CARA Connection Committee

The CARA Connection Committee creates our bi-monthly newsletter. Our volunteers lead all aspects of the newsletter including editing submissions, writing articles, conducting interviews, selling advertising, and doing the layout work. With the goal of a monthly newsletter, we always welcome more volunteers.

Please contact Sarah Lampson, CARA Executive Director, to get involved.



Naomi Bedek

Naomi Bedek is a Clinical Research Assistant in Thrombosis in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. She obtained her B.Sc. in Psychology from McMaster University. She also has a Clinical Research Associate (RA) certificate and Medical Office Administration diploma from Mohawk College. She is currently enrolled in the Research Administration Certificate program at Mohawk College, having completed 5 of 6 courses. Naomi co-developed a program evaluation questionnaire for CARA that is sent to new graduates of the RA program. Naomi has worked in clinical trials for 25 years, both in recruiting/enrolling study subjects as well as working in data management at an academic research center. She has a long history of volunteering for various organizations in Hamilton, including McMaster Children’s Hospital and the Hamilton General Hospital community garden. Her current volunteer venture is hosting a monthly karaoke show for stroke recovery and acquired brain injury patients in the Rehabilitation Building at the Hamilton General Hospital.

Mike Folinas

Mike Folinas is the Research Funding Manager for the Natural Sciences and Engineering unit with the Agency and Foundation Funding team in Research Services Office (RSO) at the University of Toronto.  Mike is an alumnus of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. He has worked in a variety of roles with the UofT since 2003 before eventually joining the RSO, first with the Institutional Initiatives unit before taking on the Research Funding Manager role where he oversees a team of 2 others managing the University’s NSERC funding programs along with a range of other opportunities including the Canadian Space Agency, CFAR and Ontario Ministry of Transportation funding. Mike currently volunteers with the CARA Connection and is responsible for the “Recommend a Resource”, “Question of the Month” sections and is avidly involved in advertising for the newsletter. Mike is a keen traveler, golfer, hockey player, and skier.

Katie Porter

An executive MBA graduate from the Ivey School of Business, Katie Porter is Director of Research Administration at Hamilton Health Sciences, home to one of the most research intensive environments for medical research in Canada. Katie is a regular lecturer at McMaster University, co-author of The A-Z Guide to Research Contract Review and Steer Your Career: A Research Administrator's Manual for Mapping Success and a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and webinars.  Katie is an active volunteer with CARA, as an editor for the CARA Connection, CARA mentor and SIG leader, and her exceptional contributions to our profession internationally were recognized in 2014 with CARA’s Research Management Excellence Award.

Ali Siddiqui

My name is Ali Siddiqui, and I have had the amazing opportunity to be the coordinating editor for the CARA Connection newsletter since July of 2019. The short period that I have been with this organization has allowed me to interact with several amazing individuals. I am a recent graduate from the University of Alberta where I double majored in Political Science and Sociology. Currently, I work as a Data Research Administrator for Statistics Canada. My team is responsible for managing all social and business surveys. In collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, the federal Justice Department, and Employment and Social Development Canada, we help determine statistics to help improve or create national policies. I am also currently a member of the International Network for Epidemiology in Policy. Under supervision from academics, my team writes policy briefs related to scientific concerns. Our papers have been published in several academic databases. Our goal is to make the general public more aware of health and policies that impact all of us. My involvement with CARA has helped me learn a lot about the organization and all of the great members that make it an important group to be a part of. I especially would like to give a shout out to all of the CARA Connection contributors and readers. The newsletter is a great way for insights that connect all of us.

Michel Ouellet

Michel Ouellet is a research development advisor at Université Laval in Quebec City.  He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology/immunology and was a research associate for 15 years, working on fundamental aspects of the host’s immune response to microbes, especially HIV.  He recently completed a Master’s in Project Management at Université du Québec à Rimouski at the Lévis Campus, during which he honed his project management, administration and teamwork skills. Moving from direct research to research development and administration greatly expanded his view of the complexity of the research environment but having worked directly in research also provides him with crucial insights into how researchers think and share information with the administration. Always interested in volunteering opportunities, he was elected president of his undergraduate and graduate student associations, was elected president of the research assistant union at the research center where he worked and always participate in social committees at work.  He now believes that he can contribute to the development of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators, helping to translate communications, contributing to the association’s newsletter, and finding useful content to share with other members via the association’s social media.  On a personal note, he is a father of two wonderful kids and is a dog-loving, easy-going, sociable geek who specializes in bad dad jokes and good clean puns.

Mickel Allen

Mickel Allen currently provides research and administrative support to Faculty and their Support Staff in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at York University. She is a trained Linguistics and Literatures in English teacher and published columnist. Mickel has held numerous roles in communications and education. Her areas of interest include EDI specifically gender parity, cultural appropriation, and STEM.

Mickel is currently working towards her master’s degree and a certificate in research administration. She received her BA in Philosophy and Diploma in Education from York University and the University of the West Indies, respectively.

Karen Mosier

Karen E. Mosier is a Research Coordinator/Navigator for the Department of Surgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Karen has her BA in Psychology and MSc in Pharmacy. Karen has over sixteen years’ experience in research administration. Karen recently published her first book entitled Soft Skills and Professional Tips for the Office. Karen has been a member of CARA since 2010. She regularly attends the CARA Annual conferences. Karen completed her Certificate in Research Administration through ARMA. She is involved in mentoring other students within the CRA program offered through Mohawk College and is also a member of the Research Administration Program Advisory Committee. Karen is a member of the CARA Professional Development Taskforce and regularly writes articles for the CARA Connection newsletter. Karen was the recipient of the Dan Chase Distinguished Service Award – Priority Initiatives in 2018, the Community Builder Award in 2019, the Spirit of Kindness Award in 2020, and the Research Management Excellence Award in 2021. Karen appreciates all the professional development opportunities available through CARA.

Nicole Chabot

Nicole Chabot has been the research coordinator for the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University in London, Ontario since 2014. Holder of a doctorate in psychology from the University du Québec à Trois-Rivières and a certificate in project management  from Western University, Nicole is committed to the transfer of knowledge between the different actors involved in health research in order to contribute to the development of an inclusive society and the development of the well-being and health of populations . Nicole joined CARA in 2015 as a member, started volunteering as a translator in 2017, and most recently joined the CARA Connection committee. Curious by nature and endowed with a thirst for learning, Nicole is interested in everything that allows her to grow both professionally and personally; ever higher, ever farther!