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12 Remarkable Canadians Named to NextGEN Fellowship

“One of the toughest jobs … is selecting just 12 Fellows.”


May 28, 2024

OTTAWA, ON – Cardus is pleased to announce the 12 remarkable Canadians who will be the 2024-25 Cardus NextGEN Fellows. These accomplished young leaders will be the fourth group to participate in the fellowship program focused on faith, vocation, leadership, and public life.

The 2024-25 Cardus NextGEN Fellows are:

Alexandra Ages is a policy specialist working for Children and Family Services with the Government of Alberta and is deeply passionate about advocacy for child and youth welfare. She’s based in Treaty 6 territory, residing in Edmonton, though she is originally from Victoria, British Columbia and lived in Montreal while she attended McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy for her Master of Public Policy. Alexandra continues to find inspiration in the many ways that faith can be rooted in justice, inclusivity, and community service.

Peter Cheung is currently the Research Manager: Lifelong Learning at Vancouver’s Regent College. A lifelong learner himself, he is a graduate of University of British Columbia (B.Comm Hon. in business and computer science), Regent College (M.Div. in pastoral ministry and ThM in World Christianity), and Booth University College (Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care). He is also a chaplain of the Christian and Missionary Alliance with experience ministering in social service settings and future aspirations to serve in public institutions.

Mathias Deuel is a senior financial planner at MD Signature Private Wealth Management. Originally from Edmonton, he is currently based in Montreal where he serves clients across Canada helping them navigate financial complexity. He has a passion for financial education and an interest in how economic systems shape culture and society. Mathias holds a Bachelor of Commerce from MacEwan University and is a CFP® professional.

Dave D’Oyen is a third-year student at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University. He is a member of the Senate Appeals Committee, the university’s final appellate body. He has experience in policy development, government relations, stakeholder engagement and measures to address systemic discrimination. His community service has been focused on advancing positive systems change to end anti-Black racism in key areas such as policing, healthcare and child welfare.

Olayinka Fasheun is a project management professional with expertise spanning operations management, business development, and project leadership across multiple industries, including the public service. She also serves as a board director at the Project Management Institute, focusing on strengthening the project management community in the Greater Vancouver Area through strategic organizational engagement and corporate sponsorship. With a Master of Global Business degree from esteemed institutions in Canada, France, and South Korea, Yinka is driven to leverage her international experience and interdisciplinary skills to guide individuals and organizations, enabling them to adapt and excel with simplicity in an ever-evolving global market.

Elysia Fuller-Thomson is an air pollution scientist in the Public Service of Canada, where she seeks to understand both the health burden and socioeconomic inequalities related to environmental pollutant exposure. Elysia holds an MSc in Geography from the University of Toronto and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Integrated Science from McMaster University. She believes wholeheartedly that God’s call to steward the Earth is an invitation to each and every one of us to care for the environment, resources, and communities in whatever little patch of land we call home

Joe Loreto is a licensed architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and currently practices in Toronto where he was born and raised. His work focuses on projects with high social impact at all scales. Recently, he and two colleagues won a nation-wide design competition for an alternative scheme at Ontario Place. He has an undergraduate degree in Architectural Studies, Art History, and Human Geography, as well as a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto.

Maria McCann is a passionate advocate for human dignity. She works as a public speaker with 4LifeLondon and volunteers as a leader of London Against Abortion, an activist group she co-founded. She holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in French Studies from Western University.

Nathan Petersen is Partner and Chief Client Officer at Stronger Philanthropy, a consultancy for family foundations and impact investors based in Hamilton, Ontario. He holds a BA in International Studies from St. Stephen’s University, and offers strategic and cross-cultural insights from extensive world travel and engagement with communities in Colombia, Spain, Kenya, The Philippines, Cambodia, and China.

Aren Plante is a passionate labour relations professional representing healthcare workers who are members of the Christian Labour Association of Canada in the Niagara Region. He completed his B.A. (Honours) at Redeemer University and his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario. Before joining CLAC, Aren spent several years working as a municipal clerk and marriage officiant in local government. He has travelled to over 45 countries.

Paul Robinson is an Anglican priest, student of theology, editor, and occasional writer. He spent several years as a university minister, chaplain, and Christian study director at the University of British Columbia. For the 2024–2025 academic year Paul will be pursuing a ThM (Master of Theology) degree at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY, where he has been awarded a Dean’s Fellowship. He plans to complete a PhD in historical theology, with a particular emphasis on the poetical theology of the Syriac church fathers.

Sam Routley is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. In addition to his experience in and research on contemporary conservative politics, he writes for a variety of publications and is a frequent media commentator on politics, culture, and public policy for radio, television, and print media. His work has appeared in the National Post, The Conversation, The Hub, The Hill Times and other publications.

“One of the toughest jobs in the NextGEN program is selecting just 12 Fellows from the raft of excellent applications we received,” says Stephen Lazarus, NextGEN Co-Director Toronto. “It’s an understatement to say I’m excited to see how this group of young leaders will grow and learn in the coming months. It will be even more exciting to see what we will learn from them.”

Over the next year, NextGEN Fellows will participate in a week-long seminar on Christian social and political thought in Ottawa, as well as four roundtable weekends across Canada. They will also participate in monthly online meetings with guest speakers and mentors from a wide range of fields.

The NextGEN Fellowship runs from May to March annually. Applications are accepted year-round. To get more information, to apply, or to nominate a Fellow, visit or contact Stephen Lazarus, Program Director for NextGEN, at


Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus – Director of Communications
613-241-4500 x508

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