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Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Major External and Government-Funded Award Recipients

In celebration of our 2019-2020 major award winners, we are pleased to share their accomplishments. We hope you enjoy learning more about our incredible students and their research.

April 16, 2021
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Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Jeff Derksen

Graduate students at SFU use their academic and creative labour to generate an amazing array of research that is intellectually sharp, socially grounded, engaged with communities, and part of the global  knowledge landscape. Not only do graduate students at SFU help drive, shape and define the intellectual and social relations of the University, the use and circulation of their research puts it in dialogue with every aspect of our present. The challenges of the global pandemic—challenges that reach into all aspects of everyday life as well as the very core of how universities function—created difficult working conditions for graduate students. Nonetheless, it is gratifying to see the truly great achievements and innovations that SFU graduate students have produced.

In addressing our present, graduate students are exploring ways to better conceive and shape care services and interventions to foster health and well-being. This includes investigating and improving digital health applications, services and technologies, new diagnostic techniques, the intersections of mental health and law, and the impacts of intergenerational relationships and programs on seniors and vulnerable populations. Likewise, we have many graduate students engaged with scholarship and research on the environment and the world-ecology. This includes the building of cleaner energy sources; undertaking strategies for plant, animal and habitat conservation; researching soils, rivers, glaciers, oceans and their inhabitants to establish a just ecological future.

We are pleased to recognize and honour Indigenous graduate students and their work in Indigenous intellectual traditions through a variety of scholarships, as well as SFU’s Indigenous Graduate Entrance Awards. The range of research by Indigenous graduate students makes it completely clear that “there is no limit on Indigenous intellect”, as Leanne Betasamosake Simpson points out in Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back.  At SFU, this limitless intellectual work is shown in research on: Indigenous poetics in relation to the production of Indigenous urban spaces; understanding the impacts of holistic healing and transformation of Indigenous communities; utilizing age estimation methods for forensic and human rights investigations; and research projects deeply based in community.

At SFU, we are grateful for the continued financial support for our community of graduate students that comes from provincial and federal governments, institutional support, and from the profound generosity of individuals, families and communities.

Congratulations to all our 2019-20 major award recipients! I hope that, despite the pandemic conditions, this year of graduate studies has been full and expansive for you.

SFU Vice-President, Research and International pro tem Dugan O’Neil

I would like to congratulate all of the graduate students for their hard-earned achievements and academic successes. Their research contributes to Simon Fraser University’s strength and reputation as a leader in education and research and it does not go unnoticed. Conducting and disseminating research for the betterment of society is one of the main functions of universities, and I am proud of all of the work they have done in this regard.

SFU is one of the fastest-growing research institutions in the country. This couldn’t happen without the talent and dedication of our graduate students. The diversity of high-quality research represented among the award holders is incredible. From research in AI to better diagnose and treat diseases, and using Indigenous Knowledge to support governments on climate adaption policy and decision-making, masters and PhD students come to SFU from all over the world to change that world from within our institution.

The Tri-Council Agencies include the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) support and promote high-quality research, and it is the primary mechanism the Canadian government supports research training at higher education institutions. By providing support to some of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers, these awards supply highly qualified student researchers with leading edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government and institutions.

I am very pleased to see so many of our graduate students were the recipients of these major external and government-funded awards. Their research is building upon fundamental research, disseminating knowledge and harnessing new ideas and innovations for the benefit of society across a variety of disciplines.

The university’s graduate students accomplishments, discoveries, insights and innovative ideas are highly valued and SFU is very fortunate to have these students as part of our university community. Congratulations again to all of SFU's award winners.

SFU President and Vice-Chancellor, Joy Johnson

Dear Graduate Award Recipients,

Congratulations on your academic achievements and well-deserved awards and scholarships.

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic prevent us from hosting an in-person event where you would engage and interact with your fellow award recipients, faculty and staff, but cannot prevent us from celebrating you. We are so proud of all you have accomplished.

Research is a crucial component of our university’s mission as we not only learn, but also create and share new knowledge with the community at large. Without research, we would not have the advances in knowledge and innovation that have helped improve and save lives. We wouldn’t have the hope of a more just and equitable future.

Research is important in all fields. By looking at all the research topics of this year’s award recipients, which range from mechanical engineering, physics and climate science, to psychology and radical politics, I am confident that the future is in good hands. These awards indicate not only your dedication to academic excellence, but also your desire and commitment to make a positive impact on society.

My thanks to all the donors for giving our emerging scholars a solid foundation and an opportunity to make a difference. Your generosity and contributions make this world a better place.

Faculty of Applied Sciences

Faculty of Arts + Social Sciences

Additional Award Recipients

Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Christine Klassen
  • Linara Kolosova
  • Shayan Zarifian Sanatkar
Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Masood Abdinejad
  • Azraf Ahmad
  • Emre Aydin
  • Amin Behrad
  • Eddie Cai
  • Jelena Damljanovic Obradovic
  • Evan Eschelmuler
  • Shaghayegh Eskandari
  • Masoome Esmaeili
  • Iman Ferestade
  • Mete Gencer
  • Chang Han
  • Kiarash Hosseini
  • Curtis Hrusik
  • Tania Akhter Ite
  • Esmaeil Izadi
  • Lucy Kervin
  • Jonas Kremer
  • Seoung Hwan Lee
  • Mengfei Lu
  • Danielle Lucier
  • Jorge Martinez
  • Jonathan Mendel
  • Michelle Nguyen
  • Jonathan Puigvert Angulo
  • Fereshteh Rahad
  • Seyd Mahyar Rezazadeh Khormiz
  • Simin Sattari
  • Atefehsadat Seyedmomeni
  • Cassandra Turner
  • Jingyi Wang
  • Yitong Wang
  • Charlene Wright
  • Haya Zaid-Alkailani
  • Erica Zaldívar Santan
BC Graduate Scholarship
  • Mahwish Aslam
  • Dana Carter
  • Benjamin Diener
  • Eric Fortier
  • Chelsey Lee
  • Marissa Traversa
  • Sara Williamson
CIHR CGS Master's Scholarship
  • Philippa Hood
NSERC CGS Master's Scholarship
  • Taylor Cork
SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarship
  • Daria Berezhnova
  • Brittany Dennett
  • Caroline Duncan
  • Anastasia Kosteckyj
  • Josef Lindl
  • Jonathan Mendel
  • Marisa Mylett
  • Daniel Plillo
  • Connor Robinson
  • Leo Ruhl
  • Ryan Sandrin
  • Kevin Spenst
  • Samuel Willett
  • Jenna Yuzwa
SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship
  • Dana Cochrane
  • Christina Klassen
  • Chelsey Lee
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
  • Erin Fuller
  • Chelsey Lee
  • Cole Mash
SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • Kate Hanniball


Aphra Behn Graduate Scholarship in English
  • Yiwen Liu
David and Mary Macaree Graduate Fellowship
  • Sarah Paquette
Kruger Producs Bicultural Graduate Entrance Fellowship
  • Caitlin Courchesne
Messenger Graduate Fellowship in English
  • Edward Graham

Beedie School of Business

Additional Award Recipients

Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Ehsan Nouri
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
  • Vanessa Shum


Beedie Family Graduate Scholarship in the Beedie School of Business
  • Xin Li
  • Sindhu Manimala Muniswamy
  • Vanessa Shum
Dr. Donald, Eleanor, and Laurie Rix Biotechnology Management of Technology MBA Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Kyle Hukezali
HSBC Graduate Award in Business
  • Sidhu Manimala Muniswamy
Scotiabank Graduate Award in Business
  • Kyum Cho

Faculty of Communication, Art + Technology

Additional Award Recipients

Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Dalton Kamish
Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Kathryn Kozak
Special Entrance Scholarship
  • Alejandra Casas Nío de Rivera
  • Emily Clarke
  • Barry Despenza
  • Homa Khosravi Jelodar
  • Doaa Mohamed
  • Emira Ugun
  • Jie Wang
  • Katayoon Yousefbigloo
BC Graduate Scholarship
  • Matthew Belford
  • Erin Chan
  • Rowan Melling
SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarship

Faculty of Education

Faculty of Environment

Additional Award Recipients

Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Sarah Morris
  • Yuka Shichiza
Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Maggie Duncan
BC Graduate Scholarship
  • Kristin Oliver
  • Emma Starke
CIHR Doctoral Research Award
  • Leah Rosenkrantz
SSHRC CGS Master’s Scholarship
  • Daniel Dale
  • Shalegh Missal
  • Sage Vanier
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
  • Liam Kennedy-Slaney
NSERC CGS Master's Scholarship
  • Victoria McInnis
NSERC Doctoral Award
  • Kelsey Miller


Simons Foundation Doctoral Entrance Fellowship
  • Kelsey Miller
Stanley Morisse Memorial Scholarship
  • Aurora Camaño

Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty of Science

Additional Award Recipients

Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Olha Farion
  • Michael Recchia
Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship
  • Nicholas Brunelle
  • Mackenzie Carr
  • Yixin Chen
  • Sina Falakian
  • Olha Farion
  • Hyukho Kwon
  • Mayur Patel
  • Guillermo Quispe Peña
  • Danielle Rogers
  • Claire Shih
  • Vadim Smirnov
  • Jacob Stewart
  • Xinyu Zhao
  • Guanchen Zhou
BC Graduate Scholarship
  • Matthew Danesh
  • Bonnie Lo
  • Carol-Anne Nicol
  • Dana Silerova
  • Warren VandeVen
  • Pei Yang
CIHR CGS Master’s Scholarship
  • Cody Despins
  • Nicole Thomas
CIHR Doctoral Research Award
  • Cally Ho
  • Baofench Jia
  • Wing Yin Venus Lau
NSERC CGS Doctoral Scholarship
  • Camille Chartrand
NSERC CGS Master's Scholarship
  • Rebecca Canam
  • Benjamin Chase
  • Nolan Parker
  • Breanna Raymond
  • Dana Silerova
  • Victoria Brown
NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship


Garfield Weston Graduate Fellowship in Marine Sciences
  • Samantha Wilson
Steel Memorial Graduate Scholarship
  • Chapin Korosec

Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies

Additional Award Recipients

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
  • Karen Thompson