Bio (Cheryl Heykoop)

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Cheryl Heykoop


Assistant Professor


Leadership Studies


Dr. Cheryl Heykoop’s research and teaching interests focus on nature-based leadership, participatory action research, story-telling, resilience and child and youth engagement around trauma and adversity. Cheryl is particularly interested in how young people can more meaningfully share their experiences of war, disaster, and illness, and how the lived experiences of young people can better inform research, education, leadership and practice. 


Heykoop is faculty affiliate with the CPC Learning Network at Columbia University, a founding member of the ResiliencebyDesign Research Lab at Royal Roads, a research associate with the International Institute for Child Rights and Development and a faculty member with the School of Humanitarian Studies. For the past 13 years, Heykoop has worked with young people affected by adversity in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, Thailand, Brazil, Canada and the U.S. to safely and meaningfully share their perspectives and insights about conflicts, disasters and other issues that affect them. She has also worked with a range of organizations including UNICEF, Refugee Law Project, Plan International, Right to Play, governments, civil society, academics and young people on a range of issues including local government decentralization, child protection, transitional justice, community development, public-private partnerships and social change.


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).