UBC’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice alumni have a longstanding history of individual achievements and collective success. Since the first Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice courses were offered at the University, our alumni have made a mark for themselves internationally and in a vast diversity of careers. Below are a few alumni profiles from our Institute.

Supervisor: Dr. Leila Harris

Noal Amir graduated in the MA program at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. She plans to research the relationship between gender and international wildlife conservation, specifically the roles of women in rural communities. She is interested in indigenous knowledge, political ecology and global justice. Her research interests are inspired by her work in West Africa and Central Asia.

Simone graduated in the MA program at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, Media & Culture joint Publishing Media from Oxford Brookes University. Her current research project examines the intersectional positions of Black women and their production of self narratives in the face of representational bias. Simone is also interested in representation of radicalized bodies in the Media, sexual practices, interracial relationships, destabilizing gendered and raced HIV/AIDS bodies of knowledge.

Supervisor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim / Dr. Judy Segal

Shruti is a literature postgraduate from India. She has worked as an editor at a newspaper and an international children’s publishing house. Shruti is also a poet and book reviewer, published widely in both, national and international literary journals. Her interests span across disciplines, ranging from poetry, literary theory, history and science to children’s literature, all sorts of tea, horror movies, and comic + graphic novels.

Supervisor: Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva

Kristi Carey graduated with an MA in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies from Colgate University. Her research interests lie in the university’s self-management and management of relations with other institutions, and namely, how student resistance interacts with these bureaucratic and increasingly corporate processes in the context of censorship and increased professionalism of higher education.

Chany Chea with an MA in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice,  whose autoethnographical research focuses on the intergenerational dynamics postmemory work involving the Cambodian genocide. She is interested in memory work, public histories, intergenerational knowledge sharing, trauma and representational politics.

Supervisor: Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh

Joshua M. Ferguson graduated with a PhD at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Joshua (they/them/their pronouns) is a non-binary transgender filmmaker and scholar whose work employs film studies, film production, feminist poststructuralist theory and autoethnography to focus on expanding trans* and gender theory in order to raise awareness for the societal and cultural recognition of non-binary gender(s).

Supervisor: Dr. Leslie Robertson / Dr. Erin Baines

Katherine Fobear graduated with a PhD at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Katherine is a queer scholar and activist whose work revolves around LGBTQ refugee settlement in North America. Katherine uses participatory photography, oral history, and community-based art projects to explore LGBTQ refugees’ stories of settlement. Through storytelling and art Katherine works with LGBTQ refugees and newcomers to share their story and fight for social justice.

Chaya was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She completed a BA in Anthropology in UBC and an MA at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. From November 2013 to June 2014 Chaya worked as an emergency relief worker across the Visayan islands in the Philippines devastated by the super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Her MA thesis is a feminist anthropological research on women survivors’ perceptions of disaster and their relations to water-related hazards.

Hedda Hakvag graduated with an MA at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. She holds a BA with distinction in Women’s Studies and Creative Writing from the University of Alberta. Her research interests are diverse and include social discourses of the body/embodiment, consumerism, children’s toys and teen culture, gender violence activism, and terrorism and Islamophobia.

Kate Reid is a professional queer-musical-activist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. With rapid-fire wit, a raw and often irreverent delivery, Kate is a guitar-playing, harmonica-slinging, singer-songwriter and bona-fide entertainer. Her lyrics are honest and poignant, sometimes hard-hitting and sometimes hilarious and she is known for her self-deprecating and tongue-in-cheek humour.

Manuela Valle’s research interests include the gendered and sexual narratives of neoliberalism, militarism and imperialism, and the intersections between gender and nationalism. Her research project aims to explore how in Latin American post-dictatorship societies such as the Chilean, the continued legacy of an authoritarian culture limits the exercise of citizenship and rights for women and men and children, arguing that a real democratization in these societies requires the transformation of gender meanings and sexual imaginaries through a repoliticization of the domestic space and gender relations.

Other Notable Alumni

Lauren Hunter

Government of Canada
Job Title
Head, IN.spire Innovation Hub, Natural Resources Canada
Home Town
Vancouver, Canada
Current Location
Ottawa, Canada
Faculty of Arts
Doctor of Philosophy in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (PhD)
Research topic
Multiculturalism and Human Rights
Research supervisor(s)
Daniel Joseph Hiebert
UBC Degree Conferred in

Learn more about Lauren on UBC’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:

For more information about UBC Alumni in the Faculty of Arts, contact:

Christine Lee
Associate Director, Alumni Relations
Faculty of Arts

Read testimonials from alumni of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.