FGS Election for Graduate Student and Staff Decanal Search Committee Members: Biographical Statements December 2017

Graduate Student Nominees' Biographical Statements
Electors:  Graduate Student Members of Faculty Council

2 to be elected

R.C. George (Graduate Program in Sociology)
R.C. George is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at York University and is currently ABD.  Her dissertation, She’s Got Game: Exploring the Experiences of Black Canadian Female Basketball Athletes examines the specific ways in which Black Canadian female athletic scholarship recipients navigate the racialized, gendered and classed context of competitive sport and how their operation within this contested space shapes their athletic and educational outcomes. Her broader research interests include the Sociology of Education, Sociology of Sport, Critical Race Studies, and Caribbean diasporic experiences and to date, she has published in the Canadian Review of Sociology and the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. Currently, R.C. is a teaching assistant in the Department of Equity Studies and a research assistant for the Gateway Cities Project, which examines post-secondary access and transitions for students in the Greater Toronto Area.  She has served on a range of committees within her department and is interested in further developing her academic service experience by sitting on the FGS Decanal Search Committee.

Munjeera Jefford (Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought)
I am a 2nd year PhD student in Social and Political Thought (SPTH) and currently sit on several committees. I represent SPTH in CUPE3903 as the Equity Officer, write equity proposals for the Bargaining Team and represent CUPE 3903 on the Writing Centre’s Policy and Curriculum Committee. I am also on the Social Science Adjudication Committee. This year got involved in a start up committee called Racial Inclusion and Supporting Environments, helping to develop writing workshops for marginalized students. Currently I work at the Writing Centre at York and teach a few Communication courses at Sheridan.

My research area is anti-oppressive education and I have presented the findings of my Masters research at several conferences: Brock’s Knowledge Mobilization (2013), Queen’s Rose Bruno Jofre Social Justice (2015), U of Calgary Congress (2016), Ryerson U Congress (2017) and York’s Global Labour Research (2017).

Prior to returning back to school last year, I worked at the Toronto District School Board for 25 years, first as an ESL instructor and then as a supervisor. I have experience working in the hiring process and am committed to following the appropriate guidelines at York University while representing students’ interests.

Jennifer Meness (Graduate Program in Communication & Culture)
I am Jennifer Meness/Waabishkaa Migizi (White Eagle), Migizi Dodem (Eagle Clan) from the Algonquins of  Pikwákanagán First Nation. As Canada moves forward in the spirit of reconciliation, discourses around Aboriginal People and Indigenous Knowledges become paramount in within the academy.  My interest in being part of this committee is to help imbue Indigenous worldviews into critical and structural university framework.

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Communication and Culture and I am using Indigenous research methodology for my dissertation on cultural embodiment and animate material culture. I serve as a graduate student representative on the Aboriginal Education Council at York University, have been active in Indigenous undergraduate and Masters student mentorship at the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services, and serve on the annual powwow committee. I volunteer in the Traditional Office at Anishinaabe Health where I learn Traditional teachings and participate in ceremony.

Avia Moore (Graduate Program in Theatre)
Avia Moore, PhD 2, Theatre and Performance Studies Avia brings leadership skills developed inside and outside the academy, including as a graduate representative on faculty executive committees at each level of study (BA/MA/PhD). Her strengths include listening and moderating, facilitating collaborative projects, and navigating sensitive policy decisions. She is currently serving as a member of the T&PS GSA and the Graduate Rep on the T&PS Executive Committee. Avia holds a graduate fellowship for academic distinction and international leadership potential (GFAD).

Basma Sobhi Khalil Soliman Khalil (Graduate Program in Civil Engineering)
My name is Basma Sobhi, 1st year MSc Civil Engineering student in Lassonde, majoring in Environmental engineering. I got my BSc in Water & Environmental Engineering in 2014 from Cairo Uni., Egypt and managed several community development projects from 2010-2016. Then, worked for 2 years as an environmental specialist. I’ve only been here in Canada for 1 year, so I didn’t get a chance to be actively working in a student body yet. But as a TA/RA, I’ve come to interact with several graduate students from different programs as I really enjoy socializing with people to find common grounds for communication. I am always fascinated by the similarities I find between me and anyone I meet, they might seem as shallow/basic stuff, but in the end they are the things that shape us all. Also, I find myself interacting and having solid open-heart conversations with my students, who think of me as a friend and older sister rather than a TA. During my work as a leader and team player, I was never concerned about proving my ideas right or getting them approved, but only focusing on making everyone feel included and comfortable with expressing their opinions and minds.

I’m looking forward to being part of the Decanal search committee, as I feel I’ll be a collaborative representative of engineers and women students as well to get our voices heard, I’ll always make sure there’s a free space among the team for everyone, all inclusive and hear everyone’s voice.