I think that SFU is a great place and that any student undertaking the research can count on strong support services that will allow them to grow and expand their learning, and hopefully contribute in the advancement of their field of study.

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Student Profile: Abigail Vazquez

November 25, 2019
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PhD student in Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Abigail’s current Ph.D. in Sociology is centered around Ethical Capital and Social Enterprises with an interest in the Sociology of Labour. Her previous research via an internship, focused on youth engagement with marine resources in a project called “The Heart of Mother Earth”, where she became interested in continuing exploring the phenomenon of what is a Social Enterprise. Her Ph.D. draws on aspects of her master’s degree in Island studies which centered around Social Enterprises and Islandness. Her M.A. offered an opportunity to better understand people’s experiences with Social Enterprises, and under what circumstances Social Enterprise affects the lives of those experiencing marginalization. Furthermore, it explored the effects that levels of inclusion of individuals within island societies have on their communities, and how Social Enterprises aid their members in improving their quality of life.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I believe that SFU is a university that has a strong connection to communities, and I believe that this connection can assist in furthering my research into the field of Social Enterprises and effect real policy change.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH.

It looks at the effects of Ethical Capital on Social Enterprises, and potential formation of other forms of capital, and overall performance of Social Enterprise.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I particularly enjoy the highly connected nature of the university and the richness of my department. 

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I have received the SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship, the Office of Graduate Studies Award of Distinction for Arts, Honorable Mention at the ANSER-ARES Awards, and the Robin Rigby Trust Scholarship. I have been honored to receive these scholarships; their generous support has allowed me the opportunity to explore and undertake research in the field, and further my learning and interest in Social Enterprises.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM?

This program has a rich and diverse academic rigor. As a student, the opportunity for growth is really high. The level of discussion strengthens critical thinking and keeps you engaged.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE GRADUATE STUDENTS?

I can say that it is an honor to be here and to have the opportunity for me to continue my research and understanding of Social Enterprises. I think that SFU is a great place and that any student undertaking the research can count on strong support services that will allow them to grow and expand their learning, and hopefully contribute in the advancement of their field of study.

AREAS OF STUDY:

Social Enterprise, Island Studies, Sociology of Labour, Ethical Capital

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

Heart of Mother Earth
Supporting Heritage Enterprise Development: the Island of Chiloe, Chile