Awards Recipients


Luca Berardi - PhD Level

Luca Berardi is an assistant professor of sociology and social psychology at McMaster University. He completed his PhD in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta. He is a criminologist and urban ethnographer interested in social inequality, violence, victimization, and incarceration in Canada. Luca's dissertation is a 5-year ethnographic study of gun violence, victimization, and resilience in a Toronto social housing development. He is passionate about community-based research and is currently working on a project examining the victimization experiences of incarcerated men and women in Canadian federal prisons.


Asma Khalil - MA Level

Asma Khalil is a PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. Her research explores issues of identity, social support and inclusion/alienation within Western sport spaces. Specifically, her Master's thesis used a post-colonial, feminist approach to understand the sport experiences of young Muslim women actively competing in Ontario. She has become increasingly interested in issues of positionality, reflexivity and novel methods of (re)presentation within qualitative methodologies. She is currently serving on the advisory board for Hijabi Ballers, a project aiming to celebrate Muslim women in sport, and the executive committee of Black Muslim Initiative, a grassroots organization dedicated to understanding issues at the intersection of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia.



Pengfei Zhao - PhD Level

Pengfei Zhao completed her PhD. in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has an interdisciplinary background in qualitative inquiry, education, and sociology. In her research, she brings together long-term empirical fieldwork and critical social-cultural theories to advance a qualitative methodology oriented toward intersubjectivity and social justice. Her dissertation combines oral history, ethnography, and archival studies to tell a forgotten story of how rural Chinese youth came of age during China's massive social changes of the post-Mao transition. Her work is the first book-length study of rural youth's experience during and immediately after the Cultural Revolution. Based on this project, she is completing a book manuscript entitled Changing Fate: The Cultural Revolution's Rural Youth in Transition to Post-Mao China.

Christina Sato - MA Level

Christa Sato completed her MSW in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary and is currently a research coordinator for the Wood's Homes Research Chair in Children's Mental Health. Her scholarly interests focus on the experiences of second-generation Canadians, immigrants and refugees, community-based mental health, and anti-oppressive social work. Additionally, Christa is passionate about community-based participatory research with Calgary's Filipino community; she hopes that her thesis research and continued work with the Filipino diaspora will contribute to social justice by improving the lives of Filipinos, their families, and communities using anti-oppressive and decolonizing social work lenses and practices.



Gloria Puurveen - PhD Level

Glorai Puurvenn pictureGloria completed her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia and she has a background in music therapy and gerontology. Her research is grounded in a commitment to people with dementia across the illness trajectory, with research questions and subsequent methodologies anchored in the notions of inclusion, relational ethics, and social citizenship. Employing video observations, participant observations, and in-depth interviews her dissertation examined the experiences of individuals with advanced dementia who were nearing the end of life and how nursing home care staff and resident family members understood and responded to their social, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs.


Karen Lara - MA Level

Karen Lara PicKaren completed her Master of Counselling - Counselling Psychology from Athabasca University and is currently practicing as a mental health therapist at an Indigenous non-profit agency in the Interior of British Columbia. She enjoys working with Indigenous communities and is dedicated to learning about complex trauma and the effects of colonization on Indigenous nations. As a non-Indigenous person, Karen is committed to her role as an ally in decolonization in the area of mental health, particularly in pursuing alternative healing approaches such as equine psychotherapy. She is passionate about learning and collaboration with Indigenous wellness practitioners and Elders. Karen collaborated with members of the Cknúcwentn First Nations Court Elder's Council for her Master's thesis, which centered on the role of Indigenous Elders in contemporary judicial practices, and used both written and oral dissertations for sharing their findings.



Anastasia Lijadi - PhD Level

Anastasia Aldelina Lijadi recently completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at the University of Macau. She developed and implemented an online asynchronised focus group discussion using social media, and employed the Collage Life-story Elicitation Technique for semi-structured interviewing. Anastasia received her MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Saint Joseph in Macau. She is currently working as a visiting lecturer at her alma mater and continuing research in exploring social change, identity construction, and well-being of high mobility individuals. Anastasia also actively involves non-profit associations by bringing community spirit to the expatriate community in Macau to ensure the smooth adaptation and well-being of the whole family, including the traveling spouse and children.


Mariko Sakamoto - MA Level

Mariko completed her Master of Nursing from Athabasca University. She is a community health nurse from Vancouver, BC and has practiced within the home health setting in a variety of roles from home-care nurse to geriatric transition nurse. She also works as a sessional clinical instructor with the UBC School of Nursing, mentoring students within the community setting. Her nursing interests include facilitating chronic disease self-management and understanding how people experience and live with chronic conditions. This includes an interest in exploring what it means to live with degenerative illnesses such as dementia, as evidenced in her thesis, "Perceptions of Personhood and the Early Onset Dementia Experience."



Karyn Taplay - PhD Level

Karyn is an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at Brock University in St, Catharines, Ontario. Karyn has an extensive background in maternal-child and community nursing, having worked clinically in Texas, USA, and serving on the teaching at the University of Texas Pan-American. In 2014, Karyn completed her PhD in Nursing from McMaster University. her dissertation topic was "The Organisational Cultures of Ontario Schools of Nursing: A Grounded Theory Study." This research looks at phenomena contributing to the adoption and incorporation of simulations as an educational strategy in undergraduate nursing programs in Ontario. Karyn is passionate about research in nursing education. Her key areas of interest are incorporating interprofessional education experiences into health professions curriculum and exploring the use of innovative pedagogies such as simulation in nursing education.


Keren Tang - MA Level

Keren completed her MSc from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. For her thesis, she collaborated with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Community Wellness Program in the Northwest Territories in a participatory action research project. Applying a Freirian approach to raise critical consciousness, she worked with Aboriginal youth to develop participatory videos that explored and mobilised community-level physical activity. Her interest in participatory research with Indigenous communities stems from her experiences as a middle-school science teacher on the Navajo Nation and a community organiser in Montreal. In these roles, she engaged youth in leading community-based projects in the sciences and the arts that promoted skill building, social connectedness, confidence, and overall community well-being. She continues to share her passion for social justice and health promotion through her current involvement in policy development and community organising in Edmonton.



Aileen Collier - PhD Level

Aileen is a nurse and social scientist. She has worked as a specialist palliative care nurse in a diverse range of settings in Scotland and Australia, and as a nurse educator in Laos. She is passionate about providing quality post-graduate palliative and end-of-life care education, and building capacity in palliative and end-of-life care research. Aileen's research undergirds a commitment to her practical work, with moral and pragmatic questions always being anchored to clinical 'realities'. She is interdisciplinary in inclination and is an advocate of interdisciplinary research that brings together diverse disciplines in response to 'wicked' problems. Aileen's PhD "Deleuzians of Patient Safety: A Video-Reflexive Ethnography of End-of-Life Care" examines the links between the spaces where dying people find themselves, exploring how these spaces enable or constrain agency and contribute to safety and quality of care.


Kim Mckercher - MA Level

Kimberly Mckercher is a graduate from the Gerontology Masters Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. Her area of interest is environmental gerontology and residential care design. Kimberly is currently employed as a Support and Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of BC. She is passionate about dementia care and supporting family caregivers.



Carrie Mitchell - PhD Level

Carrie Mitchell has a PhD and MEd from Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her research focuses on gender and education in the context of Nepal. She has worked within the field of education and international development in rural areas of Nepal for seven years, as well as teaching in other international contexts.


Holly McKenzie - MA Level

Holly McKenzie's research explores how intersecting sexist, racist, classist, and colonialist discourses render Aboriginal women vulnerable to violence as well as how Aboriginal women resist this violence and the wider discourses that perpetuate it. Her Master's project brought together a Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis Approach and an Indigenous Storytelling Methodology. She completed her MA in Canadian Plains Studies at the University of Regina, where she was honoured to work with a number of Aboriginal scholars, Elders, and other community members. While she is originally from small-town Saskatchewan, Holly recently made the move to Vancouver to pursue her doctoral studies at UBC. Her PhD research involves working with Aboriginal women living in poverty to identify what constrains and fosters their access to reproductive justice.



Justin Page

Justin Page's research focuses on the relationship between society and natural resources, spanning studies of forestry, aquaculture, mining, and resource-dependent communities. He earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, where he drew on environmental sociology and science studies to explain the creation of the Great Bear Rainforest. Post-doctoral positions have focused on the public acceptability of environmental remediation and the resilience of coastal BC communities. Justin now works as a Social Scientist in an Vancouver-based environmental consulting firm.



Sophie Tamas

Sophie Tamas is a postdoctoral fellow in Emotional Geography at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, and an award-winning playwright. Her current research examines sites of memory work, where we make sense and use of loss. She holds a PhD and MA in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Her publications focus on the ethical and methodological challenges of producing knowledge in sites of trauma. She lives in small-town Ontario with her partner, three teenage daughters, two dogs, two cats, and a fish.



Kaela Jubas

Kaela Jubas is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary, specialising in adult learning. She earned her PhD in educational studies from the University of British Columbia in 2009. Her research and teaching interests relate to consumption, popular culture, work, and other aspects of everyday life as sources of informal adult learning about the complications of identity and social change.



Sheri Leafgren

Sheri Leafgren is Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Miami University of Ohio. She has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Kent State University. Leafgren is Assistant Editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, and has been awarded several outstanding teaching awards and an Excellence in Education Award from Ohio Magazine. Her dissertation, upon which her book is based, won awards from the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, the National Association Early Childhood Teacher Education, and the Curriculum Group of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy.


The following Award Winners' dissertations are available to order from Routledge Publishing.
Please click on the 'Dissertation' links below for more information.


Linde Zingaro

Linde Zingaro has spent 30 years in a variety of social welfare and social activist settings. She has worked in direct service delivery, project development and management, staff training, public education, and currently has a clinical practice. She has run non-profit programs for street-active adolescents in Vancouver, and has done public speaking and advocacy for programs in Canada, the US, and Japan. Zingaro has a PhD in Educational Studies from University of British Columbia.



Hazel K. Platzer

Hazel K. Platzer is a research fellow in the Health and Social Policy Research Centre, University of Brighton, England.


Helen Vallianatos

Helen Vallianatos is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta.



Lynne Wiltse

Lynne Wiltse is Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia.



Colleen Reid

Colleen Reid is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Health Research and Education, Simon Fraser University, and a research associate at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health.



Irena Madjar

Irena Madjar is a professor of nursing at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.



Ian William Sewall

Ian Sewall, PhD, is a teacher with Peace Wapiti School Division, where he develops innovative videoconferencing and virtual classroom formats.



Karen Martin

Karen Martin, a former psychiatric nurse, counselor, and family life educator, is an instructor in Sociology at the University of Alberta. She is author of Nobody there: Making peace with motherhood and Common threads.



Claudia Malacrida

Claudia Malacrida is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge, and author of Cold Comfort: Mothers, Professionals, and Attention Deficit Disorder (2003 University of Toronto Press).



Hedy Bach

Hedy Bach is an adjunct professor at the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development (CRTED) at the University of Alberta.



Rodney Evans

Rod Evans is an associate professor of education leadership and policy studies at the University of South Florida.