Introducing Octavia Andrade-Dixon, OUSA's New Research and Policy Analyst


My name is Octavia, and I am very excited to join OUSA’s team as a Research and Policy Analyst!

I was born and raised in Toronto and went to the University of Toronto where I studied Human Geography and Portuguese. As a commuter student, I always made the effort to be involved on campus to foster a sense of community. I was an orientation leader in my second year and became involved in student politics in my third year as a Woodsworth College Director on UofT’s Student Union. It was also during my third year that I discovered my love for research after participating in a Research Excursion Program working on Brazilian Indigenous Language documentation in Roraima, Brazil. I stayed involved in student organizations and research through various opportunities in my fourth year. However, like many students in the past few years, the pandemic hit while I was completing my last year of undergrad abruptly ending my involvement on campus.

Prior to undergrad I had always been passionate about education, with previous aspirations of becoming an elementary school teacher. However, through various opportunities during my studies, I realized that may not be the path for me. Since graduating I have worked primarily in research, as a research fellow, intern, and freelancer. It was my internship with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) that introduced me to the world of post-secondary education policy and research – a marrying of my passion for research and education. From HEQCO I learned about OUSA’s policy and advocacy work. I am excited to bring the skills and knowledge I gained working in the research field to my role at OUSA. I look forward to contributing to the evidence-based policy that OUSA is known for.

Outside of being a research nerd, I love finding different ways to move- cycling, yoga, weightlifting, dancing – any way to undo the damage of sitting at a desk. I’m also a huge music person and I have probably been to over 150 concerts from big artists to local gigs. I always have my headphones in – whether I’m exercising, commuting, scrolling through Twitter or reading a new book. Clearly, I love all things media related so feel free to reach out to chat all things pop culture!