MENU

MPP alumni share insights about research impacts

The School of Public Policy recently asked alumni to share their stories about the impact of their Capstone and other project work related to their MPP coursework. The project aims to shed light on the impact of research and work SFU MPP students and alumni have on the broader community and how it has influenced their career.

Linda Mussell, MPP 2016

Please describe the impact of your Capstone research on your career path. 

My Capstone research was on supporting children with imprisoned parents in British Columbia. I have continued using policy analysis to critically research the contours of criminalization and carceral policy, and the adverse impacts of such policy on individuals, families, and communities. In 2016, I started my PhD in Political Studies at Queen's University, where my research and potential has been recognised by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2017-2020) and the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation (2019-2022) in the form of major scholarships. While working on my Capstone I deepened my commitment to community work around criminalization and confinement in Metro Vancouver. I have continued that commitment in Kingston and contributed to multiple groups, including one directly related to my Capstone - The Canadian Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents. Going forward I will continue doing work dedicated to prison/penal abolition and supporting criminalized/imprisoned people and their families and communities.

Have organizations or government bodies recognized or utilized your Capstone research in addressing a policy issue?

I have referred contacts from organisations and government to my Capstone.

What was the impact of other MPP research or project work you were involved in, such as the BC Priorities Projects, papers for courses, or research done as part of your Co-op.?

I learned how to apply intersectionality-based policy analysis through coursework and research assistant work with my supervisor in the MPP program, Dr. Olena Hankivksy. I have taken that learning forward in my research, community work, and teaching at Queen's University. Both my BC Priorities Project (Legal Aid BC) and Co-op (Ministry of Justice) centered on topics of law and justice, and furthered my interest in those areas.

Halena Seiferling, MPP 2016

Please describe the impact of your Capstone research on your career path.

Following graduating in 2016, from February 2017 - April 2020 I worked as a Researcher on a project that in many ways built on my capstone project. The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) and Women Transforming Cities partnered on a 3-year project, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), investigating barriers for women in civic engagement, focusing on Vancouver and Surrey as case study cities. My capstone focused on women running for office at the local level, and this project broadened that to also study advisory committees, staff, and public engagement in addition to political candidates. My knowledge and ability to do this work was significantly improved by having done my capstone project on this topic.

Have organizations or government bodies recognized or utilized your Capstone research in addressing a policy issue? Please provide details. 

My capstone project is cited in the CRIAW/WTC project as a foundational document. Therefore in addition to CRIAW and WTC recognizing my work, the federal government will as well when WAGE receives our full report later this month.

Colin Bowbrick, Levana Huang, Izzah Khan and Yousif Samarri, MPP 2020

Please describe the impact of your Capstone research on your career path.

Our BC Priorities (BCP) team project was on the nightlife economy in Vancouver. It allowed us to gain valuable research in interviewing key members of the Vancouver community and various stakeholders representing many aspects of nightlife in Vancouver. They included bartenders, police officers, sex worker advocates and City of Vancouver staff. We also had the opportunity to engage with other jurisdictions like the City of Sydney in Australia to conduct cross-jurisdictional research. Our BCP put into work valuable research and communication skills that we gained from our master's degree that we were able to take into our co-ops and our capstone projects.

Have organizations or government bodies recognized or utilized your research in addressing a policy issue? Please provide details.

The City of Vancouver utilized our study to share with the Vancouver Economic Commission to develop recommendations for a comprehensive city-wide strategy on nightlife in Vancouver. Our project was featured in the Vancouver Sun. The City of Vancouver learned about key insights and broad themes related to the nightlife economy in Vancouver and had hard facts and sound data to back up their recommendations to city Councillors. We hope further research is taken that can build upon our research so Vancouver can capitalize on and approve the nightlife economy.