New Faces

July 4, 2023

The Department is proud to welcome and introduce our newest faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows!


Debra Burrowes joins UTM as the Assistant to the Chair. She comes with a wealth of experience in providing high-level administrative support in various capacities within the University of Toronto. In her new role, Debra will be responsible for managing various tasks including acting as EA to the Chair, Academic HR, and Event Planning.

Shatila Fairooz joins UTSG as departmental receptionist. She is currently a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Health Studies with minors in Psychology and International Development at UTSC. Her interests include fashion, food and felines.

Elizabeth McCallion (PhD, Queen’s University) joins UTSG as a contractually limited term Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream. A SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholar, she was recently the Canadian Study of Parliament Group’s doctoral fellow. With a specialization in Canadian politics and government, Elizabeth’s research and teaching interests include political institutions, institutional reform, representation, and legislative behaviour.

Tommaso Pavone (PhD, Princeton University) joins UTSG as Assistant Professor. His research traces how interactions between lawyers, courts, and policymakers shape political development, social change, and the rule of law, with a regional focus on Europe and the EU. His new book, The Ghostwriters: Lawyers and the Politics Behind the Judicial Construction of Europe, has won several awards and his research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. He was previously Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oslo.

Semra Sevi (PhD, Université de Montréal) joins UTSG as Assistant Professor, following her Banting postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. Her research interests include voting behavior, political representation, public opinion, legislative politics, women & politics, partisanship, and political methodology. Her work has been published in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Political Science Research and Methods.

Wajid Tahir (PhD, Philipps University) joins UTSG as postdoctoral fellow working with Randall Hansen. He has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University College Dublin, Ireland, and Philipps University, Germany, in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari University, Italy, and Gothenburg University, Sweden. His research focuses on the gender politics of employment policy and legislation, public policy analysis of migration and integration policies, migration and masculinity, and computational social sciences. He has authored two books and several research papers in peer reviewed journals.

Olga Talal (PhD, Queen’s University) joins the department as a postdoctoral research fellow working with Edward Schatz. Her research examines how states regulate ethnic diversity and provide public goods to ethnic minorities. She integrates comparative nationalism studies and public administration approaches to investigate Israel’s complex relationship with the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, situating this research in a comparative perspective.