Branksome Hall News

Dr. Natasha Koustova appointed Associate Director of Branksome Hall’s Chandaria Research Centre

Branksome Hall is delighted to announce that Dr. Natasha Koustova has been appointed Associate Director of Branksome Hall’s Chandaria Research Centre, effective November 10, 2020. In this role, Koustova will work closely with the Centre’s inaugural director, Dr. Mira Gambhir, now Head, Research and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead the Centre’s vision and research,” says Koustova. “It’s mandate is so well-aligned with my own research, interests and experiences.”

At Girl Guides of Canada, where she most recently spent four years, Koustova led national research and program-evaluation projects, developing key expertise on positive youth development and engagement, leadership and empowerment. Her experience with research methods for girls were, and will continue to be, applicable to developing programs that increase girls’ confidence, skills, character, connection to community, and ultimately, help them create a better world. 

She holds a PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Windsor, specializing in cross-cultural organizational psychology, and has published research in the areas of culture and climate change, social movements, as well as girls' leadership and civic engagement.

Koustova’s combination of experience is a great asset for Branksome. As part of her graduate studies program, she has researched cross-cultural norms, values and beliefs, with a focus on Japan, Korea and China, and has also explored barriers to girls’ civic engagement and what may hold them back from participating fully in civil society. 

“I’m extremely passionate about research,” says Koustova. “I’m definitely committed to lifelong learning—and using research in participatory ways, collaborating with students, teachers and developing my own projects—is an outlet for that.”

Koustova will work closely with Gambhir on advancing understandings of equity and inclusion, along with an immediate focus on student well-being, including how to navigate the realities of a more digital and hybrid learning environment, as a result of the pandemic. 

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Koustova, and we know her unique combination of skill sets and research interests will be a tremendous asset to both Branksome Hall and the educational research community,” says Gambhir.

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