Meet the Team!

July 13, 2022

Left to right: Maya Lowe, Raha Mahmoudi, Tatjana Vukoja

Left to right: Maya Lowe, Raha Mahmoudi, Tatjana Vukoja

The team supporting the work of the fourth James R. Johnston (JRJ) Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine, is steadily growing, so we wanted to introduce ourselves!

Maya Lowe, Research Assistant

Maya Lowe graduated from StFX University with a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Health with First Class Honours. During her time at StFX, Maya worked as a teaching assistant in various departments and as a research assistant for the Spatializing Care Lab. She completed an honours thesis project examining mental health challenges among Multiracial university students. Maya moved to Halifax in May 2021, and began working with the Mood, Anxiety, and Addiction Co-morbidity lab on several projects related to alcohol-involved sexual assault survivors, and trauma-informed substance use treatment in Indigenous communities. She started the Masters of Arts in Health Promotion program at Dalhousie in September 2021 under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Numer and Dr. Christopher Dietzel. For her Masters thesis she is exploring medical experiences of Black transgender and gender diverse people in Atlantic Canada. 

Maya currently works as a Research Assistant for the JRJ chair, assisting with literature reviews, seminars, and other research-related tasks focused on Black queer and trans health. She also works as a research assistant for the Technoscience and Regulation Research Unit where she explores immunization governance and effective public health communication. Maya volunteers at a non-profit community-based opioid treatment clinic in Halifax, where she is gaining hands on patient-care, community health, and clinical experience. Maya is passionate about health equity, patient-oriented, and community-engaged research.  

Raha Mahmoudi, Program & Project Coordinator for the JRJ Chair and Black Health Education Collaborative

Raha Mahmoudi holds a Master of Public Health from McMaster University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and Bachelor of Public Health from the University of Waterloo. Her growing research interests in the social determinants of health, health equity and justice are informed by community work and research in child and youth mental health, food security, belonging and culturally relevant healthcare. She is driven to collaboratively transform and advance health education, research, services and systems in ways that realize Black wellness and flourishing in all its breadth and dimensions.

In the capacity of Program and Project Coordinator for the JRJ Chair, Raha supports a wide range of work including research projects and strategic initiatives within the scope of the Chair’s research priorities. 

Tatjana Vukoja, Administrative Officer

Tatjana Vukoja joined the team in October 2019 providing administrative support to Dr. OmiSoore Dryden, JRJ Chair in Black Canadian Studies.  With a versatile background and work experience at Dalhousie University, non-profit and government sector, Tatjana’s skills and interests focus on financial administration and human resources management, as well as project/event coordination. She approaches all aspects of her job with a positive, practical, and determined mindset to find solutions to any challenges. She is excited to bring these experiences and enthusiasm to the JRJ team and collaborators. Presently, Tatjana provides administrative and logistical support for ongoing and special projects.


Together, we look forward to centering and amplifying Black and African Nova Scotian communities within Black scholarship, health, and community. Enjoy the summer!