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Meet our grad students

Photo of 2023 incoming grad students
Welcome to our 2023 incoming grad students!

Current students

Our department is home to about 60 grad students engaged in a variety of research areas.

Nicholas Andrews, PhD student

Grad student, Nic AndrewsNicholas received his BA (Philosophy, Political Science & Economics) from UBC and his MA (Political Science) from the University of Windsor.

He started the PhD program in September 2019 focused on the intersection of international law, international organizations, environmental justice and climate change.

Within the department, Nicholas has been a teaching assistant for various courses and a research assistant for his supervisor, Dr. Will Greaves, looking at Arctic and Inuit security. Nicholas is also a research fellow at the North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network (NAADSN) based at Trent University.

Michael Chutskoff, PhD student

Michael ChutskoffMichael is a two-spirit, Indigiqueer scholar with Cree and Métis roots from Treaty 5 territory in Manitoba but grew up disconnected on unceded Stó:lō territory.

Michael’s MA in Indigenous Governance from UVic and lived experiences inspire his research interests in Indigenous political mobilization, power, privilege and oppression, colonial power structures, gender and sexuality in politics and Indigenous futurities.

Under the supervision of Dr. Kelly Aguirre, Michael aims to uncover the ways in which cis-heteronormativity works to actively exclude queer, transgender and two-spirit people from participating in decolonial political movements at both the grassroots and intellectual levels.

Ava Dale, MA student

Grad student, Ava DaleAva is exploring the international repercussions of overturning Roe v. Wade in the United States. She graduated from UBC Okanagan in May 2023 with a BA in International Relations and a minor in Psychology.

She is working with Dr. Mara Marin and Dr. Laura Parisi to map out the laws and people overseas that may be at risk in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to end the federal protection of reproductive care.

Lynn Ng Yu Ling, PhD student

Lynn Ng

Lynn completed a BA (Hons) in Geography from Durham University and an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge in England. 

She has written for a range of academic and community platforms, such as The Journal of Aging and Social ChangeHuman Rights in the Global SouthCanadian Council for Southeast Asian StudiesCarework NetworkGlobal South Political CommentariesTaiwan Insight and South China Morning Post.

Lynn's supervisor is Dr. Feng Xu and her research interests include comparative politics, international relations, feminist political economy (FPE), racial capitalism, East Asia, care work and foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

Monet Nobuso, MA student

Monet NobusoMonet is studying political theory, institutional oppression and the power of social movements under the supervision of Dr. Mara Marin.

Her tentative thesis title is “In which democratic systems can people pursue their political goals through social movements?".

Monet is from Japan and graduated with a bachelor's degree in the International Relations. She has explored themes in social justice and will reflect an intersectional point of view in her research which complements her personal and academic background. Please feel free to reach out whenever you see her on campus!

Annilea Purser, MA student

Annilea PurserAnnilea (she/her) is a white settler student interested in Indigenous self-determination, de-colonization, education policy and land rights.

She is undertaking a SSHRC-funded research project looking at First Nations' right to self-determined education under recent policy developments under the supervision of Dr. Kelly Aguirre and Dr. Lois Harder

Annilea completed a BA at Brock University, where her thesis was entitled "Turning the 'Dark Page'? Canada's Policy Conceptualization of First Nations Self-Determined Education." In her spare time, she runs an educational non-profit, The BookWorm Initiative, and loves to hike!

Anna-Elaine Rempel, MA student

Anna Elaine RempelAnna-Elaine (she/they) is an MA student, community advocate and researcher. She completed her BA with honours at UVic in April 2023, and wrote her undergraduate thesis on how BC post-secondary institutions interpret and enact their duties of transparency and accountability under the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act.

Anna-Elaine also holds an associate of arts degree in Global Stewardship from Capilano University. Their main academic areas of interest include gender and politics, sexualized and gender-based violence prevention and response, public policy and BC politics. Her supervisor is Dr. Feng Xu.

Recent theses & dissertations


Camille Dehghan, "The Effectiveness of Regulatory Responses in Combatting Labour Exploitation in the Apparel Industry." Supervisor: Dr. Marlea Clarke (major research paper).

Chelsea Dunn, "Death by Markets: The World Bank's Laissez-Faire Governance of Internal Climate Migration." Supervisor: Dr. Claire Cutler (major research paper).

Neil Kohlmann, "Making Political Music Contrapuntal Constitutionalism and Indigenous-Settler Relations." Supervisor: Dr. Avigail Eisenberg.

CiCi (Si-Min) Li, "Using Dialects to Fight: Civil Practices in Chinese Cyber Space." Supervisor: Dr. Feng Xu (major research paper).

Mostafa Majidi, "ICT Censorship in Modern Iran: Mechanisms and Obstacles to a Potential Democratic Transition." Supervisor: Dr. Michelle Bonner (major research paper).

Sarah Stilwell, "Addressing Atrocity in the Canadian State: The Discourse of 'Legacy' and the Comprehension of Historical Injustices." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.


Joe Crowther, "Thawing the Tension: U.S.-Greenland Relations and Climate Change (non)Securitization." Supervisor: Dr. Will Greaves.

Lingyu Jing, "Sovereignty and Eschatology: The Reordering of the Apocalypse in Carl Schmitt's Political Theology." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Corie Kielbiski, "Deliberation and Diplomacy: Statue Removals in Two Municipalities in Canada." Supervisor: Dr. Matt James.

Abigail Kohler, “The ICC’s Limitations in Convicting Crimes of Human Trafficking.” Supervisor: Dr. Michelle Bonner (major research paper).

Luke Lavender, "Haptic Performativity: Exploring the Force of Bodies and the Limits of Linguistic Action in Silent Protests." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Domonic McDonald, "The Black Homunculus: Toward A Grammar of Black Experience." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Jordan Serbino, "Redress Through Constitutional Change: Reimagining the Canada Round for its Reparative Potential.” Supervisor: Dr. Matt James.

Alyson Tkachenko, "Environmental activism, anarchist methodology, and Indigenous resurgence: Renewed possibilities for ecological security in Canada.” Supervisors: Dr. Simon Glezos and Dr. Will Greaves.


Agam Chandra, "Subdividing the Vulnerable and Disadvantaged: Labor Stratification and Hierarchies between Philippine and Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong." Supervisor: Dr. Feng Xu.

Tracey Cobb, "Strangers at Home: Deportation, Criminal Aliens, and Concepts of Justice in the United States." Supervisor: Dr. Feng Xu.

Stephanie Gruhlke, "Controlling Borders & Securing the State: An Interpretative Analysis of International Human Sex Trafficking Policy." Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke.

Kayla Hofman, "A Defense of Ecofeminism: Re-Examining the Clayoquot Sound Peace Camp." Supervisor: Dr. Will Greaves.

Katsistohkwiio Jacco, "Onkwehón:We Women’s Roles in Regenerating and Reclaiming their Ancestral Food Systems: A Pathway to Healing." Supervisor: Dr. Jeff Corntassel.

Lacey Jones, "Asserting Coast Salish Authority through Si'em Slheni'." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, co-supervisor: Dr. Sarah Hunt.

Rivka Landsberg, “Birthing in a Settler State: The Resurgence of Indigenous Birth Practices in Canada.” Supervisor: Dr. Jeff Corntassel.

Emile Vahabzadeh, "The Nietzschean Overman and the Prospect of Politics." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos (major research paper).


Ebubekir Gorgun, "Reimagining the Politics of Rhino Poaching: The need to Engage Community Voices in Greater Limpopo." Supervisor: Dr. Marlea Clarke (major research paper).

Cathryn Johnston, "Is Virtual Care a Privacy Headache? Babylon Health and Privacy in Canada." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett (major research paper).

Brydon Kramer, "Entangled with/in Empire Indigenous Nations, Settler Preservations, and the Return of Buffalo to Banff National Park." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, co-supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Jonathan Lesarge, "African-Centred Resistance: A Study of the African Union’s Model Legislation Governing the Production, Trade and Use of Biotechnology." Supervisor: Dr. Mike Webb (major research paper).

Ryan Nicholson, "Playing the hand you’re dealt: An analysis of Musgamakw Dzawada'enuxw traditional governance and its resurgence." Supervisor: Dr. Jim Tully, co-supervisor: Dr. John Burrows.

Daniela Pinto dos Santos, "Forgotten memories: Contrasting the re-construction of citizenship in post-authoritarian democracies in Argentina and Brazil." Supervisor: Dr. Michelle Bonner (major research paper).

Kenya Rogers, "Honouring the Stories of Student-Survivors: Trauma Informed Practice in Post-and Secondary Sexualized Violence Policy Review." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

Bruce Sieffert, "Respecting Sovereignties: Indigenous/State Agreements in British Columbia and their Alignment with a Dual Sovereignty Concept." Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson.

Moatasim Tungekar, "Path Dependency & Path Generation in Freshwater Management Systems across Canadian Provinces." Supervisor: Dr. Reeta Tremblay (major research paper).

Yabo Wu, "Regulating Online Ride-hailing Platforms: Comparing Policy Responses of Beijing and Shanghai to the Business Conflict and National Policy." Supervisor: Dr. Guoguang Wu.

Micheal Ziegler, "Traversing the Digital World: Questing for the Socio-Political Realities of the Digital Age." Supervisor: Dr. Arthur Kroker.


Ryan Broe, "Riftwalking: The Dissolution of Socio-Ecological Resilience and the Role of Resilience Thinking in Metabolic Rifts." Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson.

Morgan Corbett, "The Great Forge of Nations: Violence and Collective Identity in Fascist Thought." Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson.

Leigh Elliott, "Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: The Problems and Insufficiencies in North American Policy." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Stephen Gnanasihamany, “Anxious Identity and the Challenges of Cultural Diversity: Understanding Quebec’s National Identity Debate.” Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke.

Jesse Gordon, "When Data Crimes are Real Crimes: Voter Surveillance and the Cambridge Analytica Conflict." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett.

Thea Lewis, "The Peaceful, Deadly Violence of Embargo: Deconstructing hegemonic discourses in International Relations Theory." Supervisor: Dr. Claire Cutler.

Elena Lopez, "Migrant Construction Workers and Global Union Federations: the Malaysian Context." Supervisor: Dr. Feng Xu.

Shianna McAllister, "Speaking with Authority: Gender and Indigenous Politics in the Mount Polley Mine Disaster." Supervisor: Dr. Rita Dhamoon, co-supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

Michael McDonald, "When the Government Apologizes: Understanding the Origins and Implications of the Apology to LGBTQ2+ Communities in Canada." Supervisor: Dr. Matt James.

Rita Merrick, "Innovations in First Nations Health: Exploring the Effects of Neoliberal SettlerColonialism on the Treaty Right to Health." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, co-supervisor: Dr. Jeff Corntassel.

Craig Muncaster, "Habitual Politics and the Politics of Habit: Bergson, Modern Advance, and the Need to Depart." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Elissa Whittington, "Settler-colonial politics in B.C.'s consultation and accommodation policy: A critical analysis." Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson.

Dempsey Wilford, "Countering the Culture of Silence: Promoting Medical Apology as a Route to an Ethic of Care." Supervisor: Dr. Matt James.


Heidi Bergstrom, "Between the Lines: Locating Critical Theory at the Intersection of Trade and Cultural Policy in Canada." Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson.

Kathryne Gravestock, "'Doing Good?' Thrift Stores and Second-Hand Clothing Donations in Victoria, BC." Supervisor: Dr. Marlea Clarke.

Mark Hill, "Theorizing State-Diaspora Engagement as a Social Practice Decentering the Hindu Nation through Narendra Modi’s Diasporic Activism." Supervisor: Dr. Reeta Tremblay, co-supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson.

Andrew Prosser, "Constructing 'the People' and the Past: The Alternative für Deutschland, Collective Memory, and Populism as a Repertoire." Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke, co-supervisor: Dr. Avigail Eisenberg.

Lauren Yawney, "Understanding the 'Micro' in Micro-Targeting: An Analysis of the 2018 Ontario Provincial Election." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett.


Morgan Mowatt, "Authority-Making on the River of Mist: Reframing the Indigenous Sovereignty Impasse." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

Jessica Percy Campbell, "Aging in Place with Google and Amazon Smart Speakers: Privacy and Surveillance Implications for Older Adults." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett.


Nicole Bates-Eamer, "Framing the Climate Change and Human Mobility Nexus in Canada: From Discourse to Policy?" Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke.

Phil Henderson, "In and Against Canada." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

Iryna Matiyenko, "The Case of the Russian Electronic Identity Card: From the promise of E-Government to the Problem of Data Sovereignty." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett.

Gizem Sozen, "'The Straight Path That Leads to Sodom': Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s Sexual Politics and 19th Century French Feminist Responses." Supervisor: Dr. Simon Glezos.

Can Zhao, "Foreign Assets for Chinese Control: Capital Filtration, New Triple Alliance, and the Global Political Economy of China’s Information Industry (1995-2020)." Supervisor: Dr. Guoguang Wu.


Regan Burles, "Analogies of the International: System, Structure and World Order." Supervisor: Dr. Rob Walker.

Smith Oduro-Marfo, "Surveillance for Development: Debating Citizen Identification Systems in Ghana." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett.


Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley, "Globalization’s Ruptures and Responses: Lessons from Three BC Communities." Supervisors: Dr. Jamie Lawson and Dr. Pam Shaw.

Jessica Kolopenuk, "Power and Echoes: Colonial Relations of Re/iteration and their Genomic Indigeneities." Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

Didier Zuniga, "Relational Ethics for a World of many Worlds. An Ecosocial Theory of Care, Vulnerability and Sustainability." Supervisor: Dr. Avigail Eisenberg.


George Abbott, "Prescription before Diagnosis: The Dynamics of Public Policy Construction in the BC Liberal New Era, 2001-2005." Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett.

Marta Bashovski, "Determinations of Dissent: Protest and the Politics of Classification." Supervisor: Dr. Rob Walker.

Joëlle Alice Michaud-Ouellet, "On the Relationship between Vulnerability and Sovereignty in Québécois Settler Self-Determination and the Shift to a Relational Conception of the Self as a Treaty Partner." Supervisors: Dr. Jim Tully and Dr. Michael Asch.

Tatsiana Shaban, "EU Regional Cooperation and Governance of Its Eastern Neighbourhood" Supervisors: Dr. Amy Verdun and Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly.


Kelly Aguirre, "Re-storying Political Theory: Indigenous Resurgence, Idle No More and Colonial Apprehension." Supervisor: Dr. Jim Tully.

Chong Su Kim, "Collective Identities and Democratization: Democratic, Labour and Women’s Movements in South Korea and Taiwan." Supervisor: Dr. Matt James.

Where are they now?

Learn about the career paths of some of our recent grads:

Former BC Liberal MLA, George Abbott (PhD 2019), published Big Promises, Small Government: Doing Less with Less in the BC Liberal New Era (2020).

Kelly Aguirre (PhD 2018) is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria.

Marta Bashovski (PhD 2019) is an assistant professor in politics and international studies at Campion College, University of Regina.

Nicole Bates-Eamer (PhD 2022) is an independent consultant and holds a postdoc fellowship in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria.

Regan Burles (PhD 2021) is a SSHRC postdoc fellow in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University, London UK.

Phil Henderson (PhD 2022) is a SSHRC postdoc fellow in the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University, Ottawa. 

Chong Su Kim (PhD 2018) is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, Economics and Political Science at MacEwan University, Edmonton.

Jessica Kolopenuk (PhD 2020) is an assistant professor and the Alberta Health Services Research Chair in Indigenous Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

Iryna Matiyenko (PhD 2022) is a senior privacy analyst in the BC government.

Joëlle Alice Michaud-Ouellet (PhD 2019) is a lecturer in political science at the University of British Columbia.

Jessica Percy Campbell (PhD 2023) is a clinical research analyst for the University Health Network. She is also a sessional instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria and teaches courses on politics and surveillance.

Can Zhao (PhD 2022) is a strategic advisor in the Ministry of Finance of the Government of BC. He is also a sessional instructor in the Department of Political Science at UVic and teaches courses on Chinese politics.

Didier Zuniga (PhD 2020) is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Alberta. His recent book is titled, Pluralist Politics, Relational Worlds.