Meet Our Students

Graduate Student Profiles

Below is a list of international students at UBC Applied Science who provided profiles about their research. It will give you an idea why students chose to come to UBC, what they like about Vancouver and what their career goals are. Profiles courtesy of the Faculty of Graduate + Postdoctoral Studies.

Dis/connection in 21st Century Canada: Therapeutic Planning through an Indigenous Lens
I'm doing an exploratory case study of the work of the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia (NCCABC) as an example of Indigenous Community Planning in urban settings. NCCABC provides culturally appropriate services to Indigenous peoples and communities through advocacy, counselling and referral services. A vast majority of NCCABC's clients have addiction and/or mental health issues related to long-term, often intergenerational, experiences of trauma. While responding to immediate needs and crises, NCCABC also aim to get at the root causes of involvement with the justice system. Its work therefore is oriented towards addressing the fundamental causes of health disparities: poverty, economic inequality, social stress, discrimination, and other social and economic inequalities (Corburn, 2009). This research examines how NCCABC's work might weave together planning and public health as an organization on the front lines of Indigenous community development. Research findings will inform therapeutic planning in the context of providing supportive community services.
Transgressing Space and Time: Everyday/Everynight Life of Women Working the Night-Shift
My research seeks to study how the everyday/everynight life of self-identified women working at night is included in urban planning. In particular, I would like to examine two interrelated aspects of planning that affect women's everynight life: fear/safety, and mobility, both through the lens of intersectional feminism. I want to explore how perceptions of fear and safety are attached to sociocultural constructions of gendered bodies in the public space and as a result, influence women's mobility and their right to the city at night. Using feminist participatory action research as a methodology, I also want to enable women night workers' participation in planning policies. I will collaborate with women working the nightshift in hospitals, airports, the street and other night work areas in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Spain. This is a zone that combines pockets of night activity (hospitals, airport, industrial zone, sex work) and confronts mobility challenges because of poor nocturnal connections between Barcelona and the metropolitan region. I am conducting the research with Col·lectiu Punt 6, a non-profit organization that works to include an intersectional feminist perspective in urban planning through participatory methodologies that place everyday life and women’s knowledge in the center of planning. Col·lectiu Punt 6 is engaging with some women’s groups in the area of study that will participate in this project, such as sex workers advocacy organizations, women’s chapters of local unions, and organizations that provide workforce development training to female night workers.
Discursive Gentrification: Neighborhoods, Resistance, and the Urban Commons
Gentrification and natural disasters share a great deal in common: the displacement of communities, breakdown in social capital networks, the loss of core livelihood services, and various forms of trauma. However, as community development practitioners we treat the two very differently. Disasters receive national attention and considerable investment, while gentrification is oftentimes accepted as an unavoidable market process. This research seeks to understand how inner-city residents experience the disaster of gentrification, and how municipalities can increase the resilience of low income neighborhoods in the face of urban change. Using a participatory action approach, the researcher and partner organizations in New Orleans, Louisiana will use interviews, Photovoice, and walk-alongs to understand community assets, losses, and needs in a gentrifying context. A policy-ready study will be produced and will provide the foundation for coalition building between affected neighborhood stakeholders, municipal actors, philanthropic foundations, and even gentrifiers themselves.