Current Anthropology Master's Students

Ileanna Cheladyn

Ileanna Cheladyn

Areas of study: embodiment, movement, and dance, ideology, performance, performative and sensory ethnography.

Ileanna entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2019 after completing a joint honours degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in 2018. As a practicing dance artist and performer in the Vancouver dance community, Ileanna's research follows and pokes at the turbulent joys of embodied training, bodily obedience, and fleshy experiences found in movement and dancing.

Supervisor: Dara Culhane; Committee member: Lindsey Freeman

Yueming Chen

Areas of Study: Sino-Tibetan borderlands; the projection of modern Tibet, politicizing space by exoticizing and marketing the landscapes and indigenous lives.

Yueming entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2019. She completed her BA in Critical Geography and Cross-Cultural Relations in 2017 from Bard College at Simon's Rock, USA. She is intrigues by the power dynamic of shangrilazation (a specific mode of political and cultural transformation that has been implemented in Tibet) and how it draws on a history of colonial and post-colonial desires and spatial imaginaries.

Committee member: Michael Hathaway

Cheyanne Connelli

Cheyanne Connell

Areas of Study: Indigeneity, Belonging, Urban Indigenous Studies, Ainu Studies

Cheyanne, a member of West Moberly First Nations (Dunne-Za and Cree), entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2019.  She completed her BA, Honours in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University and Associate of Arts degree at Douglas College. She is interested in exploring the lived experiences of Ainu, one of the Indigenous peoples of Japan, who reside outside of Hokkaido, and how they foster and maintain their Indigeneity as active members of both Japanese and Ainu communities and lifeways. Her goal for her work is to expand understandings of Indigeneity ("Indianness") and thus, address the legitimacy of formal and informal claims to Indigeneity outside of designated “traditional” lifeways and territories.

Supervisor: Michael Hathaway; Committee member: Dara Culhane

Ermen DelliCarpini

Ermen DelliCarpini

Areas of Study: blood memory, endangered language revitalization, food sovereignty, Indigenous new media, museum studies

Ermen entered the MA program in Anthropology in the fall of 2019. Ermen completed a B.A. at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver specializing in museum studies and anti-colonial curatorial practice with an additional focus on Indigenous New Media and Endangered Languages.

Their proposed research thesis is to link language transmission and revitalization of sleeping or endangered languages with the production of traditional foods; tapping into blood memory and olfactory senses to open/engage pathways of language transmission and acquisition. Specifically, theTaíno language Borikén (Puerto Rico). This work is inspiredby their maternalancestral line and their great-grandmother, Celodina (Nina) Garcia y Cruz, who emigrated to New York in the 1920's and retained cultural and linguistic heritage through communal food production.

Senior Supervisor: Lindsey Freeman


John C. Foerster

John C. Foerster

John entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2020.  He attended the University of Central Florida and graduated in the Summer of 2020 with a Bachelors of Arts in History. John completed his undergraduate honors thesis on the realities of the U.S. Opiate Crisis within Orange County, FL and the popular etymology/understandings of this event. During John's time in Florida he worked passionately with the Florida Farmworkers Association assisting with maternal and general female-identifying wellness through the Woman 2 Woman Conference, of which he has been a part of over the last 10 years. 

Research Interests: Substance Abuse, Narcotics, Harm Reduction, Experimental Ethnography, and Epistemology.

Supervisor: Dany Lacombe

Toni GoreToni Gore

Areas of Study: medical anthropology, sexuality and gender, development, and visual culture (both material and as expressed by the body).

Toni entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2014. Toni completed her B.A. in Anthropology and Global Studies at Vancouver Island University in 2011. She also has a Post Graduate Certificate in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria, specializing in collections management. Toni's thesis prospect is to investigate the extent to which cultural beliefs, particularly those in the Western world, influence and affect the development of global health practices. She plans to investigate this topic by researching cross-cultural practices of genital cutting.

Supervisor: Stacy Pigg; Committee member: 

Candase Jensen

Research Areas: theory, ideas surrounding identity, and feminism

Candase entered into the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2015 after completing a BA with a split major in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2014.

She plans to focus her thesis research on the experiences of women who live with endometriosis along with the stigma and taboo surrounding women’s health issues.

Supervisor: Cindy Patton; Committee member: Amanda Watson

Sheila Joe

Sheila entered Master of Arts program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2018.  Sheila completed her Bachelor of Arts Program in Anthropology at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2006.  Her research will be focused on ethnographic work with a  Yukon First Nation.  The Champagne and Aishihik First Nation (CAFN) traditional territory is vast, people and places were connected by trail networks and waterways. Tangible cultural resources are still found throughout the traditional territory, one such resource are arborglyphs that were created many generations ago but still stand along the trails.  They represent culturally significant areas and are an affirmation of Southern Tutchone/Tlingit cultural identity and can provide an analysis of times past, how people lived and where they travelled.   We acknowledge that CAFN citizens still maintain a presence on the land and they have rights and responsibilities they need to sustain as stewards of the land and water, retain and share their local and traditional knowledge and to ensure the continuance of their inherent right to their traditional territory.

Supervisor: Pamela Stern; Committee member: George Nicholas (Archaeology & First Nations Studies)

Michelle La

Michelle La

Michelle entered the Master's program in Anthropology in the fall of 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree (with honours) in Sociology and Anthropology. Her research investigates how “sneakerheads” and sneaker traders online and in-person participate in an informal economy revolved around limited-edition sneakers. She focuses on the varied economic practices of traders, how sneakers can become the object of fantasy and enchantment among an active community of consumers, and the ways corporations such as Nike and Adidas influence the economic practices of traders. 

She is interested in the following topics: informal economies, valuation, speculation, and consumption as labour. 

Michelle’s research was featured by The CBC: $40K shoes, rare finds draws thousands to Vancouver Sneaker Con

Supervisor: Jie Yang; Committee member: Kendra Strauss.

Sam Seoung-Hwan Lee

Sam Seoung-Hwan Lee

Sam entered the MA program in Anthropology in 2020.  He completed his BA in Anthropology at Vancouver Island University. His research interests focus on local perceptions of halal restaurants in the Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea. By pursuing research on this topic, he intends to explore the meaning of food production and consumption as a gesture of solidarity. 

Supervisor: Pamela Stern

Marina Mikhaylova-Kadriu  

Marina entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2017. Before coming to Canada, she studied the languages and literatures of Balkan societies in Bulgaria, her home country, and spent time in Romania, Albania, Kosovo and Greece. For her MA thesis she plans to conduct research on the conspicuous expenditure which accompanies weddings in Kosovo and Albania. She would also like to explore Albanians’ image of the bride, her role, position in society and appearance. She would like to find out more about linguistic expressions of social status, ways of creating an image of self in social media, memories, socialism and postsocialist reality and nationalism, and apply her knowledge to present-day Southeastern Europe.

Supervisor: Pamela Stern; Committee member: Amanda Watson

Paola Pinto Vidal

Areas of Study: South Korean popular culture, media, processes of cultural globalization, identity formations, and global circulations of cultural forms.

Paola entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2015. Paola completed her BA in Sociology and Gender Studies and a Post-Baccalaureate diploma in Communication at SFU.

Supervisor: Michael Hathaway; Committee member: Cindy Patton.

Leo Ruhl

Leo entered the Masters program in Anthropology in the fall of 2019. He completed his Bachelors of Science in the faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in 2018 and worked alongside the Provincial Health Services Authority for a year after his graduation. 

His research focuses on the public health response to the increase in vaccine-treatable diseases in B.C., as well as the various techniques that are used to control disease -- and the patients they affect.

Supervisor: Dany Lacombe; Committee member: Stacy Pigg

Zoë Sanderson

Areas of Study: Centre around ideas of identity --  belonging and becoming -- specifically in terms of religion and transnational families.

Zoë began the MA program in anthropology in the fall of 2016. Islam is a fast-growing religion. Women are converting to Islam and this fact is frequently used to defend Islam against claims that the religion is heavily laden with misogyny. But what does conversion mean to the many women who are not born Muslim, some of whom have met very few Muslims throughout their lives? Zoë’s research intends to explore the many "whys, whos, hows, whens and wheres" of women converts, including how they practice their faith, what family and friends think about their transitions, why they chose to convert (especially given the social stigma mainstream Canadian population has applied to Muslims -- particularly "visible" Muslims such as hijabis -- in recent years), and how their conversion is embodied by each woman personally.

Supervisor: Dara Culhane; Committee member: Parin Dossa

Chantelle Spicer

Areas of Study: decolonization, Indigenous sovereignty, parks, Indigenous tourism, and the ethics of sharing culture

Chantelle entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2019 after completing her BA in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies at Vancouver Island University. Her Master’s thesis will be in grateful partnership with Snuneymuxw First Nation and will investigate co-management and the potential for repatriation of Saysutshun Island, a BC provincial park. This collaborative, community-based project will potentially include the effects of policies on the Nation, as well as the ethics of sharing culture and traditional knowledge within Indigenous tourism . The goal for this thesis and project is to move beyond ideas of “reconciliation” and to work towards further self-determination and sovereignty over traditional lands. 

Senior supervisor: Pamela Stern

Merrhea Teixeira

Areas of Study: Kinship, identity, recognition, revitalization and reconciliation within Canada’s indigenous communities.

Merrhea entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2016. Merrhea completed her BA in Anthropology in 2015 from Washington State University. She is particularly interested in how limitations in physical spaces affect traditional activities as well as relationships within family units.

Co-Supervisors: Dany Lacombe and Dara Culhane

Joshua Kenmore Thompson

Kenmore graduated with a BA in Anthropology and Political Science from Memorial University in 2016, and entered SFU's MA program in Anthropology in September 2020. Kenmore is a Newfoundlander, and his diverse resume includes custodial work, answering phones at a call centre, teaching English, and managing a poultry farm in rural Tanzania. 

Some topics that distract Kenmore from time to time are (in no particular order): imagining Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as forming a kind of diaspora; questions of value and exchange among adult LEGO hobbyists; food anthropology; memes on Chinese social media; and new and creative ways of carrying out "public" Anthropology.

Supervisor: Dr. Barbara Mitchell

Kristina Uyeda

Areas of Study: Gender issues in media and popular culture, superstitious beliefs, religion, and evolution.

Kristina entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2015 after completing her BA in Anthropology and Psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.  She is particularly interested in how cultural beliefs and behaviours are communicated through, and influenced by popular culture.

Supervisor: Lindsey Freeman; Committee member: Stacy Pigg

Publications: "Latent Sexism in Print Ads Increases Acceptance of Sexual Assault"

Jeremy Waller

Areas of Study: settler colonialism, neocolonialism, Indigenous methodologies, Coast Salish continuity and resurgence, embodied relational land and place-based literacies, becoming and belonging. 

Jeremy is a second-generation Settler with ancestors from Wales, England, and Germany, currently living on Qayqayt and Kwantlen territories in New Westminster. Since 2008 he has worked as a director, writer, dramaturge, and producer of theatre in Vancouver, presenting critically acclaimed work locally, nationally, and internationally. He began the MA program in Anthropology in the fall of 2018 after completing a BA with Honours in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in 2017.  Using sensorial auto-ethnographic methods with emphasis on Indigenous methodologies, Jeremy’s thesis explores the complexities of Settler/Coast Salish human and non-human relations on Sts’ailes lands and waters.

Supervisor: Dara Culhane; Committee member: Pamela Stern

Alex Werier

Areas of Study: medicine and (trans) gender identities.

Alex entered the MA program in Anthropology in fall 2017 after completing their  B.A. Hons in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Calgary.

Senior Supervisor: Ann Travers; Committee Member: A. Nye.