Graduate Profiles | Master of Arts

Tvine Donabedian

I am a master's student in the Communication program. My research focus includes popular culture, media, and fandom. In light of my background in anthropology, I am especially interested on how various types of media are consumed cross-culturally. I am also passionate about writing, travels, and music. Currently, I am in the process of publishing my first book.


Elmira Habibullah | 

Elmira (Elly) Habibullah is a Vancouver based artist and researcher with over 5 years’ experience in teaching art. she also has played various roles in cultural and art educational sectors in well-known non-profit organizations such as Evergreen Cultural Centre, Burnaby Art Council and Craft Council of BC. She is currently MA student in Arts and holding her Visual Arts degree from Simon Fraser University. Her artworks have been displayed nationally, and brought her people’s Choice Award in Biennial National PAC Convention of 2014, Kwi Am Choi Scholarship from Port Moody Arts Centre, and Nomination of 2018 BMO’s first art exhibition. she is interested in investigating the institutional power system in  relation with visual culture.

Amy Harris 

I have lived in Vancouver for 8 years working in Outdoor Recreation on the North Shore, and chose SFU so that I can combine the location with the area of Communications that I wish to study. I am from the UK originally, studying at the University of East Anglia which has a very similar atmosphere to SFU, and the familiarity that I felt as soon as I stepped onto the campus in Burnaby meant I knew I had found the place I could thrive.

With a degree in English Literature, my career so far has been incredibly varied, culminating with me finding the area of Communications as the one that my skills seem to naturally gravitate towards. I am hoping that an MA in Communications will develop those skills further and enable me to be more effective and knowledgeable in the field.

Hannah Holtzclaw

Hannah Holtzclaw is an MA student of the School of Communication and a digital fellow in Bennet Library’s Digital Humanities and Innovation Lab. Her current MA research engages feminist science and technology studies, critical theory and philosophy of technology, and gender studies. Her MA thesis examines the underlying epistemological and ontological assumptions of information technology design, with an emphasis on user interface and speculative design futures.

Valerie Franklin

Valerie Franklin weaves her interests in visual art, science, and storytelling into her communication studies. Her M.A. thesis research focuses on visual rhetoric in science journalism, particularly in regards to post-truth phenomena and constructed narratives of fear. She graduated with a B.A. in English (Honours) from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2016 as well as certificates in TESL and journalism. In her spare time, Valerie works on graphic literature projects as a writer and illustrator. She lives with her partner and two cats in Abbotsford.

Luke Galvani

MA SSHRC scholar Luke Galvani is working towards an MA in Communication at Simon Fraser University. His advocacy work for people with disabilities earned him SFU’s 2017 Terry Fox Gold Medal. His principle research interests are in Disability Studies and Film and Media Studies. Specifically, his research focuses on cinematic representations of disability and sexuality. The interdisciplinary nature of Communication has proved useful for his research intersections with race, gender, sexuality and social justice.

Courtney McLaren

Courtney McLaren is a MA student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Mount Allison University. Her MA thesis research is focused on transcultural identities of K-Pop fans in Canada, and the impact belonging to transcultural fandom has on understandings of cultural differences. Her current interests include fandom cultures, affect, and the construction of authenticity within the K-Pop industry and Korean media scholarship.

Jenn Mentanko

Jenn Mentanko is a second year Masters student in the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University. She was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta where she completed her undergraduate degree in Journalism a MacEwan University. Her Master’s thesis examines how new technology alters the definition of online privacy, with a specific look at blockchain-based platforms. She is a research assistant at the GeNA Lab and helps the team with research projects surrounding blockchain technology and communication. Outside of academia, she enjoys walking her dog, Waffles.

Irwin Oostindie

An engaged researcher, Irwin reconsiders cultural policy, technology access, and public infrastructure in the era of reconciliation. A Dutch settler and parent, for three decades Irwin has initiated local and international media, arts and social justice projects, community radio, TV, print, web, and cultural spaces. He founded 'Under the Volcano,' Canada's largest annual political arts festival (1990-2009). A prolific media artist, broadcaster, curator, cultural planner, festival and event producer, he has worked in Communications or as Executive Director at Tsleil-Waututh Nation, W2 Community Media Arts, Gallery Gachet, North Vancouver Arts Council, and Vancouver’s Roundhouse. He has consulted to three levels of government on the intersection of inner-city economic development and cultural industries, and created the 2010 Olympics culture and media house.

Irwin received a Honour's Post-Graduate Certificate in Media Arts at Capilano University, is a mature student at SFU School of Communications, an Associate with SFU Institute for Humanities, and RA for the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology. Irwin frequently lectures publicly emphasizing a place-based approach to cultural policy, the spectacle of reconciliation, redress and city-building in unceded Coast Salish lands and waters.

Irwin leads planning and engagement for RayCam Renew, a $150M East Vancouver neighbourhood hub. He created RayCam Knowledge Exchange, a research institute sponsored by the Dutch government to connect international and SFU faculty with innercity residents. He is also an active participant in a new national research network promoting digital human rights in the fields of data trusts, Smart Cities, future proofing social and civic technology.

Anh PhanVu

Anh is a master's student and research assistant at GeNA Lab. Her research interests are in the areas of open data, big data, blockchain, philosophy of technology, identity, and social movements. She is particularly interested in examining the intersection between technology and civic engagement. Anh is currently completing her thesis on the open data movement in Ukraine after the 2014 Revolution.

Pamela Aimee Rigor

Pamela Aimee Rigor is an international graduate student from Manila, Philippines where she received a bachelor's degree in Communication from Ateneo de Manila University. She is currently a third-year MA Communication student at Simon Fraser University. Aimee has a genuine interest in the role communication has on global issues such as human rights, migration, displacement and social justice. Her Master’s thesis is a discourse analysis of the news media coverage of the Syrian refugee resettlement initiative in Vancouver, Canada. Her current research interests include media representations of immigrants and refugees, forced migration and conflict, refugee law, race and multiculturalism.

Amy Robertson

I've worked in communications for just over 10 years. I chose SFU's program to help me think critically about my field, and to add to my professional qualifications.


Dylan Webb | 

Dylan was admitted to our MA program in the Fall of 2018. While he has diverse, interdisciplinary research interests that include but are not limited to; labour studies, political economy of communication, social change, labour market policy and ideology and political ecology, his research is driven by a broad based commitment to political economy and working class perspectives. Dylan recently completed his BA with distinction at SFU with a triple minor in Labour Studies, Communications and Political Science. He feels that this interdisciplinary academic experience, along with his extensive experience in a variety of positions in the work force, has given him the opportunity to develop a balance between a hyper focused/specialized line of research and the benefits of the breadth and depth of an interdisciplinary approach grounded in real world experience. Dylan is excited and honoured to have been accepted to the SFU CMNS MA program and is very appreciative of the support he received from his family, faculty and others in pursuit of this goal. Dylan hopes to spend his time in the program engaging with research he is passionate about while figuring out a way to do his part in the struggle for social, economic and ecological justice for all people.

Evelyn Zhang

I did my Bachelor in English back in Shanghai, China and after that I came to the School of Communication for my Master’s degree. Living and learning in one of the most popular destinations for immigrants and international students, I became deeply interested in the life experience of the migrants and the role online platforms (diasporic websites, apps, social media accounts, etc.) play in reinventing concepts like migration and community. My areas of interest include new media and platform technologies, migration and globalization studies and mobilities research. Currently, I am working on my thesis about the hidden ride-hailing platforms in Vancouver, which leads to interesting questions about international student labour, Chinese communities and the interweaving of digital technologies and urban space.