Fall 2023 Graduate Fellows

Adjua Akinwumi

Adjua Akinwumi is a Phd Candidate and Mellon-SFU Fellow in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on the transposition of AI technologies into cultural contexts outside of their origin. Primarily interested in pandemic technologies in Africa, her work explores the relationship between notions of risk, race, and AI mobilization. Adjua holds an MA in Communication from SFU and an MSC in Conflict and Development studies from SOAS, University of London.

Emily Rose Blyth

Emily Rose Blyth (she/her) is a third year PHD student with the Faculty of Health Sciences. She uses arts-based and interdisciplinary approaches to study the differential health impacts related to media exposures to police violence. Her dissertation engages a community of folks who have experienced police violence in order to imagine a more just news reporting style that could promote change in the general public in response to police violence and reduce vicarious media harms in communities of impact. Acknowledging her position as a White settler scholar, Emily is committed to critical structural approaches that connect current police violence to a long and ongoing history of colonialism and racism in Canada.

Erica McAdams (auditing)

Erica is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program at UBC, in epidemiology and public policy and a recent graduate from the Master of Public Policy program at SFU. Erica is a drug policy researcher and the cohort research manager at the BC Centre on Substance Use. Erica’s doctoral research focuses on evaluating the effects of drug decriminalization in BC on youth and young adults who use drugs, a particularly marginalized group of people who use drugs.

Erica is a white settler who was raised on the traditional and unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishinabe peoples and currently lives, works, and rests on the unceded and stolen lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and SəlíL lwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Harman Grewal

Harman is a second-year Master's of Public Health student within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. After being involved in public health research with South Asian and Indigenous communities during her undergrad, she developed a passion for health equity. Harman is currently working as a research assistant with the RE-IMAGYN BC (Relationship Equity and Intersectional Measurement Among Gender-inclusive YouNg people in British Columbia) which seeks to improve gender and relationship equity measurement by centering the lived and living experiences of 2S/LGBTQ+, gender diverse and non-monogamous youth. Outside of school, she loves to hike, watch and play sports, and check out local cafés and restaurants!

Jessica Burch

Jessica is a PhD candidate in the department of political science at SFU, specializing in causal inference (research methods) and comparative political behaviour.  Her dissertation project focuses on emotion in politics - specifically, how social norms governing the expression of anger affect the success of political mobilization campaigns. She hopes these insights will assist organizations seeking to mobilize their members, and aims to use her training as a mediator to assist with the difficult conversations anger often presages. In addition to administering surveys on various topics, Jessica has run an experiment testing different measures and mechanisms of anger.  She enjoys utilizing quantitative and mixed methods of analysis and has experience programming in R.  She holds two research assistantships and has published a book chapter on experimental methods with her supervisor.

Jihyun Park

Jihyun Park is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology. She studied media, communication design, and psychology in South Korea and worked in the design/art industry as a graphic/industrial designer and interactive/media artist for many years. Through the interdisciplinary master’s design program at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, she integrated her diverse experiences with the study of sustainability and social change. Currently, she focuses on community-engaged data literacy through a co-speculative/creative design approach. In her research, she is exploring how data can be transformed through citizens' engagement (awareness, reflection, behaviour, and actions) and developing design/visualization practices/methods to bring up citizen-generated data to take collective action to address the environmental crisis.

Julia Lukacs

Julia Lukacs is a PhD student in the department of Psychology, enrolled in the Clinical Child Psychology program. In working with families every day, Julia understands the benefits and importance of including families in intervention development and research conception. Her current work is aimed at understanding caregiver perspectives on childhood anxiety and ADHD, primarily with regards to caregiver protectiveness and children's access to outdoor risky play environments. She hopes to work with caregiver partners to develop and conduct research in an ethical, client- and caregiver-centred way. 

Maitland Waddell

Maitland is a third-year PhD student in the Psychology department’s Intergroup Relations and Social Justice lab. One of his primary lines of research examines the psychological impacts of the Making Ends Meet poverty simulator, an immersive perspective-taking intervention designed to challenge stigma towards those who live in poverty. Maitland’s prior research has demonstrated that individuals who participate in Making Ends Meet are significantly less likely to blame those living in poverty for their socioeconomic status and are significantly more likely to attribute poverty to systemic issues such as low wages and inadequate social welfare programs. With the aid of SFU’s CERi Fellowship, Maitland aims to expand the impact of this work by partnering with local schools and NGOs in order to build their capacity to run poverty simulations in their own Greater Vancouver communities. 

Margaret Ovenell

Margaret Ovenell (she/her) is a first year Master of Arts student in the Department of Gerontology at Simon Fraser University. Margaret is interested in the intersection of climate change, extreme weather events, and aging in the right place. She is currently a research assistant with the Aging in the Right Place Partnership, a multi-city research project with over 40 community partners. In her spare time, Margaret enjoys swimming in the ocean and crafting.


Niloofar is pursuing her Master's degree in the Department of Gerontology within the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University. This marks her second Master's endeavor, with her previous degree being in Architecture. She is currently working on bridging her prior expertise with her new academic focus, which centers on creating age-friendly cities and environments.

In her pursuit, Niloofar has initiated a collaboration with a local seniors' center, known as the West End Seniors' Network, where she aims to gain insight into the daily experiences of older adults in the West End community. Her goal is to comprehend the various factors influencing their health and well-being, as well as to identify their specific environmental needs.

Niloofar also is actively engaged as a coordinator and research assistant in several research projects at Simon Fraser University. These projects, namely MAP, Hey Neighbor Collective, and DemSCAPE, are dedicated to studying the environmental needs of older adults, focusing on accessibility and social interaction. She has recently shifted her focus to individuals living with dementia.

Phoebe Gross

Phoebe is a second year MSc student in the department of Biological Sciences. For her graduate research, Phoebe aims to predict the impacts of climate change (e.g. sea-level rise and increasing water temperatures) on juvenile Pacific salmon in estuaries on Vancouver Island, which are important rearing habitats for these fishes. This work is conducted in collaboration with the Nature Trust of British Columbia and seven coastal First Nations on Vancouver Island. Through this collaborative work, research outcomes will be used to inform conservation and restoration actions to increase the resiliency of estuaries and salmon given oncoming climate change.

Rojan Nasiri

I'm in my second year of studying for a Master's Degree in Gerontology at SFU. Prior to this, I finished a Master's in Urban Planning at the University of Tehran, Iran. I've worked as an urban planner for over five years in consulting engineering offices in Iran. Now, I'm focused on making transportation planning more considerate of older adults and people with disabilities. My research is mainly about improving how neighborhoods work for them, like making it easier to get around on foot or in a wheelchair.

Saemi jung

Saemi is a doctoral researcher at the Digital Democracies Institute and a second year PhD student at the School of Communication. After working in the financial journalism industry, Saemi came back to academia to tackle questions around Big Tech, platform technologies, data/AI ethics, and datafied education. Saemi is committed to amplifying the voices of the marginalized communities through her research. One of her recent research projects, "Gig Workers Deserve Better," with the BC Federation of Labour, Labour Studies Department at SFU, and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, shed light on the precarious working conditions of the ride-hail and food delivery workers in BC, Canada. As a CERi fellow, Saemi is excited to explore methods and approaches to community-engaged research for her doctoral thesis which examines the increasing digitalization of education in the era of algorithms, automation, and AI. 

Shaghayegh Bahrami

Shaghayegh is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Educational Theory and Practice program at SFU Faculty of Education and holds a master's degree in Learning and Teaching from Harvard University. With a decade of experience spanning research, curriculum development, teaching, and teacher education, they have led professional learning communities and guided teachers in action research projects, as well as facilitated participatory projects in the community contexts. Committed to decolonial and community-engaged methodologies, Shaghayegh's current research centers on identity and language reclamation through biographical storytelling, with a particular interest in working wit rural teachers in Iran.

Sophia Han

A digital communication specialist with global experience in outreach and program development, Sophia Han has worked with research institutes, public universities, Crown and private corporations in the areas of education, science communication, and arts for social change. She comes from a multidisciplinary background in media production and publishing, beginning her career as a storyboard artist with the National Film Board. A PhD candidate at SFU, she teaches courses in visual communication and document design at Douglas College while researching the social impact of communication technologies on marginalized communities. Since 2022, she has been working closely with Collingwood Neighbourhood House to develop data literacy resources and foster public engagement with anti-racism initiatives using data sculptures.