Congratulations June 2021 Sociology and Anthropology graduates

June 23, 2021

On behalf of the faculty and staff in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, congratulations to this year's graduates!

We caught up with a few of our graduating students to hear about their experiences, plans after grad, and advice for future students. Read on to learn more about these exceptional young people.

Ashley Phay

Ashley is graduating with a joint major in sociology and anthropology, and a minor in labour studies. She decided on this field of study after her first anthropology class with Bascom Guffin. “It made me both question everything I knew and look onto the world with a new set of eyes. After a few more courses I realized I also enjoyed sociology and therefore chose to pursue a joint major.”

Some of Ashley’s favourite parts of her time at SFU were experiences she had with the clubs she joined. “Joining…allowed me to meet so many amazing people and experience so much,” she says, and encourages future students to do the same.

As for the future, Ashley plans to work towards another diploma, and eventually pursue a master's in social work. Congrats, Ashley!

Marja-Leena Corbett

Marja-Leena is graduating this June with a major in sociology. They were initially drawn to sociology because of their interest in the systemic factors that influence societal problems, and their belief that studying sociology can help us to understand the context of such problems. “The issues people face individually are shaped by a myriad of social and political factors… sociology helps us to recognize and understand these connections.”

Their advice for future students: “Ask a lot of questions and participate in class even if you feel self-conscious about it. It can really help with understanding and integrating the material in meaningful ways.”

In the fall they will be starting grad school at UBC, with their research focusing on LGBTQ2S+ youth suicide, identity, and mentorship. Congrats, Marja-Leena!

Jshandeep Jassal

Jshandeep is graduating with a major in sociology, a criminology minor, and a Social Justice Certificate. She has always been interested in building community and learning how to talk about issues related to social justice and after taking her first sociology class, she knew it was something she wanted to pursue. “I had fallen in love with demystifying the connections between culture, institutions, and society through research.”

Jshandeep is the Co-Director of a non-profit in Surrey called Solid State Community Industries, which supports racialized youth to start for-profit and non-profit cooperative enterprises. She is also in the process of founding a non-profit called the South Asian Healing Network (SAH), which aims to create a safe environment for South Asian youth to access peer support and community learning.

For those still working on their degrees, Jshandeep recommends taking the time to connect with professors. She is especially grateful for the guidance and knowledge of Wendy Chan, who teachers her favourite class – Race, Immigration and the Canadian State (SA 345). “It was through this course and Wendy's guidance that I realized I could use my love for writing, research, and anti-racism to make a positive impact in society.” Congrats, Jshandeep!

Andii Stephens

Andii Stephens is graduating with a major in anthropology. She chose the field for the diverse array of courses and learning possibilities. “It’s a discipline that crosses into so many facets of the everyday and the unknown.” Her favourite course during her degree was The Anthropology of Medicine, where she learned practical information that she incorporates into her life to this day.

She now works in the labour movement and is involved in local activist work, which she says is deeply informed by her undergraduate studies. Her advice to other students is to take courses outside of their major, as a diverse background of courses can provide an advantage in future careers. Congrats, Andii!


Join us for the June 2021 convocation hosted by Chancellor Tamara Vrooman and President Joy Johnson. The ceremony is open to graduating students and their friends and family, and will include recognition of each individual graduate. The convocation details for sociology and anthropology students are as follows:

June 2021 Virtual Convocation:
 Friday, June 25
Time: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. PDT

More details on the event, including the broadcast link, can be found here.

The  Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will also be hosting a pre-convocation celebration on the same day from 3:15-3:45 p.m. PDT. Additional information and a link to register can be found here.