Graduate Student Profiles

  • Chen, Lydia
    My humanities-based research will explore the relationship between love and education in the field of philosophy of education. It is important for educational research to explore humanistic ideas such as love and education in a conceptual way. In this research, I will briefly define love and education in a short series of claims and sources. I will also relate humanistic notions (e.g., freedom, justice, equity, etc) to love and education, to increase analogically association through which the link between them will be explored.
  • Ji, Yujie
    My research aims to document and preserve Chone Tibetans’ most important form of oral literature, Shadpa, practiced and performed in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province, China. Due to the seven-decade promotion of Chinese and the recent development of standard Amdo Tibetan, Chone Tibetan dialect has been considered to be non-standard and low-status vis-à-vis the national language (Chinese) and the newly standardized minority language (Amdo Tibetan). Consequently, there has been a dramatic disparagement and loss of Chone Tibetan and the inter-generational transmission of oral literature, including Shadpa, has been disrupted. Local Tibetans are facing a growing sense of linguistic and cultural anxiety, inferiority and alienation. By working in a respectful and collaborative partnership with the two Shadpa narrators, this community-led project will support the documentation, preservation, and promotion of the cultural masterpiece that is the Shadpa.
  • Pai, Sandeep
    In Alberta, Canada, the provincial government has created a climate leadership plan to facilitate a complete transition away from coal-based electricity. Today, almost 50% of the province’s electricity is supplied by coal-fired power plants. By 2030, Alberta aims to produce 30% of its electricity using renewable energy sources, and the rest with natural gas. This switch will have a transformative social impact. Approximately 4000 workers will lose their jobs, along with many community members working in retail and other industries that support coal workers. My research project is the first empirical study that aims to investigate the challenges coal workers in Alberta are facing as they attempt to transition to jobs in other industries. My research has two objectives: 1) to understand the hurdles Albertan coal workers face in making an employment transition; 2) to understand the extent to which federal and provincial policies combine to adequately address these hurdles.
  • Low, Sokyee Angela
    Parenthood can be both rewarding and challenging. While some parents report reduced well-being and decreased life and marital satisfaction, others find enhanced feelings of meaning and reward with parenthood. How can we help parents build the emotional resilience needed to experience parenthood as a period of growth and thriving instead of overwhelming stress and burnout? My research focuses on happiness and self-compassion as factors for promoting emotional resilience in parenthood. Emerging research suggests that engaging in intentional activities can enhance one’s level of happiness, which is associated with successful relationships and better physical and mental health. At the same time, when parenting challenges lead to feelings of frustration or shame, self-compassion practices can reduce negative affect and increase well-being. In consultation with parents and frontline staff of community organizations, I am developing two self-care interventions (focusing on either happiness or self-compassion) which will be evaluated using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) for their relative efficacy in influencing parental efficacy and well-being, and improving parent-child relationship and satisfaction.
  • Tembrevilla, Gerald
    The overarching goal of my doctoral work is to find out more about the challenges science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers in rural areas of developing countries face and consider ways to understand and use modern technologies that are critical for 21st century education. Through PSI, my research will help clarify and build upon significant aspects of my dissertation which include: 1) What are the difficulties encountered by STEM teachers in rural areas in the Philippines as they integrate local knowledge into digital video productions? 2) What Canadian approaches and expertise may be relevant for STEM educators in rural areas in the Philippines? and 3) How can findings regarding rural STEM education in the Philippines help inform STEM educators in Canada?
  • Javed, Sumreen
    My research is focused on small feet like structures that help tumor cells to move from one part of the body to the other. These are called invadopodia. I will be studying their role in tumor cells dissemination through lymphatics, particularly in metastatic breast cancer. This will be done by using cell lines, chicken embryos, and mouse model. My project also involves screening FDA-approved small molecules library to observe if inhibiting invadopodia could be a preeminent target to be considered for therapeutic development.
  • Sidhu, Balsher Singh
    My doctoral research addresses the relationship between climate and agriculture. With the global climate changing at a rapid pace, shifting rainfall and temperature patterns are expected to have strong repercussions for the world’s food production. Using India as a case study, I am building statistical models that improve upon the current “crop yield estimation techniques” to better understand the impact of climate variability on agricultural output.
  • Ji, Jennifer
    Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death for women from cancers, with about 25,000 women diagnosed in North America each year. Ovarian cancer is divided into subtypes based on molecular characteristics and clinical outcome. Although we have understood ovarian cancer as many diseases, the treatment has remained the same for the past 30 years for all subtypes--untargeted platinum-based chemotherapy. Clear cell ovarian cancer (CCOC) is the second most common subtype of ovarian cancer affecting many women. At late stage, it is more aggressive and resistant to current chemotherapy compared to other subtypes. Although deadly, CCOC is still not well understood and lacks effective targeted therapy. Existing molecular and genomic studies suggest that it is a metabolically driven malignancy, but its metabolic profile has not yet been studied. My PhD project will be the first characterization of a large cohort of clinical cases of CCOC using protein expression in conjunction with global metabolite profiling. Understanding of the altered metabolism in CCOC will revolutionize the ovarian cancer research community and provide strong foundations on which to build further discoveries. Most importantly, we hope that identifying targetable metabolic pathways will guide the development of more effective therapies to help patients with this deadly disease.
  • Park, Jungsoo
    I have an interest in symbiotic relations between microorganisms, algae and plants. More specifically, my research focuses on host-associated bacterial interactions in complex microbial food webs, with the aim of understanding the signaling (functioning) molecules. Moreover, examining the interaction and function of core microbes in various environmental conditions would allow for a better understanding of the existing organisms in the ecosystem, which in turn may help with tackling global issues.
  • Yagi, Shunya
    Overall objective of my research project will focus on sex difference and the effect of estrogens on adult neurogenesis and hippocampus-related cognition in rodents. Firstly, I am looking at sex differences in cognitive flexibility and the effect of estrogens on the ability of memory encoding with examining neural plasticity and learning related cell signaling pathways. Secondly, I am looking at sex differences and the role of estrogens on adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus. Thirdly, I am interested in sex-dependent, age-related cognitive decline in rats examining the ability for cognitive flexibility and the capacity of neural plasticity in aged males and females.

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