Student Work

Within the Social Justice Studies streams, students can complete a major research project, a creative project, or work with a social justice serving agency to complete a practicum.  The projects and titles from 2022-23 are listed below.  The complete list of projects for each stream can be found on their dedicated pages.  


Creative Projects

Christopher Petersen (2021-23), "Pop Music and the Problem with the Nostalgia Industry." 
Supervisor: Dr. Max Haiven 

Complete list of creative projects. 



Hannah Caruana (2022-2023)
NaDaMaKay Lodge 
Hannah worked with Anishinabek Elders and Knowledge Keepers at a traditional learning and ceremonial space in Neebing. Throughout this decolonial practicum, they assisted with communal gatherings and supported both the administrative and land-based operations of the site. 


Nadia Clarke Cordick (2022-24)
Hill Run Club--Researcher & Run Coach
Nadia played a dual role as a researcher and run coach for Hill Run Club, a Black women's running group based in Toronto. Through her work, she delved into the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of Black women in mainstream wellness conversations. Her focus was on the experiences of Black women in the realm of running, analyzing the historical factors that have marginalized this community. Nadia's goal was to provide marathon training sessions while critically examining harmful narratives surrounding Black bodies, gender, and social class. Ultimately, she aimed to empower Black women to prioritize their own wellness.


Debora Cruz (2021-23)
John Howard Society of Simcoe Muskoka 
Debora assisted clients attending court, connecting with Legal Aid and community agencies; co-facilitated the anger management program and met with youth (one-on-one) seeking support in multiple areas; participated in case management and goal planning with the team and clients.


Piya Durba (2021-23)
Newcomers Legal Clinic, Thunder Bay
Durba supported multiple efforts within the clinic: client intake, public education, and expanded visibility for the clinic in the region.  


J. Bianca Espinoza (2021-23)
Newcomer Legal Clinic - TFW Outreach
Bianca supported the outreach coordinator at the Newcomer Legal Clinic in finding temporary foreign workers on closed work permits. She participated in outreach efforts such as attending events (representing the Newcomer Legal Clinic), visiting community organizations that support temporary foreign workers, and assisting in bridging the gap between the community and the clinic (through research and word of mouth).


Lily Gruber-Schulz (2022-23)
Student-Athlete Wellness 
Lily ran a self-lead practicum on post-secondary student-athlete mental health. She applied the theory of intersectionality to an athlete (looking at age, academic ability, athletic ability, financial status, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.) and how they fit into the power dynamics of the athletics world. She created a Student-Athlete Life Cycle that looks at different stressors athletes face throughout the year and provides accessible resources for them and their coaches to use. She also helped in collaboration with the Student Mental Health network to create a student-athlete mental health section (currently pending a release date). 


Ashley Hilling (2022-23) 
L'Arche Antigonish
Through a Lens of Belonging: Promoting Self-Expression of People with Intellectual Disabilities through Photovoice
Ashley created a collaborative project using photovoice with people with intellectual and /or developmental disabilities to understand, from their perspectives, what is important to them and used this insight to form a guide for program development. She spent time supporting the collaborators taking photos and conducting interviews to understand the stories behind the images. The project outcomes allowed space for empowerment and self-actualisation while creating opportunities for community learning and engagement. 


Syndey Kondreska (2022-23)
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario
Sydney Kondreska led research and development on a robust, user-friendly database featuring services across 11 locations in Northwestern Ontario and 8 categories of service types, totaling the compilation of over 200 unique services for Elizabeth Fry's clientele. Here, she also participated in a number of outreach programs and events with Elizabeth Fry, getting the opportunity to meet members of the community and the wide variety of alternative legal programs available in Thunder Bay. 


Charles Nunn (2022-23)
Poverty-Free Thunder Bay and connected groups

Charlie acted as a connector with several Thunder Bay advocacy groups to build a list of clear priority asks that could be taken to city hall. He worked with those same groups to build a common calendar and manage digital communication.  


Kristal Strawbridge (2021-23)
Kristal spent much of this self-directed practicum educating herself on equity, diversity and inclusions issues, and then had a number of opportunities to act as a consultant with organizations looking to strengthen their EDI efforts in employment and service provision.  


Isabella Szwender (2022-23) 
Unique Get Together Society 
Bella was a researcher and grant writer for UGTS while they sought funding for a major new project.  

Complete list of practicum projects 



Research Projects

Emily Collins (2021-23), "The Somalia Affair: Canada’s Neglect of Basic Human Rights through a Post-Colonial Lens." 
Supervisors: Dr. Jessica Jurgutis and Dr. Benjamin Maiangwa

Kamilah Gure (2021-23), "Assessing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Principles for Developing Leadership Practices Within the AOM (Association of Ontario Midwives). A Case Study Approach." 
Supervisor: Dr. Benjamin Maiangwa

Emily McFarlane (2021-23), "Race and Class in Media Coverage of Six Femicides." 
Supervisors: Dr. Lori Chambers and Dr. Jenny Roth

Nesteha Mohamed (2022-23), "The Contested Politics of Identity and Belonging: A Case Study of 'Kenyan-Somalis.'"
Supervisor: Dr. Benjamin Maiangwa

Alexandra Stargratt (2021-23), "Understanding Our Role and What We Can Do: How to Indigenize Research at Academic Institutions."
Supervisors: Dr. Lana Ray 
University research systems are not aligned with Indigenous ways of knowing or doing. Indigenous research is built on trusting relationships and common visions for research that address community needs and priorities (Stiegman & Castleden, 2015). Institutions and the people within them should not be extractive but reciprocal to safeguard balance, as we have a responsibility to match or surpass what is being received from Indigenous groups and communities (Carlson, 2016; Kovach, 2009; Nxumalo et al., 2022). This research project seeks to support Indigenous self-determination in research which includes Indigenizing academic spaces. My individual research comes from being a settler doing this work, guided by the eight principles of anti-colonial research methodology for settlers by Elizabeth Carlson (2016). This independent thinking piece reflects on working as a settler scholar within these Indigenous spaces. It is a storytelling on how settlers such as myself, can hold themselves accountable in a pursuit for systemic change. 

Tyna Legault Taylor (2021-23), "Supporting Food Justice and Ongoing Healing Through Stories of Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Food Insecurity in Attawapiskat First Nation." 
Supervisors: Dr. Barbara Parker and Dr. Lana Ray 

Miana Whitfield (2021-23), "The Truth Behind the Imposter Phenomenon: A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis." 
Supervisor: Dr. Jennifer Chisholm

 Complete list of research projects.