Our Team

Ishita Aggarwal – Co-Chair
IA_Headshot CroppedIshita is a public health professional and second-year medical student at Queen’s University. Her interests lie in gender equity, health and human rights, and social sustainability. Illness does not exist in a vacuum; Effective treatment requires a strong clinical knowledge base as well as an understanding of humanity. Consequently, Ishita is constantly seeking ways to supplement her formal education in healthcare with lessons from the liberal arts. At this year’s Jacalyn Duffin Health and Humanities Conference, Ishita is excited to continue exploring the fascinating field of medical humanities.

Christine C. Moon – Co-Chair
CMoon New headshot CroppedChristine is a fourth year MD-PhD student at Queen’s University with a passion for health equity. She is interested in the embodiment and lived experiences of health, wellness, illness and the body. Christine’s scholarly interests lie at the intersections of race and diaspora studies, within the domains of aging and end-of-life. Outside of school and research, she plays the violin and piano, loves painting and reading, and is a very uncoordinated dancer. She looks forward to the ways we can learn and unlearn about medicine through the arts and humanities, and vice versa, at this year’s conference.

Ellen McGarity-Shipley
Ellen TF photo CroppedEllen has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Queen’s University and a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Western University. She is currently a third year PhD student at Queen’s and a part-time physiotherapist at Kingston General Hospital. Last year Ellen worked for the Kingston Arts Council as part of the Queen’s PhD – Community Initiative, and was very fortunate to meet many inspiring Kingston artists and arts workers. As part of this project, she also completed a literature review on the improvement of healthcare through the inclusion and prescription of arts activities. Ellen hopes that this year’s conference will help others see the value of the arts and humanities within and beyond the borders of health and wellness.

Sarah Smith
Sarah Headshot CroppedSarah is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Gender Studies. Broadly speaking, her work sits at the intersection of Mad studies and gender studies and seeks to analyze the ways in which psychiatric medicine governs all bodyminds. Her SSHRC-funded doctoral research examines how psychiatric discourses of self-harm impact the lives of those with lived experience and seeks to help empower people who self-harm to define their own experiences and seek recovery on their own terms. Outside of research, Sarah enjoys learning digital illustration, playing video games, and listening to true crime podcasts.

Martha Whitfield
Martha CroppedMartha is a second-year PhD student in Nursing at Queen’s University. In addition to her studies, she works as a family nurse practitioner and has special interests in addiction and recovery, reproductive health, and nursing education and policy. Before becoming a nurse, Martha trained as a dancer, and worked for many years in dance and arts administration, including for the Royal Ballet in the UK, and the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont. She  is a lifelong choral singer, an occasional choreographic collaborator, and an enthusiastic audience member.  Martha loves both nursing and the arts and hopes she never has to choose!

Hannah Lee
Screen Shot 2020-12-21 at 11.39.24 PMHannah is a second-year medical student at Queen’s University with a BScH in Life Sciences. She feels deeply indebted to the humanities and is passionate about using music, literature, and drama as tools for healing. When she isn’t curled up with a book, Hannah can be found running, playing her cello, or curating niche Spotify playlists. She is super excited to continue exploring the intersection of medicine and the humanities at the Jacalyn Duffin Conference this year!


Kendra Zhang 
Kendra Headshot CroppedKendra is a first year medical student at Queen’s University. While taking courses like English and philosophy during her undergrad, she began to see the humanities as pivotal in informing her healthcare-related pursuits. Kendra has also always strived to incorporate her artistic interests into her volunteer work, whether it be through writing, painting, or playing music. She hopes to use the arts and humanities to illuminate lived experiences, better understand underserved populations, and ultimately humanize patient care.