Scholarship Recipients

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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council - Doctoral

Photo of graduate studentRawan Abdelbaki
Rawan holds a BA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Toronto, and completed her MA studies at York University (Sociology) with a research review paper titled Neoliberalism and Canadian Immigration: Rethinking the Land of (In)Opportunity. Her research interests lie in the areas of transnational migration, citizenship, political economy, racialization, political subjectivities, and diaspora studies. Her work is inspired by a smorgasbord of theoretical traditions, namely marxist, feminist, anti-racist, and postcolonial approaches. Rawan is also a labour activist, and is a graduate student affiliate of York University’s Global Labour Research Centre.

JP Armstrong (Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient)
JP Armstrong’s research brings together social movement scholarship and critical sexuality studies to examine various forms of and resistances to LGBTQ activism.


Giovanni Carranza-Hernandez (Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient)
Giovanni Carranza-Hernandez is a third year PhD student in Sociology. In his past life he worked as a child protection worker and men's anti-violence counselor in Hamilton, Ontario. Currently, under Dr. Luin Goldring's supervision, he is focused on exploring how Latin American's legacy of colonialism shapes their migration process, re-racialization and overall life trajectory when living in Canada. He is also working with the Toronto Hispanic Development Council to explore the life trajectories of second generation Central American migrants in Toronto and is involved in a research project through McMaster University that is studying Indigenous women's experiences of coloniality living in what is now known as Peru. In his spare time Giovanni and his partner can often be found exploring dog friendly locations in Toronto with their puppy, Hamilton.


Canada Graduate Scholarship - Masters

Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Beatrice Anane-Bediakoh


Photo of graduate studentDanielle Landry
Danielle’s research interests are in the fields of mad studies, critical disability studies, and the sociology of health and illness. Her proposed SSHRC-funded doctoral research aims to re-theorize how we understand accessibility for people with psychiatric disabilities in the workplace. This research will involve conducting a case study of social enterprises currently operating in Ontario that are run by psychiatric consumer/survivors. Danielle’s MA research (York, Sociology) used critical discourse analysis to investigate psychiatric survivor-led research in Canada. She holds a BA in Sociology (Ryerson) and a certificate in Accessibility Practices (Ryerson).


Jade Da Costa
Jade is a fourth year PhD sociology student. Her dissertation research focuses on the pragmatic development of local gender and sex activist groups using a queer-postcolonial, Black feminist lens. Grounded in her lived experiences as a second-generation, queer working-class woman of colour, her academic work is motivated by her desire to produce meaningful research that aims to mobilize agitational spaces on behave of queer and trans black, indigenous and people/women of colour. A similar commitment also informs her work as an educator.

Sarah Marshall


Photo of studentAlexandra Mirowski Rabelo De Souza
Alexandra Mirowski Rabelo de Souza is a first-year PhD student in Sociology and the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) Graduate Diploma program. She completed her MA in Public Issues Anthropology and International Development Studies at the University of Guelph and received an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Trent University. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, she spent two years living and working in central Brazil. Alexandra's main research interest is in (im)migration, with a focus on topics related to pathways to permanent legal status, precarious status, student-migrant turned (im)migrant experiences, immigrant service provision, immigrant integration, social inclusion and exclusion, transnational migration, as well as citizenship and belonging. Her dissertation research examines pathways to permanent legal status, the inherent precarity in this process, and the ways in which legal service providers help or hinder individuals seeking permanent residency in Canada. Alexandra is a CRS Student Caucus Co-Chair and the treasurer for the York Sociology Graduate Association (YSGA). She is a recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Chancellor Bennett Doctoral Scholarship for Liberal Arts.


Kaitlin Peters


Rosa Proietto


Chancellor Bennett Award

Alexandra Mirowski  Rabelo de Souza

Graduate Program in Sociology Distinguished Dissertation Award

Shaira Vadasaria
Entitled “Temporalities of ‘Return’: Race, Representation and Decolonial Imaginings of Palestinian Refugee Life,” Shaira's dissertation asked how Israeli settler colonialism and international rights discourse came to bear on political imaginings of return for third generation Palestinian refugees living in the occupied West Bank.  The analysis used a geneaological approach and was based on multiple sources of data gathered over several visits and a six-month period of intensive fieldwork in the West Bank.  Dr. Vadasaria worked with two experimental social action collectives, as an ethnographer and participant observer.

Current, Dr. Vadasaria is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Al-Quds University/Bard College in East Jerusalem.

Nathanson Fellowship

JP Armstrong (Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient)
JP Armstrong’s research brings together social movement scholarship and critical sexuality studies to examine various forms of and resistances to LGBTQ activism.

Victor Hedges Graduate Scholarship

Nicholas Cristiano
My research focuses on club drug use (i.e. drugs that are used in nightclubs, like ecstasy, ketamine, cocaine, GHB, alcohol) and risk management. I look at how people who use club drugs think about and manage the risks associated with their use. I argue that, despite their knowledge and acceptance of information about club drug risk, people who use club drugs sometimes act in ways that seemingly ignore or even exacerbate the risks posed by their use. To make sense of these complex and seemingly contradicting practices, I look to “context” as a moderating factor between risk perception and risk behaviour. Using Rhodes’ (2002) “Risk Environment” framework, I explore how people who use club drugs take up and respond to information about risk in different ways in different contexts. I argue that only through studying the social, political, physical, and economic environments of club drug use can we truly understand what informs practices of using club drugs and managing risk.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Photo of StudentLeigha Comer
Leigh Comer’s proposed thesis “The Social Organization of Opioid Use for Chronic Pain in Canada” examines the day-to-day lives of individuals using opioids to manage their chronic pain.

“In light of the significant increase of opioid-related deaths and harms in North America – the ‘opioid crisis’ – there has been a series of policy decisions intended to curb opioid use,” said Comer. “The problem with these policies is that they target the use of opioids for chronic pain as a ‘primary pathway’ through which opioids are misused and diverted, and so they criminalize people who need opioids for pain relief without recognizing the complex ways in which they come to use opioids in the first place.”

Leigha notes that current policies attribute these individuals as criminals as opposed to vulnerable members of society who have a right to pain relief.

“My goal is to give a voice to people with chronic pain, and to recognize them as key stakeholders in policy decisions targeted at curbing the ‘opioid epidemic.’ I’d like to bring more attention to how people with chronic pain actually come to use opioids for their pain,” she said.