Student Profiles


Benjamin Aloi
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Burlington, New Jersey
Previous Degree(s): BA, Honours International Development, McGill University
Work Experience: The McGill International Review and Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade
Areas of Policy Interest: local government, affordable housing, public transportation, zoning & land-use planning, municipal reorganization, political parties, electoral reform

Dennis Anthonipillai
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Psychology and Philosophy; University of Victoria
Work Experience: Board member and long-time volunteer at the Collingwood Community Policing Centre; the largest non-profit community policing centre in the City of Vancouver. As a board member, I approve an annual quarter-million-dollar budget with a focus on engaging and revitalizing the Joyce-Collingwood Community.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social Policy, Economic Policy

Bhavjot Bansi
Program Year: One
Hometown: Abbotsford, BC
Previous Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Simon Fraser University.
Work Experience: Bhav participated in the Co-op program. and worked as a Special Events Intern and a Safety Research Intern for the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, where her interest in Public Policy peaked.
Areas of Policy Interest: social policy, such as mental health policies for inmates and correctional workers. 

Aman Basra
Program Year: One
Hometown: Delta, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, International Relations and Economics, UBC
Work Experience: I’ve been working for the federal government since I was 22 years old. I began with Indigenous Affairs working in a branch that dealt with the settlement process related to Indian Residential Schools. That experience left a lasting impact and taught me to be a champion of Indigenous issues and Reconciliation in all my future roles. From there, I transitioned to Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) doing program delivery of Employment Insurance (EI) moving up into leadership/management. As of January 2019, I moved to the corporate side of ESDC’s Western division. I worked on a team called Planning, Accountability and Strategic Analysis (PASA). PASA facilitates planning for the region as a whole in partnership with business lines, business expertise, enabling partners, and national partners. 
Areas of Policy Interest: Economic Policy, Immigration Policy, Foreign Policy, International Development, International Business and Trade.

Disha Bhatnagar
Hometown: Vancouver BC
Previous Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with an Extended Minor in French, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: For the last 3 years, I have been working at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction as an Employment and Assistance Worker. In my role, I assess eligibility & ongoing support for income, hardship & disability assistance for British Columbians in need. I started my career in public service as a Co-op student in 2013 and have worked for Indigenous Services Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and Canada Border Services Agency. I have been volunteering as a Settlement Mentor with Immigrant Services Society of BC for the past 4 years as well.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social, economic and health policies relating to the integration of newcomers, and more broadly integration and immigration policies

Megan Bowers
Program Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences, Major in Political Science with Minor in Public Administration, French immersion program, University of Ottawa
Work Experience: I have worked for four different federal government departments in Ottawa including Public Services and Procurement Canada, Global Affairs Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Most recently, I worked for two years at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), first as administrative support in the Minister’s Office, and then as correspondence coordinator in the Deputy Minister’s Office.
Areas of Public Policy Interest: Climate change, social justice, Indigenous rights, health

Amber Butterworth
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration, Major in Human Resource Management; British Columbia Institute of Technology
Work Experience: I am currently working within higher education, specifically with the Canadian Armed Forces. For the past four years, I have worked as the project lead for the National Advanced Placement and Prior Learning program. Through this work, I have been given the opportunity to contribute to different groups in the public sector as an advocate and subject-matter-expert in educational equivalencies and recognition.
Areas of Policy Interest: Foreign credentials, Foreign Policy, National Defence   

Justin Carmichael
Program Year: One
Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta
Previous Degree(s):  BA Political Science, SFU
Work Experience: Justin completed an internship at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver, working for both the U.S. Department of State and Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service as the commercial economic statecraft intern, applying his knowledge of Canadian and BC politics to completing projects, research, and cables for the two departments. Justin also previously worked in IT at the SFU Bookstore, before assuming his current role as Government Relations Coordinator in the Office of the Vice-President, External Relations at SFU. In his current role, Justin assists the SFU executive in outreach activities with all levels of government, research on key government and internal SFU initiatives, and assists in government-planned events that take place at any one of the three SFU campuses.

Sarah Carthy
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Peterborough, ON
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Business, Minor in Economics; Trent University
Work Experience: Following my undergraduate degree, I was selected by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) to complete a TD Insurance Fellowship in Advancement at Trent University. In this role, I completed several projects for the External Relations and Advancement department at Trent, including an in-depth research study on the university crowdfunding landscape, the development of a new website specific to alumni, donors, and volunteers, and the restructuring of alumni volunteer recognition.
Areas of Policy Interest: Economic Policy, Foreign Policy, International Development.

Treena Chambers
Program Year:  One
Previous Degree(s): BA, International Studies, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: Treena is a Métis scholar who has worked as a union organizer, bookseller, and researcher. She has worked on the categorization and digitization of archival materials on projects such as The People and The Text and as well she has worked with the Indigenous Voices Awards and the Indigenous Literary Studies Association.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social Policy, Criminal Justice Policy, Indigenous Governance, and Foreign Policy.

Nicole Doucette
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Surrey, BC
Previous Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science and Minor in Dialogue in Communications from Simon Fraser University
Work Experience  For the past two years I have been the Council Correspondence Coordinator for the City of Vancouver. This was a newly established position which required  the development and implementation of a new correspondence management process to provide a systematic way of responding to, tracking and reporting on citizens inquiries. I established a correspondence policy and a reporting system for providing data to the Mayor, Council and staff with regards to the volume, scope, and subject of public inquiries. I have previous work experience with the Federal government through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada as a Researcher. In this role I analyzed and synthesized historical data which was leveraged to inform the development of litigation cases and policies by the Litigation Management and Resolution Branch. I also have experience with non-profits as a Communications and Market Assistant for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion.
Areas of Policy Interest: Elections Policy, Democratic Institutions and improving civic engagement and participation through public policy, as well as Social, Indigenous and Urban Policy.

Munir-Khalid Dossa
Hometown: Surrey, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts Major Sustainable Policy Studies, Minor Political Science, Certificate NGO and Non-profit Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Work Experience(s): Community Outreach Coordinator at West Coast Environmental Law, Coordinator PICS Entrepreneurship Program at Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS), Mega Job Fair Coordinator at PICS.
Volunteer Experience(s): National Convenor Campus Connexion Mentorship Program at Aga Khan Education Board Canada, Board Member at Kwantlen Students Association, Treasurer and Acting-Vice President of KPU WUSC, Member for Post-Secondary at Aga Khan Education Board B.C, Project Manager Think Global Link Local at United Nations Association Canada- Vancouver Branch.
Areas of Policy Interest: International development, sustainability, environmental policy, social policy, and civil society development.

Nathan Durham
Program Year: One
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Previous Degree: BA in Sociology and Gender Studies, Kenyon College (Gambier, OH)
Work Experience: For two years, I worked as a paralegal for a labor and employment law firm in Seattle, WA, assisting attorneys with harassment and discrimination cases for individual plaintiffs as well as class action lawsuits for violations of wage and hour laws, such as unpaid overtime or improper commission structures. This experience led me to my current areas of interest in labor market policy as well as antitrust law and competition policy as avenues to balance employee and employer power. Prior to my work as a paralegal, I managed an LGBTQ resource center, and completed research on marriage and family policy during a legal scholarship program in Ohio.
Areas of Policy Interest: antitrust law and competition policy, labor and employment policy, social policy and inequality

Holly Eksal
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Halifax, NS
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts (Distinction), History Major, SFU
Work Experience: I currently work for the Disability Management Program at the RCMP, and have worked on policy projects for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the past. I have completed a legal internship at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, which focused on business and human rights projects, as well as the application of international law and policy. I am the Co-chair of the Amnesty International Corporate Action Group in Vancouver, driving business and human rights activism. I currently sit on both the Senate Appeals Board and Senate Committee for Graduate Studies at SFU as a Graduate Representative. In the past, I was an Undergraduate Representative on the Senate Committee for International Activities and the Human Rights Policy Board at SFU.
Areas of Policy Interest: Domestic/international business and human rights policy; foreign policy; Indigenous policy

Norees Gasper
Program Year: One
Hometown: Salt Spring Island, BC
Previous Degree: BAH, Queen’s University with a double major in History and Religious Studies
Work Experience: I was involved with the Queen’s Refugee Relief organization during my undergraduate career, advocating for education on campus, and helping refugees transition to life in Canada. I also have experience working in small scale government and philanthropy organizations in my hometown.
Areas of Public Policy Interest: Environmental and climate change policy as well as immigration policy 

Jeff Hartmann
Program Year: One
Hometown: Tsawwassen, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor Arts, major Geography
Work Experience: Jeff previously worked as carpenter throughout Metro Vancouver working on projects ranging from public infrastructure to single family homes. After completing a bachelor's degree Jeff worked at Health Canada with their Environmental Assessment team.
Areas of policy interest: energy, infrastructure, transportation, environmental policy, and social and economic policy  

Saima Huda
Program Year: One
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and Finance, BRAC University.
Work Experience: I assisted a doctoral research project, titled “Modern Contraception Use among Married Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh” for Boston University in 2018. I facilitated a work on of obstetric fistula survivors for EngenderHealth Inc. USA in 2015. I volunteered for a community based adolescent centered safe motherhood and reproductive health project in Bangladesh and attended a forum of health ministers of 26 developing countries of Asia and Africa in Beijing, China in 2013. I joined the Health Minister of Bangladesh in a side meeting with the Vice Premier of China.
Areas of Policy interest: Public Policy Needs in Transition Economies, Economics of Climate Change, Resource Utilization for better health outcome.

Daniel Lam
Program Year: One
Hometown: Richmond, BC
Previous Degrees: BSc, Atmospheric Science and Political Science (2019), UBC
Brief Work Experience: I have volunteered at the UBC AMS and served on their Board of Directors for two years.  I have also volunteered with the BC Council for International Cooperation as part of a foreign policy course.
Areas of Policy Interest: Climate policy and carbon pricing in the Canadian federation

Claudia Malinowski
Program Year:  Two
Hometown: Coquitlam, BC
Previous Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, minor in Political Science; Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: For the past 18 months, I worked as a research assistant for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (now CIRNA). In this role, I provided research support for historical and contemporary issues relating to Aboriginal litigation, including land management and environmental contamination. I also worked at the United States Consulate General as an economic commercial intern, where I drafted reports on emerging political and economic issues in British Columbia. Areas of Public Policy Interest: social policy, urban policy, Indigenous policy, sustainable development, gender-based analysis.

Andrew Marriott
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts with a Double Major in Political Science and Anthropology from MacEwan University in Edmonton
Work Experience: I am eager to put my skills, experience, and passion for policy to work in a professional setting. Since 2016, I have volunteered with National Model United Nations by helping to put on simulated conferences for thousands of international and Canadian university students in Banff and New York. These conferences are focused on the creation and implementation of policy responding to important international issues and I was responsible for helping choose the topics under discussion, supervising the conference sessions, and guiding and reviewing the substantive work of student delegates. I have also sat on several university committees, been a leader and executive in student groups, and held minor election day roles with Elections Alberta.
Areas of Policy Interest: I am particularly interested in international relations and diplomacy, environmental policy, public transportation, and urban policy. I also have a cross-cutting interest in how rapid technological and social change shapes the policy of the future and creates new challenges.

Taylor McKinney
Program Year:  Two
Hometown: Kamloops, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security, Simon Fraser University; Associate of Arts in Global Stewardship, Capilano University; American University of Kosovo, certificate in Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Development
Work Experience: During my undergrad I interned at Canada’s Embassy to Myanmar and completed an eight-month co-op with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Yukon regional office. Following graduation, I worked as the Editor and Social Media Coordinator of SFU’s Online Learning Community. A role that entailed, editing the work of contributing authors, writing articles on career development, and launching a podcast on community engagement. As a student I also worked at SFU as the Aboriginal Program Researcher with the office for Work Integrated Learning and volunteered with Reconciliation Canada.
Areas of Policy Interest: Environmental Policy and its relationship to human security; Indigenous Policy; Immigration 

Miriam Moore
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Whitehorse, Yukon
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science, minor in Public Administration; University of Victoria
Work Experience: I worked as a Process Advisor at the BC Treaty Commission, where I had the opportunity to support treaty negotiations across BC. Additionally, I have worked as a Junior Research Analyst with then Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, as an Outreach Coordinator/Researcher for the Official Opposition Caucus in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, and as a Campaign Assistant for the United Way of Greater Victoria.
Areas of Policy Interest: Indigenous policy, environmental policy, social policy, health policy

Richard Mozisek
Program Year: One
Hometown: Maple Ridge, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours, Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: I worked as a Junior Policy Analyst at Health Canada in Ottawa. I assisted a team in implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety at the Health Products and Food Branch. I also worked as a Safety Policy Analyst at the Fleetwood BIA which is a non-profit organization in Surrey, BC. I created policy guidelines for small businesses to be partially reimbursed for improvements that benefitted the community.
Areas of Policy Interest: technology, energy, transportation, and economic policy. 

Ashley Muchka
Program Year: One
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction), International Studies Major, Political Science Minor; Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: During my undergrad, I completed co-ops with the Mexican Consulate in Vancouver (Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program) as a Consular Assistant, and with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a Citizen and Immigration Assistant. After graduating in 2017, I began working for the Enforcement and Intelligence Division (EID) within the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Areas of Policy Interest: Immigration Policy, Foreign Policy, Transitional Justice Policy, Electoral Reform  

Bieeshman Paskaran
Program Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts (Honours with Distinction), Criminology, SFU
Areas of Policy Interest: Criminal Justice, Immigration

Elizabeth Pinsent
Program Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, History; UBC
Work Experience: I have extensive experience working for and volunteering with non-profit organizations. Most significantly, I worked as office manager for the British Columbia Law Institute, the province’s independent law reform agency, for ten years. This provides me with a unique perspective on the challenges faced by nonprofits operating in the policy sphere.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social justice and human rights; climate change and environmental issues; accessibility to services for disabled persons; issues of systemic discrimination and inefficiencies, particularly as relates to public safety and criminal justice policy.

Daniella Prandoczky
Program Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: BA, Honours Major in Sociology and Minor in Philosophy; York University
Work Experience: During my undergraduate studies I began working as a Research Assistant for Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Climate Change, a research project that bridges labour and climate issues with the aim of providing equitable solutions for workers in transition. I recently completed a summer internship at the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board, providing research, administrative, and communications support to the Office of the Chief Strategy and Analytics Officer, the divisional Engagement Council, and various teams and projects across the Strategy and Analytics division.
Areas of Policy Interest: Labour Policy, Environmental Policy, Social Policy, Local Economic Development, Local Government. 

Jenna Quelch
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Prince George, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, University of British Columbia
Work Experience: In addition to an internship at Diabetes Canada, I have worked within a provincial health regulatory body, where I focused exclusively on health policy while managing the Inquiry & Discipline Committee. More recently, I oversaw a national non-profit's educational partnership program across Western Canada and Washington State. Within this role, I directed the First Nations, Métis & Inuit Advisory Committee, procured grants, and reported to various provincial governments on educational programming across Alberta and British Columbia. I also have frontline experience serving youth as a volunteer with the Urban Native Youth Association, as well as working as a leadership facilitator in Ecuador (2016) and India (2018).
Areas of Policy Interest: Health Policy, Youth/Education Policy, Indigenous Policy, Natural Resource Governance

Nathan Ryan
Program Year:  One
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Previous Degree(s): Honours Bachelor of Science, Psychology Specialist, University of Toronto
Work Experience: I worked at the University of Toronto Scarborough during my undergrad as a Work Study Supervisor at the Office of the Registrar. I trained and managed a group of ten work study staff and acted as a liaison between students and advisors. Following my undergrad, I worked at the University of Toronto, Enrolment Services, where I processed Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) applications across three campuses. This position allowed me to extend my knowledge from previous work in financial aid and to ensure students received the correct amount of funding in a timely manner. I also had the opportunity to work for UTemp at the University of Toronto, and was placed at Rotman Registrar's Office as a Student Services Associate, where I provided front line assistance to MBA students. UTemp also placed me as a Program Manager at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, where I processed payroll and scheduled staff, prepared course and exam materials, and supervised labs and exams. I will be working as a Research Assistant at SFU Burnaby in the Psychology department starting in September. 
Areas of Policy Interest: Health policy (I plan on applying to medical schools following completion of the MPP), LGBTQ+ policy, and poverty

Ruby Sarkar
Program Year: One
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta & Hamilton, Ontario
Previous Degree: BSc Environmental Conservation – Economic and Policy Specialization, University of Alberta
Work Experience:  I have been fortunate enough to apply my education with various organizations such as the Annapurna Conservation Area Project in Nepal, Canadian Forest Service within Natural Resources Canada, Southern Rockies Watershed Project with the University of Alberta. My most recent role has been spending the last three years as a Forestry Policy Analyst with the Government of Alberta where I had the chance to work on files such as softwood lumber litigation, legislative reviews, and red tape reduction. Areas of Policy Interest: Environment, Climate Change, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Economic, and Trade Policy

Parsoua Shirzad
Program Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Major in Communications, Minor in Sociology; Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: During my tenure at SFU, I was the Experiential Marketing Team Leader at Mosaic Sales Solutions, where I represented accounts such as Disney, Labbatt and Samsung. With this experience, I subsequently joined a print and digital publishing company as the Public Relations Director, from where I was eventually promoted to the position of Editor in Chief. During my five years with this company, I managed all creative and marketing operations, advertisement sales, as well as staff recruitment, training and management. The breadth of my work was operating the digital publication and overseeing the publishing of bimonthly print editions. Following graduation, I worked as a Marketing Consultant to various start up companies in BC’s wellness and lifestyle industry and real estate industry.
In my spare time I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, this year marking my tenth year. Of my volunteer experiences, the most memorable was a 4 month teaching position in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with The Cambodian Rural Development Team, a Cambodian-led NGO. Our teaching efforts raised funds for social and sustainable projects in rural Cambodia with the aim of alleviating poverty and environmental degradation.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social Policy; Drug and Health Policy; Business and Economic Innovation, Foreign Affairs and Trade Development

Ben Siemens
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Mission, BC
Previous Degree – BA, History, Minors: Geography, Applied Ethical and Political Philosophy.
Work Experience: Worked at Zajac Ranch for Children as a Camp Director; Father Inclusion Program/Early Childhood Development; Dad’s In Gear Program Facilitator; Research Assistant in Political Science Department
Areas of Policy Interest: Human health and welfare; special needs support; support for parents and families

Helen Thi
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of British Columbia
Work Experience: I am currently doing the MPP program part-time while working full-time at the Doctors of BC. As a Policy Analyst at Doctors of BC I provide research and policy development support to the Council on Health Promotion, Council on Health Economics and Policy, and project working groups. I also draft resolutions in alignment with Doctors of BC’s strategic direction on emerging health issues for the Board of Directors’ consideration and for debate at the Canadian Medical Association’s General Council meetings.
Areas of Policy Interest: health policy, particularly public health and rural health.

Ian Waters
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Surrey, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours, Criminology, SFU
Work/Volunteer Experience: Currently volunteering through the Health Initiative for Men providing health and wellness resources for male sex workers in Vancouver.
Areas of Policy Interest:  Sex work policy, criminal policy, human trafficking policy, labour policy, LGBTQ+ policy.

Trever Walton
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Previous Degree: Bachelor of the Arts - Sociology, English from Mount Royal University
Work Experience:  After completing his undergrad degree Trever worked as a Child and Youth Care Counselor for Hull Services. This position entailed acting as a support for youth experiencing drug addiction, homelessness, mental health and numerous other challenges. It was seeing the barriers to success facing this demographic, including institutional challenges and the lack of resources to meet the existing needs, that drove Trever to pursue a degree in Public Policy.
Areas of Policy Interest: Youth, LGBTQ, Indigenous, Mental Health, Homelessness, Addiction

Nancy Xue
Program Year:  One
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Previous Degree:  Honours Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Environmental Studies Minor
Work Experience: Following undergrad, I spent 10 months working in the Office of Nathan Cullen, MP through the GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship Program. My responsibilities included drafting order paper questions, correspondence with constituents, attending Parliamentary committees, and helping to draft and promote Bill C-429 (the Zero-Waste Packaging Act). Over my time in undergrad I worked as a Community Outreach Liaison for Toronto Environmental Alliance, as the co-president and organizer for the University of Toronto Environmental Action, and as a research assistant studying water governance on First Nations reserves.
Areas of Policy Interest: Climate and Environmental Policy, Indigenous Policy, Urban Transportation