Graduate Lists


Robert Bittner. 2017. Theorizing Trans Readership: Examining Ways of Reading Trans Themed Young Adult Literature. H. Leung.

Syeda Bukhari.
2017. Mapping the Terrain: South Asians and Ethnic Media in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. H. Zaman.

Eli Manning. 2016. The Treatment as Prevention® Empire: HIV Treatment Adherence as the New War on AIDS. J. Marchbank.

Mary Sherman. 2016. A “Minor League Equivalent to the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building”: Vancouver’s Penthouse Nightclub. L. Campbell.

Joy Walcott-Francis. 2016. Negotiating Physical Activity – Afro Immigrant Women in Canada Tackle Cardiovascular Disease. C. Patton.

Huai Bao. 2015. Sexual Artifice Through Transgression: The Revival of Cross-Gender Performance in Jingju. Supervisor:  H. Leung.

Natasha Patterson.  2013. Focusing on Reality TV: Exploring Women’s Participation in Talent-based Competition Shows.  Supervisor:  C. Patton.

Beth Pentney.  2012. Shaping Embodiment in The Swan: Fan and Blog Discourses in Makeover Culture.  Supervisor:  H. Leung.

T. Garner.  2011.  Stitching Up the Natural: “Manboobs,” Pregnancy, and the Transgender Body. Supervisor:  Supervisor: H. Leung.

Xinying Hu.  2010.  Paid Domestic Labour as Precarious Work in China.  Supervisor: M. Griffin Cohen.

Sonja Boon.  2008.  Staging the Improper Body: Suzanne Curchod Necker (1735 – 1794) and the Stigmatization of the Self. Supervisor: M.L. Stewart.

MA - Thesis

Nathan Flaig. 2017. Straight Lines? Re-Reading the Discourse of Straight-Acting for Subversive Effect.
J. Marchbank.

Nathalie Lozano Neira. 2017. Racialized Migrant Women: Experiences of Community Organizers.
J. Marchbank.

(Tera) Kathleen Davidson. 2015. "A jewel of mine": The murder of Maple Batalia and Gendered Violence in the Mainstream News Media. Supervisor:   L. Campbell.

Mignon Alphonso. 2014. The Women’s Poverty–Empowerment Nexus: Engendering Microfinance in the Global Political Economy. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Nadine Boulay. 2014. Lesbian Generations in Vancouver: An Intergenerational Oral History Project. Supervisor: E. Chenier

Rishma Johal. 2014. Moving Beyond the Citizen’s Shadow: South Asian Canadian Women’s Agency.  Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Hilary Thurston. 2013. (Extended Essays) Pretty Witty and Femme: Negotiations of Gender and Sex in Femme Sartorial Representation on Tumblr. & Smoking Hot Dykes: Smoking Imagery and Lesbian Style on Tumblr. Supervisor: M.L. Stewart

Karen Eggerman. 2012. Enslaving Temporary Migrant Women: Canada’s Shifting immigration Policies. Supervisor: H. Zaman

Cara Ng. 2012. Adolescent Motherhood and Food- and Body- Related Anxieties: At the Crossroads of Maternal Obligation and Teenage Uncertainty. Supervisor: M. Morrow.

Giti Eghbal Kalvir. 2010. Iranian Immigrant Women in Canada: Economic Security Among Iranian Immigrant Lone Mothers. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Maryam Kiani. 2010. The Female Body and Place: The Case of Young Iranian Immigrant Women in Vancouver. Supervisor: M.L. Stewart.

Rahela Nayebzadah. 2010. (Un)Veiling the Veiled Muslim Woman. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Colton Dodsley. 2008. (Extended Essays) Beyond Skin Deep: An Exploration of Female to Male Transgendered Embodiment.  Exploring Vancouver’s Queer and Transgendered Youth Organizations. Supervisor: H. Leung.

Ben Milne. 2008 The Scientific Uncertainty of the Harm and Benefit of Pesticides in Organic and Non-organic Food. Supervisor: M. MacDonald.

Aleika Rudder. 2008. Beyond Marginality: Exploring Black Women’s Labour Market Participation in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Lisa Weeks. 2008. (Extended Essays) Recalling our Social Movement Origins: Diversity and the Shifting Practice of Contemporary Midwifery in BC. & Representing Gardasil: A Close Textual Analysis of Print Advertisements for the Vaccine Gardasil. Supervisor: C. Patton.

Sarah Berry. 2007. “Too Posh to Push” or Too Quick to Cut? Deconstructing Media Representations of Elective Caesarean Section. Supervisor:
C. Patton.

Caelie Frampton. 2007. Tuition Rebates and the Teaching Support Staff Union: An Examination of the Textual Coordination of University Bargaining. C. Patton.

Bindy (Harminder) Kang. 2007. A Post-Colonial Vaisakhi Reading: Unveiling the Indo-Canadian Sikh Identity through Canadian Media. Supervisor:
C. Patton.

Byron Lee. 2007. (Extended Essays) Reading GAM in Craigslist Personal Ads: Constructing Gay Asian Males During the Negotiation of Anal Intercourse. Remembering Spatially: Refocusing the History of Vancouver’s Gay Community. Supervisor: C. Patton.

Brian Richter. 2007. (Extended Essays) Selling the Menopausal Body: A Critical Analysis of Physician Targeted HRT Advertising. Community & University Co-operative Model Case Study: A Reflexive and Exploratory Look at One CRB Experience. Supervisor: C. Patton.

Mary Shearman. 2007. Betty Lambert’s Plays for Children: A Feminist Approach to Theatre for Young Audiences. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Jewelles Smith. 2007. (Extended Essays) “The Swan” versus Orlan: Spctable, Plastic Surgery, Violence, Women’s Bodies. & Does the Personal Information Privacy Act (2003) Obstruct the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Leah Allen.  2006. (Extended Essays) Corporal Imperialism: Textual Anti-Masturbation in the Eighteenth Century. National Negotiation: Toward Feminist Postnationalism in Theory and Practice. Supervisor: H. Leung.

Pei-Ching Chen. 2006. Two Essays: Women’s Studies and the Women’s Movement in Taiwan.  Lesbianism in Mainstream China. Supervisor: H. Leung.

Caitlin Holmes. 2006. Born to Do It? The Social Construction of Motherhood. Supervisor: B. Burtch.

Rahat Imran. 2005. (Extended Essays) Islamic Laws, Gender Discrimination and Legal Injustices: The Zina Hudood Ordinance of Pakistan and its Implications for Women.  Shared Oppression and Narrative Repair: Feminist Resistance and Cross Cultural Communication through Autobiography in the Muslim World. Supervisor: H. Leung.

Angela Thachuk. 2004. Midwifery, Informed Choice and Reproductive Autonomy:  A Relational Approach. Supervisor: B. Burtch.

Megan Bulloch. 2003. The Grizzly Hunt in B.C.: An Ecofeminist Evaluation of Environmentalists' Attitudes Toward Women in Relation to Precautionary Evidentiary Requirements. Supervisor: M. MacDonald.

Ritz Chow. 2003. The Personal is Political is Ethical: Experiential Revaluation and Embodied Witnessing in Illness Narratives. Supervisor: S. Wendell.

Sanzida Habib. 2003. Gender, Race and Class Biases in Canadian Immigration Policies: The Impact onWomen of Color. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Rachel Hurst. 2003. Engaging Invisibility: Theorizing Femme Identities. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Rizwana Jiwa. 2003. Voices from the Diaspora: Identity Formation of Ismaili Girls and Women in Canada. Supervisor: P. Dossa.

Jamie McGough. 2003. From "Girl Power" to "No Sweat": A feminist Analysis of Market-Citizenship.  Supervisor: M. Griffin Cohen.

Noel Patten. 2003. Border-Crossing: The Transnational Activism of Women in an Era of Globalization. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Baharak Yousefi. 2003. Dissecting the ethical scientist: Baha'i and Feminist Perspectives. Supervisor: B. Burtch.

Amber Dean. 2002. 'Women's Narratives on Depression, Anti-Depressants, and Creativity'. Supervisor: M. Kimball.

Taryn McCormick. 2002. Traffic Jam: Conflicts and cooperation between feminist perceptions of global trafficking in women. Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Kelly Boyd. 2001. “One Index Finger on the Mouse Scroll Bar and the Other on my Clit”: Slash Writers’ Views on Pornography, Censorship, Feminism, and Risk. Supervisor: B. Burtch.

Vera Gamboa. 2000. Revolution Girls Style:  Popular Music, Feminism and Revolution. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Leanne Harry. 2000. (Re)membering the Subject: The Politics of History, Memory, Identity in Maria Campbell, Joy Kogawa, and Larissa Lai. Supervisor: K. Mezei.

Susan McElcheran. 2000. (Extended Essays) Home One: You Can Never Go Home: So Close to Home and So Far Away: The Function of the Unattainable Ideal as Cultural Ideology. Home Two: A Metaphoric Absolute for a Not So Absolute Place. Supervisor: B. Pitman.

Rolene Roos. 2000. Single Mothers’ Voices in the 1990s: An Exploration of Economics, Choices, and Relationships. Supervisor: M. Kimball

Shea Pertman. 1999. Being a Fat Woman in North America: A Theoretical Perspective on Fat Liberation. Supervisor: S. Wendell.

Andrea Welling.
1999. Feeding Our Communities: A Feminist Perspective on the Challenge of Organic Food Production for Women in British Columbia. Supervisor: M. Griffin Cohen.

Michelle Dodds. 1998. Visions of Possibility: Preliminary Investigations into the Sociopolitical Functions of Women’s Dreams. Supervisor: S. Wendell.

Chantell Foss. 1998. Looking Through Water: An Exhibition in Context. Feminist Art Practice in Intersection with Cultural Politics. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Kiran Nath. 1998. The Effect of Gendered Metaphor on Scientific Research: An Empirical Test. Supervisor: M. MacDonald.

Jacqueline Coates. 1997. “I Wouldn’t Tell Them Anything Personal”: Women’s Experiences of Psychiatric Intervention. Supervisor: M. Kimball.

Jennifer Nelson. 1997. Alternate Locations: Strategies and Concerns in the Canadian Pro-feminist Men’s Movement. Supervisor: M. Kimball.

Tossaporn Sariyant. 1997. Sex Education and Women’s Health: Attitudes of Thai people Toward Sex Education.  Supervisor: H. Zaman.

Catherine Cookson. 1996. Embedded and Upfront: Transforming Curriculum to Meet the Challenge of Educational Equity. Supervisor: A. McLaren.

Jodi Jenson.
1996. Feminist Standpoint Epistemologies with/in the Natural Sciences. Supervisor: M. Kimball.

Monica Buchanan. 1995. The Unworthy Poor: Experiences of Single Mothers on Welfare in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Supervisor: M.L. Stewart.

Addy Kgomo.
1996. Parenting in a Different Social Environment: The Experiences and Perspectives of Immigrant Women of African Descent in British Columbia. Supervisor: C. Nesmith.

Aspasia Kotsopolous. 1996. Rethinking Critical strategies in Feminist Film Theory and Criticism. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Catherine Malone. 1996. Engineering Diversity: An Analysis of Federally Defined Employment Equity from the Viewpoint of the Equity Practitioners of Engineering Companies. Supervisor: M. Griffin Cohen.

Alison McIlwaine. 1995. Ecce Butch: The Sexuality Politics, and Aesthetics, of a Mimetic Image. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Wendy Mendes-Crabbe. 1994. Space Gets Critical: Unusual Subjects in Women’s Studies and Human Geography. Supervisor: M. MacDonald.

Leah Vosko. 1994. Shrink, Cut...Dye? NAFTA and Women’s Work in the Canadian Clothing Industry.
Supervisor: M. Griffin Cohen.

Fay Cooper. 1993. The Birth Imperative in Radical Feminist Literature: A Reader’s Guide. Supervisor: S. Wendell.

Janet Dahr. 1993. Wild Women Witches of Greater Vancouver: Gynnn/Ecology? The Birth Imperative in Radical Feminist Literature: A Reader’s Guide. Supervisor: M. Kimball.

Virginia McKendry. 1993. “Wife, Mother, and Queen...”: Images of Queen Victoria in the Illustrated Press, 1841-1861. Supervisor: M.L. Stewart.

Josephine Mills. 1993. Theoretical Play in a Field of Desire: A Road Map for Negotiating a Space of Lesbian/Feminist Subjectivity. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Marcia Toms. 1993. “Into the Sunlight of a New Day”: The beliefs and work of two women peace activists in the Vancouver during the Cold War. Supervisor: V. Strong-Boag.

Margot Butler. 1992. Their Feet Fell Cleanly on Either Side, and She, Between Them? - Analysis of Art. Supervisor: J. Levitin.

Ingrid Deringer. 1992. Women’s Experiences of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Supervisor: S.Wendell.

Valda Dohlen. 1992. Rethinking Reproductive Freedom: In-vitro Fertilization and a Woman’s Right to Choose. Supervisor: S. Wendell.

Kelly Maier. 1992. Forced Cesarean Section as Reproductive Control and Violence: A Feminist Social Work Perspective on the “Baby R” Case. Supervisor: A. McLaren.

Barbara Guttmann-Gee.
1991. “Easing the Pang of Something Missed or Lost”: Women Over Sixty Get Degrees Through Distance Education. Supervisor: V. Strong-Boag.

Monica Mogg. 1991. The Experience of Bicultural Conflict by Vietnamese Adolescent Girls in Greater Vancouver. Supervisor: M.L. Stewart.

Valerie Oglov. 1991. Pornography: The Dynamics of Destructive Psychic Containment in Patriarchal Society. Supervisor: S. Wendell.

Gillian Stainsby. 1991. It’s the Smell of Money:  Women Shoreworkers of B.C. Supervisor: V. Strong-Boag.

Sarah Dench. 1990. Factors Affecting Engineering Students: Similarities and Differences for Females and Males in the SFU program. Supervisor: M. Kimball.

Ellen Balka. 1986. Women and Workplace Technology: Educational Strategies for Change. Supervisor: M. Benston.

MA - Course Based

Brooklyn Fowler 2018
Burgundy MacLeod 2018
Danika McNeil 2018
Efua Bhavnani 2018
Fairuz Sharif 2018
Isha Sharma 2018
Lamiaa Al Olabi 2018
Lutfun Nahar 2018
Rojeh Jahani Asl 2018
Soheyla Tabai 2018
Terri Lucas 2018
Breanna Gray 2017
Charis Lippett 2017
Masahi Yoshida 2017
Carl Mandy 2016
Kate Ellison 2016
Leah Bishop 2016
Aleisha Ross 2015
Alexandria Dredge 2015
Bonnie Thornbury 2015
Micaela Roughton 2015
Kelly Blank 2014
Nicoletta Barber 2014
Somayeh Bahrami 2014
Xizi Yan 2014
Sandra Martins 2013
Jennifer Safronick 2012
Meghan Murphy 2012
Roghiyeh Razmaray-Shargh 2012
Jenelle Thomas 2010
Sasha Bennett 2010
William Keats-Osborn 2010
Claire Askew 2009
Sarah Sparks 2009
Sonya Chand 2009
Kaitlin Pelletier 2008
Kelly Aujla 2008
Sarah Spear 2008
Iram Zaidi 2007
Karen Kinsey 2007
Pooneh Ehsani 2007
Aynsley Calder 2005
Mandy Kilsby 2005
Marie-Genevieve Lane 2005
Motoko Kyoshima 2005
Silke Frischmuth 2005
Natasha Patterson 2004
Amanda Oster 2003
Anna Ziolecki 2003
Emily Edwards 2003
Jillian Deri 2003
Monica Bhatara 2002
Amy Skinner 2001
Claudia Kroehl 2001
Stacy Smithers 2001

Graduate Profiles

Huai Bao

Huai Bao (a.k.a. H. B. Dhawa) received his Ph.D. in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in May 2015. In February 2016, Dr. Bao received the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2016-2018.

Between 2010-2015, Dr. Bao had two books, 12 refereed journal articles and book chapters published or accepted in the USA, Canada, Europe and China, and presented original research at top class international conferences in North America, Europe and Asia.

Since Dr. Bao received his Ph.D. candidacy in 2013, he has been offered sessional positions at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and University of Waterloo in Ontario. His teaching allows students to examine gender issues using the critical, analytic approach characteristic of applied philosophy as well as transnational approaches. In this way, his students are trained to think critically and to write clearly, concisely, and persuasively.

Prior to coming to SFU, Dr. Bao worked in the entertainment industry for years. He met his thesis supervisor, Dr. Helen Leung at GSWS, SFU, at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Kelly Blank

Kelly completed her Bachelor Degree at the University of Victoria, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in European Studies and German language. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Kelly volunteered at the Anti-Violence Project, the campus' sexual assault centre, in addition to a local sustainability group supporting farmers in Saanich. Kelly moved on to volunteer for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, first as an office assistant, then after training, as a part of the Sexual Assault Response Team (providing immediate support for survivors of sexual assault). She also worked in Administration for VSAC and a local women’s transition house while completing her Master’s degree in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Kelly is now an intern for a women’s lobbying network in Austria called Women Against Violence Europe, and she hopes to pursue a career which combines political lobbying with supporting survivors of sexualized violence.

Sonja Boon

Sonja Boon received her PhD in Women's Studies (SFU) in 2008. That same year, she moved across the country to take up a position at Memorial University in St, John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Now an Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Memorial, she has research interests in bodies and embodiment, feminist theory, life writing and autoethnography. Her most recent book, a study of embodied citizenship in letters written to a celebrated eighteenth-century physician, appears in September 2015 with McGill-Queens University Press. Outside of the university, Sonja is a co-founder of The Blue Castle: Conversations on Women, Culture and the Spaces of the Imagination, a community-based presentation series inspired by Lara Campbell's popular Herstory Cafe.

Megan Bulloch

Megan joined the Quest faculty in 2009, after teaching at a liberal arts university in Oregon. She started her education with a classics degree from University of British Columbia, and an honours psychology degree from Simon Fraser University. She switched her attention to primatology after meeting a gorilla named Kakinga. At SFU, in the department of women's studies, Megan then studied attitudes toward the environment and women. For her PhD, she moved to the Comparative Cognition Lab at the Ohio State University, where she worked with chimpanzees and preschoolers. It took her 14 years and five different departments to get the sort of education that Quest students get in a single four-year degree!

One of the foundations of a Quest education is the development of a Question. For most of her life, Megan has been trying to answer the question, "What does it mean to think, and why does it matter?" She's worked with preschoolers, monkeys (wild and captive), dogs, chimpanzees, and undergraduates trying to find an answer.
Her connection with students and her unwavering belief that learning should always be fun are two foundational principles in her teaching.

Aynsley Calder

Aynsley resides in Lumsden, Sasketchewan with her family and three wonderful children. She is currently employed as the Coordinator for Saskatchewan's Domestic Violence Courts with the Ministry of Justice

Jacky Coates

I have worked for the past 15 years with Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) in the Vancouver Domestic Violence Unit, which is a partnership between FSGV and the Vancouver Police Department. I work with a police detective partner to provide a coordinated response, victim support together with thorough police investigation, in domestic violence situations. Following several years of employment in this capacity, I completed a Master of Social Work at UBC part time in conjuction with my employment and while my kids were small.

Faye Cooper

I graduated from UBC in 1955 with a BA in English a worked in journalism and public relations (mostly in health, education) for thirty years. I then went back to SFU 1987 for WS degree and took a long time as (like others with me) we were all trying to settle personal demons. Some of us were able to do that, some not. I ended my career in private tour company 95-05, then retired. Always very disappointed not to be able to find work that would use my ws degree.

Caelie Frampton

Caelie Frampton says a master's degree in women's studies allowed her to explore her critical thinking and analytical skills, prioritizing an equity lens, which she proudly brings to her work in the labour movement.

She moved to Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories for her M.A. in Women's Studies and in attending SFU, found her community and a new home. While at SFU, Caelie was active in the student union and with the Teaching Support Staff Union. These networks led to opportunities upon graduation to do research with a focus on social justice, looking at trade agreements and municipal issues. Caelie is currently employed in communications with the Hospital Employees' Union, which represents more than 46,000 members across British Columbia in health care and community social services.


Xinying Hu

Xinying Hu received her Ph.D. in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University in 2010. Her M.A. in Labour Economics was earned in China. She is currently a sessional instructor at the Labour Studies Program, SFU. She has been teaching in this program since fall 2011. The courses she has taught include Labour and China and The Politics of Labour. Dr. Hu’s areas of research interest include women and work, globalization and labour migration, precarious labour, and the global labour movement and trade unionism. Her publications are both in Chinese and English. Her book China’s New Underclass: Paid Domestic Labour, originally her PhD thesis was published by Routledge in 2011.

Rishma Johal

Rishma Johal graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2014 with a master’s degree from the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She also completed her BA at SFU with a major in History and minor in Political Science. Rishma currently works as a reporter for Zee TV Canada conducting extensive preliminary research work and producing informative fact-based stories on-camera. Her work has ranged from covering critical social and political events such as the DAPL protests, Women’s March on Washington, and the Komagata Maru Anniversary to presenting uplifting profile interviews with Indian celebrities and politicians like Johnny Lever, Gulshan Grover, and H.S. Phoolka. She is also the anchor for BC Roundup’s weekly recap which airs every Sunday on Zee TV Canada. Rishma has an extensive background in South Asian media, hosting television shows and radio shows such as Asian Connections, Lamiya Vattan, and Radio Punjab. She has become a well-known face within the community as a speaker and emcee who has hosted various formal events, concerts, and dance competitions.

However, despite remaining active within the media, Rishma’s inclination towards furthering her academic career remains strong. Last year, she won the Best Article Award from the BC Historical Federation for her paper, titled, “Sikh Roots in Fraser Valley: 100 Years and Counting”. Her research has largely focused on South Asian Canadian History particularly retelling herstory. Her graduate research adopted an anti-racist feminist framework to conduct an historical analysis of South Asian Women’s citizenship experience in Canada. Rishma has presented her research at numerous conferences, including the Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences; the Gender, Race and Social Justice Conference; the International Women’s Day Conference, and the Ghadar Centennial Conference. One of her papers also received the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for the Best Graduate Essay. Moreover, she has published a number of scholarly and popular articles as writing remains one of her key interests.

More recently, Rishma completed an Extended Studies Certificate in Visual Arts and conducted a photo and video project based on the farmworkers in Kelowna, which was titled “Phulkari: Pieces of Our Shared Stories within the Fields.” This project aimed at shedding light on the lived experiences of farm workers, predominantly the difficulties that migrant workers face. In addition, Rishma has been openly critical of current political events in the US and Canada, markedly issues pertaining to race and gender as a writer. Her work has gained significant attention and she has been invited to speak on different radio shows, especially her open letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the near future, Rishma would like to begin her doctoral studies and share her passion for knowledge with her students.


Byron Lee

Byron Lee completed his MA in Women’s Studies at SFU in 2007. This degree set the foundation of his research interests: media representations of queer identities, popular culture, and public space. In 2014, Byron received his PhD in Mass Media and Communication from Temple University in Philadelphia, USA. His primary research looks at representations of queer identity in the construction and promotion of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. His other research examines gay men’s gender and sexual identities in pornography and social media. Byron is currently a Lecturer in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. His Writing Seminars in Communication focus on media and cultural studies topics, such as teen use of social media, marketing and tourism, and Disneylands and theme parks.

Jamie McGough

After graduating from the University of Regina with a BA (Honours) in Political Science (minor in English) and a BA in Women’s Studies, I wanted to pursue interdisciplinary graduate work in an area where I could also use gender as a primary lens of study. As a Women’s Studies graduate student at SFU, I took classes in a variety of areas including gender and methodology, politics, economics, history, marketing, and popular culture. Working with Marjorie Griffin Cohen as supervisor for my MA thesis, I examined the intersection of gender and citizenship with marketization and consumer activism in Canada. During my time at SFU, I also travelled to Vietnam with World University Services of Canada for an international seminar to network with other students and undertake research into informal rural economies.

After graduation I took some time to pursue courses in freelance and creative writing while working in Vancouver.  I decided to follow my dream of living abroad and travelled to the Czech Republic where I taught English as a Second Language and later met my partner, Paul. We relocated to my home province of Saskatchewan, where I started my career with the Government of Saskatchewan, first working with the Legislative Assembly and then moving to the Ministry of Social Services where I worked in a communications and research role. I am currently a Consultant for Income Assistance and Disability Programs in the Ministry of Social Services where I lead program reviews and tactical planning. Having an interdisciplinary academic background, particularly in Women’s Studies, has taught me to think critically, bring in differing perspectives, and look at the big picture in my work, which has been a great advantage.

Josephine Mills

Josephine Mills is the Director/Curator of the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and an Associate Professor in the Department of Art. She has worked as a curator and public programmer in art galleries and artist-run centres in Saskatoon and Vancouver. Mills has a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia University, an M.A. in Women Studies from Simon Fraser University, a B.A. in Art History from the University of Saskatchewan and is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center. She is the current University Scholar representing the Faculty of Fine Arts. Her research interests focus on the relationship between art and concepts of public in Canada with specific attention to issues involved with public engagement for art galleries and within artist’s practices. Mills is the Past President of the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization / Organisation des Directeurs des Musées d’Art du Canada and a past President of the University and College Art Gallery Association of Canada.

Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver. She is also the founder and editor of Feminist Current, the most-read feminist website in Canada. Meghan has published work in Vice, The Globe and Mail, The Georgia Straight, Al Jazeera, Ms. Magazine, Alternet, Herizons magazine, The Tyee, Megaphone Magazine, The Frisky, Good, National Post, Verily Magazine,, xoJane, The Vancouver Observer, and New Statesman. She has appeared on CBC Radio, Sun News, The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, BBC Radio 5, and Al Jazeera English.

Mary Shearman

Mary completed her BA (honours) in Theatre at the University of Ottawa in 2005 and her MA in Women’s Studies at SFU in 2007.  Mary received her PhD in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from SFU in 2016 after defending her thesis ‘A Minor League Equivalent to the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building’: Vancouver’s Penthouse Nightclub’ which focuses on local sex work history and activism.  Mary often teaches in the GSWS department and is also the Sex Work Knowledge and Values Advisor at WISH Drop-In Centre Society.  Mary is a recreational astrologer and enjoys dabbling in the occult.


Jewelles Smith

Jewelles Smith completed a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies (2007), and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and English (2003), at Simon Fraser University.

After graduating with her Masters, she received extensive training in human rights monitoring by Disability Rights Promotion (2009). Jewelles also attended the Women’s Human Rights Institute, where she received training in international human rights law as applied to women’s human rights issues (2012). She received specific training in the Convention of Persons with Disabilities (HR CRPD, 2011) through the Human Rights Education Association. She facilitated collaborative training in the use of CEDAW and CRPD with The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action during a workshop in Montreal at the head office of the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN-RAFH) of Canada (2011).

Jewelles has published numerous articles on women, mothering, and disability in academic journals, mainstream magazines, blogs and newspapers. As well, she has presented many papers related to her area of research at conferences and forums. She is a passionate artist, using oil on canvas and collage as mediums to explore narrative, theory, the female form, women’s rights and her lived environment.

She currently lives in Revelstoke, British Columbia with her two teenaged sons and commutes to school in Kelowna, where she is pursuing a doctorate degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She currently works part time in Revelstoke as the Project Manager for my local Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative.

She is committed to ways in which critical theory and academic study are able to inform community and policy practice, and dedicated to finding ways in which research and art can inspire change. To this end, in addition to her studies and other responsibilities, She commits time to active membership on committees and boards that work for social justice and equality. She is currently vice chair of the National Educational Association for Disabled Students (a position she also held during my Masters Degree), and is on the board of directors for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and has been an active volunteer on a variety of committees, boards and collaborative projects since working on both her Bachelor of Arts (in women’s studies and English) and Master of Arts (in Women’s Studies) at SFU (completed 2003 & 2007).

Attending Simon Fraser University launched her career and established her passion for women’s rights and equality. Thank You SFU!

Sarah Spear

Sarah Spear is a doctoral candidate in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University, with an MA in Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University. She is interested in the varied historical manifestations of Canadian nationalism in French and English Canada and its intersections with politics, religion and gender. Her primary research interrogates the political, religious, and gendered discourses and ideologies of women suffragists in Ontario and Quebec at the turn of the twentieth century.

Jill Stainsby

The path to social work was rocky and eventually I obtained an MSW at UBC. The MA(WS) meant I only needed 3 undergraduate courses in social work before being accepted into the MSW program, instead of a whole year of just BA-level social work classes. Another student I know -- Kelly Maier -- also had some difficulty being recognized as a social worker with the MA (WS). It would be very useful to future students if the WS Masters was recognized as equivalent to the MSW. And social work is extremely flexible and somewhat nomadic, internationally transferable, which is quite a benefit.

Constance Xizi Yan

Constance Xizi Yan was a student from China and studied in the GSWS MA program for one year. Her academic interests lie in pop Inter-Asia Studies, sinophone studies, and queer film studies. She has conducted research on queer Japanese manga readership, the situation of female displacees in the Three Gorges Dam Project and the way of looking in women’s films. Her bilingual and bicultural background in Mandarin and Cantonese allows her to have unique perspectives on sinophone studies, esp. the diasporic studies in periphery China. Also, she has remained in close contact with Japanese and Korean students, which gives more resources on Inter-Asia Studies. She is planning to work as a marketing analysis for a leading research-based corporation.          


Masashi Yoshida

Masashi Yoshida completed an M.A. degree in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2017. He earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology at International Christian University in 2015 in Japan. After moving to Canada, he had been volunteering as a facilitator at I Belong Project of MOSAIC, the service for LGBTQ migrants in the Lower Mainland by a settlement organization. He currently operates the I Belong program as a full-time staff member. His scholarly works include a program evaluation study of MOSAIC’s I Belong project, as well as “Mapping Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer Migrant Needs in Surrey, BC : A Report Commissioned by DIVERSEcity” (as one member of a fabulous research team), both under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Marchbank.

More Alumni Profiles coming soon!