Student Profiles

Bhavjot Bansi
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Abbotsford, B.C.
Previous Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Simon Fraser University.
Work Experience: Bhav participated in the Co-op program. and worked as a Special Events Intern and a Safety Research Intern for the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, where her interest in Public Policy peaked.
Areas of Policy Interest: social policy, such as mental health policies for inmates and correctional workers. 

Aman Basra

Program Year: Two
Hometown: Delta, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, International Relations and Economics, UBC
Work Experience: I’ve been working for the federal government since I was 22 years old. I began with Indigenous Affairs working in a branch that dealt with the settlement process related to Indian Residential Schools. That experience left a lasting impact and taught me to be a champion of Indigenous issues and Reconciliation in all my future roles. From there, I transitioned to Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) doing program delivery of Employment Insurance (EI) moving up into leadership/management. As of January 2019, I moved to the corporate side of ESDC’s Western division. I worked on a team called Planning, Accountability and Strategic Analysis (PASA). PASA facilitates planning for the region as a whole in partnership with business lines, business expertise, enabling partners, and national partners. 
Areas of Policy Interest: Economic Policy, Immigration Policy, Foreign Policy, International Development, International Business and Trade.

Disha Bhatnagar

Hometown: Vancouver B.C.
Previous Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with an Extended Minor in French, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: For the last 3 years, I have been working at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction as an Employment and Assistance Worker. In my role, I assess eligibility & ongoing support for income, hardship & disability assistance for British Columbians in need. I started my career in public service as a Co-op student in 2013 and have worked for Indigenous Services Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and Canada Border Services Agency. I have been volunteering as a Settlement Mentor with Immigrant Services Society of BC for the past 4 years as well.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social, economic and health policies relating to the integration of newcomers, and more broadly integration and immigration policies

Megan Bowers
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Previous Degree: Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences, Major in Political Science with Minor in Public Administration, French immersion program, University of Ottawa
Work Experience: I have worked for four different federal government departments in Ottawa including Public Services and Procurement Canada, Global Affairs Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Most recently, I worked for two years at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), first as administrative support in the Minister’s Office, and then as correspondence coordinator in the Deputy Minister’s Office.
Areas of Public Policy Interest: Climate change, social justice, Indigenous rights, health

Elise Buckley
Program Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Honours Major in English Literature and Minor in French; University of British Columbia
Work Experience: I have four years of work experience with Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that supports innovation in Canada via research and training programs. As a Programs Specialist at Mitacs, I coordinated international research awards for students and postdoctoral fellows, ensuring smooth program operations. After 3 years, I progressed to Senior Programs Specialist, taking on additional responsibilities and developing strong project management skills. My time at Mitacs also served to expose me to Canadian education and innovation policy as well as policy implementation.

Prior to working at Mitacs, I taught English in Cahors, France for 8 months. As an undergraduate student, I completed an 8-month co-op term as a Research Assistant for the Copyright & International Trade Policy Branch of Canadian Heritage, where I engaged in forward-looking policy research.
Areas of Policy Interest: environmental policy, food policy, Indigenous rights, social policy

Justin Carmichael
Program Year: One
Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta
Previous Degree(s):  BA Political Science, SFU
Work Experience: Justin completed an internship at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver, working for both the U.S. Department of State and Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service as the commercial economic statecraft intern, applying his knowledge of Canadian and BC politics to completing projects, research, and cables for the two departments. Justin also previously worked in IT at the SFU Bookstore, before assuming his current role as Government Relations Coordinator in the Office of the Vice-President, External Relations at SFU. In his current role, Justin assists the SFU executive in outreach activities with all levels of government, research on key government and internal SFU initiatives, and assists in government-planned events that take place at any one of the three SFU campuses.

Treena Chambers
Program Year: Two
Previous Degree(s): BA, International Studies, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: Treena is a Métis scholar who has worked as a union organizer, bookseller, and researcher. She has worked on the categorization and digitization of archival materials on projects such as The People and The Text and as well she has worked with the Indigenous Voices Awards and the Indigenous Literary Studies Association.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social Policy, Criminal Justice Policy, Indigenous Governance, and Foreign Policy.

Liam Daher
Program Year: One
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Previous Degree(s): Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), Conc.: Accounting; Minor: Economics, Carleton University
Work Experience: Liam’s work experience includes roles with the federal government, in the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, the not-for-profit sector, with the Business and Higher Education Roundtable, and the post-secondary environment as a Teaching Assistant at Carleton University. His most recent role with the Business and Higher Education Roundtable saw him managing the claim submission and reporting process for the organization’s federally funded Work Integrated Learning (WIL) initiative, which aims to create 44,000 WIL experiences annually across Canada by 2022.
Areas of Policy Interest: Economic Policy, Climate and Environmental Policy, Social Policy, Health Policy and Foreign Policy

Claire Davies
Program Year: One
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts (Honours with Distinction) – Global Development Studies major, French studies minor – Queen’s University
Work Experience:  I have worked for organizations such as Environment and Climate Change Canada, the United Nation Development Program, and Patchwork Gardens Organic Farm. Most recently, I was a Policy Analyst with Transport Canada where I worked on files related to climate change adaptation for Canadian northern transportation systems.
Areas of Policy Interest: Environment, Climate Change, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Human Rights, and Trade Policy

Miguel Antonio D. Dicen
Program Year: One
Hometown: Manila, Philippines
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Economics (with Distinction), Business Minor, University of Victoria, BC
Work Experience: Miguel is joining the MPP Program straight from completing his Bachelor’s Degree. Having lived and studied in various countries in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and North American regions has exposed Miguel to various cultures and forms of government which inspired him to pursue a graduate degree in public policy.
Volunteer Experience: While completing his undergraduate studies, Miguel was an acting Treasurer and co-founder of the University of Victoria (UVic) Investment Club. He, likewise, participated in the annual Public Policy competition held in 2019 at UVic where his team won second place.
Areas of Policy Interest: International Development, Environment, Social Services, International Trade

Nathan Durham
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Previous Degree: BA in Sociology and Gender Studies, Kenyon College (Gambier, OH)
Work Experience: For two years, I worked as a paralegal for a labor and employment law firm in Seattle, WA, assisting attorneys with harassment and discrimination cases for individual plaintiffs as well as class action lawsuits for violations of wage and hour laws, such as unpaid overtime or improper commission structures. This experience led me to my current areas of interest in labor market policy as well as antitrust law and competition policy as avenues to balance employee and employer power. Prior to my work as a paralegal, I managed an LGBTQ resource center, and completed research on marriage and family policy during a legal scholarship program in Ohio.
Areas of Policy Interest: antitrust law and competition policy, labor and employment policy, social policy and inequality.

Cara Fogliato
Program Year: One
Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
Previous Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a Minor in Development & Sustainability, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: I began my career in the public service as a Co-op student in 2015 with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. After graduation I was bridged into the Department and eventually transferred to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for a promotional opportunity. For the last three years, I have been working for DFO as the Senior Executive Assistant to the Regional Director General. In my current role, I provide advice and process recommendations to Executives and other Senior Management, manage Executive-level correspondence and briefings and provide a liaison function between the Deputy Minister’s Office and the Regional Management Team. 
Areas of Policy Interest: Sustainability, environmental policy, and social policy. How issues resulting from climate change exacerbate poverty and inequality, as well as, the challenges of governance and decision-making processes to address these issues.

Miranda Gariepy 
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor degree in International Studies, specialization in International Development and Cultural Change, with a concentration in Social Studies
Work Experience: Miranda had the pleasure of working for the Honourable Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, in her constituency office. Prior to that, she spent time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This has given her the experience to understand Canada’s legislative process and how to engage and advocate in the public sphere. Outside of government, she applied her skills and passion for social justice and systemic equality in the non-for-profit sphere within the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, working with at-risk seniors and individuals with a history of substance use and homelessness.
Areas of Public Policy Interest: Miranda is interested in assessing and improving policies that focus on decreasing systemic inequalities and promoting upward mobility. She is also driven by her interest in advancing environmental protection and empowering the participation of marginalized groups, with a focus on indigenous perspectives, in the policy-making process.

Norees Gasper
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Salt Spring Island, BC
Previous Degree: BAH, Queen’s University with a double major in History and Religious Studies
Work Experience: I was involved with the Queen’s Refugee Relief organization during my undergraduate career, advocating for education on campus, and helping refugees transition to life in Canada. I also have experience working in small scale government and philanthropy organizations in my hometown.
Areas of Public Policy Interest: Environmental and climate change policy as well as immigration policy 

Jeff Hartmann
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Tsawwassen, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor Arts, major Geography
Work Experience: Jeff previously worked as carpenter throughout Metro Vancouver working on projects ranging from public infrastructure to single family homes. After completing a bachelor's degree Jeff worked at Health Canada with their Environmental Assessment team.
Areas of policy interest: energy, infrastructure, transportation, environmental policy, and social and economic policy  

Saima Huda
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and Finance, BRAC University.
Work Experience: I assisted a doctoral research project, titled “Modern Contraception Use among Married Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh” for Boston University in 2018. I facilitated a work on of obstetric fistula survivors for EngenderHealth Inc. USA in 2015. I volunteered for a community based adolescent centered safe motherhood and reproductive health project in Bangladesh and attended a forum of health ministers of 26 developing countries of Asia and Africa in Beijing, China in 2013. I joined the Health Minister of Bangladesh in a side meeting with the Vice Premier of China.
Areas of Policy interest: Public Policy Needs in Transition Economies, Economics of Climate Change, Resource Utilization for better health outcome.

Munir-Khalid Dossa
Hometown: Surrey, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts Major Sustainable Policy Studies, Minor Political Science, Certificate NGO and Non-profit Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Work Experience(s): Community Outreach Coordinator at West Coast Environmental Law, Coordinator PICS Entrepreneurship Program at Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS), Mega Job Fair Coordinator at PICS.
Volunteer Experience(s): National Convenor Campus Connexion Mentorship Program at Aga Khan Education Board Canada, Board Member at Kwantlen Students Association, Treasurer and Acting-Vice President of KPU WUSC, Member for Post-Secondary at Aga Khan Education Board B.C, Project Manager Think Global Link Local at United Nations Association Canada- Vancouver Branch.
Areas of Policy Interest: International development, sustainability, environmental policy, social policy, and civil society development.

Daniel Lam

Program Year: Two
Hometown: Richmond, BC
Previous Degrees: BSc, Atmospheric Science and Political Science (2019), UBC
Brief Work Experience: I have volunteered at the UBC AMS and served on their Board of Directors for two years.  I have also volunteered with the BC Council for International Cooperation as part of a foreign policy course.
Areas of Policy Interest: Climate policy and carbon pricing in the Canadian federation

Wendy Ma
Year: One
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Major in Economics and Statistics, Minor in Commerce; University of British Columbia
Work Experience: Wendy has been working for the Canada Revenue Agency since 2016 as a Quantitative Analyst, specializing in data and statistical analysis.  She has a vast scope of experience as a project lead and has worked on over 30 projects, ranging from child benefits to excise duty programs.  The bulk of her work involves extracting, analyzing, and manipulating large databases; developing and performing data quality assurance methods; researching and presenting briefing material to senior management; and managing relationships with clients.  In the past year, she has also contributed to interdepartmental working groups involving key stakeholders such as the Privy Council Office, Statistics Canada, and ESDC.  Wendy will continue to work-full time while pursuing her master’s degree, and trusts it will be a rewarding and effective complement to her quantitative background.
Areas of Policy Interest: Environmental Policy, Indigenous Rights, Social Policy, and Business and Economic Innovation

Andrew Marriott
Year: Two
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts with a Double Major in Political Science and Anthropology from MacEwan University in Edmonton
Work Experience: I am eager to put my skills, experience, and passion for policy to work in a professional setting. Since 2016, I have volunteered with National Model United Nations by helping to put on simulated conferences for thousands of international and Canadian university students in Banff and New York. These conferences are focused on the creation and implementation of policy responding to important international issues and I was responsible for helping choose the topics under discussion, supervising the conference sessions, and guiding and reviewing the substantive work of student delegates. I have also sat on several university committees, been a leader and executive in student groups, and held minor election day roles with Elections Alberta.
Areas of Policy Interest: I am particularly interested in international relations and diplomacy, environmental policy, public transportation, and urban policy. I also have a cross-cutting interest in how rapid technological and social change shapes the policy of the future and creates new challenges.

Balraj Mattu
Program Year: One
Hometown: North Delta, B.C.
Previous Degree(s): Humanities (Minors in Math & History)
Work Experience: I have been working as a substitute teacher for the Vancouver and Surrey School Districts for the last four years. Being in and out of classrooms at different schools on a daily basis has allowed me to observe a wide range of teaching practices and helped me understand why some strategies work while others fall short.

Erica McAdam
Program Year: One
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Law, Carleton University
Work Experience: After completing my undergraduate degree in law, I worked as a legal assistant for eight years specializing in labour and employment law. During this time, I maintained my commitment to volunteering my time in my community. The experience and perspective I gained volunteering in shelters and with at risk youth in the GTA ignited my passion for pursing further education that would enable me to work in a career where I could make a positive different in my community.  
Areas of policy interest: Drug and Health Policy; Social Policy; Indigenous Policy.

Richard Mozisek
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Maple Ridge, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours, Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: I worked as a Junior Policy Analyst at Health Canada in Ottawa. I assisted a team in implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety at the Health Products and Food Branch. I also worked as a Safety Policy Analyst at the Fleetwood BIA which is a non-profit organization in Surrey, BC. I created policy guidelines for small businesses to be partially reimbursed for improvements that benefitted the community.
Areas of Policy Interest: technology, energy, transportation, and economic policy. 

Ashley Muchka

Program Year: Two
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction), International Studies Major, Political Science Minor; Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: During my undergrad, I completed co-ops with the Mexican Consulate in Vancouver (Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program) as a Consular Assistant, and with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a Citizen and Immigration Assistant. After graduating in 2017, I began working for the Enforcement and Intelligence Division (EID) within the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Areas of Policy Interest: Immigration Policy, Foreign Policy, Transitional Justice Policy, Electoral Reform  

Mariam Nasser
Program Year: One
Hometown: Delta, B.C.
Previous Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Canadian Studies, UBC.
Work Experience: While pursuing her undergraduate degree at UBC, Mariam worked as an Editor for the IONA Journal of Economics, and became the Editor-In-Chief in her final year. Upon graduation, Mariam worked as an Associate and licensed Investment Representative at RBC Dominion Securities for 1.5 years. In December 2019, she began working for Service BC as a Customer Service Representative. Working at Service BC helped solidify Mariam’s interests in working with governmental policy. 
Areas of Policy Interest: Social Policy, Criminal Justice Policy, Immigration Policy,and Economic Policy.

Grace Park
Program Year: One
Hometown: Maple Ridge, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences with a minor in International Relations, University of British Columbia
Work Experience: Grace’s work experiences ranges from being a laboratory technician in analytical chemistry laboratories to event planning for scientific workshops. She has collaborated with scientists to publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, and has recently completed contracted work as a research assistant with analytical research companies in Vancouver. Her policy interests emerged through her environmental and international relations studies at UBC, volunteer experiences within Downtown Eastside Vancouver, and work experiences from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Areas of Policy Interests: Environment, Natural Resources, Indigenous, Social, Housing, International Relations 

Elizabeth Pinsent
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, History; UBC
Work Experience: I have extensive experience working for and volunteering with non-profit organizations. Most significantly, I worked as office manager for the British Columbia Law Institute, the province’s independent law reform agency, for ten years. This provides me with a unique perspective on the challenges faced by nonprofits operating in the policy sphere.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social justice and human rights; climate change and environmental issues; accessibility to services for disabled persons; issues of systemic discrimination and inefficiencies, particularly as relates to public safety and criminal justice policy.

Daniella Prandoczky
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: BA, Honours Major in Sociology and Minor in Philosophy; York University
Work Experience: During my undergraduate studies I began working as a Research Assistant for Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Climate Change, a research project that bridges labour and climate issues with the aim of providing equitable solutions for workers in transition. I recently completed a summer internship at the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board, providing research, administrative, and communications support to the Office of the Chief Strategy and Analytics Officer, the divisional Engagement Council, and various teams and projects across the Strategy and Analytics division.
Areas of Policy Interest: Labour Policy, Environmental Policy, Social Policy, Local Economic Development, Local Government. 

Nathan Ryan

Program Year: Two
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Previous Degree(s): Honours Bachelor of Science, Psychology Specialist, University of Toronto
Work Experience: I worked at the University of Toronto Scarborough during my undergrad as a Work Study Supervisor at the Office of the Registrar. I trained and managed a group of ten work study staff and acted as a liaison between students and advisors. Following my undergrad, I worked at the University of Toronto, Enrolment Services, where I processed Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) applications across three campuses. This position allowed me to extend my knowledge from previous work in financial aid and to ensure students received the correct amount of funding in a timely manner. I also had the opportunity to work for UTemp at the University of Toronto, and was placed at Rotman Registrar's Office as a Student Services Associate, where I provided front line assistance to MBA students. UTemp also placed me as a Program Manager at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, where I processed payroll and scheduled staff, prepared course and exam materials, and supervised labs and exams. I will be working as a Research Assistant at SFU Burnaby in the Psychology department starting in September. 
Areas of Policy Interest: Health policy (I plan on applying to medical schools following completion of the MPP), LGBTQ+ policy, and poverty

Ruby Sarkar

Program Year: Two
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta & Hamilton, Ontario
Previous Degree: BSc Environmental Conservation – Economic and Policy Specialization, University of Alberta
Work Experience:  I have been fortunate enough to apply my education with various organizations such as the Annapurna Conservation Area Project in Nepal, Canadian Forest Service within Natural Resources Canada, Southern Rockies Watershed Project with the University of Alberta. My most recent role has been spending the last three years as a Forestry Policy Analyst with the Government of Alberta where I had the chance to work on files such as softwood lumber litigation, legislative reviews, and red tape reduction. Areas of Policy Interest: Environment, Climate Change, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Economic, and Trade Policy

Parsoua Shirzad
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Major in Communications, Minor in Sociology; Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: During my tenure at SFU, I was the Experiential Marketing Team Leader at Mosaic Sales Solutions, where I represented accounts such as Disney, Labbatt and Samsung. With this experience, I subsequently joined a print and digital publishing company as the Public Relations Director, from where I was eventually promoted to the position of Editor in Chief. During my five years with this company, I managed all creative and marketing operations, advertisement sales, as well as staff recruitment, training and management. The breadth of my work was operating the digital publication and overseeing the publishing of bimonthly print editions. Following graduation, I worked as a Marketing Consultant to various start up companies in BC’s wellness and lifestyle industry and real estate industry.
In my spare time I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, this year marking my tenth year. Of my volunteer experiences, the most memorable was a 4 month teaching position in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with The Cambodian Rural Development Team, a Cambodian-led NGO. Our teaching efforts raised funds for social and sustainable projects in rural Cambodia with the aim of alleviating poverty and environmental degradation.
Areas of Policy Interest: Social Policy; Drug and Health Policy; Business and Economic Innovation, Foreign Affairs and Trade Development

Mark Thompson
Program Year: One
Hometown: Burnaby, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts – Political Science major; Dialogue in Communication minor – Simon Fraser University
Work Experience: I have been working for the Government of Canada with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) since 2017 in a program delivery position that assists First Nations overcome barriers to self-government within the BC Treaty Process through proposal-driven projects. I previously worked as a Research Assistant for a start-up firm in the American health care sector. I also completed the Semester in Dialogue program, and was involved with SFU’s branch of the student-lead entrepreneurial non-profit, Enactus, during my undergraduate career.
Areas of Policy Interest: Universal income; health care; mass media; Fourth Industrial Revolution; Indigenous self-government.

Sarah van Baarsen
Program Year: One
Hometown: Ladner, B.C.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (first class standing), UBC.
Work Experience: During my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to be involved in research surrounding purchase priority and socioeconomic status, where I was assisted in data collection, processing, and analysis. I volunteered with the SPCA, where along with my regular duties within the shelter, I participated in quarterly meetings that touched on issues related to the shelter. I also participated in community council meetings focusing on broader issues surrounding animal welfare and education which were addressed to the municipality. During these meetings, I was able to see policy at work within the community.
Areas of Policy Interest: social, transportation, and economic policy.

Nancy Xue
Program Year: Two
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Previous Degree:  Honours Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Environmental Studies Minor
Work Experience: Following undergrad, I spent 10 months working in the Office of Nathan Cullen, MP through the GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship Program. My responsibilities included drafting order paper questions, correspondence with constituents, attending Parliamentary committees, and helping to draft and promote Bill C-429 (the Zero-Waste Packaging Act). Over my time in undergrad I worked as a Community Outreach Liaison for Toronto Environmental Alliance, as the co-president and organizer for the University of Toronto Environmental Action, and as a research assistant studying water governance on First Nations reserves.
Areas of Policy Interest: Climate and Environmental Policy, Indigenous Policy, Urban Transportation.