Interdisciplinary Team


Sonya L. Jakubec, RN, BHScN, MN, PhD


Sonya L. Jakubec is the director of the Centre for Child Well-Being. Sonya appreciates values and uses holistic teaching approaches. In her lectures and workshops she draws from a wide collection of exemplars, expert informants/guests, story-telling, current evidence, popular media, special events, sensory/somatic experiences, as well as practical activities. Through these approaches Sonya invites students to learn about and challenge themselves, others and the broader global environment, all while learning the particular course objectives and subject matter.


Paxton Bruce, BCST

Research Coordinator

With a bachelor's degree in Child Studies, Paxton Bruce is the Research Coordinator at the Centre for Child Well Being as well as the Network 'Enabler' at the First 2000 Days Network. Paxton is a collaborative researcher primarily focused on leadership, engagement, and building capacity of professionals working with children, youth and families with an interest in professionalization of the Early Childhood Development Sector and systems change within ECD.


Heather Pollard

Lab Coordinator

Heather Pollard is the Child Development Lab Coordinator at the Child Development Lab with the Department of Child Studies & Social Work at Mount Royal University. With education in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Recreational Therapy, Heather has 30 years’ experience in the Early Childhood field. She has worked with children for many years with a passion for inclusion. This included work with the Cerebral Palsy Preschools in BC and the Mount Royal Child Care Centre. The last 15 years she has also been a contract instructor at Mount Royal University in the Department of Child Studies and Social Work. Heather is also involved in all Phases of the Alberta Curriculum Framework Pilot Project. As Child Development Lab Coordinator she supports faculty/student education and day to day running of the Lab. She also collaborates with the Centre for Child Well-being supporting community education.


Andrea Shippey

Research Assistant

Andrea Shippey-Heilman is a student Researcher at the Centre for Child Well-Being. Andrea is currently in her final year of the Bachelor of Child Studies degree at Mount Royal University majoring in Child and Youth Care Counseling. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, from Athabasca University where much of her academic work focused on children and youth. At Mount Royal, she has been able to continue with her passion for research in the areas of child and youth human rights, mental health, and child and youth engagement in community leadership and development projects. Andrea has been fortunate to have forged a number of professional working relationships within the Faculty, as well as staff at the CCWB. With an inextinguishable love for learning, Andrea has also been involved with research around active-energetic play and physical literacy and enthusiastically continues her work and learning within the CCWB.


Keisha DeCoste

Research Assistant

Keisha DeCoste is a student researcher at the Centre for Child Well Being. Keisha is currently in the Bachelor of Child Studies degree at Mount Royal University majoring in Child and Youth Counseling. When not in class or working at the CCWB, Keisha works with youth, and believes strongly that lasting and positive change takes place within the context of the therapeutic relationship. Keisha highly values collaboration and distributed leadership in her work, and her research at Mount Royal has encompassed topics like pedagogical leadership applications in child and youth counseling, in addition to collaboration, facilitating professional learning, dissemination, and leadership in a community context.