Damilola (Dami) Adebajo is an MA student in Rhetoric and Communication Design. She graduated in 2021 from the University of Waterloo with a BSc in Biochemistry and a French Studies Minor. She has experience working in varied fields, from biochemical sciences to freelance journal editing, and is primarily interested in linguistics and the applications of language in a digital world, especially how we use and mold language to our bidding.
When she isn’t nerding out over grammatical intricacies, Dami enjoys spending her time baking, playing low-stress, slow-paced video games, and learning new languages.
Shawn Blackburn is an MA co-op student in English Literary Studies. He graduated in 2023 from Carleton University with an English with Concentration in Creative Writing BA and a Philosophy minor. He has three years of experience working as a substitute teacher in elementary schools and high schools.
Outside of academia, Shawn spends his time listening to music, watching films, reading, and working on his novel..
Suzanne Carson is an MA student in Experimental Digital Media. She was granted a BA in honours English from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2022, with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Writing for Career and Community. Her academic interests are in literary fiction, digital narratives, and semiotics. She is particularly interested in the political discourse of “The Troubles” in 1980s/1990s Northern Ireland, as well as the rhetoric of the political/cultural murals of this era. Outside of academics she writes short stories and poetry.
Riani de Wet
Riani de Wet is an MA student in the Literary Studies Program. She completed a BA in English and Psychology at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her interests include African colonial/post colonial literature, the dynamics between literature and political/societal change, and oral literature and storytelling.
Cat Esdon is a MA student in English Language and Literature. She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2022 with a BA in English and Religion and Culture. Her focus is on cultural representation and expression in literature within the Canadian landscape. Stephanie's capstone project for her undergraduate degree involved marginalized groups, their worship methods, and their expressions of self in media. This research led to her interest in how marginalized groups are represented in media and literature, and how they represent themselves.
When outside academia, Stephanie is often reading, cooking, or spending time with her family.
Nadia Formisano is an MA student in Rhetoric and Communication Design. She completed her BA in Literature and Rhetoric at the University of Waterloo in 2023, with a specialization in Creative Writing and an Italian and Applied Language Studies double minor. Nadia also earned Diplomas in French and Spanish Language. Her academic interests include translation studies, language acquisition, and adaptation studies, with a particular interest in how a translation of a text can affect its perception in different language groups.
Outside academia, Nadia enjoys the theatre and writing fiction.
Ariel Fullerton is a master’s co-op student in the Literary Studies Program. She completed an honours English Literature BA from the University of Waterloo in 2019. She also completed a minor in French and received her Bed with a French Teaching specialization from the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests include ecocriticism, pedagogy, and French and English literature. Her other interests include spending time outdoors, reading, and creative writing.
Thomas Hanson is in the Rhetoric and Communication Design MA program. Before coming to the University of Waterloo, he did a BA in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse Studies at Brock University in St Catharines, ON. Thomas plans to research the ways democratic terms, such as inclusivity, justice, and equality, are used in liberatory critiques of hegemonic forms of knowledge production in the humanities. Currently, he’s starting applications for PhD programs in rhetoric and English studies in the hope he can further his scholarly interests after his MA.
Ben Lingley is a MA co-op student in the Rhetoric & Communication Design stream. He received his BA in English Literature with a concentration in communication and a minor in Philosophy from Tyndale University in 2022. His reading interest spans widely across the course of literary history but falls particularly into the last couple of centuries with Victorian and 20th Century poetry and prose. The relationship between rhetorical theory, meaning, and culture (both past and present) remains a recurring interest in his study. Outside of academia he enjoys watching film, spending time with friends, listening to music, shopping for used books, and occasionally writing fiction.
Gavin Mackay is an MA student in the Literary Studies stream. He completed his BA in Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication at the University of Waterloo in 2023, with a Psychology minor. His academic interests surround the relationship between literature and the law, with a focus on the ways in which literature possesses the unique ability to influence the legal system and the law’s interpretation. He also has a special interest in Shakespeare’s relationship to the culture and traditions of rhetoric.
Outside of academia, Gavin is a professional bagpiper, an avid film enthusiast, and an employee of the Waterloo Region District School Board.
Sarah O’Donnell is an MA student in Rhetoric and Communication design. She graduated with a BA in English: Rhetoric, Media, and Communication Design, with a double minor in History, and Knowledge Integration in 2023. Her main areas of interest are American pop culture and rhetoric, media studies, pedagogy, museum studies, and interdisciplinary communication.
Outside of her studies, Sarah enjoys cooking, crafting, and being out in nature.
Chinye Obiago is an MA student in Literary Studies. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2023 with a BA in English Language and Literature, with a concentration inCreative Writing and a minor in Gender and Social Justice. Her academic interests includeexploring feminist fiction, as well as transnational and diasporic literature, especially those works centered around the experiences of the African diaspora.
Outside of school, she enjoys writing (she is currently working on a YA novel as we speak), as well as painting, gardening, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.
Ritika Puri is an MA student in Rhetoric and Communication Design program. She completed her BA in Literature and Rhetoric in the Honours Arts and Business program at the University of Waterloo in 2023. Ritika also completed co-op terms in the fields of economic development and computation linguistics during her BA. Her academic interests include computation linguistics, visual rhetoric, and disability studies. She has a particular interest in researching invisibilized illnesses. Outside academia, Ritika enjoys writing short stories, volunteering, and travelling.
Jay Smith is a master’s Thesis student in the English Literature Program. They received their Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of Calgary in 2022. They are academically interested in Queer Theory and Representation in modern media and developing fields of research like comics studies and interactive media.
Allyson Tharamarajah is an MA co-op student in the Literary Studies Program. She completed her Honours BA with a double major in English and Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Her research interest include affect theory in the context of environmental discourse, particularly on depictions of fear and helplessness in climate fiction. Her other interests include linguistic code-switching and language interference in multilingual speakers.
Allyson likes painting and learning new board games in her spare time.
Varsha Thulasi Pillai
Varsha Thulasi Pillai is an MA co-op student in the Rhetoric & Communication Design stream. She received her MA in English Literature and Language from Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore University, India. She also has a TESOL/TEFL certification to her credit. Her academic interests include trauma theories, memory studies, and the historical evolution of India, with a particular focus on its transition from a pre-colonial society to a neo-colonial space.
Outside of academics she enjoys reading books, taking leisurely walks, tending to her plants, and traveling.
Kriti Upreti is an MA co-op student in the Rhetoric and Communication Design stream. She received her BSc from the University of Toronto Mississauga with a double degree in Biology for Health Sciences & Professional Writing and Communication. Her research interests include rhetorical pedagogy, storytelling, literary multilingualism, and cinema including Italian neorealism. Her other interests include creative writing and kickboxing
Alexandria Zielinsky is a MA co-op student in the Experimental Digital Media program. She completed her BA in 2023 at the University of Waterloo in Honours English-Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication with a minor in Psychology. Her academic interests vary across educational theory and delivery, media studies, visual rhetoric, and user experience design. She is specifically interested in ethical user centered design; as well as the ways in which mental illness are addressed on social media through language and visuals.
Alexandria also enjoys admiring architecture, cooking, creative writing, hiking, photography, and hanging out with her cat Loki.