Fall 2022 Graduate Fellows

Aayush Sharma

Aayush is a first-year Master of Science Student with the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. He is interested in healthy city design and bicycle access, focusing on disadvantaged populations. Aayush has experience using R and SAS statistical coding software, ArcGIS, and Python. In addition, he has utilized the Canadian Community Health Survey to implement exploratory research, such as undergoing multivariable linear and logistic regression. Aayush is now researching land use and inequities in the context of Surrey, BC, as it pertains to 15-minute neighbourhoods, using mapping and community engagement. A 15-minute neighbourhood is a neighbourhood where all essential services are within a 15-minute walk, cycle, or transit from one’s home. He looks to add the lived experiences of the community to his analysis to understand what Surrey residents consider essential to have in their 15-minute neighbourhoods and whether his analysis and mapping match their lived experiences.

Ann Chou

Ann K. Chou is a final year MSc student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, and has overcome challenges as a person on the autism spectrum with hearing disability.

Inspired by her lived experience and career in health care, Ann’s project disrupts dominant medical culture, giving people ownership of their health narratives, and honoring their capacity to manage their health. Using Ann’s Draw-Aloud Symptoms technique, the patient draws a bodymap, following a “now-then-wish” process: first, sensing with the body; second, recalling symptom onset; and, finally, imagining themselves in a healthy future. In her spare time, Ann shares her artistic talents in lantern making at pubic art festivals.

Annika Lutz

Annika Lutz is a third year PhD student in the department of Psychology with a focus on sustainability and social change. Through her work with environmental NGOs and grassroots organizations, she has come to believe that applying and mobilizing social psychological knowledge to serve the interests of practitioners in the community should be an important component of research. As part of her work, she aims to understand how research in Social Psychology can best strengthen and support the environmental movement, and how psychological knowledge can most effectively be mobilized to bridge the gap between research and practice. 

Ashley Kyne

Ashley Kyne is a first-generation master's candidate at Simon Fraser University's School of Criminology. Ashley’s ancestry is iTaukei, Tamil, and Irish; however, she identifies with her Indigenous ancestry first and foremost. Recently, Ashley completed her honours thesis which examined culturally-informed risk factors for Indigenous offenders. As a SSHRC Joseph-Arman Bombardier Masters Scholar and Lieutenant Governor Medalist Ashley is excited to continue her research on offender risk assessment, Indigenous justice, and decolonization. 

Asli Ozer

Asli Ozer is a second-year Master’s student in the Department of Sociology at SFU. Her research interests are violence against women, intimate partner violence, help-seeking behaviours, and COVID-19 pandemic-related issues. Asli’s research focuses on how Turkish women seek help when they experience intimate partner violence before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her research will further explore how Turkey’s political and cultural context impacts Turkish women’s experiences with help-seeking.

Charity Mudhikwa

I am in my first year of the MSc Public Health program in the Faculty of Health Sciences. After completing the honours program during my undergrad, I developed a passion for HIV research and this led me to where I am now. I am particularly interested in how racial discrimination influences and impacts the sexual and reproductive health of racialized women living with HIV. My current work as a Research Assistant on a community-based and women-centred study investigating the healthy aging of women living with HIV gave me an appreciation for the importance of community engaged research. My goal is to meaningfully include the voices of the people who my research concerns at every stage of the research process in all my work. In my spare time, you'll likely find me exploring a new Vancouver restaurant, listening to a true crime podcast or hiding out in my apartment.

Courtney Vance

Courtney Vance is a Northern-Tutchone and German MA student in her second year of study in Sociology at SFU. Her research interests include Indigenous art pedagogies; Indigenous policy; environmental racism; Indigenous planning and decolonizing the city. Courtney’s MA research focuses on learning how Indigenous planning methods can be forwarded in settler cities, specifically by investigating Vancouverism in relation to “Vancouver’s” self-acclaimed status as a ‘City of Reconciliation.’ She currently works as a research assistant through SFU Library’s Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre on the Salish Weave Box Sets: Art & Storytelling Project, as well as with her MA supervisor on Indigenous policy-related projects.

Hoornaz Keshavarzian

Hoornaz Keshavarzian is a PhD candidate and a sessional instructor in the School of Communication. Her research is focused on the intersection between transnational feminism, gender politics, and online advocacy. She studies how Iranian women organize resistance and upend hegemony by reclaiming the online realm where the disciplinary gaze and patriarchal monopoly of the public sphere are momentarily absent. 

Indira Riadi (She/Her)

Indira is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Gerontology, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, at Simon Fraser University. For her doctoral research, Indira aims to create an inclusive, community-based digital mental health interventions/service protocol that can be used by any seniors-serving organisations across Canada. Indira has been collaborating with a local seniors’ centre, the West End Seniors’ Network, for the past two years to learn about the lived experiences of older adults in the community (West End), understanding factors that impact their mental health, and learning about possible digital services that the community needs. Indira also works as a research assistant for the Long-Term Care/Assisted Living research unit at Fraser Health Authority, researching about the impact of Long COVID on Long-Term Care Staff.

Kirsten Bradford

Since growing up in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Howe Sound, curious about what creatures live in tide pools, Kirsten has always been fascinated by connections between people, fish, and place. Kirsten is a settler, interdisciplinary fisheries scientist, and master's student in the School of Resource and Environmental Management. Her research focuses on restoring connections between people and salmon through socially and ecologically conscious stream restoration practices. Specifically, Kirsten is working in partnership with the Haida Nation to understand how Haida stream care-taking practices can be revitalized for the restoration of Haida salmon streams today.

Mary Kelly

I am a second year graduate student in the School of Resource and Environmental Management. My master's thesis is part of a research project taking place on Xwe’etay/ Lasqueti Island in the Salish Sea, where we are looking at how to better honour and protect First Nations heritage through community-engaged research and planning. My research focuses on how First Nations are exerting self-determination through heritage policies and related stewardship initiatives and the responses from local municipalities. As a settler working on this project, I am deeply grateful and privileged to part of this work as I continue to learn from our Indigenous partners. 

Matia Theodosakis

My name is Matia Theodosakis, and I am a Master of Public Policy student at SFU. My research focus is accessibility in post-secondary institutions, particularly for students with hidden disabilities. Academic ableism is a barrier to opportunities for many talented people with diverse and valuable experiences and perspectives, and I want to help make higher education more accessible. Part of this work is raising the issues of mental health within academic spaces, integrating an intersectional lens into disability policy, and addressing the relationship between colonization and perceptions of ability and disability.

Megan Mattes (she/her)

Megan Mattes (she/her) is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Political Science at SFU. Her research investigates the challenges and opportunities of public participation with an emphasis on the connections between public input and policy-making. Currently, this research is focused on examining the existing process of municipal land-use public hearings in BC to assess how this (alleged) opportunity for participation could be re-structured into a more inclusive and deliberative forum, with a view to strengthen housing policy to work better for communities. This work includes collaboration with the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue's Strengthening Canadian Democracy project.

Poh Tan

Poh Tan is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education within the Educational Theory and Practice stream.  She is an immigrant and settler to Canada when she moved her with her mom, dad, and brother from Malaysia.  She is of Nyonya descent when her great grandfather moved to Malaysia for work and married her great grandmother who was Indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia. She is thankful and privileged to be studying, researching, and dancing on unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) traditional lands.  

After completing her Bachelor of Science at SFU, she obtained her first PhD in stem cell biology, genetics, and cell biology from the University of British Columbia, where her research focused on understanding the mechanisms behind why leukemic cells metastasize. After working and researching within the biotechnology field, and inspirations from her children, she found one of her passions in science education.  

Her current research focuses on understanding and exploring ways to teach science from different perspectives, specifically from an Indigenous Hawaiian lens. Poh is not Indigenous Hawaiian. She has been a hula dancer since 2004 studying under the fins of  kumu hula, Josie de Baat from Halau Kia O Ka Hula.  The practice of hula helped her understand how science can be shared and taught to create meaningful connections with what is being studied.  Hula also showed Poh how learning about science from an embodied and place of heart can translate to reciprocity, respect and care for others.  More about Poh: www.pohtanphd.ca

Sarah Gutzmann

Sarah Gutzmann is a Masters of Resource Management (MRM) student and interdisciplinary coastal researcher in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. She is passionate about marine social-ecological systems and addressing their wicked problems through coproducing knowledge and supporting place-based decision making.

In partnership with the Kwakiutl Nation, Sarah’s research focuses on kelp mariculture (farming) and wild harvest. It aims to aid Kwakiutl Nation leaders in making management decisions about developing kelp mariculture and/or burgeoning kelp harvest in their territories which are grounded in Indigenous knowledge and community values, and which consider risks due to climate change.

Sean O'Callaghan

Sean O’Callaghan is currently completing a Master of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Prior to his studies at SFU, he worked as a mental health worker with PHS Community Services Society at several supportive housing projects in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community. Sean’s research interests include critical drug policy, mental health, and public health. Sean’s thesis research utilizes community-engaged methods to investigate participatory barriers and facilitators to medically regulated safer supply programs for people who use drugs. He also works as a research assistant with the Qualitative and Community-Based Research Office at the BC Centre on Substance Use.