Current Graduate Students

Meet our amazing Gender & Social Justice Studies MA students!

Abdullah Al Muktadir

Abdullah Al Muktadir is from Bangladesh and currently a graduate student of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Alberta. He is also on the English faculty of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Muktadir completed his MA in English Literature from the University of Dhaka in 2014. He was an active member of Brine Pickles, a group of Bangladeshi creative writers in English. His first book, a collection of poems, was Anya Ganger Gaan, Samudrasaman( 2016). It was followed by a collection of short stories, another collection of poems, and a novel, Goddess of Amnesia (2022).

Rebecca Deutsch

Rebecca Deutsch is a MA student in the women and gender studies department. Her research interests lie at the intersection between queer theory and critical disability theory. Currently interested in what pathologizing states does to embodied and affective kinds of knowledge. She is also very interested in the nature of work and how that impacts the concrete conditions of everyday life and contributes to how we understand knowledge. Such vibrant scholarship is aimed at shifting the frame away from the mind / body dualism and away from settler colonial understandings of knowledge making, Rebecca just wants to be a part of this. In the words of José Esteban Muñoz, “we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds.”

Stephanie Kiameh

GSJ is a perfect fit for me as it aligns with my academic and professional goals of advancing social justice and challenging oppression through intersectional and interdisciplinary perspectives.

My passion for feminism and social justice was sparked by my undergraduate studies in Psychology at the American University of Beirut, where I graduated with honors in 2021. I also hold an MBA from IE Business School, which I completed in 2015, and where I developed my entrepreneurial skills and business acumen. I have over two years of experience as a Business Development Coordinator at BLOM BANK, where I promoted retail banking products and services, organized and delivered presentations, and supervised and trained junior sales colleagues. These experiences have enhanced my communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills, which I apply to my current role as a Teacher Assistant and a GSJ scholar. I speak Arabic, English, and French fluently.

Aruthra Rajasingham

I was born and brought up in Sri Lanka. I am a registered social worker. I am currently a graduate student of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Alberta. Growing up in Sri Lanka as a person belonging to an ethnic minority, I have personally experienced and witnessed  many issues that were related to gender and social justice. These experiences are powerful motivators that led me to pursue a degree in social work and then work with people and communities on many levels. Working closely with people from different cultures and social classes for more than a decade, further motivated me to learn about social justice and gender issues in a global context. I greatly value the work I do with people on a day today basis as it gives my life a purpose. I truly believe that I am part of something bigger than myself and therefore it is my duty to build meaningful human connections, advocate for social justice and thereby make this world a better place.

Mira Szudek

Hello! I'm Mira (she/her) and I am in the Course-based Gender and Social Justice MA program! I did my BA here, at the University of Alberta, majoring in Psychology, and double minoring in Sociology, and Women's and Gender Studies.
I grew up in Vernon, British Columbia, and took my first social justice class in grade eleven, and it opened my mind social justice. I opted for the Psychology major, but my passion remained in women's and gender studies, so eventually, I chose to pursue a MA in Gender and Social Justice.
Combining my areas of study, I'm focusing my research on law and feminism, with an intersectional feminist framework. This year I have begun volunteering with Edmonton Community Legal Centre, which I intend to continue to work with as I build my capstone project!

Maddie Youngman

Maddie Youngman's (she/they) research interests are vast, they are interested in feminist and queer embodiment (in particular the experiences of gender non-conforming lesbians), critical phenomenology, Indigenous philosophies, the ethics of collective action, and animal justice. They have an extensive background in philosophy, as they have a BA from the University of Texas at Austin in Philosophy and Government, and a MA in Philosophy from the University of Alberta.

Rachel Zukiwski-Pezim

Rachel Zukiwski-Pezim (she/her | ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ | Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Treaty 6 territory) is a graduate student in the Gender and Social Justice Studies MA Program at the University of Alberta with a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Dalhousie University. Her academic interests are extensive and include transnational feminist historiography, critical race theory, Black and Indigenous feminisms, decolonization in a transnational context, social justice praxis, and intersectional theory and practice across disciplines. She believes in dynamic and accessible academic research and writing, and thinks all academics should do variations on the Bechdel test when looking to create, review, and analyze data and sources - scan for BIPoC voices, queer and trans folks, (dis)ability frameworks, class strata, religious affiliations, and citizenship statuses, among others. For Rachel, part of the decolonialization of academia is allowing for new and radical digressions from and dismantling of the imperialist white supremacist capitalist colonial heteropatriarchy that invades and occupies every part of the neoliberal academic state. #LandBack.

Alexandra Zybinova

Alexandra is a Master’s student in the Gender and Social Justice program. She completed her BCom at McGill University with a major in Strategic Management and minors in Russian Literature and Gender and Feminist studies. Since then, Alexandra worked on projects including pandemic economic recovery as well as development of social responsibility training materials. She also has experience conducting research in the not for profit sector with a focus on mental health, gender equity, and rights of children and youth.

Alexandra is interested in how narrative approaches can challenge hierarchies of knowledge to bring anti-colonial and feminist methodologies to the forefront of knowledge production both in academia and beyond. Specifically, she is exploring how situated knowledge and lived expertise can be integrated in advocacy and policy work to amplify marginalized voices.

In her free time, she is either reading, crafting, or spending time outdoors backpacking, hiking, or rock climbing.

Interested in joining our squad?!