2023 FCAT Undergraduate Conference

About the UGC

The FCAT Undergraduate Conference (UGC) is a celebration and exploration of the diverse range of student work produced within our faculty.

Students from each of our schools and programs have the opportunity to showcase performances, papers, installations, and displays. At the 2023 UGC, we had over 110 students presenting 53 projects from the School of Communications, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, School for the Contemporary Arts and the Publishing program. We had the pleasure of hosting over 200 students, faculty, staff, friends, alumni and community members at this interdisciplinary event of inspiring student work!

2023 Undergraduate Conference Snapshot

Filmed and Edited by SFU FCAT students Melody Azimi and Anastasia Halapats.

  • Date: Friday March 3rd, 2023
  • Time: 3:00 - 7:00 pm 
  • Location: Goldcorp

2023 Presenter Features

Valerie M. Malla, Publishing Program

What was a highlight of your UGC experience?

It was a great experience to present my own work – this work (course project) actually carried me beyond what the course requirements were, and so I exceeded my own expectations and that was a surreal experience in itself. So, having the opportunity to actually present the project that engaged me so fully was so much fun, and definitely the highlight at the end of my undergrad studies!

What did you learn about yourself during this process?

Meeting the brand new challenge of presenting at a conference, which I had not experienced before, really tightened my project even further. I have an even better understanding of what I had undertaken – not only with writing the book (that was not exactly intended) – but, how all the pieces of the exterior of the book fit with the interior contents of the book, which ultimately enables the communication on the pages to convey in the right way to the readers. It feels quite satisfying.

What would you tell other FCAT students thinking of participating in Undergrad research opportunities like the UGC?

Whether you are planning your current project to enter for the UGC, or you heard of the UGC after completing your project (as was my case), take the leap and make the submission! That’s what I did, and it turned out to be really meaningful. If you are selected to present, it will build confidence in so many ways – especially seeing the other projects – it was so humbling being in their company. And, it’s also a really fun (and memorable) evening! Give it your best!

Jullianna Oke, SCa

What was a highlight of your UGC experience?

A highlight of the conference for me was seeing the large variety of works from all the other students. Each room, and even each presentation, was so different in topic that it was incredibly refreshing to go from room to room and witness all the different presentations. It made me appreciate how such diverse faculties could come together and offer such a unique opportunity for a conference. I also really appreciated all the different ways that everyone would present – some would have PowerPoints, some were installation based, and some were demonstrations and performances. Each space was transformed to support the specific mode of presenting that each student had, and so it was lovely to experience the space in this new way.

What did you learn about yourself during this process? 

As I was preparing my presentation, I quickly learned that if I had cue cards or notes for me to read, then I became so intent on reading my words exactly as they were written that I would lose my actual presenting skills. Due to this, I decided to just memorize key points and speak from with no reference material – this was a little daunting at first, but I believe that it ended up working in my benefit. I did not feel tied to anything and could read the room and spend longer on a certain area of my topic if the audience seemed engaged. I also learned that I have a hard time socializing after presenting, but I believe this is just because I was a little tired from the presentation itself. In this case I was happy that I did most of my socializing and meeting new people beforehand, because afterwards I found it a bit harder to converse. I think this could also be an area that I could improve upon – presenting in a way that does not exhaust myself.

What would you tell other FCAT students thinking of participating in Undergrad research opportunities like the UGC?

If you’re at all interested in learning what it’s like to present at a conference or have a work that you’d like to share beyond the scope of a class or course, then you should apply! This is my second time presenting, and the FCAT organizers are amazing and always put together an amazing day of events, presentations, and opportunities for you to meet other students from different majors and faculties. They also really help you in feeling prepared for presenting and speaking about your work and provide some workshops where they run through what you can expect and answer any questions that you may have. It’s an amazing experience overall, and truly something I highly recommend for any FCAT undergraduate!

Sureeta Rai, Cmns


What was a highlight of your UGC experience?

I really enjoyed that I had the opportunity to connect with other presenters at the reception by chatting with fellow students and alumni about their research and career interests. This allowed me to build key connections with other students in outside and see the diverse range of research and innovation that our FCAT students have to offer.

What did you learn about yourself during this process?

The FCAT conference was the first time I have ever presented the Undergraduate level. Through this process, I was able to step outside my comfort zone and get a glimpse of public speaking in front of a large audience about research that I am passionate about.

What would you tell other FCAT students thinking of participating in Undergrad research opportunities like the UGC?

The FCAT conference is a great opportunity to meet faculty members and show case the hard work that you have been doing in your courses. For any students thinking of participating in Undergrad research opportunities I would start to think about any topics in communication that inspire you to learn more or just anything that you are passionate about sharing with the world.

Jenny (Hyewon) Choi, Gabriela Farhat, Jina Lee, Sooa Mo, Alyssa N. Umbal "Bye-Nary", SIAT

What are some of the challenges you faced as a group and how did you overcome them?

Some of the challenges we faced were with being objective and without reinforcing stereotypes or misconceptions. We wanted to create a useful application that the non-binary and trans communities could utilize, be immersed and identified with the functions and features. In order to do so, we ensured that we included those from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in every step of our development: from the initial research, to the final prototype testing. That way, we could get nearly immediate feedback regarding our design and could quickly implement any changes. The insights we collected helped us narrow down our target user and therefore create an application that is centered around their needs.

What was the highlight of participating in the UGC for your group?

The highlight was to come together as a team despite being apart for a long time. Our passion for design, team chemistry, and unified efforts were the backbone for this project which made it fun to create. Also, showcasing our hard work, and receiving valuable feedback from professionals and students made us grow as designers.

What would you tell other FCAT students thinking of participating in Undergrad research opportunities like the UGC?

It is a great opportunity to present what you've learned in a professional environment. If you are ever unsure just give it a try, even if it is out of your comfort zone since there are others who are willing to support you and guide you throughout your participation. This is a chance to meet other students and faculty members which help you network to create additional opportunities. Overall this will allow you to expand your knowledge and create an unforgettable experience that is going to progress your future professional career.

Meet our Alumni Panel

Beau Han Bridge, SCA Alumnus

Boyuan (Beau) Han Bridge is a mixed Chinese/Canadian film actor, director, and playwright. He holds a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Contemporary Art, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology & Psychology from Simon Fraser University, and is drawn to exploring how social psychology and nostalgia can be reconstructed through intersectional film styles and interdisciplinary aesthetics of hybrid cinema, metafiction, and scripted drama. He has received research fellowships, an Ontario Arts Council grant, and is a recipient of the highly competitive Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Graduate Scholarship for his thesis research on Chinese Canadian identity, Postmemory, and language translation in Chinese Pingju Opera. 

As of now, he is completing a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production at York University in Toronto, Ontario, and is currently in post-production on his thesis film She Sings for the World. He is also collaborating with international Choreographer Robert Kitsos on an interdisciplinary Screendance film project titled Moving Matter, and has also recently wrapped up a lead acting role in CBC's upcoming limited Murdoch Mysteries Digital YA spin-off series Macy Murdoch, which will be premiering in March 2023 on CBC Gem.

Salathiel Wells, SIAT Alumnus

Salathiel currently works as a Senior Design Program Manager at Microsoft. He acquired his BA - Interactive Arts & Technology from Simon Fraser University and has worked as a UX Designer and DesignOps Lead/Chief of Staff at SAP.

A natural systems thinker, Salathiel believes in Design’s ability to create tangible futures. He has led numerous Design projects, implemented new processes that have increased efficiency, and facilitated the growth of Design teams. Salathiel is also a Lead Instructor at BrainStation for their UX Certificate Course and enjoys mentoring students and junior Designers. 

Outside of work, Salathiel enjoys working out at the gym, reading non-fiction books, and finding another creative interest to pursue (currently he’s learning 3D printing).

Itse Hesse, CMNS Alumnus 

Itse is the founder of Black Girl Collective, a non-profit that advocates for the visibility and joy of Black; cisgender women and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals by creating safe, inclusive and accessible spaces for growth and empowerment.

Born and raised in Nigeria, she came to Canada 8 years ago to pursue a degree in Communications at SFU. After graduating, she was looking for a mentor to help her navigate the job market early career decisions but was confronted by the apparent lack of community amongst women who looked like her, so she decided to do something about it.  

Itse is very passionate about women empowerment and spends a lot of time trying to enhance the lives of her members through programs such as: Black Futures, Black Joy Events and Community Engagement.

Why Should you Get Involved with the UGC?

  • Build presentation and public speaking skills 
  • Recognition on your Co-Curricular Record credit (CCR)
  • Access to free workshops 
  • Connect with faculty members 
  • Share and gain knowledge 
  • Transform your ideas 

Kindly find photos from the event below. All photographs were taken by Stuart Popp.