leadership team, as well as supporting the full team’s general administration needs. Krystal holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. Her previous administration experience working with funeral homes and commercial real estate have helped her to develop a diverse range of skills. Krystal enjoys spending time with her family, hockey (especially the Winnipeg Jets), and teaching fitness classes in her spare time.

Kyla Brown

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

587-392-1666

Kyla supports the design and development of data collection strategies and stakeholder...

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Kyla supports the design and development of data collection strategies and stakeholder engagement, as well as conducting literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and drafting reports. Kyla holds a Master of Science in Community Health Science, specializing in Health Services Research. She also received her Bachelor of Health Science honours, majoring in Health and Society and specializing in Sociology. Her research experience includes conducting quantitative methods, such as logistic regression, log-binomial regression, and survival analysis, working with administrative data, systematic reviews, and qualitative methods, such as interviews, group facilitation, and focus groups. Her research interests include transitions of care, mental health and neuropsychiatric disorders, and quality improvement. Outside of work, she enjoys playing volleyball and spending time with family and friends.

Lisa Campbell

CFO and Director of Human Resources

info@policywise.com

780-944-8609

Lisa is primarily responsible for managing the organization’s finances,...

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Lisa is primarily responsible for managing the organization’s finances, including financial planning, management of financial risks, record-keeping, and financial reporting. In her dual role as Human Resources lead, Lisa also supervises and provides consultation to the management team on strategic staffing plans, compensation, benefits, training and development, budget, and labour relations. Lisa has been an accountant for 35 years. After receiving her CMA designation in 1992, she started her own company. During that time, Lisa was seconded by a number of not-for-profit organizations. She worked in the engineering sector for 9 years and was a Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance. Lisa is driven by challenge and always seeking ways to improve an organization’s processes and strategic planning for the future. She is a mother of five and grandmother of three. Lisa and her husband love to travel, sail, and scuba dive.

Xinjie Cui

Chief Analytics Officer

info@policywise.com

780-944-8631

Xinjie is the Chief Analytics Officer who is responsible for leading data analytics initiatives...

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Xinjie is the Chief Analytics Officer who is responsible for leading data analytics initiatives to support evidence-informed decision making in the public and non-profit sectors. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from China and has a PhD in Psychology and an MBA from the University of Alberta. She has a strong background in policy-relevant research using administrative data. While working for Alberta Health, she led and managed health surveillance projects that provided evidence and support for policy changes and program development. She participated as the Project Lead for the Alberta Child Health Surveillance Report, which has been awarded the Premier’s Award of Excellence Gold in 2007. Later that year, she became the inaugural Director of Child and Youth Data Laboratory (CYDL). In her spare time, Xinjie enjoys travelling and reading.

Mark Dixon

Executive Director, Communications, and Marketing

communications@policywise.com

780-784-6679

Mark is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of marketing strategies,...

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Mark is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of marketing strategies, corporate communications, and public relations activities for PolicyWise. He is charged with taking a creative approach in using multi-faceted and multimedia strategies to disseminate evidence, news updates, and promotional opportunities on various initiatives. Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, an Honours Diploma in Business Administration, and he is a Certified Advertising Accredited Professional. He has over three decades of broad-based marketing, advertising, and public affairs expertise in the healthcare, post-secondary, and marketing sectors. Mark is also a former post-secondary marketing instructor, which has been instrumental in successfully guiding his clients through the strategic planning, implementation, and maintenance phases of their projects. Previously he ran his own business, Simply MARKeting, and held Director of Marketing and Public Affairs roles at Alberta Health Services and Capital Health.

Shang Dong

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

780-784-5910

Shang conducts environmental scans, supports program planning and implementation, as well as...

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Shang conducts environmental scans, supports program planning and implementation, as well as engages stakeholders on a variety of projects. Shang holds a Master of Public Health, specializing in Health Promotion. She also received her Bachelor of Public Affairs Management, with a specialization in Health Management. Shang cultivated strong program evaluation and stakeholder engagement skills volunteering at the Landing at the University of Alberta and through her Master’s practicum at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. Her research interests include child and youth mental health, newcomer youth integration, and community-based approaches. In her spare time, Shang enjoys trying new recipes, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Kelsey Duebel

Project Manager

info@policywise.com

780-784-6678

Kelsey’s role involves project management, stakeholder relations, research, evaluation, and...

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Kelsey’s role involves project management, stakeholder relations, research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization activities. She has developed, implemented, and managed research and evaluation projects related to child intervention, safety, and well-being; adverse childhood experiences; and community recovery after disaster. Kelsey holds a Master of Public Policy and Governance and a Political Science degree. Kelsey previously developed, analyzed, and advised on social policy for the Government of Alberta, primarily in the ministries of Human Services and Status of Women. She has policy and research experience in the areas of child intervention, poverty reduction, service delivery integration, and gendered violence prevention. Kelsey enjoys cross-country skiing, walks in Edmonton’s river valley, testing out new summer patios, and listening to good podcasts.

Janine Elenko

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

587-354-4804

Janine is involved in a variety of research and evaluation projects through collecting,...

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Janine is involved in a variety of research and evaluation projects through collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, and communicating data to support evidence-informed decision making. Her work so far at PolicyWise has focused on early childhood development as well as child well-being, adversity, and resiliency. Janine holds a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition. Her previous clinical career spurred a deep passion for policy and programs that support child, family, and community well-being. Outside of work, Janine enjoys reading (specifically non-fiction) and going on adventures with her children.

Dana Foote

Finance and Administration Manager

info@policywise.com

780-408-8789

Dana is responsible for making sure PolicyWise can fulfil its mandate and continue to grow and...

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Dana is responsible for making sure PolicyWise can fulfil its mandate and continue to grow and thrive. Dana acts as liaison and secretary to the Board of Directors, Finance, Investment and Audit Committee and the Governance Committee. She is also responsible for Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, benefits administration, and reporting. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her pets and partner, and working in her pottery studio.

Tony Ho

IT Manager

info@policywise.com

780-944-8630

Tony’s role as IT Manager consists of managing, administering, and maintaining the...

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Tony’s role as IT Manager consists of managing, administering, and maintaining the PolicyWise information systems, communications, and security infrastructure. Tony Ho has over 18 years of experience working in Alberta administering and maintaining networks, supporting users, IT budget planning and negotiating contracts related to IT. In his spare time, Tony enjoys hockey, golf, and tennis.

Jo-Louise Huq

Organizational Innovation and Change Scientist

info@policywise.com

587-390-2485

Jo-Louise supports knowledge mobilization to help encourage innovation and change in the work we...

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Jo-Louise supports knowledge mobilization to help encourage innovation and change in the work we do at PolicyWise. Jo-Louise received her PhD in Strategic Management and Organization and her Master of Business Administration, while completing a postdoctoral. In her PhD and postdoc research, Jo-Louise’s focus was understanding how to encourage innovation and change in sectors and organizations where traditional ways of working are strongly established. Her work and research experience includes leadership development and education; strategic management and organization; change and innovation; inter- sectoral, organizational, and professional collaboration; implementing (quality) improvement; and qualitative research methods. Outside of work, she enjoys being outside with her family and exploring Alberta’s beautiful outdoor spaces.

Robert Jagodzinski

Data Analyst

info@policywise.com

780-944-8651

Robert supports data analysis, data management, and coordination of resources to support...

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Robert supports data analysis, data management, and coordination of resources to support research projects, both within PolicyWise and for external partners. He also supports the building of capacity and expertise in data management and analysis amongst our many non-profit partner agencies. Robert has an educational background in computer science and ecology. He has over 15 years of experience in data analysis, data management, computer programming, software debugging, and data quality assurance. He is familiar with all stages of the research cycle, including planning, collection, quality assurance, data cleaning, analysis, and reporting. This extends across many sectors including academic, agriculture, wildlife management, energy industry, environmental economics, and health care. In his spare time, Robert enjoys spending long days exploring the river valley and mountains by kayaking, hiking, cross country skiing, and biking.

Saira John

Project Coordinator

info@policywise.com

780-408-8788

Saira supports leading data-related initiatives and ongoing operations. She also helps to...

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Saira supports leading data-related initiatives and ongoing operations. She also helps to develop new partnership opportunities with external organizations to help leverage their data and analytics to improve service and outcomes. Saira has a Masters of Science in developmental psychology, with a focus on the development of peer relationships among children and youth within culturally diverse settings. Saira is invested in promoting the well-being of children, families, and the community through partnerships and sharing evidence-based strategies. In her spare time, she enjoys making music and being physically active.

Jason Lau

Director, Data Operations

info@policywise.com

780-408-8732

Jason leads and supports multiple data-related initiatives at PolicyWise. This includes working...

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Jason leads and supports multiple data-related initiatives at PolicyWise. This includes working with researchers and community-based organizations in realizing the power of their data by connecting capacity to needs. Jason earned a PhD in Medical Genetics. He previously worked with Alberta Health developing partnerships in the research and innovation sector, as well as evidence-informed policies on health technologies. He also served clinical operations roles in the pharmaceutifcal industry. Jason is responsible for the operations of the Data Lab and other data collaboration projects, as well as operational aspects such as privacy and security policies and procedures. In his spare time, Jason enjoys 3D printing random knick knacks.

Kendra Leavitt

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

587-354-4802

Kendra conducts environmental scans, collects and analyzes data, drafts reports, and engages...

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Kendra conducts environmental scans, collects and analyzes data, drafts reports, and engages with stakeholders on a variety of projects. The result of this work is evidence that answers questions to support decisions. She holds a Master of Arts in Sociology. Previous research experience includes qualitative and quantitative methods such as interviews, focus groups, and statistical analysis. Her research interests include child and youth mental health, community response to challenges, and social justice issues. Kendra enjoys travelling, reading, and spending time outdoors.

Courtney Lundy

Business and Grants Manager

grants@policywise.com

587-354-4805

Courtney helps organize and coordinate proposal responses and existing funded research grants...

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Courtney helps organize and coordinate proposal responses and existing funded research grants for PolicyWise while also managing the Calgary office. She has also worked as Project Coordinator for the Alberta site of the IMPACT Research Project since 2013. Courtney holds a diploma in Early Childhood Education, with a specialization certificate in Children’s Mental Health. Prior to joining PolicyWise, she spent nearly a decade working as a frontline service provider with children and families. Outside of work, her two young children keep her very busy learning about the world all over again.

Murriel Mapa

Communications Specialist

communications@policywise.com

780-944-8636

Murriel supports and implements a range of strategies to promote the activities of PolicyWise to...

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Murriel supports and implements a range of strategies to promote the activities of PolicyWise to the community. She is responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of communications strategies for the team. This includes social media planning, website content management, and event planning. Murriel holds a Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing. She has over 7 years of experience working in corporate communications. Murriel is also fully certified in the International Association for Public Participation spectrum. In her spare time, Murriel enjoys volunteering and performing with local theatres in Edmonton.

Rinita Mazumder

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

780-408-8767

Rinita supports the planning and implementation of diverse research and evaluation projects. She...

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Rinita supports the planning and implementation of diverse research and evaluation projects. She is directly involved with data analysis, synthesis, and reporting, while working with team members to mobilize knowledge. Rinita holds a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her research focused on using qualitative methods to better understand barriers and facilitators to community participation for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In her spare time, Rinita enjoys watercolour painting and staying active in the River Valley with mountain biking and cross-country skiing.

Shannon McInnes

Project Manager

info@policywise.com

780-408-8730

Shannon oversees the development and implementation of a diverse range of projects related to...

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Shannon oversees the development and implementation of a diverse range of projects related to family violence, youth mental health, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and trauma-informed practice. She has a background in policy, research, and evaluation, particularly in the field of addiction and mental health. Shannon has a Bachelor of Sociology and a Masters of Sociology. She has worked for a number of government agencies, including Alberta Health, Alberta Education, and the former Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys gardening and exercising.

Jennifer Medlock

Project Manager

info@policywise.com

587-392-3533

Jen oversees a portfolio of complex evaluation projects related to mental health and child...

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Jen oversees a portfolio of complex evaluation projects related to mental health and child well-being, guiding projects from initiation and design through to implementation and monitoring. She has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Masters and PhD in Communications. Previous to this, Jen worked as the Project Manager for All In for Youth, a city-wide collaboration led by United Way of Calgary and Area aiming to improve high school completion rates in Calgary. Jen enjoys designing and implementing complex projects, and has developed a strong background in evaluation, stakeholder engagement and project management. In her spare time, Jen loves reading, spending time with her family and friends, and walking her three-legged dog.

Naomi Parker

Director, Projects

info@policywise.com

587-354-4803

Naomi is responsible for developing and implementing the research and evaluation projects...

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Naomi is responsible for developing and implementing the research and evaluation projects undertaken on behalf of PolicyWise. This includes leading the Research and Evaluation team, overseeing all projects, and working with project sponsors. Prior to joining PolicyWise, Naomi worked with Alberta Health Services in the area of Addiction and Mental Health, with experience across the continuum of services provided. Most recently Naomi worked for the Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network as a Senior Consultant, Knowledge Management.  Naomi teaches with Mount Royal University in the Addiction Studies Certificate. With a Bachelor of Sociology and Master of Business Administration, Naomi brings extensive experience in complex project management and engaging and leading diverse stakeholders towards shared outcomes. She also has a proven skill set in the design, implementation, and monitoring of knowledge mobilization practices and principles to support evidence-informed decision-making. Outside of work, Naomi likes to be outside (specifically running or hiking) with her family.

Carley Piatt

Project Manager

info@policywise.com

780-496-1331

Carley is a Project Manager who works to understand stakeholders’ information needs. She loves...

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Carley is a Project Manager who works to understand stakeholders’ information needs. She loves thinking creatively about how data and evidence can help illuminate problem spaces, constraints, and ways forward. Carley also has a strong background in experimental psychology and through her training, has become more interested in tapping into other ways of understanding how people think and learn. She earned her PhD in Psychology and she previously held an Alberta Innovates industry post-doc position with an Alberta-based software company. In her spare time, Carley enjoys being outside with her family.

Matthew Russell

Postdoctoral Fellow

info@policywise.com

780-408-8735

Matt is a Health System Impact postdoctoral fellow who works to maximize the use of...

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Matt is a Health System Impact postdoctoral fellow who works to maximize the use of administrative and community data sources to support children and young adults with different disabilities. Using a community-based approach, Matt engages with key stakeholders to create real-world solutions. Matt has a background in Computer Engineering, Experimental Psychology, Cultural Neuroscience, and Health Services research. He earned his PhD in Cultural Neuroscience and is currently applying research to different health systems solutions as a postdoctoral fellow. In his spare time, Matt is a martial arts instructor in Kendo (4th degree black belt).

Val Salt

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

587-390-4855

Val conducts environmental scans, collects and analyzes data, drafts reports, and engages with...

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Val conducts environmental scans, collects and analyzes data, drafts reports, and engages with stakeholders on a variety of projects. The result of this work is evidence that answers questions to support decisions. Val holds a Master of Arts in Sociology. Her research experience includes mixed methods analysis and program evaluation within sectors serving homeless and marginalized populations. Her research interests include frontline workers, deviance, and more generally, the social interactions that shape daily life. Outside of work, Val enjoys going on adventures, big and small, with her husband, playing with her pets, and keeping physically active.

Allison Scott

Research Scientist

info@policywise.com

587-635-0613

Allison collaborates with stakeholders to define analytic problems and lead the design,...

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Allison collaborates with stakeholders to define analytic problems and lead the design, analysis, and visualization of the findings to conduct policy-relevant research for community and Ministry partners.  Allison completed her PhD in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health. There, she partnered with community members and service providers to conduct a community-based mixed methods study on pregnancy in homeless youth. Previously, Allison was an Epidemiologist at Alberta Health in surveillance. Allison loves to travel, cook and host family game night.

Cathie Scott

Chief Knowledge and Policy Officer

info@policywise.com

587-354-4800

Cathie feels privileged to lead an amazing group of people who work collaboratively with...

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Cathie feels privileged to lead an amazing group of people who work collaboratively with stakeholders to inform provincial policy and practice priorities through implementation and continuous improvement of PolicyWise’s strategic research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization agendas, and designing and implementing PolicyWise’s impact assessment approach to demonstrate our contribution to evidence-informed policy and practice change in the province. Her academic achievements include a PhD in Community Health Sciences, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. She is currently an Assistant Professor (Adjunct), in the Faculty of Community Health Sciences & Sociology at the University of Calgary. Cathie was the Senior Provincial Director of the Leading Practices & Innovation section within the division of Quality and Healthcare Improvement in Alberta Health Services. She previously held the position of Executive Director of the AHS Knowledge Management Department and Director positions in the former Calgary Health Region, in the area of Knowledge Management. Her postdoctoral fellowship focused on the role of context in knowledge mobilization, social networks and communities of practice. Cathie has considerable experience in areas of relevance to PolicyWise such as leadership development, quality improvement, knowledge management, primary healthcare, community-based and participatory research approaches, research methods, evaluation, integrated systems, inter-sectoral collaboration and vulnerable populations. Outside of work, Cathie enjoys time with family and friends, travel, long walks, good books, cooking, and painting.

Nadine Taylor

Research and Evaluation Associate

info@policywise.com

780-408-8727

Nadine works on research and evaluation projects in a variety of topic areas including...

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Nadine works on research and evaluation projects in a variety of topic areas including trauma-informed practice, prevention of family violence, mental health, and Indigenous well-being. Her day-to-day work primarily involves collaborating with project teams and stakeholders, collecting and analyzing data, and writing reports. Nadine holds a Master of Public Health, with a specialization in Health Promotion, and a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She cultivated strong qualitative and quantitative research skills volunteering in a psychology research lab and through her Master’s practicum at the Public Health Agency of Canada. Her research interests include child and youth mental health, early childhood development, and social justice issues. In her spare time, Nadine enjoys reading, travelling, and sharing meals with family and friends.

Laurie Vermeylen

Project Lead

info@policywise.com

587-354-4801

Laurie works on a variety of projects with many different stakeholders to help inform decisions...

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Laurie works on a variety of projects with many different stakeholders to help inform decisions regarding child, family, and community well-being. Laurie works closely with PolicyWise project sponsors, using a mixture of methods as appropriate for each unique project. Laurie has a Master of Arts in Sociology. Her research experience includes conducting qualitative methods such as interviewing and facilitating group discussions. She enjoys working with diverse stakeholder groups and has a love for learning. Her research interests include the broad topics of gender and families. Laurie enjoys spending time with her partner and her pets, friends, and family members. She is a passionate reader and enjoys doing yoga.