Meet our new cohort of graduate students!

September 01, 2023

Vanja Vekić Chen

Hello! My name is Vanja Vekić Chen (she/her) and you can call me Vanja. I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina in a town called Gradiška on the Sava River bordering Croatia—you should see the sunsets there! During the day, I'm interested in syntax and information structure, but at night, I'm an avid reader of fiction. I love traveling, poetry and movies, as well as mastering the craft of creative writing.  

Ka Keung (“Leon”) Lee

My name is Ka Keung but  you can call me Leon. I'm from Hong Kong where Cantonese, English, and Mandarin are the official languages. I'm interested in psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, cross-language study, and language acquisition. During my “me” time, I like to assemble plastic model kits, play music, and do sports. I also go to the gym and train in Krav Maga, and sometimes practice calligraphy (my Gothic is so-so, but my Spencerian is not so good). An interesting fact about me is I'm a bit nerdy and old-fashioned—my teacher used to call me “retro boy” because I like listening to old-school music (though I prefer to call them classic).

Zeinab (“Zenita”) Naderpour

My name is Zeinab Naderpour, but you can call me Zenita, a name that I was called by my teachers and family for years. I was born and raised in Iran and have been living in Tokyo, Japan since 2016. Broadly speaking, my interest in Linguistics stems from my fascination with the intricate relationship between language and culture. I am intrigued by how non-native speakers utilize a language and adapt to it within the framework of their sociocultural backgrounds and beliefs. Through my studies, I hope to delve deeper into the intersection of language and culture, with a particular focus on World Englishes and the context of Japan.

Beyond my academic pursuits, I enjoy engaging in various hobbies. I’m an avid reader. I particularly relish books that offer insights into improving my life such as books on self-awareness, especially those written in Japanese. I have recently discovered a newfound passion for painting which allows me to express my creativity in vibrant and visual ways. I also enjoy playing online chess, although I must admit that my skills leave much room for improvement.

I have achieved a considerable level of fluency in the Japanese language, and often find that I can articulate my thoughts more fluidly and effortlessly in this language than in my mother tongue. Furthermore, a few years ago, I had the humble experience of winning three friendly Kanji (the Japanese writing system derived from Chinese characters) competitions against native Japanese and Chinese learners of Japanese.

Amelia Petch

Hi, I'm Amelia (she/her)! I grew up in Kamloops and did my undergraduate degree in linguistics at the University of Victoria. My main areas of interest are sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. Outside of school, I like crosswords, nordic skiing, cooking, and gardening. I also have a chicken named Mimi who provides me with a semi-regular supply of eggs and eats my lettuces when I'm not looking.

Virginia Uhi

I am Virginia (she/her) and I am an international student from Hong Kong. As you can see from my photo, I am a fresh graduate! As for my specific interests in linguistics, it would most probably be language policies/ education within the sociolinguistics field. An interesting fact about me is that she did not intend to do graduate studies until I came to SFU for an exchange during Spring 2022. Maybe it was the atmosphere or the professors, but it was much more interesting and eye-opening than studying linguistics in Hong Kong. I loved it so much that I wanted to come back, and here I am now!

Eunice Wong

I’m Eunice (she/her) from Hong Kong and I will be studying MA Linguistics at SFU this coming fall semester. I just finished my bachelor’s degree in February. I love hearing stories, narratives, and sounds, so I’m interested in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, phonetics, and everything that is related. I am an introvert who loves rock climbing and watersports, good food and coffee, and meeting new people!

Han Zhang

Hello everyone! My name is Han Zhang (she/her), and you can call me Han. I originally came from China, and I’ve been working as an instructor of English Linguistics and a series of ESL/EFL courses in the past two years at a junior College in my hometown. I got my M.Sc. degree in the field of Language Sciences from University College London. Before that, I obtained my BA in English from Colorado State University. I am super interested in phonetics, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, as well as the interaction between musical and linguistic experience. In my spare time, I play the piano, practice yoga and very often drown myself in the sea of mythology. Fun fact about me: 30 is the number of times I have read the Harry Potter series.

Danielle Brady

I’m Danielle (she/her) and I’m from Vancouver, B.C. My interests in linguistics are phonology and morphology (etymology, concatenation). My hobbies include writing and making music (singing and guitar), and I’m also part of a duo!

An interesting fact about me relating to linguistics and my heritage is that I have a tattoo of a Chinese character on my ankle which is the shared part of me and my sisters' middle name. It means intelligence (hui) but is made up of three characters that can be broken down into abundance (from two wheat-like symbols), snow or mountains (which I've been told is a filler character for orthography purposes), and heart. The "intelligence" comes from using your heart to turn wheat into a broom … or something like that.

Juniper Scheel

I’m Juniper (they/them) from Anchorage, Alaska. I came from an Archaeology background before going into linguistics as a master's student at SFU. I am interested in language documentation and revitalization, and specifically in Alaska Native languages including Haida, Tlingit. My hobbies include writing, reading, and swordsmanship.