MA Students

Only those students who wished to have their profile on our website are included.

Shoak Alhussami

Shoak is a second-year Master’s student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature at Damascus University, Syria in 2015. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, gender-based violence, resistance, reproductive rights, and mainstreaming gender in policy and law. She is a volunteer with the Women’s Centre at SFU where she has the opportunity to address issues that are of interest and importance to self-identified women on campus as well as work in a feminist, gender-inclusive space that reflects her own values. In September 2019, she joined the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office at SFU as a Research Assistant to help support the review of SFU's Sexual Violence Policy (GP44). She hopes to continue working in spaces that provide legal support and advocacy and focus on policy development/implementation in relation to gender-based violence. Shoak enjoys watching TV, going out with friends, and dancing.

Leslie Brunanski

Leslie (she/her) has Cree Metis and European ancestry, and studies, lives and works on Unceded Coast Salish Territory: the ancestral and traditional territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Musqueam, Squamish,Tsawwassen, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

She is currently in the MA program in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Leslie earned a BA degree in 2000 from SFU in General Studies with joint minors in Women’s Studies and Sociology and with additional emphases on both Criminology and Psychology. After earning a Juris Doctor from UBC Law School in 2003, Leslie practiced law in Vancouver as a criminal defence lawyer and then as a corporate litigator until her decision to return to academia.

Her research interests include women’s intersection with the criminal justice system and the accompanying issues related to women both as offenders and victims of crime. She is also concerned with human rights issues surrounding sex work, as well as the many gendered issues within the legal system in general and in popular culture.  Leslie enjoys television, small dogs and spending time with her nephews.

Sarah Cibart

After completing her Bachelor of Human Justice from the University of Regina on Treaty 4 territory, Sarah Cibart (she/her) is excited to be pursing her interdisciplinary MA at SFU as a thesis student with the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies department. Sarah's currently delving into research on the evolution of unions in Canada and human rights advocacy- particularly for queer, trans, and Two-Spirit workers. Previous research of Sarah's includes the impact of domestic violence in the workplace (Canadian Labour Congress, Ottawa, 2015), public policy and human rights (Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, 2017), and aspiring allyship education and development (Saskatchewan Federation of Labour & Canadian Labour Congress Union Education Schools, 2016-2018).  


In addition to her research, Sarah has worked with the YWCA Metro Vancouver Youth Education program, and volunteering with Saskatchewan’s LGBTQ Community Centre OUTSaskatoon. She has a passion for the role of community building through summer camps and has been involved in leading the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour human rights camp, Camp fYrefly, and CampOUT. Sarah spends most of her time petting dogs on Commercial Drive, jamming on string instruments, and drinking coffee.

Jessica Horsnell

Jessica is currently a MA student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.  She completed an Associate’s Degree in Global Stewardship from Capilano University in 2013.  From there, she continued on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in 2017 from Simon Fraser University with a major in International Studies.  Her bachelor had a focus in comparative world politics, culture, and society, as well as a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.  While at Simon Fraser, Jessica completed a semester abroad at the University of Nottingham, England, studying gender and development.  Jessica likes to stay involved in her community by volunteering with different organizations such as the Stanley Park Ecology Society, and the North Vancouver Community Players theatre.  Her research interests include gendered violence, women’s rights, public policy, masculinity, and queer theory.   She hopes to combine her research interests and pursue a career in International Law.

Jamie Noulty

Jamie is presently a MA student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. He completed his undergraduate in Political Science with a Joint Major in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. His research interests include gendered violence, masculinity, post-conflict, post-colonialism, and emerging men’s studies.

Veronica Sudesh

Veronica is a first year Master’s student at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. She is an international student, hailing from New Delhi, India. She was born in Montreal, Quebec and her parents shifted back to India a few years after her birth. She did her schooling and undergrad both from New Delhi, India. She completed her Bachelor’s in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), Delhi University. She also has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. While obtaining her Bachelor’s degree she got extremely interested in pursuing gender studies due to the feminist culture and outlook of her college. In her previous Master’s she continued to follow her passion for gender studies and took up additional courses on women and gender studies. She has worked with many organizations in Delhi which deal with women and gender related issues such as SafetiPin, Breakthrough, Centre for Health and Social Justice and so on. her experience in these organizations taught her how to create safer and inclusive public spaces for all genders, especially women; how to build community mobilization and engagement events around issues of masculinity, gender sensitivity and equality; how to create and maintain data related to various organizations working on women’s sexual health. The work that she undertook here helped strengthen her determination and desire to pursue another master’s degree with a focus on women and gender. That is why she decided to apply to SFU, the uniqueness and inter as well as multidisciplinary nature of the program really evoked her interest. She knew that she would have a lot to learn from the different specializations of the faculty members. Her areas of interest in terms of research are gender based and sexual violence; manifestation of gender based and sexual violence during conflicts and in conflict ridden zones; the gaps present in the legal and judicial system which prevent women from getting justice, how certain laws and their interpretation in modern times reinforce patriarchy and perpetuate gender inequality; immigrant women; masculinity. She wishes to evolve and expand herareas of interest within these two years of Master’s at SFU as she will come across new and exciting concepts, trends and emerging areas of research. In a few years she would like to see herself working with an international organization and helping make this world a better living place for all genders in terms of equality, accessibility, availability and safety.

Claire Wilson

Claire is an MA student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at SFU in 2013 with a joint major in History and GSWS, and during her studies worked as a campus ambassador and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences student representative on the Curriculum committee and Appeals committee. Since completing her BA, Claire has remained connected to the university through her position as Vice President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and as a staff member in the Faculty of Science Office of the Dean. Her research interests include post-secondary educational access and using decolonizing academic theories in university administration.

Kaitlyn Woodman

Kaitlyn is presently a MA student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Psychology.  Her research interests include sexual violence, women’s reproductive rights, and the connection between the judicial system and gendered inequality. Her current research focuses on linguistic sexism and rape culture, utilizing a survivor-centered methodology to analyze recent cases of sexual assault across North America. She is excited to be volunteering with the Active Bystander Network through the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office here at SFU, and hopes to continue spreading awareness about sexual violence across campus and throughout the greater Vancouver community through activism and research.

PhD Students

Sim Badesha

Sim Badesha is a PhD candidate in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at SFU. She completed her MA in Sociology with a specialization in Women's Studies at Lakehead University in 2015.  Sim's academic interests include: gender, racialization, race relations and identity construction; bicultural and intersectional identities; gender role socialization and expectations; sexuality and the dynamics of othering in contemporary Canadian society. 

Nadine Boulay

Nadine Boulay is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.  Originally from Manitoba, Nadine graduated with her Bachelor of Arts (Honours), with a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religion from the University of Manitoba in 2011.  During her undergraduate degree Nadine became interested in studying sexuality, gay and lesbian history, and feminist social activism- an interest she explored further for her undergraduate thesis.  She recently graduated with her Master’s degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies at Simon Fraser University.  Her SSHRC-funded these research explored the value of intergenerational conversation between queer women in their 20s, and lesbian women involved in feminist community building and political activism in the Lower Mainland in the 1970s and 80s.  Since 2013, she has worked as a research assistant for the Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony, an online digital archive housed at Simon Fraser University. Her writing has been published in Australian Feminist Studies and Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society (forthcoming) and worked as a co-editor for the Feminist and Queer Review at the University of Manitoba.  She has presented research on LGBT Subjectivities in the academy (Winnipeg, 2011), gay and lesbian asylum seekers in Canada (Victoria, 2012), the importance of role models for queer youth (Victoria, 2012), and the necessity of anti-racist allyship in queer communities (Vancouver, 2014). She recently spoke on a roundtable discussing queer and lesbian archives and archival affect at the National Women’s Studies Association meeting in Puerto Rico in November 2014.

Nadine’s PhD research will explore the history of lesbian-feminism in the Lower Mainland in the 1970s and 80s, with a particular focus on rural and island experiences, intentional women’s communities, and the ‘back to the land’ movement.  Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada CGS Doctoral Scholarship.  She is very excited to be continuing her work with Dr. Elise Chenier, Associate Professor in History at SFU, Director of the Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony, and scholar of oral history and the history of sexuality.  In her community work, Nadine is involved with co-coordinating an intergenerational queer meeting group, and performing in the popular East Van queer drag show, Man Up.  She is passionate about queer history, intergenerational activism, memory, embodiment and affect theories, and feminist scholarly and community engagement.

Research Page

Nerida Bullock

Nerida Bullock is a PhD student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at SFU.  She holds a BA (honors) in Sociology/Women’s Studies and a MA in Sociology from the University of Waterloo.  For multiple decades, her skills in research methodologies, data analysis and writing have been utilized in non-profit and social enterprise community focused research initiatives throughout the Fraser Valley of BC.  Nerida has a strong background in civic and non-profit board governance and has served as a provincial appointee to the Abbotsford Police Board and past chair of the Community Women’s Centre at UFV (formally UCFV).  Nerida’s academic interests are in feminist & queer theory, bio-politics, agnatology, and sexual politics, autonomy & ethics.

Nerida’s doctoral thesis is a critical exploration of marriage that interrogates compulsory monogamy and the economic and social privileging of the romantic dyad.  Marriage, as an agent of social control and a colonizing force in Western society, has undergone significant change over the last twenty years resulting in the inclusion of same-sex couples to the institution of marriage and access to the corresponding legal benefits and obligations that marriage entails.  Underscoring this fundamental shift in jurisprudence, is an allegiance to the underlying principle of monogamy and the romantic and social ideal that true love is a numeric equation between two partners.  Nerida’s doctoral thesis explores how Canadian law has shifted dramatically to support the inclusion of same-sex couples, while adamantly excluding any reconfigurations of numeric possibilities that extend beyond the socially enshrined dyad.

Novia Shih-Shan Chen

Novia Shih-Shan Chen received her BFA from National Taiwan University, her MFA in Film Production from Ohio University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Novia has worked as a filmmaker and a film and video instructor both in the US, Canada, and Taiwan. Her short documentary film titled Now He is a She, which explores the subjectivity, sexuality and familial relationships of a male-to-female transgendered teacher, has screened at several international queer and women’s film festivals from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan to France. Novia’s background as a female filmmaker and an international doctoral student informs her mobile position both as a creative artist and a diasporic scholar negotiating gender politics, filmic representation and feminist film criticism and theory. Her research project examines the positionality of contemporary female documentary filmmakers, the historical fluctuation associated with the production of their documentary films and the implications of independent filmmaking in the context of Sinophone cinema. Aside from writing, she also teaches in the Asian Studies Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and serves on the programming committee at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

Sandie Dielissen

Sandie is a settler scholar living and working on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. Her research interests include the gender politics of the Indian residential schools in Canada, particularly as gender was prescribed, performed and maintained in the context of institutional confinement. Sandie questions the role that residential schools played in affecting Aboriginal girl’s identities and how the praxis of daily life crafted gender through the built environment and materiality of the residential schools. Through an intersectional lens, Sandie examines how the dominant colonial power, moral, and social ideologies were used in increasing attempts to control Aboriginal girls by embedding western ideals of femininity in habitus. Although the residential schools disregarded customary and traditional knowledge of childhood, Sandie’s research will also reveal the ways in which Aboriginal girls resisted and defied colonial education, providing a deeper understanding of institutions of reform and their impacts on the lived experiences of Aboriginal girls and women. In the historical context of residential schools, Sandie’s focus is on the early reserve era, a time of increased interference by the colonial government in the lives of Aboriginal people in Canada.

Sandie holds a joint BA (Hons.) in Archaeology and First Nations Studies (SFU), and her MA research was based on her archaeological excavations of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Home for Indian Children, undertaken on behalf of the Piikani First Nation in southern Alberta. She is a member of the SFU Indigenous Research Institute and was recently the graduate Research Assistant for the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council.  In addition, Sandie is a regular sessional instructor with the Department of First Nations Studies at SFU, and Registrar for the Indigenous Literary Studies Association. 

Thuy Do

Thuy Do received her MA in International Development and Social Change from Clark University in 2012 in which she was funded a full scholarship by the Ford Foundation. Thuy holds her bachelor in Development Economics from Nong Lam University. She is a team member of the Gender Working Group and Intellectual Woman Association in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Prior to pursuing her Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, Thuy was a full-time lecturer and researcher at Hoa Sen University (HSU) and a visiting lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University. In addition, Thuy was a research consultant for International Organization for Migration and Family Health International 360. During 5 years working at HSU, Thuy was also a visiting researcher at Gender and Society Research Center where she was an active research team member in several projects. In summer 2016, Thuy was a coordinator of a Fulbright Specialist Project on Liberal Education which brought her group an outstanding project award of the year for its widespread impact on lecturers and staff at HSU. In addition, Thuy was awarded for an excellent teaching award of the year 2016 at HSU.  Her research interests are gender politics and identity, migration, multiculturalism, economic development, and Vietnam culturalism.

Reema Faris

Reema Faris successfully defended her MA in Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 2015. She also holds a BA in History and Classical Studies from the University of British Columbia (1983) and an MBA from the University of Toronto (1990).  Ms. Faris has worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Humanities, History, and English departments at SFU and is pursuing her studies as a PhD student with the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS). Her research will focus on the intersection of popular culture and feminism.  Specifically, she will be exploring whether popular culture distracts attention from the reality of women’s lives and in fact delays progress on important social policies such as pay equity, universally accessible childcare, and equal political representation. Before following her passion as an academic, Ms. Faris served as a one-term Trustee for the West Vancouver Board of Education and enjoyed a multi-decade career as a communications professional with a variety of public and private sector organizations. She is also a mother who is trying her best to guide a teenage artist through life as well as Grade 10. In addition to being a member of Vancouver Opera’s Board of Directors, she is an avid traveller, a chocolate enthusiast, and often dreams of Paris.

Research Page

Shanny Rann

Shanny Rann is a feminist dance scholar with a M.A. in Dance Studies (York University) and International Master in Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage (Choreomundus). Trained in classical ballet, she was introduced to modern dance at SFU and graduated with a Bachelor of General Studies. As a dancer, researcher and administrator, she has performed, worked and lived in different countries across Asia, Europe and North America. Her previous research on a sacred dance ritual brought her to the Himalayas where she immersed herself in Tibetan refugee communities. She is proud to be back at SFU for her PhD in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and hopes to carry on the pioneering lineage of the department by championing gender equality through the combination of theory and practice.

Shahar Shapira

Shahar Shapira is a PhD student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at SFU since September 2017. She holds a BA in Art History and Multidisciplinary Studies (Psychology Track) from Haifa University, Israel (graduated Cum Laude), and a MA in Gender Studies from Ben-Gurion University, Israel (Graduated Summa Cum Laude). She is interested in feminist and queer disability theories, feminist science studies, critiques of the concept of ‘normal’, and critical discourse analysis. In her doctoral thesis, she intends to explore the interconnections between Israeli culture and science, and the ways in which scientific knowledge making and science communication participate in social power relations along the lines of gender, race/ethnicity, nationality and bodymind difference. Her article “Psychiatric Ableism-Cisgenderism in the Autism-Transgender Nexus” (co-authored with Leeat Granek) was published in 2019 in Feminism & Psychology. Her article titled “Defending the Female Client From ‘Love for an Hour’: The Construction of Sexuality in a Court Case Ruling for Compensation for Sex Services” was published in 2017 in Israel Studies in Language and Society, Special Issue on Language and Sexuality [Hebrew]. Shahar also gained experience in qualitative research and analysis as a research assistant in two healthcare studies and in a project on intersectional feminist publication praxis, led by Ruth Wynn Woodward Postdoctoral Fellow in GSWS, Ela Przybylo.