Welcome to my corner of the web! I am a researcher based in Ottawa, Canada.
I am relentlessly curious by nature and genuinely passionate about research. I have studied Biotechnology, Political Sciences, and Population Health, and am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa. My academic research focuses on reproductive health and rights of women and youth. More recently I've joined the tech world at Shopify, a Canadian-based company that provides e-commerce solutions. As a UX researcher, I help product teams understand problems and build better products for entrepreneurs.
I care a lot about health equity, equality, and empowering young girls to become STEM leaders. Always in look for excitement and new adventures, I am a travel enthusiast who enjoys road trips and discovering new places. I am also an avid reader and enthusiastic linguaphile. I am passionate about nature, science, technology, education and the art of politics. I often write or give guest lectures on any one of these topics.
I pursued undergraduate studies at the University of Windsor, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology. After a brief pause, during which I was involved in research work, I returned to school to pursue a Masters of Science in the bilingual program of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Currently, I continue to pursue my research interest as a doctoral candidate in the Population Health program at the University of Ottawa. Throughout my academic career I have been recognized for my research skills through multiple scholarships, awards, research grants and travel grants. I have also been successful at disseminating my work in numerous peer-reviewd journals, national and international conferences, stakeholder meetings, and community roundtables.
You can find an updated summary of my research contributions and academic accomplishments on my ResearchGate profile or on LinkedIn.
Part of my life in academia is also dedicated to teaching, and improving my teaching. While working as a research coordinator for a higher education project, I became more aware of the importance of learner-centred teaching: the kind of teaching that maximizes student learning and student experiences. I was fascinated by all the available tools, methodologies and techniques that can be used to improve classroom learning in higher education. I was curious to learn more, so for more than one year I attended several courses and professional development activities related to teaching in higher education. Since then I have become more critical of my own learning experiences, and I have learned to appreciate and value quality teaching. I love teaching, and I strive to improve every day - to be a resource for my students, to provide valuable feedback that will guide their learning, to appreciate their differences in learning goals and styles, and to always enhance their learning experience inside and outside of the classroom. As a teaching assistant, I have had the opportunity to gain teaching experience and improve my teaching skills tremendously. Through this experience, I have also been able to recognize my passion for teaching, and my desire to be pursue teaching opportunities throughout my career.
As a population health researcher, my work focuses on exploring various aspects of reproductive health. Some projects I have led or coordinated more recently include:
- Trapped in transition: A multi-method assessment of sexual and reproductive health needs for youth in Albanian
A multi-method research study to understand barriers to equitable access, provision and utilization of youth-friendly services such as contraception, abortion, sexually transmitted infections, violence and early marriage, and sexual education among adolescents and young adults in Albania.
- What might a feminist approach to humanitarian aid and assistance look like?
A multi-method qualitative research project that aimed to understand principles of feminist humanitarian aid and assistance.
- Exploring the use and acceptability of a new self-screening device for STI among young women in Ottawa
A sequential, mixed-methods study that aims to explore young women's use and acceptability of an at-home self-administered test for sexually transmitted infections.
- Exploring young adults’ knowledge of and experiences with emergency contraception in Ontario, Canada
A mixed-method study that included a large scale survey and semi-structured in-depth interviews, aimed to explore young adults’ knowledge of and experiences with emergency contraception in Ontario, Canada.
- Emergency contraception in Albania: Exploring women’s experiences, attitudes and beliefs
A multi-method research study to explore women’s experiences accessing services and products related to their reproductive health in Albania. This project comprised a community based survey with women, follow-up semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with women, semi-structured in-depth interviews with key informants and structured interviews with pharmacists in Albania.
- Access to Emergency Contraception in the USA
Conducted descriptive analysis on data collected by the American Society for Emergency Contraception through the annual Pharmacy Access Study.
Between 2013-2015, I coordinated and assisted on multiple research projects related to teaching and higher education. More notably I contributed to:
- PEARL Project
PEARL (Promoters of Experiential and Active, Research-based Learning) is an initiative of the Science Teaching Leadership Chair at the University of Windsor to promote high-impact Science teaching pedagogies, and recognize innovative, evidence-based models of Experiential and Active learning via seminar series, seed funding and cross-collaboration opportunities.
- Quality Teaching Culture
An inter-institutional mixed-methods research project involving 8 Ontarian universities that aimed to develop and pilot an instrument for assessing institutional teaching culture in higher education setting.
Throughout my career, I have also been involved with various education and outreach initiatives dedicated to improving science literacy . Among others, I have helped with the following programs:
A skill-building digital literacy mentoring program for underserved youth members of the community, at Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.
- Science Rendezvous Windsor
An annual all-day nationwide science festival that brings science out of the lab and onto the street with the ultimate goal of celebrating science and increasing public involvement in the science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) fields.
I am no stranger to the media. Over the years I have been featured in different outlets for my accomplishments, community involvement or informed opinions on different issues of everyday life. Some of my most notable appearances are summarized below.
Following the report of first cases of COVID-19 in Albania, I took to social media to share my expertise and help people navigate the situation via various evidence-based pieces. Among others, I wrote a commentary on the measures of the Albanian government, which was later published in part by Shekulli Online here, and numerous other online portals and news sites.
- Open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
As an avid follower of national and international politics, I am very vocal on everyday issues. In February 2020, I wrote an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau regarding his meeting with the Prime Minister of Albania at the Munich Security Conference. The letter was originally shared on social media, but was quickly picked up by numerous online portals, news sites, newspapers and media outlets primarily in Albania. Some reputable sources that published the letter included Shekulli Online, Koha Jone, Syri.net, BalkanWeb, Panorama Online etc. I was also interviewed by Shekulli Online to follow up on my opinion and the rationale behind writing the open letter to the prime minister. The interview is avilable in Albanian here.
- 2018 Student Protests in Albania
A series of street protests, demonstrations and online activism events were held by the students of the public universities in Albania in December 2018. Students opposed to high tuition rates and a series of decisions enacted by the Law of Higher Education in Albania. I expressed my opinions in an impromptu interview with Ora News field journalist in Tirana, and was later invited in a segment during the evening news broadcast to comment on the events and share my thoughts on Albania's higher education system. A video of the interview can be found here.
- CBC Windsor News segment on international students
While serving as president of International Student Society at the University of Windsor, I was interviewed by CBC Windsor News at 6 (29.06.2012) to share my experience as an international student and comment on welcome programs that University of Windsor puts together for international students.
- Science Rendezvous Fire Tornado
As chair of the organizing committee of Science Rendezvous Windsor in 2012, I was involved in the promotional campaign leading up to the one-day science festival. One of the biggest science attractions of the event was our homemade fire tornado, a cool physics experiment that garnered nationwide attention and landed us on the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet (May 8, 2012) with Dan Riskin and Ziya Tong. The TV segment was later picked up and featured on various other media outlets including The Windsor Star, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, and Montreal Gazette. The Albanian national daily newspaper Gazeta Shqip also printed an interview on May 19, 2012, where I talked about my appearance on the Discovery Channel.
- Alumni Association International Student Award
In December 2010, I was awarded the University of Windsor Alumni Association International Student Award for my academic achievements, community involvement and leadership skills. At the time, I was one of the four international students and the first-ever Albanian student to receive the award. I was featured in the spring issue of the Alumni Association VIEW magazine, as well as in numerous Albanian newspapers including Studenti Shqiptar and Gazeta Shqiptare.
Refereed journal articles and abstracts
- Doci, F., & Foster, A.M. (2019). The ultimate gatekeepers: Exploring pharmacists’ contraceptive service delivery practices in Albania. Contraception 101(3):189-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2019.08.004
- Doci, F., Thaci, J., & Foster, A. (2018). Emergency contraception in Albania: A multi-methods qualitative study of awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Contraception 98, 110–114. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2018.03.033
- Hukku, S., Gauthier-Beaupré, A., Fortier, E., Doci, F., Veillet-Lemay, G., Gure F., LaRoche, K., Foster, A.M. (2018). Exploring young adults’ knowledge of and experiences with emergency contraception in Ontario, Canada: a mixed-methods study. Contraception, 98 (4): 359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2018.07.093
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2018). Emergency contraception in Albania: a multi-methods study of awareness, attitudes and practices. In Book of Abstracts: The 15th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 23:1. https://doi.org/10.1080/13625187.2018.1442911
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2017). Factors influencing women’s contraceptive decision-making in Albania. European Journal Of Public Health, 27(suppl_3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ ckx187.414
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2017). “When you get in trouble, you’re in trouble, so it’s good to have pills.” Assessing the availability and accessibility of emergency contraception in pharmacies in Tirana, Albania. Contraception, 96 (4), 296. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2017.07.127
- Cleland, K., Bass, J., Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2016). Access to Emergency Contraception in the Over-the-Counter Era. Women's Health Issues. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2016.08.003
- Kustra, E.D., Doci, F., Meadows,K., Goff, L., Gabay, D., Borin, P., Wolf, P., Ellis, D., Grose, J., Dawson, D. & Hughes, S.E. (2015). “Teaching Culture Perception Survey: Documenting and transforming Institutional Teaching Culture”. Collected Essays on Teaching and Learning, 8: 231-244.
- Doci F., & Thaci J. (2018). The talk of shame: The history of abortion in communist and post- communist Albania. In Foster AM, Wynn LL. Abortion, politics, and the pill that promised to change everything: The global journey of mifepristone. Palgrave Macmillan
- Doci, F., Venney, C., Spencer, C. & Diemer, K. (2015). “Epigenetics and Law: The Quest for Justice”. Chapter 8 in Michael Crawford (Ed.1) Epigenetics in Society. University of Windsor’s Emerging Scholars’ Press.
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2018). Factors influencing women's reproductive health choices in Albania: A multi-methods study. Cambridge, MA: CRHC.
- Kustra, E.D., Doci, F., Meadows, K.N., Dishke Honzel, C., Goff, L., Gabay, D., Wolf, P., Ellis, D., Grose, J., Borin, P. & Hughes, S.E. (2014). “Teaching culture indicators: Enhancing quality teaching.” Report to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities – Productivity and Innovation Fund Program. University of Windsor: Windsor (ON).
- Doci, F. (2020, April). Elite: The dirty word of modern society. Invited guest lecture at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. M. (2019, June). Factors influencing women's reproductive health choices in Albania: A multi-method qualitative study. Poster presentation at the Canadian Health Student Research Forum, Winnipeg, MB.
- Doci, F., Fortier, E., Hukku, S., LaRoche, K. J., Martzke, A., Labeca-Gordon, I. N. and Foster, A. M (2019, April). Exploring young women’s knowledge of and experiences with sexually transmitted infections and digital-based screening services: A mixed-method study among women students at the University of Ottawa. Oral presentation at the Women’s XChange Spring Event: APPlying a Digital Perspective to Women's Health, Toronto, ON.
- Doci, F. (2018, December). Philosophy of education and citizen participation. Invited guest lecture at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
- Hukku, S., Gauthier-Beaupré, A., Fortier, E., Doci, F., Veillet-Lemay, G., Gure F., LaRoche, K., Foster, A.M. (2018, October). Exploring young adults’ knowledge of and experiences with emergency contraception in Ontario, Canada: a mixed-methods study. Poster presentation at the North American Forum on Family Planning, New Orleans, LA.
- Doci F., & Foster AM. (2018, July). Factors influencing women's reproductive health choices in Albania. Invited presentation at UNFPA 2018 World Population Day Roundtable, Tirana, Albania.
- Fortier, E., Doci, F., Martzke, A., LaRoche, K. J., and Foster, A. M. (2018, May). Exploring the use and acceptability of a self-screening test for sexually transmitted infections: A mixed- methods study with women students at the University of Ottawa. Oral presentation at the Women’s XChange Spring Event: Healthy Relationships and Sexuality in the #MeToo Era, Toronto, ON.
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2018, May). Emergency contraception in Albania: a multi-methods study of awareness, attitudes and practices. Invited presentation at 15th ESC Congress, Budapest, Hungary.
- Doci, F. (2018, May). Scientific research: The catalyst of vision, critical thinking, development and growth. Invited guest lecture at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
- Doci, F. (2018, January). Another brick in the wall? - The role of education in development of leadership values. Invited guest lecture at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2017, November). Factors influencing women’s contraceptive decision-making in Albania. Session presentation at the 11th European Public Health Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2017, October). “When you get in trouble, you’re in trouble, so it’s good to have pills.” Assessing the availability and accessibility of emergency contraception in pharmacies in Tirana. Poster presentation at the North American Forum on Family Planning, Atlanta, GA.
- Doci, F., & Foster, A. (2017, April). Exploring the availability and accessibility of medication abortion in Albania. Poster presentation at the National Abortion Federation 41st Annual Conference, Montreal, QC. Doci, F. (2016, September). Emergency Contraception in Albania: A multi-methods study of awareness,attitudes and practices. Invited presentation at The ASEC/ICEC Annual EC Jamboree, Washington, DC.
- Doci, F., Cleland, K., Bass, J. & Foster, A. (2016, May). On the shelf but out of reach: access to emergency contraception in over-the-counter era in US. Poster presentation at the Women’s XChange Spring Event: Challenging Poverty - Measuring, Experiencing and Moving Beyond, Toronto, ON.
- Crawford, M., Doci, F. & Johnston, D. (2016, May).”Coursesourcing” a Text: Peer Review and Collaborative Writing as a Model for Dialogic Learning and Imagining. Session presentation at the 10th Annual Oakland-Windsor Conference on Teaching and Learning, Rochester, MI.
- Kustra, E., Doci, F., Meadows, K., Dawson, D., Goff, L., Wolf, P., Borin, P., Ellis, D., Grose, J., & Hughes, S. (2015, June). Teaching Culture Indicators: Valuing and Enhancing Quality Teaching in Higher Education. Poster presentation at 35th Annual Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Conference: Achieving Harmony: Turning Into Practice, Simon Fraser and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
- Doci, F., Fujita, N., Baker, N. & Rangan, C. (2015, May). PEARL Network: Investigating Instructors’ Beliefs and Barriers to Online Teaching and Learning Practices in Sciences. Poster presentation at the 9th Annual Oakland-Windsor Conference on Teaching and Learning, Windsor, ON.
- Doci, F., Gillard, K., Eiliat, H. & Kustra, E. (2015, May). Leading Educational Change Through Documenting and Transforming Institutional Teaching Cultures. Session presentation at the 9th Annual Oakland-Windsor Conference on Teaching and Learning, Windsor, ON.
- Doci, F., Meadows, K., & Goff, L. (2014, October). Documenting and Transforming Institutional Teaching Cultures. Session presentation at the 11th Annual International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Conference: Nurturing Passion and Creativity in Teaching and Learning, Quebec City, QC.
- Borin, P., Dawson, D., Doci, F., Ellis, D., Goff, L., Grose, J., & Wolf, P. (2014, June). Documenting and Transforming Institutional Teaching Cultures. Session presentation at the 34th Annual Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Conference: Transforming Our Learning Experiences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON.
- Doci, F., Eiliat, H., Gillard, K., Burton, S., Kustra, E., & Meadow, K. (2014, May). Teaching Culture Indicators: Valuing and Enhancing Quality Teaching in Higher Education. Poster presentation at the 8th Annual Windsor-Oakland Conference on Teaching & Learning: Empowering Students to Learn, Oakland University, Rochester, MI.
- Doci, F. (2014, March). Orthology versus functional redundancy among selected genes in the Skp1-like gene family of Arabidopsis thaliana. Session presentation at the 27th annual Ontario Biology Day (OBD) Undergraduate Student Research Conference, Mississagua, ON.
Between research, community involvement, travelling and other engagements, there is always exciting stuff that I look forward to share. If you'd like to connect, here's where you can find me:
LinkedIn, where you can find a list of my academic and professional accomplishements including previous positions I've held, publications I've authored, honours and awards I've received, as well as several volunteer activities I have engaged with.
Facebook, where I am most active, sharing avidly important life events, my thoughts on current issues, as well as articles, images and videos that I find interesting.
Instagram, where you can find more pictures from my travels, nature around me, things that capture my eye or special moments from my everyday life.
Twitter, where I'm particularly vocal about any economical, political or social issues I care about. I mainly take to twitting when I'm attending conferences, or when I want to engage with relevant public discourses.
You can also read more about my travel adventure on my blog Diary of Sunshine State - A tale of my life adventure.