Karmvir Padda finds her way back home at SFU
By Poonam Kant
Karmvir Padda has always stuck close to her roots. Growing up with her parents and three siblings in Toronto, she completed her Bachelor of Social Sciences in Criminal Justice from Humber College while they motivated her.
Padda’s father suddenly passed away in 2016, and Padda struggled with her mental health and said she felt as though she would never recover from the loss.
With her sights set on academia, Padda decided to further her education at Simon Fraser University (SFU), where she is currently working on her MA in criminology.
Hearing that SFU’s School of Criminology was one of the top-ranked school’s in North America that would offer her the most exciting research opportunities; she looked toward her father’s strength and leadership by applying, and in doing so, she was the first person in her family to pursue a graduate degree.
She says it was not easy to leave her family behind and begin a new chapter in her studies across the country, but her family were supportive and central in her decision-making process.
During this emotional time, Padda relied on frequent check-ins with her family back home while she pressed on and found solace and belonging in her studies.
No matter how ready she felt for her transition from Toronto to Vancouver, she still faced challenges by feeling isolated without her family at first. Fortunately for Padda, she quickly turned these feelings around by diving headfirst into a welcoming SFU community.
Under the supervision of Dr. Richard Frank, Padda is developing her research on Foreign Interference in the politics through the dissemination of Fake News on social media at the International CyberCrime Research Centre, which she has also presented at the international level at Westerns Society of Criminology (2020).
She is also connecting with peers and growing professionally while building her community elsewhere at the school.
As the Criminology Graduate Caucus co-chair since 2018, Padda connects with and represents fellow grad students at both the department and university level.
On top of this, she is actively involved in student engagement initiatives such as the Embark Community Kitchen, TSSU Steward for 2019-2020 term, GSS representative 2018-2019 and the Caucus Social committee 2019-2020.
Padda says thriving in her studies has been due to her efforts to find and build community, and she encourages fellow students to do the same. “There are so many opportunities to get involved on campus,” she says.
“Making the most out of my university experience has made the transition so much easier, and I can proudly say that I have never regretted making this move.”
The sense of community at SFU and frequent check-ins with her family back home has allowed her to thrive in ways she never thought possible. Where she once thought that everything was lost, Padda has since risen and laid down roots of her own at SFU.