Graduate student profiles

Learn more about our graduate students, their research, and how Waterloo has set them up for success.

Karmvir Padda

Karmvir Padda, PhD Candidate | Sociology

A first-generation student, Karmvir Padda is breaking down barriers in her interdisciplinary PhD studies. Her research on open-source intelligence, online radicalization, and extremism is bringing new insights into the complex issues of the digital age.


Jackson Smith

Jackson Smith, PhD Candidate | Psychology

Jackson Smith has been recognized with the prestigious Vanier Graduate Scholarship for his ground-breaking research in understanding the psychological, family relational, and economic consequences of multiple and repeated experiences of childhood trauma. His research focuses on understanding the consequences of multiple experiences of childhood trauma and examining the factors that are important for children's and families’ responses to traumatic events.


Claudia Sehl

Claudia Sehl, PhD Candidate | Psychology

Only halfway through her doctoral program, Claudia Sehl has already presented her research at conferences across North America, had her work published in prestigious journals, and won national scholarship competitions. A PhD candidate in psychology, Claudia’s research in cognitive development focuses on exploring how children acquire economic concepts such as costs and benefits, efficiency, and waste.


Monique Kampherm

Monique Kampherm, PhD Candidate | English

With four degrees under her belt so far, Monique Kampherm is excited to add a doctoral degree from Waterloo to her already impressive resume. A PhD candidate in English Language and Literature, Monique’s interdisciplinary research focuses on real-world political issues and how social media is impacting debates and democracy. 


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Kathryn Morrison, PhD graduate | Philosophy

During her graduate studies, Kathryn Morrison worked both inside and outside the classroom to support ethical challenges in pediatric end of life decisions. Her research and interests lie in the theoretical ethics of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for mature minors — capable children under 18 years-old.


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Krenare Recaj, MA graduate | History

When History MA graduate Krenare Recaj found a photograph of herself as a young refugee in a museum's archival collection, her master's research path was set.


David Kim

David Kim, MA graduate | Economics

Realizing that graduate-level economics allows students to participate in the most extensive co-operative education network in the country, David knew he had to pursue his graduate degree at Waterloo to help him become job-ready. David enhanced his professional skills in the co-op program by working for eight months as an Analyst at the Bank of Montreal (BMO). In this role, David was able to combine his programming skills, with his statistical and economic background, and apply those key components to the work he did every day. In this role, one of his projects involved building a tool for the bank to determine the amount of capital that is required to ensure liquidity and absorb losses.


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Matt Coleman, MA graduate | Classical Studies

In a field like classical studies which is interconnected to many other fields of academia, students need to be empowered to work in an interdisciplinary way and consult experts when they need guidance. Matt says, “My MA project focussed on art history, but through it I practiced classical philology, semiotics, genealogical studies, archival studies, archaeology, and a number of other fields. Graduate study is the level at which you are meant to make great leaps in your research ability and that begins with interacting at a meaningful, substantial level with your peers and with faculty all over the university.”


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Ramsha Jaweed, MA graduate | Economics

Ramsha Jaweed, a graduate of the Economics MA program used her time in the program to collaborate on research opportunities with professors and establish strong professional relationships within industry to set herself up for success upon the completion of her graduate degree. 


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Dominique Louër, MA graduate | French | Psychology

Dominique (MA ’19) had a lot to celebrate during fall 2020 convocation. She completed not one but two back-to-back master’s degrees in the Faculty of Arts. Louër earned her Master of Arts (MA) in French Studies, with a specialization linguistics in 2019, and this year she completed a Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Developmental and Communication Science in the Department of Psychology.


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Ashley Ryan, PhD candidate | Sociology 

Ashley began her research in a field where there was very limited previous knowledge, but that did not stop her. She is motivated to look at peer influence from the perspective of the person doing the influencing, which is a unique approach to investigating the issues surrounding peer pressure.



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Sushma Dusowoth, PhD candidate | French Studies

When people from the western world think of islands, they often think of vacation destinations. For French PhD student Sushma Dusowoth, her unique perspective instead examines these island populations through a socio-cultural and gender equity lens. Being a Canadian-Mauritian of Indian descent, Sushma’s research focuses on the status of women in the islands of the Indian Ocean, namely the Mauritius and Comoro Islands.


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Kate Elliott, MA graduate | Public Issues Anthropology

Public Issues Anthropology MA graduate Kate Elliott has made her mark at the University in a number of impressive ways, especially for her activism around period poverty and period education.


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Janet Jones, PhD candidate | Philosophy

Janet Jones, a PhD candidate in Philosophy has been recognized for her wonderful dissertation work titled “It Probably Won’t Help Anyway: How Stigma Hurts Health Care Access for Persons with an Addiction” and is the recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her work.


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Serena McDiarmid, PhD candidate | Psychology

Serena McDiarmid, a PhD candidate in Psychology, has been recognized with the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her incredible research proposal titled “Supporting second language acquisition of Canada’s child refugees: a longitudinal study of risk and protective factors for language learning success.”


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Damian Sycz, PhD graduate | Sociology

Damian Sycz, a PhD graduate in Sociology is working with one of the largest police services in Canada as part of his dissertation research, to explore why individuals decide to become police auxiliary constables, and the ways in which police services can improve their recruitment tactics to target individuals with diverse backgrounds. 


Vanessa Correia

Vanessa Correia, PhD graduate | Philosophy

For many, teaching involves ensuring students understand the content and its real-world application. For Philosophy PhD graduate Vanessa Correia, teaching extends far beyond the content she delivers—she’s motivated by the connections she develops with her students. 


Sarah McCrackin

Sarah McCrackin, PhD graduate | Psychology

During her time as a Cognitive Neuroscience PhD student, Sarah McCrackin was recognized for her outstanding work in the classroom with the Faculty of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. She received her award for her co-instruction of Introductory Psychology at Renison University College in Fall 2018, as well as her online course instruction for Physiological Psychology in Winter 2018.


Lucy Vorobej

Lucy Vorobej, PhD candidate | History

She aims to use her expertise to reduce discrimination and exclusion by educating Canadians and their politicians and bureaucrats. She wants to help them understand that knowledge of the history of colonization is vital to redress racialized health policies that have left many Indigenous communities disproportionately affected by rates of ill-health.


Bryn McAuley

Bryn McAuley, MA graduate | Global Governance

What do cartoon characters Caillou, Harriet Turtle from Franklin, Mavis from Hotel Transylvania, and dozens more have in common? They were all brought to life by talented voice actor Bryn McAuley - who is also a graduate in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo.


Andy Myles

Andy Myles, MA graduate | Experimental Digital Media

The Experimental Digital Media (XDM) MA equips students with the skills to support deep reading and critical analysis, while also offering an understanding of ethical approaches to technology in culture. These skills benefit individuals looking to work in communication design and to build expertise in the rapidly evolving field of communications.


Minna Hong

Minna Hong, PhD graduate | Accounting

After winning the Excellence in Teaching award, PhD graduate Minna Hong said, “I believe it is important for university students to not only acquire the knowledge required for their chosen career path, but also to develop life skills, such as discipline and responsibility, and character. As a teacher, I hope that I can play a positive role in helping students achieve these elements during their university journey.”  


Tess Martens

Tess Martens, MFA graduate | Fine Arts

Tess Martens is the first student in the history of Waterloo's MFA program to create a thesis show presented entirely in performance art. 


Sara Marsh

Sara Marsh, PhD graduate | German

Graduate studies provides a refreshing opportunity for an immersive education experience. For Sara Marsh, a graduate of the Joint MA in Intercultural German Studies (IcGS) who spent one year of her studies at the University of Mannheim, this couldn’t be truer.


Holly Krause

Holly Krause, MA graduate | Public Issues Anthropology

“As archeologists, I believe we can unlock the answers to so many mysteries of human culture and people who walked this earth before we did,” says Holly Krause, MA graduate in Public Issues Anthropology.


Vanessa Lam

Office Hours in Philosophy, Professor Mathieu Doucet and PhD candidate Vanessa Lam

Welcome to office hours with Professor Mathieu Doucet and PhD student Vanessa Lam. Learn more about doing Philosophy graduate studies and applied research with our award-winning professors at the University of Waterloo: Philosophy that matters


Jordyn Stewart

Jordyn Stewart, MFA graduate | Fine Arts

If you visit the website of emerging artist and MFA graduate Jordyn Stewart, you’ll discover an array of curiously mesmerizing videos and photography, some featuring the artist herself exploring natural environments, and others showing subtle or peculiar interventions of outdoor and indoor scenes.


Zabeen Khamisa

Zabeen Khamisa, PhD candidate | Religious Studies

Zabeen's dissertation research project brings together two seemingly disparate fields of interest — religion and social innovation and entrepreneurship.


Issa Ebombolo

Issa Ebombolo, MA graduate | Peace and Conflict Studies

Growing up surrounded by violence, in an armed conflict zone in the Great Lakes region of Africa, propelled Master of Peace and Conflict Studies graduate Issa Ebombolo to search for a better way.


Leah Govia

Leah Govia, MA graduate | Public Issues Anthropology

For her MA in Public Issues Anthropology, Leah Govia is studying an unconventional group of humans: artificial intelligence experts.


Nick Zabara

Nick Zabara, MA/PhD candidate | Clinical Psychology

Nick is wrapping up an MA in Psychology at the University of Waterloo and preparing to enter the PhD program. His research indicates that not all safety behaviours are the same, and some might even be usefully incorporated into treatment for social anxiety.


Jenny Flagler-George

Jenny Flagler-George, PhD graduate | Sociology  

During her MA, a research assistantship with Alicja Muszynski studying hate crimes against African community members in the Region of Waterloo led her to realize that many immigrant women had difficulties accessing health care, for themselves and for family members. She wrote her PhD dissertation on the issues they face as caregivers trying to navigate the health care system, in a new country and often a new language.


Rachel Beals

Rachel Beals, MA graduate | Political Science

While hunting for a co-op placement for her M.A. in Political Science at Waterloo, she found her dream placement. “I applied to maybe 20-30 placements,” she says, “But when I saw Northern Policy Institute’s description, I knew it was perfect.’”


Andria Bianchi

Andria Bianchi, PhD graduate | Applied Philosophy

By 2030, 75 million people will be diagnosed with dementia worldwide. Many of them will be sexually active. But how can they consent to sex It’s a question that Andria Bianchi is examining for her PhD dissertation in philosophy. 


Khanh Dang

Khanh Dang, MPS graduate | Public Service 

Khanh was drawn to Waterloo’s Master of Public Service program because it allows students to explore their interests in a variety of sectors, whether it be in education, environmental sciences or health, while learning hands-on practical skills. “The program was the perfect mix between theoretical-based learning, drawing on the fundamentals of Canadian public administration and the policymaking process, to project management and economic-based scenarios we would find ourselves facing in the public sector.”


Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan, MPS graduate | Public Service

Kate's former teacher suggested that, instead of teaching, she work to “effect change from the inside.” Kate applied for and was accepted into Waterloo’s Master of Public Service program. A year later, she found her way into the Ontario Ministry of Education.


Dana Thacher

Dana Thacher, MA graduate | Public Issues Anthropology

Dana will look through trays and trays of tiny bits of woods and metal pieces to determine what the Inuit were looking for and what they were doing with the material they took away. It’s a challenging task since she won’t be studying harpoons and fish hooks, only the material the Inuit rejected or missed. She will also be looking for evidence that the Inuit were testing the material.


Denise and Timothy

Denise St Marie and Timothy Walker, MFA graduates | Fine Arts

Timothy Walker is a collaborative artist who works closely with fellow artist and graduate Denise St Marie. Together their practice consists largely of text-based work focused on the human condition. They often explore themes relating to perception, value and social relations, and how these can become shaped/formed by various belief structures. 


Jess LIncoln

Jess Lincoln, MFA graduate | Fine Arts

Jess primarily makes figurative paintings, and she has a specific interest in the relationships between people, their homes, and the stuff they keep in them. In 2014, she participated as an artist-in-residence at the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture and in 2016 she was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant in conjunction with her MFA thesis research.


Alexis HIldreth

Alexis Hildreth, MFA graduate | Fine Arts

Alexis' work revolves around boundaries, barriers, and thresholds. He is invested in the relationship between internal and external geography, the balance of terror and awe, and with mapping the transition from one state of consciousness into another.


Robyn Walter

Robyn Walter, MA candidate | Political Science

Robyn liked that at Waterloo it was clear that she would be able to pursue her own passions and interests in her research and her studies. Prior to starting her master's in Political Science, Robyn held the role of Strategy and Program Consultant at the Ministry of Finance, Ontario Public Service. 


Andrew McLaughlin

Andrew McLaughlin, PhD graduate | History

Andrew splits his time between researching United States military public affairs policy and operations and working as a reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces himself. Find out what made Waterloo the ideal choice for his doctoral studies.


Stefan Jovanovic

Stefan Jovanovic, MA graduate | Public Issues Anthropology

“Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples is its most important relationship. And yet, we don’t really have an understanding of how our large immigrant populations fit into the equation.” With his research, Stefan hopes to foster the relationship between immigrant communities in Toronto, and local Indigenous groups like the the Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee.


DJ Houle

DJ Houle, MA graduate | Classical Studies 

DJ is an alumnus of the MA Classical Studies program. He is currently working towards his PhD at McMaster University, while working for the Waterloo Regional Police Service in the Records Branch. 


Michaela Tatu

Michaela Tatu, MA graduate | Classical Studies

Michaela Tatu is an alumna of the MA Classical Studies program. Michaela began working on campus part-time while earning her Master’s and loved it so much that she stayed. She uses the skills she developed in the Department of Classical Studies to contribute to the student experience.


Peter Blouw

Peter Blouw, PhD graduate | Philosophy

“I find language to be an interesting topic to study because on the one hand, it is incredibly familiar to us, while on the other hand, there are many things about language and language learning that are quite mysterious,” says Peter, a PhD graduate in the Department of Philosophy and Computational Neuroscience Research Group. His research focuses on how people use and understand natural language.


Rosanne Abdulla

Rosanne Abdulla, PhD graduate | French Studies

Having started out as a Psychology major, Rosanne switched to French Studies but kept a minor in Psychology. Her interest in abnormal psychology and mental illnesses has carried on throughout her MA and now her PhD and she is finding interesting ways to combine the two fields. “I am researching the representation of depression and melancholy in contemporary French literature. Specifically, how does an author depict depression, and how does that then compare to the clinical definition and presentation of the illness.”


Amanda Suko

Amanda Suko, MA graduate | Anthropology

Amanda’s research is concerned with the archaeology of borderlands and the ways in which material culture shapes, and is shaped by, social interaction between distinct communities. She is interested in the pottery assemblages recovered from a thirteenth century site in southwestern Ontario, where distinct cultural traditions may have come together to create new communities of practice and design repertoires.


Sarah Yu

Sarah Yu, MA graduate | Economics

The master’s program in Economics at UWaterloo is one of the very few in North America that offers a co-op option, which has established strong ties in both private and public sectors, including departments in the governments of Ontario and Canada. Many Economics graduates have seen their co-op position translate into a permanent job. Sarah shares her co-op experience while enrolled in the Economics MA program.


Tommy Mayberry

Tommy Mayberry, PhD candidate | English

Tommy’s research on transgender visual culture in 19th century British art and literature evolved from his first “encounter” with William Blake. “I did my undergrad here in Fine Arts and English Honours and I really never understood how the two fields could work together. And then I met William Blake. He would create watercolours of his poetry. For the first time, I saw art and literature together as this inseparable thing.”


Gordon Pennycook

Gordon Pennycook, PhD graduate | Cognitive Psychology

Gordon’s own research is focused on reasoning and decision-making, examining factors that influence when and how a person will overcome an intuitive or gut response. He explains, “Some people are more willing to question feelings and gut instincts. Some are more analytical and rational. What other differences do those people display?”