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Semester in Dialogue 2016 brochure

Meet the Current Cohort

Zaria Alibhai is a fourth year Bachelor of Environment student, majoring in Resource Environmental Management. Born and raised in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Zaria has been passionate about the environment since high school. Over the years she has tied this passion with her municipal interests of city planning and citizen engagement. Academically, Zaria has a particular interest in public policy as it pertains to climate change and renewable energy. 

Outside of school, Zaria loves to keep up with the latest in the makeup and fashion world, and is always on the hunt for sustainable trends. Additionally, Zaria devotes her time to volunteering with her religious community, currently assisting the Ismaili Council for British Columbia with administrative and communication duties. 

Lucie Barnett has lived in Australia most of her life and is now going into her third year at Quest University Canada. She is studying a combined Bachelor of Arts & Science, pursuing the question "What does it mean to share a world?", through the disciplines of human geography, anthropology, sustainable agriculture and communications. She is fascinated by complex systems and the interactions between individuals and their societies. She is the coordinator of a community garden, where she has been learning about long-term, collective stewardship of natural spaces. She also coordinates a multifaith room, where each week she facilitates a discussion on a specific theme, through the lenses of different belief systems, scientists, philosophers etc. In her spare time, she loves to create things with people (music, art, new friendships), attempt to cook, travel, be outside, and spend time with her family.

As a fourth year Communication student, Katerina Cookson is interested in the role that psychology, communication and the media will play in a global energy transition. Katerina is inspired by grassroots community energy projects, especially those emerging here in Canada. She has pursued these interests through her studies and volunteer work with the David Suzuki Foundation. Having lived in North Vancouver her whole life, you'll find Katerina either in our forests or trying out different places to eat in her spare time!

Vivek Dharam-Singh is a third year student in the Resource and Environmental Management Program. He was born and raised on the islands of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean and moved to Vancouver 2 years ago. Vivek's academic interests include forestry and fisheries management, alternatives and improvement to energy production systems, and waste disposal and management techniques. Hobbies and sports include photography and videography, anything outdoors, motorsports, rugby and golf.

Jeff Hartmann is a fourth year student in human geography at Simon Fraser University. He is a mature student who spent eight years building Metro Vancouver’s landscape as a carpenter before returning to school to examine how social processes guide the shape of urban landscapes. Jeff's approach to examining Canada’s energy future is driven by an examination of how Canadians commute, consume and work in the landscapes they inhabit. He has a keen interest in making the transportation and energy infrastructure Canadians use everyday more visible and thought about. 

For recreation Jeff tries to spend as much time exploring British Columbia’s beautiful outdoors as possible. He also enjoys traveling internationally, cooking, baking and biking through the city. 

Walker Hathaway-Williams is a third year student at UC Berkeley, studying Environmental Economics and Policy with a minor in Urban Planning. He has a particular interest in climate resilience and renewable energy. Walker is a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and has called Vancouver home since he was 10 years old when he moved here from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Walker is an avid cyclist, runner, and kayaker and he loves to scuba dive whenever he gets the chance.

Leah Karlberg is wrapping up an undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia in human geography with a minor in health and society. She is interested in how the spaces around us affect our habits, specifically health-related outcomes, and hopes to pursue a dual master's degree in urban planning and public health. Leah has experience working in a variety of fields, including active transportation with The Bicycle Valet, communications through the public engagement team at UBC's Campus and Community Planning, and fostering neighbourhood-scale resilience with the City of Vancouver through the Neighbour Hub. On a sunny day, Leah likes to read a good book, hop on her bike, or people-watch with a cup of tea.

Farah Kianipour is a fourth year Business student concentrating in Management Information Systems and Human Resources. Growing up in the lower mainland, specifically in Coquitlam, she has a strong appreciation for the surrounding nature and has a keen interest in hiking and spending all the sunny days we have outdoors. In addition, Farah aspires to live a healthy and active lifestyle by weight training five times a week. Farah has been very active ever since she was young and it continues to be her biggest passion in life. Once she finishes her degree, Farah strives to work in the fitness corporate environment to combine her personal and business interests. 

Anthony Lee is a fourth year Geography student at Simon Fraser University. The concentration of his degree lies primarily within the field of geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis methods. He has also completed certificates in GIS & environmental literacy as well multiple co-operative education practicums with private, governmental and academic organizations. Over the course of this semester, Anthony hopes to uncover new applications for GIS in developing more efficient and sustainable energy systems. Anthony has been a Burnaby resident for his entire life and one of his favourite past-times involves taking his Boston Terrier out for long walks.

Masamitsu Sawaoka was born in Beijing (China), raised in Tokyo, Saitama, and Hiroshima (Japan). He moved to Vancouver three years ago and is third year student at Simon Fraser University majoring in Health Sciences with a focus in Public Health.

Masamitsu has been a captain and an assistant coach on the SFU Kendo (Japanese fencing) team since stepping foot on campus. As a potential 2020 Canada National Kendo Team, he practiced with the national team and professionals. Awarded the North America Championship (U-20) 2nd place and the North Western America Intercollegiate Tournament 2nd place.

Since the end of freshman year, Masamitsu has worked as an Assistant Manager and Quality Control Chemist, involved in assisting cosmetic formulation, manufacturing, production development, QC&QA operations and training new graduates and internship students.

In his spare time, Masamitsu enjoys meeting people, eating dessert and working out.

Melvin Sedeora is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree majoring in International Studies with a minor in History. He was born in Malaysia and lived there for a significant amount of his early childhood before moving to California and spending the rest of his schooling years there. Melvin currently lives in Burnaby which is perfect because he is constantly surrounded with so much to do in terms of outdoor activities. In his spare time, Melvin enjoys reading, writing and jamming out with a few friends to some really good music.

Caleigh Smith is a second year communications student from East Vancouver who is excited to integrate her interests in sustainability and environmental studies into her academic education as part of this summer’s semester in dialogue! Caleigh is especially interested in the role communications technologies can play in generating dialogue and enhancing public engagement surrounding environmental issues. Outside of school Caleigh loves rowing and any other outdoor and team sports, as well as sewing and crafts.

Liana Stepan is a third year resource and environmental management major at SFU and enjoys the integration of policy, management and biological sciences in her major to learn relevant skills for work after graduation. 

She has worked at non-profits and government organisations including her most recent job at BC Hydro which allowed her to experience working in the renewable energy industry. Liana's recent job working at the Ruskin Dam inspired her to continue her education in energy to see what management strategies are out there to address issues that will come up for the future of BC and Canada. 

Outside of work Liana enjoys painting, drawing and photography. She also likes being active in running, hiking, skiing and loves learning about gardening.

Ali Versi is a third year Political Science student. He was born and raised in Tanzania and lived there for the most of his life. At the age of eighteen Ali moved to Malaysia for college and lived there for one year. Shortly after, he moved to Canada in 2016 for his undergraduate studies and has lived in Burnaby since then. Ali is keenly interested in politics and global affairs, especially Canadian and US politics. He also enjoys hiking various mountains on a sunny days.

 

Serena Yang is a student at Simon Fraser University pursuing a degree in human geography and a certificate in spatial information systems. But first and foremost, she is an explorer of her surroundings and loves to find connections between people and places. Currently in her final semester, Serena is excited to learn from her peers and mentors during Semester in Dialogue and hopes to gain insight on the future of urban energy. In the future, she hopes to go into the field of urban design. 

As an advocate of self-love, growth, and care, Serena values the importance of taking a step back in the hustle and bustle of everyday life to reflect on what keeps her calm and grounded. She recently started practicing yoga and loves how she feels post-practice. As well, she enjoys trying new recipes to stimulate her taste buds. Beet, apple, & cucumber juice anyone? 

And who can forget about the beautiful outdoors? Having been born and raised in the city of Vancouver, Serena was fortunate enough to have a vast amount of access to trails, mountains, and seascapes. Being in the natural environment brings her a sense of peace and adrenaline like no other. 

Chris Yee is a resident of the Tri-cities and is currently a fourth year geography student at Simon Fraser University. He has completed his Spatial Information Systems Certificate as well as six semesters of SFU Co-op Education. Chris is most interested in the GIS aspects of his Geography Degree—this has created many valuable work experiences for him both within the public and private sector. Outside of academia, Chris enjoys British Columbia’s long winters, granting him many opportunities to snowboard. Within the last several years he has also developed interests in photography, mountain biking, and rock climbing. These activities have been a good substitute through the warmer seasons when the snow is sorely missed. Chris looks forward to learning about all the technologies, solutions, and pathways that could potentially lead to a utopia of urban energy futures.