Convocation, GSWS Students

Congrats to our MACI graduands!

October 20, 2020

Sylvia and Ngoc will be graduating this fall with a Master of Arts (MA) in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS). They completed the course intensive track of the GSWS MA program, known as MACI. The MACI program offers students interdisciplinary study in feminist theory and methodology with opportunities for directed readings and research. The program also focuses on professional development with Field Studies in an area of the students’ choosing. For more information, please see

Sylvia Traphan 

Sylvia was looking for ways to inform her professional interests as a front-line worker, which led her to pursue a Master of Arts (Course Intensive) in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at SFU. 

During her time at GSWS, Sylvia made commendable research contributions, adding to the knowledge around diverse experiences and history of 2SLGBTQ+ folks in Vancouver. In a Feminist Theory class, she interviewed a participant from a emerging lesbian group that took part in the ‘IndoCanadian Women’s Conference’ held in 1971. This interview has now been officially added to the SFU Archives. 

In addition, she also researched and wrote about the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare system; from which she went on to develop a training workshop for her professional colleagues outside of SFU. 

Sylvia’s recommendation to make the most of a graduate degree? “Get to know your fellow students, participate in department and GSS (Graduate Student Society) events, and make GSWS your home at SFU. You will be made welcome!”

Ngoc Le

For Ngoc, a personal interest in the international fandoms for Korean dramas drew her to the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. As she delved deeper into GSWS-realted subject matter, her academic interests expanded to include translations and feminist teaching practices. 

She recalls her time in GSWS 830 (Sex Work) being the most memorable learning experience where she worked collaboratively with her fellow graduate students to to deliver a public workshop analyzing how anti-trafficking rhetoric can be ineffective in addressing sex trafficking and further cause harm to sex workers. The workshop content was developed under guidance and consultant with SWAN Vancouver and was hosted in SFU Surrey campus. For Ngoc, this experience was a perfect combination of theory studies, community-engagement and activism. 

During her time at SFU, Ngoc was an active member of the Graduate Student Society (GSS), where she volunteered as a caucus councillor to advocate for student’s rights and benefits. Ngoc is a passionate learner, student, and advocate for students and staff at SFU. As of this semester, she is starting her MA in Equity Studies at SFU. 

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