Bio (Cheryl Heykoop)

Bio Horizontal

Cheryl Heykoop


Program Head, Assistant Professor


Leadership Studies


Dr. Cheryl Heykoop’s research and teaching interests focus on participatory action research, process ethics, patient-centred care, and healthcare systems transformation. Heykoop is particularly interested in how the meaningful engagement of patients in research can better inform research, leadership, and practice. She currently holds grants from the Vancouver Foundation and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research focused on young adult cancer care. Heykoop’s prior research centred on the meaningful engagement of young people affected by conflict and adversity to effect systems change.


Heykoop is a Program Head of the Master of Arts in Leadership - Health Specialization in the School of Leadership Studies. She has designed and taught courses in the MA Leadership, MA Global Leadership, and MA Disaster and Emergency Management programs. Heykoop is a member of the Integrated Cancer Care Strategy Council for Vancouver Island, a scholar with the Innovation Support Unit in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a founding member of the ResiliencebyDesign Research Lab at Royal Road University, and a research associate with the International Institute for Child Rights and Development.


Heykoop holds a Doctorate of Social Sciences from Royal Roads University (2014), a Master of Sciences in Humanitarian Studies from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (2006) and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Studies from the University of Guelph (2003). In 2016, Heykoop was awarded a Kelly Outstanding Teaching Award for a new teacher at Royal Roads University.

Select Publications

Etmanksi, E., Weigler, W., Agger-Gupta, N., Heykoop, C., Corak, L., Antoine, A., Cook, K., Alphonse, S. (2020, in-press). Walk with me: Engaging in participatory theatre to walk the path to reconciliation in a Canadian university context. In C. McGregor & S. Bedi (Eds). Diverse leadership landscapes. Queens’s University Press

Bishop, K., Etmanski, C., Page, M.B., Dominguez, B., & Heykoop, C. (2019). Narrative métissage as an innovative engagement practice. Engaged Scholar, 5(2), pp. 1-17.

Heykoop, C. (2018). Ode to my Oncologist. Current Oncology, 25(3), 239. doi: 10.3747/co.25.3979

Heykoop, C., & Nasmyth, G. (2018). Transforming health care through systems and stories, Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership, 4(3), pp. 74-79.

Heykoop, C. (2018). “Our stories matter, our own way”: Interdisciplinary applied research exploring the safe and meaningful engagement of young people in post-conflict truth telling in Northern Uganda.  In S. Pulla & B. Schissel (Eds.) Applied interdisciplinarity and the scholar practitioner: Narratives of social change (pp. 135-150).

Heykoop, C. (2017). Is it all bad? Learning to love cancer and all [video online]. Available at:

Heykoop, C. & Adoch, J. (2017). Our stories, our own ways: Exploring alternatives for young people’s engagement in truth commissions, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 23(1), pp. 14-22.*

Cox, R.S., Scannell, L., Heykoop, C., Tobin-Gurley, J. & Peek, L. (2017). Understanding youth disaster recovery: The vital role of people, places, and activities. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.03.011*

Fletcher, S., Cox, R. S., Scannell, L., Heykoop, C., Tobin-Gurley, J., & Peek, L. (2016). Youth creating disaster recovery and resilience: A multi-site arts-based youth engagement research project. Children, Youth and Environments, 26(1), pp. 148-163. doi: 10.7721/chilyoutenvi.26.1.0148

Peek, L., Tobin-Gurley, J., Cox, R.S., Scannell, L., Fletcher, S., & Heykoop, C. (2016). Engaging youth in post-disaster research: Lessons learned from a creative methods approach. Gateways International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 9(1), pp. 89-112. doi: 10.5130/ijcre.v9i1.4875

Rowe, W., Heykoop, C., & Etmanski, C. (2015). A master’s degree in global leadership: A story of development. In F.W. Ngunjiri & S.R. Madsen (Eds.), Women as global leaders (pp. 191-210). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Cook, P. & Heykoop, C. (2010). Child participation in the Sierra Leonean Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In S. Parmar, M.J. Roseman, S. Siegrist, & T. Sowa (Eds.), Children and transitional justice: Truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation (pp. 159-191). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.