Current Program of Research

Conducting community-based research on the mental health of refugee survivors of homophobic or transphobic persecution with knowledge mobilization goals for refugee policy, mental health practice, refugee studies, trauma studies, gender and sexuality studies.

Key themes, Literatures and Methods 

  • Sociocultural, relational, dialogical, social constructionist and psychological constructivist theories of self, identity and human change in dialogue with critical social theory
  • Sexualities & genders, LGBTQ, queer and trans studies
  • Identity and community formation in contexts of globalization, hybrid geographies, mobilities & diaspora
  • Narrative Inquiry, dialogical analysis, ethnographic, collaborative and participatory inquiry strategies

Related Projects & Collaborations

  • Gender Vectors of Greater Vancouver
    Principle Investigator, Dr Ann Travers Co-Investigators Drs Jenn Marchbank and Brian Burch
  • 2012–present
    Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Co-Investigator on Canada Asylum team for a York University based, multi-site, international community-university research partnership on human rights of LGBTQ persons in Commonwealth countries
    Co-Investigator with Dr. Nancy Nicol
    SSHRC funded CURA
  • 2010
    Un/Settling: Critical Ethnography of settlement by refugees making claims related to sexual orientation or gender identity persecution
    Collaborated with Rainbow Refugee on research process and knowledge mobilization; Supervising committee: Drs. Marla Buchanan, Mary Bryson and Cynthia Patton
  • 2007–2010
    LGBT Refugee Project
    Served on advisory board for a study of LGBT refugee settlement in Montreal and Toronto conducted as part of the Sexualities, Vulnerabilities and Resiliencies project in partnership with Canadian Council of Refugees and Rainbow Health Coalition
    With Dr. Shari Brotman
    Canadian Institute for Health Research

Reseach Grants

  • 2016
    SSHRC Targeted Grant
  • 2015
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Ann Travers
    SSHRC Insight Grant, $154,000
  • 2004–2007
    Doctoral Studies and Dissertation Research
    Canadian Graduate Fellowship, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), $36,000/yr
  • 2004
    Queer Women on the Net
    Mentor: Dr. Mary Bryson
    Research Mentorship Award, Faculty of Education, UBC, $4,000
  • 2003
    Grounded Theory of Workplace Stress
    Mentor: Dr. Bonita Long
    Research Mentorship Award, Faculty of Education, UBC, $4,000
  • 2003
    Coming (out) to Canada
    Student Research Award, Faculty of Education, UBC, $1,000

Past Research Projects

Queer Women on the Net, Research Assistant with Dr. Mary Bryson, funded by SSHRC

  • Investigated themes of identity, mobility, agency and community networks while conducting a Critical Ethnography of LGBTQ women’s quotidian online practices
  • Recruited participants, resulting in a diverse sample of queer-identified women
  • Conducted interviews, jointly developed coding scheme, and contributed to analysis and writing

Massage Parlour Outreach Pilot Project with Asian Society for Intervention on AIDS

  • Established contacts with owners and workers in massage parlours in Vancouver and Burnaby as part of multilingual team (working competency in Thai)
  • Provided basic health information and facilitated access to healthcare through street nurses
  • Facilitated evaluation of sites for potential inclusion in an epidemiological study
  • Conveyed concerns of experiential women to research team and interpreted research concepts into everyday language to facilitate dialogue between researchers and outreach team

Clerical Workers' Experiences of Workplace Stress with Drs. Bonita Long & Wendy Hall, SSHRC funded

  • Participated in all aspects of a mixed-methods program of research investigating workplace stress: a grounded theory, a critical discourse analysis, and a quantitative daily-diary study
  • Developed proficiency in grounded theory interviewing and analysis supported by Atlas.ti
  • Conducted focus groups using arts-based process to investigate metaphors of stress
  • Resulted in many publications including a “top 10 most cited” publication on workplace stress

Meanings of disclosure of lesbian sexual orientation with Karen Kranz (Killam Fellow) and Dr. Bonita Long

  • Analysed texts guided by Interpretive Interactionism with feedback from Norman Denzin
  • Awarded LUMA award by American Psychology of Women Association

Survivors of Downsizing with Drs. Norman Amundson & Bill Borgen, SSHRC funded

  • Investigated helpful and hindering aspects of interpersonal and organizational handling of downsizing as reported by survivors of major restructuring
  • Conducted Critical Incident analysis, reliability checks, and wrote manuscript first draft
  • Awarded best research contribution for a top-tier career counselling journal