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Graduate Student Profiles
An international student from Egypt who is part of the Global Communication MA Double Degree program, aiming to enhance his outlook on communications by developing his own perspective taking advantage of an experience that allows him to study in Vancouver, Canada and Beijing, China.
Abdelrahman has been working in marketing communications, research, writing, content creation and project management for over five years. A couple of years after finishing his bachelors of mass communication from the Canadian International College in Cairo, he started working as a Communications Officer in a startup accelerator, and it was there where he was able to help a number of startups build their own communication strategies and market outreach.
Douglas was born and raised in Venezuela, where he obtained his Bachelor Degree in Mass Communications from Universidad Santa Maria in the city of Caracas. During his undergraduate years, Douglas developed a career as a communication and marketing specialist for some government, multinational and private organizations. In 2012, Douglas moved to Vancouver where he completed a Diploma in International Trade and continued building up his career as a marketing specialist for a private College that hosts international students in the city of Vancouver. After 3 years working in this field, Douglas became an expert in the British Columbia post-secondary education system and decided to pursue his graduate studies at SFU. Douglas believes that the Double Degree in Global Communications is an excellent opportunity for experience multiculturalism and understand the rationale behind it. His dissertations at SFU and CUC focused on how culture, government policy frameworks and technology shape media industries and LGTBQ individuals, and the implications of this for the formation of public spheres. Douglas built on this work by studying media literacy within alternative and online spaces. His research interests also lie in the area of global studies, human rights, media systems, popular culture and social justice.
GCMA program of SFU provides both strong academic grooming as well as an array of experiential learning. After my previous Masters in English Literature and TV&Film Studies, I joined the Department of Television and Film Studies in University of Dhaka as a lecturer. While working there, I felt a necessity to learn more about the professional world of television and film. While I was a student of the GCMA program, I could work with DOXA Documentary Film Festival as a member of the screening committee, as an intern I also worked with 'The World of Chinese', a most prominent Chinese bi-monthly in English. Apart from that I also had my own show as a host in the Star Times Television during the 2018 World Cup Football in Russia titled "Heat Map" which was broadcasted in the central Africa. In a nutshell, I am going back to my niche which has now turned into the Department of Television, Film and Photography, as a much honed professional.
Besides, under the supervision of Professor Zoë Druick, I worked on Bengali Political films, to be specific on the Partition Trilogy by filmmaker Ritwik Kumar Ghatak. My research sees the uprooted people, who sought homes in exile in a post-partition Bengal but was 'granted' neither home nor voice, as subalterns and how Ghatak wanted to tell their stories.
Lin-Chuan graduated with a BA in Chinese Literature from National Central University in Taiwan, where she found the importance of uncovering the truth as a campus journalist and decided to become a voice for the voiceless through her endeavors. During her bachelor degree, she took part in a well-known competition in Taiwan, and uncovered the discrimination against Asians from certain American fashion trends. Her research interests include news frame, audience reception, and Taiwanese related issues. One of the purposes and missions of media is to pass on culture and values, but Lin-Chuan is concerned that most of the mainstream media in modern society have failed. With Communication faculty’s intelligent guidance and SFU’s profound library resource, Lin-Chuan completed her extended essay about how Taiwanese TV news reports China regarding the cross-strait relationship between China and Taiwan and explored the political economic power that influenced the media. Through obtaining her Master’s degree in SFU’s Communication MA program, Lin-Chuan aspires to further enhance her communication knowledge through in-depth studies, and turn theories into the practical application. With a goal to become a diligent and responsible communicator, she would like to analyze media content designed for global receivers.
Taking steps to further my studies outside my home country was in itself a tough decision. As an international student, I was aware of the challenges I was likely to face especially with cultural differences. However, my enrollment into the GCMA program and successful completion made my journey worth the while. I completed a BA degree in publishing studies from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. After which, I taught as a grade 3 and 5 teacher for a year before proceeding to my master’s degree. My major papers focused on “Media Representations of People with Disabilities” and “Slack Activism on Social Media.”
The cohort experience and opportunity to learn a second language, Mandarin, was a stand out in the program. I can hold conversations in Mandarin and I find it very impressive. Moving through two countries with very diverse group of people who shared different opinions and perspectives on life was inspiring and a great learning experience. I learned the importance of having a voice and holding an opinion. These have been very good tools moving ahead in life.
Without doubt my experience in Vancouver and Beijing was a great one, and I am glad at the opportunities GCMA offered me. Upon completing the program, I took a job as Program Coordinator in the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University, and I now work as a Program Assistant at SFU’s Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE).
Benedetta Franzini | in
After her undergraduate degree in Sociology and International Relations at the University of British Columbia, Benedetta Franzini wanted a master’s degree that offered her something more than just research in academia. She chose the Global Communication program because it offered an opportunity to do a field placement thus gaining hands-on experience on the job market.
“I get to walk away fully armed with great research skills in academia and also a valuable assert to employers. My research area is on Outer Space. I am particularly concerned about the policies surrounding the use and misuse of Outer Space and how this can be linked to communication theories. The opportunity to freely interact and discuss my research ideas with my supervisor and other professors had been an invaluable addition from the program. I am now on a clear path to produce an excellent research paper, and it is heartwarming knowing I am adding knowledge to the field of research in Outer Space. Lastly, I am excited at getting a second degree outside North America. This, I believe will give me a much wider perspective on how the field of communications is understood and applied in countries outside of North America.”
Stephen Li | in
Born in Hongkong, Stephen Li moved to Vancouver for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Simon Fraser. During that time, he completed an exchange semester at the National University of Singapore. After graduation, he went on to study at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York, where he specialized in diamonds, gemstones, and pearls. He is a certified jewelry appraiser and gemologist from the Canadian Gemological Association (CGA). He has also worked as a journalist, and television production assistant in Vancouver and Hong Kong and is currently an interpreter and translator for a television station in Hong Kong. He is interested in studying Fengshui (Chinese geomancy) through academic lenses to promote its spread and influences and also bring a new perspective to the field. Thus, his research aims to understand transformations in Fengshui theory and practice from China to Canada, following Chinese settlement in Canada. Stephen has also secured two Research Assistant positions, and a conference liaison volunteering position.
“I am particularly excited about the cohort size of the program, -there are students from different parts of the globe. The diversity in culture each person brings has shaped my understanding of the world and social happenings. By the end of my two-year journey, I will not just be a communicator but an excellent global communication expert. The program has the capability for expansion into other fields and career paths. I am extremely excited with the program, because it has brought along so many opportunities and possibilities.”
In June 2018, I received my B.A. in International Communications from Walla Walla University, a small Seventh-day Adventist university in Washington state. While there, I gained professional experience as the editor-in-chief of our school newspaper and conducted a small qualitative case study of my fellow editor's-in-chef experiences with self-censorship in a conservative, religious environment. My research interests at SFU include self-censorship, newsroom social control, solutions-based journalism, and the political economy of communication through the lens of international development. As a language enthusiast with a background in French, I am also excited to be part of a program that will allow me to learn conversational Mandarin. Through the GCMA program, I hope to create larger personal and professional networks and to increase my understanding of the role of communications professionals in the world today.
Some other interests include: travel, food, project management, outdoor adventure, and small furry creatures with whiskers.
Mike obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University in 2016, majoring in Communication and minoring in History. His professional experience includes news editing and broadcasting for Xinhua News Agency and Global TV, as well as public relations and event planning for the Canadian Cancer Society. He is regularly contracted as a bilingual host, with experience presenting forums, awards ceremonies and fundraising galas for organizations such as UNICEF and Tencent. His research interests focus on transnational development programs, such as the UNDP’s ICT4D policy and the Belt and Road Initiative. Outside of work and school, he enjoys volunteering for non-profit and charity organizations, serving as the President of the Vancouver Cambie Lions’ Junior Club Branch. Mike believes the GCMA program is an excellent way for students to develop transnational skills in a rapidly globalizing world, both in the academic and professional realms.
Maxine Yeo | in
Maxine completed her undergraduate degree in Communication studies with a minor in Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in 2018. Her primary academic interests are in power relations, political economy, and issues of place, citizenship and identity. In her first year in the global communication program, she researched the commodification of immigrant stories in Hollywood specifically focusing on Asian American representation. Currently in China, she is studying how government, international relations and international students work to build cross cultural relationships through university programs.
“The GCMA program has put me in a position to make critical contributions to cultural, social and political conversations without being opinionated or judgmental. I better understand cultures and how they shape perspectives on life. One of the most defining moments for me in this program is the opportunity to explore my Chinese ancestry. Also, my dance community in Vancouver has always been a big part of my life and I am glad moving to Beijing did not obstruct my dancing activities. I found an outstanding dance studio to continue my passion and this came with an incredibly welcoming and genuine community of new Chinese friends.”